Miami at Buffalo: The Bills (11-3) and Dolphins (10-4) have been sneaky-good ‘over’ bets this season yet oddsmakers continue to post low totals on this pair (41 ½). Is there a reason for this production? The answer is yes and the proof lies with big plays (great stat) from both clubs. The Bills have seen the ‘over’ go 7-0 at Ralph Wilson Stadium this season behind an offense averaging 30.7 points per game at home and a suspect defense (24.7 PPG). Miami has scored 24 and 34 in its two divisional matchups on the road and the ‘over’ cashed in each game. The ‘over’ is on a 3-0 run in this series but the last two games played at Buffalo in December went ‘under’ the number. Keep an eye on the latest weather reports for this matchup with snow possibly looming.
Tampa Bay at New Orleans: The Buccaneers stifled the Saints 16-11 in Week 14 at home and the ‘under’ (51 ½) was never in doubt. It was the fourth straight ‘under’ in this series yet the rematch is staring at a higher total (52 ½). The Saints are coming off a 48-point performance and are averaging 31 PPG at home plus the scoring defense (30.3 PPG) at the Superdome is ranked last in the league.
Atlanta at Carolina: The Falcons diced up the Panthers 48-33 at home on Oct. 2 and the ‘over’ (48 ½) cashed easily. Even though that game went to the high side, the ‘under’ connected in the six previous encounters. The Atlanta-Over combination has cashed eight times this season, three times in their last four games. I’d be weary to press that wager here knowing Carolina’s defense (20.3 PPG) has played better at home and it’s still technically alive for the playoffs.
Minnesota at Green Bay: I thought this total (43) would be a tad lower but the majority of bettors always lean to Packers and ‘over’ at Lambeau Field. Unfortunately for the masses, that combo has hit once this season for Green Bay at home. Minnesota has leaned to the ‘under’ (9-5) all season and a couple of those ‘over’ tickets received help from its defense. The ‘under’ is on a 4-0 run in this series.
N.Y. Jets at New England: The ‘over’ has gone 7-3 in the last 10 meetings between the pair but I wouldn’t put much stock into those results. The Jets are a mess offensively with whomever at QB and New England is already in playoff-mode. I expect an ugly game with the Patriots trying to get off the field with a win and no injuries.
Tennessee at Jacksonville: The Titans blasted the Jaguars 36-22 in a Thursday night matchup at home in Week 8 and they also earned a 42-39 shootout victory in Nashville over Jacksonville last season. We mention those results because Tennessee has only managed to score 13 and 13 points in its last two trips to Jacksonville. The Jaguars will have a new coach (Doug Marrone) on the sidelines and it’s always tough to handicap teams who may or may not be playing for pride.
San Francisco at Los Angeles: Low total (39) for this meaningless matchup and it’s warranted with neither team showing consistent production on offense. The ‘under’ has gone 4-0 in the last four games in this series, which includes the Week 1 result when the 49ers blanked the Rams 28-0 at home.
Arizona at Seattle: The ‘under’ is on a 4-2 run in this series and we’re looking at a low total (43) this week but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some fireworks. The Cardinals are eliminated from the playoffs but they’re on a 5-0 ‘over’ run and all six of their road games have gone to the high side. Seattle has been much more potent offensively at home (28 PPG) and it needs to win this game to push closer to No. 2 seed in the NFC.
Baltimore at Pittsburgh (Sunday): Tough total (44) to handicap because Pittsburgh’s been a clear-cut ‘under’ team (10-4) this season but it still has the ability to explode offensively. Baltimore has also leaned to the ‘under’ (8-6) yet the offense has found its rhythm the last three weeks (29.3 PPG) and that’s resulted in three ‘over’ tickets. The ‘under’ is on a 3-0 run in this series, which includes their first meeting this season when Baltimore dropped Pittsburgh 21-14 at home.
Denver at Kansas City: (See Below)
Coast to Coast
It wasn’t easy last week but head coach Dan Quinn decided to kick a late field goal in Atlanta’s 41-13 home win San Francisco and the ‘over’ (51 ½) connected for bettors last Sunday. Including that result, the ‘over’ has gone 15-4 (79%) in games where a team from the West Coast has played in the Eastern Time Zone. Dating back to last season, the overall numbers are 26-9 (74%) to the ‘over’ in these games.
The last regular season game featuring a West Coast team playing in the Eastern Time Zone takes place on Saturday when San Diego visits Cleveland. The total on this game opened at 44 and you can make an argument for either decision.
The Browns (29.1 PPG) and Chargers (26.1 PPG) are both ranked in the bottom four in scoring defense but neither team has shown much pop offensively lately. Cleveland is averaging 10.3 PPG in its last six while San Diego’s once potent attack has been held to 21 or less in four straight games. The Chargers have already made two trips to the East Coast this season and the total has gone 1-1 in those games with combined scores of 63 and 44 points posted. Weather expected to play a factor in this matchup as well.
Under the Lights
The ‘under’ run in the primetime matchups continued in Week 15 with a 3-1 mark, the lone ‘over’ occurring in Miami’s 34-13 win over the Jets last Saturday. The ‘under’ was on a 5-2 run the last two weeks but Philadelphia and New York did go ‘over’ this past Thursday, which snapped a six-game run to the low side on the midweek game. Through 15 weeks and one game, the ‘under’ holds a 26-21-1 mark in night games this season.
We have three games slated under the lights for Week 16, with the action starting on Saturday.
Cincinnati at Houston (Saturday): Despite playing in different divisions, these teams have met the last five seasons and the ‘under’ has gone 3-2. The average combined scored during this span was 32.6. Houston is going with Tom Savage at quarterback and he looked decent last week (23-of-36, 260 yards) against a decent Jaguars defense. The Bengals offense has been held to 20 points or less in five of seven road games and hard to see them improving that number against a stout Texans defense that has been much better at home (17.6 PPG).
Denver at Kansas City (Sunday): These teams combined for 57 points in Week 12 as Kansas City nipped Denver 30-27 in overtime on the road. This was a 16-10 game going into the fourth quarter and looked like an easy ‘under’ winner. For the rematch, the books have sent out a super-low number of 37 ½ points and the number is justified. The Chiefs have seen the ‘under’ go 10-4 this season, 6-1 at Arrowhead Stadium while Denver enters this contest on a 3-0 ‘under’ run behind an offense (11 PPG) that has imploded the last three weeks. This is another contest that will likely be affected with inclement weather.
Detroit at Dallas (Monday): Knowing the Cowboys clinched the No. 1 overall seed on Thursday due to the Giants losing makes this game very tough to handicap. Will Dallas pull up in this spot and go through the motions? Tough to say but we do know the Lions enter this game on an 8-0 run to the ‘under’ and they have a very good defense. Dallas has also been a solid ‘under’ bet (9-5) this season and its last three games have all leaned to the low side. This total opened 42 ½ and sits at 44 ½ as of Friday but that could quickly change based on what Cowboys team we’ll see this Monday.
I expected the elements to play a factor in the Green Bay-Chicago game and that didn’t work out so well. That matchup alone put us in the red ($230) and pushed the deficit back to the five-unit ($490) mark on the season. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck and Happy Holidays to you and yours!
Best Over: Tampa Bay-New Orleans 52 ½
Best Under: Tennessee-Jacksonville 44
Best Team Total: Over 25 Washington
Three-Team Total Teaser (9-Point, +100)
Over Tampa Bay-New Orleans 43 ½
Over Arizona-Seattle 34
Under Denver-Kansas City 46 ½