Week 8 Recap
The ‘under’ went 9-5 in Week 8 and the low side is now 19-9 (67.8%) the past two weeks. The hero for ‘under’ bettors in Week 7 was Ravens kicker Justin Tucker and it’s safe to say that Todd Gurley took that honor last week. The Rams running back stopped short of the endzone and that layup helped the Los Angeles-Green Bay outcome stay ‘under’ the number. It was the smart football play and bettors on the ‘over’ knew their hopes were likely done after the Packers fumbled the kickoff and Gurley’s scamper was nothing more than a tease. Through eight weeks, the ‘under’ holds the slightest of edges with a 61-60 (50.4%) mark.
Line Moves and Public Leans
Listed below are the largest line moves for Week 9 as of Saturday morning per [...].
Detroit at Minnesota: 51 to 49
N.Y. Jets at Miami: 45 ½ to 43 ½
Tennessee at Dallas: 42 to 40
Listed below are the five largest leans for Week 9 per the betting trend percentages on the VI Matchup index as of Saturday morning.
Detroit at Minnesota: Under 86%
Tennessee at Dallas: Under 72%
Chicago at Buffalo: Over 69%
Atlanta at Washington: Over 66%
Green Bay at New England: Over 65%
Totals in the fifties have watched the ‘under’ go 16-14 on the season and that includes a 3-2 record last week. There are four games In Week 9 with totals listed at 50 or higher and you could be scratching your head on a couple of them based on the total results at the betting counter.
Kansas City (4-4) at Cleveland (4-4): The Chiefs continue to do their part offensively, averaging 36.2 points per game, yet the ‘under’ has cashed in four of their last five games. Cleveland’s once highly regarded defense has been shaky the last three weeks (32.3 PPG) and the offense (18.3 PPG) has struggled over the same span. Should we expect the Browns units to improve Sunday after all the coaching changes?
Tampa Bay (6-2) at Carolina (4-3): The Buccaneers defense (33.3 PPG) has definitely contributed to their league-best ‘over’ mark and it appears the oddsmakers have more confidence with Fitzmagic under center. The Panthers have hit the ‘over’ in three straight games at home behind a red-hot offense (31, 33, 36 points).
L.A. Rams (3-5) at New Orleans (3-4): Hard to lean ‘under’ in the Superdome but Saints enter this game on a 3-1 run to the low side and the defense (20 PPG) has been solid during this stretch. The Rams were a great ‘over’ bet on the road last year (7-1) but the ‘under’ is 3-1 in away games so far this season. Make a note the best offense that the Rams have faced on the road was Seattle, who put up 31 on them.
Green Bay (5-2) at New England (4-4): Instead of the offense, the Packers (24.7 PPG) defense has been the main reason for their ‘over’ mark and that unit actually posted a shutout this season albeit against the Bills. Outside of the Week 1 outcome at home (27-20) versus the Texans, the seven other total results for the Patriots have been clear-cut results.
Thirty Something - The 'under' is 3-2 in totals that have closed in the thirties this season and the Bears-Bills matchup will likely close in that neighborhood on Sunday.
Bye Bye Rust
Teams off the ‘bye’ watched the ‘under’ go 3-1 last week and the ‘over’ has gone 6-4 in games with at least one club playing on rest this season. Looking at the 10 results further, you can see that teams playing with rest have come to play offensively. Even though the low side came ahead last week, you can’t fault the Packers (27), Seahawks (28) or Steelers (33) for watching their games go ‘under’ the number. And Oakland’s offense also came to play, but its defense didn’t as it dropped a 42-28 loss at home to Indianapolis.
Tallying up all the numbers, teams off the ‘bye’ this season are averaging 28.1 PPG and four more are playing with rest this week.
Falcons at Redskins
Chargers at Seahawks
Cowboys at Titans (Both teams playing with rest)
As we approach the midway point of the season, we’re starting to see a trend in these matchups. The ‘under’ went 4-1 last week and is 7-1 over the past two weeks. On the season, the low side is 20-14 (58%) in divisional games and we’ve got four more on tap Sunday, which all begin at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Detroit at Minnesota: The ‘under’ is on a 7-2 run in this series and that includes a 5-0 mark at Minnesota. The Vikings have watched the ‘under’ go 3-1 at home and the offense has actually hurt the defense with plenty of mistakes that have led to points.
Pittsburgh at Baltimore: Rematch game here as the Ravens defeated the Steelers 26-14 as three-point road ‘dogs on SNF in Week 4 and the ‘under’ (51) connected even though the game was tied 14-14 at halftime. Including that result, the ‘under’ is 5-2 in the last seven encounters and the last three games in Baltimore have been slugfests with combined scores of 35, 35 and 37. Lower total for the second go ‘round makes you believe another fight is pending.
Tampa Bay at Carolina: The ‘under’ has cashed in four straight games in this series and seven of the last 10 but a shootout is expected this week. As noted above, the Bucs defense is suspect and Carolina is clicking right now. With that being said, I thought the Panthers should be giving more points and the number almost seems like a trap. Plus, Carolina heads to Pittsburgh on Thursday so a look-ahead angle could be in play.
N.Y. Jets at Miami: The Dolphins stifled the Jets 20-12 in Week 2 as the ‘under’ (43) hit. New York rookie quarterback Sam Darnold moved the ball in that game and New York left points off the board with turnovers. You would expect a rebound in the rematch, especially the way Miami’s defense (37 PPG) has looked in their last two games. The last two games played between the pair at Hard Rock Stadium have watched the two teams combine for 59 and 50 points.
Under the Lights
For the second straight week, we saw the ‘under’ produce a 2-1 record in the primetime matchups and the same combination occurred with the ‘over’ cashing Thursday before the last two contests on Sunday and Monday went low. The ‘under’ connected in this week’s midweek game between the Raiders and 49ers and the low side is now 14-12 in the night games played this season.
Green Bay at New England: Bettors could be cautious to touch the side on this game knowing the Packers are coming off a tough loss on the West Coast and the Patriots are playing on a short week. As far as the total goes, it’s hard to argue for the ‘under’ here. Green Bay’s defense (30.3 PPG) has been horrible on the road and the Patriots offense (39.3 PPG) at Foxboro is on fire in their last three games. Plus, the New England defense (23.1 PPG, 382.8 YPG) is far from good and the pass defense has been diced up by guys names Luck, Mahomes and even Trubisky. This week’s opponent is Rodgers and he’s certainly notches above that trio. New England has split its totals this season vs. the NFC North but Green Bay has watched its last five road games against the AFC go ‘over’ the number.
Tennessee at Dallas: This is the second lowest total in Week 9 and both teams enter with identical 5-2 ‘under’ records. The Titans (15.1 PPG) and Cowboys (20 PPG) haven’t shown any punch offensively this season and while they come into this game rested (see above), it would be surprising to see fireworks. Plus, Dallas (17.6 PPG) and Tennessee (18.1) enter this game with the second and third ranked scoring defenses respectively. Stranger things have happened under the lights but getting both teams into the twenties seems like a stretch from what we’ve seen so far.
Almost pulled off the sweep last week but I was “Gurley-ed” as well. The 3-1 day (+195) pushed over five units ($535) as we near the midseason. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!
Best Over: Packers-Patriots 56
Best Under: Houston-Denver 45 ½
Best Team Total: Under 21 ½ Detroit Lions
Three-Team Total Teaser (+7.5, +105)
Under 60 Kansas City-Cleveland
Over 40 L.A. Chargers-Seattle
Over 50 L.A. Rams-New Orleans
Chris David can be reached at [email protected]