Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:02 AM

Total Talk - Week 2

Week 1 Recap

The 765 points scored in Week 1, an average of 47.8 points per game, was the third highest all-time scoring opening weekend according to the NFL. Helping that cause was 12 return touchdowns and half of them came from pick-six interceptions. Despite the outburst, total bettors saw solid two-way results as the ‘over’ produced a 9-7 record. Savvy bettors leaning high in the second-half managed to turn a nice profit (10-6) as well.

2018 Total Results - Game & Halves
O/U Game 1st Half 2nd Half
Week 1 9-7 7-9 10-6
O/U Game 1st Half 2nd Half
Year-to-Date 9-7 7-9 10-6


My handicapping style leans on seasonal trends and I like to incorporate them as they develop. For now, a couple early angles to watch are the ‘over’ leans in divisional games and contests played indoors. The Coastal category is teams traveling East to West and vice versa. Last week, the Redskins-Cardinals game was an easy ‘under’ ticket and the only game featured in this category for Week 2 is between the Chargers and Bills.

2018 Results - Other
O/U AFC-NFC Divisional Indoor Coast to Coast
Week 1 2-2 4-0 3-1 0-1
O/U AFC-NFC Divisional Indoor Coast to Coast
Year-to-Date 2-2 4-0 3-1 0-1


Line Moves and Public Leans

Listed below are the largest line moves for Week 1 as of Saturday morning per [...].

L.A. Chargers at Buffalo: 44 ½ to 42 ½
Houston at Tennessee: 45 to 43
Kansas City at Pittsburgh: 50 ½ to 53
Arizona at L.A. Rams: 46 ½ to 44 ½

Listed below are the five largest leans per the betting trend percentages on the VI Matchup index as of Saturday morning.

Dolphins-Jets: 92% Under
Texans-Titans: 92% Under
Raiders-Broncos: 88% Over
Cardinals-Rams: 87% Under
Patriots-Jaguars: 86% Under

Divisional Matchups

The divisional action picks up the pace in Week 2 with eight matchups and that includes Thursday’s ‘over’ result between the Bengals and Ravens. Including that outcome, bettors should note that the first five divisional games this season have leaned to the high side.

Carolina at Atlanta: The ‘under’ went 2-0 in this series last season with a combined 37 and 32 points posted. We could be in for another dogfight here and unfortunately key injuries have been the headliner for this week’s matchup. Both clubs saw the ‘under’ connect easily in Week 1.

Minnesota at Green Bay: Very tough game to handicap due to the status of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. If he plays, expect the total to be in the neighborhood of 46 to 47. If he doesn’t, then take away six points perhaps more. The ‘under’ has gone 6-1 in the last seven encounters, which includes a 2-0 record from last season.

Houston at Tennessee: Another game affected by injuries, more so on the Tennessee roster. Each club scored 20 points in their Week 1 loss and both left points off the board. The total has been a stalemate the last two seasons (2-2) with the ‘over’ hitting in both games from Houston while the ‘under’ went 2-0 in Nashville. Texans QB Deshaun Watson only faced the Titans once last season and he helped them post a 57-14 win at Houston.

Miami at N.Y. Jets: The ‘over’ is on a 4-1 run in this series and we’ve seen the winner bust 30 points three times during that span. Miami’s defense was suspect on the road (27.4 PPG) last season but they also had trouble scoring (12.4 PPG). New York posted 48 at Detroit in Week 1 with help from the defense and special teams. It’s hard to imagine the Jets posting another crooked number.

Arizona at L.A. Rams: No solid trends for this matchup with the last 10 encounters breaking even (5-5) for total bettors. Los Angeles did post 33 and 32 in two blowout wins over the Cardinals last season and another romp is expected on Sunday. The Rams were great on the road last season but only 3-5 at home. However, Los Angeles did post 46-9 and 33-7 wins over the Colts and Texans respectively when expected to act like a bully. Déjà vu here?

Oakland at Denver: The ‘under’ has gone 5-1 in the last six meetings and we only saw one game surpass 40 combined points during this span. This week’s total listed at 46, which seems high based on the current head-to-head trend. However, both the Broncos (470 yards) and Raiders (395 yards) moved the ball in Week 1.

N.Y. Giants at Dallas: (See Below)

AFC vs. NFC

Two of the higher totals in Week 2 takes place in non-conference games.

Indianapolis at Washington: The return of Andrew Luck at QB for the Colts certainly gives them a chance to score on a weekly basis but the Indy defense still appears to be shaky. Washington controlled the clock (38-22 minutes) against Arizona last week and only had nine drives. If you’re getting TDs, that style helps ‘over’ bettors but the pace definitely leans to the ‘under.’ For what it’s worth, the ‘over’ has gone 8-1 in the past nine encounters between the pair.

Cleveland at New Orleans: The Saints were diced up in Week 1 and the books are expecting a solid rebound. New Orleans on a 7-3 ‘over’ in its last 10 at home and that includes a 2-0 record versus AFC teams in the Superdome. Cleveland saw the ‘over’ go 3-1 in four games versus the NFC last season and even though the Browns earned a tie in Week 1, the defense allowed 472 yards to Pittsburgh. These teams met in Week 2 of the 2014 regular season and Cleveland stunned New Orleans 26-24 as a five-point home ‘dog while the ‘over’ (49) barely cashed on a late field goal.

Under the Lights

Including Thursday’s result between the Ravens and Bengals, the ‘over’ is 3-2 in this year’s primetime games.

SNF - N.Y. Giants at Dallas: What was once an automatic ‘over’ wager in this matchup has now become a strong ‘under’ lean. The last four meetings have gone to the low side and two of the games during this span were played on Sunday Night and those results ended 19-3 and 10-7. It’s hard to imagine much spark after what we saw from both clubs in Week 1 but to be fair, they did face quality defensive units (Jaguars, Panthers).

MNF - Seattle at Chicago:  I expect this total (43) to hold steady or drop by kickoff as most bettors will point to the Bears stout defense and inconsistent offense. That attack might be able to get going against Seattle, who gave up 470 yards to Denver in Week 1. The Seahawks have watched the ‘under’ go 6-0 in their last six road games versus NFC opponents and playing back-to-back games away from home could keep that trend intact. Chicago posted a 6-2 ‘under’ mark at Soldier Field last season and only one game managed to go over this week’s number.

Fearless Predictions

Opening weekend is never easy but we turned a profit ($195) on the weekend and the Teaser featured two of the high-scoring shootouts. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck! 

Best Over: Miami-N.Y. Jets 43

Best Under: Indianapolis-Washington 48 ½

Best Team Total: Over 20 ½ Tampa Bay

Three-Team Total Teaser (+7.5, +105)
Under 60 ½ Kansas City-Pittsburgh
Over 36 ½ Philadelphia-Tampa Bay
Under 50 ½ Seattle-Chicago

Chris David can be reached at [email protected]

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