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Sunday Divisional Playoff Totals Predictions: Under Our Thumb

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Sunday Divisional Playoff Totals Predictions: Under Our Thumb

L.A. Chargers (8-9 O/V) at New England (5-11 O/U)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET (CBS)

Free NFL Picks: Under

Best Lines: Sports Betting

It sure seemed the opening total of 47 of this AFC affair was correct, but those betting football do not agree and by Monday night this total was down to 45 points. Like the sun rising on Wednesday morning, so did the NFL odds on the total to 45.5. Will we see this total creep ever closer to its original starting point?

In one facet, it would seem so if we consider season averages. For all games played, the Los Angeles Chargers are at 46.9 total points and at 46 for all away contests. For New England’s 16-game slate, they have totaled 47.5 points a contest and at home that rises to 49.5.

But in the last decade, more frequently it is not how you played all season, but how you have played down the stretch and that is precisely what has influenced this total. Since December, the average score of a Chargers contest has slid to 45.6 points and Patriots are all the way down to 41 points. With this seemingly conflicting information, what is the correct way to make NFL picks? Patience.

Unless the weather forecast changes to snow, cold and wind at Gillette Stadium, the total is unlikely to sink below 45. The latest form of each team suggests a lower score and the Bolts are 6-0 UNDER in road games off two or more consecutive Under’s and 10-1 UNDER after a road win. While New England has a long history of higher scoring, this team does not and is 11-5 UNDER this season. Wait to see if the line keeps rising toward 47 and when it stops, grab the best number for the UNDER.

Philadelphia (6-10-1 O/U) at New Orleans (7-9 O/U)

Sunday, 4:40 p.m. ET (FOX)

Free NFL Picks: Under

Best Lines: Sports Betting

The most noticeable aspect of this NFC confrontation is the drop in the total from the November 18th contest. The closing total in that game was 56.5 and now we are a full six points lower at 50.5. What changed it primarily was New Orleans. Toss off the Saints Week 17 throw away game and look at these difference since the last time these two teams collided.

  • Saints Games 1-10 – 37.8 PPG and 23.1 PPG allowed
  • Saints Games 11-15 – 22.4 PPG and 16.2 PPG allowed

The differences could hardly be any more stark, to the point it’s like a completely different team. What changed for New Orleans was first losing Ted Ginn Jr. and not having a legitimate outside threat to go along with WR Michael Thomas. Teams began double-teaming Thomas or bracketing him and also focused on stopping the running game on early downs. This forced Drew Brees into more third and longs and with Thomas doubled and more attention paid to Alvin Kamara coming out of the backfield, Brees was left searching to find open receivers. This combined with improved play in the secondary helped lower scores all-around for New Orleans.

Philadelphia only scored seven points in the last meeting and is certain to score more this time with the way Nick Foles comes up at crunch time again and again. The Eagles offense has gotten more consistent under Foles in part because the offensive line is playing better than it was under Carson Wentz. Also, Foles is a rhythm quarterback and on any drive when he starts to feel it, the Philly offense is more effective in moving the ball. Wentz has more ability and a better playmaker, but just like last year at this time, the team believes in Foles.

Yet. this does not mean we should expect a flurry of points and with two motivated and confident clubs, the drop in the line is a big key and why I will ride the UNDER in the final tilt of the weekend.