Saturday NFL Betting Picks for Every Game, Including an Over/Under Bet for Rams-49ers

Saturday NFL Betting Picks for Every Game, Including an Over/Under Bet for Rams-49ers article feature image

USA Today Sports. Pictured: Deshaun Watson, Julian Edelman, Nick Bosa

  • The updated over/under for Saturday night's NFC West showdown between the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers sits at 46.
  • Below, our NFL betting experts will outline their favorite picks for Rams-49ers and the other two Saturday NFL games.

We have a full weekend of NFL action, starting with a trio of Saturday games.

So what are the best betting angles for Saturday?

Here’s the lineup of matchup:

  • Houston Texans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 1 p.m. ET
  • Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots: 4:30 p.m. ET
  • Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers: 8:15 p.m. ET

See how they’re betting all three, complete with analysis of the biggest matchups and much more.


Texans at Buccaneers Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds

  • Odds: Texans -3
  • Over/Under: 49.5
  • Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET on Saturday
  • TV Channel: NFL Network

All odds as of Thursday morning and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.

The public is all over the Houston Texans against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with more than 80% of bettors backing Deshaun Watson and Co. to move them from 1-point underdogs to 3-point favorites.

Should you follow the public’s lead here?

Our experts preview Saturday’s game, featuring their picks and analysis.

Texans-Buccaneers Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Texans

DeAndre Hopkins was downgraded to no practice on Wednesday with an illness, so he should be monitored, but there haven’t been many occasions this season in which a player misses a game due to being sick. Carlos Hyde (ankle) was also downgraded on Wednesday after he was a limited participant on Tuesday, but so far, it appears that he’s expected to suit up.

It’s been a rough final stretch for the Bucs after they placed Mike Evans and Scotty Miller on injured reserve with hamstring injuries. Additionally, Chris Godwin (hamstring) hasn’t practiced this week. The Bucs sound pessimistic about his status and I wouldn’t expect him to play on Saturday. Justin Bailey

Note: All injury info as of Wednesday evening. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Biggest Mismatch

Texans Pass Offense vs. Bucs Pass Defense

What makes the Texans so lethal is not just the talent of DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller and Kenny Stills, but the fact that the trio can each line up anywhere on the field.

Kenny Stills-DeAndre Hopkins-Will Fuller
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kenny Stills, DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller

All three have played from the slot on at least 30% of their snaps, according to data from Pro Football Focus. Hopkins’ 2.22 yards per slot route ranks fifth among 74 qualifiers while Stills’ 2.04 ranks 14th. Fuller (0.94) hasn’t been quite as effective — due in part to dropping three of his 19 slot targets — but just his presence inside provides an added vertical dimension that defenses have to account for.

Having wideouts who can line up inside but still threaten the intermediate and deep area of the field puts the Texans in perfect position to exploit the Bucs’ biggest weaknesses in pass defense.

One is covering downfield: The Bucs rank 30th in schedule-adjusted efficiency on targets more than 15 yards downfield, per Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. And whereas the Bucs have been getting strong play on the perimeter from cornerbacks Jamal Dean and Carlton Davis — who rank 12th and 34th, respectively, at the position in PFF’s coverage grades — they’ve been more vulnerable on the inside, where slot corner Sean Murphy-Bunting ranks just 64th. Chris Raybon

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Texans -2
  • Projected Total: 48

Jameis Winston is the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for back-to-back 450-yard games, but could be without both of his top wide receivers this week after Evans was placed on injured reserve and Godwin in doubt. The Bucs will have to rely on Breshad Perriman, O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate in this matchup against a struggling Texans defense.

Luckily, Winston should have a fairly clean pocket to work with as the Texans — who are sorely missing J.J. Watt — generate the second-worst pressure rate in the league at 18.2%. Winston owns a 45.5 QB rating against pressure that shoots up to 99.8 when kept clean, so can expect an above-average game from him this week.

49ers-buccaneers-betting-odds-picks-cheat sheet-nfl-week-1-2019
Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jameis Winston

The Buccaneers are a fairly underrated team right now given their brutal schedule — they had a seven-week stretch without a home game from Weeks 4-10. They also have a +2.1 edge over the Texans in expected Pythagorean win differential.

Weather could also be a factor, which means we’ll want to have more clarity on the forecast before pulling the trigger. We could see steady rain in Tampa Bay Saturday, which I feel would favor the Bucs and the under.

The Bucs are an extreme pass funnel defense as they possess the top-ranked run defense in DVOA vs. a 15th-ranked pass defense in DVOA. If both teams are forced to lean on the run game more, it will negatively impact the Texans. In fact, if the Bucs lean on the run game more, it could limit the potential for ill-advised throws from Winston that lead to turnovers.

I’m already showing value on the Bucs +3 and under 49.5 with my projected lines, but the matchup and potential weather considerations further enhance the outlook of both sides. Both are only leans until we have further confirmation on the forecast. Sean Koerner

Koerner is 158-119-2 (57%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.

Expert Pick

Raybon: Texans -3

While I usually don’t back the Texans as favorites because Bill O’Brien’s team tends to play down to the competition, I had to jump on them as a short favorite against the Bucs.

It looks like Godwin will be joining Evans on the sidelines for this one, or at the very least be limited on a short week. Losing Godwin is arguably a bigger blow than Evans for the uber-productive but uber-reckless Winston. Whereas Winston completed 56.2% of his passes with a 7.6% interception rate to Evans, he’s connected on 72.1% of attempts to Godwin with an interception rate of 5.7%.

Meanwhile, the Texans offense should be at full strength with Fuller another week removed from his own hamstring issue and Stills demanding more defensive attention after catching two touchdowns last week.

Winston had previously been profitable to back as an underdog, be he’s just 3-5 against the spread as an underdog this season, according to our Bet Labs data. With a healthier stable of talented skill players and the superior, less turnover-prone quarterback, I like the Texans chances to cover the short spread in a potential shootout.

I jumped on this early at -1, but I still like it as long as it’s not past the key number of -3.

Raybon is 183-138-10 (57%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.

Bills at Patriots Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds

  • Odds: Patriots -6.5
  • Over/Under: 36.5
  • Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NFL Network

When the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots met in Week 4, there were 26 total points scored — hence how this matchup earned the lowest over/under of Week 16.

The Patriots took that first meeting, 16-10, and are 6.5-point favorites for the rematch in Foxborough. So where’s the value on the spread and total?

Our experts preview the AFC East matchup, featuring picks on both.

Bills-Patriots Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Bills

The Bills continue to be in good shape as the season progresses with just offensive lineman Ty Nsekhe (ankle) and defensive lineman Corey Liuget (knee) on their injury report.

Meanwhile, Julian Edelman (knee/shoulder) has been on the Patriots’ injury report every week, but he still hasn’t missed any time. Linebacker Jamie Collins (shoulder) was added to the report on Wednesday, but he did get in a limited practice. He’s worth monitoring considering he grades out as one of Pro Football Focus’ best pass-rushers and linebackers in pass coverage. Justin Bailey

Biggest Mismatch

Patriots Pass Defense vs. Bills Pass Offense

For the second week in a row, the Bills find themselves matched up with a top-five pass defense in terms of schedule-adjusted efficiency.

John Brown-Josh Allen
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: John Brown, Josh Allen

In a hard fought 17-10 triumph over Pittsburgh (fifth) last week, Josh Allen and Buffalo’s 20th-ranked pass offense were able to muster all of 139 yards on 25 attempts — and that was with John Brown catching seven passes for 99 yards. But Bill Belichick has long been the NFL’s foremost proponent of neutralizing the opposing offense’s top option, so Allen doesn’t figure to be able to rely as heavily on Brown this week and will likely struggle against New England’s top-ranked unit.

Instead, the Bills will have to rely on their own top-five defense, just as they did last week and in a narrow 16-10 loss to the Patriots back in Week 4. This has generally been the formula for the Bills on the road under Sean McDermott, which has led to an 18-6 under record in those spots, according to our Bet Labs data. That includes an 11-1 mark with Allen at quarterback. Chris Raybon

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Patriots -6.5
  • Projected Total: 39.5

I am right in line with the spread for this matchup, but as you can see, my projected total is three points higher than the actual one.

Yes, it’s easy to imagine this being a defensive struggle. And I don’t think anyone would be surprised if we saw a similar result as when these two teams met in Week 4 and the Patriots won 16-10. That’s why the public has been hammering the under to the tune of 65% of tickets and 81% of money (see live public betting data here). If there were no sharp resistance, it’s likely the total would’ve dropped by more than a half point by now, so the market is behaving in a way that doesn’t scare me away from the over.

There are some underlying factors that could make this game higher scoring than we anticipate.

fantasy defense rankings-week 6-2019
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty

Both defenses specialize in shutting down their opponent’s passing game, yet are more prone to the running game. The Bills play a soft zone that specializes in taking away boundary wide receivers and is willing to concede to chunk plays on the ground or underneath. This is something the Patriots are more than capable of game planning to exploit. Belichick is arguably the greatest coach of all-time and excels at attacking the other team’s soft spots. Therefore we should see Edelman and James White targeted heavily to move the ball effectively.

Meanwhile, the Patriots have been prone to quarterbacks who can rely on their scrambling ability once the play breaks down. Allen is one of the better QBs at doing just that. The Patriots play heavy man coverage, which can leave their backs turned to the QB and vulnerable to one like Allen who can run for a big gain.

Lastly, this game is expected to have a league-average pace, which can benefit us when a total is as low as 37.5. Yes, this should be a strong defensive battle, but with a number this low, there are enough factors that lean toward an over given the low number we have to clear.

With the market pushing this line down to 36.5 from the 38.5 opener, now would be the time to pull the trigger. — Sean Koerner

Koerner is 158-119-2 (57%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.

Expert Pick

Matthew Freedman: Bills +6.5

Allen isn’t a great player, but he’s improved in his second season and is good enough in general to keep games close.

The Patriots are struggling on offense, ranking just No. 25 with 5.0 yards per play, and on defense, they could be without starting cornerbacks Jason McCourty (groin) and Jonathan Jones (groin), which is a big problem, because the secondary is the team’s strength.

In his 25 career starts, the Bills are 15-9-1 against the spread (ATS), good for a 20.5% return on investment. On the road, he’s 9-2-1 ATS (53% ROI) and as an underdog, he is 10-4-1 ATS (36% ROI).

As a road dog, he is 7-2-1 ATS (45.2% ROI).

Freedman is 522-393-22 (57%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.

Rams at 49ers Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds

  • Odds: 49ers -6.5
  • Over/Under: 45
  • Kickoff: 8:15 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NFL Network

What a difference a year makes.

This time in 2018, the Los Angeles Rams were marching toward an NFC championship while the San Francisco 49ers were wrapping their fourth-straight losing season. Now the 49ers are among the top contenders for the conference while the Rams are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in with slim chances of returning to the postseason.

With the situation in mind, where’s the betting value on Saturday night’s matchup? Our experts make their picks and preview the game.

Rams-49ers Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Rams

Greg Zuerlein was added to the Rams’ report with a quad injury. Cornerback Troy Hill, meanwhile, had surgery this week to repair a broken thumb, but he’s still trying to play against the 49ers. He would be a welcome presence as Pro Football Focus’ No. 12 overall cornerback.

Gerald Everett returned to practice with his knee injury, but Tyler Higbee has been so effective in his absence that there’s no telling what Everett’s usage would look like if he is active.

The 49ers are getting a little bit healthier with Richard Sherman (hamstring) and K’Wuan Williams (concussion) returning to full practice this week. However, safety Jaquiski Tartt (ribs) and edge defender Dee Ford (quad/hamstring) remain absent. Jared Goff is a mess under pressure, so having Ford back in the lineup would be helpful. However, they still have a solid pass rush even without him. Justin Bailey

Biggest Mismatch

49ers Defensive Line vs. Rams Offensive Line

One of the main reasons the Rams have been so up-and-down this season is  their fate depends on how their offensive line matches up to an opponent in a given week.

Against teams like Seattle and Arizona — which rank 27th and 30th, respectively, in pressure rate — the Rams have rolled. But against more formidable units like the Steelers or these very Niners, we’ve seen the Rams offense go AWOL.

Goff struggles in the face of pressure behind an offensive line that currently features only one starter (Andrew Whitworth) who has earned a pass-blocking grade from PFF that ranks higher than 46th at their respective position.

Nick Bosa
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Nick Bosa

The 49ers, meanwhile, boast a talented stable of top-15 defensive linemen in Nick Bosa (sixth), Arik Armstead (12th) and De’Forest Bucker (14th). Despite blitzing at the league’s fourth-lowest rate (19.8%), the 49ers’ 28.5% pressure rate ranks fourth-highest.

According to our Bet Labs data, the Rams are 8-4 against the spread coming off a loss under Sean McVay, including a 4-1 mark this season. Their one ATS loss? A 20-7 straight-up defeat at the hands of the 49ers. Per PFF, the 49ers pressured Goff on 13-of-28 dropbacks (46%) in that game, on which he completed 2-of-9 passes for 12 yards while taking four sacks. Chris Raybon

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: 49ers -6.5
  • Projected Total: 45

The market has been very lopsided on this spread with 79% of tickets and 89% of the money coming in on the 49ers as of writing (see live public betting data here). I don’t see any reason to go against the market here as it’s never a good idea to back Goff and the Rams when matched up against a team that generates pressure, and the 49ers currently rank fourth as they generate pressure at a rate of 28.5% on the season.

It’s also worth noting that the 49ers gave up 12 points to the Falcons in the final two minutes of last week’s double-digit upset, so we shouldn’t put too much stock in that 29-22 final score. I would say the market did a good job of overlooking that and has settled on a sharp line that I don’t see value either way.

This is a pass for me. Sean Koerner

Koerner is 158-119-2 (57%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.

PRO System Match

Since 2003, the under is 838-741-29 (53.1%) in division games. Unders have been a smart play in division games as increased familiarity between teams creates a lower-scoring environment.

It may seem obvious to some bettors, but it’s been more profitable to take the under in division games with high totals (more than 44 points) — it’s just easier for unders to cash when more points are expected to be scored.

Following this Pro System, bettors have gone 190-113-3 (62.7%) since 2003. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $6,755 following this strategy.

More than 60% of tickets are on the over, but history suggests the smart play is the under. John Ewing

PRO Systems are data-driven betting strategies that turn winning long-term trends into easy-to-follow picks, all handpicked and monitored by our team of analysts. Try Action PRO now and instantly access real-time game matches for every PRO System.

Expert Pick

Stuckey: Under 45

We should get focused efforts from both defenses after embarrassing losses last week. And the Rams still haven’t forgot about the shellacking they suffered in the first meeting with the 49ers earlier this season.

Ultimately, I think both defenses matchup very well with the opposing offenses.

Let’s start with when the Rams have the ball.

The first factor you should weigh is: Can the opponent pressure the quarterback? If the answer is no (see when Los Angeles plays Seattle), then the offense looks fine. If the answer is yes, then the Rams offense essentially falls apart as Goff needs a clean pocket to operate since he lacks mobility and possesses a very mechanical throwing motion.

Well, the 49ers can get pressure as well as any team in the NFL, ranking first in adjusted sack rate. And they can do so simply with the production of their defensive line without having to blitz, which obviously also benefits the secondary, which should be much healthier with Sherman and Williams expected back.

Goff — one of six quarterbacks who have been under pressure at least 200 times this season — has six touchdowns and six interceptions with a 42.4% completion percentage when under pressure.

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jared Goff (16), Solomon Thomas (94)

When these teams met earlier this season, Goff finished 13-of-24 for 78 yards while the Rams collectively rushed for 165 total yards at only 3.3 yards per rush. The 49ers went into a shell on offense once they got a lead as the staff just knew the Rams weren’t going to get anything going on offense. I’m not sure how much more you can expect this time around as the 49ers pressure should disrupt everything once again.

On the other side of the ball, the Rams defense grades out as legit with one of the toughest schedules in the NFL. Keep an eye on Hill, who is one of the most underrated corners this season. Hill, Jalen Ramsey and Nickell Robey-Coleman — one of the best slot corners in the NFL — make up a very formidable secondary that can shut down the 49ers wide receivers.

Plus, Aaron Donald and Co. are stout against the run, ranking in the top 10 in yards per rush and sixth in Football Outsiders’ rush defense DVOA. That’s obviously important against a rush-heavy 49ers offense.

I think both defenses will shine in this late-season divisional rematch, so give me the under at anything 45 or higher.

Stuckey is 312-251-8 (55.4%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.

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