Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:00 AM

Total Talk - Week 17

Week 16 Recap

The ‘under’ produced a 9-6-1 record for the second consecutive week and most of the results were never in doubt. Some bettors caught some luck in the Bengals-Browns games as Cincinnati rallied for 18 late points to push that total while others weren’t too happy that the Rams and Cardinals only combined for 10 points in the second-half after a 30-spot in the first. Also, the Buccaneers and Cowboys were on a nice pace but those that sided with the ‘over’ couldn’t get the late surge. Through 17 weeks, the ‘under’ sits at 126-112-2 on the season.

2018 Total Results - Game & Halves
O/U Game 1st Half 2nd Half
Week 16 6-9-1 7-9 10-6
O/U Game 1st Half 2nd Half
Year-to-Date 112-126-2 117-123 107-127-6

2018 Results - Other
O/U AFC-NFC Divisional Indoor Coast to Coast
Week 16 6-0 1-5-1 1-3 0-1
O/U AFC-NFC Divisional Indoor Coast to Coast
Year-to-Date 34-26 35-44-1 20-26 11-7-1

Line Moves and Public Leans

Listed below are the largest line moves for Week 17 as of Saturday morning per [...].

Dallas at N.Y. Giants: 43 ½ to 41
Oakland at Kansas City: 55 ½ to 52 ½
Atlanta at Tampa Bay: 49 ½ to 52 ½
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh: 48 to 45 ½
San Francisco at L.A. Rams: 50 ½ to 48 ½

Listed below are the five largest leans for Week 17 per the betting trend percentages on the VI Matchup index as of Saturday morning.

Jacksonville at Houston: Under 97%
Arizona at Seattle: Under 94%
San Francisco at L.A. Rams: Under 95%
Carolina at New Orleans: Under 92%
Miami at Buffalo: Under 91%

Make a note that 14 of the 16 games showed a lean to the ‘under’ on Sunday. The two outlier ‘over’ wagers were on the Baltimore-Cleveland and Detroit-Green Bay matchups.

Handicapping Week 17

All 16 games are divisional matchups on Sunday and we’ve seen these contests watch the ‘under’ go 44-35-1 this season, which includes a 5-1-1 mark to the low side in Week 16. As many of you know, the last week of the regular season is often the most difficult to handicap and while we’ve had plenty of great games to follow, Week 17 is borderline unwatchable.

With that being said, I’d urge you to tread lightly on the meaningless matchups.

Week 17 Total Results (2012-2017)
Year Over/Under
2017 7-9
2016 9-7
2015 5-11
2014 6-10
2013 6-10
2012 8-8

The ‘under’ went 9-7 last season and looking back at the past six seasons above, it’s been a common theme in the totals market.

Based on playoff implications, there are six meaningless matchups on Sunday and they all take place at 1:00 p.m. ET. Hopefully you’ll be able to survive the first wave of action and still be alive for the more meaningful games in Week 17.

Dallas at N.Y. Giants: Despite being in the playoffs, the Cowboys have stated that they’ll play their starters for this game but the books aren’t falling for that garbage, which is why the Giants are listed as home favorites (-6). The ‘under’ is on a 5-0 run in this series and all signs point to another low-scoring affair.

Carolina at New Orleans: The pair just played in Week 15 and the Saints captured a 12-9 road win and the ‘under’ (50 ½) was never in doubt. The total is much lower for the rematch and while the Saints might not play all of their starters for the entire game, backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater might want to make a statement as he's been tabbed the starter. Carolina will have rookie QB Kyle Allen under center.

Detroit at Green Bay: The ‘over’ has cashed in six straight and eight of the last 10 in this series. While I can see the Packers putting up some points in their home finale, the same can’t be said for the Lions. Detroit is averaging 15.1 points per game in its last six, which has led to a 6-0 ‘under’ run.

Jacksonville at Houston: The Jaguars are another team that hasn’t scored recently, averaging 11.3 PPG in their last four games. Blake Bortles back at QB for the Jaguars but he was benched in the first meeting as Houston stifled Jacksonville 20-7 on the road in Week 7.

Atlanta at Tampa Bay: This is the highest total (52 ½) for a non-playoff matchup and you could certainly argue for the ‘over’ based on their recent encounters. The high side is on a 4-1 run in this series, which includes Atlanta’s 34-29 win over Tampa Bay in Week 6 at home. The Buccaneers started the season on an 8-2 ‘over’ run but they enter this game on a 5-0 ‘under’ streak.

Miami at Buffalo: The Dolphins defeated the Bills 21-17 earlier this month at home and the ‘under’ (40) barely cashed. Miami hasn’t travelled well (1-6 SU) all season, largely due to the offense (17.1 PPG). Buffalo (15.1 PPG) hasn’t shown any pop offensively but bettors aren’t expecting Miami to show up for this Week 17 matchup with the line going from Bills -3 ½ to -5 ½ already. I guess you can understand why knowing Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill has never won at Buffalo in his career (0-4) and the offense has averaged 10.3 PPG in those starts.

Heavy Expectations

There are five games listed with double-digit spreads for Week 17 and four of them take place at 4:25 p.m. ET. The totals are ranging from 38 ½ to 52 ½ in these contests and cashing a total could come down to which teams lay off the gas in the second-half.

N.Y. Jets at New England (1:00 p.m. ET): The ‘under’ has cashed in the last five meetings, which includes a 2-0 mark at Foxboro. The Jets have been held to a combined nine points in their last two visits to Gillette Stadium.

Oakland at Kansas City: The pair played to a wild shootout on Dec. 2 as the Chiefs captured a 40-33 win at Oakland. The Raiders haven’t come close to that number in their last three trips (15 PPG) to Arrowhead and that’s helped the ‘under’ go 3-0.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh: The ‘under’ is on a 4-2 run in this series. Pittsburgh has been more explosive at home (32 PPG) and that effort has helped the ‘over’ go 5-2 at Heinz Field. Since Jeff Driskell took over for QB at Cincy, the club has watched the ‘under’ go 2-0 with two pushes.

Arizona at Seattle: This is the lowest total on the board (38 ½) and while the ‘under’ seems like an obvious lean since Seattle doesn’t have much to gain as far as its playoff status and Arizona has shown us nothing this season. However, make a note that the previous three encounters at CenturyLink Field have been wild shootouts as the pair have combined for 50, 65 and 71 points.

San Francisco at L.A. Rams: The ‘under’ (52) cashed in the first meeting on Oct. 21 as the Rams dominated the Niners 39-10 in Santa Clara. We haven’t seen much from San Francisco QB Nick Mullens on the road, with the club scoring 9 and 16 points in two away games. The Rams have seen the ‘over’ go 5-2 at home while averaging 35.6 PPG. Rams RB Todd Gurley (knee) has been ruled 'out' for this game.

Meaningful Matchups

As I’ve said above, there aren’t many attractive games but this quartet below features the most intrigue.

Philadelphia at Washington: The Eagles beat the Redskins 28-13 at home in Week 13 and the ‘under’ connected, which has been a solid theme at Lincoln Financial Field. On the road, the Birds have watched the ‘over’ go 5-2 and QB Nick Foles has led the offense to 31 PPG in his two recent starts. Can Washington get on the board? Since QB Alex Smith went down, the offense has sputtered the last five games (17 PPG). According to our Vegas Money Moves, the public is all-in on the Birds this weekened.

Cleveland at Baltimore: The ‘under’ has cashed in four straight and that includes Cleveland’s 12-9 win over Baltimore at home in Week 5. Browns rookie QB Baker Mayfield has been solid but on the road against winning clubs (Steelers, Texans), he was humbled as the club was held to a total of 31 points. This is a bigger step up in class as the Ravens are ranked both first in scoring defense (17.5 PPG) and total defense (284 YPG).

Chicago at Minnesota: Seven of the last 10 meetings have watched the ‘under’ cash and it should be 8-2 if Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins didn’t toss in a late TD in the first battle this season. Chicago won that game 25-20 and the ‘over’ cashed (44) very late. The Bears have an outside shot at the No. 2 seed but they need the Rams to lose while the Vikings need to win this game to get into the playoffs or have the Eagles lose. Minnesota has watched the ‘under’ go 5-2 at home and Chicago enters this game on a 3-0 ‘under’ run. While many believe the Vikes will win and get through, I’m still not sold on a team that has only defeated one team (Philadelphia) with a winning record this season.

L.A. Chargers at Denver: I’m a little surprised this number was pushed from 41 ½ to 42 knowing Denver has been the best ‘under’ (12-3) team in the league. Also, it enters this game on an 8-0 run to the low side and the ‘under’ is 6-1 at Mile High this season. The Chargers could be the No. 1 seed in the AFC or the Wild Card, likely the latter but it needs to win and hopes KC loses at home to Oakland. It is a revenge game for the Bolts and they’re coming off a loss last Saturday. With that being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a crooked number posted by the visitor and the Bolts offense (27.4 PPG) has travelled very well this season.

Under the Lights

There wasn’t a Sunday Night Football matchup in Week 17 last season because the league felt that there wasn't one specific matchup that had direct playoff implications for both teams involved. It returns this season with an AFC South clash between the Titans and Colts. The ‘under’ has cashed in two straight and three of the last four in this series. Indianapolis routed Tennessee 38-10 on Nov. 18 at home and the low side (50) connected.

That stat you’ve probably heard this week is Colts QB Andrew Luck’s record versus the Titans, which is 10-0 all-time. In those games, Indy has averaged 29.7 PPG and he’s dropped 30-plus points three times from Nashville. This year’s Tennessee defense (18 PPG) is very underrated and ranked second in scoring. Also, the Colts offense (23 PPG) has looked very inconsistent at times on the road even getting shutout at Jacksonville just four weeks ago.

The total is nearly a touchdown less than the first meeting and that’s based on those numbers, plus Titans QB Marcus Mariota remains ‘questionable’ for the contest. Backup Blaine Gabbert doesn’t put a lot of scare into anybody but the Tennessee offense (19.5 PPG) hasn’t been great with Mariota either.

For bettors that lean on historical angles, listed below are the Week 17 SNF matchups dating back to 2008.

2016 - Green Bay 31 at Detroit 24 (Over 50 ½)
2015 - Minnesota 20 at Green Bay 13 (Under 44)
2014 – Pittsburgh 27 vs. Cincinnati 17 (Under 49)
2013 – Philadelphia 24 at Dallas 22 (Under 54 ½)
2012 – Washington 28 vs. Dallas 18 (Under 48)
2011 – N.Y. Giants 31 vs. Dallas 14 (Under 48)
2010 – Seattle 16 vs. St. Louis 6 (Under 42 ½)
2009 – N.Y. Jets 37 vs. Cincinnati 0 (Over 33 ½)
2008 – San Diego 52 vs. Denver 21 (Over 50)

Prior to the Packers-Lions ‘over’ in 2016, the ‘under’ had cashed in six straight SNF finales. Road teams haven’t fared well during this span, but the visitor has won the last two Week 17 finales on SNF.

Fearless Predictions

Tough loss in the Tampa Bay-Dallas game last Sunday but I was also fortunate to see the Rams and Cardinals pump the brakes in the second-half. With those outcomes, we got back in the black ($190) last week and push closer to four digits on the season ($945). As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

Best Over: N.Y. Jets-New England 46 ½
Best Under: Miami-Buffalo 39 ½
Best Team Total: Kansas City Chiefs Over 33

Three-Team Total Teaser (+7.5, +105)
Over 39 N.Y. Jets-New England
Over 34 ½ L.A. Chargers-Denver
Under 48 Chicago-Minnesota

Chris David can be reached at [email protected]


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