Last Updated: 2019-12-07
Fell to 6-7 with the NFL Totals Plays of the Week, as the Dolphins had the offense going last week, and this week will take a look at the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns. The total opened as 43 and is now 41.5 even though we’ve seen 70% of the wagers come in on the over.
The Bengals finally broke into the win column a week ago and did so in impressive fashion, thumping the New York Jets by a 22-6 final. The Bengals did most of their damage through the air, as the Cincinnati rushing offense couldn’t get untracked against a New York defense that is pretty solid at stopping the run.
Scoring has been the problem of the Bengals all season, although they certainly have fared a little better with Andy Dalton behind center. The team’s early struggles weren’t really his fault, but somebody was looking for a scapegoat and it turned out to be Dalton.
The Bengals aren’t that great of a rushing team, averaging just 3.6 yards per carry, although the Browns aren’t very good at stopping the run, allowing 4.7 yards per carry. Cincinnati will try to run the ball a little bit to keep the pressure off Dalton.
Baker Mayfield and the Browns are coming off a disappointing offensive effort against the Steelers, but should find the Bengals’ defense a little more to their liking. The Bengals aren’t terrible on defense, allowing just 1.1 more points than their opponents allow on average. While Mayfield gets most of the attention, the Browns are a solid rushing team and that’s one area the Bengals struggle. Cleveland gains 4.8 yards per carry against teams who allow 4.1 yards per carry, while the Bengals allow 4.8 yards per carry to teams who average 4.5 yards a carry.
Will go ahead and take a shot on the over 41.5 in this one.
END OF WEEK 14 PICKS
We dropped to 6-6 with our NFL Totals Play of the Week last time out and this week, we’ll take a look at the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Miami Dolphins. The Eagles are favored by 10 and the total on the game has moved from 46.5 to 45 with a little more than two-thirds of the wagers on the under.
The Eagles got off to a rough start on the defensive side of things this season, but have put it together a little bit over the last month, not allowing more than 17 points in any of their last four games. Those opponents included New England, Seattle and Buffalo, so it’s not as though Philadelphia was feasting on a schedule of poor teams.
But the Eagles offense has sputtered the past few weeks, scoring just 19 points in their last two games and falling short to Seattle and New England, both of which were home games. The Eagles should find Miami a little bit easier to move the ball against, especially on the ground, where the Fish are allowing 148 yards per game and 4.7 yards per rush, which is more than the 4.4 yards per carry their opponents are gaining.
The Dolphins are playing better than they did at the beginning of the season, but that’s setting the bar pretty low for what you want out of your team. Miami has scored 20 or more points in three of their last four games, while the defense hasn’t been that impressive over that span, allowing 78 points in their last two games and dropping both.
Miami doesn’t run the ball or throw the ball that well, bit in fairness, they have played one of the tougher defensive schedules in the league, as Miami’s foes allow an average of just 19.1 points per game. Miami has been a little better with Ryan Fitzpatrick behind center.
Miami’s defense has been left on the field far too long this season, as Miami averages just a little more than 27 minutes of possession. Part of that has certainly played a part in Miami’s dismal showing, but the Dolphins aren’t a good defense by any stretch of the imagination.
But Miami’s defense has been so bad the last few weeks, the Fish are actually in a decent under situation, as teams who allowed 37 or more points in each of their last two games are 44-59-2 in totals, so going to take a shot on the under 45 in this one.
END OF WEEK 13 PICKS
We moved to 6-5 with our NFL Totals Play of the Week, but it was still a pretty ugly week on the gridiron overall. This week, we’ll take a look at the Sunday Night game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers. The total on this one opened at 44 and is now 47.5 with 62% of the wagers on the over, so a bigger move than the betting patterns would indicate.
The Packers come into this one off their bye week, and have won four of their last five games. Green Bay is scoring 25 points a game against foes who allow an average of 21.9 points, so the Packers are better than average from that standpoint when they have the ball. The Packers don’t complete a much higher percentage of passes than their opponents allow, but they do have a higher yards per pass attempt.
On the defensive side, Green Bay is better than average, holding foes to 2.5 fewer points than they average, although they are a little spotty against the run, allowing 4.8 yards per rushing attempt to teams who average 4.3 yards. The Packers hold teams to a couple of percentage points under their average throwing the ball, but allow slightly more yards per pass than their opponents have averaged, so the Pack is pretty much an average team in that regard.
The 49ers have quietly put up some offensive numbers, averaging 29.5 points per game or 3.9 more points than their opponents average. San Francisco doesn’t run the ball exceptionally well, but they do run it a lot, which you have to expect from a 9-1 football team. The 49ers are pretty solid throwing the ball, but they typically run the ball a few more times per game.
The San Francisco defense has some impressive numbers, but have come back down to earth a little bit the past few weeks, allowing an average of 26 points over their last three games, which included two games against Arizona and a game against Seattle. If those teams are putting up points on the 49ers have to believe that the Packers can score some, so will go ahead and take the over 47.5 in this one.
END WEEK 12 PICKS
We fell to 5-5 with our NFL Totals Play of the Week, as the Tampa Bay Bucs and Arizona Cardinals managed to sneak over the total by five points. Gave some thought to coming right back with the Bucs under, as we’re seeing the same reverse line movement on the total, but instead will take a look at the game between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. The total here opened at 46 and is now down to 44.5 with 63% of the wagers coming in on the over.
The Patriots have had a chance to regroup after their setback at Baltimore in which they allowed 37 points or the same number of points they had allowed in their four previous games.
The Patriots still possess some solid defensive numbers, allowing 10.9 points per game, and even with their effort at Baltimore, the Pats still allow fewer points on the road than they do at home. The game at Baltimore was the first time New England has gone over the total on the road.
New England is averaging 30 points a game and have gotten several defensive scores along the way, and the Pats’ offense also gets a fair number of short fields to navigate due to the play of their defense.
The Pats haven’t been able to get the ground game going often and are averaging 40 passes per game. The Patriots probably won’t enjoy a lot of success on the ground against the Eagles’ defense, which is strong against the run.
The Eagles are likely to try and get the ground game going as if there’s one weak spot in the New England defense it would be their ability to stop the run. The Patriots are allowing 4.7 yards per rush to teams averaging 4.2 yards per carry and the Eagles average 4.2 yards against foes who allow an average of 4.1 yards per carry.
The Patriots are solid against the pass and Philadelphia will likely run the ball and stay with the short passes, so not to play into the hands of the New England defense.
Will go ahead and take the under 44.5 in this one, as the New England defense will want to make amends for their dismal showing the last time they took the field.
END OF WEEK 11 PICKS
We’re 5-4 with our NFL Totals Play of the Week and this week we’ll take a look at the game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The total on this one opened at 54 and is now down to 52 even though close to 70% of the wagers are coming in on the over.
Arizona is going through a few of the peaks and valleys that occur when you’re playing a rookie quarterback and aiming for next season. The Cardinals are 3-5-1, but the quality of the teams they’ve beat leaves a little to be desired, as Arizona owns wins over Cincinnati, Atlanta and the New York Giants. Three teams who have a combined three wins on the season.
Arizona is averaging 21.7 points per game and 19.7 points on the road, while their opponents have allowed an average of 24.3 points, so Arizona is a bit below average in that regard. The Cardinals allow 27.9 points to teams allowing 24.4 points and allow 24.5 points per game on the road.
Tampa Bay has been scoring plenty of points, but allowing more and the Bucs are just 2-6 on the season, having lost their last four games and not covering in any of them, although it’s not as though they’ve been getting blown out. Their biggest loss in that span was by 11 points in London and they lost to Seattle in overtime, lost by a touchdown at New Orleans and lost by four at Tennessee.
Tampa Bay would like to run the ball a little more than they have and might find a bit of success against the Cardinals’ defense, as Jameis Winston is simply being asked to do too much right now. If the defense would play better, Winston wouldn’t try to make too much happen by himself and the Bucs would be a much better team.
Tampa Bay usually plays decent defense at home, at least compared to how they fare on the road, although it’s a little difficult to tell with just the two home games so far and neither of those were particularly great, but think the defense will have a better effort here and going to take the under 52 in this one.
END WEEK 10 PICKS
We’re sitting at 4-4 with our NFL Totals Play of the Week and this week going to take a look at the game between the Detroit Lions and the Oakland Raiders. The total opened at 51 and has held steady with a little more than 70% of the wagers coming in on the over.
The Lions are still in the playoff mix with a 3-3-1 record, which is somewhat impressive when you consider they’re in the same division as Green Bay, Minnesota and Chicago and that’s six fairly tough games right there, although they’ve yet to play Chicago – which doesn’t look quite as daunting as it did before the season began – and they did lose to Minnesota and Green Bay. They do have the Redskins, Broncos and Tampa Bay on the remaining schedule and those are three winnable games, so this is a fairly big game for Detroit.
The Lions’ offense has been pretty solid this season, as they’ve put up some points against a few pretty good defenses. Detroit’s biggest problem has been stopping the other team and that hasn’t always been easy for Detroit, who is allowing more than 26 points per game and have surrendered 23 or more in six of their seven games.
The Raiders are pretty much in the same boat as Detroit, sitting at 3-4 and not really being able to withstand a loss in this one, and a couple of tough games remaining. The Raiders have been putting points on the board, scoring 24 in each of their last three games, but much like Detroit, they haven’t exactly been able to shut teams down defensively, as they’ve gone 1-2 in those three games.
The Raiders can run the ball a little bit and the Lions aren’t very good at defensing the run or the pass for that matter, as Detroit allows 420 yards per game. The Lions don’t run a whole lot and Oakland has done a fair job of stopping the run, so the Lions may look to go to the air frequently in this one, although they’re already throwing 36 times a game and rushing 27, but just gaining 3.6 yards on the ground. The Raiders are averaging 4.8 yards a carry.
Yes, it’s a bit of a square play here, but think it will be more of the same for these two teams, who should be able to score just enough to get the game over the total.
END OF WEEK 9 PICKS
We’re 4-3 with our NFL Totals Play of the Week and will do something we did in college football on Saturday and that’s use the same game for our totals play that we did as a side play.
When looking for different situational plays, sometimes you get what you expected, but those times are few and far between. The majority of the time you dig into back results you won’t find anything that is really worthwhile. There are those times you find the opposite has occurred from you would expect, while other times when looking for a side play or total trend, you’ll find something unexpected, which is the basis for this week’s play, as we look at the game played between the Rams and the Bengals in London. The total on the game is sitting at 47.
I knew that the winless team as double-digit underdog angle would prove to be profitable over the years, but wasn’t really expecting to see the totals results. If you look at winless double-digit dogs in Week 7 or later, they’ve posted a 38-14-1 totals mark and 24-10-1 in Week 8 or later.
It does make sense because one of the reasons a team is going to be in search of its first win this late in the season is because the defense isn’t all that great. A team with an average defense and a below-average offense would have likely squeaked out a win or two by now.
The Bengals aren’t horrible on defense, but they do allow 4.2 more points than the league average of 22.4 points, while their offense is about 6 points below average. Away from home, the Bengals are a little lower-scoring, although a bit of that has to do with the teams they’ve played, which includes Buffalo and Baltimore, who can play a little defense and the Steelers and Seattle are decent clubs.
The Rams have been a little up-and-down this season and are also allowing more than the league average, while scoring a bit more offensively.
The first two games in London both managed to go over the total, and don’t think the NFL hasn’t been happy with a fair number of points being scored and neither game decided until the fourth quarter and think this one could also see a few more points than is predicted, so will go ahead and take the over 47.
END OF WEEK 8 PICKS
We’re 3-3 with our NFL Totals Play of the Week and this week we’ll jump to the Monday night game between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets. The total opened at 43.5 and dropped a little bit but is now back to 43.5 with a little more than 60% of the wagers coming in on the over.
For the Jets, the big news is that Sam Darnold will be under center, as New York didn’t muster much of anything with Luke Falk playing quarterback. Regardless of who was playing quarterback, New York hasn’t mustered more than 24 points in any game. The defense has been OK but it’s a little tough to read too much into a couple of their poor performances when the offense couldn’t do anything. Players get tired and also tend to put forth a little less effort than normal watching the offense go three-and-out on a consistent basis.
If the Patriots didn’t have Tom Brady you’d be hearing a lot more about the team’s defense. The Patriots have allowed 14 points twice and held the other four foes to 10 or fewer points, with three teams scoring in single digits. But the Patriots are always going to be known for their offense as long as Brady is playing, even though the strength of the team so far has been the defense.
Not that there’s anything wrong with the offense, which has scored 30 or more points in five of six games, although a few of those scores were due to the defense. Still, it’s hard to fault anybody who picks the Patriots to repeat as Super Bowl champions the way they are playing right now.
New England won 30-14 earlier this season, so the total is pretty much where you would expect for this one, as games with away favorites have shown a slight tendency to go under the number, with all games going 370-387-21 since the start of the 2010 season and games with a seven-point or more favorites are just 44-88-1 since 2010.
The New England and San Francisco games both fall into the method, but will go ahead and take the Monday night game, since games with a total of 40 or less are 6-6, meaning games with a total of 40.5 and higher are 38-82-1 and games with a total of 43 or more are 31-66, so will take the Pats under 43.5.
END OF WEEK 7 PICKS
We fell to 2-3 in ugly fashion with our NFL Totals Plays of the Week and for this week, we’ll take a look at the game between the Carolina Panthers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The total on the game opened at 46.5 and has been bet up to 47.
The Panthers are coming off a 31-24 victory over the Jaguars and now get a shot at another Florida team, but this one is in London.
The Buccaneers have been a completely different team on the road than they are at home, as the defense usually takes a bit of a break on the road, at least compared to home, although the Bucs aren’t exactly a defensive juggernaut regardless of where the games are being played.
Still, the Bucs haven’t been very good defensively anywhere this season with the exception of the first game that was played in Carolina this season, when the Bucs held the Panthers to just 14 points. That was their best defensive effort of the season, but came against Cam Newton and Carolina hasn’t lost since he went out of the line-up, so maybe there is something to the notion that he doesn’t really help the offense.
Tampa Bay is coming off a loss to the New Orleans Saints and Winston didn’t have the best of games, but if there’s one thing we’ve come to expect from Jameis that’s inconsistency. He’ll look good one week and bad the next and might be due for a bit better of a performance in this one than we saw last week.
The Panthers were able to run the ball right down the throat of the Jaguars last week and don’t think the Bucs are equipped to stop the Panthers on the ground, although it’s unlikely we’ll see Carolina rush for more than 10 yards a carry as they did last week. But we can probably expect to see another healthy dose of McCaffery in this one.
There are a few trends that support the under in this one, but have a feeling this one is going to be a bit of an entertaining game with a few more points than expected.
Will go ahead and take a shot on the over here and hope the teams give the London fans an offensive show.
END OF WEEK 6 PICKS
We’re 2-2 with our NFL Totals Play of the Week and we’ll look at a decent game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Houston Texans. The total opened at 49.5 and has been bet up to 50 with 57% of the wagers coming in on the over.
This one doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense, as the Falcons come into this one averaging 17.7 points and allowing 24.5, while the Texans score and allow 19.5 points.
The Falcons are still doing what the Falcons do and that’s throwing the ball, as they lack much of a running game and are averaging 70.2 yards per game. Ryan can still throw the ball, as Atlanta is averaging 312 passing yards per game, but most of those yards are going for naught when you look at their scoring average. The Falcons have been on the short end of the turnover department, making nine and forcing just two so far this season, although they have been a little better of late, making just two turnovers in their last two games after having seven in their first two games of the year.
Atlanta’s defense isn’t playing all that bad, allowing 324 yards per game, which is 40 fewer than Houston.
The Texans have played two road games and those saw 58 and 47 points, while their two home games have seen a total of 51 points, so they’re games are averaging 25.5 points in front of the home fans, where the defense has played better, allowing 28 points as opposed to 50 in their two road games. The Texans have run the ball pretty well at home, gaining 126 and 136 yards and if they have some success on the ground against the Falcons will be able to chew some time off the clock.
The Texans don’t play to high totals at home very often and this is just the seventh time since 2004 they’ve played to a total of 49 or higher at home. Surprisingly, the Texans are 0-6 straight-up, 1-4-1 against the spread and 2-4 in totals, with the last time occurring in 2018 when they lost to the
Colts 24-21 when the total was 49.
Have to believe this one stays under the lofty number, so will go ahead and take the under in this one.
END OF WEEK 5 PICKS
We moved to 2-1 with our NFL Total of the Week and this week we’ll take a look at the game between the Carolina Panthers and the Houston Texans. The total on this one opened at 46 and has been bet up to 47.5, with a little more than 70% of the wagers coming in on the over.
The Texans have played just one home game this season and that was a 13-12 victory over the Jaguars, while their other two games have seen a few more points. Houston began with a 30-28 loss at New Orleans and then came back with a 27-20 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.
Houston is coming off its worst rushing day of the year, gaining just 39 yards on 19 carriers, but Watson is good enough of a passer to get the job done through the air and the Texans had more than 300 passing yards for the first time this season.
The Panthers haven’t been great at stopping the run, so expecting Houston to have some success on the ground, but should also give Watson a few more opportunities to throw the ball after his effort last game.
Everybody knows Cam Newton is going to be out for this one and the Panthers will again turn to Kyle Allen, who was solid in his first appearance, although that was against the Arizona Cardinals and not the Houston Texans. But one thing Allen did was to take care of the ball, as the Panthers had just one turnover in that game, as opposed to four turnovers in the loss to Tampa Bay and a pair of turnovers against the Rams.
The Panthers had their best rushing game of the season and their biggest offensive output despite having fewer plays in the Arizona game than the other two. But they also had just seven incompletions, which is a huge difference from the 24 of 50 passing effort they received against the Buccaneers.
If Allen is having some success, that will open up the rushing game a little bit and can see both teams having a bit of success on the ground and through the air. Allen is probably a better passer than Newton at this point in time, but Newton is a more proven commodity and a leader, but don’t believe the Panthers lose anything with Newton out.
Think we can see enough points in this one to send the game over the total, so will take the over 47.5.
END OF WEEK 4 PICKS
We moved to 1-1 with our NFL Totals Play of the Week last week and this week we’ll take a look at the Sunday late game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cleveland Browns. The total has dropped on this one to 47.5, so we’ve lost a little bit of value on the under, but still believe that’s the way to go in this one.
The Rams looked good offensively opening week against the Panthers and turned in a workman-like effort last week against the Drew Brees-less Saints, so perhaps didn’t do everything they really wanted to, but no point in really doing more than you need to do to get the win.
After a horrible first game, the Browns’ defense was in pretty good form last week, even if it was against the Jets and a back-up quarterback.
The Cleveland offense hasn’t really gotten it together yet this season and the Rams aren’t exactly the team you want to try and get untracked against. Los Angeles can play solid defensively and have allowed just three first-half points in each of their two games so far. While the Los Angeles offense gets all of the attention, the Rams were just 2-6 in totals on the road last year, thanks to a defense that allowed fewer than 20 points per game and held 6 opponents to 20 or fewer points away from home.
For the Browns, they weren’t bad defensively last season at home, where they allowed 22 points per game and held six of eight foes to 21 or less. Their numbers are going to be out of whack a little bit this season due to their dismal effort against the Titans in a game where things fell apart in the second half, as the Browns allowed the Titans to score 31 points, including three touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
The Browns are coming off a short week, having played the Monday night game, which won’t allow as much time to try and add a few wrinkles against the Rams defense.
Cleveland has been one of the top under teams the past few seasons at home, going 13-25-2 since 2014 and 5-10-1 since 2017, so the team trends point to the under in this one and I’ll follow suit and take this one to land under the number.
END OF WEEK 3 PICKS
A few too many points scored with our totals play last week, but we’ll go to the well once again with the Jacksonville Jaguars and take a look at their game at the Houston Texans. The total opened at 44.5 and is now 43.5 with close to two-thirds of the wagers coming in on the under.
At a quick glance the number appears to be a bit low, as the Texans were involved in a 30-28 shootout against the New Orleans Saints and the Jaguars were on the losing end of a 40-26 decision to the Kansas City Chiefs. But the opening week scores may have been a little misleading.
Games involving a pair of teams who each allowed 30 or more points go over the total roughly 48% of the time, so a slight advantage to playing the unders in these games, but nothing to get too excited about. But these games came against two of the top offenses in the league in New Orleans and Kansas City, so you have to take the final scores with a grain of salt.
Minshew had impressive numbers in relief for the Jaguars, but the Chiefs were more interested in keeping the clock running than they were stopping the Jags, so Minshew’s numbers look quite a bit better than is probably warranted. You can be sure going up against the Texans in Houston is going to be quite different and I don’t think the Jaguars will want him to be the one to decide the final outcome and will look to make an effort to get something going on the ground.
The Jaguars allowed the Chiefs to score the first seven times they had the ball and a couple of them were just blown coverages, which is something that can be corrected in practice. Even though Watson is a solid quarterback who is fun to watch, there’s a world of difference between going up against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans. The Jaguars are simply better than they looked against Kansas City and when the Chiefs are clicking they can make almost any defense look bad at times.
The press can talk about Minshew all they want, but this is a game that will likely be decided by whichever defense plays the best and you have two pretty good ones who should be able to show it a little more than they did opening week, so will take the under in this one.
END OF WEEK 2 PICKS
If you read our NFL Betting System Picks article, you probably have a pretty good idea that we’ll be looking at another under for this play. And there is some decent justification for that.
Going back to 1990, we’d see that all Week 1 totals are 216-236-8, which is 47.8% overs, so the unders are pretty much a break-even proposition across the board, while over bettors have shown a tendency to get off to a bit of a slow start.
In games where the favored team is favored by more than a touchdown, totals are 40-26-1, so just by eliminating those games we can bring the under percentage up, as totals are then 176-210-7, which is 45.6% overs, or 54.4% unders.
But we’ll concentrate on the same basic premise we used for the system play, which is those games where the away team is favored, as those games have gone just 58-89-5 over the years, so the under cashes at a 60.5% ration.
Of the games that meet this criteria, the Detroit at Arizona game scares me a little bit, as I think Murray may make a couple of big plays Sunday, both for Arizona and for the Lions, and despite all of the hype for being the No. 1 pick, he still is a rookie quarterback playing in his first game, so he’s going to make some mistakes, it’s a matter of how many and how costly they are.
The Baltimore at Miami total is just 39, making it the first Week 1 total under 40 since 2013. Still, these games have gone under the total at a decent clip and overs in this situation are on a 1-9 run, but I still remember the Dolphins under in Week 1 last year, when a 10-3 game at the end of the third quarter turned into a 27-20 final, handing me a loss with the under 45 after each team scored 17 points in the fourth quarter.
Monday night’s game with Denver at Oakland now falls into the home dog category, as the Raiders opened -3 and now the Broncos are favored by 1, but Oakland is a bit scary in that they’re capable of making a few big plays and the Denver offense could be a little better with Flacco at quarterback.
That leaves the game between the Rams and the Panthers and will take the under 50 in that one. The Rams have a solid defense that can get overshadowed by the offense, while the Panthers can also play some decent defense. Carolina is at its best when playing hard-nosed football and that should be what they try to do in this one, which will keep the clock moving, so will take the under here and hope to see some defense from both teams.
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