Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:56 AM

Total Talk - Week 6

Editor's Note: Don't miss out on NFL Winners from Joe Williams on this season. Click to win!

We head into the meat of the Week 6 schedule and the action started Thursday as the Giants-Patriots (43) game went 'over' for the third consecutive mid-week matchup. Even though the pair combined for 49 points, the 'over' was helped with three defensive and special teams scores. On a side note, the Patriots offense has just as many touchdowns (3) as the defense has this season. Including New England's victory over New York, winning teams are averaging 33 points per game over the past three Thursday night games, with the losing side is posting 20 PPG.

2019 Total Results - Game & Halves
Over/Under Game 1st Half 2nd Half
Week 5 8-7 6-9 8-6-1
Over/Under Game 1st Half 2nd Half
Year-to-Date 36-42 31-46-1 39-37-2

The books had another strong performance in Week 5, helped out in part by the result of the Chicago Bears-Oakland Raiders game in England. The total inched 'over' in that one, too. We'll touch more on the International Series below.

Division Bell

The four division battles saw the over connect in three of the outings in Week 5. The Ravens-Steelers game was helped out by the fact the contest was decided in overtime, but it was a rather miraculous result since undrafted free-agent quarterback Devlin Hodges played a majority of the game for Pittsburgh in place of injured QB Mason Rudolph, who is 'out' for Week 6, by the way. Hodges is the third-string QB for the injury-depleted Steelers.

Divisional Game Results Week 5
L.A. Rams at Seattle Over (48.5) Seattle 30, L.A. Rams 29
Baltimore at Pittsburgh Over (44) Baltimore 26, Piittsburgh 23 (OT)
Tampa Bay at New Orleans Over (46.5) New Orleans 31, Tampa Bay 24
Denver at L.A. Chargers Under (45.5) Denver 20, L.A. Chargers 13

Line Moves and Public Leans

Listed below are the largest line moves for Week 6 based off our VI Odds as of Saturday morning.

Atlanta at Arizona: 47 to 51 ½
San Francisco at L.A. Rams: 48 to 50 ½
Pittsburgh at L.A. Chargers: 43 ½ to 41 ½
Carolina at Tampa Bay (London): 46 to 47 ½
Houston at Kansas City: 54 to 55
Washington at Miami: 41 to 42

Listed below are the five largest leans for Week 6 per the betting trend percentages on the VI Matchup index as of Saturday morning.

Dallas at N.Y. Jets: Over 92%
Atlanta at Arizona: Over 87%
San Francisco at L.A. Rams: Over 81%
New Orleans at Jacksonville: Under 75%
Houston at Kansas City: Over 67%

There is also a heavy lean on for the 'over' (66 percent) in the Washington-Miami matchup, and heavy lean on the 'under' in Pittsburgh-L.A. Chargers (65 percent) battle on Sunday.

Handicapping Week 6

Week 5 Total Results
Year Over/Under
Divisional matchups 3-1
NFC vs. NFC 1-1
AFC vs. AFC 0-2
AFC vs. NFC 4-3

London Totals

Week 6 will kick off with a divisonal battle at Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London featuring the second Carolina-Tampa Bay matchup of the season. The first time these teams met, the Bucs won 20-14 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, which was also the last time we saw QB Cam Newton (foot). It was also the last time we saw the Panthers take a loss, as they have won three in a row under QB Kyle Allen.

This will be the first division battle overseas since the Rams blanked the Cardinals in Week 7 of the 2017 season, a game which went 'under'. We have had 25 regular-season games played in London since the start of the NFL International Series back in 2007, but only three divisional matchups. The 'under' is 2-1 in those games. Will the Bucs and Panthers follow suit with a line of 47.5? The under is 4-1 in Carolina's past five against divisional foes, while going 5-2 in Tampa's past seven against teams with a winning record.

London Results - Past Eight Games
Week 5 - 2019 - Chicago vs. Oakland Over (40) Oakland 24, Chicago 21
Week 7 - 2018 - Philadelphia vs. Jacksonville Under (44.5) Philadelphia 24, Jacksonville 18
Week 6 - 2018 - Tennessee vs. L.A. Chargers Under (46) L.A. Chargers 20, Tennessee 19
Week 5 - 2018 - Seattle vs. Oakland Under (48) Seattle 27, Oakland 3
Week 8 - 2017 - Minnesota vs. Cleveland Over (38.5) Minnesota 33, Cleveland 16
Week 7 - 2017 - Arizona vs. L.A. Rams Under (45.5) L.A. Rams 33, Arizona 0
Week 4 - 2017 - New Orleans vs. Miami Under (51.5) New Orleans 20, Miami 0
Week 3 - 2017 - Baltimore vs. Jacksonville Over (38.5) Jacksonville 44, Baltimore 7

Other Week 6 Action

Houston at Kansas City: We saw QB Patrick Mahomes (ankle) aggravate his ankle injury last Sunday night, and that really played a factor in his mobility and effectiveness. The Chiefs were tripped up at home 19-13 by the visiting Colts, and the 'under' connected. Vegas isn't expecting his ankle to be an issue, as they have set the total in the mid-50's, the highest total of the weekend slate. It's something to watch, not only this week, but in the following weeks, as the 'under' could be a sneaky play in Kansas City games due to inflated totals. Make a note that while Houston has been a great 'under' team at home, the 'over' is on a 4-1 run in its last five road games and the offense is averaging 27.4 PPG in those games.

Philadelphia at Minnesota: The Eagles hit the road for the third time this season. They have averaged 27 PPG away from home, while allowing 25.5 PPG. For the Vikings, they're averaging 31 PPG in their two home games at U.S. Bank Stadium, while yielding just 13 PPG. Due to the defensive effort of the Vikings at home, the total is set at a rather low 44, but the Eagles are not the struggling Falcons or inconsistent Raiders offensively. The last time Philadelphia played at this venue, it put on an offensive show as it defeated New England 41-33 in Super Bowl 52.

Seattle at Cleveland: The last time these teams met resulted in a 30-13 win by the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. While the Browns were expected to be different, they have really struggled to jell offensively. Outside of a 40-point outburst against the Ravens in Week 4, the Browns offense has been rather moribund, posting 13, 23, 13 and 3. The 'under' has hit in three of the past four as a result. Seattle has had no such struggles on offense, going for 21 or more points in each outing, and 27 or more in each of the past four. They're averaging 27.5 PPG in two road games to date. 

 Washington at Miami: In the 'Tank Bowl', the winless Redskins and winless Dolphins square off at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. I'm actually anticipating this game rather heavily to see exactly how good, or how bad, the tanking is. This will be the first game for Washington under interim head coach Bill Callahan, who is going back to Case Keenum as his QB. When healthy, Keenum has moved the offense, posting 21 PPG in the first three games before flaming out in Week 4 against the Giants before getting pulled. The 'over' went 3-0 in his first three starts, however. The defense has yielded 24 or more points in every game, so we might see Miami's highest output of the season.The Dolphins are dead-last in total yards allowed (472.0), rushing yards (175.8) and points per game (40.8), while checking in 31st in passing yards (296.2) allowed. For second-half total bettors, Miami hasn't scored in the final 30 minutes in any of its games this season.

Atlanta at Arizona: The Falcons have been hard to figure out this season, as they 1-4 SU with some varying results offensively. They were worked over 28-12 in Week 1 on the road, failing to score until the fourth quarter. In the past two road games they have averaged 28 PPG while allowing a total of 80 points, and they're giving up 20 or more points in all five contests to date. A lack of defense has been the only consistent thing about the Falcons, so perhaps rookie QB Kyler Murray and the Cardinals will get the offense rolling. In three home games Arizona is averaging 19 PPG while coughing up 27 or more points in all three games, or an average of 30.7 PPG.

Heavy Expectations

There are three games listed with spreads of six or more points for Week 6, with one home team listed as a double-digit favorite. The totals are ranging from 41 ½ to 48 in these contests and cashing a total could come down to which teams lay off the gas in the second-half.

Cincinnati at Baltimore (1:00 p.m. ET): The Bengals are on the short end of a double-digit spread in Charm City. They have really struggled offensively, helped in large part due to injury problems along the offensive line. The fact wide receiver A.J. Green has been sidelined all season hasn't helped, either. Cincinnati is averaging just 16 PPG, ranking 29th in the NFL, while posting just 319.2 total yards per game to check in 26th. The defense isn't much better, ranking 30th with 411.8 total yards allowed, and they've been gouged for 167.6 rushing yards per contest to rank 31st. That's bad news when prepping for dual-threat QB Lamar Jackson. The over is 7-3-1 in the past 11 for Cincinnati inside the division, while going a perfect 4-0 in Baltimore's past four divisional battles.

Dallas at N.Y. Jets (4:25 p.m. ET): The Jets get their starting QB Sam Darnold (illness) back this week, as he looks to give the Jets an injection of offense. He posted 16 points in his first and only appearance this season, and that was a seaso-nhigh in production for New York. They're averaging just 7.7 PPG over the past three games under the leadership of QBs Trevor Siemian and Luke Falk. The defense is perhaps the bigger concern, allowing 28 PPG over the past three outings. The Cowboys have slacked off over the past two games, averaging just 17 PPG across the past two games, both losses. They opened with three straight wins, posting 35, 31 and 31 points. Look for the Cowboys to get back to that type of production in a stadium they're very familiar, MetLife Stadium, since they face the Giants here once per season. The 'over' is also 2-1 in they're three games against losing teams, including 1-0 in their road game in such situation.

Pittsburgh at L.A. Chargers (8:20 p.m. ET): The Chargers are favored by 6 ½, and Vegas is expecting a rather low-scoring game on Sunday Night Football.  For those tracking Sunday Night Football, we haven't seen an over ticket yet this season...going a perfect 6-0. With the UDFA QB Hodges making a start for the Steelers, expectations aren't terribly high that we're going to see a track meet. The 'under' is 37-15 in Pittsburgh's past 52 road outings, while going 16-5 in the past 21 on the road against teams with a losing home mark. The under is 4-1 in the past five at home for the Bolts, while going 21-8 in the past 29 vs. AFC teams.

Under the Lights

Detroit at Green Bay (8:15 p.m. ET - Mon.): The Monday Night Football game this week will have the rested Lions, coming off of their bye, facing the red-hot Packers, coming off a 34-24 win at Dallas to show they're still a power in the NFC. The Lions could easily be 4-0 at this point, if not for a Week 1 meltdown late, settling for a tie on the road against the Cardinals. They also had some late-game issues in the Week 4 battle against the Chiefs, falling 34-30. The 'over' has connected in three of their four games to date, posting 27 or more points offensively in each of those games. The outlier is a 13-10 win over the Chargers in Week 2. It was an outlier defensively, too, as they have given up at least 24 points in three of their four contests. 

The Packers struggled offensively in a divisional battle to open the season, winning 10-3 in Chicago. They also saw the 'under' cash in Week 2, another divisional battle and win against the Vikings. However, they're averaging 29.3 PPG over the past three outings while yielding 24.8 PPG, seeing the 'over' hit in each of those three. The last time these teams met in Lambeau Field was Dec. 30, 2018, but the Packers rested an ailing QB Aaron Rodgers, so the Lions 31-0 win and 'under' result can mostly be discounted. They met Oct. 7 last season, with the Lions winning 31-21 in an 'over', and that is a little more of what to expect.

While it's still early, be aware that teams off the 'bye' this season have watched the 'under' go 2-0 in their games with the 49ers and Jets going low last week. As mentioned above, Detroit will be playing with rest and Miami will as well.

Fearless Predictions

I was back to spinning wheels last weekend, taking a (-$10) loss. The low-scoring Bills-Titans battle did nobody any good in teasers or straight-up total bets in Week 5. At least it wasn't even close. Anyway, that's (-$470) for the season, too. We'll look to keep it going in Week 6. As CD (see below) would say, always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

Best Over: New Orleans-Jacksonville 43
Best Under: Pittsburgh-L.A. Chargers 41 ½
Best First-Half Under: Pittsburgh-L.A. Chargers 21 ½

Three-Team Total Teaser (+7, +135)
Under 53 ½ Seattle-Cleveland
Under 48 ½ Pittsburgh-L.A. Chargers
Over 41 Cincinnati-Baltimore

CD's Best Bets

Chris David posted another 2-1 record in his "Best Bet" selections on the "Bet And Collect" podcast last week and he drilled his Carolina Team Total 'over' winner. He now sits at 9-6 (60%) on the season. For this week's Podcast, he offers up his opinion on every game with Kevin Rogers plus he provides his top selections on the below games:

Seattle at Cleveland (Strongest Lean - Total System)
San Francisco at L.A. Rams (Team Total Pick)
Dallas at N.Y. Jets (Total Pick)

Listen Here as he provides his thoughts and selections starting at 36:28 of Episode 11.

Joe Williams can be reached on Twitter at @JoeWilliamsVI

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