Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:56 AM

Total Talk - Week 9

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It's Week 9 of the National Football League regular season, as we'll be past the halfway points after this weekend and heading for the home stretch. We have a return of several divisional matchups, an intriguing battle over in London for the final game of the season from England, as well as a potentially thrilling battle on Sunday Night Football betwee the New England Patriots-Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in Charm City.

2019 Total Results - Game & Halves
Over/Under Game 1st Half 2nd Half
Week 8 6-9 8-7 6-9
Over/Under Game 1st Half 2nd Half
Year-to-Date 55-65-1 56-64-1 54-63-4

The betting public struck back in Week 8 with some small gains after getting dusted by the books in the previous three weekends. Last week we saw nine under results and six over results, which is generally a win for the books. 

Heading into Sunday's London game between the Houston Texans-Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium, you might want to think 'over' in the UK matchups. The high side has gone 2-1 in the three games from England this season and that includes a 2-0 mark at the two battle at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, while the under hit in last week's Wembley game. We note that because that's the same venue as this weekend's battle.

Bettors looking for points in the second-half in Week 9 were not rewarded as the 'under' produced a 9-6 mark in the final 30 minutes. Through 121 games this season, the 'under' sits at 65-55-1 on the season and the low side also holds slight edges in both wagers for the first-half (64-56-1) and second-half (63-54-4)

Division Bell

We had no division battles in Week 8, so we take a look back at the previous week. There were 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 have had three total games in London to date, with the first two games at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium cashing over tickets, while last week's battle between the Rams and Bengals hit the under. The Rams didn't exactly light the world afire offensively, and the Bengals were...well...the Bengals. They're winless for a reason. This week's game features a potent offense from the Texans, and a subpar defense. For the Jaguars, they have also moved the ball quite well while checking in with a middling defense.

The Texans will be playing in their first game in England, although they have been involved in an International Series game, falling 27-20 to the Oakland Raiders at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City on Nov. 21, 2016, a game which hit the 'over'.

For the Jaguars, London has been a home away from home. This will be their seventh appearance in England, hitting the 'over' in five of the six battles. Last season's Week 7 battle against the Eagles was their first 'under' overseas, and that cashed just barely. In their only AFC South Division battle in London, they topped the Colts 30-27 on Oct. 2, 2016 for an 'over' result.

London Results - Past Nine Games
Week 8 - 2019 - Cincinnati vs. L.A. Rams Under (48) L.A. Rams 24, Cincinnati 10
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.

Cleveland at Denver: 43 to 39
Chicago at Philadelphia: 45 to 41 ½ 
Indianapolis at Pittsburgh: 43 ½ to 40 ½
Green Bay at L.A. Chargers: 46 to 48 ½
New England at Baltimore (SNF): 46 ½ to 44 ½
Tennessee at Carolina: 40 to 42
Minnesota at Kansas City: 46 to 48

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

Green Bay at L.A. Chargers: Over 96%
Indianapolis at Pittsburgh: Under 91%
Tennessee at Carolina: Over 87%
Houston at Jacksonville (London): Over 83%
Dallas at N.Y. Giants (MNF): Over 79%

There is also a heavy lean on for the 'over' (72 percent) in the N.Y. Jets-Miami matchup, and heavy lean on the 'under' in New England-Baltimore (67 percent) battle on Sunday Night Football.

Handicapping Week 9

Week 8 Total Results
Matchups Over/Under Year to Date
Divisional 0-0 13-22
NFC vs. NFC 2-3 14-14
AFC vs. AFC 1-4 11-10-1
AFC vs. NFC 3-2 18-18

Other Week 9 Action

Houston at Jacksonville (9:30 a.m. ET - London): The Texans will play in their first game in England, and just their second international game to date. The 'over' hit in their only previous non-United States battle. For the Texans, they have scored 23 or more points in each of their past four games, and they just missed the under by a half-point or point at most shops last week against the Raiders. Since tuning up Atlanta on Oct. 6 the Texans are averaging a robust 33.3 points per game across the past four, while allowing 24 or more points (32, 24, 30, 24) during the span. While that's all well and good, remember these players to a 13-12 battle in Houston back in Week 2, with the Texans coming out on top.

Tennessee at Carolina: The Titans hit the 'under' in five of their first six games, including a shutout loss Oct. 13 in Denver. They elected to make a change from QB Marcus Mariota to QB Ryan Tannehill, and so far the move is paying off over the former Dolphins' past two outings. After averaging just 11.0 PPG in five outings from Week 2 through Week 6, the Titans have posted 23 and 27 in a pair of wins and 'over' results. The Panthers hit the over in last week's game in San Francisco, but it was mostly the doing of the 49ers. They were dumped 51-13 in a crazy loss for the defense, which has allowed 27, 26 and 51 across the past three contests. As expected, the 'over' is a perfect 3-0 in those outings. That's probably part of the reason this total has been on a move, up two points from an open of 40. 

Chicago at Philadelphia: The Bears have dropped three in a row entering play in this one, now they get to face old buddy RB Jordan Howard and the equally hungry Eagles. The Bears have scored 16 or more points in six straight, and they're averaging 19 PPG across the past three. The 'over' is 2-1 in the past three games because the defense has gone south lately, mainly because the offense cannot stay on the field and the defense is likely getting worn down. Chicago's vaunted defense allowed 11.3 PPG over the first four outings, but they have yielded 25.7 PPG across the past three. Philly will be returning home after three straight road games which saw the 'over' hit in two battles, including last week's 31-13 win at Buffalo. Philly has hit for 20 or more points in seven of the first eight games, and they rank 21st in the NFL, allowing 24.9 PPG. 

 Minnesota at Kansas City: The Vikings offense sputtered last Thursday night in a 19-9 win over the Redskins, a big departure from their previous three games of production. In their past three Sunday battles the Vikings were averaging 36.0 PPG while allowing 20.0 PPG. Against the Chiefs, they'll need to be on point. Even with backup QB Matt Moore in for the injured QB Patrick Mahomes (kneecap) last week, the Chiefs posted 24 points in the first 'over' of the season on Sunday Night Football. The 'over' is 3-1 for Kansas City at home, and 2-0 against the NFC North Division so far this season.  

N.Y. Jets at Miami: The one-win Jets and winless Dolphins lock horns at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday with draft position on the line. The Dolphins have resembled an NFL caliber offense over the past three games since a bye, averaging 17.0 PPG, which isn't much, but is much greater than the 6.5 PPG they averaged in the first four games Still, the 'under' is 3-0 in the past three home games for the Dolphins. The Jets have averaged just 7.5 PPG over the past two games, and the 'under' is a perfect 3-0 in three games against AFC East Division foes this season, posting 16, 14 and 0 in those three contests.

Indianapolis at Pittsburgh: The Colts offense stumbled against the Broncos sturdy defense last week, but they still won. However, they'll need more than 15 points if they want to top the Steelers on the road. Indianapolis has hit the 'under' in their past three road outings, and they're averaging just 20.7 PPG in three games away from home, including 19 and 19 in the past two regulation games, both 'under' results. The Steelers defense has been better over the past four games, although they hae played a pair of winless teams and a toothless Chargers offense during the span. Still, the 'under is 4-1 over their past five outings. The offense has scored 20 or more points in six straight despite some injury woes.

Detroit at Oakland: The Lions rank fifth in the NFL in passing yards per game, posting 282.7 yards, and they're 31st in total yards allowed (420.4) and 32nd in the NFL against the pass (289.7). Detroit has allowed 23 or more points in five straight games, and six of the seven overall, hitting the 'over' in four of the past five, and five of seven. Defense also isn't a strong suit for the Raiders, as they're 31st against the pass (288.0). Look for QBs Matthew Stafford and Derek Carr to hook up in a shootout, and subsequently plenty of points.  

Tampa Bay at Seattle: The Buccaneers roll in on a 5-0 'over' run, posting 31, 55, 24, 26 and 23 across their past five games on offense, while allowing 32, 40, 31, 37 and 27 on defense during the same span. Tampa Bay's games have looked like college scores, and the Seahawks have to be licking their chops. The Seahawks have hit the 'over' in each of their past three home games, averaging 24.3 PPG on offense while yielding 27.3 PPG during the three-game span.

Cleveland at Denver: The Browns were expected to be a juggernaut on offense, but they have struggled with consistency, turnovers and discipline through the first seven outings. They hit the 'under' last week in New England, and the under is 3-1 in four games away from the shores of Lake Erie this season. They're averaging 19.0 PPG in four road games, and those numbers are skewed a bit due to a 40-point outburst in Baltimore on Sept. 29. In their three 'under' results the Browns are posting just 13.0 PPG. The Broncos make a change to QB Brandon Allen for the injured QB Joe Flacco (neck). The Broncos have struggled mightily on offense, averaging just 11.7 PPG over the past three, and 15.0 PPG in four outings at home, hitting the 'under' in three games at Mile High. 

Green Bay at L.A. Chargers: The Packers offense has been on fire, posting 23 or more points in six straight outings, cashing the 'over' in five of those outings. That including a 3-0 record against three previous AFC West clubs. They're averaging 33.4 PPG in three meetings against AFC West teams this season while allowing 21.4 PPG in this battles. The Chargers have been the complete opposite, hitting the 'under' in six of the past seven, including 2-0 vs. NFC North teams. The 'under' is also 3-0 in the past three at home.

Heavy Expectations

There are just one game listed with a spread of double-digit points for Week 9, with the home team listed as favorites. The total is 36.5 and cashing a total could come down to whether or not the favorite lays off the gas in the second-half.

Washington at Buffalo (1:00 p.m. ET): The Redskins play their fifth game this season as a double-digit underdog. They have scored a total of 16 points (5.3 PPG) across their past three as a double-digit 'dog, and they have hit the under in five in a row overall. Washington will be using rookie QB Dwayne Haskins in his first NFL start, and he can't be any worse after the offense totaled nine points in the past two games. The Bills hit the 'over' in their only previous game this season as a double-digit favorite in Week 7, and the 'over' is 2-0 in their past two games at home. 

Under the Lights

New England at Baltimore (8:20 p.m. ET - Sun.): The Sunday Night Football battle will be much anticipated, and the SNF game saw the 'over' hit last week after an 8-0 'under' run to start. This game might be a return to the under. New England's defense has been sick, allowing just 234.0 total yards per game and 7.6 PPG to rank No. 1 in each category, while allowing 85.2 rushing yards per outing. That will be put to the test with the dynamic QB Lamar Jackson. The Ravens are averaging 204.1 rushing yards per game to lead the NFL, with Jackson good for a team-high 576 yards on the ground. They're averaging 30.6 PPG to rank No. 2 in points scored, too, so they'll be the biggest challenge for New England's defense to date. 

Dallas at N.Y. Giants (8:15 p.m. ET - Mon.): The Cowboys and Giants square off Monday night in New Jersey. The 'over' is 6-1 in the past seven divisional games for the Cowboys, while going 12-3-1 in their past 16 games following a bye week. It's the complete opposite, with the under hitting in four in a row for the Giants, and 4-1 in their past five appearances on MNF. However, the over is 11-5-1 in the past 17 meetings in New Jersey. Remember, RB Saquon Barkley is back from injury to help spur the offense along. 

Fearless Predictions

Last week I gave back my winnings from the previous week, going (-$230). The Rams-Bengals high-scoring battle never came into fruition, and the Panthers-49ers was nowhere near the defensive battle that was expected. Anyway, the deficit is back up to (-$485) for the season. We'll look to bounce back in Week 9. As CD (see below) would say, always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

Best Over: Indianapolis-Pittsburgh 40 ½
Best Under: Green Bay-L.A. Chargers 48 ½
Best First-Half Over: Detroit-Oakland 25 ½

Three-Team Total Teaser (+7, +135)
Over 33 ½ Indianapolis-Pittsburgh
Over 43 ½ Detroit-Oakland
Over 39 ½ Houston-Jacksonville

CD's Best Bets

Chris David posted a solid 2-1 record in his "Best Bet" selections on the "Bet And Collect" podcast last week and probably should've been 3-0 if it wasn't for Atlanta not showing up again at home versus Seattle. Including those results, he sits at 14-10 (58%) on the season.  For this week's Podcast, CD focused on teams coming off the bye and other angles to watch for Week 9.

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

Chicago at Philadelphia
Green Bay at L.A. Chargers
New England at Baltimore

Listen Here as he provides his thoughts and selections starting at 32:04 of Episode 16

Joe Williams can be reached on Twitter at @JoeWilliamsVI

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