Totals are often an overlooked part of NFL betting as everyone wants to be able to pick ATS winners, but totals can be just as profitable if you know what to look for. They are a bit tougher to do during the first week given all the footage we’ve seen of teams comes from the preseason, but I’ve isolated two very strong total plays for you to bet at Carbon Sports – did we mention there’s a $100 FREE BET involved there, too?
Pick #1: Minnesota/St Louis Over 43
Once everyone heard that St Louis QB Sam Bradford would be lost for the season, bettors started to pour money in on Minnesota and the under for this Week 1 game. Bradford’s replacement Sean Hill is a journeyman backup in this league and many don’t believe he’s got the ability to stretch out a defense and hit big plays down the field. However, the Vikings defense leaves much to be desired as they should be one of the worst units in the entire league this year and St Louis still has their full complement of weapons around Hill.
Hill has seen this Vikings team before from his time in Detroit and that experience should help him a little bit here. It’s a completely new coaching staff in Minnesota this year as former Cincinnati DC Mike Zimmer is the head man here now and was brought in to try and fix this defense. However, Zimmer just doesn’t have the quality parts here that he did in Cincinnati and it will be a tough year for Zimmer and his defensive mindset.
On the other side, the Rams defense will be their strength this year and they’ll look to that front line to shut down Adrian Peterson and Minnesota’s running game. But when you bring guys up into the box to stuff the run, deep plays over the top are there and the Vikings are very happy with their WR core this season. There will be no elements to deal with inside the dome (not that it matters much given it’s September), but I expect Matt Cassel to have a big day through the air and put up some points on this Rams defense. AP will still grind his way for yards and can bust one at any moment (which always helps) as one of these projected bottom feeders will come away with a 1-0 SU record.
I didn’t think that line was off when it opened at 46.5 with Bradford expected to play and I don’t believe his absence is worth three points on this total. This line has gone too far to the low side in my opinion and that’s why I’m jumping on this over.
Pick #2: Oakland/NYJ Over 40
The Raiders made the call last week that they would begin the season with rookie QB Derek Carr as their starting QB and I love the choice. Carr comes from a pro-style, pass-happy offense in Fresno State where he lit up the record books and aired it out early and often in games. He’s going to go through his ups and downs at the next level, but that gunslinger mentality is something the Raiders love about him and it showed in their final preseason game against the Seahawks.
Oakland has always been know for it’s speedy receivers as they love the deep ball and Carr’s a perfect fit for that mentality. Gone are the days with Rex Ryan’s defense is recognized as one of the league’s best and as long as Carr doesn’t get swallowed up by the moment of playing his first NFL game, he and his Raiders teammates will score against New York.
The Jets are hoping for bigger and better things from Geno Smith this season as they went out and brought in some high priced weapons to put around him. WR Eric Decker comes over from Denver and is expected to be the #1 guy for the Jets, while RB Chris Johnson comes from Tennessee and adds an element of speed the Jets haven’t had at that position for years. Oakland’s defense went out and brought in some veteran talent as well, but they are likely going to be in the bottom half of every defensive statistical category this season as they become used to run-and-gun shootouts.
This won’t be the highest scoring game of the week, but 40 is an awfully low number for two teams that aren’t afraid to take chances and have suspect defenses behind them. The action so far on this total is basically split yet we’ve seen the number be bumped up half-a- point and that’s a move I’ll be following this week.