NFL Week 13: Over and Under Best Bets
This NFL season, with sports betting expected to be a more common and accepted practice, we're making a point to look beyond point spreads and analyze often-neglected totals. As part of that approach, we're offering up our favorite bet over and favorite under each week.
Over and Under Best Bets
Over of the week: Los Angeles Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers
It’s not as though 51 isn’t a high number, but I wonder if the total for Sunday night’s Chargers-Steelers game would be significantly higher if the Bolts weren’t without star running back Melvin Gordon.
If indeed the total has fallen as a result of Gordon’s injury, that could be a mistake. Because Gordon’s backup, Austin Ekeler, has been fantastic. The versatile second-year back is averaging 5.8 yards per carry (more than half a yard better than Gordon) and he’s coming off a 10-catch performance in a blowout victory over the Cardinals.
The Chargers might not score 45 points in Pittsburgh like they did against Arizona, but they should be good for at least 24. They have a better offense than Denver, and the Broncos put up 24 on the Steelers a week ago.
Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh offense will be hungry to bounce back following a tough road loss to the Broncos. The Steelers are averaging 36.0 points per game at home this season, and they should make a run at that number in what is a huge prime-time game.
Predicted score: Steelers 34, Broncos 26
Under of the week: Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Carolina and Tampa Bay combined for 70 points when they met last month, which explains why the total is up above 56 for their meeting Sunday in Florida. But expect a correction in this matchup, especially now that...
1. The Bucs defense has straightened out at home, surrendering just 16.0 points per game in their last three outings at Raymond James Stadium.
2. Jameis Winston looks to be back on track at quarterback for the Bucs, which could mean fewer turnovers and thus fewer short fields for Tampa’s opponent.
3. The Carolina offense has come back to earth after a hot streak and is averaging a so-so 22.3 points per game in the last three weeks.
4. The Panthers haven’t scored more than 24 points in a road game this season.
This one might not even come close.
Predicted score: Panthers 27, Buccaneers 13
Good luck, we're all counting on you.
Last week: 1-0-1
2018 season: 15-8-1