Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:57 AM

Total Talk - Week 2

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We're hurtling into Week 2 after an eventful opening week in the National Football League. The sample size is obviously still very small, but we're already getting a pretty good idea about a handful of teams, especially those who look like they're going to have trouble on defense and be really, really bad. 

Thursday Blues

The ‘under’ connected in the Week 1 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, and it wasn't even close. The under hit in the battle between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers to kick off Week 2 on Thursday in Charlotte. It's quite the departure from the 2018 season when the 'over' connected in six of the first seven TNF games, while hitting in 10 of the 14 games on Thursday overall. During the 2017 season the 'over' was 6-2 in the first eight TNF games.

The Thursday games have both featured divisional matchups, too. The under is now 4-2 in six divisional matchups during the early stages of the regular season with six more games on tap this weekend.

Divisional Game Results Week 1
Green Bay at Chicago Under (46.5) Green Bay 10, Chicago 3
Washington at Philadelphia Over (44) Philadelphia 32, Washington 27
Buffalo at N.Y. Jets Under (41.5) Buffalo 17, N.Y. Jets 16
N.Y. Giants at Dallas Over (44.5) Dallas 35, N.Y. Giants 17
Denver at Oakland Under (43) Oakland 24, Denver 16


Line Moves and Public Leans

Listed below are the largest line moves for Week 2 based off our VI Odds as of Friday evening.

Arizona at Baltimore: 41 to 46 ½
Minnesota at Green Bay: 46 to 43
Dallas at Washington: 44 to 46 ½
Jacksonville at Houston: 44 ½ to 43
New England at Miami: 47 to 48 ½
Buffalo at N.Y. Giants: 43 to 44 ½

Listed below are the five largest leans for Week 2 per the betting trend percentages on the VI Matchup index as of Friday evening.

Arizona at Baltimore: Over 94%
Cleveland at N.Y. Jets: Over 88%
Philadelphia at Atlanta: Over 87%
Jacksonville at Houston: Under 86%
Chicago at Denver: Under 84%
Seattle at Pittsburgh: Over 84%

There is also a heavy lean on for the 'over' (83 percent) in the Kansas City at Oakland matchup, and heavy lean on the 'under' in New England at Miami (81 percent) battle.

Handicapping Week 2

We had five divisional matchups in Week 1 (with one already in the books), four NFC vs. NFC battles, five AFC vs. AFC contests and two tussles between AFC vs. NFC.

Week 1 Total Results
Year Over/Under
Divisional matchups 2-3
NFC vs. NFC 2-2
AFC vs. AFC 4-1
AFC vs. NFC 1-1



The ‘over’ went 9-7 for the second consecutive season in Week 1. Perhaps 2019 is going down a different road, as the Green Bay at Chicago matchup is already an under result for Week 1.

Taking a look at the remaining divisional battles for Week 2, here are some important trends to note:

Dallas at Washington: The over has connected in six of the past seven meetings in this series, while cashing in four straight divisional matchups for the Cowboys. In addition, the over is 4-1 in their past five games following a straight-up win, although the under is 9-4 in their past 13 following a cover. However, the 'under' is 25-9 in the past 34 road games while going 7-3 in the past 10 games against teams with a losing overall mark. QB Dak Prescott has led the team to a total of 177 points over the past six battles with the Redskins, or an average of 29.5 points per game (PPG). The offense is averaging 26.9 PPG in the past 10 against NFC East opponents, too.

As far as the Redskins are concerned, the over has connected in five of the past seven games against teams with a winning overall record. While the under is 9-4 in the past 13 following a straight-up loss, the over has cashed in four of the past five following a cover. The over is also 5-2 in the past seven Week 2 battle for the 'Skins, for whatever that's worth.

 Indianapolis at Tennessee: The retired Andrew Luck managed an 11-0 SU mark in his career against the Titans, while QB Jacoby Brissett is 0-2 SU while leading the team to a total of 39 points, or 19.5 PPG. The Titans dropped 43 points on the Browns in a road win in Week 1. In their past five games scoring at least 30 points they followed it up with 10, 17, 33, 14 and 12, or an average of 17.2 PPG. And remember, the Titans had a total of nine points from their defense as a result of a pick-six and safety, while another seven came as the result of a 75-yard pass play. The Titans piled up 31 points in the second half in Cleveland, too.

The under is 4-1 in the past five AFC South battles for the Colts, while going 6-2 in the past eight games against AFC opponents. The under is also 10-3 in Indy's past 13 following a straight-up loss, and 8-3 in the past 11 following a non-cover in the previous week. For Tennesse, it's all over all the time. the over is 5-0 in the past five against AFC opponents, while going 4-0 in the past four in the Music City. The over is also 5-2 in the past seven games in the month of September. In addition, the over has connected in each of the past four meetings in Nashville.

New England at Miami: The Dolphins were hammered for 59 points last week in a loss against the Ravens. Things figure to go from bad to worse for the Fins, as they face a Patriots offense which has posted 30-plus points in five of the past six, including 33 in their 30-point rout of the Steelers in Week 1 on Sunday Night Football. They scored a total of 71 points against the Dolphins in 2018, or an average of 35.5 PPG. The Patriots have hit the under in eight in a row when favored by double digits on the road, including twice last season in a 27-13 win over the Jets, and 25-6 victory against the Bills.

Jacksonville at Houston: The Jaguars will turn to rookie QB Gardner Minshew after losing QB Nick Foles (collarbone) to an injury in Week 1. So much for that big-money signing. Minshew wasn't bad in his debut, however, completing 22-of-25 for 275 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in Week 1. The under is 5-2 in Jacksonville's past seven battles in the AFC South, while going 11-5 in the past 16 following a straight-up loss and 5-2 in the past seven following a no-cover. For the Texans, the under is 4-1 in their past five inside the division, and 4-0 in the past four at NRG Stadium.

Minnesota at Green Bay: The under has cashed in seven of the past nine meetings in this series. In addition, the under is 22-7 in Minnesota's past 29 inside the division, while going 4-0 in Green Bay's past four against divisional foes. The under is also 4-0 in the past four for the Packers against teams with a winning overall record, and 8-3 in the past 11 overall. The under usually hits for Minnesota in Week 2, going 18-5 in the past 23 seasons. The total in his divisional battle last season was 45 and 48.5, but this season the total has been steamed down as high as 46 at some shops down to 43.

Kansas City at Oakland: The Chiefs opened with 40 points in Jacksonville in Week 1, and they have hit the 'over' in 16 of their past 20 games on the road, with the total listed at 50 or higher in nine of those games. The Raiders surprised the Broncos on Monday night, dropped 24 points. Last season they averaged 25.1 PPG in eight home outings.The under is 20-8 in the past 28 meetings in this series, but the over has connected in five of the past six in the Black Hole. That includes a wild 40-33 battle last season in primetime. The under is 6-1-1 in the past eight for the Raiders following a straight-up win, and 3-0-1 in the past four following a cover.

Heavy Expectations

There are four games listed with spreads of a touchdown or greater for Week 2, with two games listed in double digits. The totals are ranging from 43 ½ to 53 ½ in these contests and cashing a total could come down to which teams lay off the gas in the second-half.

Arizona at Baltimore (1:00 p.m. ET): The Ravens piled up 59 points in their road win against the Dolphins, and they'll welcome a Lions club for their home opener in Week 2. The Cardinals played to a 27-27 tie against the Lions and an 'over' result. The over has connected in five of the past seven games on the road for Arizona, while going 4-0 in their past four appearances on a field turf surface.

New England at Miami (1:00 p.m. ET): The last time the Dolphins were a double-digit underdog they hit the 'under' in a game at Green Bay on Nov. 11, 2018, falling 31-12. In their past eight as a double-digit underdog, the under has connected in seven of those games dating back to Dec. 9, 2012.

Jacksonville at Houston (1:00 p.m. ET): The Texans are favored by more than a touchdown at home, which has become commonplace in recent seasons. Last season they were favored by seven or more points in three of their home outings with the 'under' cashing in two of three. For the Jaguars, they were an underdog as a touchdown or more in just one game last season, at Houston on Dec. 30. The under connected in that one, and the under 3-1 in the past four road outings as a 'dog of seven or more.

Cleveland Browns at N.Y. Jets (8:15 p.m. ET - Mon.): The news of QB Sam Darnold missing this game for mononucleosis changed the overall line dramatically. The total has been on the move, too, opening at 46 ½ at most shops, freefalling to 44. QB Trevor Siemian will make his first start for Gang Green against a Browns team which was embarrassed in Week 1 at home. These teams met in primetime last season, with the Browns topping the Jets 21-17 in an 'under' result on Sept. 20, 2018.

Under the Lights

Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons (8:20 p.m. ET - Sun.): In the Sunday Night Football game, the Eagles and Falcons will tangle at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The under has cashed in five of the past seven games on the road for Philly, while going 9-4 in their past 13 games following a non-cover. The under is also 47-21 in the past 68 games after scoring more than 30 points in the previous outing.

For the Falcons, the under is 12-4 in their past 16 tries against teams with a winning record. The under is also 5-0 in the past five games after racking up 250 or more passing yards in the previous game. In addition, the under is 9-2 in the past 11 when scoring 15 or fewer points in their previous outing. In this series the under has connected in four straight meetings, too, while going 6-1 in the past seven tussles in Hotlanta.

Fearless Predictions

It was a week of spinning wheels, or going in neutral in Week 1. The net loss was (-$10), just missing the three-team teaser last week by a half-point thanks to the Bills-Jets defensive battle. That's (-$10) for the season, too. We'll look to improve heading into Week 2. As CD (see below) would say, always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

Best Over: L.A. Chargers-Detroit 47 ½
Best Under: San Francisco-Cincinnati 46
Best First-Half Over: L.A. Chargers-Detroit 23 ½

Three-Team Total Teaser (+7, +135)
Over 40 ½ L.A. Chargers at Detroit
Under 53 ½ San Francisco at Cincinnati
Under 53 ½ Seattle at Pittsburgh

CD's Best Bets

Speaking of CD aka Chris David, he posted a 3-0 record in his weekly appearance on Episode 1 of Bet And Collect” last week. He’s got three more selections up this week, focusing on the matchups between the Chargers-Lions, Cardinals-Ravens and Bears-Broncos.

Listen Here as he provides his thoughts and selections starting at 48:28 of Episode 3.

Joe Williams can be reached on Twitter at @JoeWilliamsVI

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