Last Updated Nov 03, 2021, 6:38 AM

Total Talk - Week 9

We're headed for Week 9 of the NFL regular season, and we had some major injury news last weekend which will change the fortunes for certain contenders, while changing the offensive output dramatically. Total bettors have likely already taken notice, but if not, here is a brief synposis.

The Tennessee Titans will be without RB Derrick Henry (foot) until at least Week 15 after a foot injury suffered last week which ended up requiring surgery. As such, the MVP candidate will be replaced by newly signed RB Adrian Peterson, as well as RBs Jeremy McNichols and Dontrell Hilliard. RB D'Onta Foreman was added, as the team ended up dropping Mekhi Sargent for an upgrade.

The Titans had posted 34, 27, 34, 37, 24, 25 and 33 across the past seven weeks, and Henry had 10 rushing touchdowns through the first eight games. It's just an estimate, but you have to figure Henry's absence will cost the team at least three or four points per game off of its 28.4 PPG, which was sixth in the NFL. And, of course, the Titans were fourth in the NFL with 147.6 rushing yards per game, so that will take a hit.

In other news, New Orleans Saints QB Jameis Winston suffered injuries to the ACL and MCL, and he will be done for the season. QB Trevor Siemian is expected to start in Week 9 against the Atlanta Falcons, with QB Taysom Hill still making his way back from concussion. Siemian looked better than expected in outdueling QB Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last weekend, but there's no denying the team takes a step back offensively with either Siemian or Hill at the helm. The Saints have been hard to read lately, going for 36, 13, 33, 21 and 28 points across the past five.

Division Over-Under Notes

The 'under' went 3-2 in the five NFL Divisional battles in Week 8. We have three more divisional matchups on tap for Sunday. 

Atlanta at New Orleans: The Falcons play those aforementioned Saints, who are breaking in a new starting quarterback this week. Atlanta hit the UNDER in a divisional game against the Carolina Panthers this past week, falling 19-13 at home. The OVER/UNDER is 1-1 in two divisional games this season for the Falcons, with the OVER 3-1 across the past four outings overall. Atlanta has posted 13, 30, 27 and 30 in the previous four, with the defense yielding 19, 28, 20 and 34.

The Falcons have cashed the UNDER in 22 of the past 31 against teams with a winning record, while going 29-11 in the past 40 in the month of November.

The UNDER is 7-3 in the past 10 games overall for the Saints, while the UNDER is 6-1 in the past seven against NFC South Divisions. The UNDER is 4-0 in the past four meetings in New Orleans, while cashing in each of the past five meetings.

Cleveland at Cincinnati: The Browns slipped up 15-10 at home against the Steelers last week, another divisional game, and the UNDER has hit in two straight, and four of the past six. The offense has managed a total of just 41 points in the previous three games since posting a season-high 42 points on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers back in Week 5.

The good news for the Bengals is that they scored 31 points on the road against the New York Jets. The bad news is that they allowed 34 points, but it was all good for OVER bettors, going 2-0 after a 5-0 UNDER run for the Bengals. Cincinnati's offense has posted 31, 41 and 34 across the past three outings.

The OVER is 5-0 in the past five meetings in Cincinnati, and 6-0-1 in the previous seven meetings in this series.

Arizona at San Francisco: These teams met in Week 5, with the 49ers holding the Cardinals to a season-low 17 points. Arizona won 17-10 as the UNDER (48.5) was never threatened. Arizona's defense has been on fire lately, allowing 24, 5, 14, 10, 20 and 19 across the past six games. Many talking heads gush about QB Kyler Murray and the offense, but a good deal of the success of this team is defense-related.

The UNDER is 10-2 in the previous 12 games on the road for the Cardinals, while going 4-1 in the past five games inside the division for the 49ers. The UNDER is also 5-2 in the past seven for San Francisco against teams with a winning record, including that previous meeting with Arizona.

Non-Conference Angles

Week 8 featured four non-conference matchups and the UNDER went 3-1.

We have eight more AFC vs. NFC battles on tap for the Week 9 schedule.

 Denver at Dallas: The Cowboys started and won with QB Cooper Rush last week, as QB Dak Prescott (calf) rested an injury. The starter is likely to be ready for the Broncos.

The UNDER hit in the win at Minnesota, but the OVER connected in the past four games with Prescott under center. The offense rolled up 35, 44, 36 and 41 with Dak, so OVER bettors will be glad to see No. 4 under center.

The UNDER has cashed in two in a row for Denver, averaging a total of 29.0 PPG in those outings. The UNDER is 6-2 for the Broncos in eight games overall, including 3-1 in four road contests. The UNDER is 2-0 in two previous games for Denver vs. NFC East teams this season.

Las Vegas at N.Y. Giants: The Raiders lost 20-9 in the final game under head coach Jon Gruden. Under interim head coach Rich Bisaccia, not only are the Raiders 2-0 SU/ATS, but the OVER is 2-0, averaging 33.5 PPG, while allowing 23.0 PPG.

For the Giants, the defense held Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes to just 20 points in a three-point loss. The UNDER is 2-0-1 for the Giants in the past three games, and the UNDER is 3-0-1 in four games at home for the G-Men this season.

New England at Carolina: The Patriots have cashed the OVER in each of the past four games overall, posting 27, 54, 29 and 25 on offense. Rookie QB Mac Jones is starting to find his way, and OVER bettors are enjoying the maturation after the UNDER hit in the first four outings. The UNDER is 2-0 for New England in its previous two vs. NFC South opponents in 2021.

The Panthers won 19-13 in Atlanta, hitting the UNDER for a second straight outing. Carolina has scored 19 or fewer points in three of the past four outings. The UNDER is 6-2 overall for Carolina this season, including 2-0 in two battles vs. AFC foes to date.

Minnesota at Baltimore: The Vikings offense struggled against the Cowboys last SNF, falling 20-16 as the UNDER cashed. The UNDER is 4-1 across the past five outings. However, Minnesota has cashed the OVER in all three previous road games this season, going for 34, 33 and 24 in the past three trips, while allowing 28, 34 and 27.

The Ravens defense was trampled by Cincinnati two weeks ago, allowing 41 as the OVER connected. The OVER is 3-1 in Baltimore's previous four home outings, while the UNDER hit in Baltimore's only previous game against an NFC opponent this season, Week 3 in Detroit.

L.A. Chargers at Philadelphia: The Chargers have cashed the UNDER in five of the past seven games overall, although the OVER is 2-1 in the previous three. L.A.'s defense has been blasted for 27, 34 and 42 across the previous three. The UNDER is 2-0 in the past two games against NFC opponents.

The Eagles pounded the Lions 44-6 last week, hitting the OVER for a second straight week. The OVER is 4-2 across the past six, too. For Philly, the OVER is 2-0 in its previous two against AFC foes this season.

Green Bay at Kansas City: The UNDER has connected in five straight for the Packers, including each of its first two against AFC opponents in Weeks 4-5. The offense has been consistent, going for 24, 24, 24 in the past three weeks, while the defense has allowed just 21, 10, 14, 22 and 17 in the previous five contests.

For Kansas City, it hasn't been the prolific offense we've seen in previous seasons. The Chiefs have posted just 20, 3, 31 and 20 across the past four, and Kansas City has allowed just 17, 27 and 13 in the previous three, all UNDER results. The UNDER has hit in the past two vs. NFC teams, too.

Tennessee at L.A. Rams (SNF): (see below)

Chicago at Pittsburgh (MNF): (see below)

Primetime Notes

The UNDER was a perfect 3-0 in the three primetime games in Week 8. The UNDER has produced a 11-10-1 (52.4%) clip in 22 primetime games so far this season. 

Sunday Night Football Notes

The Tennessee Titans begin life after Henry, at least until Week 15. The Los Angeles Rams would have been a tough matchup for the Titans anyway, but especially now that they need to change their offense dramatically.

The OVER is 4-1 in the past five games for the Titans, but again, all bets are off until we see how the Titans make out with its mish-mash backfield. There is likely to be a lot more of an aerial attack, one would assume, and that's always good for the OVER.

The Rams hit the OVER last week in a 38-22 win in Houston, its first since Week 4 against Arizona. The OVER is 2-0 in two previous games against AFC South opponents this season for the Rams.

Monday Night Football Notes

The Chicago Bears-Pittsburgh Steelers will meet at Heinz Field, and the total bettors will be very interested. The UNDER has cashed in six of the past seven games overall for the Bears, as rookie QB Justin Fields has had a tough go of it in his first season in the pros. The Bears offense has totals of 22, 3, 14, 20, 24, 6, 20 and 14 this season, so you needn't expect a shootout. That includes a perfect 3-0 to the UNDER in games against AFC opponents.

For the Steelers, reports of the demise of QB Ben Roethlisberger were greatly exaggerated. While Pittsburgh hasn't exactly lit the world afire, going for 15, 23 and 27 across the past three games, Big Ben is more effective with rookie RB Najee Harris finally coming to life after a slow start. The UNDER is still 6-1 in seven games for the Steelers, so total bettors will be going low on this MNF game pretty hard.

Fearless Predictions

Let's start building that bankroll for Week 9 and down the stretch.

  • Best Over: Over 46.5 Cleveland at Cincinnati
  • Best Under: Under 49.5 Denver at Dallas
  • Best First-Half Total: Over 24.5 Minnesota at Baltimore

Three-Team Total Teaser (+7, +135)

  • Over 38 Arizona at San Francisco
  • Under 60.5 Tennessee at L.A. Rams
  • Over 43 L.A. Charges at Philadelphia

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