NFL Picks: Seahawks vs. Packers Betting the Total

Jason Lake

Saturday, September 19, 2015 7:01 PM GMT

The UNDER was the preferred NFL pick among early bettors for Sunday night's Seahawks-Packers game, but it didn't take long for the pendulum to swing in the other direction.

Jason's 2015 record as of Sept. 19: 5-3 ATS; 3-2 Total
 

What's hurting the Seattle Seahawks more: their offensive line, or the absence of safety Kam Chancellor? Answering that question, assuming there is an answer, will get us part of the way toward nailing the total for Sunday night's big game (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC) between the Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers. Is it the offensive line? Maybe UNDER is the right play. Chancellor? Perhaps the OVER then.

Early bettors seemed happy enough to bet the UNDER. According to our consensus reports, that was the choice of 57 percent of bettors when the total was sitting at 48.5 points. Then the total moved up to 49 on our NFL odds board – at which point people started pounding the OVER, reaching 61 percent consensus at press time. Very strange indeed.
 

Tuesday Whelm
Things made a lot more sense at the open. The UNDER seemed like an entirely reasonable NFL picks, if uninspiring; the total wasn't gigantic, but it was on the higher side, and Seattle's offense was clearly having issues during last week's 34-31 overtime loss (OVER 41.5) to the St. Louis Rams. The Seahawks scored a touchdown on special teams and another on defense to get to those 31 points. According to Football Outsiders, Seattle ranked No. 25 in offensive efficiency during Week 1. Not good.

It would also make perfect sense if the betting public came in and started pounding the OVER – but we first saw the scales tip toward the OVER on Tuesday. That's not what we normally expect from recreational bettors. Once the weekend arrives, yes. Anyway, it's important not to over-fit the model here when it comes to betting patterns, and our expanded consensus reports don't show the raw dollar percentages for totals, just spreads. We need more information.
 

Bryan Bulaga in the Deep Blue Sea
Let's move on to the injury front, where we got the information we wanted on Packers RT Bryan Bulaga. He will not be playing Sunday night after spraining his MCL in practice, and that could spell real trouble for Green Bay's offense. It's troubling enough that we're tempted to call backsies on our last NFL pick, where we recommended a very small wager on Packers –3.5. What's that? I'm being told we don't get backsies.

We do get to hammer the UNDER, though. Definitely not for a massive bet, not with a total still in the 40s, but we can bet with at least some confidence. Both offensive lines in this game are now compromised, and that total inching up to 49.5 is a plus; granted, 49 isn't a magic number when it comes to totals, but every half-point helps. Now let's see if Bulaga's absence hurts the Packers the same way it did in last year's opener against Seattle.

Free NFL Pick: Take UNDER 49.5 at BetDSI

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