2011 Season NFL Football Past Picks
January 07, 2012
Detroit at New Orleans
Saturday 01/07 08:00 PM Eastern
2 units on Game Total OVER PICK (risk 2 to return 2) RESULT: WIN
When I first saw this total, and saw it climb, I figured I'd be on the contrarian (UNDER side). But, after analyzing this game, I like the OVER. The Lions’ playoffs absence is well documented, and they have ridden the arm of emerging QB Matthew Stafford all season, averaging nearly 30 points per game. While the NFL coverage lends airtime to the remarkable season Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Tom Brady, Stafford was throwing for 41 TD passes himself. He has the sizzling hand as 12 of those 41 came in the last three weeks. Drew Bress has been on fire, posting one of the best seasons by a quarterback ever. At home, with confidence and motivation, he should have no problem executing against a suspect Lions’ secondary that ranks No. 22 in the league against the pass. Since the midpoint of the season, the Lions defense has been torched for an average of 29.5 points per game. The Saints accumulated more yards this season (467.1 per game) than any other in the history of the NFL. They averaged 34.2 points per game. Brees had a record-breaking season, throwing for 5,087 yards and 41 TDs. More importantly is what the Saints have done at home this season. New Orleans has a remarkable 41.1 points per game on their own field, and is capable of all of that here without question. The Lions will be ringing-up the points here as well (averaged 29.6 points per game) vs. the No. 30 ranked pass defense of the Saints. While this may be the highest total ever in a playoff game, it isn't high enough. Neither team has shown the capacity to stop the offensive strength of the other, and no other nor two QBs are as hot as these two, coming into the playoffs. NFL playoff games with totals set over 53 have gone 6-2 to the OVER the past decade. It's a very small sample, but it indicates that maybe the oddsmakers are not setting these totals high enough. The Saints are 8-1 to the OVER when facing a total of 50.5 or higher in their last nine and 9-2 to the OVER the past two seasons vs. bad defensive teams (those allowing 24+ ppg). The Lions are 34-16-1 to the OVER in their last 51 road games. Lions games this season averaged 54 points and Saints games averaged 55. Over their last three games, those numbers increased to 63 and 62, respectively. My computer matchup for this game predicts 59 points but I see more than that. Play this one OVER the total.