Week 6 Best Bets - Totals
October 11, 2018
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I was able to get out the broom last week with this piece, as the Broncos/Jets game finished well over the number with 50 total points, and that Vikings/Eagles NFC Championship rematch was able to stay low as well. Hopefully we can build off those wins this week, as the two plays I've got lined up for Week 6 actually have something interesting in common: they both feature teams who are coming off consecutive OT games.
Back-to-back weeks of playing extra football can't be great for all those bumps and bruises guys treat every week, and eventually there's going to be a crash coming for these squads simply from a fatigue standpoint. What side of the ball that shows up on first remains to be seen, but given the pressure on the defense to get stops being a little more intense, in my opinion, late in those tight games, I'm venturing to bet it shows up defensively first.
Odds per - Bookmaker.eu
Best Bet #1: L.A Chargers/Cleveland Over 44.5
Cleveland is the first team off the consecutive OT games, one which they lost and won which they won. Beating division rival Baltimore was the more recent of the two, and considering that Browns defense went toe-to-toe with Baltimore's and came out on the right end of a 12-9 slugfest, you've got to figure a letdown on that side of the ball is coming soon.
The Browns do rank T7th in the NFL in yards per play allowed (5.3) as this defense has definitely improved, but it was just two weeks ago that they got torched by the last AFC West team they saw (Oakland) in a letdown spot after getting their first SU win in years. The Chargers offense brings much better weapons to town than what Oakland has, and with L.A scoring at least 23 points in all five of their games this season, including 31 in their last early body clock East Coast start, this is a great spot for the Chargers attack to find plenty of success against a gassed Browns defense.
At the same time though, this point spread is in the pick'em/-1 range for a reason and Cleveland's own offense should be able to keep pace. The honeymoon period with Cleveland and Baker Mayfield may be waning after he struggled against Baltimore last week, but let's remember that the Ravens D has been the best in the league for a few weeks now. The Chargers defense isn't going to have that type of success here, as Mayfield and company will feel like it's a CFL field with the open space they'll see vs L.A compared to what they saw from Baltimore.
That's an important point to make here because so far in 2018, teams that have played Baltimore have gone on to a 3-1 O/U record the following week playing against any other defense. That's the type of effect a post-Ravens game has in the betting markets, as even that lone 'under' was the 27-23 loss for Denver on MNF vs KC. Those 50 points scored would be more than enough here.
So with the Browns 4-1 O/U after their last five SU wins (a trend that goes back a few years), and the Chargers 4-1 O/U in their last five overall, I think we see both teams trade scores with one another all afternoon and it's a game that threatens the 50-point mark.
Odds per - Bookmaker.eu
Best Bet #2: Buffalo/Houston Over 41
The Houston Texans are the other NFL team off consecutive OT games, but they were actually able to win them both. The Texans might have been “given” both victories by some questionable coaching decisions on the other sidelines the past two weeks, but wins are wins in the NFL. This week the Texans have a great shot at making it three in a row as a double-digit home favorite vs the Bills, but with the fatigue factor looming for Houston, that's not a spread I'm looking to touch.
It's the total that I see as another one being too low for this matchup, and to see all the support already (85%+ according to VegasInsider.com) on the low side was rather surprising at first. But given that it is a bad Buffalo team involved, and bettors have finally seemingly run out of patience/lost faith in that dynamic Texans offense from this time a season ago ever returning, some 'under' support started to make sense to me. Yet here is why I'm going the other way:
As a double-digit favorite here it's clear you've got to expect Houston's offense to score. Yes, Buffalo's defense has managed to put up some solid numbers the past three weeks (13.33 points allowed per game), but you still know that unit that gave up 78 points in their first two games lurks somewhere in there and could reappear at any given moment. In a spot where we've come to expect Buffalo's defense to show up – after three straight weeks of doing so – it's time to stay ahead of the markets and back a collapse here with a short number.
And Buffalo understands that they still need a boatload more production from their own offense. This Texans defense may have looked solid on SNF last week, but that was against a one-dimensional, run first, run always, Dallas Cowboys offense that everyone in the league knows isn't good. This Texans defense allowed 27 to the Giants, 34 to the Colts, and 27 to New England, so Josh Allen and company putting up 17+ isn't too far fetched here.
Finally, with the Texans 4-1 O/U after allowing less than 17 points, there is precedent here for the Houston defense to show some fatigue after a strong performance. And that run came without having back-to-back OT games on top of it, so I expect the Buffalo Bills to do more than pull their own weight in terms of getting this one 'over' the number. I expect this game to end up something like 28-17 or 28-20 for the Texans, which has you sweating out either side, but easily cashing this total.
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