Last Updated Dec 26, 2021, 6:41 PM

Total Talk - Week 15

We're into the late portion of the NFL regular season where college football is over, and we get Saturday pro action in December. It's Week 15, and we have a handful of titanic battles which will help to shape the playoff picture, too.

The Los Angeles Rams continue to deal with a rash of positive COVID-19 tests, with the latest being WR Odell Beckham Jr. He joins RB Darrell Henderson and CB Jalen Ramsey on the COVID list, and head coach Sean McVay said the team's facility would be closed down through at least Wednesday as the team tries to nip things in the bud. The game in Seattle was moved to Tuesday evening.

The Cleveland Browns are also dealing with a rash of positive tests, with TE Austin Hooper and WR Jarvis Landry two of the most notable of eight players landing on the reserve/COVID list. TE David Njoku was on the COVID list last week, too. So the Browns will begin preparations for Saturday's game against the Las Vegas Raiders with six starters on reserve. The game was moved from Saturday to Monday by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday.

In total, as of Tuesday evening, there were 25 players on active rosters, and 11 players on practice squads, which were on the reserve/COVID list, the most since the designation was created in 2010. That's the big news heading into Week 15, with likely more positives to come. We're seeing it in the National Hockey League, too.

Saturday Double Dip

Las Vegas at Cleveland (Mon.): The Raiders were tattooed in Kansas City last week by the Chiefs, and it's very unlikely they'll decide to convene on the midfield logo of the Browns this weekend. That decision really seemed to backfire and fire up their opponent. Before you could blink an eye it was 21-0 last week in favor of Kansas City, and the Chiefs held a 35-3 lead at the break. The Raiders are on one of those weird alternating streak, hitting the OVER in even-numbered weeks in the past three games, and cashing the UNDER in odd-numbered weeks in the past three outings.

The defense has really struggled for the Raiders lately, allowing 48, 17, 33, 32, 41, 23, 22 and 24 across the past eight contests, with the OVER 5-3 during the run. There have been a bevy of UNDER results because the offense has dried up, going for 16 or fewer points in five of the past six outings.

As mentioned, the Cleveland offense has some key skill position players sidelined. The good news, if you can call it that, is that RB Nick Chubb already had COVID a few weeks ago, so he should be in the clear. As he goes, the offense goes. The Browns offense hasn't really been going anywhere lately, however. The 24 points in last week's win over Baltimore was its highest output since Nov. 7, going for 24, 10, 13 and 7 across the past four outings. The good news is that the defense has allowed 22 or fewer points in six of the past seven.

The game has since been moved to Monday afternon at 5 p.m. ET on NFL Network.

(updated Friday, Dec. 18)

New England at Indianapolis (Sat.): Like the Raiders above, the Patriots have alternated UNDER and OVER results across the past six games. They cashed the UNDER last time out in Buffalo in that blustery, windy and snowy game on Monday night in Buffalo before cozying up to the television set last week during the bye. The defense for the Patriots has been on fire, allowing 10, 13, 0, 7 and 6 across the past five outings, looking Georgia Bulldogs-like.

The Colts defense was very impressive last week, too, shutting out the Houston Texans. But generally, the Colts D has been up and down. They have allowed 0, 38, 15, 17, 30 and 34 across the past six outings. They're going to allow points in this one, as two of the better showings in this streak were against the Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars, basically the dregs of the league.

Indianapolis has shown an ability to put points on the board lately, however, going for 31, 31, 41, 23, 45, 31, 30 and 31 across the past eight contests, and it has 23 or more points in 10 straight games dating back to Sept. 26 in Tennessee. Weren't people saying QB Carson Wentz was a bust? Of course, it helps being able to put the ball in the bread basket of RB Jonathan Taylor and let him go do his thing.

Division Over-Under Notes

The OVER went 5-2 in the seven NFL Divisional battles in Week 14. We have eight more divisional matchups on tap for Thursday, Sunday and Monday in Week 15.

Kansas City at L.A. Chargers (Thu.): The Chiefs tossed up a season-high 48 points in a beatdown of the visiting Las Vegas Raiders, but can they do it in a key AFC West showdown against the Chargers? Two of K.C.'s three games with 40-plus points have come against the Raiders, in fact. They'll be sad to see the Silver and Black go. The Chiefs are actually on a 6-2 run lately, and a big part of that has been due to the defense. Remember earlier in the season when Chiefs tacklers looked like the took a pregame roll in a tub of butter? They couldn't stop anybody. Suddenly, this Kansas City defense is looking championship-like, allowing exactly nine points in each of the past three games, including a Scorigami last week in a 48-9 win over the Raiders. 

The last time these two teams met in Week 3 at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, the Chargers pushed past the Chiefs 34-20 on a total of 55, as the UNDER just connected. The Chargers have had just UNDER results since, as QB Justin Herbert and the pass offense has been fire. In fact, the Bolts are averaging 39.0 PPG across the past two games, and Herbert has found another downfield threat in WR Jalen Guyton, who has two TD in the past two games.

As far as head-to-head, the Chiefs and Chargers have hit the UNDER in five of the past seven meetings in Southern California, a mix of games between SoFi, Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson and Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.

Dallas at N.Y. Giants: Total bettors have loved the Cowboys lately, although last week's game in Washington was a sweat shop. The 'Boys won 27-20 in D.C. against the WFT, but a late pick-six by QB Dak Prescott caused some heart palpitations, and the Cowboys then got the ball deep into Washington territory with about two minutes to go. However, instead of running for a score, or kicking a meaningless field goal, the Cowboys simply killed the clock.

The UNDER is now 6-1 across the past seven games, a combination of strong defense and some poor offensive efforts. The offense is good for 27, 27 and 33 in the past three weekends, so thankfully the defense allowed just 18.5 PPG in the past two outings.

Speaking of poor offensive efforts, the Giants actually looked like an NFL caliber offense last week against the Chargers. New York went for 21 points, just the second time in nine games going for more than 20 points. As you would expect, UNDER results have followed the G-Men, going 6-1-1 across the past eight. However, the OVER did hit in the first meeting between these two in Arlington in Week 5, a 44-20 win by the 'Boys.

Houston at Jacksonville: In a game even the wives and girlfriends of the players might skip, we get the 2-11 Bowl. The Texans have racked up four UNDER results in the past five outings, scoring 13, 0, 14, 22 and 9 during the span.

The Jaguars were blanked last week in Tennessee, 20-0, and it was an ugly game where QB Trevor Lawrence tossed four interceptions. Prior to the game, there were reports head coach Urban Meyer became unhinged and berated his assistant coaches and coordinators, calling them "losers", and challenging their records. Ugh. The only record that matters to total bettors is 8-0, which is what the UNDER is for Jacksonville. UNDER bettors have been winners whenever the Jaguars are involved.

Of course, these teams met in Week 1 in Houston, and we had a total of 58 points in a 37-21 win by the Texans on a total of 45.5. Of course, that was way back in mid-September when both sides were hopeful, not 2-11 and duking it out for the No. 1 overall pick.

N.Y. Jets at Miami: The Jets showed a little bit of fight in October, but they're back to their usual ways, playing out the string, looking for a high draft pick, and not scoring points. UNDER bettors will take it.

New York has scored 9, 18, 21, 17 and 17 across the past five outings, and the UNDER is 3-1 in the previous four outings. That includes a trip to Miami Gardens to face the Dolphins in Week 11, which resulted in a 24-17 loss and an UNDER (45). That was the fourth consecutive UNDER results in the series, too.

For the Dolphins, it's been all UNDER all the time lately. The UNDER is 4-0 in the past four inside the division, 5-0 in the past five against AFC foes, 5-1 in the past six games overall, and 4-0 in the past four as a favorite. And, they're coming off a bye, and you guessed it, the UNDER is 4-0 in the past four seasons when Miami comes off a rest.

Washington at Philadelphia: The WFT barely hit the UNDER, as mentioned above in the Dallas section, but an UNDER is an UNDER. That's three UNDER results in a row, and seven in the past eight games for the Washington Football Team. It's mostly due to a power outage on offense, as they have posted 20, 17, 17, 27, 29, 10, 10 and 13 across the past eight outings after a healthy does of OVER results in the early portion of the season. The defense has also been somewhat serviceable, allowing an average of 19.0 PPG over the previous six outings.

For Philadelphia, it's been a mixed bag as far as totals are concerned. The OVER-UNDER has alternated in the previous five outings, and the OVER-UNDER is 1-1 in their two divisional games to date. This is the first of two meetings with Washington in the final four games.

The OVER has actually hit in five of the previous seven meetings at Lincoln Financial Field, but one of those UNDERs came last season in a 20-14 win by WFT on Jan. 3 in Week 17.

This game has been moved to Tuesday night at 7 p.m. due to COVID issues.

(updated Friday, Dec. 18)

Seattle at L.A. Rams: The Seahawks looked to be dead and buried after a loss at Washington on Monday night in Week 12, but the offense has come alive with 31.5 PPG across the past two outings, a pair of wins and OVER results.

This will be the second of two meetings between these NFC West rivals. Los Angeles won the first meeting at Lumen Field in Week 5 by a 26-17 count as the UNDER (53.5) easily cashed that day. The Seahawks have hit the UNDER in three of five divisional games to date this season.

The Rams offense came alive with 30 points in the desert Monday night, serving the Cardinals a little bit of payback. A late field goal with 37 seconds left in regulation by the Cardinals flipped the UNDER to an OVER. The UNDER is still 5-3-1 across the past nine for the Rams, including 3-0 in the past three games at home.

This game has been moved to Tuesday night at 7 p.m. due to COVID issues.

(updated Friday, Dec. 18)

New Orleans at Tampa Bay (SNF): (see below)

Minnesota at Chicago (MNF): (see below)

Non-Conference Angles

Week 14 featured seven non-conference matchups and the OVER went 5-1-1. We have two more AFC vs. NFC battles on tap for the Week 15 schedule.

Carolina at Buffalo: The Panthers were a friend to the UNDER bettor early on, as Carolina's offense was really struggling, and the defense was suffocating. The UNDER hit in the first three games, all wins, and was 6-2 through the first eight games. The OVER has cashed in the past four outings, as the offense has been a little better with 21, 10, 21 and 34 during the span, and the defense has thrown in the towel with 29, 33 and 27 allowed in the past three games, all losses. The UNDER is 3-1 in Carolina's four games against AFC teams so far this season.

The Bills have been a little bit difficult to figure this season. In the past six games they have posted 27, 10, 31, 15, 45 and 6. The 10-point game can be excused, as that was in ugly wintry conditions on a frigid Monday night against the New England Patriots in Week 13. But the defense has been just as erratic, allowing 33, 14, 6, 41 and 17. Against losing teams, the UNDER is 4-1 in the past five instances, so there's that The UNDER is also 5-2 in the past seven games at Highmark Stadium, too. The OVER is 2-1 in three games for the Bills against NFC foes in 2021.

In case you were wondering, the temperatures for Sunday will be right around freezing with winds gusting from the west-northwest at 10-13 mph, which is fairly balmy for this time of season in western New York.

Green Bay at Baltimore: The Packers were on a 7-0 UNDER run from Week 4 through 10, with moderate scoring on offense and rather strong defensive performances. However, the past three games have all been OVER results, with the Packers going for 31, 36 and 45, while they have allowed 34, 28 and 30. They 75 total points against the Chicago Bears on Sunday night was the second-highest combined points in the all-time series.

The Ravens may or may not have QB Lamar Jackson (ankle), so that's worth watching very closely. He was knocked out of last Sunday's game in Cleveland, a 24-22 loss. QB Tyler Huntley took over and threw for 270 yards, and he accounted for all 22 of the team's points, including a late touchdown which flipped a certain UNDER to an OVER result.

The UNDER is 2-1 in three games for the Ravens against NFC teams, while the UNDER is a perfect 3-0 for the Packers against AFC teams to date.

Primetime Notes

The OVER was a perfect 3-0 in the three primetime games in Week 14. The UNDER has produced a 22-17-1 (56.4%) clip in 40 primetime games so far this season. 

Sunday Night Football Notes

The New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers meet on Sunday Night Football in a rematch of a Week 8 matchup in the Crescent City.

The Saints offense has gone in the pishadu in the past three games, posting 30, 17 and 6, all UNDER results. And the 30 points came against the Jets, barely an NFL team at this point. The defense also allowed just nine points vs. NYJ, the least amount of points allowed since that Week 1 whipping of the Green Bay Packers in Jacksonville.

The Buccaneers offense is rounding into championship form, much to the dismay of nearly everyone not living in Central Florida or thumping OVERs. The Bucs have posted 33, 30, 38 and 30 in the previous four outings, and the OVER is 2-1 in three divisional games this season, including the first meeting in NOLA on Halloween.

The OVER is 12-3 in the past 15 divisional games for the Bucs, and 12-4 in the past 16 games as a home favorite, too. However, the UNDER is 10-3 in the past 13 meetings at the RayJay. Of course, a good chunk of those games were with QB Tom Brady in New England, not Tampa, and QB Drew Brees in NOLA, not in the NBC studio, so you can probably discount that series trend.

Monday Night Football Notes

The Minnesota Vikings-Chicago Bears meet Monday night. The vikings offense has come alive in the second half of the season, going for 36, 27, 26, 34, 27 and 31 across the past six games, hitting the OVER in five of the six outings. The defense has allowed 20 or more points in eight consecutive outings, hitting the OVER in six games during the stretch.

The OVER has cashed in eight of the past nine games on the road for Minnesota, while going 4-0 in the past as a road favorite. However, the UNDER is 8-2 in the past 10 appearances on MNF. The UNDER is also 5-2 in the past seven appearances on Monday for the Bears, although the OVER did cash in Pittsburgh on MNF in Week 9. Yes, we've been subjected to having to watch the Bears twice on Monday, and on three occasions in primetime in the past six weeks while also ruining Thanksgiving. Thanks, NFL!

This will be the first of two meetings in the next four games for these two NFC North Division rivals. The UNDER is 13-6 in the past 19 meetings in this series, including 6-1 in the past seven battles on the shores of Lake Michigan at Soldier Field.

Fearless Predictions

Last week's predictions were mixed at 2-1-1 (+190), another victorious week. That's a season total 17-10-1 and (+800). Let's keep building that bankroll for the playoffs and Super Bowl.

  • Best Over: Over 44.5 Cowboys at Giants
  • Best Under: Under 47.5 Cardinals at Lions
  • Best First-Half Total: Over 23.5 Cowboys at Giants

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

  • Under 46.5 Texans at Jaguars
  • Under 54.5 Cardinals at Lions
  • Under 52.5 Seahawks at Rams
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