NFL Picks: Steelers vs. Ravens Betting the Total

Jason Lake

Thursday, November 28, 2013 12:46 PM GMT

Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013 12:46 PM GMT

People appear to be warming up to the OVER in Thursday’s game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens. Better hit those NFL lines before the total reaches the magic number 41.

Jason’s record on his final NFL picks for 2013, up to November 27 inclusive:

28-25-2 ATS

1-1 ML (+0.71 units)

5-10-1 Totals

NFL Picks: Week 13 Betting Odds Report

It’s that special time of the year again – time to start making some money on those NFL totals. They haven’t been particularly good to me this season, but right around Thanksgiving is when I usually see results. Not that I’m guaranteeing anything, of course. I have no control over the prolate spheroid.

That might also be the case for the players in Thursday night’s game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens. Parts of Maryland have been under winter weather alert; however, things were expected to clear up overnight on Wednesday, and clear conditions are expected at kick-off (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC). Clear and rather chilly, which is good news if you’re betting the OVER this week.

Be sure to check out our:

NFL Picks: Week 13 Fades & Games to Avoid

NFL Picks: Week 13 Value Picks 

It’s Frickin’ Freezing in Here

Allow me to take you back in time a few days, when I brought up that 2007 academic paper by Richard Borghesi. You may remember Borghesi from his 2003 hit single, “Price Predictability: Insights from the NFL Point Spread Market.” That’s the one where he showed that home dogs – the bigger, the better – were solid value picks starting in Week 15. Borghesi’s 2007 follow-up smash, “Weather Biases in the NFL Totals Market,” told us about the value in taking the UNDER when games are played in the heat, wind and rain, while the OVER was more profitable in the cold and snow. Not too much snow, mind you.

You may have already detected the link between these two articles. When does the weather start really, really sucking? Right around Week 15. And since it’s usually rain or way too much snow rather than a manageable amount of snow, scores tend to be lower and underdogs perform better against the NFL odds. Home dogs get an extra boost because of the rigors of wintertime travel on broken-down bodies. 

Read another capper's take on this game here.

Premature Calculation 

Sometimes I like to go ahead and put these strategies to use around Thanksgiving. Part of it is because I’m lazy, and it’s easier to remember Thanksgiving than Week 15. But mainly it’s because the conditions on the ground don’t just materialize out of thin air once the Week 14 games are done. The weather gets progressively worse. Wear-and-tear compounds. 

So when there’s a giant WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY flashing on the computer screen, I’m not going to ignore it just because it’s still November. Temperatures at kick-off are supposed to dip below the freezing mark, and under clear skies, people are going to feel like popsicles. They’re going to assume the Steelers and Ravens will grind to a halt on offense, they’re going to overbet the UNDER, and more often than not, they will be wrong.

[gameodds]16/227046/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

There’s Never Been a Better Time to Buy

If you are going to bet the OVER this week, then you’d better act now, because these prices won’t last long. Most online sportsbooks at press time had the OVER pegged at 41 points, up from 40.5 at the open, which is still available at select locations as I write this. What are you waiting for? Pick up the mouse and click right now~!

Seriously, though, this is an important half-point. The most common combined score in the NFL is 41. If you wanted to buy a half-point off that total, the fair price would be 10.6 cents according to Wizard of Odds. That makes 41 just as much of a magic number on the NFL totals as 10 is on the NFL point spreads. Shop smart.

NFL Pick: Take OVER 40 at William Hill

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