It took a couple of weeks, but the NFL is back to its offense-happy self again. Is there any betting value left in these Week 5 totals? Maybe in Sunday’s Panthers-Lions matchup.
What’s all this then? Apparently, there was a twist ending to Monday night’s game between Kansas City and Washington; the Chiefs kicked a field goal with four seconds left to go ahead 23-20, then Washington tried one of those desperate multi-lateral plays, only to cough up the ball and watch Chiefs LB Justin Houston take it to the house. Final score: Kansas City 29, Washington 20.
This was meaningful in two ways: The public unloaded on the Chiefs as 6.5-point home faves on the closing lines, and the total was 47.5, so that unlikely touchdown ended up costing the sportsbooks big time on both counts. Hopefully, it didn’t cost you; we recommended UNDER 49.5 here at the ranch. Timing is everything, folks.
Also, we hope you didn’t freak out over Kansas City kneeling rather than kick the PAT with no time on the clock. As of 2015, teams don’t even have to bother with “unnecessary” conversion attempts. The Chiefs could have just walked off the field after Houston’s touchdown if I’m interpreting the rule correctly. Maybe they just wanted to make a statement by kneeling. I hear its quite fashionable these days.
Monday’s game goes into the “official” record books as an OVER, making it 9-7 last week and 32-31 on the season after a slow start for the league’s offenses. Is it time to start pounding the OVER again for our NFL picks? Maybe not universally. The consensus reports at Sportsbook Review show a mix of early action on both sides of the over/under. There’s only one game that drew unanimous consent from first responders: Sunday’s matchup (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX) between the Carolina Panthers and Detroit Lions. The sharps jumped on the OVER when the total opened at 43.5 points.
Most of the books at press time have bumped this total up to 44 points, which isn’t insignificant; that half-point is worth 8.5 cents of vigorish, according to the NFL numbers at Wizard of Odds. But some books still have the total at 43.5, so if the sharps are that keen on the OVER, maybe we should be, too. Let’s dig deep, peel back the layers, and get to know the real story behind Sunday’s contest.
The Battle of Wounded Knee
After four games, it’s a saw-off on the totals for both Carolina and Detroit at 2-2 apiece. However, the Lions went OVER during their two games within the friendly confines of Ford Field. And the Panthers went OVER in each of their last two games. This could indeed be a lovely spot to jump on the bandwagon.
Then again, we’re dealing with two teams that were defense-heavy through the first three weeks of the 2017 campaign. Football Outsiders have yet to update their efficiency stats as we go to press but heading into Week 4, Detroit ranked No. 7 overall on defense and No. 16 on offense, while Carolina checked in at No. 6 on defense and No. 25 on offense. We’d rather see that balance tip in the opposite direction when we’re looking at betting the OVER.
The results of Week 4 could portend well for Sunday, though. The Panthers beat the New England Patriots 33-30 (OVER 48); QB Cam Newton had three TD passes and rushed for a fourth. And Carolina lost FS Kurt Coleman to a sprained MCL, which is expected to keep him out of action for at least a month. We do have to worry about Detroit’s scoring punch behind their injury-thinned offensive line, especially after they beat the Minnesota Vikings 14-7 last week (UNDER 43), but the Leos did lose LB Paul Worrilow for 2-4 weeks, also with a sprained MCL. Let’s give this OVER a spin for a small wager and see if anyone else’s knees end up hitting the ground.
Free NFL Pick: Over 44
Best Line Offered: BetOnline