Last Updated Dec 22, 2021, 10:40 AM

Total Talk - Week 13

It's Week 13 of the NFL regular season, and we're almost ready for the stretch run, and a full slate. We have four teams on a bye this week, the Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans, and then four more teams next week. Then, it's all hands on deck, as the 32 teams jockeying for playoff positioning and/or play out the string, looking to spoil the dreams of others.

As far as injuries are concerned, while it doesn't affect anyone this week with the Panthers on a bye, it was announced RB Christian McCaffrey (knee) will end the season on the reserve/Injured list for the second consecutive year. That's quite a blow for the Panthers, who were hanging around on the cusp of playoff contention. Look for RB Chuba Hubbard to carry the load the rest of the way in Charlotte. CB Donte Jackson (knee) is also done for the season for the Panthers.

As far as teams playing this week, Pittsburgh Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth, an emerging red-zone threat target, is in the concussion protocol and a concern for Sunday's critical game against the Baltimore Ravens. The good news for the Steelers is that they could welcome back CB Joe Haden (foot) from a long-term injury.

The Washington Football Team are switching to PK Brian Johnson, nabbed from the practice squad of the Chicago Bears, after PK Joey Slye (hamstring) suffered a multi-week injury on a blocked extra point attempt on MNF in Week 12 vs. Seattle. RB J.D. McKissic, who had a rushing and receiving touchdown, suffered a neck injury, although his prognosis looks good for Week 13.

Game of the Week?

L.A. Chargers at Cincinnati: Perhaps I am old. OK, I am old, but whenever I see the Chargers traveling to play the Bengals, I think back to the 1981 AFC Championship Game, a.k.a. 'The Freezer Bowl'. It was Jan. 10, 1982 and the scene was Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, with temperatures at minus-9 fahrenheit (-22.8 celsius), and a wind chill approaching minus-40. The conditions were not ideal, obviously, for a Chargers team coming in from sunny California. It showed, as Cincinnati led wire-to-wire in a 27-7 victory, punching its ticket to the first of two Super Bowl appearances.

It won't be anywhere near that cold in the first week of December in the 'Nati, with a forecast of 59 degrees for Sunday. However, there is a 40 percent chance of showers with winds blowing from 10-13 mph, so it won't be absolutely ideal like the indoor controlled conditions the Bolts are used to at SoFi Stadium in L.A. Channeling my Letterkenny, you've never been to a football game, unless you've been to an L.A. football game. L.A!. This should be what you appreciates about me.

UNDER bettors appreciates...err, appreciated the Chargers in the first month of the season, as the UNDER was a perfect 4-0 for L.A. But lately the Chargers have been harder to figure in terms of totals, scoring 13, 41, 20, 27, 24 and 6 across the past six games on offense. They're all over the board. One thing is consistent, though, this defense is very giving. The Bolts have yielded 24 or more points in seven straight games.

The Bengals have cashed the OVER four times in the past five outings, and the offense is the driving force. Cincinnati has scored 41, 32, 16, 31 and 41 across the past five games, although surprisingly, the UNDER hit in the 32-13 win at Las Vegas, not when the Bengals scored just 16. That's because the anemic Cleveland Browns offense dropped 41 in the Jungle in Week 9.

Division Over-Under Notes

The UNDER went 4-0 in the four NFL Divisional battles in Week 12, and that's 7-1 to the UNDER in the past two weeks. We have seven more divisional matchups on tap for Sunday and Monday. 

Indianapolis at Houston: The Colts took the Texans behind the shed in a 31-3 rout at Lucas Oil Stadium in the first meeting in Week 6. That was an UNDER result, mainly because of the inability of the Texans to score. Indy has rattled off 31, 41, 23, 45, 31, 30 and 31 across the past seven outings, and at least 23 points in nine straight outings. RB Jonathan Taylor has emerged as a star, and QB Carson Wentz has finally settled into his new digs and is also staying healthy, which is a key. The defense for the Colts have allowed 30 or more points in three of the past four games at home.

In the past four road games for the Colts, the OVER is a perfect 4-0, as the offense has produced 41, 30, 25 and 27 points. They're sure to hang plenty on the Texans in this one, but can Houston help OVER bettors across the finish line? the Texans have managed an NFL-worst 264.8 total yards per game, 78.3 rushing yards per game and 14.9 PPG, all dead-last in the NFL. And they're 31st with just 186.5 yards per game through the air. Houston's defense is giving, though, yielding 26.5 PPG, and 378.1 total yards per game, which is 29th in the NFL.

However, Houston enters on a 3-0 UNDER run, while going 5-1 across the past six, and 7-2 in the previous nine. In the past three outings, the defense has done its part, allowing just 21, 13 and 17 to the Jets, Titans (a win) and Dolphins. That's an average of just 17.0 PPG.

Minnesota at Detroit: This will be the second and final meeting of the season between these NFC North combatants. The first meeting at U.S. Bank Stadium went to the Vikings, but they were only able to scratch out a 19-17 win, needing a miracle at the end. The UNDER (50) easily connected.

Lately it's been all OVERs for the Vikes, going for 26, 34, 27 and 31 across the past four outings, while yielding 34, 31, 20 and 34 during the span. In fact, Minnesota games have been must-see TV, even if you're not a fan, but just like a lot of points - or OVER results.

The Lions have been must-see TV, but for a variety of other reasons. They're the lovable losers who just cannot catch a break. The lost in excruciating fashion on Thanksgiving, as the Chicago Bears booted a game-winning field with :00 left, winning 16-14. They lost to the Cleveland Browns in Week 11 by a 13-10 margin, and they tied the Pittsburgh Steelers 16-16 in Week 10. They're battling hard, to the end, but coming up just short. They've lost twice by a 19-17 score, and six of their 11 games have been one-score games if you include the tie.

Detroit's defense is actually not half-bad, it's the offense which is poor. And, as you'd imagine, that's a great recipe for UNDER results. The UNDER has hit in three straight for the Honolulu Blue and Silver, while going 8-1 in the past nine overall. In the current three-game UNDER run, the Lions are averaging 13.3 PPG, while yielding 15.0 PPG.

Tampa Bay at Atlanta: The Buccaneers won an exciting 38-31 battle at Indianpolis last week, cashing the OVER. While the offense has 38, 30, 19, 27, 38, 28 and 45 across the past seven, the Bucs have actually posted a 4-3 record to the UNDER across the past seven. It isn't like the defense is killing it, the D has fared well against poor offense.

The Falcons went for 25 points in the first meeting in Tampa. That's the good news. The bad news is that the Bucs scored a season-high 48 points in that Week 2 win.

Points are sure to follow when these teams get together, though, as the OVER is 10-1 in the previous 11 meetings in this series, including a perfect 5-0 in Atlanta. The OVER has also hit in 17 of the past 22 divisional games for the Bucs, so file that away in your spreadsheets.

Baltimore at Pittsburgh: The  Ravens scratched out a 16-10 victory head into this one with a little bit of a power outage on offense, and their usual strong defense. That's a great combination for UNDER results. Baltimore has scored 16, 16 and 10 across the past three outings, or 14.0 PPG, while allowing 10, 13 and 22 in the previous three, or 15.0 PPG.

For the Steelers, they were blasted in Cincinnati by a 41-10 score in Week 12, allowing 41 points for the second consecutive outing. After opening the season with a 6-1 record to the UNDER, the OVER is 3-1 across the past four thanks to the defense folding lately. The offense has been a bit erratic, posting 10, 37, 16, 29 and 15 in the previous five. If you believe in patterns, we'll have a Pittsburgh offensive revival this weekend.

The UNDER has hit in four consecutive games on the road for the Ravens, while going 5-1 in their past six as a road favorite. For the Steelers, the UNDER is 7-3 in the past 10 as a home underdog, while going 8-3 in the past 11 games in the month of December. The OVER has cashed in three of the past four meetings in this series, although the UNDER cashed last season in the meeting in Pittsburgh, with the Steelers winning 19-14.

San Francisco at Seattle: The 49ers offense has been on fire lately, going for 30 or more points in a season high three straight outings. However, the UNDER has hit in two of those games, allowing 10 against both the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 11 and Los Angeles Rams in Week 10. The offense could take a little bit of a hit, however, as versatile WR Deebo Samuel (groin) will miss at least this week's game due to a groin injury. LB Fred Warner (hamstring) will also miss 1-2 weeks. The good news is that WR Jauan Jennings stepped up last week, so perhaps the Niners don't miss Samuel a ton.

The last time these teams met was in Santa Clara in Week 4, with the Seahawks coming away with a 28-21 win as the UNDER (52) connected.

The Seahawks are on an amazing 9-0 run to the UNDER, with its only OVER coming through in Week 2 against the Tennessee Titans. QB Russell Wilson has been back for three games, but the offense is good for 15, 13 and 0 across the past three. The defense has coughed up just 17, 23, 17, 7 and 13 in the previous five. Seattle has posted just 19.0 PPG, ranking 19th in the NFL, while posting just 295.7 total yards per game this season to rank 31st in the NFL. On defense, Seattle ranks seventh, allowing just 20.5 PPG to rank seventh in the league.

Denver at Kansas City: (see below in primetime section)

New England at Buffalo: (see below in primetime section)

Non-Conference Angles

Week 12 featured five non-conference matchups and the OVER went 3-2, including 1-1 on Thanksgiving, after the UNDER was a perfect 5-0 in five AFC-NFC battles in Week 11.

We have four more AFC vs. NFC battles on tap for the Week 13 schedule.

N.Y. Giants at Miami: The Giants are coming off a 13-7 win against the Philadelphia Eagles, and that's five consecutive OVER results and a push dating back to Oct. 10, the team's last OVER result. The UNDER is also 3-0 in three previous games against AFC opponents this season for the G-Men.

For the Dolphins, this is a team which has suddenly figured out how to win, going for four victories in a row. Defense has been the key to its success, along with a weak schedule. Miami is allowed just 10, 17, 10 and 9 during the past four games, and the UNDER is 4-1 across the past five games overall. Miami did hit the OVER last week with its 33 points on offense, flipping the result from an UNDER to an OVER with a field inside the final four minutes of regulation. The OVER is 3-0 in three games against NFC opponents so far this season for the Fish, including 2-0 in two games at Hard Rock Stadium.

The Giants are on a 20-6-1 UNDER run across the past 27 games overall, while hitting the UNDER in seven of the past 10 games on the road. The UNDER is 4-1 in the past five for the Dolphins, while going 10-4 in the past 14 games when favored.

Philadelphia at N.Y. Jets: The Eagles posted a season-low seven points last week against the New York Giants, and they have alternated the UNDER and OVER across the past four outings, with the OVER going 4-2 across the past six. When facing an AFC team, the Eagles have hit the OVER in three of four outings this season.

The Jets picked up a 21-14 victory against the Houston Texans last week, hitting the UNDER for the second straight game. It's been a season of runs for the Jets, with the UNDER 2-0 in the past two games, following a 6-0 OVER run from Week 4 through 10. They opened the season on a 3-0 UNDER run. This will be the third game against an NFC team for the Jets, cashing the UNDER in Week 1 in Carolina, while hitting the OVER in a game in London against Atlanta in week 5.

The Eagles have hit the OVER in seven of the past 10 as a road favorite, and the OVER is 35-17 in the previous 52 games in the month of December. For the Jets, the OVER is 6-2 in the past eight games overall, and 6-2 in the past eight as an underdog, too. 

Washington at Las Vegas: The WFT is on a three-game roll to get back into the mix for the NFC playoffs. Defense has been a huge part of the team's resurgence, allowing 15, 21, 19, 16 and 24 across the past five outings. That, coupled with the struggles on offense, going for 17 or fewer points in four of the past six, have meant plenty of UNDER results. The UNDER is 5-1 in the past six outings for Washington.

Against AFC teams, Washington has hit the UNDER in three of four games, including a perfect 3-0 against the AFC West Division.

The Raiders are coming off a 36-33 victory on the road in overtime in Dallas on Thanksgiving, hitting the OVER. They have alternated the OVER and UNDER in the previous five outings. The offense finally found itself after a three-week run with just 13, 14 and 16 points. The OVER/UNDER is 2-2 in four games against the NFC this season for the Silver and Black.

Jacksonville at L.A. Rams: The Jaguars have cashed the UNDER in six consecutive games dating back to its last OVER back on Oct. 10 in Week 5 agaisnt the Tennessee Titans. The offense continues to struggle, going for 14, 10, 17, 9 and 7 in the previous five outings, and the defense has allowed a respectable 20.0 PPG across the past four, as they're making strides on that side of the ball.

The UNDER is also a perfect 4-0 in four games this season against NFC opponents for Jacksonville, including a perfect 3-0 in three games against NFC West Division foes.

The Rams re-discovered its offense, posting 28 points in Green Bay last week, while allowing 36 points in a high-scoring affair. It was a rare OVER for the Rams lately, as they entered on a 4-1-1 UNDER run in the previous six. L.A. has actually cashed two of three to the OVER against AFC teams this season.

Primetime Notes

The UNDER was a perfect 3-0 in the three primetime games in Week 12. That's now 5-1 in the past two weeks, and the UNDER has produced a 19-14-1 (57.6%) clip in 34 primetime games so far this season.

Sunday Night Football Notes

The Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs hook up for Sunday Night Football in a key AFC West Division matchup. The Broncos have won three of the past four games to play their way into the AFC West playoff picture. Like most teams going from mediocre to good, defense has played a crucial role in their success. Denver has allowed 13, 30, 16, 10 and 17 across the past five outings, all UNDER results. The UNDER is 9-2 in 11 games overall thie season for Denver.

This will be just the third AFC West Divisional game for the Broncos, with the OVER-UNDER splitting 1-1 in those games so far.

For the Chiefs, it has been a strange season. Something is missing on offense, and no one can put a finger on exact what is wrong. After a run with 3, 20 and 13 points from Week 7 through 9, Kansas City appeared to iron things out in Las Vegas, as QB Patrick Mahomes tossed five touchdowns, and the Chiefs posted 41 points for a rare OVER result. But last time out, they eased by the Dallas Cowboys 19-9 at home as another UNDER hit prior to the bye. That's 5-1 to the UNDER across the past six outings.

The UNDER is 4-1-1 in the past six meetings between these teams, while going 14-5-1 in the past 20 AFC West battles for the Broncos. The UNDER is also 11-3-1 in the past 15 games for the Chiefs following a bye.

Monday Night Football Notes

The New England Patriots-Buffalo Bills meet on Monday Night Football in western New York. It's the first of two crucial meetings which will likely determine a champ in the AFC East Division.

The OVER-UNDER has alternated in each of the past five games for the Patriots, with an OVER cashing in Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans. So should we expect an Under on the road against the Bills? Well, the UNDER is 7-2 in the past nine on the road for the Patriots, and the UNDER is 5-1 in their past six appearances on MNF. New England has went UNDER in six of the past eight games as an underdog, too.

The Bills will have all eyes on them, similar to last Thursday against the New Orleans Saints. After a 41-15 embarrassment at home against the Indianapolis Colts, the Bills went down to NOLA on a short week and routed the Saints 31-6, hitting the UNDER. The defense needed a big game, and the D allowed its least amount of points since the second shutout of the season in Week 4 against the Houston Texans.

The UNDER is 4-2 in the previous six meetings in this series, with the UNDER cashing in three of the past four meetings in Buffalo.

Fearless Predictions

We rebounded after a rough Thanksgiving Day, posting a 3-1 (+190), with one end of the three-team teaser was a push. So instead of +135, the odds were changed to -110, but it still was a winner at 2-0-1. That's a season total of 12-8 and (+410). Let's keep adding to that bankroll for Week 13 and down the stretch, as we need money to spend for the Super Bowl.

  • Best Over: Over 50.5 Chargers at Bengals
  • Best Under: Under 48 Jaguars at Rams
  • Best First-Half Total: Under 22.5 Ravens at Steelers 

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

  • Under 53.5 Vikings at Lions
  • Over 43 Buccaneers at Falcons 
  • Under 52.5 49ers at Seahawks

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