After a bit of slow start our NFL Over/Under picks have started to sizzle and we’ve got a ton of action lined up for this Sunday including a team total from Dallas and predictions from Philadelphia at Houston and Tampa Bay vs. Cleveland.
Everyone saw Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo crumble under the pressure of Washington’s pass rush Monday and if you didn’t, just flip on NFL Network – they show it roughly seven times per hour. Regardless of the fantasy football impact Romo’s absence may or may not play in Sunday’s game vs. Arizona, we have a team total lined up from the other side that just screams value.
ARIZONA at DALLAS
NFL Odds: Cowboys -3 and O/U 44.5
Carson Palmer’s career road starts in a dome have not gone incredibly well. With the Bengals, Raiders and Cards, Palmer was a collective 2-8 SU and 6-4 ATS with 4 overs and 6 unders. His team averaged 21 PPG, the exact team total for today’s contest, and while his team’s rushing stats were similar to what the Cards are showing this year, his actual passing numbers were just 229 YPG. That’s almost 50 less than he’s averaged in limited action this year. His teams also turned the ball over 1.9 times per game in those 10, four times more than his average this season. Bruce Arians has this QB making better decisions with the football and as the chemistry with his receivers continues to develop, look for the Cards to start winning more games in their domes away from dome.
Arizona gets the nod over Dallas in overall defense (7 to 19) and they are top 10 vs. the pass/rush while the Cowboys rank 14th and 27th respectively. On offense, the Cards have struggled to run the ball effectively and their red zone scoring is 31st but how much of this had to do with the revolving door at QB?
With Palmer in the lineup, Arizona is averaging 27 carries per game for 94 yards, 38.5 pass attempts (277 PY) and 24 PPG. Without him under center the Cards average 25 rush attempts for 82 yards, 32.3 passes per game (191 PY) and 22.7 PPG.
Arizona has also faced three defenses this season that rank in the top 10 against the rush (Broncos, Skins and Eagles). The other four were mid-grade but all rank much better than the 27th ranked Cowboy run-stop unit.
Dallas is finishing up a three-game homestand and the recent trend for that is 12 overs and 4 unders with the road team outscoring their host 26-25. The Cowboys are 10-0 O/U after losing on Monday Night Football and both sides have averaged more than 27 PPG (Click here for SDQL trends from Sports Database!). In the six games since 2004, Dallas is 1-5 ATS. When the Cowboys are home of a MNF loss they are 6-0 O/U and they’ve outscored opponents 29-28. Whether or not Romo starts, we see Arizona winning this game straight-up and certainly like the odds of them scoring more than 21.
TC Pick: Take the Cardinals Team Total OVER 21 points
QUICK SIXTY – TOP 2 NFL TOTALS
Our first flat bet posted this week was on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns “Over” 43 (-117). Cleveland had a fairly quiet win over the Raiders and could slump back to their old ways here but that loss in Jacksonville a couple weeks back still stings. Home faves in this spot are 16-5 O/U and the fact Cleveland has a divisional Thursday game on-deck only sweetens the deal.
Philly at Houston “Over” 48 (-118): JJ Watt is a great player and if the Eagles had won last week in the desert we wouldn’t go near this game but Philly outscores its opponents 29-22 this year and we’ve got an angle for this game that’s 25-12 O/U since 1990. Philly is 32nd this year in red zone scoring percentage and a big part of the problem is that they aren’t getting inside the 20’s nearly as often as they were in 2013. Last year, the Eagles had 12 games with four-plus trips inside the opponent’s 20 and they went 8-5 O/U. So far this year they’ve only had three such games (2-1 O/U) and two of them were at home. The teams were the Colts, Redskins and Giants who rank 21st, 14th and 16th in overall defense. Houston is 13th overall, ninth against the pass and 19th against the rush but the Texans give up 380 yards per game which is 23rd in the NFL.
Darren Sproles (knee) returns to the Eagles lineup this week and he’ll likely be good for at least 10 touches along with punt returns. The Eagles have the No. 1 ranked special teams this year compared to a Texans unit that sits 28th. The Eagles O-line is starting to get healthy and could have up to four starters playing together for the first time all season. Last year Philly’s front five played all 16 games together but this year the center, Jason Kelce and both guards have dealt with injuries. Houston is a money team at home getting +3 points or less. Four other teams have a higher “Over” percentage (Pats, Saints, Eagles and Titans) but at 14-4 O/U (78-percent), the Texans offer the most bang for your buck.
Totally Covered is written by Jarvis Simes, lead handicapper at Pick Sixty Sports. Be sure and follow Pick Sixty on Twitter for more NFL picks, winning systems and Best Bets throughout the season!