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Total Talk - Week 9
Week 8 Recap

The ‘over’ went 8-5 last weekend and is now 16-10-1 the last two weeks. Last week definitely had some “Bad Beats” for total bettors.

Starting with the Washington-Denver matchup, the total closed at 58 points. The game was knotted 7-7 at halftime before the Broncos outscored the Redskins 38-14 in the final 30 minutes.

Another rough beat was the Dallas-Detroit game. The total closed at 51 ½ points. The Cowboys led 13-7 entering the fourth quarter before the Lions outscored Dallas 24-17 in the final 15 minutes.

Kansas City has been a great ‘under’ team all season and they almost cashed another ticket last week but a late field goal by the Chiefs helped them beat the Browns 23-17, which helped go ‘over’ the closing number of 40.

Even though Miami and New England had 20 combined points at halftime, the Patriots outscored Dolphins 24-0 in the second-half and the Dolphins missed a field goal and had one blocked as the Patriots held on for a 27-17 victory. The total closed at 46.

On the season, the ‘over’ sits at 64-53-2.

Line Moves

The early line moves went 3-3 in Week 8. On the season, the lines moves are 24-16-1 (60%). 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.

Atlanta at Carolina: Line opened 41 ½ and jumped to 45 ½
Minnesota at Dallas: Line opened 47 and jumped to 49 ½  
Kansas City at Buffalo: Line opened 42 ½ and dropped to 40
Baltimore at Cleveland: Line opened 40 and jumped to 41 ½
Chicago at Green Bay: Line opened 48 ½ and jumped to 50 ½

Non-Conference Overs

Bettors following this column weekly are well aware of the NFC-AFC ’over’ trend this season. For the newbies, make a note that the ‘over’ is 27-11 (71%) in non-conference games this year, which included a 3-0 effort in Week 8 albeit with a few lucky breaks. On Sunday, we have four matchups pending.

New Orleans at N.Y. Jets
Tennessee at St. Louis
San Diego at Washington
Philadelphia at Oakland

Divisional Angles

Last week, we touched on the vice versa angle that I sometimes use in divisional matchups and it cashed again with the Eagles and Giants going ‘under’ the number after the first meeting was a very high-scoring affair. Again, it’s not the end-all when it comes to winning totals but it’s something you should note and it fits again this week.

Atlanta at Carolina:
The ‘over’ is on a 3-1 run in this series and bettors have seen this pair combine for 50, 58, 54 and 48 points during this span. The oddsmakers made a mistake with their opener (41 ½) and the sharps jumped on it quickly, pushing the number up three points. The Falcons are beat up, especially on offense and they’ll be facing a Panthers’ defense (13.7 PPG) that is very sound. However, Carolina should be able to exploit an Atlanta defense (26.3 PPG) that has been able to make plays all season.

Baltimore at Cleveland: If you lean to the vice versa angle mentioned above, this is the matchup to watch in Week 9. The Ravens defeated the Browns 14-6 in Week 2 and the closing total (43 ½) was never threatened. Since we had a very low-scoring game, you would expect a better effort offensively from both clubs. Including this result, the ‘under’ is on a 6-0 run in this series but it still makes me wonder why this week’s line has already been steamed up and not down. If you’re looking for a better reason to go ‘over’ then it’s hard to ignore what head coach John Harbaugh has done off a bye. The Ravens are 5-0 in regular season games with rest under Harbaugh and they’ve scored 28, 30, 26, 29 and 23 points in those games.

Indianapolis at Houston: (See Below)

Chicago at Green Bay: (See Below)

Under the Lights

Finally, the ‘under’ cashed this past Thursday in the Miami-Cincinnati matchup and bettors taking ‘over’ 42 ½ were upset, especially when the game went to overtime tied at 20-20. Outside of the game ending in a tie, the least likely outcome would’ve been a team winning by two points and that’s what happened as the Dolphins won 22-20 with a safety. While you have a right to be angry, the ‘under’ was the right side and if Bengals QB Andy Dalton doesn’t suck it up, the ‘over’ never has a chance. Including this result, the ‘over’ is 16-11 in primetime games this week.

SNF - Indianapolis at Houston: This matchup was known for high-scoring affairs when Peyton Manning was under center for the Colts. Since his departure to injury and the Broncos, the last four meetings in this series has gone ‘under’ the number and early signs point to another tight battle this week. The Texans will be starting an inexperienced quarterback in Case Keenum, who will be facing an underrated Colts defense (18.7 PPG). Most would believe that both teams will be prepared off the bye week, which hasn’t been the case for Houston under head coach Gary Kubiak. The Texans are 3-4 with rest under him and for total purposes, the ‘under’ has gone 6-1 in those games. Also, it will be interesting to see how Colts QB Andrew Luck does with the passing game with WR Reggie Wayne (knee) done for the season.

MNF - Chicago at Green Bay: I’m a little surprised this line has been bumped up but when you look at the numbers for this week’s matchup, it makes sense. The Bears are mess defensively (29.4 PPG, 391 YPG) right now and their nine sacks is the lowest in the league. If that unit can’t pressure Green Bay’s offense, which is ranked third in points (30.3 PPG) and second in yards (438.9 YPG), the game is over. If you’re going to lean the other way, you can definitely point to head-to-head trends. The ‘under’ has gone 9-1 in the last 10 meetings in this series. Keep in mind that the Bears’ Josh McCown is taking place for the Jay Cutler (groin) at QB.

Fearless Predictions

If you bet totals in any sport, you better accept the fact that bad beats occur all the time and much more than side wagers. Despite being on the right side of two plays last week, we got squeezed. While I lost, somebody won and if you did, congratulations! On the season, the deficit is sitting just under a nickel ($480) through seven weeks. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

Best Over: Tennessee-St. Louis 39 ½
Best Under: San Diego-Washington 51 ½
Best Team Total: Under San Diego 26 ½

Three-Team Total Teaser:
Over 30 ½ Tennessee-St. Louis
Over 34 ½ Pittsburgh-New England
Under 60 ½ San Diego-Washington

Chris David can be reached at

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