The totals for Week 1 of the 2015 preseason are a little bit lower than they were last year. Is it safe to add the OVER to our football picks this Thursday night?
Remember that thing we told you about last month? You know, how the OVER was a solid NFL pick in the preseason – before the lines adjusted and the UNDER went 41-24 last year? Well, the totals for Week 1 have dropped back down a notch, with a lot more 36s and 36.5s on the NFL odds board, and a lot fewer 37.5s. Let's see how that affects our picks for Thursday's six-game slate.
New Orleans vs. Baltimore (7:30 p.m. ET)
Saints head coach Sean Payton takes these exhibition games at least somewhat seriously, and being the offensive whiz that he is, Payton has the OVER at 18-13-2 since making his debut in 2006. Baltimore's John Harbaugh is more about the defense; the UNDER is 15-13 in his preseason games. We'll take the stronger trend.
Free NFL Pick: Take OVER 38 (–102) at Matchbook
Green Bay vs New England (7:30 p.m. ET)
No question we'll be taking the OVER in this matchup. New England's Bill Belichick doesn't mess around in the preseason, driving the OVER to a 50-31 record, while Green Bay's Mike McCarthy, who was a tight end for Baker University in the NAIA, is even better at 24-12.
Free NFL Pick: Take OVER 37.5 (–107) at Pinnacle
N.Y. Jets vs. Detroit (7:30 p.m. ET)
Detroit's Jim Caldwell has the OVER at 9-7, but we want to focus specifically on his time with the Lions – they had the UNDER at 3-1 last year. The Jets have a rookie coach in Todd Bowles; he was a respected defensive co-ordinator for the Arizona Cardinals, and the Jets won't have the services of QB Geno Smith for this game.
Free NFL Pick: Take UNDER 36 at GTBets
Miami vs. Chicago (8:00 p.m. ET)
Whatever Joe Philbin is doing in the preseason, it isn't putting many points on the scoreboard. The Dolphins have the UNDER at 7-4-1 on Philbin's watch. John Fox's numbers are fairly neutral (UNDER 26-25), so let's keep riding the Philbin train.
Free NFL Pick: Take UNDER 37 at William Hill
Washington vs. Cleveland (8:00 p.m. ET)
Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Washington had the UNDER at 3-1 in Jay Gruden's first year as head coach; Cleveland had the OVER at 3-1 during Mike Pettine's maiden voyage. Conveniently enough, they faced each other in Week 2, with Washington prevailing 24-23 (OVER 41.5). “Buy” that half-point (by choosing the lower totals available on our NFL odds board at press time) for five cents if you still can. It's really worth about 10 cents according to Wizard of Odds.
Free NFL Pick: Take OVER 37 (–115) at WagerWeb
Dallas vs. San Diego (10:00 p.m. ET)
Preseason? Preseason?! The Cowboys aren't interested. They have the UNDER at 9-5-2 under Jason Garrett. It's a dead-heat at 4-4 for the Chargers and head coach Mike McCoy. Not a difficult choice, especially during what should be a muggy August evening at the Q.
Free NFL Pick: Take UNDER 38 at Bovada