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NFL Picks & Predictions: Underdogs, Favorites & Totals To Bet Sunday

NFL Picks & Predictions: Underdogs, Favorites & Totals To Bet Sunday article feature image

Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images. Pictured: Sean McVay, Kyle Shanahan

NFL Picks & Predictions

Click on a pick to skip to that analysis.
Titans +3 at Colts
Giants -5.5 at Bengals
Falcons +3 vs. Raiders
Browns-Jaguars Under 49.5
49ers +7 at Rams
Packers-Bears Under 44.5
Aaron Rodgers Under 300 Pass Yards (-125)

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Titans +3 at Colts

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Odds

Just like last week, the Titans find themselves on the road against a team banged up in the front seven. The Colts will be without defensive linemen DeForest Buckner and Denico Autry due to COVID-19 issues, and will be missing linebacker Bobby Okereke (ankle) as well.

The Colts were gifted an endless amount of special teams mishaps by the Titans two weeks ago, then backed into a win against the Packers after Green Bay scored 3 points after halftime and fumbled on its opening possession in overtime, so it’s a good time to sell high on the Colts. They are just as likely to be generous to other teams due to Philip Rivers’ propensity to turn the ball over.

Even without Rivers for most of his tenure, Colts head coach Frank Reich is still 4-9-1 against the spread (ATS) coming off a multi-game losing streak, according to our Bets Labs data.

Bet down to: +3

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Giants -6 at Bengals

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Odds

Under new head coach Joe Judge, the Giants have become the epitome of a “good” bad team. They’re 3-7, but have lost only two games by more than one score, both of which came before Week 3.

Judge may have had a busy bye week, firing offensive line coach Marc Colombo, but he should still have had more than enough time to prepare for a Bengals squad that will go from first overall pick Joe Burrow, who ranked second in completions (264), to Brandon Allen, a sixth-round pick of the Jaguars in 2016 who has never completed more than 17 passes in a game.

Daniel Jones is 9-2 ATS in his career on the road, and though it remains to be seen if he can build on his two-game streak of not turning the ball over, the Giants should have some margin for error against a Bengals squad that ranked 31st in Football Outsiders’ overall DVOA (27th on offense, 30th on defense) before losing Burrow.

Road favorites off a bye are covering two out of every three games since 2003:

Against opponents who closed as an underdog in their last game, that record improves to 48-19-2 (71.6%)

Bet down to: -6

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Browns-Jaguars Under 48.5

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Odds

Both teams are banged up on defense, but the Browns offense is as run-heavy as they come, while the Jaguars offense is down to third-string QB Mike Glennon and will be missing its top two downfield receivers in D.J. Chark and Chris Conley.

With both teams also ranking 20th or worse in situation-neutral pace, it will be hard for this game to get to the high 40s.

Bet down to: 47

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Falcons +3 vs. Raiders

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Odds

The Falcons defense has been much improved since the firing of Dan Quinn, allowing 22.8 points in five games under Raheem Morris after allowing 32.2 in five games under Quinn. The Falcons are playing top-10 run defense according to DVOA, which is important against a Raiders offense that runs the ball 30.8 times per game, sixth-most in the NFL.

The Falcons’ offense couldn’t get going last week against the Saints, scoring only 9 points while Matt Ryan took eight sacks. The opposing pass rush shouldn’t be an issue this time around, however, as the Raiders’ 11 sacks are the second-lowest total in the league.

While a banged-up or absent Julio Jones (hamstring, questionable) is never ideal, the Raiders’ lack of a pass rush will allow Ryan time to find his other weapons.

The loss of Todd Gurley (knee) shouldn’t be much of a factor, as the Raiders rank dead last in run-defense DVOA and Brian Hill is averaging 4.4 yards per carry this season to Gurley’s 3.7.

More generally, offenses that face-plant in the previous week have made for strong buy-lows the next week, covering at a 59% clip since 2005.

Bet down to: +3

Bet $20 at PointsBet to win $250 if the Falcons cover

49ers +6.5 at Rams

Kickoff: 4:05 p.m. ET | More Odds

The 49ers will get back some key pieces in left tackle Trent Williams, cornerback Richard Sherman and running back Raheem Mostert, which should help them continue to give the Rams problems: Sean McVay’s squad is 0-3 straight-up in its last three against San Francisco.

After squeaking out a 3-point victory over the Bucs last Monday, the Rams have now won two straight since their surprising loss to the Dolphins, making it a good time to sell high: McVay is just 8-16 ATS coming off a multi-game winning streak, according to our Bets Labs data.

On the flip side, it’s also a great buy-low spot on the 49ers, who have lost three straight. Kyle Shanahan will always prepare his team well, which is a big reason for San Francisco’s 13-9 ATS record as a road underdog.

And more generally, three-loss streaks are usually a result of a confluence of factors including outlying bad luck, injuries, etc., which will cause teams in this position to go underrated in the market when they’re already projected as the less likely team to win. According to our Bet Labs data, favorites on three-game straight-up losing streaks are just 82-99-5 (45.3%) ATS since 2003 while underdogs in this spot are 171-126-9 (57.6%) ATS over that same span.

Bet down to: +6

Bet $20 at PointsBet to win $250 if the 49ers cover

Packers-Bears Under 44.5

Kickoff: 8:20 p.m. ET | More Odds

Despite the Packers averaging only 18.0 points per game against the Bears since they acquired Khalil Mack, Green Bay has won three of those four games thanks to Chicago’s ineptitude on offense, as the Bears averaged just 15.8 points per game across those four contests.

Mitchell Trubisky vs. Nick Foles is a wash, so Trubisky starting doesn’t create value on a spread that has jumped to -9. If forced to choose a side, I would still lean Packers, as Rodgers is 35-21-1 ATS following a straight-up loss, according to our Bet Labs data.

However, given that the Bears match up well on defense and the weather forecast is shaping up as one not conducive to a huge passing day, I like the value on the total more.

Per our Bet Labs data, the under is 9-4 in Trubisky’s starts as a road underdog. These teams have combined for an average of 33.75 points per game over their last four meetings, which drops to 23.5 in the two matchups featuring Matt LaFleur vs. Matt Nagy.

Now facing each other for the third time, the familiarity between Nagy and LaFleur should only increase the likelihood of this being a low-scoring game, as divisional games played in November or later have gone under at a 56.5% clip since 2003:

Bet down to: 43

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Aaron Rodgers Under 300 Pass Yards (-125)

In four meetings since the Bears acquired Mack, Rodgers has thrown for 286, 274, 203 and 203 yards respectively, with both 203-yard games coming last season. Rodgers has only topped the 286-yard mark once in nine games against Chicago dating back to 2015.

This is partly to do with the Bears routinely fielding an inept offense that does not require him to keep his foot on the gas as they do now — Chicago’s 19.1 points per game rank 31st — but more recently, it also has to do with an excellent defense that ranks third in pass DVOA this season after ranking 11th last season and first in 2019.

Especially with deep threat Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Achilles, questionable) banged up, this number is too high.

Bet down to: 286.5

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