Total Talk – Week 14

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We're into our first weekend of December and Week 14 of the National Football League regular season. We have just four more weeks of NFL action before the playoffs begin. The Thursday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys-Chicago Bears saw the 'over' connect, a rarity for TNF. 

2019 Total Results - Game & Halves
Over/Under Game 1st Half 2nd Half
Week 13 8-8 9-7 6-10
Over/Under Game 1st Half 2nd Half
Year-to-Date 92-99-1 90-101-1 83-104-5

The 'over' and 'under' ended up 8-8 during the Thanksgiving week, with the 'over' connecting in two of the three primetime games, and the 'under' going 2-1 in the Thursday action. The public loves 'over' results, and there were plenty, though.

Savvy bettors playing the halves watched the 'over' go 9-7 in the first-half but the scoring slowed down in the final 30 minutes and that helped the 'under' go 10-6 in the second-half. On the season, the low side has trended ahead in both the first-half (101-90-1) and second-half (104-83-5)

Division Bell

In the seven divisional battles in Week 13, the slight edge went to the 'under' - including NFC South battle between the New Orleans Saints-Atlanta Falcons on Thanksgiving night. The under is now 36-31 (53.7%) in divisional games this season.

Divisional Game Results Week 13
Chicago at Detroit (Thu.) Over (37) Chicago 24, Detroit 20
New Orleans at Atlanta (Thu.) Under (48) New Orleans 26, Atlanta 18
Tennessee at Indianapolis Over (42) Tennessee 31, Indianapolis 17
Cleveland at Pittsburgh Under (40) Pittsburgh 20, Cleveland 13
L.A. Rams at Arizona Under (47.5) L.A. Rams 34, Arizona 7
Oakland at Kansas City Under (49.5) Kansas City 40, Oakland 9
L.A. Chargers at Denver Over (38.5) Denver 23, L.A. Chargers 20

Line Moves and Public Leans

Listed below are the largest line moves for Week 14 based off our VI Odds as of Saturday morning.

Indianapolis at Tampa Bay: 50 ½ to 47
Denver at Houston: 40 ½ to 42 ½
Miami at N.Y. Jets: 44 to 46
Pittsburgh at Arizona: 45 ½ to 43 ½
Kansas City at New England: 50 ½ to 49
L.A. Chargers at Jacksonville: 44 ½ to 43
Listed below are the five largest leans for Week 14 per the betting trend percentages on the VI Matchup index as of Saturday morning.

Washington at Green Bay: Over 88%
Miami at N.Y. Jets: Over 87%
Baltimore at Buffalo: Over 83%
Denver at Houston: Over 83%
L.A. Chargers at Jacksonville: Under 79%
Carolina at Atlanta: Under 78%

There is also a heavy lean on for the 'over' (75 percent) in the Cincinnati at Cleveland matchup, and heavy lean on the 'under' in San Francisco at New Orleans (68 percent) contest.

Handicapping Week 14

Week 13 Total Results
Matchups Over/Under Year to Date
Divisional 3-4 29-34
NFC vs. NFC 2-0 20-21
AFC vs. AFC 1-1 17-17-1
AFC vs. NFC 1-3 26-26

Week 14 Action

Baltimore at Buffalo : It will be offense vs. defense when the Ravens invade Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park on Sunday. We only need to look back at last Sunday to see how well that worked out, as Baltimore MVP candidate quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Ravens won 20-17 over the defensive-minded 49ers. This one will be on the road in Buffalo, and the Bills have four 'under' results in six home game sthis season, while posting a 4-1 under mark across the past five overall. They have allowed just 12 total points in their past two home games, but that was against the Broncos and Redskins. Obviously Jackson and the Ravens provide a much bigger challenge. Baltimore had posted 30 or more points in five straight games until their 20-point showing last week against the Niners. The Ravens have averaged 44.6 PPG in four games this season as road favorites and the over has produced a 4-0 record in those contests.

San Francisco at New Orleans: Speaking of the Niners, they'll renew acquaintances with QB Drew Brees and the Saints down in the Big Easy. The 49ers hit the 'under' in last week's road game, and the under is now 4-2 across the past six away from home, including 3-1 in the past four. While their defense hasn't been as dominant as earlier in the season, allowing 106 total points - or 21.2 PPG - across the past five games, they still showed how much they can dominate in a battle against the Packers Nov. 24, allowing just eight points. The under is 3-1 in four games east of the Mississippi River this season, and this will be their fifth and final game in such situation. Even though New Orleans has been a great over bet at home historically, the club has watched its total results produce a stalemate (3-3) through six games at the Superdome this season.

 Cincinnati at Cleveland: The Bengals and Browns will battle twice in the final four weeks of the season. Last season the Browns swept the series with the 'over' going 1-0-1. However, the 'under' is 4-0-1 in the past five meetings at FirstEnergy Stadium. In the past nine meetings, the winning team has managed 30.4 points while the losing side has posted 12.4 points, and the 'under' is 5-3-1 during that span. The under is 3-1 across Cleveland's past four outings, and the offense has managed just 21 or fewer points in five of the past six, and eight of their 12 outings overall. The Bengals posted 22 points last week in their win over the Jets, their first time with more than 17 points since Oct. 6. The 'under' has hit in three in a row for the Bengals, and is 6-0 in six road games this season, while going 8-3-1 in 12 games overall.

Carolina at Atlanta: The Panthers and Falcons just met on Nov. 17, and Atlanta came away with a 29-3 road victory as the 'under' hit. That's one of five under results in the past six for the Falcons. They have also hit the under in five of their six games this season at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, 17.6 PPG in six home dates. As far as the Panthers are concerned, they're in freefall, and this will be their first game without fired head coach Ron Rivera. We'll see if the coaching regime change sparks more in the way of offense. The Panthers are averaging just 17.8 PPG over the past four outings. Defense has been another issue, as they cannot stop anyone. They have allowed 20 or more points in eight straight games, and 11 of 12 games overall. As such, the over is 6-2 across the past eight outings, although one of those unders was, of course, the battle with the Falcs.

Miami at N.Y. Jets: It's a rematch of their Nov. 3 battle, and the Dolphins look for another win over their rivals. Miami won 26-18 in the first meeting at Hard Rock Stadium, an 'over' result. The over has actually hit in three straight for Miami, as their offense has come alive with totals of 20, 34 and 37 while defensively they're still poor, yielding 37, 41 and 31. The Jets were humming along with three straight 34-point performances on offense until they stumbled in Cincinnati of all places, falling 22-6. The under is 7-2 in the past nine meetings at MetLife Stadium between these AFC East rivals.

Indianapolis at Tampa Bay: The Colts have been very banged up, but they'll likely get RB Marlon Mack (hand) back this week. The offense has been a little listless over the past two, going for 17 points in each outing, both losses. However, the Bucs are among the worst against the pass. Still, Indy has hit the 'under' in three of their past four road outings. This will be the first of three road games in the final four outings for the Colts. The Bucs managed 28 points last week in Jacksonville, as they did their part in trying to hit the 'over'. However, they allowed just 11 points, a season best, and that put a stop to an 8-0 'over' run for Tampa. The over is 4-0 in the past four at Raymond James Stadium since an under in Week 1 against the 49ers.

L.A. Chargers at Jacksonville: The Jaguars are making a change back to rookie QB Gardner Minshew, as they try to jump-start the offense after an 11-point effort against the Bucs. They have managed just 3, 13, 20 and 11 across the past four outings, hitting the under in two of four. That's because their defense has been horrific, yielding 26, 33, 42 and 28. Perhaps the change at QB helps somewhat, but they need to learn how to tackle again, too. The Bolts are struggling mightily, too, and they have hit the under in eight of the past 11 games. The under is 3-1 in four games for the Bolts in the Eastern or Central Time Zones this season, too.

Kansas City at New England: The Chiefs enter play with back-to-back under results for the first time this season, mainly due to an impressive turnaround defensively, yielding just 17 and 9 in the past two games against the Chargers and Raiders. The Patriots are a completely different animal, however. Remember, in the past three meetings in this series since Sept. 7, 2017 we have seen a 42-27 win by the Chiefs in Foxboro, a 43-40 win by the Patriots on Oct. 14, 2018 and a 37-31 win in overtime in last season's AFC Championship Game. The over has cashed in five straight meetings in this series, too. For the Chiefs, the over has cashed in 12 of the past 16 on the road, and is 12-3-1 in their past 16 as a road 'dog. It's the complete opposite for the Patriots, with the under 17-6 in the past 23 or New England as a favorite, and 7-3 in the past 10 at home.

Pittsburgh at Arizona: The Steelers made a change to QB Devlin Hodges Iast week and it paid off with a 20-13 win, and an 'under' result. That's four straight under results for the Steelers, and the under has hit in 9-3 in their 12 games overall. For the Cardinals, they hit the under last week in a loss at home to the Rams, scoring a season-low seven points. The last time they scored in single digits they rebounded with 25 points in the following game, an 'over' result. The over is 4-2 in six games at home for the Cardinals. 

Tennessee at Oakland: The Titans have not only been competitive since changing from QB Marcus Mariota to Ryan Tannehill, they have been one of the better teams in the league. They were blanked in Denver on Oct. 13, so head coach Mike Vrabel made the decision to go to Tannehill. He might have earned himself Coach of the Year honors, as they have won five of six since, and they have scored 20 or more points during the span, including 35, 42 and 31 across the past three, all covers and 'over' results. The over is 6-0 in the past six for Tennessee since moving to Tannehill. The Raiders offense has disappeared in the past three outings, averaging just 9.7 PPG. However, defensively they're still challenged, allowing a total of 74 points in the past two. That bodes well for another Tennessee 'over' result.

Heavy Expectations

There are four games listed with a spread of nine points or more for Week 13, with the home team listed as favorites in two of them. The totals range from 42 to 46 and cashing a total could come down to whether or not the favorite lays off the gas in the second-half.

Washington at Green Bay (1:00 p.m. ET): The Packers offense has been a bit erratic lately, scoring 31 points last week after just eight in the previous outing. They hit the over last week as a result of a 31-point outburst against the Giants, and they'll face another sub-.500 team this week. The over is 19-7 in Green Bay's past 26 against losing teams, as that's when QB Aaron Rodgers and the offense really shines. The Redskins found a running game last week, and we'll see if they can continue to make progress in that area on the road. They went for a season-high 29 points in last week's win at skidding Carolina, and they're averaging a respectable 24.0 PPG across the past two outings. For the Redskins, the under is 4-1 in the past five instances they have been a double-digit underdog, although the over hit last week in their outright win in the situation, and also in Week 1, a 32-27 setback in Philadelphia.

Denver at Houston (1:00 p.m. ET): The Broncos have seen the over hit in three of the past four, mainly because their defense is showing some signs of wear. They have allowed 20, 20 and 27 across the past three, and the offense is a little better lately, too. They've posted 24, 23, 3 and 23 across the past four, including last week's 23-20 win over the Chargers in rookie QB Drew Lock's first-career start.  The Texans have hit for 28, 20, 7, 26, 27, 23, 31 and 53 in the past eight games, with that lone single-digit anomaly a blowout loss against Jackson and the Ravens. This will be Houston's first game as a double-digit favorite this season. 

Detroit at Minnesota (1:00 p.m. ET): The Vikings blasted the Lions 42-30 at Ford Field on Oct. 20 in the first meeting. This will be just the third time they're favored by 10 or more points, and there isn't a ton to glean in that department. They hit the under in a Thursday night game as a 16.5-point favorite vs. the Redskins on Oct. 24, and the over hit in their 27-23 win over the Broncos on Nov. 17. They are 0-2 ATS as a double-digit favorite. The Lions haven't been a double-digit 'dog all season, but the over is 2-0 in their two games as an underdog by seven or more points, so there's that.

N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia (8:15 p.m. ET - Mon.): See below 

Under the Lights

Seattle at L.A. Rams (8:20 p.m. ET - Sun.): The Seahawks and Rams battle for the second time this season. In the first game in Seattle on Oct. 3, also a primetime game, the Seahawks edged the Rams 30-29 on a Thursday as the 'over' easily connected. The Rams offense gained some confidence last week with 34 points in Arizona, which was just one point less than they have combined in their previous three outings. The 'under' is 6-1 across the past seven for the Rams, as the defense has allowed 10 or fewer points in four of the past six, too. For the Seahawks, they have hit the 'over' in three of the past four outings, scoring 40, 27, 17 and 37, while yielding 34, 24, 9 and 30. 

N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia (8:15 p.m. ET - Mon.): The Giants and Eagles will square off in a less than attractive MNF game, but the games all bet the same. This will be the first of two meetings over the final four regular-season games. As a double-digit favorite the Eagles have hit the over in two of three situations. The Eagles defense allowed a stunning 37 points last week to the previously impotent Dolphins offense. The G-Men have hit the over in four of the past five games, and the over is 1-0 in their previous game as a double-digit underdog back on Oct. 10 in New England, also a primetime game. The defense has been abysmal for the Giants lately, allowing 27 or more points in seven of the past eight games, and 10 or 12 overall. The over is 2-1 in New York's three previous divisional games this season. Make a note that QB Eli is expected to start this Monday for New York. 

Fearless Predictions

It wasn't a terrible Week 13, but it wasn't a great week, either. A result of (-$10) was rather so-so, as I continue to search for that elusive sweep. The deficit is back down to (-$475) for the season. We'll look to keep it bounce back in Week 14, hopefully getting back in black soon before it's all over. As CD (see below) would say, always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

Best Over: Tennessee-Oakland 47 ½
Best Under: Carolina-Atlanta 47 ½
Best First-Half Over: Pittsburgh-Arizona 22

Three-Team Total Teaser (+7, +135)
Over 40 ½ Tennessee-Oakland
Under 54 ½ Carolina-Atlanta
Over 40 Indianapolis-Tampa Bay

CD's Best Bets

Chris David connected with another 2-1 mark with his "Best Bet" selections on the "Bet And Collect" podcast last week and he now sits at 22-17 (56%) on the season.  For this week's Podcast, CD is doubling-down on one matchup and leaning on the "Thursday Night Total" system for the other selection.

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

Detroit at Minnesota
Carolina at Atlanta

Listen Here as he provides his thoughts and selections starting at 45:00 of Episode 26

Joe Williams can be reached on Twitter at @JoeWilliamsVI

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