Last Updated Sep 13, 2022, 2:17 AM

NFL Total Talk - Week 1

The 2022 National Football League regular season is upon us, and it is time to talk totals once again. Welcome to the new season, and good luck with your total wagers in Week 1 and beyond.

The opening weekend of action is a little tricky since many teams have changed personnel, we have new rookies being folded into the mix, etc. Try not to rely too heavily on historical data, but we can look back to last season for a little assistance, especially in those divisional matchups.

Thursday Night Opener

Buffalo at L.A. Rams: The defending Super Bowl champs open up at SoFi Stadium against the Buffalo Bills, a team which hopes to replace the Rams as the league kings at season's end. There has been a lot of movement on this game. Originally the total opened at 52, moving down slightly, then up to 53, before settling in at 52.5.

There isn't a lot to glean from the 2021 numbers, especially from the Bills side, as the UNDER edged the OVER 9-8 in the regular season for Buffalo. Against NFC teams, the OVER was 3-2 against the NFC, while the OVER was 5-3 in road games for the Bills, and 6-3 if you count the AFC Divisional Round playoff loss in Kansas City.

For the Rams, the OVER was 9-7-1 in the regular season, with the UNDER 3-2 against the AFC in 2021. The UNDER was 2-0 at home against AFC teams, too, while the UNDER finished up 4-1 in the final five home games for the Rams at SoFi, and a perfect 4-0 in all games which ended in regulation.


Division Over-Under Notes

We have six divisional matchups on tap for Week 1, with four of those battles during the early window of games, and two in the late-afternoon window on Sunday.

New Orleans at Atlanta: The Saints welcome back QB Jameis Winston from injury, while the Falcons turn over their starting quarterback chores to QB Marcus Mariota. The OVER cashed in each of the two meetings between these NFC South Division rivals last season.

While the UNDER is still 8-3 in the past 11 meetings against divisional teams for the Saints, again, the OVER went 2-0 vs. ATL in 2021. And the OVER is 7-1 in the past eight openers for the Saints. For the Falcons, the OVER has cashed in six of the past eight against divisional foes, although the UNDER is 4-1 in their past five season openers.

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Pittsburgh at Cincinnati: The Steelers haven't officially named a starting QB, although it is fully expected Mitchell Trubisky will be that guy after the depth chart released earlier this week revealed as much. As such, it is believed that the Steelers will rely heavily upon the run game more, especially with sophomore RB Najee Harris. That means more lengthy drives and running of the clock, which tend to be a favorite to UNDER bettors.

The defending AFC champion Bengals hit the OVER in their home meeting with the Steelers last season, a 41-10 blowout which nearly saw Cincinnati take care of the 43-point total themselves. The UNDER cashed in the first meeting, and the Bengals held the Steelers to 10 points in each of the two battles. For the Bengals, the OVER was 3-0 in their three home games against division rivals in 2021.


New England at Miami: The Patriots head down to South Florida to contend not only with the Dolphins, but with the heat and humidity in September. It's often not a pleasant mix, especially for northern teams.

The OVER cashed in the regular-season finale at Hard Rock Stadium on Jan. 9, a 33-24 victory by the Dolphins. These teams met in Week 1 in Foxboro last season, with the Dolphins coming away with a stunning 17-16 as the UNDER cashed.

The Dolphins boast a new-look offense, with WR Tyreek Hill as the big-splash addition to give QB Tua Tagovailoa a new weapon downfield, while RB Chase Edmonds comes in to bolster the run game.

The UNDER is 4-0 in the past regular-season openers for the Pats, although the OVER went 4-1 in the final five divisional games in 2021. The UNDER is 10-4 for the Dolphins in the past 14 Week 1 affairs, while going 7-3 in the past 10 against division rivals.


Indianapolis at Houston: The Colts turn to QB Matt Ryan to run the offense, their third different veteran starter under center in the past three seasons after a year of QB Philip Rivers (retired), and a year of QB Carson Wentz (now in Washington).

The UNDER cashed in both of the meetings in 2021, and the games weren't particularly close, either. Indianapolis won 31-3 in a Week 6 meeting at home, while winning 31-0 at NRG Stadium in Week 13. In fact, Indy cashed the UNDER in five of six divisional matchups last season, and the UNDER is 8-1 in its past nine against the NFC South overall.

The OVER is actually 8-3 in the past 11 home games for the Texans, but the UNDER has hit in six consecutive meetings against the Colts at NRG, and the UNDER is 18-6 in the previous 24 meetings in this series.


Green Bay at Minnesota: The Packers had quite the offseason shuffle of personnel, especially for the receiving corps. WR Davante Adams is now playing his football with the Las Vegas Raiders, while WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling is now plying his trade with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Packers were able to pile up the points in 2021 against the Vikings, rolling up a pair of OVERs while posting 31 in the first meeting in the Twin Cities in Week 11, and 37 in the Week 17 matchup at home. In fact, Green Bay was 5-1 to the OVER in six divisional games in 2021.

The Vikings were no stranger to the OVER in 2021, either, finishing 7-1 in the final eight regular-season games. That stretch included a perfect 5-0 vs. NFC South, including both meetings with the Pack.


Las Vegas at L.A. Chargers: The Raiders have a new weapon in Adams, as Vegas looks to keep up with the AFC West rivals who also made giant offseason personnel additions. The Chargers are expecting QB Justin Herbert to take another giant step forward, and would love to bring a Super Bowl trophy to SoFi like the Rams did in 2021.

These teams split the OVER-UNDER in two regular-season matchups in 2021, with the UNDER cashing in a Week 4 matchup in L.A., and the OVER hitting in a wild Week 17 affair which required overtime.

The Bolts ended up hitting the OVER in the final six regular-season games, while going 9-2 in the final 11 games overall. That includes the final four home games. L.A. scored 32, 34, 29, 28, 37 and 41 to close out the campaign, so you can understand why expectations for Herbert and the offseason are sky high.


Conference Angles

We have three others matchups pitting conference teams against each other on the Week 1 slate.

San Francisco at Chicago: The 49ers will have a new look under center, as San Francisco goes with QB Trey Lance ahead of long-time starter QB Jimmy Garoppolo, now the backup.

These teams met last season on Halloween in Chicago, with the 49ers winning 33-22 behind Jimmy G in an OVER result. For the 49ers, the UNDER was 4-2 in six trips to either the Eastern or Central Time Zone in 2021.

The Bears offense showed some signs of life down the stretch with QB Justin Fields, going for 22 or more points in four of the final seven regular-season games, with the OVER 4-2 in the final six. The UNDER was 3-1 in the final four home games for Chicago, however.


Philadelphia at Detroit: These teams met in Week 8 in Detroit, and the Eagles found plenty of treats in the end zone on Halloween with a 44-6 rout of the Lions. Detroit saw plenty of hard knocks in that game, and will have revenge on its mind.

The Eagles posted 26 or more points in four of the final five regular-season games, as QB Jalen Hurts and the offense really took a big step forward down the stretch. The OVER was 4-1 in the final five outings, and the OVER is 7-3 in Philly's past 10 as a favorite.

The Lions offense scored 29 or more points in three of the final four regular-season games, and expectations have been ratcheted up a bit in Motown, especially due to head coach Dan Campbell's infectious attitude. The OVER is 16-7 in the past 23 games at home for the boys in Honolulu Blue and Silver, while going 16-5 in the previous 21 regular-season openers.


(Getty Images)

Baltimore at N.Y. Jets: The Ravens hit the road where they were 5-3 to the UNDER last season, although the OVER cashed in the final two games away from home.

Meanwhile, the Jets are hoping to take a turn toward respectability, but they could get off to a slow start. QB Zach Wilson (knee surgery) suffered a knee injury in the preseason opener, and he needed arthroscopic surgery to repair the ailment. If he isn't ready Sunday, QB Joe Flacco would make the start against his former team, and that smells like an UNDER result waiting to happen.

The UNDER is 5-0 in the past five for Baltimore as a favorite, while going 11-4 in the past 15 on the road, and 4-0 in the past four as a road fave. For Gang Green, the OVER is 6-2 in the past eight at home, and most trends point to the OVER. But again, they might start the season with a backup signal caller. And the UNDER is 4-0 in the past four September games for the Jets.


Non-Conference Angles

Including the Buffalo-L.A. Rams opener on Thursday, covered above, we have five others matchups pitting AFC and NFC teams on the Week 1 slate.

Jacksonville at Washington: The Jaguars hope to finally get out of the basement of the standings and show some progress, but if the winless preseason is any indication, it's gonna be another tough road to hoe in 2022.

The Jaguars saw the UNDER cash at a 5-0 clip against the NFC last season, scoring 19, 7, 10, 14 and 7 in those five outings. The UNDER was also 5-2 in the final seven road games of 2021, and 6-2 if you count a game in London against the Miami Dolphins.

The Commanders, then named the Washington Football Team, managed to cash the UNDER at a 10-7 clip last season. The UNDER hit in the final five home games for Washington in 2021, while the UNDER is 11-4 in their past 15 games when favored, including 7-3 in the past 10 as a home fave.


Cleveland at Carolina: The Browns made a controversial signing in the offseason. Perhaps you heard about it on social media or somewhere. Anyway, that signing spelled the end of the stay in Cleveland for QB Baker Mayfield, who just happened to get traded to Carolina, the Week 1 opponent for the Browns. In Week 1 in 2021, the Panthers faced the Jets, after acquiring QB Sam Darnold from New York last offseason. What's with the Panthers starting a QB against their former team in the very first game each season?

Cleveland scored 20 or more points in each of its preseason games to hit the OVER each time, which is a far cry from the UNDER run it closed the regular season on. The UNDER was 6-1 in the final seven regular-season games, which prompted the team to go out and mortgage the future on the controversial QB Deshaun Watson. He is suspended for the first 11 games, so it will be QB Jacoby Brissett serving as a caretaker/bridge until Watson is eligible to return. Expect plenty of running with RBs Nick Chubb and/or Kareem Hunt, and that means UNDER results, most likely.

The Panthers scored 17, 10, 6 and 14 in the final four regular-season games in 2021, so Mayfield will be a breath of fresh air for an offense needing some excitement. If RB Christian McCaffrey can manage to stay healthy, that will do wonders for this offense, and the prospects for OVER bettors, too. The UNDER was 3-2 for Carolina vs. AFC in 2021, but the OVER hit in the final two encounters against the AFC.


N.Y. Giants at Tennessee: The Giants open the season in Nashville, and this game features two injury-prone running backs looking to get off to a quick start while managing to stay healthy. If New York's Saquon Barkley and Tennessee's Derrick Henry can start strong, that's good news for their teams, but, of course, it's good news for UNDER bettors, too. Again, a strong run game runs the clock.

The Giants averaged 25.0 PPG in the preseason, hitting the OVER three times. Is that a sign of things to come? Fans of Big Blue, and potential OVER bettors, hope so. The UNDER finished on a 9-2-1 run for the G-Men in the final 12 outings, and cashed in each of the five contests against AFC foes in 2021.

The Titans struggled to find consistency in the preseason, scoring 13 or fewer points on two occasions. In games against the NFC, the Titans saw the UNDER go 3-2 last season, including a 2-1 mark in three games at Nissan Stadium. The UNDER closed on a 5-1 run for the Titans, too, including the AFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Bengals.


Kansas City at Arizona: The Chiefs made some news in the offseason, sending Hill to Miami, while adding WRs Juju Smith-Schuster and Valdes-Scantling to the receivers room. But it was the defense in the preseason making some big waves, allowing just 43 total points to hit the UNDER in all three exhibition games. Time will tell if that effort carries over into the regular season, and it faces a big test against Cardinals QB Kyler Murray and the high-flying Arizona offense.

Kansas City saw the UNDER cash in four of five meetings against NFC teams last season, going 1-1 on the road. The Arizona defense was picked apart for 23 or more points in each of its three preseason games, cashing the OVER in each outing. However, against AFC teams in 2021, the UNDER was 4-1 for the Cardinals, with the loan OVER result a 37-14 rout in Cleveland in Week 6.

The OVER has cashed in the past seven regular-season openers for Kansas City, while going 17-7 in the past 24 games in the month of September. For the Cardinals, the UNDER might be 21-8 in the past 29 games in September, but the OVER is 5-2 in their past seven as a home 'dog.


Primetime Notes

The UNDER produced a 25-19-1 (56.9%) clip in 46 primetime games during the 2021 regular season. We kick off the regular season with three games under the lights, including Thursday's Bills-Rams (above) game.

Sunday Night Football Notes

Tampa Bay at Dallas: The Buccaneers welcome back the ageless QB Tom Brady for his third season in Tampa. The 45-year-old is still performing at a high level, and this offense posted 405.9 total yards per game and 30.1 PPG to rank second in the NFL in both categories. However, the OVER had just a slight 9-8 edge in the regular season, as the defense really stiffened up down the stretch. The OVER is 5-1 in the past six regular-season openers, including 2-0 in the past two with Brady under center.

The Cowboys were an UNDER machine from Halloween on last season, going 8-3 in the final 11 regular-season games, with an UNDER result in their NFC Wild-Card Game loss to the 49ers. The OVER is 13-6 in the past 19 for the Pokes at Jerry World, while going 5-2 in the past seven as a home 'dog.

These same teams met in Week 1 last season, with Brady's Bucs coming out ahead with a 31-29 win at Raymond James Stadium as the OVER easily connected.


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Monday Night Football Notes

Denver at Seattle: Last, but not least, QB Russell Wilson will be starting a game at Lumen Field in Seattle, but he'll be the visitor for the first time in his career. He landed in the Mile High City after an offseason trade, and, as luck has it, his first game for Orange Crush is back in his old stomping grounds.

Denver saw the UNDER go 8-3 in the final 11 games last season, but it's rather meaningless since this offense will have a completely different look with DangeRuss running the show. For the record, the UNDER was 4-1 in Denver's five games against NFC foes, but these trends aren't terribly important with a new-look offense.

For Seattle, it turns (back) to QB Geno Smith as the starter. The journeyman started several games last season when Wilson was sidelined due to injury, with the UNDER 3-0 in Smith's three starts from Weeks 6 through 8, including a prime time game in Pittsburgh on Oct. 17.


Fearless Predictions

Let's get off to a strong start and begin building that bankroll for Week 1 and down the stretch toward Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona on Feb. 12, 2023.

  • Best Over: OVER 42.5 New Orleans-Atlanta
  • Best Under: UNDER 52.5 Buffalo-L.A. Rams 
  • Best First-Half Total: OVER 23.5 Green Bay-Minnesota

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

  • OVER 35.5 New Orleans-Atlanta
  • UNDER 53 Indianapolis-Houston
  • OVER 41.5 Philadelphia-Detroit
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