One of the more interesting sports betting options when it comes to game outcomes has to do with the point total — betting whether the total will come out over or under a set value. The NFL tends to feature lower point totals for betting than the college game, because the defenses in the NFL are faster, making it almost impossible for the spread formation passing games popular in college to make for a permanent solution to a team’s offensive needs — even in Kansas City. We’ve put together a preview of each of the four NFL divisional round matchups with regard to the point total for every game, along with our NFL betting suggestions.
NFL Divisional Round O/U Picks
Divisional Round Power Rankings:
— NFL (@NFL) January 8, 2019
Saturday, January 12
Indianapolis at Kansas City (O/U 57) (4:35pm ET, NBC)
This is the highest predicted point total for any of the four matchups, and with good reason: you have two stellar quarterbacks squaring off at the helm of two offenses that can score almost at will. The Colts haven’t scored as prolifically as the Chiefs have this year, but the Colts have certainly warmed up in the second half of the season. I see this game turning into a bit more of a track meet than the Colts’ wild card win, and I see defense breaking down for both teams as the offensive urgency turns up, and each team realizes they need a touchdown on as many drives as possible just to stay competitive. For those reasons, I see this game going over 57 points.
Dallas at Los Angeles Rams (O/U 49.5) (8:15pm ET, FOX)
Does this game turn into a defensive struggle, as in the Cowboys’ 13-10 shocking win over New Orleans the Thursday after Thanksgiving? Or does it turn into a barnburner, as in the Rams’ 54-51 win over Kansas City and the Cowboys’ 36-35 win over the Giants? Both of these teams will deliver sledgehammer blows with their defenses, and both teams will deliver a number of sustained drives. The Cowboys’ wild card win over Seattle led to 46 total points, but the Rams’ offense can do more than Seattle’s as far as running the ball and finding receivers down the field go, so I’m picking the game to go over 49.5 points.
Sunday, January 13
Los Angeles Chargers at New England (O/U 47.5) (1:05pm ET, CBS)
I’m a little surprised this point total isn’t a little higher, because I could see this game easily following the same script as the Saturday AFC matchup. You have two veteran quarterbacks who have put up points in bunches at times in their careers, in Philip Rivers and Tom Brady. You have two defenses who have been torched at times, particularly with balls thrown down the field, although the Chargers have more of a pass rush than the Patriots do. You also have a New England team that knows how to come back against just about all odds and situations. I see this game putting up some big numbers as well, so I like this game to go over 47.5 points.
Philadelphia at New Orleans (O/U 51) (4:40pm ET, FOX)
Finally, let’s consider the Saints-Eagles matchup. When these teams met in November, they combined for 55 points — but the Saints scored 48 of them. The Eagles’ defense is playing with more confidence now than it was then, and I don’t see Nick Foles throwing three picks like Carson Wentz did that night. However, he did throw two last week, and the Saints also have an opportunistic defense. I don’t think the Saints will get close to 48 points, but I don’t see the Eagles doing enough to make up the difference and make a big point total, so I like this game to go under 51 points.