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Total Talk - Week 3
Week 2 Recap

For the second consecutive week, total players saw another 8-8 weekend. Even though the betting results were the same, the patterns were a tad different. The ‘over’ went 7-2 in the early afternoon games last week, opposed to an 8-1 mark to the ‘under’ in Week 1.  Also, Week 2 saw the ‘under’ go 3-0 in all of the primetime matchups. In case you forget, Week 1 watched the ‘over’ go 4-0 in every game played under the lights.  

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After two weeks, 10 teams have seen the ‘over’ go 2-0 and 10 have seen the ‘under’ go 2-0 while the remaining 12 teams own 1-1 total records. When you delve into these numbers further, it’s safe to say that Denver, Green Bay and Philadelphia will be ‘over’ looks all season based on their offensive abilities. When you look at half of the ‘under’ clubs, you can point to quarterback issues with the Browns, Jaguars, Jets, Raiders and Buccaneers.

Another pair of ‘under’ teams are New Orleans and New England, which is surprising when you look at their performances in recent seasons. The Saints (19.5) and Patriots (18) are both near the bottom of the league in points per game. Right now, offensive execution appears to be the major issue for both squads. The Saints (6) and Patriots (5) have kicked a combined 11 field goals through two games compared to just five touchdowns. To put things in perspective, Denver has 14 scores in two games and 12 of them were touchdowns.

Line Moves

Last Saturday, we listed eight games that had moved off their opening numbers by at least 1 ½ points. If you followed the moves, you would’ve gone 6-2 (75%) in those games. This week, there are five moves and four of them are leaning to the ‘over.’

Tampa Bay at New England: Line opened 46 ½ and dropped to 43 ½
Green Bay at Cincinnati: Line opened 45 ½ and jumped to 49 ½
N.Y. Giants at Carolina: Line opened 45 ½ and jumped to 47 ½
Atlanta at Miami: Line opened 43 and jumped to 45
Chicago at Pittsburgh: Line opened 38 ½ and jumped to 40 ½

Divisional Matchups

The ‘under’ went 4-2 in divisional games last weekend, which was the complete opposite results of a 4-2 mark to the ‘over’ in the opening week. Week 3 only features two divisional matchups on tap.

Buffalo at N.Y. Jets
The Jets and Bills have seen the total split in their last four matchups but the two ‘over’ tickets came when New York was playing at home. In those games, the Jets scored 48 and 28 points. This game will feature two rookie quarterbacks in Geno Smith and EJ Manuel. Smith hasn’t been accurate (53.4%) for the Jets this season and he’s already been intercepted four times. On the other hand, Manuel has been on point (68.2%) but his yards per attempt isn’t impressive at all. New York has seen the ‘under’ go 2-0 season and Buffalo should be 2-0 to the ‘under’ as well if it wasn’t for a late touchdown last Sunday against Carolina. Last season, we had six games that had rookie quarterbacks squaring off against one another. In those matchups when first-year signal callers went head-to-head, the ‘under’ went 4-2.

Oakland at Denver (See Below)

Under the Lights

After watching the ‘over’ go 4-0 in the first four primetime games of the season, it’s been nothing but winning ‘under’ tickets at the betting counter. Including Thursday’s results between the Chiefs and Eagles, the ‘under’ has gone 4-0 in the last four night games and it’s fair to say that they were never in doubt. This weekend, something will have to give since both matchups feature one team that has seen the ‘over’ go 2-0 while the other has watched the ‘under’ produce a 2-0 mark.

Chicago at Pittsburgh: Oddsmakers made a mistake on this game, sending out a total of 38 ½ points, which was quickly pushed up two points. The Steelers offense hasn’t been sharp but it still has potential to move the football with Big Ben under center. Chicago has shown a nice balance offensively under new head coach Marc Trestman, averaging 27.5 PPG through two games. The Bears’ defense isn’t comparable to past seasons but still very opportunistic. Since this is a non-conference battles, bettors should be aware that Chicago is the only NFC team to beat an AFC team this season as it stopped Cincinnati 24-21 in Week 1. Last season, the Bears went 3-1 versus the AFC while averaging 34.8 PPG. Pittsburgh averaged 22.8 PPG against the NFC in 2012 en route to a 3-1 record.

Oakland at Denver: Last season, the Broncos beat the Raiders 37-6 at home and 26-13 on the road, both totals closed at 47. This week’s number is hovering around 49 points and based on the point-spread (Denver -15), oddsmakers are expecting a 32-17 win for Denver. It’s hard to see the Broncos putting up less than 32 based on this year’s offensive results (49, 41) and last year’s numbers. However, Oakland’s defense (15 PPG) has opened some eyes around the league but the competition (Colts, Jaguars) isn’t even close to the Broncos.

Fearless Predictions

One week in the books and we’re in the red for 20 cents after splitting our Best Bets and losing our Team Total wager. Fortunately, the Three-Team Teaser didn’t even need the points and easily cashed. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

Best Over: Chicago-Pittsburgh 40 ½

Best Under: Indianapolis-San Francisco 46 ½

Best Team Total: Under Indianapolis 19

Three-Team Total Teaser:
Under 50 Cleveland-Minnesota
Under 55 ½ Indianapolis-San Francisco
Over 31 ½ Chicago-Pittsburgh

Chris David can be reached at cdavid@vegasinsider.com
 
 

  
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