Top Totals Plays for Weekend: Plenty of Bell to Keep Jags-Steelers Low

Doug Upstone

Thursday, January 11, 2018 5:56 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018 5:56 PM UTC

Time to move ahead to the Divisional Round of the playoffs in the NFL. After last week's 4-0 sweep by underdogs ATS, no telling what this week might hold against the oddsmakers.

In surveying the landscape, a number of betting experts are looking at totals rather than just sides this weekend for NFL picks. This could be a good strategy if you think the spread numbers are dead on. While in-game factors can alter any outcome, in three of the four games this weekend the total appears to be more one-sided. Last week against the NFL odds, we were a perfect 3-0 and continued our super season, raising our record to 33-17-1 (66.0 percent). Here is what I have for the Elite Eight encounters.

Tennessee and New England Has UNDER Feel

The Titans' only shot to beat the Patriots is slowing their running game, forcing Tom Brady to make quicker than preferred decisions when passing and running the football. Anything else will lead to certain defeat for Tennessee. Accomplishing all three of those elements is a huge task on the road for the Titans. Tennessee might be able to do a couple things on its list, which could slow down the New England offense. One can assume the Patriots probably feel confident they can contain Marcus Mariota's offense and do not need a ton of points to quell Tennessee. That is why I expect a workman-like effort from the Brady Bunch and they win going away, 28-16, making the UNDER the correct call.

Free NFL Pick: Under 47.5Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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Running Leads to Low Score in Steel City

Jacksonville led the NFL in rushing, and Pittsburgh has the best running back in football in Le'Veon Bell. With that in mind, that is what both teams will be out to do. Unless Blake Bortles plays like he did the first three weeks of December, Jaguars coaches will hesitate to allow him to make down the field throws. This means running the pigskin for Jacksonville and a short passing offense. The Jags have a fantastic defense, but their run defense is run of the mill, ranked 21st, and Buffalo had 130 yards on the ground last week. This suggests handing the ball to Bell and using play-action passing for the Steelers. Pittsburgh was 10-5-1 UNDER this season and is 12-3 UNDER after playing a game at home. Guess what side I'm using?

Free NFL Pick: Under 41Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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Dome Helps Offenses Shine in Minnesota

In Drew Brees' illustrious career with New Orleans, he has always played better indoors compared to outside. That is not to say he has played poorly in outdoor stadiums but just has put up better numbers in a controlled environment. Minnesota understands it has a real chance to be the first team to play at home in a Super Bowl and should be extremely ready to play for this contest. The Saints' pass defense has been very vulnerable the last two weeks, thus look for QB Case Keenum and his underrated skill players to attack New Orleans thru the air. Put this package of circumstances together and I'll call for a game in the 50s.

Free NFL Pick: Over 46.5Best Line Offered: Intertops

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