Six teams are back off a bye, there’s a battle brewing in the state of Texas and Tampa Bay gets their first chance against a Saints team who suddenly look beatable
Occasionally there are times when the NFL card looks like ancient piece of Greek literature. It’s early in the week, the lines are right where they should be and nothing stands out. This isn’t one of those weeks.
Between the dozens of post-bye week systems, “live” mid-season Over/Under trends and lopsided Week 4 blowouts/upsets, we had our SDQL database working overtime the past six days searching for the best football picks possible without blowing the bank. It’s also our turn this week in the EveryEdge Handicapping Invitational so we needed to come up with at least four picks, one of them a Best Bet, to try and move onto the next round. Here’s what we came up with so far.
Road Faves the ‘New’ Inter-Conference?
So far in 2014, road faves of any number are 8-8 SU/ATS with 13 overs and 3 unders. Two of the unders involved San Fran on the road (the Niners are now 0-4-1 O/U their past five road games since the end of last year) and the other was Week 2, when the Pats faced a Viking team who were suddenly without their leading rusher.
There are three road faves in Week 5: Pittsburgh (at Jacksonville), Cinci (small road fave at New England) and Seattle (-7.5) at Washington Monday night. Pittsburgh is only 1-8 SU and 2-7 ATS its past nine road games vs. losing teams and the past six in that series show 2 overs and 4 unders with the Steelers only scoring 18 PPG. Each of these teams fields a weak defense but Jacksonville is REALLY bad, off to what is arguably their worst start in franchise history.
– Pittsburgh’s Team Total is 26.5 and road faves this year average 27.3 PPG. Regardless of their opponent’s record, the Steelers have only scored 27-plus points six times in their past 18 road games
Undefeated faves like Cinci off a bye are generally a good “Over” play and when the line is within +/-3 points of ‘Pick em’, the Pats off a loss are 11-2-1 O/U. We’re leaning towards the over in this game and have already booked Cinci at ‘Pick em’ as our Best Bet in the contest.
Seattle catches the Redskins in a nice line range off a divisional home fave loss and this particular angle is 10-2-1 O/U. The Hawks are off a bye, though, and the first round of bye week teams has been on an under tear since 2007, going 9-18 O/U. Seattle fits a Monday Night road fave angle that shows them scoring roughly 28.5 points and mid-range road faves off a bye have always been a 60-plus-percent play ATS. Given the circumstances, we would rather lay the points with Seattle or consider a play on the Seahawks Team Total rather than flat bet the over. You can buy the Seahawks Team Total OVER 26 at the Greek now!
WILL HOME FIELD HELP?
The Saints are a mess and the Bucs are coming off a last second upset win in Pittsburgh. Conference road dogs have done alright in this spot (SDQL link to SportsDatabase.com showing 10-4 ATS record with 3 overs and 11 unders) but indoors, the Bucs have averaged just 19 PPG the past eight years.
The Saints only carried 20 times against Dallas in a 38-17 loss and the previous three games they carried between 27-30 times. When the Saints carried between 31-34 times under HC Payton they are 3-8-1 O/U and we are fully expecting them to win this game straight-up, leaning on the ground game just enough times to wear down that big Bucs D-line. Tampa’s defense was on the field for a long time last week and database history shows a record of 9 overs and 17 unders for road teams in this spot. Our Pick Sixty Tip of the Week at KillerSports.com is on this game staying UNDER 48.5 points.
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