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Total Talk - Week 5

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Week 4 Recap

Gamblers watched the ‘over’ go 8-7 last week and a lot of the games were either hurt or helped with second-half outputs. Anybody chasing ‘over’ tickets were certainly pleased last week, as the ‘over’ went 10-5 in the second-half.

It’s safe to say that when you see those lopsided results, you know some ‘under’ tickets were tough losses, in particular the Miami-Arizona outcome. The Dolphins and Cardinals ‘under’ was definitely the right side and the score was 13-7 heading into the fourth quarter. Sure enough, some huge plays and key fourth-quarter conversions helped the score get knotted at 21 and that was all that was needed to go ‘over’ the closing total of 40 ½ points.

On the year, the ‘under’ stands at 32-31 through 63 games. Keep in mind that there are only 14 games this week with four teams on bye and all of the contests are non-divisional.

Off the Bye

Two teams, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis, weren’t in action last week due to their byes. We bring that to your attention because the ‘under’ went 24-8 (75%) last season in games that featured at least one team playing with rest.

One reason that can be argued is the new rules created by the NFLPA, which mandates that players must receive four consecutive days off at one point during their bye week. In simple terms, just because a team is off doesn’t mean that they’ll be prepared.

The Steelers host the Eagles on Sunday and the number has already dropped (see below). Pittsburgh has watched the ‘over’ go 2-1 this season while the Eagles have seen the ‘under’ go 3-1. Surprisingly, Philadelphia’s defense is playing better than the offense this season.

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If Indianapolis wants to win this weekend, most would believe that it will have to score some serious points at home against Green Bay. The Colts allowed 20 and 22 points in their first two home games and that came against inferior attacks in the Vikings and Jaguars. However, the Packers’ offense isn’t clicking this season, especially when you compare it to last year’s numbers. To put things in perspective, Green Bay scored 30 or more points in 11 of its 17 games. Through four games this season, the Packers haven’t busted the 30-point barrier and the total is hovering on the high side of 48.

Early Tendencies

Washington has started the season with four straight ‘over’ tickets. Oddsmakers have been tweaking numbers with the Redskins’ totals all season and this week is no different. The line for Week 5’s game against Atlanta opened at 52 and took an early hit down to 50 but has bounced back up to 51 ½ points. Perhaps some pundits are expecting rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III to hit a wall. It hasn’t happened so far and another great component for ‘over’ tickets is a shaky defense and that’s what the Redskins have. The unit is allowing 415 YPG and 30.8 PPG, plus the pass rush has only generated seven sacks in four games. If Atlanta’s Matt Ryan gets time on Sunday, another 30-spot could easily be posted in D.C.

Seattle has proven to us that it has a legit defense (14.5 PPG) and an offense that’s very limited. Similar to Washington, the Seahawks are using a rookie quarterback as well. Unfortunately, Russell Wilson (4 INTs, 4 TDs) hasn’t had much success in his debut season, especially on third-down conversions (28%). When you combine these facts, it usually produces low-scoring affairs. With that being said, we shouldn’t be surprised that Seattle is a perfect 4-0 to the ‘under’ this season. This week, the Seahawks will head back on the road to face Carolina, who has the ability to score. The total opened at 44 and dropped quickly (see below) and you can certainly understand why. This will be the third road game of the season for Seattle, who scored 16 and 13 points in the first two games as a visitor.

Line Moves

After watching the early money go 7-1 in Week 3, the sharps weren’t exactly sharp in Week 4. In the eight totals that saw line moves (up or down) of 1 ½-points or more, only the Seattle-St. Louis ‘under’ was the correct call. Below are the Week 4 totals that have been adjusted by 1 ½ points or more at CRIS as of Saturday night.

Philadelphia-Pittsburgh: Line opened at 44 ½ and dropped to 43
Miami-Cincinnati: Line opened at 44 and jumped to 45 ½
Tennessee-Minnesota: Line opened at 45 ½ and dropped to 44
Seattle-Carolina: Line opened at 44 and dropped to 42 1/2

Under the Lights

The Eagles-Giants matchup on SNF started slow and wound up going 'under’ the closing number of 46 but could’ve gotten there with some help. On Monday, the Bears and Cowboys certainly got help from mistakes. Chicago led 3-0 late in the second quarter before Dallas gave up four big plays, two of them coming with interception returns for touchdowns. What looked like an easy ‘under’ turned into an ‘over’ ticket.

Through 14 games, the ‘under’ stands at 10-4 (71%) in primetime games this season. Bettors could be looking at a shootout on SNF, when New Orleans and San Diego clash from “The Big Easy.” The total (53) is the highest on the board and could get there easily if they convert touchdowns and not field goals.

Fearless Predictions

We juiced out last week and with a couple bounces, we probably could’ve swept the board again. You don’t get paid for close-calls, so we’ll accept the 20 cents ($20) loss. Overall, we’re still up $160 and looking to bounce back. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end - Good Luck!

Best Over: San Diego-New Orleans 53

Best Under: Chicago-Jacksonville 41

Best Team Total: Over 28 New Orleans

Three-Team Total Teaser (9-Point, +100):
Over 44 San Diego-New Orleans
Under 50 Chicago-Jacksonville
Under 54 Miami-Cincinnati

Chris David can be reached at cdavid@vegasinsider.com

  
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