|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|09-30-23||Illinois v. Purdue UNDER 54||19-44||Loss||-109||23 h 55 m||Show|
I'm expecting a stronger defensive battle here than the oddsmaker perceives.
First-year Purdue coach Ryan Walters was the defensive coordinator at Illinois before getting the Boilermakers job. He knows the Illini well. Illinois is averaging just 22.3 points, which ranks 99th.
I was expecting more from Purdue QB Hudson Card, a transfer from Texas. The Boilermakers' offense has yet to fully click.
Another key to making an Under work here is misleading defensive statistics. The numbers are skewed because both teams have faced three strong offenses, especially Illinois. The Illini have gone against Toledo, Kansas and Penn State.
Purdue has faced Fresno State, Syracuse and Wisconsin.
|09-30-23||Virginia v. Boston College OVER 52.5||24-27||Loss||-105||21 h 38 m||Show|
I'm getting involved in this total now that the marketplace has shaved off a couple of points. We have two really bad defensive teams here.
Virginia is the worst defensive team in the ACC. The Cavaliers rank 127th in scoring defense allowing 37.8 points a game and are 113th in defensive total yards.
Eagles QB Thomas Castellanos is in line for a big performance. He's passed for 909 yards and eight TD's while also leading the Eagles in rushing with 280 yards. Helping the Over is BC playing at a top-15 tempo.
Virginia should put up its share of points no matter who the quarterback is, either strong-armed gunslinger Anthony Colandrea or Tony Muskett, who started the first game but suffered a shoulder injury. The Cavaliers have one of the better receivers in the conference in Malik Washington. He's had three straight 100-yard receiving games.
|09-30-23||Florida v. Kentucky UNDER 44.5||14-33||Loss||-115||20 h 15 m||Show|
Florida coach Billy Napier did a wise thing. He brought in defensive guru Austin Armstrong from Southern Mississippi. The Gators are giving up just 13.5 points a game with Armstrong as their defensive coordinator.
I don't like Kentucky's skill position talent as much as last season. The Wildcats could get exposed offensively here having played weak opponents Ball State, Eastern Kentucky, Akron and Vanderbilt. The Gators should be able to get numerous sacks on Devin Leary, who has been picked off five times.
Kentucky does have a solid defense, though, ranking in the top 20 in total defense and 10th in run defense. I'm not a fan of Florida QB Graham Mertz, who was a huge disappointment at Wisconsin before transferring to Florida.
Both teams play at a very slow tempo ranking in the bottom-18 in pace.
|09-28-23||Lions v. Packers UNDER 46||Top||34-20||Loss||-110||22 h 11 m||Show|
It's not just that both defenses have improved as to why I like the Under.
Check out the injury situation. I expect Aaron Jones and Christian Watson to play for Green Bay. Jones is a major upgrade on plodding A.J. Dillon, who is an Under bettor's dream every time he carries the ball for his two yards up the middle. But don't overlook offensive line injuries. As many as five starting offensive linemen could be missing.
The Packers definitely won't have their two best offensive lineman as left tackle David Bakhitari and left guard Elgton Jenkins are out. The Lions won't have right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Detroit also could be minus their other starting guard, Jonah Jackson, and left tackle Taylor Decker. Both Jackson and Decker are questionable.
There are quarterback issues, too. Jared Goff isn't mobile and has a history of not playing as well outdoors on grass as he does inside a dome. Jordan Love has accuracy issues and is averaging just 6.8 yards a completion.
Rashuan Gary is back for Green Bay. He had three sacks against the Saints last Sunday. Gary ranked tied for No. 2 in pressure percentage through the first eight games last season. But he suffered a season-ending knee injury in his ninth game and the Packers lost their pass rush without him.
The Lions have a stud defensive lineman, too, in Aidan Hutchinson. Gary and Hutchinson aren't at the Myles Garrett, T.J. Watt, Nick Bosa top passing rushing level. But they arguably could be in the second tier of pass rushers.
The Lions held the Falcons to 44 yards rushing on 20 carries last Sunday. Atlanta entered that matchup ranked fourth in the NFL in rushing at 170.5 yards per game. They had rushed for 100 yards in 18 of their previous 19 games. Detroit defensive back Brian Branch came out of that game as a potential Defensive Rookie of the Year player.
Note, too, this is a division matchup on a short week. These teams know each other well and there isn't time for them to put in new wrinkles.
|09-24-23||Panthers v. Seahawks OVER 42||27-37||Win||100||37 h 54 m||Show|
This is a low total in today's NFL. I understand why the oddsmaker made it. The Panthers have shown nothing on offense. Seattle is missing its starting offensive tackles.
However, there is more than meets the eye here as to why this total should be higher.
Bryce Young hasn't moved the Carolina offense. But the rookie isn't going to play. Veteran Andy Dalton is. Look, I'm not a big Dalton fan. Never have been even when it was with the Bengals and was a decent starting QB. But Dalton is the right QB for the Panthers given Carolina's offensive limitations.
Dalton is a veteran. He'll take what the defense gives him and Seattle's defense is missing cornerbacks Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant. Free safety Quandre Diggs isn't likely to play either because of a hamstring injury. Dalton can take advantage of this and provide more stability than the work-in-progress Young could. Dalton has veteran pass-catchers Adam Thielen, D.J. Chark and tight end Hayden Hurst along with promising rookie Jonathan Mingo. The Panthers will be able to move the sticks.
The Seahawks got around their cluster injury problem at offensive tackle by having Geno Smith throw short. Seattle put up 37 points on the Lions on the road last week despite not having its starting offensive tackles. It's not like left tackle Charles Cross and right tackle Abe Lucas were All-Pro-caliber either.
Smith has one of the better wide receiver trios in the NFL with DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njiba. Kenneth Walker is an above average running back.
The Panthers are missing two key defensive players with their No. 1 cornerback, Jaycee Horn, out with a hamstring injury and steady, veteran linebacker Shaq Thompson out with a leg/ankle injury.
|09-24-23||Falcons v. Lions OVER 46||6-20||Loss||-105||34 h 13 m||Show|
Detroit's Ford Field indoor dome is the football equivalent of Colorado's Coors Field when it comes to high scoring.
I have to seriously look Over when there's a Lions home game and the total is less than a key 47. The Over has cashed in eight of the Lions' last 11 home games.
I'm not sold on Detroit's so-called defensive improvement, nor its run defense. The Lions faced mediocre rushing teams Kansas City and Seattle in their first two games. Now they get the Falcons, a top-three rushing team with the second-best all-around running back in the NFL, Bijan Robinson. Yes, Robinson already has established himself as that and he could soon overtake Christian McCaffrey as the best.
The Lions may choose to load the box to key on the Falcons' ground attack. That would be risky, though, even against Desmond Ridder because Detroit has a clustery injury problem in its secondary. Out are safeties Kerby Joseph, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and cornerback Emmanuel Moseley. Gardner-Johnson is an underrated player. The Lions' defense isn't nearly adequate enough to withstand multiple injuries.
Jared Goff has a history of playing much better at home. He's averaged more than two TD's per game at home. David Montgomery isn't likely to play for Detroit. That's not necessarily a bad thing for the Over. Montgomery is a North-South runner who eats clock with his inside running. Minus Montgomery the Lions could make exciting rookie Jahmyr Gibbs their featured back. Gibbs has been underutilized at this early stage of the season.
|09-23-23||Ohio State v. Notre Dame UNDER 55.5||Top||17-14||Win||100||26 h 12 m||Show|
Marvin Harrison Jr. is the best wide receiver in college football. Sam Hartman is in the Heisman Trophy discussion especially if Notre Dame wins this game. Early marketplace activity has been on the Over knowing these two skill position superstars are playing.
I see it differently.
I look at how strong these two defenses are and find this total to be too high. Ohio State is giving up an average of 6.6 points in its three games. The Buckeyes just held Western Kentucky's Austin Reed to 207 passing yards and one TD. Reed is the FBS active career leader in passing yards. Reed isn't Hartman, but he's still darn good.
Notre Dame ranks ninth in the country in fewest points allowed. Only 15 teams give up fewer yards per game than Notre Dame.
I have questions about Ohio State's offense at this stage of the season. The Buckeyes' offensive line hasn't looked that good. Neither has their ground attack. QB Kyle McCord is unproven against this caliber of opponent. If McCord was that good, he would have been named the starting QB going into the season rather than three games into the year.
|09-23-23||Duke v. Connecticut UNDER 45.5||41-7||Loss||-115||64 h 29 m||Show|
Duke showed how strong it is defensively holding Clemson to seven points. Connecticut doesn't have the weapons to seriously challenge the Blue Devils defense. The Huskies, who are on their second quarterback, average only 15 points and 314 yards. Duke has the No. 5 run defense in the country. Connecticut allowed nine tackles for losses during their 24-17 loss to FIU last week.
The Blue Devils are more of a grind-out team rather than explosive. This is their first road game. They have Notre Dame on deck. So the Blue Devils aren't likely to show this weak opponent any wrinkles in their playbook saving any trick plays for Notre Dame.
Duke is going to be ground-oriented and doing it at a slow pace.
Weather could factor, too, in limiting the score. Rain and heavy winds are in the forecast.
|09-23-23||Miami-FL v. Temple UNDER 47||41-7||Loss||-110||42 h 27 m||Show|
At first glance this total may look right given how well Miami QB Tyler Van Dyke is playing and the threat Temple poses through the air thanks to E.J. Warner, son of Hall of Fame QB Kurt Warner.
But look at the weather forecast. It's grim to say the least: 90 percent chance of rain and heavy wind in the 20-to-30 mph range.
The 20th-ranked Hurricanes aren't thrilled to be traveling to Philadelphia for their first road game. Miami isn't going to show much against this lowly opponent. The Hurricanes play slow - only six teams go at a slower tempo - and will just want to get this game to finish fast. Temple has been good against the pass ranking 23rd in pass defense.
Miami ranks in the top-20 in fewest yards allowed per game. Temple only averages 24 points a game and that's going against weak competition in Akron, Rutgers and FCS Norfolk State. Warner is off to a slow start and the Owls rank 87th in rushing.
|09-22-23||Wisconsin v. Purdue OVER 53||Top||38-17||Win||100||65 h 31 m||Show|
Wisconsin is more balanced on offense, but weaker on defense. Purdue is weak defensively. So look for a higher total than what the oddsmaker has projected.
The Boilermakers are surrendering 30.3 points a game and rank 108th in total defense.
SMU transfer Tanner Mordecai is Wisconsin's best QB since Russell Wilson. One thing that hasn't changed about the Badgers is having a star running back. That's Braelon Allen. But he's not even the Badgers' leading rusher. Chez Mellusi is. He and Allen are averaging a combined 174 yards rushing a game. They each have four TD's.
Purdue hasn't faced this good of an offense having played Fresno State, Virginia Tech and Syracuse.
The Boilermakers aren't going to get many stops. But the Badgers are going to encounter their own defense struggles trying to contain QB Hudson Card as their secondary is way down from past seasons. Wisconsin ranks 115th in pass defense.
Georgia Southern QB Davis Brin threw for 383 yards against Wisconsin last week. Card is better than Brin.
Both teams play at a faster than average tempo, too.
|09-17-23||Seahawks v. Lions OVER 47||37-31||Win||100||64 h 8 m||Show|
These two teams played in 2021. Seattle won, 51-29. The two teams played again last year this time in Detroit. Seattle won, 48-45.
|09-16-23||San Jose State v. Toledo OVER 57||17-21||Loss||-110||28 h 35 m||Show|
I'm expecting a quarterback shootout between Chevan Cordeiro, perhaps the top quarterback in the Mountain West Conference, and Toledo stud DeQuan Finn. Both quarterbacks are mobile and have good receiving weapons particularly Finn, who has an excellent trio of Jerijuan Newton, CC Ezirim and Junior Vandeross.
San Jose State has played two Division I schools - Pac-12 foes USC and Oregon State. The Spartans couldn't stop either team on the ground or through the air. The result was giving up 56 points to USC and 42 to the Beavers.
Toledo just put up 71 points on Texas Southern in its last game. The Rockets' other game was a 30-28 road loss to Illinois.
|09-10-23||Eagles v. Patriots UNDER 45||25-20||Push||0||27 h 30 m||Show|
The good news for the Patriots offense is they'll get better coaching with Bill O'Brien taking over as offensive coordinator from the clown show they had last season.
The bad news is New England's offense still appears very tepid. The offensive line already is banged-up, Mac Jones excites no one and Rhamondre Stevenson, the one above average Patriot skill position player, is questionable due to illness. Ezekiel Elliott was brought in, but he's nothing more than a plus for the Under with his high mileage and boring north/south running style.
The Eagles have the premier defensive line in the NFL. Philadelphia had 70 sacks last season. The next closest team, the Chiefs, had 55. I see the Eagles dominating the Patriots' offensive line.
Once again, the Patriots' strength is their defense. Bill Belichick is especially effective with extra time to prepare. The Patriots have held their last four Week 1 foes to an average of 12.7 points a game. It's not a fluke the Under has cashed in each of New England's past five openers.
|09-10-23||Texans v. Ravens UNDER 43.5||9-25||Win||100||70 h 50 m||Show|
Rookie QB C.J. Stroud has well below average skill position talent around him. Now he goes into his first NFL game - on the road at a tough venue - missing four projected offensive line starters. The Texans suffered multiple injuries to their offensive line in August. They could be down to their third-string center while minus their second and third-best offensive linemen.
Making it worse for Stroud is facing an aggressive, veteran well-coached Ravens defense on the road. He certainly is not set up for success.
The Ravens are emphasizing passing for the first time with Lamar Jackson, learning a different offense and with a new offensive coordinator. So their timing could be off in this first game.
Houston's strength is its defense. The Texans should be competitive defensively under first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans, formerly a highly productive linebacker.
|09-09-23||Auburn v. California OVER 54||Top||14-10||Loss||-110||32 h 16 m||Show|
Never mind the quarterbacks. It's the strong rushing attacks, California's weak defense and fast pace from both teams that will get this game to go Over.
Auburn rushed for 289 yards and six TD's in a 59-14 win against UMass last week. Sure UMass isn't very good. But the Tigers looked great running the ball behind an upgraded offensive line. Cal has a weak defensive line, not good at stopping the run nor pressuring the quarterback.
The Golden Bears rushed for 357 and six TD's in their 58-21 opening week road victory against North Texas. That total went Over by 26 points. Jaydn Ott gives Cal one of the best running backs on the West Coast.
Cal's high-scoring wasn't a fluke. The Bears brought in Jake Spavital to be their new offensive coordinator. His style is to play fast. Auburn gave up five yards per rush attempt to UMASS, which was its average last season. So Cal and Ott should find success on the ground again.
The Tigers play up-tempo, too, under their first-year head coach Hugh Freeze, who has an outstanding reputation for building high-octane offenses.
|09-09-23||Oklahoma State v. Arizona State UNDER 55.5||27-15||Win||100||31 h 13 m||Show|
Neither team was sharp in their openers last week.
Arizona State managed only three points during the second half in its 24-21 win against FCS foe Southern Utah. The Sun Devils were 34 1/2-point favorites.
The Sun Devils are going with a true freshman at quarterback, Jaden Rashada. His task and learning curve are going to be far more difficult this week. ASU's offensive line is a weakness after losing key linemen in the transfer portal and a projected starter going down with an injury. Oklahoma State has a big and physical defensive front seven. The Cowboys had five sacks in their opener.
The Cowboys were not impressive, either, in their 27-13 win against Central Arkansas last week. Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy is using a three-player committee at quarterback. That's not a good sign.
The teams met at Oklahoma City last year and the Cowboys won, 34-17. Arizona State is better on defense this season.
|09-09-23||Middle Tennessee State v. Missouri UNDER 50||Top||19-23||Win||100||119 h 5 m||Show|
I'm not impressed with either team's quarterback situation. I do respect both team's defenses, though. Tempo is important, too. Each team plays slow. So I find this total too high.
Middle Tennessee State has four starters back on a defense that ranked fourth-best in the red zone. Missouri still hasn't fully settled on a quarterback between Brady Cook and Sam Horn. They have one of the weakest quarterback situations in the SEC.
Missouri has a strong defensive front. I don't see the Blue Raiders, which lost a lot of offense from last year, being able to run successfully on the Tigers, nor is QB Nicholas Vattiato going to hurt them through the air.
The Blue Raiders were held to just seven points and 3.5 yards per play by Alabama in their opener. Now they face another tough SEC defense.
|09-03-23||Oregon State v. San Jose State OVER 54||Top||42-17||Win||100||13 h 60 m||Show|
They don't get the publicity of quarterbacks like Caleb Williams and Drake Maye, but Oregon State's D.J. Uiagalelei and San Jose State's Chevan Cordeiro are two of the better QB's in the country.
Cordeiro could be the best QB in the Mountain West. Uiagalelei couldn't live up to his potential at Clemson as the replacement for Trevor Lawrence, but figures to get coached up at Oregon State under head coach Jonathan Smith and offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren.
Uiagalelei can rely upon an excellent offensive line and two good running backs, Damien Martinez and Deshaun Fenwick. San Jose State is down on defense from last season. The Spartans surrendered 56 points to USC last week.
San Jose State covered against the Trojans, though, by scoring 28 points. The Spartans averaged six yards per play. Cordeiro threw for three TD's. Just as important, the Spartans played at a fast pace.
Oregon State, like San Jose State, looks to be down defensively from last year.
|09-02-23||Texas State v. Baylor OVER 58||42-31||Win||100||340 h 26 m||Show|
Baylor is going to pile up points against a rebuilding and weak Texas State defense. The Bears averaged 32 points last season and upgraded their offensive line getting the highly-touted Barrington brothers, Campbell and Clark, as transfers from BYU. Baylor's top two runners, Richard Reese and Oklahoma State transfer Dominic Richardson, combined to rush for 2,111 yards last year. The key here is Texas State is going to pick up its offensive production under new coach, 34-year-old whiz kid G.J. Kinne, whose Incarnate Word team was the No. 1 scoring team in the FCS and ranked No. 2 in total offense last year playing at a lightning-fast tempo. Kinne brought in a lot of intriguing skill position players to make his offense work. Baylor is vulnerable in the secondary with an inexperienced crew. The Bears had just 14 sacks in their last eight games last season. So expect a lot of points.
|09-02-23||California v. North Texas OVER 53.5||58-21||Win||100||49 h 47 m||Show|
The marketplace has reacted to the new starting quarterbacks at California and North Texas by betting this total down. The Over/Under is low enough where there's value on the Over now.
What's being overlooked here is tempo. It's going to be quicker than perceived with Jake Spavital brought in by Cal coach Justin Wilcox to be the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. Spavital has a well-earned reputation of developing QB's and speeding up a team's attack. This is good news for Sam Jackson V, a redshirt sophomore and TCU transfer who will be under center for the Golden Bears. He faces a North Texas defense that gave up 31.5 points a game and ranked 124th in total defense last season.
North Texas is going with dual threat Stone Earle as its starting QB. Reports out of spring camp was Earle had improved his passing accuracy. The Mean Green should play faster, too, with Eric Morris as their new head coach. Cal ranked 123rd in pass defense last year.
|09-02-23||Buffalo v. Wisconsin UNDER 54.5||17-38||Loss||-115||46 h 47 m||Show|
Wisconsin is going to have more of a balanced attack with new coach Luke Fickell bringing former North Carolina offensive coordinator Phil Longo on board. But the Badgers certainly are not going to lose their identity of being run-oriented with a strong defensive unit.
There's no reason for the Badgers to tip anything off about their offense against this non-conference opponent being nearly a 30-point favorite.
So I don't see Buffalo producing many points with their mediocre offense. But can the Bulls slow down Wisconsin?
I believe they can. Senior linebacker Shaun Dolac led the nation with 97 solo tackles last season while safety Marcus Fuqua tied for the most interceptions with seven.
|08-26-23||Florida International v. Louisiana Tech OVER 58.5||17-22||Loss||-110||76 h 36 m||Show|
I'm not expecting 76 points to be scored like there were in Florida International's, 42-34 double overtime, home victory against Louisiana Tech last year.
But I do expect these teams to combine for more than 60 points.
Part of this is believing Florida International QB Grayson James has improved. James goes against a Louisiana Tech defense that was one of the worst in the country in 2022 ranking 128th in scoring defense and 127th in total defense. James should have time to pass and can rely on plenty of yards on the ground. The Bulldogs couldn't stop the run - ranking 130th - and didn't generate a pass rush.
Louisiana Tech certainly isn't favored because of its defense. The Bulldogs have a fast-tempo, high-powered offense operated by Boise State transfer QB Hank Bachmeier. He was hurt last year, but was very good two seasons ago.
The Bulldogs averaged 29 points last season in Sonny Cumbie's first season as head coach. They should improve on that number in Year 2 of Cumbie's ''Air Raid'' offense, especially going against such a weak defense here at home.
|01-29-23||Bengals v. Chiefs OVER 47||Top||20-23||Loss||-110||97 h 58 m||Show|
Patrick Mahomes practiced in full on Wednesday. If Mahomes is anywhere close to 100 percent after injuring his ankle last week, this total is too low.
Even with both team's defenses being underrated, the Bengals and Chiefs have too much offense for a total this low. Mahomes is the best quarterback in the NFL. Burrow is right near him on that short list with Josh Allen.
The Chiefs led the NFL in scoring at more than 29 points a game and also were No. 1 in total yards and passing yards. They have scored at 27 points in five of their last six games.
Burrow has even better weapons than Mahomes has. The Bengals have gone against five strong defenses during their last five games - Bills, Ravens twice, Patriots and Buccaneers. During this span, Cincinnati averaged 26.8 points.
Weather shouldn't be a problem with the forecast being for sunny skies, temperatures in the upper 20's and wind in the 10-12 mph range.
|01-29-23||49ers v. Eagles UNDER 45.5||7-31||Win||100||12 h 13 m||Show|
Not enough credit is being given to these defenses by how high this total is. San Francisco is the No. 1 defensive team in the NFL ranking first in scoring defense and total defense while placing second in run defense and takeaways. The Eagles easily led the NFL with 70 sacks.
Brock Purdy has been a huge success story surrounded by elite weapons and receiving excellent play-calling from Kyle Shanahan. But Purdy only has started two road games in the NFL and has never faced this level of pass rushers. The Eagles sacked Daniel Jones five times last week. Jones is far more mobile than Purdy.
I'm anticipating the 49ers to go run-heavy, which keeps the clock moving, and Shanahan being extremely careful and conservative with his play-calling. He knows the 49ers will be in trouble if they have to play from behind. San Francisco already plays at the slowest pace of any NFL team.
Jalen Hurts emerged as a superstar this season. But is his passing shoulder 100 percent healthy? Hurts and the Eagles haven't faced a defense this strong all season.
Weather-wise there's a slight chance of a rain shower with the wind blowing at 10-15 mph.
|01-22-23||Cowboys v. 49ers OVER 46.5||Top||12-19||Loss||-110||16 h 56 m||Show|
I trust the Cowboys' offensive line to do their job against the 49ers. The buy sign also is back on for Dak Prescott, who is off his best game of the season. Prescott threw for 305 yards against a good Buccaneers defense last week, while accounting for five touchdowns.
Brock Prudy - Mr. Relevant - has proven himself with multiple TD passes in each of seven starts. He has a 16-to-3 TD-to-interception ratio in his starts. The 49ers have scored 33 or more points in six of their last seven games with Purdy behind center.
The Cowboys' defense has sprung leaks. During four of the last five regular-season games they surrendered 23 points to the Texans, 40 points to the Jaguars, 34 to the Eagles, who were quarterbacked by backup Gardner Minshew, and 26 to the Commanders.
|01-15-23||Giants v. Vikings UNDER 48.5||31-24||Loss||-110||67 h 28 m||Show|
The Vikings can be explosive because of Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook and they are at home. Brian Daboll is no dummy. He knows this. His Giants have the least postseason experience of any of the playoff teams.
So it's not hard to figure that Daboll is going conservative here. That means lots of running and short passes to Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones not taking chances.
The Giants are better on defense because they are healthier. They've held their last four opponents to 17.7 points. New York is familiar with Minnesota. The teams just met three weeks ago. It took a 61-yard field goal at the gun by Greg Joseph - an inconsistent kicker - for the Vikings to prevail, 27-24, in that home game.
New York didn't have its best safety, Xavier McKinney, nor its top cornerback, Adoree' Jackson, in that game. Both are expected to play here. The Vikings could be down two offensive line starters with center Garrett Bradbury and right tackle Brian O'Neill both injured. Kirk Cousins has a history of not stepping up in big games. Rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux has shown signs lately of being an elite pass rusher.
The Vikings do not have good defensive numbers. However, they have a number of excellent defenders - Eric Kendricks, Danielle Hunter, Harrison Smith and Za'Darius Smith. Minnesota is good at takeaways ranking 12th in the league.
|01-14-23||Chargers v. Jaguars OVER 47.5||30-31||Win||100||53 h 21 m||Show|
Two top-10 offenses facing two below average defenses. Justin Herbert versus Trevor Lawrence. All of this had me strongly leaning to the Over. But what clinched the Over is finding out who is going to be refereeing this game. It's the Shawn Smith crew.
This is significant. This umpiring crew has ranked in the top-five for calling the most defensive penalties each of the last four seasons. They also called the second-fewest offensive holding penalties this season.
Herbert should come up big against the Jaguars, who rank 28th in pass defense and 24th in defensive total yards.
Lawrence should perform well, too, operating against a Chargers defense that ranked 22nd in scoring defense and 20th in total defense. The Jaguars put up 38 points on the Chargers in Week 3 with Lawrence throwing for 262 yards and three touchdowns.
|01-14-23||Seahawks v. 49ers UNDER 42.5||Top||23-41||Loss||-110||79 h 22 m||Show|
There weren't more than 34 points scored in either of the Seahawks-49ers regular season games this season. I don't see that pattern changing here.
San Francisco's No. 1 ranked defense, the weather and a run-oriented conservative approach by the 49ers behind rookie QB Brock Purdy are all key factors for the Under.
Discounting a 37-34 game against the Raiders, the 49ers have held their past nine opponents to an average of 12.2 points. San Francisco surrendered the fewest yards and points in the NFL.
There is a 90 percent chance of rain, potentially heavy, with wind in the 15-20 mph range. This is on a grass field so the footing is going to be slow.
Expect the 49ers to run a lot especially under these circumstances.
The Seahawks have regressed offensively, but gotten better defensively. Seattle is averaging 16.2 points in its last four games, while giving up an average of 16.7 points during this span.
Geno Smith has never been effective against elite defenses. He had just one touchdown pass in two games against San Francisco, averaging 217.5 yards passing. The 49ers tied for the lead in interceptions and had the second-most takeaways.
|01-08-23||Lions v. Packers OVER 49||20-16||Loss||-110||21 h 44 m||Show|
I see a shootout coming here. It's taken nearly the entire season, but the Packers finally have their offensive identity. Green Bay has one of the best running back tandems with Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon and Aaron Rodgers has gotten in sync with his wide receivers. The bar is set low here as the Lions have a bottom-four defense.
The Packers also finally have a special teams threat thanks to Keisean Nixon, who leads the NFL in kickoff return yardage and kickoff return average.
The Lions have a top-five offense. They've scored at least 25 points in six of their last eight games. The Packers' defense has been thriving not because they are dominant, but because of forcing 12 turnovers during their last four games. Detroit, though, commits the fewest turnovers in the NFL. Jared Goff, who quietly has put together a very good season with 4,214 passing yards and 29 TD passes, hasn't been picked off in his last eight games.
Weather shouldn't be a problem with the forecast being clear with the temperature around 20 and the wind at 5-to-10 mph.
|01-02-23||Tulane v. USC OVER 63.5||Top||46-45||Win||100||33 h 38 m||Show|
The total is high in this one - but not high enough.
Tulane was the 21st-highest scoring team in the country averaging 35.2 points a game. That average goes up to 38.8 during its last seven games. USC has trouble against mobile quarterbacks and Tulane's Michael Pratt is a dual threat.
Pratt accounted for 35 touchdowns through the air and on the ground rushing for 395 yards and passing for 2,775 yards.
Lincoln Riley turned USC around. The Trojans did this on offense averaging 41.1 points per game, third-best in the country. If you discount their Pac-12 title game against Utah - the one team the Trojans had trouble against - the Trojans averaged 44.8 points during their last six games.
Caleb Williams may be the best QB in the nation. He threw for 4,075 yards, 37 TD's with just four interceptions while completing 66.1 percent of his throws. I don't see Tulane's defense stopping USC's offense, which can offset several opt-outs with its depth.
The Over has cashed in each of USC's last seven games.
|01-01-23||Jaguars v. Texans OVER 43||31-3||Loss||-110||14 h 59 m||Show|
This total is too low given that Trevor Lawrence is playing the best since he came into the NFL, Davis Mills is underrated when playing at home and how bad these defenses are.
Lawrence has accounted for 16 touchdowns with only one interception during his last seven games. The Texans rank 30th in defensive total yards and last in run defense. So Lawrence should get plenty of ground assistance from Travis Eitenne.
Mills plays much better at home. He's accounted for 13 of his 16 passing and rushing TD's this season at NRG Stadium.
The Jaguars rank 26th in total defense and 29th in pass defense.
|01-01-23||Bears v. Lions OVER 52.5||Top||10-41||Loss||-108||14 h 16 m||Show|
The Bears are giving up 32.6 points per game in their last eight games. It's obvious their defense is broken. The Lions average 32.1 points at home. Jared Goff has a 20-to-3 TD-to-interception ratio at Ford Field compared to 6-to-4 in away games. His passer rating is nearly 20 points higher at home.
Safe to say, the Lions are going to get their share of points here. The big question is can the Bears keep up? They certainly did in the first meeting losing, 31-30.
Justin Fields is motivated to break the NFL's quarterback rushing record. He's 195 yards short. Fields ran for 147 yards and two TD's in the 31-30 loss. The Lions just gave up 320 yards on the ground to the Panthers last week.
Detroit gives up the most yards and points per game in the NFL. They also rank 30th in pass defense.
|12-31-22||Ohio State v. Georgia OVER 62||Top||41-42||Win||100||20 h 10 m||Show|
Georgia's defense has gotten a lot of credit and publicity during the past two seasons. But the Bulldogs' offense isn't too shabby either. They ranked seventh in total offense and 11th in scoring at 39.2 points a game. Stetson Bennett has improved as a passer. The Bulldogs were especially impressive in the red zone scoring 97 percent of the time during 71 trips inside the 20. It's alarming to see how many big plays Ohio State gave up to Michigan in its 45-23 loss during its last game.
That game went Over. No surprise as the Buckeyes have gone Over in nine of their last 10 games. Georgia didn't face too many really strong passing attacks. Ohio State is the best the Bulldogs have seen.
C.J. Stroud had the highest passer efficiency rating in the country. He may have the best wide receiver in the country, too, in Marvin Harrison Jr. The Buckeyes had the second-highest yards per play in the nation. The Bulldogs surrendered 30 points and 505 passing yards to LSU in their last game, the SEC title game.
|12-31-22||Kansas State v. Alabama OVER 56||20-45||Win||100||23 h 26 m||Show|
I'm expecting a loose game between strong offenses that should result in this total going Over.
Kansas State is thrilled to be in the Sugar Bowl. The Wildcats got their offense in full gear averaging 38.6 points during their last six games to win the Big 12 championship. They feature one of the top all-purpose backs in the nation in Deuce Vaughn.
Alabama is the fifth-highest scoring team in the country at 40.8 points led by Heisman Trophy-winning QB Bryce Young. The Tide, though, are disappointed they didn't make the College Football Playoffs. Unlike Kansas State, they had a number of opt-outs. But Alabama has a deep roster.
This is the Tide's chance to get those offensive players big-time experience, so I'm expecting them to play aggressive. That's been their style as seven of their last nine bowl games have gone Over.
|12-30-22||Clemson v. Tennessee UNDER 63.5||14-31||Win||100||25 h 60 m||Show|
Both defenses are not getting enough respect here especially with each minus its starting quarterback.
Clemson surrenders just 20.1 points a game. The Tigers ranked 10th in run defense. Georgia might be the best defensive team in the country. But Clemson was close to the Bulldogs giving up 4.97 yards per play compared to Georgia's 4.88.
The Tigers get to face a Tennessee squad that has lost much of its feared passing attack. The Volunteers lost their stud QB Hendon Hooker to a season-ending injury two games ago. The Vols also will be without their top wide receiver, Jalin Hyatt, and third-best wideout, Cedric Tillman. Both opted out of the game to prepare for the NFL draft. Joe Milton replaces Hooker - and it's a monster drop-off.
Tennessee gave up 27 points or fewer in nine games. The Vols held opponents to 23.5 points on the season while ranking 18th in run defense.
Because of using largely untested backup quarterbacks, both teams will emphasize the run more, which will eat clock. Each team has strong run defenses, too.
|12-28-22||Ole Miss v. Texas Tech UNDER 71.5||Top||25-42||Win||100||20 h 49 m||Show|
This total has been bet up - too far up in my view.
Mississippi is a running team with a respectable defense that gives up 24.2 points a game. The Rebels enter this matchup having lost three in a row. They are averaging just 24.8 points in their last five games.
Mississippi played in the Sugar Bowl last year and lost 21-7 to Baylor. It was the fifth straight bowl game the Rebels went Under the total.
Texas Tech's season offensive numbers are skewed because of three overtime games. The Red Raiders are capable of playing stout defense. They held Iowa State and West Virginia to 10 points each.
The Under has cashed in eight of the Red Raiders' last 11 non-conference games.
|12-24-22||Middle Tennessee State v. San Diego State UNDER 47.5||25-23||Loss||-110||28 h 36 m||Show|
San Diego State gives up just 20.2 points per game, which ranks 20th in the nation. The Aztecs only average 21.3 points a game and even that low total is skewed by scoring 38 points against Idaho State and 43 versus San Jose State. That inflated their season total.
The Aztecs scored 23 points or less in eight of their other nine games against FBS competition. The Under is 12-5-1 the last 18 times the Aztecs have met an above .500 foe.
Middle Tennessee State came on defensively holding three of its last five opponents to 21 points or less.
|12-24-22||Falcons v. Ravens UNDER 35||9-17||Win||100||41 h 38 m||Show|
This NFL matchup is going to be like Army-Air Force - nearly all running.
Both teams are heavily ground-oriented with backup quarterbacks, who will be dealing with horrendous weather elements, including cold and heavy wind making it difficult to pass.
Baltimore has managed only two touchdowns in its last three games while missing Lamar Jackson. Tyler Huntley is a game manager. He doesn't throw downfield and he's not accurate. The Ravens rank 29th in the red zone so they'll likely be settling for field goals in what should be a very conservative game.
Falcons coach Arthur Smith doesn't want rookie Desmond Ridder, in just his second NFL start, to throw much either. I see Smith stubbornly sticking with the run despite the Ravens ranking No. 3 against the run.
Both teams play at a slow tempo, too.
|12-20-22||Toledo v. Liberty UNDER 54||Top||21-19||Win||100||47 h 26 m||Show|
Don't be fooled by Toledo playing in the high-scoring Mid-American Conference. Also don't be fooled by this game being played in South Florida.
Toledo easily is the best defensive team in the MAC. They rank 24th in defensive total yards in the country and just held Ohio to seven points in the MAC title game, which was 25 points below the Bobcats' season average.
Liberty hasn't been the same since it lost its coach, Huge Freeze, to Auburn. The Flames averaged just 22.4 points in their last four games.
Until that happened, Liberty was a strong defensive team. The Flames should regroup for this bowl game. They have a superstar defensive lineman in Durrell Johnson, who has eight sacks and 22 1/2 tackles for losses.
The weather is a plus, too, for the Under with an 80 percent chance of rain and wind in the 15-20 mph range.
|12-18-22||Giants v. Commanders OVER 40.5||20-12||Loss||-110||19 h 29 m||Show|
Just two weeks ago, the teams played each other to a 20-20 tie. The Giants had scored their 20 points by early in the third quarter. The Commanders came back to get the tie with 1:45 left in regulation on a Taylor Heinicke TD pass.
Since then, the Giants have gotten more beat up on defense while the Commanders finally enjoyed their bye week.
Now, in the rematch, I see more points being scored.
Daniel Jones has a strong history against Washington. He plays better against the Commanders than any other team. Saquon Barkley gives New York the best skill position player. This is the Giants' season so they'll be pulling out everything to put up points.
Heinicke, emerging Brian Robinson and ace pass catcher Terry McLaurin should have productive games against a fading and battered Giants defense that has allowed 411 or more yards in each of their last three games.
The Giants have been missing top cornerback Adoree Jackson, safety Xavier McKinney and run-stuffing defensive lineman Leonard Williams. New York is now down to 26th in total defense and 29th in run defense.
|12-18-22||Titans v. Chargers OVER 46.5||14-17||Loss||-110||16 h 11 m||Show|
The Titans can't stop the pass, are missing their best pass rusher, Denico Autry, and have a cluster injury problem in their secondary. The Chargers can't stop the run and are missing key defensive backfield players.
So this sets up as a higher scoring game than the oddsmaker anticipates.
Derrick Henry entered this week ranked No. 2 in rushing. The Chargers are 28th in run defense and 28th in scoring defense. They are likely to be without star safety Derwin James and cornerback Bryce Callahan again this week. Henry should find success running, which in turn will aid Ryan Tannehill in the Titans' passing game.
Mike Williams returned for the Chargers last week after missing two games with an ankle injury. That makes a huge difference in LA's passing attack. Williams is the Chargers' lone deep threat. He opens up the attack for Justin Herbert.
Herbert is in line for a monster performance operating against a Titans secondary that ranks last in the NFL.
The Chargers have been an elite kicking team this season unlike past years. LA kickers are 25-for-27 in field goals and 30-for-30 in extra points.
|12-18-22||Lions v. Jets UNDER 43.5||20-17||Win||100||13 h 23 m||Show|
Jared Goff in cold weather. Zach Wilson in any weather. That combination, along with a much-improved Lions defense and a tough Jets defense, puts me on the Under.
Goff and the Lions offense isn't going to be high-powered against a Jets defense that ranks third in total defense and sixth in scoring defense especially in outdoor winter conditions. The forecast is for temperatures in the 30's with 15-to-29 mph winds.
That's bad for a touch passer such as Goff, who has a poor record in cold elements. The Jets just held the Bills to 232 total yards last week.
Wilson is another finesse passer. He lacks accuracy. He's been a bottom tier quarterback since joining the NFL last year. The Lions' defense has come on holding their last two opponents - Vikings and Jaguars - to a combined 37 points.
|12-18-22||Cowboys v. Jaguars OVER 47.5||Top||34-40||Win||100||16 h 29 m||Show|
The Texans don't have too many good players and they will be missing some of those players. Among those out for Houston are cornerback Derek Stingley, wide receivers Brandin Cooks, Nico Collins and its best skill position player, running back Dameon Pierce. This leaves Davis Mills, a garbage quarterback, with nothing but garbage as weapons.
The Chiefs can name their score. I predict they will name it in blowout fashion. Kansas City jumped in front of Denver, 27-0, last week before holding on for a 34-28 win. The Texans nearly upset the Cowboys last Sunday before losing in the final minute, 27-23. That might have been the Texans' Super Bowl.
So I don't see the Chiefs taking the Texans lightly here. That's all that matters because the Chiefs are the best team in the AFC, if not all of football, while the Texans are the worst.
|12-17-22||Dolphins v. Bills UNDER 44||29-32||Loss||-110||24 h 55 m||Show|
Doubt must be cast on Tua Tagovailoa following two consecutive poor road performances these last two weeks against the 49ers and Chargers. Miami averaged just 260 total yards and 17 points in those two games. The Chargers' defense is 28th in scoring defense and was without several important defensive players.
I don't see the Dolphins bouncing back on the road against the Bills' defense, which gives up the second-fewest points and ranks in the top 10 in total defense.
Neither offense is going to be helped by the weather conditions with the forecast calling for cold, possible heavy snow and wind in the 15-20 mph range.
These elements take away the Dolphins' most dangerous offensive feature, which is the speed of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Tagovailoa remains unproven in big road games and in cold weather. The Dolphins managed only 212 yards in the first meeting, played in sunny Florida. There were 40 points scored in that contest.
Now the weather has flipped and Miami's offense is at low tide for the first time since Tagovailoa returned from a concussion.
|12-17-22||Colts v. Vikings OVER 47||36-39||Win||100||20 h 53 m||Show|
The Vikings rank 10th in scoring. Indy is 30th in takeaways with just 11. The Vikings are expected to get back injured starting offensive linemen left tackle Christian Darrisaw and center Garrett Bradbury. Minnesota averages 1.6 yards more rush when Darrisaw plays. The Colts just yielded 54 points and eight TD's in their last game. So I expect the Vikings to do their fair share of getting this total Over.
Same with the Colts.
Indy is off a bye and has a healthy Jonathan Taylor to give Matt Ryan ground support and thus make his play-action passing more effective.
The Vikings have yielded more than 400 yards in each of their last five games. During this span, the Vikings have permitted more than 30 points per game.
|12-11-22||Eagles v. Giants UNDER 45||48-22||Loss||-108||19 h 13 m||Show|
Daniel Jones doesn't make enough downfield passing plays. Saquon Barkley is averaging just 2.8 yards rushing in his last three games on 44 carries. The Eagles rank No. 1 in pass defense and No. 2 in total defense. Their run defense has gotten much better with Joseph Linval and Ndamkong Suh joining a now healthy Jordan Davis.
The Giants have a bend-but-don't-break defense that gives up the 12th fewest points at 21 per game. New York's pass rush has picked up with both Azeez Ojulari and Kayvon Thibodeaux healthy.
Both teams are run-oriented. The forecast is for light rain. This is the Giants' season. So I see a tight, ball-control conservative game plan.
|12-04-22||Jaguars v. Lions OVER 50.5||14-40||Win||100||18 h 33 m||Show|
This should be a loose and fun game between a pair of 4-7 teams.This matchup is inside a dome thus ensuring a fast track. Both head coaches are aggressive. All pluses for an Over.
Trevor Lawrence is finally living up to his immense hype. He's enjoying his best three-game NFL stretch completing 77 percent of his throws for six TD's and no interceptions during this span. The Jaguars just put up 28 points against a much better Ravens defense.
The Lions give up the most points in the NFL at 28.2. They've allowed 24 or more points in all but two of their games.
Detroit, though, is a top-eight scoring team. The Lions have scored at least 30 points in five of their 11 games. Jared Goff is a much better quarterback when playing in warm weather. He faces a Jaguars pass defense that ranks 25th.
|12-03-22||LSU v. Georgia UNDER 52.5||30-50||Loss||-110||18 h 2 m||Show|
Defending national champion Georgia had a defense for the ages last season. Their defense isn't too shabby this season either.
The Bulldogs give up the fewest points in the country at 11.3. No team has scored more than 22 points in a game against the Bulldogs. Georgia also ranks No. 1 against the run and fourth in total defense.
LSU's defense is very respectful. The Tigers rank 33rd in total defense and scoring defense.
The Tigers held seven of their opponents to 20 points or less.
LSU held Arkansas to 13 points, which is 17.7 points under its average. The Tigers gave up just 10 points to Alabama-Birmingham, which was 20.6 points under the Blazers' average. LSU held Mississippi to 20 points, which was 14.2 points below its average. Mississippi State could manage just 16 points versus the Tigers, which was 22 points under its average. Florida State scored 24 points against the Tigers. That was 12.2 points under the Seminoles' average.
|11-27-22||Saints v. 49ers OVER 43||0-13||Loss||-110||14 h 40 m||Show|
Jimmy Garoppolo is becoming dangerous. It's easy to see why when he has a good offensive line and skill position players Christian McCaffrey, Elijah Mitchell, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk to surround him. The 49ers are averaging 30.3 points in their last three games.
The Saints have been without their best cornerback, Marhson Lattimore, and two best defensive linemen, Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport. New Orleans is surrendering an average of 28.7 points in its last seven games if you discount a freakish shutout of the Raiders.
I don't see the Saints stopping the 49ers. The Saints should be able to contribute their share of points, too. Andy Dalton is off his best game of the season completing 21 of 25 passes for 260 yards and three TD's against the Rams last week.
|11-27-22||Chargers v. Cardinals OVER 48||Top||25-24||Win||100||64 h 44 m||Show|
Justin Herbert is back on track and has most of his weapons back. Kyler Murray is ready to go after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury. He has Deandre Hopkins and could have Marquise Brown. Also back for the Cardinals is James Conner, their best running back. Conner is a touchdown machine with 22 TD's in his last 23 games.
Neither defense is any good.
So this total is too low because it's not fully accounting for these factors.
The Chargers allow 25.8 points a game. That ranks 29th. They rank 30th in run defense and 25th in defensive total yards. The Cardinals' attack is far more dynamic with Murray instead of short-armed game manager Colt McCoy.
The Cardinals just surrendered four touchdowns to the 49ers. They are on a short week after playing in high altitude this past Monday in Mexico City. The Cardinals entered this week ranked tied for second-to-last in scoring defense allowing 26.9 points a game.
|11-27-22||Bears v. Jets OVER 38.5||10-31||Win||100||18 h 59 m||Show|
I wouldn't try to buck this total - even though it's low by today's NFL offensive-driven standards - if the quarterback matchup was going to be Trevor Siemian versus Zack Wilson. But it's not.
There's a chance Justin Fields plays and Wilson definitely won't start, replaced by Mike White, who threw for 405 yards and three touchdowns against the Bengals in his first start last year.
Fields has accounted for 14 touchdowns in his last four games. The Bears are averaging 29.6 points during their past five games. The Bears' first-year offensive coordinator Luke Getsy has gotten more comfortable in directing a more aggressive Chicago offense. Even if Siemian gets the call, the Bears' passing attack has improved. Siemian is a veteran, who might be a more accurate passer than Fields.
The Jets' defense isn't expected to have defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins. That would be a boost to David Montgomery.
The key here, though, is the Jets' offense should be energized with the quarterback switch away from the egregious Wilson. The Bears' defense has become dreadful after dealing away their best defender, linebacker Roquan Smith. Chicago has allowed 20 or more points in eight of its last 10 games. In their last four games, the Bears have permitted 27, 31, 35 and 49 points.
|11-26-22||Iowa State v. TCU UNDER 47.5||Top||14-62||Loss||-110||23 h 53 m||Show|
Iowa State has gone Under in its last seven Big 12 Conference games. It's easy to see why. The Cyclones have the top defense in the league, but the worst offense.
The Cyclones aren't going bowling for the first time since 2016. So playing unbeaten fourth-ranked TCU is their bowl game. Look for Iowa State to play its usual tough defensive, field-position type of game especially being on the road. The Under is 21-8-1 in the Cyclones' last 30 road contests.
TCU already has its ticket punched for the Big 12 title game next week. The Horned Frogs don't want to show too much in this game so as not to tip their hand. They would be satisfied with a victory, not running up a huge score.
|11-26-22||South Carolina v. Clemson OVER 52.5||31-30||Win||100||18 h 43 m||Show|
The buy sign is on these two offenses.
Spencer Rattler finally lived up to his big reputation last week for South Carolina. The Oklahoma transfer passed for 438 yards and six touchdowns in the Gamecocks' 63-38 win against Tennessee.
The Over has cashed in 11 of South Carolina's last 14 road games.
Clemson's attack is in gear, too. The Tigers have produced a combined 71 points in their last two games crushing Miami and Louisville.
|11-26-22||Georgia State v. Marshall UNDER 50||Top||23-28||Loss||-110||130 h 15 m||Show|
You can't go wrong taking the Under when Marshall is involved. The Thundering Herd has gone Under in nine of its 11 games. Marshall has a top-10 defense, a weak passing attack and runs the ball a lot. That's a winning Under combination.
Georgia State can't pass either. The Panthers rank 107th in passing. Marshall is hardly any better, rating 104th in passing.
Marshall is holding foes to 15.5 points a game. Georgia State's defense isn't very good, but it is opportunistic coming up with 13 takeaways, which ranks 15th in the nation.
The oddsmaker has opened this total too high. There haven't been more than 49 points scored in any of Marshall's past eight games. This one shouldn't be any different.
Note, too, that the early weather forecast is for a 50 percent chance of rain with 10-to-15 mph winds.
|11-20-22||Jets v. Patriots UNDER 38.5||3-10||Win||100||11 h 28 m||Show|
It's taken only two years, but Robert Saleh has built a strong Jets defense. New York is giving up just 15.8 points per game during its last six games.
The Jets just held the powerful Bills to 17 points in their last game two weeks ago. They certainly are capable of holding the Patriots' pop-gun attack to 17 points or fewer, too.
Defenses should dominate this matchup. Both teams are coached by defensive gurus and have had two weeks to prepare. Each team has an inexperienced, game-manager for a quarterback.
The Jets sacked Mac Jones six times in the first meeting. They held New England to 3.8 yards a play and 288 total yards of offense. The Jets' defensive line holds a huge edge against the Patriots' mediocre-to-bad offensive line.
Bill Belichick has been dominating inexperienced quarterbacks such as Zach Wilson for a long time. The Patriots picked off Wilson three times in their victory two games ago. The Patriots feature the NFL's sack leader, Matt Judon. He has 11 1/2 sacks.
The weather could work against these offenses, too, with the forecast being for temperatures in the 30's with wind in the 15-17 mph range. That should ensure plenty of running plays.
|11-19-22||Fresno State v. Nevada OVER 54||41-14||Win||100||28 h 42 m||Show|
Fresno State is far more potent with star QB Jake Haener back. The Bulldogs have scored 32 points or more points in each of their last four games. They average nearly 39 points in games Haener has started and finished. Nevada's defense doesn't have nearly the talent to keep Haener and running back Jordan Mims in check. The Bulldogs could come close to covering this total themselves. But the Wolf Pack can chip in because they should be able to run on Fresno State, which ranks 95th in rush defense. This in turn will make it easier for the Wolf Pack to pass.
|11-13-22||Texans v. Giants OVER 40.5||16-24||Loss||-110||24 h 11 m||Show|
A total of less than 41 in today's NFL, which is unfairly skewed toward offense and scoring, is a very low bar.
Both the Texans and Giants have excellent running backs and each defense has trouble stopping the run. The Texans have the worst run defense in the NFL by far yielding more than 180 yards a game on the ground. They have to deal with Saquon Barkley, who has regained his stature as a top-five running back and will have fresh legs following New York's bye last week.
If I could pick one player to have in fantasy football this week at running back it would be Barkley. The Giants also are getting healthier at wide receiver. If you discount the Texans holding the Jaguars to six points, Houston would be giving up an average of 28.2 points in their last five games.
The Texans should contribute to this total going Over riding Dameon Pierce, who is averaging 23.3 carries and 110 yards rushing during his last six games. The Giants are permitting 5.4 yards per carry, ranking 25th in run defense. There's the possibility the Texans get back Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins this week. They are the Texans' top two wide receivers.
|11-12-22||Appalachian State v. Marshall UNDER 48||21-28||Loss||-110||22 h 52 m||Show|
No team has played more Unders this season than Marshall. The Thundering Herd have gone Under in eight of their nine games, including the last six.
Marshall gives up 15.6 points, ranks No. 3 in run defense and ninth in total defense. The Thundering Herd, though, has a limited passing attack ranking 110th. So they run the ball a lot, which eats clock.
Appalachian State also has a good defense ranking 27th in fewest yards allowed per game and are run-oriented on offense. The Under has cashed in four of the Mountaineers' last five games.
|11-12-22||Temple v. Houston OVER 56||36-43||Win||100||21 h 54 m||Show|
Houston scored 63 points against SMU last week - and still lost by 14. There's only one way to look at Houston games and it's certainly not Under. The Over has cashed in eight of the Cougars' nine games this season.
The Cougars average 36.8 points and give up an average of 36.2 points.
Temple isn't going to be able to slow down Clayton Tune and the rest of Houston's high-caliber attack. The Owls should be able to kick in their fair share of points. Their offense came alive in a 54-28 victory against South Florida last week. Edward Saydee rushed for 265 yards and QB E.J. Warner passed for 344 yards for Temple.
|11-12-22||Vanderbilt v. Kentucky UNDER 49.5||24-21||Win||100||93 h 46 m||Show|
It's not a fluke that Kentucky has gone Under in eight of its nine games this season. The Wildcats are run-oriented, go at the slowest pace of any team in the country and have a tremendous defense that ranks 11th in fewest yards allowed and 21st in scoring defense holding opponents to 19.6 points a game.
Vanderbilt quarterback AJ Swann is out with a lower body injury. He's the Commodores' best passing quarterback. Vanderbilt is averaging only 12.5 points during its past five games.
The Commodores do not have a good defense. However, their best feature is stopping the run. Kentucky figures to stay on the ground a lot especially given the projected weather conditions, which are calling for wind in the 15-22 mph range.
|11-06-22||Chargers v. Falcons UNDER 49.5||20-17||Win||100||39 h 37 m||Show|
The perception is the Chargers are an explosive team. They were at the start of the season before injuries struck. Now they aren't. Take away star pass protector left tackle Rashawn Slater, wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams and Justin Herbert is left playing dump off to Austin Ekeler. Herbert also is banged-up with a painful rib injury. He's thrown only six touchdown passes in his last five games.
The Falcons have cornerback injuries. But Herbert is just left with inexperienced wideouts and tight end Gerald Everett. So he's not going to be able to exploit that as much as the oddsmaker anticipates with this high of a total.
Atlanta is being looked upon as a high scoring team off a 37-point game against the Panthers. The Falcons, however, were averaging 20.7 points during their previous four games. They rank 29th in passing and 25th in total yards.
The Falcons are not about super-talented Kyle Pitts and Drake London. Instead they feature mundane reserve running backs Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley in Arthur Smith's caveman run-oriented, eat-up-clock slow moving offense. Marcus Mariota has been in the NFL for eight years. He's still more feared as a runner than passer.
This one is priced wrong so I'm going Under.
|11-05-22||Kentucky v. Missouri UNDER 42.5||21-17||Win||100||92 h 40 m||Show|
Two strong defenses, slow tempo and possible bad weather. Add this up and you have the recipe for an Under.
Kentucky gives up 19.9 points a game. Missouri permits just 21.5 points per game. Both teams rank in the top 20 in fewest yards allowed per game.
The Under has covered in 21 of the Wildcats' last 29 road games. Missouri has been a huge money-maker for Under bettors going below the total in 10 of its last 11 games. The last five in this series played in Missouri have gone Under, too.
There also could be weather issues with heavy wind and a chance of rain.
|11-05-22||Maryland v. Wisconsin UNDER 49.5||10-23||Win||100||25 h 22 m||Show|
Weather is going to impact the amount of scoring in this game. Heavy winds, even gusting, are in the forecast.
That could force a lot more running plays something the Badgers wouldn't mind. Defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard is Wisconsin's interim head coach after Paul Chryst was fired earlier this season.
Maryland's outstanding quarterback, Taulia Tagovailoa, missed last week's game against Northwestern. He's dealing with a knee injury. Tagovailoa is likely to start, but he could be gimpy and the blowing winds aren't suited to his downfield throwing.
|11-05-22||Air Force v. Army UNDER 40.5||13-7||Win||100||20 h 1 m||Show|
This is a low total, but not low enough when the matchup is Army versus Air Force in the Commanders' Classic.
The Black Knights defeated Air Force, 21-14, last year - and that was one of the higher-scoring matchups.
Here are the combined points in this matchup for the last five years: 35 (last year), 17 (2020), 30 (2019), 31 (2018) and 21 (2017). The Under, in fact, has cashed in 10 of the last 11 games in the series.
This is what happens in a huge rivalry game between two completely run-oriented teams. Air Force has a tremendous defense this year, too. The Falcons rank ninth in total defense and ninth in scoring defense allowing 16.8 points a game. The Under has won 15 of the last 20 times Air Force has played a non-conference opponent.
The game is being played at a neutral site, too, in Arlington, Texas.
|10-30-22||Packers v. Bills OVER 47||17-27||Loss||-110||17 h 28 m||Show|
The Packers' defense looks far better on paper than it does on the field. Despite facing four below average quarterbacks in their last four matchups, including two backups and Zach Wilson, the Packers still are giving up 25.2 points during these past four games.
Now Green Bay draws Josh Allen and a Buffalo offense that is No. 2 in scoring at 29.3 points and first in total offense averaging 440.8 yards. The Bills are fresh, too, having been idle last week.
Safe to say the Bills will score their share of points. But can the Packers contribute to getting this total Over? Yes, they can.
Despite all the negative publicity and not having Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers has put up respectable numbers entering this week sixth in the NFL in touchdown passes with 11 and 10th in passing yards with 1,597.
Rodgers is going to have to keep up with Allen. That's especially the case if the Bills should build a lead, which is expected. The Packers won't have Allen Lazard, who has been their top wide receiver. But they do get Sammy Watkins back. Watkins won't lack motivation going against his former team. The Bills have multiple injuries in their secondary, down two studs in Tre'Davious and Micah Hyde.Sunday Night Prop Bet Sammy Watkins Over 38 1/2 receiving yards Sammy Watkins is primed for a big game against his former team, the Bills. He will be Aaron Rodgers' No. 1 wide receiving target. Allen Lazard, who had been Green Bay's No. 1 wide receiver, is out with a shoulder injury. Randall Cobb also is out. The Packers are likely going to be trailing against the powerful Bills so Rodgers will be throwing often. Rodgers doesn't fully trust his rookie wide receivers. He's more comfortable throwing to veterans. This is Watkins' time to shine with his new team.
|10-30-22||49ers v. Rams OVER 42.5||Top||31-14||Win||100||122 h 26 m||Show|
Jimmy Garoppolo is a mediocre quarterback. But he's savvy enough to know how to distribute the ball to his weapons - and he just gained a monster weapon in Christian McCaffrey.
The Rams' defense is far from dominant, surrendering 22 or more points in four of their six games.
Look for the Rams' offense to pick up following their bye. Sean McVay should have some new wrinkles and a healthier offensive line with center Brian Allen returning.
Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp will hurt a 49ers defense that has been dealing with multiple injuries to their secondary along with linebacker Dre Greenlaw joining Arik Armstead on the sidelines.
|10-29-22||Coastal Carolina v. Marshall UNDER 54.5||24-13||Win||100||27 h 46 m||Show|
Both from a matchup perspective and trend/angles standpoint the Under seems the right play given this high of a total.
Coastal Carolina has gone Under in six of its last seven road games, while the Under has won in seven of Marshall's last eight home games.
Marshall ranks in the top-11 in defensive scoring, fewest yards allowed and run defense. Coastal Carolina hasn't seen a defense this good all season.
The Chanticleers are not a good defensive team, but they are opportunistic ranking 31st in takeaways. They are facing a feeble Marshall offense that ranks 82nd in scoring averaging 26.6 points and is 109th in passing yards.
The tempo is going to be slow, too, which is a huge plus for the Under.
|10-29-22||Rutgers v. Minnesota UNDER 41||0-31||Win||100||25 h 21 m||Show|
Minnesota is run-oriented with a weak passing game. Rutgers ranks sixth in the nation in run defense and eighth in total defense. The Scarlet Knights permit just 88 yards rushing per game and 3.0 per rush attempt. The Gophers may not even have their starting QB, Tanner Morgan. He's questionable with a concussion.
The Gophers are strong defensively giving up the 10th-fewest points in the country at 16.4. Rutgers has cleared the 17-point barrier only once in its last five games. The Scarlet Knights rank 113th in yards per game.
Not surprisingly neither team plays at a fast tempo. In fact, they are two of the slowest-paced teams in the nation. So the clock will keep moving.
|10-23-22||Steelers v. Dolphins UNDER 44.5||10-16||Win||100||27 h 55 m||Show|
The Steelers have long been a great Under team on the road. The Under has cashed in 70 percent of their last 65 away games. The Dolphins have gone Under in 11 of their last 16 overall games.
Look for these strong trends to hold up here.
Kenny Pickett has cleared concussion protocol so he'll get the start. Perhaps Pickett one day might be a decent NFL starting QB. He isn't right now with a 67 passer rating and a 1-to-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Miami has a strong pass rush and the Steelers have a below average offensive line. Only two teams score fewer points per game than Pittsburgh's 16.2 average.
The Steelers held Tom Brady and Tampa Bay to only 18 points last week despite missing four of their top five defensive backs. They should get most of those players back, including former Dolphin and star safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. He's a difference-maker. The Steelers showed against the Buccaneers that they have underrated depth in their secondary.
Tua Tagovailoa is back to start for Miami. The Steelers should be well prepared for him thanks to linebackers and special defensive assistant coach Brian Flores, who was the Dolphins head coach last year. The heady Fitzpatrick also knows his old team well.
|10-23-22||Chiefs v. 49ers OVER 48.5||44-23||Win||100||70 h 3 m||Show|
This total is too short given the 49ers' multiple injuries on defense and also because Jimmy Garoppolo is off his two finest performances of the season and now facing a mediocre Chiefs defense.
First, though, let's discuss the Chiefs' offense. Have the Chiefs missed Tyreek Hill? No, they rank first in the NFL in scoring at 29.8 points per game. Patrick Mahomes is either the first or second-best QB in football depending on how you feel about Josh Allen. Mahomes is my choice.
Next up is Mahomes drawing the 49ers' defense at a great time. San Francisco has a cluster injury problem in its defensive line AND defensive backfield. The 49ers are down defensive linemen Javon Kinlaw and Arik Armstead. Nick Bosa is questionable with a groin injury. He won't be 100 percent if he plays. San Francisco is even more vulnerable in the secondary. Because of injuries to Emmanuel Moseley, Jimmie Ward and Charvarius Ward, the 49ers could be starting a rookie fifth-rounder and second-year fifth-rounder at the corners. Safety Talanoa Hufanga could be out, too, because of a concussion.
I see a shootout here because the 49ers are clicking on offense. Jimmy Garoppolo is off his two best games of the season throwing for a combined 549 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions the last two weeks.
The Chiefs give up 24.8 points a game. They rank 27th in pass defense. Kansas City only has four takeaways.
It would be an extra boost for the 49ers if their starting tackles, left tackle Trent Williams and right tackle Mike McGlinchey, are able to play. There is optimism that both will be ready. Even if they aren't, the 49ers' attack is based on running and short passes.
|10-23-22||Jets v. Broncos UNDER 38||16-9||Win||100||46 h 35 m||Show|
Only once in six games have the Broncos permitted more than 17 points during regulation. They could have the best defense in the NFL, considering how bad their offense is, ranking second in fewest yards per play, third in defensive total yards and fourth in scoring defense.
Second-year QB Zach Wilson continues to show nothing holding the Jets' offense hostage.
Russell Wilson has the credibility, but his level of play hasn't been that much higher than Zach Wilson's. The Broncos have scored just seven TD's in six games with the worst red zone offense in the league. Russell Wilson is dealing with injuries to his shoulder and groin. If he can't go, the Broncos would be forced to start game-manager Brett Rypien, which would be even better for the Under.
The Jets' defense is much improved, ranking ninth in total defense. They just held the Packers to 10 points at Green Bay.
Weather is a factor here as well with heavy winds expected and a chance of rain.
|10-23-22||Falcons v. Bengals OVER 47||17-35||Win||100||67 h 41 m||Show|
The Bengals' offensive line and Joe Mixon have played much better the past two games. Their improvement is huge for Joe Burrow, who was 28-for-37 for 300 yards and 3 TD's in the Bengals' 30-26 victory against the Saints last Sunday.
Expect to see the Bengals continue their high-scoring ways as they draw an Atlanta defense that doesn't rush the passer well - just eight sacks - and could be without both of its starting cornerbacks. Casey Hayward is out with a shoulder injury. A.J. Terrell is questionable with a thigh injury. The Falcons rank 31st in pass defense.
The Falcons have been surprisingly efficient offensively scoring 26 or more points in four of their games. They rank eighth in scoring at 24.3 behind a strong ground attack that is No. 3 in the NFL. The Falcons should be able to run on the Bengals, whose run defense is down two of their most underrated players - nose tackle D.J. Reader and linebacker Logan Wilson. Cincinnati ranks 21st in run defense.
|10-22-22||Marshall v. James Madison UNDER 54.5||Top||26-12||Win||100||126 h 51 m||Show|
The oddsmaker still must think Randy Moss is playing for Marshall. The Thundering Herd aren't good offensively. They're averaging 10 points during their last two Sun Belt Conference games. That was against Troy and Louisiana Lafayette, with one touchdown against Lafayette coming in garbage time.
Marshall is heavily run-oriented. James Madison happens to have the top run defense in the nation.
The oddsmaker might have been influenced by James Madison losing, 45-38, to Georgia Southern this past Saturday. Marshall is a much better defensive team and is nearly as up-tempo as Georgia Southern.
The Thundering Herd rank 17th in scoring defense giving up 17.3 points a game. They are 13th in total defense holding foes to 290.3 yards per game. The Dukes do not play at a fast tempo especially when in the lead, which should be the case since they are around two-touchdown favorites.
(Note: The total has come down since I first released the play. This has hurt the line value, but the handicap still holds as I don't see these teams reaching 50 points.)
|10-22-22||Northern Illinois v. Ohio OVER 64.5||17-24||Loss||-110||23 h 54 m||Show|
Northern Illinois has gone Over in six of its seven games this season. The Huskies' offense has taken off averaging 36.3 points in their last three games. Rocky Lombardi returned last week for the Huskies after being out. That's just another plus because he's one of the best QB's in the MAC.
He faces an Ohio defense that ranks second-to-last in the nation in yards allowed per play. The Bobcats surrender an average of 36.9 points a game.
This isn't just going to be one-way scoring. Ohio will put up a lot of points on Northern Illinois behind Kurtis Rourke, who could be the top QB in the MAC. He's completed 70 percent of his throws and has accounted for 17 TD's in seven games. The Bobcats rank 13th in the country in passing yards.
The Huskies rank 116th in scoring defense allowing 34.3 points and also rank 116th in pass defense. They are not going to be able to slow down Rourke.
The Over has cashed in each of Ohio's last five home games.
|10-22-22||Houston v. Navy OVER 50||38-20||Win||100||19 h 55 m||Show|
There have been some wild games in the American Athletic Conference. Houston and Navy both were involved in two of them last week. The Cougars came back from a 26-7 fourth quarter deficit to nip Memphis, 33-32, while Navy scored 20 fourth-quarter points while gaining 510 yards in a 40-34 loss to SMU.
The Cougars are within one point of having every one of their games go Over. They average 31.3 points and give up 33.7 points. All six of Houston's opponents have scored a minimum of 27 points against the Cougars.
Houston QB Clayton Tune gets to face a Navy pass defense that ranks 111th.
The Midshipmen have scored a combined 87 points in their last two games against Tulsa and SMU. They are the fifth-best rushing team in the nation.
Yet the marketplace has been on the Under. The total has been knocked down enough where it has now become an excellent value play on the Over.
|10-20-22||Saints v. Cardinals OVER 43.5||34-42||Win||100||8 h 25 m||Show|
New Orleans isn't good anymore on defense. The Saints have yielded at least 20 points in every one of their games. They are giving up an average of 30 points during their last three games. Just two weeks ago, the Saints were lit up by Geno Smith in a 39-32 win.
The Cardinals have yet to reach their stride offensively. However, they have moved the ball ranking fifth in total yards. Kyler Murray should be in line for a big game. The Saints have only one interception and will be minus their top cornerback, Marshon Lattimore.
Murray lost Marquise Brown, but DeAndre Hopkins is off the suspended list and newcomer Robbie Anderson provides a deep threat.
I'm fine with whomever the Saints start at quarterback whether it's Andy Dalton, Jameis Winston or even Taysom Hill. The key for the Saints is Alvin Kamara, he should come up big against a mediocre Cardinals defense. Star rookie wideout Chris Olave is back from injury to bolster the Saints' downfield passing attack. Tight end Juwan Johnson is an underrated pass catcher for the Saints.
|10-15-22||Rice v. Florida Atlantic OVER 55.5||14-17||Loss||-110||49 h 56 m||Show|
A decent offense and bad defense. That's Rice and its formula for going Over in 14 of its last 17 games, including all five this season.
I see another Over in the Owls' matchup against Florida Atlantic.
Both teams should be fresh with a few tricks up their sleeves having each enjoyed a bye last week.
Rice gives up 31 points a game. The Owls are averaging 35 points, however, during their last four games.
Florida Atlantic also averages 31 points per game. Florida Atlantic has surrendered at least 40 points against three of its last four Division I opponents. Florida Atlantic is off a bad 45-28 loss to North Texas State.
|10-15-22||Penn State v. Michigan UNDER 52.5||Top||17-41||Loss||-110||116 h 31 m||Show|
I was surprised to see this total open this high. Think defense rather than offense in this matchup.Penn State allows less than 15 points a game. The Nittany Lions have the seventh best run defense in the country. Michigan gives up 11.3 points a game. The Wolverines surrender the fifth-fewest yards per game and are No. 6 in run defense. Michigan's defensive line holds a major edge on Penn State's offensive line. These are typical Big Ten teams who rely on the run. Neither of these teams plays fast either. The Wolverines are one of the slowest tempo teams in the nation.
|10-13-22||Washington Commanders v. Bears OVER 37.5||Top||12-7||Loss||-110||25 h 49 m||Show|
It's been a week and I still haven't recovered from the stench of last Thursday night's NFL game when the Colts beat the Broncos, 12-9, in overtime. I wouldn't blame Roger Goodell - or put it past him - if he secretly made sure there is more offense in this Thursday game. Amazon Prime Video must have real buyer's remorse having shelled out a reported $1.2 billion per year to acquire the Thursday night broadcasts.
Now we get what looks like another stinker, the Commanders against the Bears. Tough to get involved with a side here. I'll hold my nose and go Over this total. It's an extremely low number given how the game has become so unfairly skewed toward the offense. Fortunately for viewing purposes, Jerome Boger and his inept crew of excessive flag throwers won't be the officiating crew here. They'll be doing their part to ruin the Jaguars-Colts game.
Carson Wentz has thrown the second-highest amount of passes. Justin Fields has thrown the fewest passes of any quarterback who has started more than two games. Look for Wentz to throw fewer passes and for Fields to throw more passes. That will make both of them more effective.
Wentz actually looked very good the first two weeks of the season when he went against the Jaguars and Lions. The Commanders have averaged only 11.6 points during their last three games going against better defenses in the Eagles, Cowboys and Titans. The Bears rank second-to-last in the NFL in run defense and 22nd in defensive total yards. That's going against three of five offenses that were rendered weak at the time because of the situation: 49ers going with inexperienced Trey Lance on the road in a monsoon, Texans and Giants, who had both Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor injured against Chicago.
Wentz is a cripple shooter. He's not good against elite defenses. However, he's fully capable of putting up good numbers against weak-to-mediocre defenses especially when given the benefit of a decent running attack. Power back Brian Robinson has returned to the Commanders' lineup bolstering their rushing balance. Wentz has 10 TD passes. Only four QB's have thrown more.
Keep in mind the bar is set low with this short total.
Cooper Kupp has 49 receptions. Justin Fields has 49 pass completions. Maybe Fields never will be a good enough downfield passer to cut it in the NFL. But Chicago needs to find that out. It's been five weeks now. The Bears' offensive line is not as terrible as perceived. It's actually held up well. The Bears finally started to open things up more after falling behind 21-3 to the Vikings on the road last Sunday. Chicago actually went in front, 22-21, before losing on a Minnesota touchdown with 2:26 left. Fields nearly engineered a successful late drive that could have tied the game, but his receiver was stripped of the ball at Minnesota's 39-yard line following a 15-yard completion.
That come-from-behind effort, though, should boost the Bears' confidence in Fields and the offense. Fields threw for a season-high 208 yards against the Vikings, completed 71.4 percent of his throws and had a passer rating of 118.8. The Commanders rank 25th in scoring defense giving up 25.6 points a game. They have just one takeaway.
Once again, the bar is set extremely low on this total. So I'm going Over.
|10-10-22||Raiders v. Chiefs OVER 51||Top||29-30||Win||100||117 h 60 m||Show|
No Tyreek Hill, no problem. The Chiefs' offense is just as deadly this season without Hill due to the greatness of Patrick Mahomes and stronger wide receiving and running back depth.
The Raiders have three sacks and three takeaways in four games. Aside from Maxx Crosby, they don't have any big-play defenders. They certainly don't have enough depth in the defensive backfield to effectively slow down the many receiving targets that Mahomes has.
The Chiefs are averaging 37.4 points during the eight games Mahomes has played against the Raiders. This includes last season when the Chiefs scored a combined 89 points versus Las Vegas.
Las Vegas, though, will do its share, too, to make sure this total goes Over. Derek Carr has never had a wide receiver as good as Davonte Adams. The Raiders' offensive line has shown positive signs of coming around and Josh Jacobs is off his finest game of the season. He may be the best running back on the field. Daniel Carlson may be the second-best kicker in the NFL next to Justin Tucker.
Kansas City just gave up 31 points, 373 passing yards and 27 first downs to the Buccaneers last week. Tampa Bay entered that game averaging just 17 points in its first three games.
This has been an Over series with the last four going above the total.
|10-09-22||Giants v. Packers OVER 40.5||27-22||Win||100||65 h 4 m||Show|
I'm going to pounce on going Over 40 1/2 in the Giants-Packers London game with the belief that either Daniel Jones or Tyrod Taylor will be able to play for the Giants.
If that's the case, this total is way too low.
The Packers are getting better on offense each week as their offensive line rounds into shape and Aaron Rodgers gets more in sync with his new rookie wide receivers. Rodgers has Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon - perhaps the best running back tandem in the league - at his disposal along with several veteran receivers.
Green Bay is going to have to contend with a rejuvenated Saquon Barkley, who has 463 rushing yards. That's more than 21 NFL teams. The Packers allowed the Patriots to average 5.1 rushing yards per carry on 33 attempts last week.
|10-08-22||South Carolina v. Kentucky OVER 49||24-14||Loss||-110||79 h 25 m||Show|
South Carolina is giving up an average of 46 points a game during its two SEC matchups, which were against Georgia and Arkansas. The Gamecocks have played easy opponents during their past two games. Now they go back into SEC competition.
Chris Rodriguez is an elite running back for Kentucky. He's back in the lineup and should do well against a South Carolina run defense that ranks 106th. Kentucky's star QB Will Levis is fine, too, after hurting his hand last week. South Carolina lacks the necessary pass rush to both Levis.
The Gamecocks are averaging 35.6 points per game. They have a pro prospect at QB in Spencer Rattler. He leads a balanced attack. South Carolina has scored 56 and 50 points, respectively, during its last two games going against Charlotte and South Carolina State. Kentucky is much better on defense than those two teams.
However, the Wildcats only have four takeaways. So I see South Carolina holding up its end in getting this total Over.
|10-08-22||James Madison v. Arkansas State OVER 55||42-20||Win||100||24 h 41 m||Show|
James Madison has been most impressive in its transition from FCS to FBS this season going 4-0 SU and ATS. The Dukes are averaging 44.8 points, which ranks eighth in the nation.
Arkansas State can score, too, especially at home scoring 58 and 45 points, respectively, this season. I see a shootout here similar to what the Red Wolves were involved in three weeks ago when they lost, 44-32, to Memphis.
Both teams have excellent quarterbacks. Todd Centeio is a dual threat for James Madison. He's accounted for 13 TD's with 913 yards passing and another 252 yards rushing. Arkansas State QB James Blackman leads an attack that averages 34.6 points.
|10-08-22||Air Force v. Utah State OVER 54.5||Top||27-34||Win||100||28 h 9 m||Show|
Air Force leads the nation in rushing averaging 379 yards. Utah State can't stop the run. The Aggies allow 5.3 yards per run, which ranks 117th. They are giving up 36.4 points per game.
Utah State's new QB, Cooper Legas, made his first start last week against BYU. He threw a pair of TD passes and the Aggies scored 26 points.
Air Force has played against weak passing teams. The Aggies play up-tempo. This combination should produce points for Utah State.
|10-08-22||Missouri v. Florida UNDER 54.5||17-24||Win||100||21 h 37 m||Show|
This is a big revenge spot for Florida after it lost to Missouri, 24-23, on the road last year. That was the fifth straight time in this series the Under covered.
I see another Under in this matchup.
Missouri's defense was impressive in holding Georgia to 26 points last week. The Tigers could be looking to stay on the ground more knowing they may be without their top wide receiver, Dominic Lovett.
Florida has gone Under in seven of its last 10 home games. The Gators' defensive statistics are skewed because they've played Utah, Kentucky and Tennessee.
|10-06-22||Colts v. Broncos UNDER 44||Top||12-9||Win||100||76 h 16 m||Show|
The defenses of these two teams are way ahead of their offenses making this total too high.
The Colts are last in scoring at 14.3 points a game. Indy's offensive line has performed below expectations and Matt Ryan is off to a slow start. Ryan has committed seven turnovers in four starts and been sacked 15 times. The Broncos have a top-six defense. Patrick Surtain has emerged as a lock-down cornerback.
Making matters potentially worse for the Colts is an ankle injury suffered by Jonathan Taylor this past Sunday. Even if he manages to play, Taylor won't be 100 percent especially on a short week.
Denver is averaging only 16.5 points. Russell Wilson also is off to a slow beginning with his new team. The Broncos just lost their best running back, Javonte Williams, to a season-ending knee injury. That means a heavy dose of mediocre Melvin Gordon, who has a fumbling problem. Gordon has lost the ball in five of his last 44 carries.
The Colts rank sixth in total defense and rush defense.
|10-02-22||Chiefs v. Bucs OVER 45.5||41-31||Win||100||24 h 27 m||Show|
The Buccaneers have given up the fewest points in the league. Tom Brady is off to a slow start. The Chiefs are off a loss to the Colts in which they were held to 17 points.
So I get why this total is low given the caliber of these offenses.
I just find it too low.
The Chiefs had scored 24 or more points in 10 straight games until last week's loss to the Colts. The Chiefs were hurt offensively by some questionable official's calls and missed kicks from a backup kicker. They have since switched kickers with Harrison Butker still not ready.
The Buccaneers have an outstanding defense. No argument there. But it's not as dominant as the numbers show. Tampa Bay's opponents were the Cowboys, who are thin at wide receiver and in the offensive line, turnover-prone and banged-up Jameis Winston and the Saints and the ground-oriented Packers, who are in wide receiver development.
Kansas City doesn't have superstar Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs, though, have better wide receiver and running back depth than they've had before to compensate. They are two levels higher than any offense the Buccaneers have faced so far this season.
The Buccaneers are not facing an elite defense taking on the Chiefs. Brady should get back into rhythm with the Buccaneers getting healthier in the offensive line and at wide receiver. Mike Evans coming off suspension is huge.
|10-02-22||Browns v. Falcons OVER 47.5||20-23||Loss||-110||17 h 19 m||Show|
Both teams have surprised on offense. The Browns are averaging 28.3 points, rank fifth in total yards and have the NFL's leading rusher, Nick Chubb.
The Falcons are averaging 26.7 points. They've faced a pair of respectable defenses, too, in the Rams and Saints.
A key is each team's quarterback has performed better than many expected. Jacoby Brissett has completed 74 percent of his throws with three TD passes during his last two games. Marcus Mariota has completed 63.3 percent of his passes, averaging 8.1 yards per attempt, on the season. He's given the Falcons a running dimension they haven't had at quarterback during the long Matt Ryan era.
The Falcons have three playmakers - Cordarrelle Patterson, Drake London and Kyle Pitts. The Browns permitted washed-up Joe Flacco to have his best game in a decade two weeks ago allowing him to throw for 307 yards and four TD passes. The Browns lost linebacker Anthony Walker to a season-ending injury last week and won't have premier pass rusher Myles Garrett, who was involved in a car accident this week.
The Browns' dominant offensive line should control the line of scrimmage against the Falcons. Atlanta yields 27 points a game and ranks 26th in total defense.
|10-01-22||Georgia State v. Army OVER 53||31-14||Loss||-110||90 h 9 m||Show|
Both teams should enjoy great success on the ground given the quality of their ground attacks and vulnerability of the opponent's rush defense.
Georgia State plays fast. The Panthers have the shortest time of possession of any team in the country. The Panthers rank 37th in rushing. Army ranks 114th in run defense. The Over has cashed in eight of Georgia State's last 11 non-conference games.
The Panthers are giving up 38.3 points pre game. They rank 119th in total defense. Army is the No. 3 rushing team in the country.
Just two weeks ago, Georgia State surrendered 42 points to Charlotte. The 49ers average 19.5 points in their four other games. That certainly bodes well for Army.
|09-30-22||UTSA v. Middle Tennessee State OVER 64||Top||45-30||Win||100||26 h 34 m||Show|
Texas San Antonio has gone Over in all four of its games this season. It's not a fluke. The Roadrunners average 35 points while giving up 37. They are 27th in total offense and 112th in total defense. They have gone Over in each of their last seven road contests. Middle Tennessee State has gone Over in its last two games. The Blue Raiders average nearly 34 points per game, but have a below average defense that San Antonio's excellent QB, Frank Harris, should have little trouble exploiting.
|09-26-22||Cowboys v. Giants OVER 39||Top||23-16||Push||0||20 h 17 m||Show|
The oddsmaker has overreacted to no Dak Prescott with this low of a total.
Cooper Rush is a serviceable backup quarterback. He's not a stiff. He has skill position talent to rely on. Ezekiel Elliott looks much better than he did last season. Tony Pollard is a home run threat and drawing more playing time. The Cowboys also get back Michael Gallup to upgrade their wide receiving corps. The Giants aren't likely to have Leonard Williams, their best defensive lineman.
The Giants are far more credible on offense under Brian Daboll. New York's offensive line has improved and Saquan Barkley is running the best he has since his rookie season, finally free of injuries. Barkley entered Week 3 leading the NFL in rushing yards.
It doesn't take much in today's NFL, with its rules skewed toward offense, to get above a total less than 40.
|09-25-22||Lions v. Vikings OVER 51.5||24-28||Win||100||48 h 43 m||Show|
Emerging skill position talent, above average offensive line and a still-terrible defense make the Lions an attractive Over team. The Lions have sailed well above the total in each of their last four games, including both games this season.
I see that trend continuing against the Vikings, whose offense is unshackled with a coaching switch from old school Mike Zimmer to Kevin O'Connell.
The Lions are the second-highest scoring team in the NFL at 35.5 points. Detroit's already good offensive line gets back center Frank Ragnow. The Vikings have aging and slow cornerbacks. They also are likely to be minus star safety Harrison Smith, who suffered a concussion this past Monday.
The Vikings should feast at home versus a bottom-three Lions defense that is allowing 32.5 points and 425.5 yards per game.
|09-24-22||Rice v. Houston OVER 51||27-34||Win||100||47 h 30 m||Show|
This is the lowest total Houston has had this season - and it's not justified.
Rice has bounced back from a 66-14 opening loss to USC, to roll past McNeese State, 52-10, and then upset Louisiana Lafayette, 33-21, last week. That marked the seventh straight time the Owls have gone above the total.
TJ McMahon has completed nearly 64 percent of his passes for Rice for 642 yards and seven TD's through these first three games. Houston ranks 118th in total defense. The Cougars have this low defensive ranking despite not having faced a top-30 offense.
The 1-2 Cougars are frustrated having lost to Texas Tech in double overtime and then getting upset by Kansas, 48-30, during their past two games. The Cougars have a high-powered attack led by QB Clayton Tune, who has completed close to 63 percent of his throws for 744 yards and five TD's. He has one of the better receivers in the country, Nathaniel Dell. Houston scored 44 points against Rice last season.
The Over has cashed in five of Houston's last six games.
|09-24-22||Tulsa v. Ole Miss UNDER 65.5||27-35||Win||100||74 h 50 m||Show|
The competition hasn't been good. Still, Mississippi has held its first three opponents to an average of 4.3 points after shutting out Georgia Tech last week. So I find this total too high.
Tulsa is No. 1 in the country in passing with Davis Brin. But the Golden Hurricane are going against an SEC defense that is playing great. The Rebels are averaging more than four sacks a game. Tulsa has given up 10 sacks in three games against inferior competition.
Mississippi has run the ball nearly 65 percent of the time. The Rebels will look to pound the ball against Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane have had trouble stopping the run. But running the ball is good for the Under especially with a total in this high range.
The combination of being run-oriented and playing outstanding defense has resulted in Ole Miss going Under in 10 of its last 11 games.
|09-24-22||North Texas v. Memphis OVER 68.5||Top||34-44||Win||100||86 h 29 m||Show|
This total may look high on the surface, but it's not when these two teams are involved. There were 85 and 86 points scored in North Texas' last two games. There were 76 points produced in Memphis' last game.
Both teams are well above average offensively and terrible defensively. Each also ranks in the top 25 in fastest tempo. That's a recipe for Over.
North Texas ranks 126th defensively in yards giving up 502.8 per game. The Mean Green allow 36.5 points a game, which rates 115th. Memphis QB Seth Hennigan and his bevy of weapons can easily exploit that.
The Tigers are 99th in scoring defense permitting 31.3 points a game. They rank 111th in pass defense. North Texas ranks 33rd in offensive yards per game.
|09-18-22||Washington Commanders v. Lions OVER 47.5||27-36||Win||100||39 h 8 m||Show|
Carson Wentz lit up a bad Jacksonville defense last Sunday. He's capable of doing that given the underrated receiving weapons he has to go with Terry McLaurin in Curtis Samuel, Jahan Dotson, a healthy Logan Thomas and both Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic out of the backfield.
The Lions' defense is as bad as Jacksonville's defense, if not worse. Detroit is giving up an average of 39.6 points in its last three games going back to last season.
Detroit has firepower, though. Jared Goff plays his best when he's home on a fast indoor track and the conditions are pristine. That's the case here.
The Commanders yielded 22 points to the inefficient Jaguars last week, who continually made mistakes on offense. The Commanders didn't really stop the Jaguars. The Jaguars stopped themselves. Washington remains without its best interior defensive player with Chase Young out.
|09-18-22||Bucs v. Saints UNDER 44.5||20-10||Win||100||39 h 7 m||Show|
These teams have as many defensive stars as they do offensive stars. It's the offensive stars and offensive linemen, though, that are the banged-up parts of these teams, though.
The Buccaneers traditionally struggle against New Orleans. The last time these teams met, the Saints shut out the Buccaneers, 9-0. Tampa Bay is 0-4 in its last four regular-season meetings against New Orleans. Tom Brady turned the ball over 10 times and was sacked 13 times during these four games.
Brady could be in for another long day as the Buccaneers have cluster injury problems in the offensive line and wide receiver. Every one of Tampa Bay's wideouts is dealing with some sort of injury. Chris Godwin is unlikely to play. The Bucs are forced to start two inexperienced offensive line starters, too, because of injuries. Right tackle Tristan Wirfs is Tampa Bay's only reliable offensive lineman.
The Saints have offensive line issues, too. Their offensive line has regressed because of injuries and defections. Alvin Kamara also is dealing with sore ribs.
Both teams have defensive coaches now as their head coach. The Saints go from Sean Payton to Dennis Allen, who was either defensive coordinator or interim head coach during the past four games between the two teams, while Todd Bowles is the Buccaneers head coach replacing Bruce Arians. Payton and Arians were each well-respected for their offensive acumen. Allen and Bowles are sharp, too, - but on the defensive side.
|09-17-22||Arkansas State v. Memphis OVER 62||32-44||Win||100||128 h 30 m||Show|
This game is all about offense. Neither team has much defensively. There were a whopping 105 points scored in last year's game.
|09-17-22||Ole Miss v. Georgia Tech UNDER 64||42-0||Win||100||65 h 18 m||Show|
Georgia Tech isn't explosive enough to trade points with Mississippi ranking 124th in passing. The Yellow Jackets are back to trying to control the ball via their ground game. Georgia Tech has played decent run defense, though, and the Rebels apparently aren't fully sold yet on USC transfer QB Jaxson Dart.
So I'm expecting more running plays than perceived, which is good for an Under with a total in this high range. Mississippi does have a pair of good running backs in Quinshon Judkins and Zach Evans. The strength of Georgia Tech, though, is a defensive line that in two games versus Clemson and Western Carolina has recorded seven sacks and 15 tackles for losses.
Note that Georgia Tech plays its home games on grass. Mississippi is a turf team. The Rebels have gone Under eight of the last nine times when playing on grass.
|09-17-22||Old Dominion v. Virginia UNDER 52.5||14-16||Win||100||97 h 52 m||Show|
There's a false perception surrounding Virginia. Just because the Cavaliers have a decent QB, Brennan Armstrong, doesn't mean they have a good offense. The Cavaliers are averaging 18.5 points during their first two games. They have a new offensive philosophy of grinding the ball on the ground instead of letting Armstrong make plays through the air. Some of this strategy is caused by Virginia lacking playmakers around Armstrong and having a very bad offensive line.
Old Dominion is averaging 20.5 points in its first two games. The Monarchs got thrown a curve when Dave Patenaude, their offensive coordinator last season, resigned just weeks before the start of the season. The Monarchs don't make many big plays on offense. Their run defense, though, is decent. Old Dominion held opposing teams to 134.2 rushing yards per game while giving up 12 rushing TD's last year.
The Under has cashed in seven of Virginia's last eight home games. The Under also has cashed seven of the past 10 times when Old Dominion has met a non-conference foe.