Wednesday, August 29, 2012

NFL Picks 2012: Week 1 Team Totals
Prior to starting this blog I used "traditional" methods to pick totals (mostly 'unders'). Yet, over the past couple of years those methods became outdated and I scrapped them entirely (sometimes the best bets we make are the ones we don't make). I still pick my spots and have success with them in the preseason, but during the regular season I've stayed away.

Last season, most of the sharp money pounded the 'unders' in Week 1 and 'overs' responded by going 12-3-1.  Ouch!  Beyond the Bets posed the question whether or not 2011 was an "outlier".

This season the average Week 1 total is just under 44 and most of the early action has come in on 'unders'.  Why?  Perhaps sharp money thinks that the bookmakers have over-adjusted.  Or maybe they think that 2011 was an outlier thanks to the truncated offseason. The answer is probably a combination of both.

After reviewing some data over the past couple of years, I've identified what could be the early stages of a worthwhile "trend".  The sample size is still on the low side, but the rationale is tied to the offensively-orientated rule changes, increased emphasis on passing, statistics compiled by The Football Outsiders, and scoring results from the past couple seasons. I'm adding the following team totals for my Week 1 picks to see how it shakes out.

Lions O27.5
Packers O25
Eagles O24.5
Texans O26
Ravens O23.5
Saints O29 
Chiefs O20.5
Buccaneers O22

If things stay true to the last couple seasons, more of these should hit than miss and I'll explain my rationale in more detail going forward. If you're going to hop on board consider treating them like props and reducing your unit size (especially if you're looking for some extra action). 

All team totals are from 5Dimes. The rest of my Week 1 predictions are here, or you can find all my 2012 predictions on the home page main menu.