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Total Talk – Week 13
By Chris David

Week 12 Recap

The ‘over’ produced an 8-7-1 record over the holiday weekend and bettors saw not one but two primetime games cash to the high side. A couple of those ‘over’ tickets were helped with late fourth quarter surges, in particular the Dolphins-Jets and Patriots-Broncos games.

This year’s total market in the NFL has had a great amount of give and take and after 12 weeks, the ‘over’ holds a slight edge (87-85-4) this season. We only have 90 regular season games left and at this points, I’d expect those numbers to hold steady.

Trending Under

The non-conference ‘under’ angle connected again last week with a 3-1 mark and is now 11-3 the past three weeks and 37-17-1 (67%) through 12 weeks.

In the 2013 regular season, we saw the ‘over’ go 49-15 (76.5%) in AFC-NFC matchups and the Super Bowl between the Seahawks and Broncos also went to the high side. We only have nine matchups left and two take place this Sunday.

N.Y. Jets at N.Y. Giants: Somewhat of a high total (46.5) for this game and certainly doable. The Jets have seen the ‘over’ cash in six of their last seven and their defense (24.7 points per game) hasn’t played great during this stretch. The secondary is banged up and they face a Giants attack that has averaged 27 PPG at home this season, which has helped the ‘over’ go 4-1. Quarterback Eli Manning has faced his cross-town rival twice in his career and has led the Giants to a pair of double-digit victories while scoring 35 and 29 points.

Philadelphia at New England: If the Patriots had a full roster, this total would easily be in the fifties. Quarterback Sam Bradford returns for Philadelphia and that does improve the offense. Due to the key offensive injuries (Edelman, Gronkowski) I’m not sure what Bill Belichick will do in this game but Tom Brady and the offense will get plenty of possession against the Eagles. Philadelphia has allowed a combined 90 points in its last two games and the Patriots have scored 30, 27 and 27 in their first three games versus the NFC East this season. However, New England is off a bad overtime loss to Denver last Sunday night and you might see a hangover effect for this late afternoon game against an Eagles squad that has had extra days to prepare.

Divisional Battles

As the NFL heads into December, the schedule is loaded with divisional affairs and that’s the case this weekend.

Cincinnati at Cleveland: The ‘under’ has cashed in three straight and four of the last five meetings. The QB situation for the Browns is a mess but the Bengals have been a great ‘over’ bet on the road (4-1) and the Browns have gone 8-3 to the high side this season, which includes a 5-0 mark at home.

Jacksonville at Tennessee: This total is sitting at 43 ½ and seems a little high based on the recent history. The ‘under’ is 7-3 the last 10 and has cashed in four straight which includes their first meeting (19-13) between the pair in November which saw the Jaguars capture an ugly win at home.

Arizona at St. Louis: The past four seasons, these teams have seen the ‘over/under’ go 1-1 in their regular season encounters. If you believe that trend to continue, you go ‘under’ here with the first game going ‘over’ (43.5) in October as the Rams defeated the Cardinals 24-22 in the desert. Arizona is 8-3 to the ‘over’ but St. Louis owns the same record to the ‘under’ this season.

Atlanta at Tampa Bay: The ‘under’ has gone 3-1 in the last four meetings between the pair at Raymond James Stadium. Atlanta enters this game on a 7-0 run to the ‘under’ and the once potent offense looks lethargic right now. Plus, the Falcons defense has been very solid under head coach Dan Quinn and that’s helped the cause to the low side. Tampa has been next to impossible to gauge when it comes to totals this season but they’ve always rebounded after being held to 14 or less points and they scored 12 last week in a loss at the Colts.

Denver at San Diego: Four of the last five have gone ‘under’ and that was with Peyton Manning under center. Even though the Broncos went ‘over’ last week with Brock Osweiler, he was helped with a great running effort and penalties. The Chargers defense hasn’t held an opponent under 20 PPG all season, so a good effort from Denver wouldn’t be a surprise with its backup.

Kansas City at Oakland: Three straight ‘over’ winners in this series and this week’s number (45) is a tad higher despite the current form of the Chiefs defense (12.2 PPG) during their current five-game winning streak. Oakland (24 PPG) has improved immensely on offense this season but its defense (25.5 PPG) is still shaky. The Raiders have seen the ‘over’ go 3-1-1 this season at home.

Carolina at New Orleans: The Panthers beat the Saints 27-22 in Week 3 and the ‘over’ (43) cashed. Ten weeks later, the total has been jacked up nearly seven points (49 ½) and that number seems fair based on the inept defense of the Saints and the vast improvement from Carolina’s offense. If you’re leaning to the high side, you’re going to need something from Drew Brees and company, which seems like a toss-up these days.

Dallas at Washington: (See Below)

Under the Lights

I made a subtle suggestion in Week 11 to start chasing the ‘over’ in primetime games only because I didn’t believe the crazy ‘under’ pace would keep up. At that point, the ‘under’ was 22-10 (69%) in night games and since then, the ‘over’ has gone 4-2 and that includes Thursday’s ridiculous finish in the Packers-Lions game. Heading into this weekend, the ‘under’ still holds a 24-14 (63%) edge.

Indianapolis at Pittsburgh: This game opened 47 ½ and has been bumped up to 49 and that shouldn’t be surprising. In games Big Ben has started and finished, the Steelers have averaged 28.6 PPG. The Colts have allowed 26 PPG in five road games and they only have 19 sacks in 12 games, which is ranked 27th in the league. Matt Hasselbeck has looked good (7 TDs, 2 INTS) for Indy but playing on the road at Pittsburgh in the elements is much tougher than four games in controlled climates. The Steelers ripped the Colts 54-34 last season and the ‘over’ (48) was never in doubt.

Dallas at Washington: Four of the last five in this series has gone ‘under’ and hard to expect an ‘over’ with Tony Romo ‘out’ for the Cowboys. Dallas has gone 4-3 to the ‘under’ in games he didn’t start and the offense only averaged 17 PPG during this span. Washington needs a win and going from hunter to hunted isn’t easy. Make a note that the ‘Skins have only been favored one other time this season and they barely won as QB Kirk Cousins asked us, “You like that?” The defense is off a good effort and they rarely have great production in back-to-back weeks.

Fearless Predictions

We almost pulled off the sweep but an overtime touchdown in the Broncos-Patriots game cost us the teaser wager. For those keeping track, we’ve produced three straight weeks of profit ($570) but we’re still down on the season ($560). As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

Best Over: Atlanta-Tampa Bay 46

Best Under: Cincinnati-Cleveland 43 ½

Best Team Total: Over 23 ½ Miami

Three-Team Total Teaser (9-Point, +100)
Over 37 Atlanta-Tampa Bay
Over 39 ½ Philadelphia-New England
Over 40 Indianapolis-Pittsburgh