It took a while, but it looks like NFL defenses have finally made their countermove. After years of increasing offense, scoring looks like it might hit a plateau this year. Have defenses solved modern NFL offenses? The historic start to the season by the Under on the point total lines seems to indicate it.
According to ESPN, betting the Under has a .590 success rate so far this season. In prime-time games, the Under is 11-4, and in matchups of divisional foes, the Under hits at a .741 rate.
Here’s a look at some Unders and underdogs to like this week for our NFL picks.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts
Sunday, October 16, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at Lucas Oil Stadium
The two AFC South rivals have nearly identical records: Indy is at 2-2-1, while Jacksonville is at 2-3. Don’t let that fool you, however. The Colts have the shakiest offense in the NFL, having scored a total of 69 points in five games, or just under 14 a week.
The Jaguars have outscored Indianapolis by 42 points in four games and have a plus 31-point differential on the season, while the Colts, who are a half-game up in the standings, are at minus 25.
Following the NFL odds, look for Trevor Lawrence and the Jags to roll in a low-scoring upset.
NFL Pick: Jaguars +1.5 (-106) at FanDuel
NFL Pick: Under 42.5 (-115) at FanDuel
Carolina Panthers vs. Los Angeles Rams
Sunday, October 16, 2022 – 04:05 PM EDT at SoFi Stadium
The Panthers are 1-4 on the season, and that’s on a schedule that included four home games in the first five weeks. They fired their coach this week—an unpopular move with the players—and their starting quarterback is out with an ankle injury.
So this may not be the game to pick an underdog, but it’s safe to say that a Panthers’ offense that has struggled this year will not get better in Los Angeles.
When we hear “Rams,” we think of an offensive machine, but Los Angeles has also struggled to score this year, putting up 80 points so far (16 a week) with a scoring differential of -36.
NFL Pick: Under 41.5 (-110) at FanDuel
New England Patriots vs. Cleveland Browns
Sunday, October 16, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at FirstEnergy Stadium
The Patriots are hopeful that Mac Jones, who has missed two weeks with an ankle injury, will return as quarterback for the game. Otherwise, New England will go with third-string Bailey Zappe again. A hobbling starter or third-stringer is not the recipe for scoring, and the New England defense threw a shutout against Detroit last week.
Cleveland has been putting up points, but they’ve done so in an opening five-game stretch that included the Panthers, Jets, Steelers, Falcons, and Chargers. All five opponents are in the bottom 14 in the NFL in scoring defense, and they’re a combined 10-15 on the season.
New England is a road dog, but we like the Patriots in a game that will be low on scoring.
NFL Pick: Patriots +2.5 (-106) at FanDuel
NFL Pick: Under 43.5 (-114) at FanDuel
San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons
Sunday, October 16, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at Mercedes-Benz Stadium
The 49ers scored 10 points in two of their first four games, both on the road. San Francisco seemed to fix its road offense woes last week, putting up 37 against the Panthers, but Carolina fired their coach and defensive coordinator after the team’s effort in that game.
San Francisco’s line is a patchwork, including a third-string tackle, and the Niners are making the cross-country trip to play on the East Coast for the second straight week, this time in the early game.
The Falcons managed just 15 points last week and are 30th in the NFL in passing offense. Look for a ball-control game with limited possessions and a sluggish San Francisco effort.
NFL Pick: Falcons +5.5 (-110) at FanDuel
NFL Pick: Under 44.5 (-110) at FanDuel