Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:02 AM

Total Talk - Week 3

Week 2 Recap

Total bettors saw a stalemate (8-8) in the second week of the season and most of the results were never in doubt. You could argue that the Vikings-Packers ‘over’ (45) only cashed due to the late surge but the pair did have 24 points posted at halftime. Bettors chasing the high side in the second-half again cashed tickets with a 9-7 mark.

2018 Total Results - Game & Halves
O/U Game 1st Half 2nd Half
Week 2 8-8 8-8 9-7
O/U Game 1st Half 2nd Half
Year-to-Date 17-15 15-17 19-13

The two non-conference games in Week 2 went ‘under’ and the early divisional trend leaning to the ‘over’ came back to life with a 5-3 lean to the low side.

2018 Results - Other
O/U AFC-NFC Divisional Indoor Coast to Coast
Week 2 0-2 3-5 1-1 1-0
O/U AFC-NFC Divisional Indoor Coast to Coast
Year-to-Date 2-4 7-5 4-2 1-1

Keep an Eye On

-- Nine teams have watched the ‘over’ cash in each of their first two games while seven teams have watched the ‘under’ go 2-0.

-- It was noted in our Hot & Not Report that the four teams in the NFC East are 7-1 to the ‘under’ and it did double-count the Giants-Cowboys result from Week 2.

-- Fireworks are expected for a quarter of the games in Week 3 with four games having totals listed in the fifties. Week 2 had two games close in the 50s and the ‘over/under’ went 1-1. No games in Week 1 were in this range but a pair closed at 49 ½ and the same total result (1-1) occurred.

Line Moves and Public Leans

Listed below are the largest line moves for Week 3 as of Saturday morning per [...].

Green Bay at Washington: 47 ½ to 45
Chicago at Arizona: 40 to 38 ½
New England at Detroit: 50 to 54
Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay: 50 to 54

Listed below are the five largest leans for Week 3 per the betting trend percentages on the VI Matchup index as of Saturday morning.

Cincinnati at Carolina: 92% Over
New England at Detroit: 92% Over
N.Y. Giants at Houston: 85% Over
Oakland at Miami: 83% Over
Denver at Baltimore: 78% Over

Divisional Action

Tennessee at Jacksonville: The ‘over’ is on a 4-1 run in this series and last year’s ‘under’ result could be tossed out with the Jaguars resting players in Week 17. The Titans won that game 15-10. Tennessee has scored 20 in each of its first two games but injury concerns at quarterback could keep that production in the same neighborhood. The Jaguars have allowed just 12.7 points per game in their last seven games at home.

New Orleans at Atlanta: Nine of the last 10 encounters between the pair have seen totals in the fifties and this week’s number (53 ½) is in that range. The ‘over’ has gone 6-3-1 during this span and based on what we’ve seen from the Saints defense (33 PPG), it’s hard to imagine Atlanta not getting at least four scores at home. First road game for New Orleans and it averaged 25.7 PPG away from home last season. This Falcons defense was great last season and it showed in Week 1 at Philadelphia but the unit has been affected by two huge injuries (Deion Jones, Keanu Neal) and it showed last week by allowing 439 yards to Carolina.


Half of the 16 matchups in Week 3 are non-conference tilts. Looking above, you can see the ‘under’ has gone 4-2 in these games so far this season.

Indianapolis at Philadelphia: This is a tough game to handicap for a couple reasons. For starters, you have QB Carson Wentz returning for the Eagles on Sunday since injuring his knee last December and rust could certainly be a factor. Second, former Philadelphia offensive coordinator Frank Reich is the head coach for the Colts. Will his knowledge be able to temper the Birds?  The Philadelphia defense was great at home last season (12.4 PPG) and it held Atlanta to 12 points in the opener. While QB Andrew Luck has made a few mistakes (3 INTs) for the Colts, he’s almost back to his form and the Colts offense is ranked first in third down conversions (61%). Going back to the 2016 season, Indy has averaged 25.8 PPG in their last nine road games with Luck under center.

Cincinnati at Carolina: The Bengals have been a surprise so far at 2-0 and while the defense (23 PPG, 402.5 YPG) looks suspect, they’ve forced five turnovers through two games. The Cincy offense takes a hit with the loss of running back Joe Mixon but QB Andy Dalton appears confident for now. Including one win this season, the Panthers have captured six straight at home and the offense has averaged 27.5 PPG in those victories.

N.Y. Giants at Houston: The New York offense (14 PPG, 289.5 YPG) continues to be a mess and Houston’s hyped-up attack (18.5 PPG) under Deshawun Watson hasn’t been much better. Both clubs enter this game with 2-0 ‘under’ records and the Giants have seen the ‘under’ go 8-1 in their last nine regular season games.

Buffalo at Minnesota: Based on the odds for this matchup, the books are expecting Minnesota to win this game 28-12 over Buffalo. The Vikings have watched the ‘under’ go 6-2 in their last eight regular season games at home and no opponent has scored over 16 points during this span.

San Francisco at Kansas City: Andy Reid and the Chiefs have become the most popular team to back and it’s easy to see why. They lead the league in scoring (40 PPG) and they have to because their defense (32.5 PPG, 508 YPG) is one of the worst units in the league. While this total (55) is high, the ‘over’ is certainly doable based on the tendencies for Kansas City. The Chiefs have averaged 29 PPG in their last five home games versus NFC foes.

L.A. Chargers at L.A. Rams: The Bolts averaged 27.5 PPG in two road games versus NFC teams last season and more points expected here in this local rivalry. This is a big step up in class for the Chargers, who just faced two of the weakest defensive teams. The Rams defensive unit (6.5 PPG, 266 YPG) has been lights out albeit versus the Raiders and Cardinals. In two games versus AFC teams at home last season, the Rams only allowed a combined 16 points.

New England at Detroit: (See Below)

Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay: (See Below)

Under the Lights

The ‘under’ went 2-1 in primetime games last week and through eight games, the low side owns a 5-3 mark on the season which includes Thursday’s outcome between the Browns and Jets. Home teams have won six of those contests and a visitor hasn’t won since the road teams (Jets, Rams) swept the double-header on Monday Night Football in Week 1.

SNF – New England at Detroit: A Patriots-Over combination on SNF would be a disaster for the house and the books are hoping former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia can rally his new club to an upset. You might be surprised to know that Patricia and the Lions (347.5 YPG) have the better defense than the Patriots (402.5 YPG). New England was diced up by the Jaguars (480 yards) on the road last week and they made Blake Bortles (376 yards, 4 TDs) look like Tom Brady. Detroit is on an 8-2 ‘over’ run its last 10 games at Ford Field, which was helped by Lions attack (25.7 PPG). Make a note that the Patriots have seen the ‘over’ go 4-2 in their last six games against NFC opponents and they’ve scored 30-plus in four of those games, which includes their last two Super Bowl results.

MNF – Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay: The opening number (50) was quickly pushed up and it appears that bettors are certainly overreacting to what we’ve seen in the first two weeks. Tampa Bay has turned some heads but they’ve done it with big plays and you wonder what happens when the Buccaneers are forced to move the sticks. The Steelers were lit up at home last week to the Chiefs, who hold a slight lead over Tampa Bay (10-9) with big passing plays (25-plus yards) this season. As bad as both defensive units have looked, you would have to think that Tampa Bay (30.5 PPG) or Pittsburgh (31.5 PPG) will improve as the season progresses. Make a note that including the tie at Cleveland in Week 1, the Steelers have gone 7-1-1 in their last 9 road games and the defense (15.7 PPG) has been very solid during this span. And as great as Tampa Bay QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has played through two games, he’s 0-5 in five career starts against Pittsburgh and his teams only averaged 14.4 PPG.

Fearless Predictions

A couple clear-cut winners were upended by the Jets-Dolphins ‘over’ and turnovers clearly doomed that outcome. The teaser was shot at halftime of the Chiefs-Steelers game and that loser cost us juice ($10) on the weekend. Bankroll (+185) still positive and plenty of weeks left. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck! 

Best Over: Cincinnati-Carolina 44
Best Under: Oakland-Miami 44 ½
Best Team Total: Over 17 ½ N.Y. Giants

Three-Team Total Teaser (+7.5, +105)
Under 52 ½ Green Bay-Washington
Under 46 Chicago-Arizona
Over 46 ½ New England-Detroit

Chris David can be reached at [email protected]

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