Totally Covered – Week 8 NFL Picks

Last week’s totals were cash money and we’ll look to shake off Thursday night’s loss with a Best Bet from Minnesota at Tampa, the word from New England and a couple key betting trends you need to know before booking in on the Packers at Saints primetime tilt.

The Tampa Bay Bucs are coming off a bye week Sunday for their big matchup vs. the Minnesota Vikings and as of today, the line favors the Bucs -2.5 with a total of O/U 43. Now you might say, “Big matchup, what’s so big about a game between two last place teams ranked 30th and 32nd in the league for offense, sandwiching the Jacksonville Jaguars?”

 

Well, if you’re Lovie Smith, brought into Tampa to take over a team whose season win total could be counted on one hand in three of the past five years, this home game means an awful lot towards your credibility as a head coach.

 

Just picture Lovie in the Bucs’ front office during the off-season, NFC Conference Champions ring shining from the 2006 season, telling stories of how he battled to become the second best team in the division over all those years. When they asked him how many wins he thought he could get in 2014, Smith probably grinned and said, “Well I don’t know many wins we’ll end up with but I can tell you one thing, it’ll sure as hell be more than four you won last year!”

 

They all had a good laugh but at 1-5 SU, no one is laughing now. Especially not Smith. Tampa’s home schedule through the rest of the season is against teams whose combined record to date is 14-19-1 SU. That’s pretty bad, but those are not all bad teams and the fact of the matter is that this is the single-most winnable game left on Tampa’s 2014 schedule.

 

Look for Smith to do the same sort of things he did to lead his Bears to 6-1 straight-up record his last seven years off the bye. The games started slow and often went into the half with combined scores under 20 total points. In the playoffs, Smith had four opportunities to gameplan for an extra week and every one of the opposing teams scored 24-plus points (26.5 avg). The difference between regular season and playoffs is that these teams were guaranteed to be talented. Most of the teams he played off a bye in the regular season were crap, kinda like Minnesota in 2014!

 

Regular season home games off a bye, Smith was always favored and after losing in 2004, he won three-straight times in this role. We expect Tampa Bay to win this game with a balanced attack and strong enough D to hold off a horrible Vikings offense playing on the road for its second straight week. Teams who got 40-burgered at home before the bye usually tend to dig in their heels and against this weak opponent; we think Tampa does enough to keep this one low.

TC Pick: Take the Vikings-Bucs UNDER 43 points

SDQL SYSTEM OF THE WEEK

For this week’s system we’re going to looks at non-Conference games with big totals. There is one game this weekend where the home fave is laying big points and the total is greater than 49, the Bears at Patriots. We were leaning towards Chicago at +7 but that line fell to 5.5 as the thread of bad weather started to roll in. We were also big on the “Over” at 49 as our first bet of the week but bought it back “Under” at 51 when we heard the forecast.

SDQL Text: HF and not C and total > 49 and -7 <= line <= -3.5

 

Non-Conference home faves between -3.5 and -7 points are 16-7 SU and 9-14 ATS when the total is more than O/U 49, staying under at a rate of 70-percent with 7 overs and 16 unders in Sports Database history. See for yourself by clicking on the SDQL link above.

 

The latest Chicago-New England weather report from Foxboro is calling for partly cloudy skies, temperatures in the 50’s and winds gusting to 25 miles per hour. Snow and rain don’t concern me when it comes to totals but high winds can knock a total down faster than Mike Tyson on steroids!

QUICK SIXTY BETTING TIPS

The Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints are `capping Sunday’s action with what could be one of the highest scoring games of the season. The total (O/U 55.5) sure seems to indicate it will be and although we’re not interested in betting this game “Over” such a high number, we sure wouldn’t touch the under, either.

– Drew Brees is 6-0 O/U when playing at home on Sunday/Monday Night Football

– Green Bay is 9-3-1 O/U in its past 10 games played indoors

 

We like New Orleans to win this game straight-up but the Packers rank fourth in the league for scoring (28.4 PPG) and teams who can score usually thrive as small road faves, going 7-1-2 ATS. The Saints have divisional road game on-deck for Thursday at Carolina but with the misfortune they’ve had this year there is no way they are looking past this matchup. Are only advice on this game is to bet it small or hook up the “Over” in a 10-point teaser and enjoy the show.

 

Totally Covered is written by Jarvis Simes, co-founder of Pick Sixty Sports. Be sure and follow Pick Sixty on Twitter for more NFL picks, winning systems and Best Bets throughout the season!