Last Updated Sep 05, 2022, 7:46 PM

Total Talk - Week 18

We're hurtling toward Week 11 of the NFL regular season, and the good news is that we didn't have a ton of team-altering injuries in this past slate of games. Sure, there were injuries, like their always are in a game as violent as football, but there thankfully weren't of a ton of them.

One of the biggest injuries was to Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones, who suffered a knee injury late in the snowy win over the Seattle Seahawks. He suffered what is being terms a mild sprain of the medial collateral ligament, and it's likely to cost him one or two weeks. RB AJ Dillon, who stepped in late for Jones against the Seahawks, figures to carry the load in Week 11 in Minnesota.

Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield was knocked from Sunday's game in New England due to a knee ailment, but head coach Kevin Stefanski said the quarterback could have returned, but elected to hold the signal caller out with the game well out of hand. That's good news. RB Nick Chubb, who missed the game with a positive COVID test, should also be back this week against the 0-8-1 Detroit Lions, so things could be looking up again on the shores of Lake Erie.

Dallas Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb left last week's game against the Atlanta Falcons due to an arm injury, and his absence in the fourth quarter was more the result of a huge lead on the scoreboard, and not something more serious. The Cowboys put up 43 points, and total bettors, especially those who like OVER results, will want to make sure Lamb is healthy. He is a huge cog in that offense.

GAME OF THE WEEK?

Washington at Carolina: The Panthers appear to be grooming QB Cam Newton to start in Week 11 against the Washington Football Team and old coach Ron Rivera. He was just signed back to the club last week, and he accounted for touchdowns on his first two touches in a stunning upset win at Arizona, 34-10. It helped that QB Colt McCoy started for the Cards, and was knocked from the game, forcing former CFL QB Chris Streveler to finish up.

The Washington offense came alive in a 29-19 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, but enter on a 4-0 UNDER run. The defense has allowed 18.0 PPG in the past two games, while the offense has scored 13 or fewer points in three of the past four. The Panthers defense is No. 1 in the NFL against the pass, allowing just 173.7 yards per game, and the Panthers are sixth in scoring defense with just 19.3 PPG.

The UNDER is 3-1 in the past four for Carolina, although the offense scored a season-high 34 points last week in Arizona, spurred on by the arrival of Cam. But you can expect defense to rule the day in this one.

DIVISION OVER-UNDER NOTES

The OVER/UNDER went 2-2 in the four NFL Divisional battles in Week 10. We have four more divisional matchups on tap for Sunday. 

Green Bay at Minnesota: The Packers offense was sluggish in Week 10 against the visiting Seattle Seahawks. It was just 3-0 in favor of the Pack heading to the fourth quarter, as defense ruled the day. QB Aaron Rodgers made it back from the reserve/COVID list, but was rusty, as expected, after not having practiced all week. In fact, he produced no touchdowns through the air, with Dillon picking up the slack with two rushing scores in the fourth quarter for the injured Jones.

The Pack have cashed the UNDER in seven consecutive games, with the offense averaging just 12.0 PPG in the previous two outings. More importantly, the defense has been on fire with 0, 13, 21, 10, 14, 22 and 17 allowed in the previous seven games. Green Bay is yielding just 309.9 total yards per game, 202.7 passing yards per game and 18.0 PPG, and all three marks rank third in the NFL. You'll hear all about Rodgers and the offense in the headlines, but it's the defense which is driving this team to repeated UNDER results.

The Vikings cashed the UNDER in a road win against the Chargers, 27-20 on a number of 53.5. The UNDER is 5-2 across the past seven for the Vikings, allowing 20 or fewer points in five of the past seven.

The UNDER is 9-4 in the past 13 meetings in this series, with the UNDER 6-1 in the past seven meetings in the Twin Cities.

Houston at Tennessee: Houston heads into Sunday's game after a bye. We'll see if the rest helped them rediscover how to score. The Texans have hgad five single-digit scoring performances in the past seven outings, posting 9, 22, 5, 3, 22, 0 and 9 during the stretch. It's no surprise the UNDER is 5-2 across the past seven outings for the Texans.

The Titans have alternated OVER and UNDER results across the past five games. The Texans have scored 23 or more points in nine straight games, and the loss of RB Derrick Henry has caused minimal issue. The Tennessee offense is averaging 25.5 PPG in two games without Henry, while scoring 28.4 PPG with Henry in the backfield.

The UNDER is 4-0 in the past four road games for the Texans, while going 7-2 in the past nine against teams with a winning overall record. For the Titans, it's been all OVER all the time. The OVER is 8-2 across Tennessee's past 10 inside the division, while going 11-2 in the previous 13 against teams with a losing mark, which the Texans easily qualify. The UNDER has cashed in four of the past five meetings in Nashville.

Miami at N.Y. Jets: The Dolphins have managed just 50 total points, or 16.7 PPG across the past three outings. In their two-game win streak, defense has steered the ship to two UNDER results, allowing just 9 to Houston, and 10 to Baltimore. The UNDER has hit in three in a row for the Dolphins, and four of the past five.

The Jets have allowed 45 or more points in three of the past four games. They're the first team since the 1966 New York Giants to allowed 45 or more points three times in a four-game span. It's no surprise the OVER has been a frequent happening for Gang Green, hitting in six consecutive games after the UNDER opened 3-0 in the first three contests.

The UNDER is 6-1 in Miami's past seven games inside the division, while going 9-4 in its past 13 as a favorite. While the Jets have crushed the OVER lately, is that run coming to an end? The UNDER is 5-1 in the past six meetings in this series, with the UNDER a perfect 4-0 in the past four battles in the Meadowlands.

Arizona at Seattle: The Cardinals and Seahawks square off for the first time this season. Arizona has allowed 25.5 PPG across the past two games, hitting the OVER in each, including a divisional battle in San Francisco in Week 9. The OVER is 2-1 in three divisional games to date for the Cards.

The Seahawks posted a goose egg last week in Green Bay, the first time the team has been shut out with QB Russell Wilson under center. In fact, it was the first time the Seahawks have have been shut out since Sept. 18, 2011, a 24-0 loss on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Seattle has the longest active streak of UNDER results in the NFL, cashing in seven consecutive games, while posting an 8-1 UNDER mark in nine games overall. The defense has been much better lately, allowing just 17, 7 and 13, contributing to the low totals.

Total bettors will love the following trends. The UNDER is 7-0 in the past seven for the Cardinals as a road favorite, while going 10-3 in the past 13 games on the road. For the Seahawks, it's not just a small-sample trend. The UNDER is 15-3 in the past 18 games overall dating back to last season. The UNDER is also 7-2 in the past nine games at Lumen Field, while going 5-2 in the previous seven inside the division, including 2-0 this season. The UNDER is also 3-1 in the past four meetings in this season.

NON-CONFERENCE ANGLES

Week 10 featured four non-conference matchups and the UNDER went 3-1.

We have five more AFC vs. NFC battles on tap for the Week 11 schedule, including the Thursday night game.

New England at Atlanta (Thu.): The Patriots offense has been hot lately, with QB Mac Jones really coming into his own and looking more comfortable. The Patriots have posted 45, 24, 27, 54, 29 and 25 across the past six, with the OVER 5-1 during the impressive span. The defense has allowed a total of 13 points in the past two games. New England has posted OVER totals in the past two against NFC teams after going 2-0 to the UNDER in the first two against the NFC.

The Falcons were able to muster just a field goal, it's lowest total of the season, and first single-digit point total since losing 32-6 at home against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1. The UNDER has hit in two of the past three games for the Falcons, although the OVER is 2-0 in two games against the AFC this season.

Baltimore at Chicago: The Ravens turned in a season-low 10 points in Miami on Thursday night in Week 10. The team's previous low was 17 in Week 7, a game which saw them allowed 41 points to the Cincinnati Bengals. Baltimore's defense has struggled a bit in the past three outings, yielding 22, 31 and 41. 

The Ravens hit the OVER in their most recent matchup against an NFC team, a 34-31 overtime win over the Minnesota Vikings. The UNDER cashed in Week 3 at Detroit, however, the only other game against an NFC team.

QB Justin Fields has struggled so far this season, but he looked like a functional NFL quarterback, posting a career-high 291 passing yards in Pittsburgh in Week 9 prior to the team's bye. The 27 points scored was also a season high, and the Bears are averaging a respectable 24.5 PPG in the past two, both OVER results. The defense has also allowed 31.0 PPG. The UNDER is still 3-1 in Chicago's past four games this season against AFC opponents.

San Francisco at Jacksonville: The 49ers surprised the Rams on Monday Night Football, posting 31 or more points for the second time in the past three games. The 10 points allowed in Week 10 was a season low for the 49ers defense, too. The UNDER was the first since Week 5 for the Niners.

In San Francisco's lone trip to the Eastern Time Zone so far this season, it posted an easy UNDER in Week 2 at Philadelphia in a 17-11 win with a total of 49 points.

The Jaguars have cashed the UNDER in four consecutive games, going for just 17, 9, 7 and 23 during the four-game span. The defense has stepped up its effort, yielding just 23, 9, 31 and 20. It's not great, but the defense has at least been solid. Jacksonville has cashed the UNDER in seven of the past eight games overall, going 3-1 in the past four true home games, as well as its "home" game in London in Week 6.

The OVER is 6-1-1 in San Francisco's past eight as a road favorite, while going 9-4 in the past 13 against teams with a losing overall record. For the Jaguars, the UNDER is 4-1 in the past five at TIAA Bank Stadium, while hitting in each of the past four as an underdog.

Detroit at Cleveland: The Lions scratched out a 16-16 tie in Pittsburgh, as the offense continues to struggle putting points on the board. That's 16, 6, 19, 11, 17, 14, 17 and 17 across the past eight games. With that kind of production, or lack thereof, it's no shock that the UNDER is 6-1 across the past seven outings. The 16 points allowed was a season low, and it helped that QB Ben Roethlisberger and WR Chase Claypool were out due to illness or injury.

The Browns were drummed in Foxboro by the Patriots, falling 45-7, hitting single digits for the first time this season. The 45 points allowed was the second-highest amount allowed, and it's the fourth time in 10 games Cleveland has allowed 33 or more points. The OVER has cashed in two straight. More importantly, the UNDER is 2-1 in Cleveland's three games against NFC teams, including 2-0 against the NFC North Division.

Dallas at Kansas City: The Cowboys rebounded last week with 43 points, it's fifth time going for 35 or more points in the past seven games - six if you subtract the game QB Dak Prescott missed in Minnesota on Halloween night.

Speaking of bouncing back, the Chiefs offense finally looked like what we've grown accustomed to seeing in recent seasons. QB Patrick Mahomes tossed five touchdowns and the Kansas City offense piled up 422 passing yards, 516 total yards and 41 points in an OVER result at Las Vegas on Sunday night in Week 10. That OVER slapped the brakes on a 4-0 UNDER run for the Chiefs. It wasn't a season high, however, as K.C. posted 42 points in a game at Philadelphia, also an OVER result. That's the only OVER in four previous games against the NFC oppoent this season, however.

PRIMETIME NOTES

The UNDER was 2-1 in the three primetime games in Week 10. The UNDER has produced a 14-13-1 (48.1%) clip in 28 primetime games so far this season. 

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL NOTES

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Los Angeles Chargers meet on Sunday Night Football again. Good Yinzers likely remember the last time these two faced each other on SNF not long ago, as backup QB Devlin Hodges, a.k.a. 'Duck', was forced into starting duty with QB Ben Roethlisberger injured. He helped the Steelers to a stunning 24-17 win at Dignity Sports Health Park in Carson, Calif., winning outright as six-point underdogs as the UNDER cashed.

Speaking of UNDER results, that's been the rule lately for the Steelers. It fumbled its way to a 16-16 tie against the Detroit Lions in Week 10, hitting the UNDER despite a full overtime. The UNDER is now 3-1 across the past four, and 7-2 overall for the Steelers this season. Pittsburgh has managed 331.1 total yards of offense per game, ranking 24th in the NFL, and just 19.7 PPG to rank 26th. They were missing WR Chase Claypool last week, as he joined WR JuJu Smith-Schuster on the sideline. The latter is done for the season, leaving the team a little thin at receiver. Pittsburgh has been a lot more ground-based lately, and running teams means running clock, which UNDER bettors absolutely love.

The Bolts were stunned by the Minnesota Vikings at home, falling 27-20 as the UNDER cashed. While the UNDER is 6-3 overall for the Chargers, it is just 2-2 in the past four outings. The defense has been very giving lately, allowing 24 or more points in five consecutive games. The Vikings were able to total 278 passing yards and 103 rushing yards, and if not for 10 penalties for 118 yards, Minnesota might have done even more in Week 10.

One big note of interest is that Steelers S Minkah Fitzpatrick, arguably their best secondary man, is unlikely to play due to a positive COVID situation, so QB Justin Herbert should certainly like that. Couple that with the fact LB T.J. Watt is uncertain due to hip and knee injuries, and the Bolts could be facing a Steelers D without its two best defenders.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL NOTES

The New York Giants-Tampa Bay Buccaneers square off on Monday night. Another prime time showing for the Giants. Yay, just what nobody asked for. Well, it is Giants vs. QB Tom Brady, and episodes of that show have been exciting in the past. Of course, that was exciting 10-15 years ago.

UNDER bettors who also love prime time games won't mind seeing the G-Men again. In a MNF game in Kansas City, the Giants put up a quality effort in a 20-17 loss, hitting the UNDER in Week 8. The Giants have cashed the UNDER in three in a row, allowing a total of just 39 points during the span, or 13.0 PPG. After a week off due to the bye, the Giants figure to get some key elements back on offense. Prior to the bye, the offense managed 23, 17, 25, 11 and 20 in the past five outings.

The Bucs are likely to be hopping mad after a 29-19 setback at Washington in Week 10, hitting the UNDER in a second consecutive loss. The Bucs have hit the UNDER in three of the past four, a combination of both offensive struggles, and tight defense, coupled with weak opponents and inflated totals. Tampa has allowed just 20 total points in the past two games at home, facing the offensive-challenged Chicago Bears and the Miami Dolphins in those outings. The Giants aren't exactly the greatest show on turf, either, so the Bucs D should excel here.

FEARLESS PREDICTIONS

Last week's predictions were so-so at 2-2 (+15), but hey, it's not a losing week. That's a season total of (+450). Let's start building that bankroll for Week 11 and down the stretch.

  • Best Over: Over 47 Steelers at Chargers
  • Best Under: Under 45.5 49ers at Jaguars
  • Best First-Half Total: Under 22.5 Texans at Titans

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

  • Over 38 Dolphins at Jets
  • Under 56.5 Packers at Vikings
  • Over 40 Steelers at Chargers
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