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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Week 6 NFL Predictions: Totals Edition

New Orleans Saints vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: UNDER 44
Last week I took the under in the NO/ARI game and Brees threw a pick 6 on the last play putting the total over.  There was little doubt the under was the right play on that one and I'm a little surprised this week's total is hovering around the same number.  NO's offense is clearly not what it was last season.  Without a running game, Brees is forcing throws and is nowhere near as effective.  He has no short outlet like he did when Bush was healthy either.

This game offers no offensive advantage on either side which is great for a play on the under.   TB will have trouble putting up points and will have to do it with Josh Freeman because their running game is very inconsistent.   Neither team have a big special teams advantage either so they will likely need to drive the field to score.  Combined, they are only scoring an average of 18 points from long drives which means they will need to find other ways to reach the over.  Both teams are also playing disciplined ball so there won't be as many easy points from penalties. As predicted, NO continues to have problems at kicker after Carney missed an easy one last week.  They have reinstated Hartley as the starter so trouble in this area is good news for the under.  Prediction: Bank UNDER.

Cleveland Browns vs Pittsburgh Steelers: UNDER 37.5

No official announcement has been made regarding the CLE QB situation, but it's safe to assume Colt McCoy will get the start. Welcome to the NFL kid, your reward is PIT's defense on the road. Offensively, CLE will need to hope for some fluke plays in order to find the end zone.  Cribbs should see some wildcat action, but it's nothing PIT's defense haven't seen before.  PIT will dominate them in the air and on the ground.  I will be shocked if they score more than 10 points.   Even if they do put something together they are taking a lot of offensive penalties thus killing their drives.  Both teams combine for 19 points from 60+ drives this year which sits at half the total.   PIT will be able to score on the ground, but Big Ben won't be on his A game to start the year.  He's coming into live action at the quarter-way mark and will need time to get on the same page of his receivers.   Because this is a divisional game, I expect CLE to get up for this one and should do enough to keep this from being a complete blowout.  Prediction: Bank UNDER.

Oakland Raiders vs San Fransisco 49ers: UNDER 41
The Raiders are going with Gradkowski if he can make it.  If you are an Oakland fan, you might have mixed feelings about this.  Campbell came off the bench and gave them a spark last week.  McFadden should also return to action this week from his hamstring injury.  This might seem like bad news, but it's good for playing the under.  Here we have two teams that rely on the run which means the clock will run all game long.   Neither team have much of an offensive advantage in the air or the ground which should result in a lot of stalled drives.  Expect a lot of mistakes as well as both teams rank near the bottom in penalties, turnovers, and third down play.  This could one of the ugliest games of the week with at least one, if not two scoreless quarters.  Prediction: Bank UNDER.
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