Week 2 Best Bets - Totals
September 14, 2018
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Best Bets - Sides
Week 2 NFL Best Bets – Totals
Last week's total plays split the board, but if you were smart enough to wait on the 'over' in the Pittsburgh/Cleveland game and bet it near close, you cashed a winner there. For that game not to go over 43.5 when it was tied 21-21 in the 4th was a little unlucky, but those negative feelings were quickly forgotten about with how easily the Bills/Ravens game cashed 'over' the number.
It's on to Week 2 though and with more than a handful of divisional matchups on the board, there's at least one of them that has caught my eye from a totals perspective. Let's get right to the plays:
Odds per - Bookmaker.eu
Best Bet #1: Houston/Tennessee Over 44.5
I have been kind of surprised to see this total get the bulk of the action on the 'under' all week as it appears there aren't too many bettors out there impressed with either offensive unit after one week. Houston's attack left a bad taste in many mouths a week ago as a popular underdog pick to cover against New England so that may have some lingering effects, but the majority going the other way is never viewed as a bad thing in my mind.
Neither offense may have looked great in Week 1 defeats, but each still managed to score 20 points on the road and did make the most of their limited chances. That's a plus for these offenses going forward and with this being the 2nd ever showdown between Deshaun Watson and Marcus Mariota in AFC South play – in a battle that could be here for years – I think we see a similar scoreline to that first meeting (minus the blowout).
That first meeting between Watson and Mariota came early on a year ago when Watson and the Texans put one on the Titans. The final score was 57-14 in favor of Houston as they really could do no wrong for the entire 60 minutes. The two teams combined for 44 points at halftime, and coming anywhere near that number again through 30 minutes of play will make this another easy winner for us this year.
Chances are that probably won't happen, but even a 14-7 game at the break is just slightly behind pace with this lower number, and then they head into a 2nd half where both guys will be more inclined to look for the big play. That's not all bad for an 'over' play with the playmaking ability each QB has, and given that the Titans are known for playing higher scoring games early in the year (8-3 O/U last 11 in September), and 5-1 O/U after an ATS loss, things should open up quite a bit this week.
Houston and Watson will aim to ramp up their play now that he's got all those nervous feelings about whether or not his knee will hold up during live action out of the way too. When that happens, this Texans offense will more resemble the one that lit up the league for 5-6 weeks last year with Watson at the helm. I'm still not a believer that Watson nor the Texans offense can come close to duplicating that run any time soon, but they really only need to score 24-28 points this week in all likelihood to push this game 'over' the number.
That's a range the Texans should find a way to get to, and Tennessee won't be far behind.
Odds per - Bookmaker.eu
Best Bet #2: Philadelphia/Tampa Bay Under 44
Here we've got a game that's eerily similar to the one above (small road favorite with total of 44/44.5) yet given the matchup and situation, this total of 44 seems a little too high.
Betting percentages at VegasInsider.com show 85%+ already on the high side of this total and yet there has really been no movement at all. This number opened at 44, dropped to 43.5, and has since come back up to 44 again. That suggests to me that it's got to either be 'under' or pass on this total with the oddsmakers potentially taking a stance on this number, and when you really dig deeper into the game, firing on the 'under' looks very attractive.
For one, chances are we see a big regression come from Tampa QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and the entire Bucs offense for that matter. It's the defending champs rolling into town, not a notoriously suspect Saints defense, and Philly isn't about to let a backup QB light them up like that. Without question the Saints took Fitzpatrick's starting job and the Bucs offense lightly a week ago and it cost them. Philly won't be making that mistake – especially after watching how last week's game turned out for Tampa – and that's bad news for fans who love to see points.
Philly is also a team starting a backup QB in Nick Foles, and while he is the reigning SB MVP and all that, the Eagles aren't about to let him have Carte blanche out there. This is still a team that's working out things offensively as they deal with multiple issues across the board and needs to rely on it's defense to win games early. They showed up against Atlanta in the season opener, and they'll do so again against this Bucs team.
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