Total Talk – Week 8

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It's Week 8 of the National Football League regular season, as we're nearing the halfway point. It's time for another London game, and a handful of matchups featuring contenders squaring off against each other. It's also an odd week, as there are a total of ZERO division battles.

2019 Total Results - Game & Halves
Over/Under Game 1st Half 2nd Half
Week 7 6-7-1 9-5 6-8
Over/Under Game 1st Half 2nd Half
Year-to-Date 49-56-1 48-57-1 48-54-4

The books were well in the black for a fourth straight time in Week 7. The totals were just 6-6-1 last week, and we've still had more under results than overs so far on the season and as we know, the public is all about rooting for over tickets.

Heading into Sunday's London game between the Cincinnati Bengals-Los Angeles Rams at Wembley Stadium, you might want to think 'over' in the UK matchups. The total has gone over in each of the first two games at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in England, so why not Wembley, too?

Bettors looking for points in the second-half in Week 7 were not rewarded as the over went just 6-8 in the final 30 minutes. Similar to the overall under (56-49-1) results on the season, the under holds advantages in both the first-half (57-48-1) and second-half (54-48-4)

Division Bell

We had a total of five divisional battles in Week 7, and the winning team in each game had more than 30 points in each outing. However, the losing team averaging just 12 points per game in those contests, with only Miami and Houston scoring more than 11 points. The under is now 23-12 (65.7%) in divisional games this season.

Divisional Game Results Week 7
Kansas City at Denver Under (49.5) Kansas City 30, Denver 6
Houston at Indianapolis Over (46.5) Indianapolis 30, Houston 23
Miami at Buffalo Over (42) Buffalo 31, Miami 21
Philadelphia at Dallas Under (50) Dallas 37, Philadelphia 10
New England at N.Y. Jets Under (43) New England 33, N.Y. Jets 0

London Totals

We had a pair of battles at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in Weeks 5 and 6, and Jolly Ol' England was without an NFL game in Week 7. However, the International Series resumes on Sunday with the Bengals and Rams. The last time the Bengals played overseas they didn't win, but they didn't lose either. They played to a 27-27 tie with the Redskins back on Oct. 30, 2016 in their lone appearance in London.

As far as the Rams are concerned, they're making their fourth appearance in London in franchise history, and third in the past four seasons. The 'under' has hit in two of the three battles, including each of the two since they relocated to Los Angeles. While the 'under' is 2-1 in their past three games away from home, they'll be facing a shoddy Bengals defense which is battling several injuries in their secondary.

London Results - Past Nine Games
Week 6 - 2019 - Carolina vs. Tampa Bay Over (47.5) Carolina 37, Tampa Bay 26
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

Line Moves and Public Leans

Listed below are the largest line moves for Week 8 based off our VI Odds as of Saturday morning.

Oakland at Houston: 48 to 51 ½
Cleveland at New England: 46 ½ to 44 ½
Denver at Indianapolis: 43 ½ to 42
Tampa Bay at Tennessee: 47 to 45 ½
Seattle at Atlanta: 54 to 53
N.Y. Giants at Detroit: 48 ½ to 49 ½
Miami at Pittsburgh (MNF): 42 ½ to 43 ½

Listed below are the five largest leans for Week 8 per the betting trend percentages on the VI Matchup index as of Saturday morning.

Seattle at Atlanta: Under 100%
Denver at Indianapolis: Under 86%
N.Y. Jets at Jacksonville: Over 81%
Carolina at San Francisco: Under 77%
Miami at Pittsburgh (MNF): Over 74%

There is also a heavy lean on for the 'under' (71 percent) in the Cincinnati-L.A. Rams matchup, and heavy lean on the 'over' in Green Bay-Kansas City (69 percent) battle on Sunday Night Football.

Handicapping Week 8

Week 7 Total Results
Matchups Over/Under Year to Date
Divisional 3-3 13-22
NFC vs. NFC 1-3 12-11
AFC vs. AFC 1-0-1 10-6-1
AFC vs. NFC 1-1 15-16

Other Week 8 Action

Seattle at Atlanta: The Seahawks head east, and so far this season that has meant plenty of points. The 'over' is 2-0 in their previous two forays into the Eastern Time Zone, and they have another trip later this season on Nov. 24 in Philadelphia. For the Falcons, they cannot stop anyone lately. They have yielded at least 20 points in each of their seven games, including 34 or more points in each of the past three. The only reason the 'under' cashed last week was because they posted only 10 points. Quarterback Matt Ryan (ankle) left last week's game due to an ankle injury, and he missed practice Wednesday and Thursday before doing limited work Friday. If QB Matt Schaub gets the nod under center, that will hurt the potential for an over, although the defense is still very giving. The total on this game opened at 48.5 at the Circa in Las Vegas and now sits at 52.5 as of Saturday morning. 

L.A. Chargers at Chicago: The Chargers have scored more than 20 points on just two of seven occasions, with the 'under' going 5-2 in L.A.'s seven outings. Their defense has been fair, allowing 24 or fewer points in six of their seven contests. In their three road games the under is 2-1, averaging 20 PPG while allowing 15.3 PPG. The Bears have struggled all season offensively, although they have showed some signs of life over the past two with 21 and 25 points respectively. The defense failed against the Saints last week, allowing 36, and the 'over' is 3-1 in the past four for Chicago. That vaunted Bears defense has simply been tiring, as they're on the field a lot, as the offense cannot sustain long drives to give them a much-needed break. This is another total that has watched the number get pushed up, from 39.5 to 41.5. 

N.Y. Jets at Jacksonville: The Jets entered Monday's game with a lot of promise following their win over the Cowboys, but the offense was blanked in their 33-0 setback against the Patriots. New York has averaged just 10.5 PPG, and they've only been slightly better with QB Sam Darnold under center, posting 13.4 PPG. The Jets have gone on the road twice, allowing 30.5 PPG. The Jaguars have hit the 'under' in two of their three home games, allowing 20 PPG while scoring 17.3 PPG. The 'under' is 7-1 in Jacksonville's past eight home games dating back to last season, and 9-4 in their past 13 on a grass surface.

 Philadelphia at Buffalo: The Bills finally saw their first over result last week against the Dolphins after a 5-0 'under' run to start the season. Their defense has been very good this season, allowing 17 or fewer points in five of six outings. The 5-1 Bills posted 21 and 31 in two home games against the winless Bengals and Dolphins, but they managed just 10 points in the only game they played against a winning team (Patriots). The Eagles are playing in a third consecutive game on the road. The under has connected in five of their past seven games on the road.

Denver at Indianapolis: The Broncos traded one of their top receivers, wide receiever Emmanuel Sanders to the 49ers, so they won't help their offense. Not that the offense was doing much with him, averaging just 16 PPG. That's the exact amount of points they put up in road games in Week 1 in Oakland, and Week 3 in Green Bay, too. The 'under' has cashed in three in a row for Denver, and five of seven overall. Many thought the Colts would be in the same 'under' both when QB Andrew Luck retired surprisingly, but QB Jacoby Brissett has more than handled himself with aplomb. In three home games the Colts offense is averaging 27 PPG while allowing 26 PPG. As such, the 'over' has hit in all three games at Lucas Oil Stadium so far. 

Detroit at N.Y. Giants: The Giants made the switch to rookie QB Daniel Jones in Week 3, the same week running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) went down. We finally saw both of them on the field for an entire game, but weather was a factor in rainy conditions against the Cardinals last week. Still, in parts of two games with Barkley and Jones together in the lineup, the offense has produced 53 total points. The Lions had a 13-10 win over the Chargers in Week 2, but so far that game looks like an outlier. The over is 4-2 in their six games overall, and they have posted 27 or more points on offense in four outings overall. The defense has also coughed up 23 or more points in five of six, so this game could be a potential shootout.  

Carolina at San Francisco: The Panthers return from a bye, and they're sticking with QB Kyle Allen, which isn't a surprise considering the team is 4-0 both SU and ATS with him under center. The offense has hit 34 or more points in three of the past four as well, with the 'over' going 3-1 during Allen's reign. RB Christian McCaffrey returns to the Bay Area where he starred at nearby Stanford. He could be held down by the stifling defense of the Niners, however. San Francisco's defense has allowed a total of 10 points in the past three outings, although last week's effort by the D was certainly helped out by a combination of rain, mud and the futility of the Redskins as a whole.

Oakland at Houston: This game is expected to see plenty of fireworks. The Raiders have pieced things together on offense, posting 31, 24 and 24 over their past three games. The defense is still a train wreck, but that's great news for over bettors, which have cashed in each of the past four for the Silver and Black. Oakland has allowed an average of 29.8 PPG across the past five contests. The 'over' has cashed in each of the past three for the Texans, too, as they have rolled up 35.7 PPG on offense, while yielding 28.7 PPG over the past three, giving up at least 24 in each outing.

Heavy Expectations

There are four games listed with spreads of nine or more points for Week 8, with all four home teams listed as a double-digit favorites. The totals are ranging from 41 to 44 in these contests and cashing a total could come down to which teams lay off the gas in the second-half.

Cincinnati at L.A. Rams (1:00 p.m. ET - London): The Bengals have hit the 'under' in each of the three games where they have been an underdog of six or more points. They're averaging 18 PPG in those three games while yielding 21.7 PPG in those contests. Overall the under is 4-2-1 for Cincinnati, who continues to miss WR A.J. Green (ankle). The Rams have registered 30, 20, 29 and 37 in their four games away from home this season.

Arizona at New Orleans (1:00 p.m. ET): The Cardinals are winning football games lately, entering the Crescent City on a three-game run. After stumbling out of the chute, rookie QB Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury's offense are starting to show tremendous improvement. During the three-game win streak the Cards have posted 26 or more points in each outing after hitting the mark once in the first four games. The Saints have been up and down without QB Drew Brees (thumb) across the past five, but they won and covered each game. The 'over' went 3-2 in Brees' absence, hitting 31 or more points in those three overs. Brees is hopeful of playing Sunday, which should help aid in the over as long as he isn't rusty.  

Cleveland at New England (1:00 p.m. ET): The Browns haven't been the high-octane offense many envisioned heading into the season, going 2-4 both SU and ATS. The 'over/under' has split 3-3, while hitting the over just once in three road games when they inexplicably hung a 40-burger on the Ravens in Week 4. They have scored 13 or fewer points on three of six occasions, and they don't figure to do much against a Patriots defense coming off a shutout and allowing just 48 total points through seven games. And 14 of those points were scored by the Jets defense in Week 3, making the defense's contributions in New England that much more impressive. 

Miami at Pittsburgh (8:15 p.m. ET - Mon.): (See below)

Under the Lights

Green Bay at Kansas City (8:20 p.m. ET - Sun.): The Sunday Night Football lost a little bit of luster when QB Patrick Mahomes (knee) dislocated a kneecap on a sneak in Denver. QB Matt Moore vs. QB Aaron Rodgers just doesn't have the same ring to it. But it still could be a high-scoring affair, as the Packers have 23 or more points in five straight games, hitting the over in four of those outings. The Chiefs defense has been very giving, and will need to tighten up with a backup QB under center. They figure to score less points, so they need to find a way to yield fewer points, too. In three home games the Chiefs are allowing 29.3 PPG.  

Miami at Pittsburgh (8:15 p.m. ET - Mon.): The Dolphins were a lot better on offense in Buffalo last week, going for a season-high 21 points in a 31-21 loss. It was their first 'over' since Week 1, and they actually helped contribute to the total as opposed to the opener when Baltimore did most of the heavy lifting. The Dolphins have averaged 18.5 PPG in the past two games on offense, posting 16 and 21. The defense has coughed up 30 or more points in five of their six games, so QB Mason Rudolph returns from concussion in a very good spot. The Steelers were able to score 24 points with a third-string undrafted rookie QB against a decent Chargers D. Imagine what they'll do with improved QB play against the winless and very giving Fins. 

Fearless Predictions

It was a good week, showing a return of ($225). The Jaguars-Bengals game went just over with a touchdown in the last minute to turn fortunes and help me into the black. Anyway, that helped chip into the deficit, getting it down to just (-$255) for the season. We'll look to keep it going in Week 8. As CD (see below) would say, always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

Best Over: Arizona-New Orleans 48
Best Under: Miami-Pittsburgh 43 ½
Best First-Half Under: Carolina-San Francisco 21 ½

Three-Team Total Teaser (+7, +135)
Over 41 Cincinnati-L.A. Rams
Under 49 Carolina-San Francisco
Over 37 ½ Cleveland-New England

CD's Best Bets

Chris David posted a 1-2 record in "Best Bet" selections on the "Bet And Collect" podcast last week and the Thursday Night Total system that he was riding failed to cash as the Patriots-Jets matchup went under last Monday. Including those results, he sits at 12-9 (57%) through three weeks.  For this week's Podcast, CD touched on another popular total system that focuses on the Eagles playing in their third straight road game. 

CD's Best Bets for this week are focused on the below three games:

Seattle at Atlanta
Arizona at New Orleans
Philadelphia at Buffalo

Listen Here as he provides his thoughts and selections starting at 35:00 of Episode 14

Joe Williams can be reached on Twitter at @JoeWilliamsVI

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