NFL Betting Picks: 3 Over/Under Predictions for Patriots vs Dolphins, Ravens vs Jets, More
Megan Briggs/Getty Images. Pictured: Tua Tagovailoa.
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Below you will find my thoughts on the three totals I wagered on for Week 1. I generally like to shy away from totals early in the season since that is when I monitor whether officials are calling things any differently due to directives from the NFL.
Always necessary to watch penalties early on in new nfl season for totals in particular. Whopping sample size of 1 but had one of most flag heavy head officials and talk of added emphasis on illegal contact didn’t seem to come to fruition
— Stuckey (@Stuckey2) September 9, 2022
The NFL came out during the offseason and mentioned it would have an increased focus on illegal contact in 2022. After tripling in the preseason, we interestingly only saw one penalty called on a defensive back on Thursday night. It's only a sample size of one, but it was the opening-night showcase with one of the league's most flag-happy head officials. It's something I will certainly continue to monitor closely.
That said, even with the added uncertainty that comes with a new season, I did identify three over/unders worth betting — one over and a pair of unders.
Patriots-Dolphins Over 46
It’s reasonable to expect both of these offenses to see major upticks in efficiency in 2022.
After passing his rookie test with flying colors, Mac Jones should continue to improve. He now has a full season of experience and another offseason under the tutelage of Bill Belichick.
The same can be said for Tua Tagovailoa in his third season, especially with an upgraded offensive line and the addition of Tyreek Hill. Tagovailoa should also be a perfect match for new head coach Mike McDaniel’s offense that features so many weapons who can thrive in space after the catch.
While I’m a bit worried about handing the keys of the New England offense over to Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, the element of surprise could work in favor of both offenses with new play callers.
Conversely, these two defenses might regress substantially. New England will really miss J.C. Jackson at cornerback in addition to a few key pieces in the front seven.
Meanwhile, I believe the Dolphins defense comes into the year severely overrated. Miami benefited from an extremely easy schedule of opposing quarterbacks where it really padded its stats.
Here are the quarterbacks Miami defeated in its nine wins last season:
- Ian Book
- Mike Glennon
- Tyrod Taylor
- Cam Newton
- Joe Flacco
- Zach Wilson
- Lamar Jackson
- Mac Jones (twice)
That list includes five backup quarterbacks. Yikes.
Plus, the Dolphins faced Lamar Jackson on a short week in Miami on a Thursday night. They also faced Jones in his rookie debut then again in the regular-season finale when New England eventually knew it had nothing to play for. The Patriots still scored 24 points in that one, as did the Jets in both meetings.
In their eight losses, the Dolphins allowed an average of 30.75 points per game. All eight opponents (including the Jaguars and Falcons) reached at least 23 points with five hitting 30 or more points.
Plus, the Dolphins will now have to deal with the loss of head coach Brian Flores (which I think matters) and an injury to starting quarterback Byron Jones. That leaves Miami extremely thin at CB with Trill Williams on IR. Having Jones and Howard on the outside provides Miami with so much flexibility on defense. It won't have that luxury in the opener.
Additionally, starting nose tackle Raekwon Davis popped up on the injury report with a knee issue on Friday. His absence would leave Miami much more vulnerable against the New England rushing attack.
The pace likely won’t be super fast, but I still anticipate a close game throughout with both teams getting into the mid to high 20s.
Score prediction: 27-24, Dolphins
Bears-49ers Under 41
For starters, we have have two inexperienced quarterbacks in front of offensive lines with major question marks. The Bears arguably have the worst OL in the NFL, while the 49ers have major issues in the interior. Additionally, both teams played at a very slow pace last season.
It also appears that tight end George Kittle will sit out with a hamstring injury. San Francisco will obviously miss him as a pass catcher, but maybe even more as an elite blocker. Meanwhile, the Bears have one of the league’s worst wide receiver groups and are dealing with injuries at the position.
Lastly, I have a lot of respect for new head coach Matt Eberflus, who specializes in putting together excellent defensive game plans. I expect him to have one here for the Bears' home opener with ample time to prep for the Kyle Shanahan attack.
Score prediction: 20-17, 49ers
Ravens-Jets Under 44
With improved health and new defensive coordinator Mike McDonald implementing a much-needed scheme change in Charm City, the Ravens should have one of the most improved defenses in the league.
Baltimore features an elite secondary, which should make life difficult for 37-year-old Joe Flacco. The Jets have more questions in the secondary but will face an extremely underwhelming wide receiver group.
Plus, both defensive fronts should hold an edge against undermanned offensive lines. The Ravens will not have the services of All Pro left tackle Ronley Stanley, while breaking in a new rookie starter at center.
Meanwhile, the Jets lost both starting left tackle Mekhi Becton and his replacement Duane Brown to injuries. As a result, George Fant will slide over to left tackle and rookie Max Mitchell will start at right tackle. That's not an ideal situation with a statuesque quarterback under center.
Finally, the Ravens play at a slower pace in their run-heavy offense and we also may get some rain in East Rutherford.
Score prediction: 23-16, Ravens