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Total Talk - Week 12

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Week 11 Recap

The ‘under’ produced an 8-6 record in Week 11 and that number should’ve been 9-5 or even 10-4. Our apologies go to bettors who had the ‘under’ in the Carolina-Tampa Bay, especially if you got in late with the total of 47 ½. The Bucs forced overtime (21-21) and earned the come-from-behind 27-21 victory with the touchdown in the extra session.

The oddsmakers made a mistake last Monday, adjusting the total from 38 ½ to 34 ½ after hearing that 49ers QB Alex Smith was ruled out against Chicago. A couple points would’ve been understandable, but certainly not four. Sure enough, San Francisco earned a 32-7 victory and the game goes ‘over’ the number but the final score was close to the opening number. Stick to your guns!

Including that result, the ‘under’ stands at 24-10 in primetime games this season. On the season, the ‘over’ still holds an 81-79-1 edge. We’ll touch on the Thanksgiving ‘over’ winners next week, which were never in doubt!

Divisional Rematches

We’re going to keep pushing this seasonal trend, because it’s been a serious money-maker so far. Including the Jets-Patriots shootout (49-19) on Thanksgiving, the ‘over’ has gone 9-2 (82%) in games when opponents meet in their second divisional game. We have one more matchup on tap this week and most are expecting a low-scoring affair.

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St. Louis at Arizona:
This game opened at 37 ½ and has dropped to 37 at most betting shops. Arizona was once a great ‘over’ bet in the desert but that was when Kurt Warner was the quarterback and the defense was average. Now you have a rotation of misfits under center. This Sunday, Ryan Lindley will earn the start against the Rams. Last week, the former San Diego State standout was 9-of-20 for 64 yards in clean-up action. St. Louis has the bigger name at QB in Sam Bradford but let’s be honest, he’s an overpaid joke as well. Bradford and the Rams beat Arizona 17-3 at home on Oct. 4 but have lost five straight since that win. During this current skid, the defense has given up an average 28.6 points per game. The unit did face the Packers and Patriots over that stretch but giving up 27 to the Jets last week tells you that the defense isn’t producing. St. Louis has watched the ‘over’ go 6-4 but Arizona has leaned to the ‘under’ (8-2) this season. Including the aforementioned outcome in early October, the ‘under’ has gone 8-1 in the past nine meetings between these teams. While this trend has been great, the smart play might be to pass and wait for next week, which features six rematch battles, including a few that just played two weeks ago.

Line Moves

The smart money went 3-2 last week and easily could’ve gone 4-1 if the Chargers don’t score a late touchdown against the Broncos. Still, 60% is winning and most professional bettors do.

Here are the early moves for Week 12 at CRIS:

Oakland at Cincinnati: Line opened 48 and jumped to 50
Pittsburgh at Cleveland: Line opened 36 and dropped to 34 ½
Atlanta at Tampa Bay: Line opened 48 and jumped to 51
Green Bay at N.Y. Giants: Line opened 49 and jumped to 50 1/2

Fifty Spots

Four contests on tap this week that have totals higher than 50 points and what’s really surprising is none of the games feature the Saints.

Oakland at Cincinnati: This total is a little surprising considering the venue but when you look at the Raiders defense, you can understand the oddsmakers. Oakland has allowed 42, 55 and 38 points the last three weeks and Cincinnati does have some offensive weapons. However, the Bengals defense has given up a total of 19 points the last two games, both wins and both ‘under’ tickets.

Buffalo at Indianapolis: If you’re looking for an inflated line, then this is it. Indianapolis has been an ‘under’ team (6-3-1) all season yet it got blasted by the Patriots (24-59) last Sunday and everybody thinks this team likes to play the run ‘n shoot style. The offense can certainly score but they make mistakes with rookie QB Andrew Luck too. Buffalo’s defense was exposed to the Patriots as well, unfortunately on two different occasions (52, 37). The unit did play better a week from last Thursday as it dominated the Dolphins en route to a 19-14 home win. The extra few days off should help the Bills in this spot. Despite playing indoors, the Colts have seen the ‘under’ go 4-1 at home this season.

Atlanta at Tampa Bay: You can argue that this number is too high as well but betting the ‘under’ in Tampa Bay games has been a disaster. The Buccaneers have seen the ‘over’ cash in seven straight, which included last week’s miracle (see above). During this span, Tampa hasn’t been held under 22 points and it’s posted 30-plus four times. The defense has given up 23.3 PPG, which has certainly helped with the shootouts. Atlanta is a tough team to gauge but it’s actually produced more points on the road (29.6 PPG) than at home (20.4 PPG). Sure enough, the ‘over’ has gone 3-2 outside of Georgia and the ‘under’ is 4-1 at home. The Falcons have seen three totals listed at 50-plus points and the ‘under’ has gone 2-1 in those games. The ‘over’ has gone 3-1 in the last four meetings between this pair. This will be the first encounter in 2012.

Green Bay at N.Y. Giants: Including the holiday outcome on Thursday, the ‘under’ has gone 24-11 in primetime games this season. Does this particular battle have potential to go ‘over’ the number? Absolutely, but you better hope both QBs come to play and that hasn’t been the case with the Giants’ Eli Manning lately. New York has dropped two straight and it only scored 33 points in those games but it is coming off the bye. Green Bay started the season slow offensively, yet it’s still averaging 26 PPG. The Packers have watched the ‘over’ go 6-4 while the Giants have seen the ‘under’ produce a 7-3 mark. The previous five meetings between the pair have gone ‘over’ and that includes a pair of games last season that saw 73 and 57 combined points posted on the scoreboard.

Fearless Predictions

In Week 11, we caught some breaks and picked up $300. The Thanksgiving card watched us juice out and lose 10 cents ($10). On the season, we’re in the black for $480. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end - Good Luck!

Best Over: Carolina-Philadelphia 40 1/2

Best Under: Tennessee-Jacksonville 44 1/2

Best Team Total: Over Atlanta 26

Three-Team Total Teaser (9-Point, +100):
Over Carolina-Philadelphia 31 ½
Over Green Bay-N.Y. Giants 42
Over St. Louis-Arizona 28

Chris David can be reached at cdavid@vegasinsider.com

  
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