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Total Talk - Week 16

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Week 15 Recap

The ‘over’ went 10-6 last week and is now 22-11 (67%) the past two weekends. The all-time scoring records continue to be shattered and that trend might not slow down anytime soon.

Are the oddsmakers worried?

“We are adjusting each and every week. The sharps don’t hit the totals that often so there’s no urgency. Our adjustments have been one way and that is higher,” answered Jay Kornegay, Vice President of Race and Sports Operations at the LVH Super Book in Las Vegs.  

“I think the rule changes, the way they (referees) call games, and the player safety rules all favor the offensive side of the ball. I think the totals in the 30’s will be a thing of the past. I don’t see how the defensives can keep up with the offenses.”

The lowest total on the board in Week 16 is 41, which is the number on the Browns-Jets matchup. That game opened 39 and apparently somebody is expecting points in New York this weekend.
On the season, the ‘over’ holds a 121-99-2 (55%) edge.

Streaks to Watch

As we enter the end of the regular season, make a note of these teams and their respective total runs heading into Week 16.

Dallas – Over 5-0 the last five weeks
Kansas City – Over 4-0 after an 8-2 start to the Under
Jacksonville – Over 6-1 run, including 3-0 last three weeks
Seahawks and Rams – Under 3-0 last three weeks
Dolphins – Under on a 4-1 run
New Orleans – Best Under team (10-4) this season, which includes 5-0 run
Browns and Steelers – Over 3-0 last three weeks
San Francisco – 5-1 run to the Under, could easily be 6-0 last six

Systems & Trends

The non-conference ‘over’ trend improved to 48-15 (76%) last weekend with a 3-1 mark. We only have two AFC-NFC matchups on tap this Sunday and they are the last non-conference games of the season until the Super Bowl.

Minnesota at Cincinnati
Pittsburgh at Green Bay

Last week we pointed out a trend that a VegasInider.com user sent to us and it cashed as well with the Jaguars-Bills matchup going ‘over’ the number. It’s real simple and involves the home team that played in the Thursday game from the previous week. Regardless of the venue, the ‘over’ has gone 13-2-1 (87%) in the following game for that team. If you want to follow the angle again, it calls for the ‘over’ in the Denver-Houston matchup on Sunday since the Broncos hosted the Chargers on Thursday in Week 15.

Line Moves

The Line Moves went 1-2 last week, pushing the season numbers to 40-31-1. Listed below are this week’s matchups that have had a total move by 1 ½ points or more at CRIS’s opening lines, which were sent out Sunday evening.

Dallas at Washington: Line opened 51 and jumped to 53
Denver at Houston: Line opened 51 ½ and jumped to 53
Indianapolis at Kansas City: Line opened 41 ½ and jumped to 46 ½
Arizona at Seattle: Line opened 45 and dropped to 43
Oakland at San Diego: Line opened 48 and jumped to 50 ½

Divisional Battles

Miami at Buffalo: The Bills defeated the Dolphins 23-21 on the road in Week 7 with QB Thaddeus Lewis under the center. Miami will be facing Lewis again on Sunday with starter E.J. Manuel (knee) ‘out’ with an injury. The first encounter wound up being a push (44) on the total and this week’s number (43) is a tad lower and weather could play a role.

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New Orleans at Carolina:
The Saints beat the Panthers 31-13 on Dec. 8 and the combined 44 points fell short of the closing total (47). Prior to this outcome, the ‘over’ was on a 4-0 run. In the last six encounters, New Orleans has averaged 34.2 PPG. The number

Dallas at Washington: This number has been bet up and it’s hard argue for an ‘under’ play when you look at the defensive units for both the Cowboys (25.3 PPG, 421 YPG) and the Redskins (30.2 PPG, 374 YPG). Despite the inept play on defense, the ‘under’ has gone 2-0 in the last two encounters between the pair.

Tennessee at Jacksonville: The ‘over’ is on a 3-1 run in this series, which includes the Jaguars’ 29-27 road win over the Titans on Nov. 10 this season. The total on that game was 42 and this week’s rematch has a number hovering around 44.

Arizona at Seattle: In Week 7, the Seahawks stopped the Cardinals 34-22 on the road in a Thursday night affair. Including that outcome, three of the last four meetings have gone ‘over.’ Seattle’s defense is getting stronger lately, allowing 26 combined points in their last three games.

Oakland at San Diego: The Chargers and Raiders have seen the ‘over/under’ go 1-1 during the regular season in each of the two previous years. I bring that to your attention because Oakland defeated San Diego 27-17 on Oct. 6 and the game went ‘under’ the closing number of 46. If you don’t recall, the first meeting started at 11:30 p.m. PT because the Oakland A’s had a home game on Saturday night that week and the field couldn’t be football-ready.  QB Philip Rivers didn’t play well (3 INTs) but he’s been spot on the last two weeks and the Raiders defense has been atrocious the last seven games (34.7 PPG), which has helped the ‘over’ go 6-0-1 in this span.

Under the Lights

The ‘under’ went 2-1 last week and the lone ‘over’ occurred on SNF in the Steelers-Bengals matchup, which was the lowest total of the three primetime games. After this week there will only be one more game played under the lights, which takes place on Sunday, Dec. 29. On the season, the ‘over’ has gone 26-21 (55%) in primetime games.

Chicago at Philadelphia: Even those teams aren’t in the same division, they have met five times in the last six seasons and the ‘over’ has gone 3-2 during this span. Chicago earned a 30-24 road victory in 2011 and a 31-26 home win in 2010. Those games had totals of ranging between 42 and 47 points. This week’s number opened at 54 ½ and has been bumped up to 55 ½. I mention the odds because Chicago hasn’t seen a total this high all season but it has had three numbers in the fifties. In those games, the ‘under’ cashed in all three. However, the defensive units on the field this week are much worse and points could be a plenty.

Atlanta at San Francisco: The closing of Candlestick Park should add some drama to this matchup, which is a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship. In case you forgot, the 49ers rallied past the Falcons 28-24 and the ‘over’ (47 ½) was on a good pace throughout. As mentioned above, San Francisco has been a great ‘under’ bet lately, even better at home (5-2) this season. Atlanta has been a tough team to gauge down the stretch but it has watched its total results alternate the past five weeks. If that trend stays true, then you’re looking at an ‘under’ on MNF.

Fearless Predictions

The VI bankroll dropped 20 cents last week and it probably should’ve dropped $430 but at the same time, we could’ve picked up $400. Still in the black for $240 heading into the last two weeks. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

Best Over: Denver-Houston 53
Best Under: Tennessee-Jacksonville 44
Best Team Total: Over 29 ½ San Diego

Three-Team Total Teaser (9-Point, +100):
Over 44 Denver-Houston
Over 41 ½ Oakland-San Diego
Under 54 Atlanta-San Francisco

Chris David can be reached at cdavid@vegasinsider.com

  
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