It’s gameday and we’ve got a pile of systems, trends and handicapping notes to help with your final selections.
Not sure about the weather in your parts but when I went outside this morning, the temperature, the breeze; it’s perfect for Week 1 of the NFL season. A quick scan around the league, and things look pretty ‘normal’ at most stadiums but keep an eye on the wind at Washington (O/U 44) and the rain in Tampa (O/U 41), where there’s a 50-percent chance throughout the day.
Trend Tip: The Bucs’ recent home record in the month of September is 15-33 O/U (69-percent UNDER)
Let’s have a look at one of my top NFL totals for Week 1.
CHIEFS at TEXANS (O/U 41)
Kansas City and San Diego are two teams heading into this season with the challenge of trying to dislodge Peyton Manning from his perch atop the division. Ask any team from the AFC South, where Manning and the Colts took top spot seven times from 2003 to 2010, and they’ll tell you just how tough that can be.
Houston, the Chiefs’ opening week rival, felt the glory in 2011 once Manning evacuated his post but now their dealing with his heir apparent in Andrew Luck. The Texans have reshuffled the deck and are looking to get back in the hunt with Brian Hoyer under and Ryan Mallett standing close by. Arian Foster is out, Andre Johnson is gone, and the defense who allowed a pedestrian 348 yards per game last season, needs to step up if Houston wants to get serious about contending.
In Houston’s two playoff years (2011-12), the Texans allowed and average 303 total yards per game, second best in the NFL behind the Pittsburgh Steelers (279 yards)
The Texans’ weakness last year was the pass (21st) and lucky for them, they get a Chiefs offense who ranked 29th in passing yards and 29th in sack percentage. KC will lean on its ground game while Alex Smith does what he does best: Manage.
I’ve actually got Kansas City winning this game (lean) but my numbers show real value on the “Under” supported by the following system: When the line is within +/- 4 points of ‘Pick’, play all Week 1, non-division home teams who are seeking revenge to stay under any total of O/U 41 points or more. The record is 3 overs and 13 unders.
TC Pick of the Week: Chiefs at Texans UNDER
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Our friends at EveryEdge are running a Hilton-style NFL handicapping contest this season and each week, we’ll make five ATS selections to try and compete with one of the most talented group of online football bettors anywhere. Here are this week’s picks:
Jacksonville +3.5, NY Jets -3, Miami -4, Arizona -2.5, Detroit +3