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Total Talk - Week 14

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Week 13 Recap

The ‘under’ went 9-7 last week and all of the results were never in doubt or at least most of them were. For those bettors taking the ‘under’ in the Seattle-Chicago matchup, we feel for you! The Bears led 14-10 late in the game only to see Seattle take a 17-14 lead in the final minute. Sure enough, Chicago miraculously forced the extra session with a field goal (17-17) and due to the new overtime rules, the ‘Hawks pushed the envelope and scored a touchdown in the extra session for a 23-17 win. The combined 40 points slipped ‘over’ the closing number of 37. On the season, the ‘under’ holds a slight edge at 97-95-1 and the numbers would be more in favor if it wasn’t for so many late-game explosions.

Line Moves

The smart money went 2-2 last week. Since we’re in the final month, weather is starting to come into play and both of the primetime games are expected to get some precipitation. Here are the early line moves of 1 ½ points or more at CRIS:

Philadelphia at Tampa Bay: Line opened 45 ½ and jumped to 48
Miami at San Francisco: Line opened 40 and dropped to 38 ½
Detroit at Green Bay: Line opened 52 ½ and dropped to 50
Houston at New England: Line opened 53 and dropped to 51

Under the Lights

As mentioned above, both of the final two primetime games have already seen their totals drop. Is it do to the expected poor weather or maybe it’s due to the ‘under’ posting a 27-14 (66%) record in games played under the lights this season? A lot of bookmakers have been complaining about the NFL favorites cashing but they’ll never admit how much these totals have helped them stay ahead. Despite the trends and weather, both of these games are still hovering around 50 points but all four teams have the ability to light up the scoreboard.

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Detroit at Green Bay:
Green Bay stopped Detroit 24-20 at Ford Field two weeks ago and the game never threatened the closing number of 53 ½. The Packers were in a groove offensively midway through the season but they only scored 24, 10 and 23 the last three weeks, which all resulted in ‘under’ tickets. Detroit (8-3-1) has been a solid ‘over’ bet this season, and it seems like its defense is getting much worse. The last two matchups at Lambeau Field watched the Packers notch shootout victories (45-41, 28-26).

Houston at New England: I believe you can argue either ‘over’ or ‘under’ in this matchup. The Texans love to grind the football and probably understand that if they have a shot to win, they’ll need to keep the Patriots’ offense off the field. Houston’s defense is legit but the last time they saw a great quarterback, the unit gave up 42 to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. New England has Tom Brady and they saw their nine-game ‘over’ run come to an end last week against Miami (23-16). The 23 points was tied for the second-lowest scoring output this season by the Pats. These teams have only met three times and all three encounters have gone ‘over’ the number.

Divisional Rematches

Taking the ‘over’ in the second divisional meeting has been a solid investment this season but as I’ve said before, all things balance out in the long run and the results are starting to swing the other way. Before Week 13, the ‘over’ was 10-2 in the rematch games but the ‘under’ came out on top with a 4-2 mark last weekend. When you include Thursday’s outcome between Denver and Oakland, the ‘under’ has now gone 5-2 in the last seven rematch games. Gamblers are looking at five more of these situations on Sunday and what’s intriguing is that the first battle watched the ‘under’ go 4-1 in these games.

Tennessee at Indianapolis: The Colts win a 35-32 shootout over the Lions and the oddsmakers come out with a total of 48 ½ points, which has already dipped to 47 ½. Once again, the opener was inflated and even the current number is too high in my opinion. The ‘under’ has cashed in four straight in this series and eight of the last 10. On Oct. 28, the Colts beat the Titans 19-13 in overtime. Indianapolis has seen the ‘under’ go 5-1 at home this season, plus the Titans (4-1) have leaned to the ‘under’ in their last five games.

Chicago at Minnesota: This matchup is a quick turnaround with Chicago beating Minnesota 28-10 two weeks ago at Soldier Field. Even though this game barely stayed ‘under’ the closing number of 38 ½ points, the Bears led 25-3 at the break and pulled off the gas. The rematch will be played indoors and with a higher total (39 ½), which always raises eyebrows. The Vikings are going to face a banged-up Bears defense that has been forcing many turnovers lately, plus they’re suspect against the run. However, not having WR Percy Harvin definitely hurts an offense that has posted 10 and 14 the last two weeks. Make a note that Chicago has watched the ‘over’ go 4-1 on the road this season.

Atlanta at Carolina: The Falcons rallied past the Panthers 30-28 in Week 4 and the ‘over’ (48) was an easy winner. Despite that shootout, Atlanta has watched the ‘under’ cash in 67% (8-4) of its games. On the other hand, Carolina has seen the ‘over’ cash in four straight largely because the defense can’t stop anybody and Cam Newton does enough to muster up some points. Atlanta has won five straight against Carolina and we mention that because it has scored 30-plus points in every game during this stretch. For whatever reason, Matt Ryan plays good against the ‘Cats.

Arizona at Seattle: Looking back at Week 1 now, the Seahawks are probably still upset that they lost to the Cardinals, 20-16. Seattle had four shots inside the five-yard line at the end of the game but came up empty and rookie QB Russell Wilson heard the criticism. Fast forward 13 weeks, Wilson and the ‘Hawks are close to making the playoffs while the Cardinals have lost eight straight after starting 4-0. The difference, Seattle has the QB and Arizona doesn’t. The Cards offensive woes have helped the ‘under’ go 9-3. This week’s number (35 ½) is the lowest on the board and arguing for an ‘over’ is tough especially when you look at Seattle’s tendencies too. The Seahawks are 0-3 in the division and they’ve scored 16, 13 and 6 points. Wilson and Seattle have played better but for whatever reason, the NFC West teams have his number, at least they did in the first go ‘round.

Detroit at Green Bay: (See Above)

Fearless Predictions

Week 13 watched the bankroll add another $190 of profit, pushing the season total to $860. We could’ve pulled off the sweep but the Bucs-Broncos total got a late coring boost, which has become a regular occurrence in Tampa Bay games this season. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end - Good Luck!

Best Over: Chicago-Minnesota 39

Best Under: Arizona-Seattle 35 1/2

Best Team Total: Over 18 Minnesota

Three-Team Total Teaser (9-Point, +100):
Over Chicago-Minnesota 30
Over New Orleans-N.Y. Giants 44
Over Atlanta-Carolina 39

Chris David can be reached at cdavid@vegasinsider.com

  
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