|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|11-26-23||Bills v. Eagles OVER 48.5||Top||34-37||Win||100||20 h 1 m||Show|
There's a chance of rain, but no need to be scared off by the weather because wind isn't a factor.
|11-26-23||Bucs v. Colts OVER 45.5||20-27||Win||100||14 h 5 m||Show|
The numbers are 64.6 percent completions for 2,389 yards and 15 TD passes. Those numbers belong to Baker Mayfield. Surprised? Mayfield is having a below-the-radar good season. The Buccaneers have no ground attack, but they can effectively air it out.
|11-24-23||Dolphins v. Jets OVER 40.5||34-13||Win||100||39 h 27 m||Show|
The weather will be fine for this Friday matchup. So the total can't be this low on a Dolphins game. Miami is the best offensive team in the NFL being first in points at 30.5 a game and in yards at 434. The previous lowest total on a Miami game this season was 44. Now look at this total. The reason is Tim Boyle being the Jets' newly named starting quarterback. Before getting to Boyle, it should be pointed out the Jets' defense is wearing down from overwork. New York is giving up an average of 25 points a game during its past three games. If Miami hits its season average, or even close to it, the Jets don't need to put up many points. Can they do it with Boyle? Boyle's numbers are terrible. He has thrown 120 NFL passes resulting in three touchdowns and nine interceptions. But there's a key intangible here. The Jets will have a different frame of mind instead of a defeatist attitude they had with Zach Wilson. Boyle has more experience than Wilson. He prepares extremely hard. He also is in sync with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and Aaron Rodgers from his two years spent with those guys as a backup quarterback for the Packers. The Dolphins rank 23rd in scoring defense allowing 23.8 points a game. Boyle has two excellent weapons in Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson. This is the Jets' season so they'll be less conservative.
|11-19-23||Titans v. Jaguars OVER 39.5||14-34||Win||100||42 h 10 m||Show|
This has the potential for being a below-the-radar shootout. Trevor Lawrence is way overdue for a big game and he's dropping way down in class after going against the 49ers last week.
|11-05-23||Bills v. Bengals OVER 49.5||Top||18-24||Loss||-110||69 h 55 m||Show|
It's no coincidence the Bengals put up 31 points on the road against a strong 49ers defense last week. Joe Burrow is finally healthy. He looked great. The rest of the Bengals are healthy, too. Joe Mixon actually displayed some explosiveness for the first time this season.
|11-05-23||Commanders v. Patriots OVER 40.5||20-17||Loss||-110||19 h 19 m||Show|
The Commanders' already horrific defense just traded defensive linemen Montez Sweat and Chase Young. Those two were maybe their best defenders. The Patriots are minus pass rusher Matthew Judon and cornerback Christian Gonzalez. Now linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley is questionable with a hamstring injury. Those are New England's three top defensive players.
|11-02-23||Titans v. Steelers OVER 36.5||Top||16-20||Loss||-110||26 h 55 m||Show|
Unless there's bad weather or key skill position injury concerns, this is too low of a total. The weather is going to be fine and Derrick Henry is set to play. DeAndre Hopkins is likely to suit up, too, so I'm going Over.
|10-29-23||Bears v. Chargers OVER 46.5||13-30||Loss||-110||23 h 33 m||Show|
This sets up as a get-well game for Justin Herbert, who has had a disappointing season given his high bar. The Bears defense turned dreadful after the team dealt star linebacker Roquan Smith and pass rusher Robert Quinn at midseason last year.
|10-29-23||Rams v. Cowboys OVER 45.5||20-43||Win||100||16 h 19 m||Show|
Dak Prescott is off his best game of the season. The Cowboys' offensive line is as healthy as it has been all season and getting more in sync. Dallas has had two weeks to prepare, being on its bye last week. The Rams defense is mediocre at best and is stepping up in class after having just played the Steelers and Cardinals.
|10-22-23||Steelers v. Rams OVER 43.5||24-17||Loss||-110||89 h 46 m||Show|
Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp are up to their old dominant ways. The Rams' wide receiving corps is at peak efficiency right now with the emergence of rookie Puka Nacua and vast improvement shown by Tutu Atwell.
|10-22-23||Bills v. Patriots UNDER 41||25-29||Loss||-110||96 h 3 m||Show|
The Patriots have the second-worst scoring offense in the NFL at 12 points a game. It's not just bad turnovers from Mac Jones. New England's battered offensive line is terrible and the skill position players are below par especially at wide receiver.
Buffalo has key defensive injuries. The Bills, however, are deep on defense and can handle weak offenses. Buffalo held Las Vegas to 10 points, Washington to three points and the Giants to nine points.
The Bills have struggled to get in rhythm offensively the past two weeks averaging just 17 points against the Jaguars and Giants. Josh Allen may not be 100 percent. The Patriots are well-coached defensively. They rank 10th in defensive total yards.
This is an intense division rivalry matchup. Points will be at a premium. Weather could factor, too. Heavy wind is in the forecast with a chance of rain.
|10-22-23||Lions v. Ravens UNDER 42.5||Top||6-38||Loss||-110||120 h 52 m||Show|
Take the Lions out of their dome. Put them on a grass field in windy conditions against an elite defense and they are not going to put up fancy numbers.
|10-19-23||Jaguars v. Saints UNDER 40||Top||31-24||Loss||-110||81 h 54 m||Show|
The Saints are a dead nuts Under team. They have gone Under in 15 of their last 16 games, including all six this season. They've played 12 straight games where the combined score was below 40 points.
Jacksonville has a strong run defense ranking No. 3, but its offense has been disappointing. Trevor Lawrence has been decent but not great and is banged-up. So he may not be 100 percent especially given the short week.
The Saints' passing attack has been a disappointment with Derek Carr. The Saints also sustained several offensive line injuries this past Sunday. New Orleans is averaging just 18.2 points a game.
|10-15-23||Saints v. Texans UNDER 42.5||13-20||Win||100||49 h 31 m||Show|
Dennis Allen isn't a very good head coach. But he's an elite defensive coach. The Saints have turned into a dead nuts Under team with Allen.
|10-15-23||Ravens v. Titans OVER 41.5||24-16||Loss||-110||46 h 46 m||Show|
Lots of dropped passes and six lost fumbles have skewed the Ravens' offensive numbers. But Baltimore remains aggressive in its new passing-oriented offense. Lamar Jackson is comfortable and likes this new aggressive approach. He's completing a career-best 69.9 percent of his throws despite Zay Flowers and Rashod Bateman dropping way too many balls. Those two are too good to keep doing that.
|10-08-23||Titans v. Colts OVER 43||16-23||Loss||-110||49 h 37 m||Show|
I get that the Titans are considered an Under team. But the Colts rank 29th in total defense and struggle against Derrick Henry, who has topped 100 yards rushing against Indy in six of the past seven meetings. The lone time he didn't reach that figure was when he suffered a broken foot.
|10-05-23||Bears v. Commanders OVER 44||Top||40-20||Win||100||28 h 56 m||Show|
The Bears showed signs of finding their offensive identity this past Sunday in a 31-28 home loss to the Broncos. But their defense remains horrible. It's a prime reason why the Over has cashed in all four of Chicago's games this season.
|10-01-23||Patriots v. Cowboys OVER 43||3-38||Loss||-108||125 h 4 m||Show|
This is a low total given how explosive the Cowboys can be with Dak Prescott, Tony Pollard and CeeDee Lamb.
The key is how many points can New England come in with? Don't be surprised if the Patriots score far more than you think.
The Patriots have played two of their three games in bad weather. They produced 382 yards of offense against a strong Eagles defense. New England has missed field goals and had costly turnovers inside Miami territory in its game against the Dolphins.
New England has played against the Eagles and Jets already, two of the better defenses in the league. Dallas' defense took a massive hit with its star cornerback Trevon Diggs suffering a season-ending knee injury during practice last week.
The Patriots' offensive line is improved with key players back. Ezekiel Elliott showed he still has some juice rushing for 80 yards against the Jets last week, averaging 5.0 yards a carry.
The Cowboys surrendered 28 points and 400 yards to the Cardinals this past week. Joshua Dobbs threw for 182 yards on just 21 attempts. James Connor rushed for 98 yards while averaging 7.0 yards a carry. Mac Jones is better than Dobbs and Rhamondre Stevenson is superior to Connor.
These teams have an Over history, too. They met two seasons ago and Dallas won, 35-29.
While I don't expect 64 points to be scored again, it's not a daunting task for these teams to go Over this number.
|10-01-23||Ravens v. Browns OVER 40.5||28-3||Loss||-110||73 h 36 m||Show|
Yes, Jim Schwartz has made a difference as the Browns' new defensive coordinator. Cleveland's defense has improved. But I'm not buying its dominant numbers of giving up just 10.7 points a game and 163.7 yards, both of which are the best in the NFL.
Consider just who the Browns have played. They met the Bengals and a rusty Joe Burrow opening week. They then faced a Steelers offense going through growing pains with second-year QB Kenny Pickett and maybe the league's worst offensive coordinator, Matt Canada. After that it was the impotent Titans, who have the worst offensive line in the NFL coupled with over-the-hill skill position players.
Now the Browns draw Baltimore. Lamar Jackson has looked good running again. The Ravens' offensive line is healthy again for the first time in two weeks with left tackle Ronnie Stanley and center Tyler Linderbaum back practicing. Gus Edwards also is expected to play, giving Baltimore a legitimate power runner. Jackson has had three games to learn the Ravens' new emphasis on downfield passing. He has the best receivers he's ever had.
Deshaun Watson is off his finest game since joining the Browns, completing 81.8 percent of his passes for 289 yards and two TD's against the Titans last week. He should have had a third TD throw, but the referee made a mistake blowing his whistle thinking Amari Cooper had stepped out of bounds after a catch when Cooper had not. Like Jackson, Watson has the best receivers he's ever had in his career.
The totals bar is set low here. It's not asking too much for each of these teams to produce 20 points.
|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.
|09-17-23||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.
|09-10-23||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.
|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.
|01-01-23||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.
|12-24-22||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.
|12-18-22||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.
|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.
|11-20-22||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.
|11-13-22||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.
|11-06-22||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.
|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.
|10-23-22||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.
|10-20-22||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.
|10-13-22||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.
|10-06-22||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.
|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.
|09-18-22||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.
|09-11-22||Bucs v. Cowboys UNDER 50||Top||19-3||Win||100||320 h 48 m||Show|
Both teams have been hit by injuries to key offensive linemen. The Buccaneers already have a cluster injury problem in their offensive line, including losing Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen. The Cowboys lost their best offensive lineman when tackle Tyron Smith went down with a knee injury. Tom Brady missed some of training camp. He threw eight passes during preseason. The Buccaneers totaled 13 combined points during their last two preseason games. So it wouldn't be shocking if Brady started slow. Dak Prescott is missing several key wide receivers from last season. Ezekiel Elliott isn't the dynamic runner of past seasons. Both defenses have dominant players. I find this total based more on skill position perception rather than reality. Under is the way to go.
|09-11-22||Patriots v. Dolphins UNDER 46||7-20||Win||100||313 h 31 m||Show|
The Patriots have switched their offense around going from a power attack to more of a zone-block scheme. That's not the only change. New England also has its former defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia, and special teams coach, Joe Judge, in charge of its offense. The results have been ugly so far. This is a lot for second-year QB Mac Jones, who was out of sync during joint practices against the Panthers and Raiders and in preseason. Run stuffs, aborted plays and would-be sacks were commonplace. New England's offense is going to be a work-in-progress, especially during the early going. The Dolphins recorded the fifth-most sacks last year. Offensively, though, the Dolphins haven't proven themselves on the ground, nor has Tua Tagovailoa displayed any star ability. Miami's offensive line should be improved but it's still mediocre at best. Tagovailoa is more game manager than a downfield attacker, a plus for the Under. New England's defense is well ahead of its offense. The Patriots have a strong defensive front and their front seven has gotten faster. Bill Belichick is at his most dangerous with extra time to prepare.
|09-08-22||Bills v. Rams OVER 52||Top||31-10||Loss||-107||25 h 5 m||Show|
The total is large here, but not big enough given the matchup.
Buffalo's defense rates among the best going by last year's statistics. Truth be told, though, it's not as good as it's ranking, especially with star cornerback Tre'Davious White out with a knee injury. The Bills fatten their defensive numbers by steamrolling easy competition. Buffalo played only two playoff teams during the regular season - the Patriots and Chiefs before they got rolling.
The Bills are really going to miss White in trying to deal with Cooper Kupp, who had maybe the finest receiving season in NFL history with 145 receptions for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns. The Rams upgraded their No. 2 wideout position, too, signing Allen Robinson. Also Cam Akers, LA's most talented running back, has proclaimed himself healthy. The Rams finished in the top-nine in scoring and yards last season. They should do even better this season.
I'm more sold on the Bills' offense compared to their defense. Buffalo's passing attack is a fine oiled machine right now. Josh Allen is the No. 1 fantasy quarterback. Buffalo scored the third-most points in the NFL last season. The Bills could be even more dangerous with the emergence of speedster Isaiah McKenzie in the slot and the pass-catching talents out of the backfield of rookie James Cook to go with elite wideout Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis and tight end Dawson Knox.
The Rams may have the top cornerback in the league, Jalen Ramsey. But their strength is star power not depth. They don't have enough quality players in the secondary to stay up with all of Allen's targets. Allen also neutralizes Aaron Donald because of his tremendous mobility. The two most explosive offenses the Rams faced during their last 11 games were the Packers and Buccaneers. Green Bay scored 36 points. Tampa Bay produced 27 points.
Another plus for the Over is the game being played on a fast track at SoFi Stadium, which has artificial turf. This is the first game of the season. It's nationally televised. The league wants points to be scored that's why rules have been skewed to favor offense. I can't imagine the NFL wants its opening showcase game to be littered with a lot of offensive holding penalties either.
|02-13-22||Rams v. Bengals OVER 48.5||Top||23-20||Loss||-102||292 h 16 m||Show|
Given the high quality of quarterbacks, wide receivers and offensive coaching acumen and aggressiveness of Sean McVay and Zac Taylor, I easily envision at least 50 points being scored in this Super Bowl just like eight of the last 13 Super Bowls.
Defenses don't have a chance anymore against great offenses in today's modern game. The NFL has manipulated the rules so much that quarterbacks and wide receivers get way too much protection.
Teamed up for the first time under offensive guru McVay, Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp produced their finest seasons. The Bengals ranked 26th in pass defense. The Rams are going to get their points here. LA is back to being balanced with the return of Cam Akers to go with inside runner Sony MIchel.
Only Tom Brady threw more TD passes than Stafford. Kupp had one of the greatest receiving years in NFL history leading the league in receptions, receiving yards and receiving TD's. Kupp hasn't been contained all season.
Burrow and his trio of outstanding receivers plus Joe Mixon, the NFL's third-leading rusher, trump LA's defense. The Rams have a pair of defensive studs in Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. However, the Rams are below par at linebacker and safety. This is where they are really going to miss underrated injured safety Jordan Fuller, who was the Rams' captain, defensive signal-caller and leading tackler.
The Rams are most vulnerable in the middle of the field. This is where Burrow likes to attack with short passes to his trio of star wideouts Ja'Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins, who has come on to produce five 100-yard receiving games in his last nine games. The threat of Mixon helps keep LA's strong pass rush neutralized.
Neither McVay nor Taylor coach scared. They aren't afraid to go for it on fourth down. This is the right way to coach when both team's have outstanding offenses and the rules are skewed almost completely in favor of the offense.
Here are my Super Bowl props:Will Cam Akers score a touchdown? NO. The Rams are a passing offense. Even if the Rams decide to play power football inside the 10-yard line, Akers may not be trusted in goal line situations because of his fumbling issues. The Rams' best inside runner is Sony Michael, who likely would vulture any short-yardage running touchdown. Tyler Boyd OVER 38 1/2 receiving yards: Boyd is underpriced here because he averaged only 20.6 receiving yards during Cincinnati's three playoff games. Boyd is the Bengals' slot receiver. He caught 67 passes for 828 yards during the regular season for an average of 51.8 yards per game. The Rams' pass defense is geared to limit big yardage downfield throws. Stud cornerback Jalen Ramsey will be paying more attention to Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. The Rams have mediocre linebackers. LA's biggest defensive weakness is a soft middle. Joe Burrow is savvy enough to find Boyd in the intermediate part of the Rams' defense. Ja'Marr Chase OVER 2.5 rushing yards. Chase has gotten five carries during the playoffs, averaging 5.6 yards per run. The Bengals have to help their weak pass-blocking offensive line by keeping the Rams off balance. An end run by Chase is designed to do that. Chase is a tremendous playmaker. So it behooves the Bengals to get the ball in his hands any way they can. Von Miller or Leonard Floyd to get a sack. YES. I would bet each of them to get a sack. No quarterback was sacked more during the regular season than Joe Burrow. He was sacked 51 times plus another 12 in three playoff games. The Rams had the third-most sacks in the NFL. The Bengals will be concentrating on Aaron Donald. That's where the double teams will be. Not on Miller and Floyd, both of whom came on strong during the home stretch. Right tackle Isaiah Prince is the Bengals' weakest link in a weak offensive line. Miller and Floyd are going to have plenty of one-on-one opportunities against Prince. Matthew Stafford OVER 5.5 rushing yards. Stafford has gone above this rushing total in each of the Rams' three playoff games. This is the Super Bowl. Stafford will be going all out if he's forced to run, which should happen given the Bengals' quality pass rush. Team to score last wins the game. YES. It makes sense so this prop is chalky at around minus $2.00. But it certainly makes sense. It has cashed in 14 of the last 15 Super Bowls, including the past 12.
|01-30-22||49ers v. Rams UNDER 46.5||Top||17-20||Win||100||114 h 52 m||Show|
I don't trust the Rams' offense against the 49ers. San Francisco held LA to an average of 17 points and 271.5 yards in the team's two meetings this season. The Rams have been held to an average of 17.5 points during their last four games against San Francisco.
Matthew Stafford had a great season with 41 TD passes. But Stafford also tied Trevor Lawrence for the most interceptions with 17. The 49ers can generate a strong pass rush without having to blitz. This is huge because Stafford is strong against blitzes. Nick Bosa can be just as disruptive to an offense as Aaron Donald is for the Rams.
Keep an eye on the status of each team's starting offensive left tackles. The 49ers' Trent Williams was on crutches following the 49ers' win against the Packers last week, while the Rams' Andrew Whitworth missed his team's victory against the Buccaneers because of an ankle injury.
The 49ers ranked No. 3 in defensive total yards. They were in the top seven against both the run and pass.
The Rams' pass rush has come on strong with Von Miller making an impact. Jalen Ramsey gives the Rams the best defensive back. The 49ers are heavily ground-oriented so that is going to eat clock.
I don't trust Jimmy Garoppolo. He's an extremely limited quarterback.
So Under is the best course of action.
|01-22-22||49ers v. Packers OVER 47.5||Top||13-10||Loss||-105||98 h 48 m||Show|
This is one of the Packers' strongest offenses ever thanks to Aaron Rodgers, who during his last 6 1/2 games threw for 1,929 yards with a 20-to-0 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Rodgers has a deep wide receiving corps headed by Davante Adams, a top three overall wide receiver, and one of the best running back combos in the league, Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon.
Cold weather isn't going to derail this attack especially when wind won't be a major factor. The 49ers don't have the backend up to hang with all of Rogers' targets. Green Bay could have nearly its entire starting offensive line intact, too, for the first time this season. San Francisco is hoping to have back its best two defenders, pass rusher Nick Bosa and linebacker Fred Warner. Both were injured against the Cowboys last week. It's just an added bonus for Green Bay if either of those players is out.
The cold elements shouldn't bother the 49ers either because their attack is predicated on running and Jimmy Garoppolo playing point guard distributing short passes to Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk, all of whom are outstanding at gaining yards after the catch. Samuel has the most unique skill set in the NFL with his pass catching skills, rushing talents and even the ability to pass.
The Packers could get back cornerback Jaire Alexander and pass rusher Za'Darius Smith. Even if those two return, they aren't likely to play the entire game and their talents are more suited to defend against the pass rather than the run. The physical 49ers should control the trenches when running.
Green Bay's defense slipped noticeably as the season wore on. If you throw out holding the Vikings to just 10 points when Sean Mannion was Minnesota's QB, the Packers have surrendered an average of 30.1 points during their last six games.
|01-16-22||Steelers v. Chiefs OVER 46||21-42||Win||100||43 h 54 m||Show|
The Chiefs' explosive offense is back on track averaging 35.4 points during their last five games. This includes producing 36 points against the Steelers in Week 16. The Chiefs scored on each of their first four possessions, piling up 381 total yards of offense. Patrick Mahomes threw for 258 yards and 3 TD's despite not having Travis Kelce.
Pittsburgh has surrendered at least 36 points in four of its last five road games.
Safe to say, the Chiefs are going to get their share of points here.
But what about the Steelers? Can Pittsburgh contribute its share of points?
I believe the Steelers can. The Chiefs' run defense has become leaky giving up an average of 143.2 yards rushing in their last four games. If Najee Harris is effective on the ground, the Steelers' passing attack can be effective off play-action.
If the Chiefs load up to stop the run by committing their safeties, Ben Roethlisberger will attack their man coverage. Roethlisberger won't be shy about passing in what likely is his final game.
|01-15-22||Raiders v. Bengals UNDER 49.5||Top||19-26||Win||100||113 h 11 m||Show|
It's easy to remember the Raiders' last game. That being a memorable, 35-32, home overtime victory against the Chargers on national TV this past Sunday night.
Those combined 67 points and Joe Burrow's hot hand may have influenced this opening total, which I find too high given the matchup and expected weather conditions.
The forecast is for temperatures to be in the 20s with a 50 percent chance of snow. Las Vegas hasn't played in under 44 degree weather all season.
Burrow was sizzling in Weeks 16 and 17 combining to pass for nearly 1,000 yards with eight TD's. Burrow, though, may have lost some of his hot hand after being rested this past Sunday. The Raiders are a respectable 13th in pass defense. Las Vegas had allowed 15.6 points in its past three games prior to meeting the Chargers.
Cincinnati's defense was much improved this season especially against the run, ranking fifth in the NFL. The Bengals held the Raiders to 13 points and fewer than 300 yards of offense in their, 32-13, victory in Week 11.
Before scoring 35 points on the Chargers, the Raiders had averaged only 14 points during their last five games. Derek Carr needs Josh Jacobs to keep him out of obvious passing situations. I don't see Jacobs doing much, though, against Cincinnati's strong rush defense.
When healthy, Darren Waller is one of the top-five tight ends in football. Waller missed Weeks 13-17, but returned last week against the Chargers.Waller was rusty. He caught only two passes for 22 yards against the Chargers. But he played on 78 percent of the Raiders' offensive snaps and was targeted nine times. Waller should be much better this week. Derek Carr always has looked for Waller. Carr will look often in Waller's direction in this matchup as the Bengals gave up the fifth-most yards to tight ends. Cincinnati doesn't have the athletic linebackers who can stay with talented, fast tight ends such as Waller. Waller had a big game when the Raiders played the Bengals in Week 11 catching seven passes for 116 yards. So I'm going Over 4 1/2 receptions (Caesars Palace) and Over 56 1/2 receiving yards (Circa) on Waller today.
|01-09-22||Saints v. Falcons OVER 39.5||30-20||Win||100||21 h 28 m||Show|
I understand that both of these offenses have regressed very much.
But this total is too low especially with this game being played on a fast track inside a dome.
The Saints may get both of their starting offensive tackles, Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramzcyk, back. That would be a huge plus as Armstead and Ramzcyk are well above average.
I consider dual threat Taysom Hill a major upgrade on Trevor Siemian. Alvin Kamara is an elite all-purpose back. Hill will be operating against an Atlanta defense that ranks 29th in points allowed, 26th in run defense and 24th in total defense.
Matt Ryan has endured a down season. But he's not devoid of weapons with Cordarrelle Patterson, who has put together a Kamara-type all-purpose season with 1,154 yards from scrimmage, and star tight end Kyle Pitts, who will be trying to break Mike Ditka's rookie record for tight end receiving yardage.
|01-02-22||Giants v. Bears OVER 36||Top||3-29||Loss||-110||11 h 46 m||Show|
Two bad offenses playing in cold weather. Sounds like an Under, right? No, not when the total is this low and two worn down defenses are involved.
The Giants are giving up an average of 30.6 points during their last three games. The Bears have scored at least 22 points in three of their past four games.
David Montgomery is in line for a big performance with the Giants possibly down several of their run-stuffing defensive linemen. Andy Dalton can be effective with Montgomery doing the heavy lifting. Dalton has several underrated receiving targets. Matt Nagy shouldn't be afraid to open the playbook for the veteran Dalton. It's not like Nagy has anything to lose since he's likely to be canned at the end of the season.
Former Bear Mike Glennon should get the start for the Giants. Glennon is a stiff, but he has some talented skill-position weapons and the Bears defense has not been good for a while now giving up an average of 27.6 points in their last nine games.
|12-19-21||Packers v. Ravens OVER 43.5||31-30||Win||100||44 h 18 m||Show|
His toe may hurt, but Aaron Rodgers is in MVP-form with a 10-to-zero TD-to-interception ratio in his last three games. The Packers are averaging 37.3 points during this span. Davante Adams has been at his masterful best during the last three games, too, with 25 receptions for 340 yards and four TD's. Rodgers and Adams face a Ravens secondary full of injuries.
Tyler Huntley proved himself last week if Lamar Jackson can't play. Huntley was 27-of-38 passing for 270 yards with one TD pass and no interceptions against the Browns after Jackson suffered an ankle injury early in the game.
Green Bay is surrendering 30.6 points in its last three games.
Special teams are another factor. The Ravens have the best special teams in the league, including the top kicker. The Packers are well below average in special teams coverage.
|12-19-21||Texans v. Jaguars OVER 39.5||30-16||Win||100||40 h 23 m||Show|
On the surface this total may seem correct since the Texans are averaging just nine points in their last three games, while the Jaguars are averaging 9.1 points during their last seven games.
But the dynamics have changed. I doubt we see the combined 58 points that these teams put together opening week when Houston beat Jacksonville, 37-21. I do see, though, enough points being produced to safely get this above the listed total.
The Texans have had enough of veteran journeyman Tyrod Taylor. Rookie Davis Mills is auditioning for the starting quarterback role. The Texans want to see what they have in Mills so they want him to air it out. Mills threw a season-high 49 times for a career-high 331 yards against the Seahawks last week. Mills has a pair of quality wide receiver targets, Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins.
Jacksonville ranks 26th in scoring defense giving up 26.2 points a game.
I'm expecting the Jaguars' offense to become much better without Urban Meyer around to screw things up. Returning this week for the Jaguars is their center Brandon Linder, who was out with a back injury. James Robinson is expected to get a full workload - something Meyer should have done. This will make things easier for Trevor Lawrence, who also should come up big minus Meyer.
Houston has permitted 64 points during its last two games and are down key defenders due to injuries, sickness, or getting rid of.
|12-19-21||Panthers v. Bills UNDER 44.5||14-31||Loss||-110||40 h 12 m||Show|
Buffalo ranks first in total defense and third in scoring defense giving up 17.6 points a game. The Panthers have no passing game and their ground attack is greatly lessened with Christian McCaffrey out. The Panthers have become a full-fledged ground-and-pound team - excellent for Under the total - when they fired offensive coordinator Joe Brady. The Panthers are averaging fewer than 20 points a game.
Josh Allen isn't 100 percent because of a foot injury. He's taking on a Carolina defense that ranks No. 1 in pass defense and gives up the second-fewest yards per game. Allen has turned the ball over at least once in each of the last six games committing 10 turnovers during this span.
This is a December game in Buffalo so the weather is going to be cold. The forecast is for temperatures in the high 20's with 10 mph winds.
|12-12-21||Bears v. Packers OVER 43||30-45||Win||100||68 h 57 m||Show|
The Packers went into their bye last week after producing 36 points against the Rams. They should be fresh with a strong game plan and with the possible return of their best offensive lineman, David Bakhtiari.
Chicago's defense has been weakened by injuries to several players, including Khalil Mack, and sinking morale. The Bears have surrendered 29 or more points in four of their last six games. Their run defense ranks 23rd. The Bears will have to deal with the Packers' two-headed running back tandem of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon, while also having to contend with Aaron Rodgers, who has a history of picking apart Chicago.
The Bears are getting some of their injured offensive players back, including Allen Robinson and Justin Fields, who should be well prepared and have fresh legs having been out the last two games.
Weather shouldn't be a major hindrance with temperatures in the 20's, no snow and wind in the 10-15 mph range.
|12-12-21||Bills v. Bucs OVER 53||Top||27-33||Win||100||64 h 16 m||Show|
It didn't show against the Patriots this past Monday night because of the extreme weather conditions, but the Bills are vulnerable defensively against the pass minus their injured star cornerback Tre'Davious White. Tom Brady, who leads the NFL in passing yards and passing TD's, is sure to exploit White's replacement, Dane Jackson.
Tampa Bay has scored 30 or more points in more than half of its games. The Bills' defense is worse than perceived. Buffalo fattened its defensive numbers by going against a number of mediocre-to-bad QB's. The Bills gave up 41 points to the Colts and 34 to the Titans. Brady is much better than Carson Wentz and Ryan Tannehill. Brady also has a much deeper set of receiving targets than those QB's have.
The Bills have scored at least 31 points in seven of their 12 games. Both teams play at a very fast tempo, too. Unlike last week, weather won't be a hindrance for Josh Allen and Buffalo's offense.
|12-12-21||Giants v. Chargers UNDER 43.5||21-37||Loss||-110||64 h 46 m||Show|
Anyway you cut it, the Giants are going to be terrible at QB with a choice of injured Daniel Jones, immobile journeyman Mike Glennon, or fourth-stringer Jake Fromm, who was on Buffalo's practice squad last week behind three other QB's.
The Giants are not in sync with their new offensive coordinator, Freddie Kitchens. They have a bad offensive line, a battered wide receiving corps and Saquan Barkley remains unproductive nowhere near his elite status before he suffered a serious knee injury last year.
New York is averaging 14.4 points in its last five games. The Giants' offense looks much better on paper than it really is.
The Chargers are dealing with COVID-19 problems that have struck their two best wideouts, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.
Unlike their offense, the Giants are better defensively than perceived, giving up an average of 16 points during their last six games.
|12-12-21||Seahawks v. Texans UNDER 41.5||33-13||Loss||-109||61 h 47 m||Show|
The Texans have one of the all-time worst offenses regardless of who their QB is, Tyrod Taylor or Davis Mills. Houston ranks last in points, yards and rushing yards. They are second-to-last in passing yards. The Texans are averaging 10.6 points in their last 10 games.
Seattle's defense has gotten much better. The Seahawks have surrendered 20 or fewer points during regulation in six of their last eight games.
The Seahawks' defense has accomplished this despite a weak offense that doesn't have any semblance of a ground attack. Russell Wilson is having a down year caused in part by a finger injury.
The Texans' defense usually plays hard. Prior to giving up 31 points to the Colts last week, the Texans had allowed an average of 17 points in its past three games.
|12-06-21||Patriots v. Bills UNDER 42.5||Top||14-10||Win||100||82 h 1 m||Show|
Not only do the Patriots and Bills have the two best statistical defenses in the NFL, but there is a strong weather factor, too. Throw in this being a huge division game with two top-notch defensive coaches and you have all the right ingredients for an Under.
New England is first in scoring defense holding foes to 15.8 points a game. Buffalo is next giving up 16.5 points. The Bills rank No. 1 in total defense.
Mac Jones hasn't experienced this type of weather. Bill Belichick is sure to have a sound defensive game plan for Josh Allen, who isn't having the big year he had last season. The Patriots are second in takeaways.
|12-05-21||Colts v. Texans UNDER 45||31-0||Win||100||37 h 46 m||Show|
When I see a total in this range on a Texans game, I have to think Under. Houston has the worst offense in the NFL ranking last in points, total yards and rushing yards. They are second-to-last in passing yards. The Texans' poor offensive numbers aren't completely attributable to rookie QB Davis Mills either. They've averaged 15 points and 221 total yards during their last three games since Tyrod Taylor came back.
The Colts lead the league in takeaways with 26. The Colts have held five of their last nine opponents to 18 or fewer points. They beat the Texans, 31-3, in the first meeting. Indy is stepping way down in class after surrendering 38 points to the Buccaneers last Sunday.
Houston is underrated defensively. The Texans rank 15th in pass defense and are in the top 10 in takeaways. They've held their last three foes to an average of 17 points. Safety Justin Reid, perhaps Houston's top defensive player, returns from suspension.
The Under has cashed the last five times the teams have met in Houston.
|12-05-21||Vikings v. Lions UNDER 47||Top||27-29||Loss||-115||98 h 37 m||Show|
The Lions are a dead nuts Under team with their pop gun attack. Detroit hasn't reached 20 points since opening week. During their last 10 games, the Lions are averaging 14.1 points. The Under has cashed in eight of the Lions' last nine games.
D'Andre Swift is the Lions' lone explosive weapon - and he's not likely to play because of a shoulder injury that knocked him out of the Thanksgiving game.
Minnesota's defense has been a huge disappointment. Multiple injuries have played a role in this. However, Mike Zimmer is a top-notch defensive mind and his team shouldn't have problems holding the Lions' down, especially considering the mindset of Lions coach Dan Campbell, who wants his team to play low-scoring games.
The Vikings will be without their most dynamic player, Dalvin Cook. He's sidelined with a shoulder injury. That ensures a heavy workload for plodding Alexander Mattison, a North/South type runner good for the Under.
|11-28-21||Bucs v. Colts UNDER 53.5||38-31||Loss||-110||48 h 47 m||Show|
The marketplace is betting this game up. I understand Jonathan Taylor is the hottest running back in the NFL and Tom Brady leads the league with 29 TD passes. I just disagree with the move. There are key elements that are not being fully accounted for such as the Buccaneers having the No. 1 run defense in the league giving up 78.4 yards on the ground. The Buccaneers are healthier on defense, too. Cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting is off the injured list. There's a strong chance cornerback Carlton Davis and nose guard Vita Vea play, too, after being out. I regard Tampa Bay's linebackers as among the best if not the best. I don't trust Carson Wentz if Taylor isn't able to do the heavy lifting. The Colts also could be without their best offensive lineman as stud guard Quenton Nelson is questionable with an ankle injury. The Colts rank 11th in scoring defense. They are the best in taking the ball away forcing a league-high 24 turnovers. Indy has forced at least one turnover in 12 consecutive games. These defenses are not being given enough credit.
|11-21-21||Steelers v. Chargers OVER 47.5||37-41||Win||100||32 h 19 m||Show|
Now that Ben Roethlisberger has cleared COVID-19 protocols, I feel confident playing this game Over the total.
The Chargers have an above average offense and an elite QB in Justin Herbert. The Chargers catch a major break in that Pittsburgh is going to be without it's best pass rusher, best safety and top cornerback as T.J. Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Joe Haden have all been ruled out.
The Steelers aren't the same minus the dominant Watt, perhaps the best pass rusher in the NFL, and the dynamic ballhawk Fitzpatrick. The Steelers are thin at linebacker, too, after trading Melvin Ingram to the Chiefs earlier this month.
The Chargers are averaging 29.7 points in their past four home games. The weather will be perfect here.
I expect the Steelers to contribute their fair share of points. LA ranks last in run defense. Najee Harris is the sixth-leading rusher in the NFL. Pittsburgh's young offensive line has been showing improvement.
If the Chargers stack the line to key on Harris, Rothelisberger is savvy enough to hurt LA with play-action. It's a plus for Pittsburgh that big-play wideout Chase Claypool is expected to play.
|11-21-21||Texans v. Titans OVER 44.5||22-13||Loss||-107||23 h 49 m||Show|
The Texans have the worst offense in the NFL ranking last in points and yards per game. They are averaging a mind-boggling 4.2 points in their last four road games.
Tyrod Taylor upgrades Houston's offense. But only slightly. He's far better than overmatched rookie Davis Mills, but he's still Tyrod Taylor - a conservative journeyman better at running the ball than completing downfield passes.
The Titans have excellent season numbers. However, those numbers are out of context now with Derrick Henry and Julio Jones both out. The Titans have run the ball 55 times in their last two games minus Henry. They've gained 135 yards, an average of 67.5 yards per game. That's their lowest two-game rushing total of the season.
No Jones means the Texans can fully concentrate their pass defense on A.J. Brown, who is the Titans' only above average wideout.
Both teams have protection problems. The Titans have given up 29 sacks, the Texans 26 sacks. Tennessee's defense is much improved with defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons and linebacker Harold Landry playing at star levels.
|11-18-21||Patriots v. Falcons UNDER 47||Top||25-0||Win||100||18 h 35 m||Show|
The Falcons have much to prove after scoring just three points in a 40-point loss to the Cowboys last Sunday. Matt Ryan had a passer rating of 21.4 in that game, lowest of his career.
It's probably a given the Falcons are going to come out motivated for this Thursday night home game. It's far from a given, though, that they score far more points than last week.
New England has an elite defense. Dallas doesn't. The Patriots are giving up the second-fewest points per game in the NFL at 17.7. That number shrinks to 12.5 if you go by the last four games.
Atlanta's problems aren't fully on Ryan. Minus traded Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, who will be missing his fourth straight game to deal with mental health issues, the Falcons are down to just two explosive players, Cordarrelle Patterson and tight end Kyle Pitts. Patterson is dealing with an ankle injury. So he may be out, too.
Given Mike Davis' ineffectiveness this season, the Falcons' primary running back could be journeyman Wayne Gallman. That leaves Pitts as a lone force and Bill Belichick is a master at taking away his opponent's most potent weapon. The Falcons won't even have the luxury of playing a second good pass-catching tight end because Hayden Hurst is out with an ankle injury.
This isn't the decent Falcons' attack spearheaded by Ryan we're used to seeing. Way too many missing parts. Ryan is going to have to be conservative because of that. The Patriots have 14 interceptions. That's tied for the second-most in the league.
The Patriots are far from explosive themselves. Take away their two victories against the Jets and last week's blowout of the Browns and the Patriots are averaging 21.5 points in their seven other games.
New England is a run-oriented, ground-and-pound team. Rookie QB Mac Jones has proven accurate, but he's not a big downfield thrower and his wide receiving corps is below average.
It's tough for a road team to win when playing on a short week especially facing a non-conference opponent. The last time these teams met was 2017. The short week limits the Patriots' game-planning and chance to be creative on offense. They'll do what they do best - run the ball, play for field position and rely on their defense. That's a good formula for the Under.
|11-14-21||Panthers v. Cardinals UNDER 44.5||34-10||Win||100||90 h 41 m||Show|
Christian McCaffrey's return isn't nearly enough to give any explosiveness to a Carolina offense that has just one opening week offensive line starter playing his original position and must turn to inaccurate backup QB P.J. Walker, who has a 1-to-5 touchdown-to-interception career ratio. This will be only Walker's second career NFL start. Kyler Murray's MVP-caliber season is the big story in Arizona. But right next to it should be the tremendous strides its defense has made. The Cardinals have surrendered the third fewest points per game and fourth fewest yards. The Cardinals may hold their two big weapons, Murray and DeAndre Hopkins, out a second straight game playing such a punchless opponent and coming off a 31-17 victory against the 49ers behind Colt McCoy and James Conner. McCoy is a game manager. Conner is a North/South runner due for a heavy load with Chase Edmonds out with an ankle injury. The Panthers' strength is their young, talented defense.
|11-14-21||Vikings v. Chargers OVER 53||27-20||Loss||-110||90 h 31 m||Show|
OK, I'll join the rest of the world in going Over this total. It's still likely to go higher, too. A number of veteran Vikings defensive players are having bad seasons and now injuries and COVID have hit. Danielle Hunter and Patrick Peterson are definitely out. Hunter is Minnesota's most dominant lineman and Peterson their top cornerback. Justin Herbert has the talent and weapons to take advantage. Discount a bad game against the Ravens and the Chargers are averaging 31.2 points in their last five games. The Chargers' defense has some standout talent - Joey Bosa and Derwin James quickly come to mind - but they are overrated as a whole. LA has surrendered an average of 31.7 points in its last four games. That was going against the Browns, Ravens, Patriots and Eagles. The Vikings' offense is at least the equal of those teams. Dalvin Cook is the best all-purpose back the Chargers have seen all season. Justin Jefferson the second-best wide receiver. Kirk Cousins has been rightly criticized for being too conservative. Even a stone age coach like Mike Zimmer realizes his offense has to open up more especially with their third down passing game.
|11-08-21||Bears v. Steelers OVER 38.5||Top||27-29||Win||100||34 h 56 m||Show|
The Bears hosted the 49ers last week. The total was less than 41. There were 55 points scored.This week the Bears' total for their road game against the Steelers is less than 40. Those kinds of totals are just plain too low in today's NFL where everything is skewed in favor of the offense. Unless you have two horrible offenses and two dominant defenses, it's difficult for an NFL total to go Under this low of a total. And that's not the case for Monday's matchup. Chicago's defense is worse than perceived. Minus Khalil Mack and safety Eddie Jackson, the Bears surrendered 33 points to a middle-of-the-road type 49ers offense. Chicago couldn't record a sack without Mack, nor come up with a takeaway minus Jackson. The 49ers scored on seven consecutive possessions. They never had to punt. Mack is out again and I don't expect Jackson to play either. The Steelers' youthful offensive line is beginning to jell as the season reaches the half-way point. Najee Harris has benefitted averaging 130 scrimmage yards during the last three games. He was the AFC Rookie of the Month for October. Given a ground game to fall back on, Ben Roethlisberger can pick his spots. He has good targets in Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool and underrated tight end Pat Freiermuth. Harris is one of the better all-purpose backs. This total is so low because the Steelers just managed 15 points against the Browns last week. Pittsburgh averaged 25 points in its previous two games, which were both non-division matchups like this one. It's mainly so low, though, because the Bears rank last in total yards and passing yards. They are 31st in scoring. Justin Fields is a work-in-progress. But he's off his best game. Fields is dangerous because he has tremendous mobility and can make big plays. He has good receivers, too, and there's the strong possibility running back David Montgomery returns from his knee injury here. Montgomery is a North-South runner, which isn't good for an Under. But he can keep Fields out of second-and-long situations. Chris Boswell returned to practice so Pittsburgh should have its kicker. No problems with weather either.
|11-07-21||Titans v. Rams OVER 52.5||28-16||Loss||-107||35 h 38 m||Show|
The Rams are a top-five offense averaging more than 30 points and 400 total yards. Matthew Stafford is putting up MVP numbers and Cooper Kupp has been the best wide receiver in the NFL. Tennessee has a below average defense.The Titans aren't going to be able to stop the Rams. Tennessee's game plan of keeping the ball away from Stafford and Co. is out the window with Derrick Henry out. So the Titans are now forced to keep up with the Rams matching them score for score. They will have to throw to do that. Ryan Tannehill does have the explosive wide receiving weapons to accomplish this. Jeremy McNichols will become a bigger part of the game plan. He's the Titans' second-leading receiver catching passes out of the backfield. Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing has had a full week to alter his standard game plan knowing Henry won't be available. The Rams picked up Von Miller, which should help their pass rush. But I don't see this happening right away. Miller isn't 100 percent and is past his prime. The Rams could experience some cultural shock having played the Lions, Giants and Texans during their last three games. Now they're playing a real offense.
|11-07-21||Chargers v. Eagles OVER 49.5||27-24||Win||100||41 h 46 m||Show|
This is a matchup where each team's offensive strength fits the opposing team's defensive weakness. Factor in tempo and that Jerome Boger's crew will be the officials and you have a strong Over the total play. Justin Herbert has a healthy wide receiving group. The Eagles aren't deep in the secondary. Austin Ekeler is one of the better all-purpose running backs in the NFL. He has more than 300 receiving yards and averages 5.0 yards a run. The Chargers rank No. 2 in the NFL in tempo. The Eagles ran for 236 yards against the Lions last week showing they have the running back depth to mitigate the loss of Miles Sanders. The Chargers are last in run defense giving up nearly 160 yards on the ground per game. Jalen Hurts is a dual threat QB and the Chargers have a cluster injury problem at cornerback with Asante Samuel and Michael Davis both out. So Hurts is in a great spot to succeed. The Eagles play at the sixth-fastest pace. The Over has cashed in better than 60 percent of Boger's lifetime games. That's a legitimate statistical number, too, because no other officiating crew calls so many defensive holding calls. It's a great break for Herbert to draw Boger and his flag wavers.
|11-07-21||Broncos v. Cowboys OVER 48.5||Top||30-16||Loss||-108||21 h 25 m||Show|
Dallas' defense is much improved. But it's far from an elite unit. Jerry Jeudy is back from an ankle injury. He's Denver's most consistent wide receiving threat. His presence opens the field for their other receivers, including the highly-talented Courtland Sutton.
Teddy Bridgewater has completed better than 70 percent of his throws. Expect Bridgewater to be passing far more than usual as he'll need to keep up with Dak Prescott and an explosive Cowboys offense.
The Broncos' defense looked good at the start of the season. However, they were playing weak offenses and that was before multiple injuries struck. Denver is without its two best inside linebackers, Josey Jewell and A.J. Johnson. That opens up the running game for Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard.
Denver's pass rush is without Bradley Chubb and now the traded Von Miller. So Prescott should have time to pick his spots. The Cowboys' deep wide receiving corps is made even deeper with the expected return of Michael Gallup, who is talented enough to be a starter on some teams. The Broncos suffered another key defensive injury, losing Bryce Callahan. He was one of the best slot coverage defensive backs.
|10-31-21||49ers v. Bears OVER 39.5||33-22||Win||100||15 h 33 m||Show|
A lot has to go right defensively and on special teams for a total of less than 40 to go Under in today's NFL with so many rules skewed to offense.Justin Fields has been a disaster - so far. But this will be his sixth start. He has the legs and receiving talent with Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet to put up his share of points. The Bears have gone Under in their last six games, but they've never had a total of less than 40 this season. The 49ers have enough firepower to help this total get Over, too, especially since the Bears will be missing their best defensive player, star pass rusher Khalil Mack. He's out with a foot injury. Chicago ranks 23rd in run defense. The 49ers are ground-oriented. Jimmy Garoppolo is playing for his job. So he knows he has to come in with a good performance here.
|10-28-21||Packers v. Cardinals OVER 50||Top||24-21||Loss||-115||25 h 46 m||Show|
The Cardinals rank fourth in the NFL in points scored per game at 32.1. That's legitimate with Kyler Murray having an MVP-type season.
Arizona ranks first in the NFL in fewest points allowed per game at 16.3. That's not legitimate. Yes, the Cardinals' defense is much improved. But it's not the dominating unit that the statistics show.
Arizona has permitted just 29 points in its last three games. Those matchups, though, were against the 49ers, Browns and Texans. The Cardinals faced two rookie quarterbacks during this span - Trey Lance in his starting debut and overmatched Davis Mills - along with a banged-up Baker Mayfield, who probably shouldn't have played against the Cardinals in what was one of his worst performances ever. Mayfield couldn't hit open receivers all game against Arizona.
The Packers won't have Davonte Adams and Allen Lazard. If Marquez Valdes-Scantling has to miss a fifth straight game due to a hamstring injury, Green Bay will be without its three top wideouts.
Normally this would create a huge problem. That problem isn't the mess the marketplace believes it is in driving the line up to a touchdown. Aaron Rodgers still has weapons. Green Bay has outstanding wide receiver depth. Rodgers has been great since Week 2 with 17 all purpose touchdowns and just one interception during his last six games.
By the way, the Packers are 6-0 since 2019 in games Adams has missed.
The Cardinals will get Chandler Jones back, but J.J. Watt won't play. I have complete confidence that Rodgers will put up his share of points helping this total go Over.
The Packers holding Washington to 10 points last Sunday is highly misleading. Washton marched up and down the field on Green Bay picking up 430 yards while averaging 6.1 yards per play. Taylor Heinicke just made too many goal line mistakes to take advantage. The Packers have allowed the second-most quarterback rushing yards. That bodes well for double-threat Murray.
|10-25-21||Saints v. Seahawks UNDER 43||Top||13-10||Win||100||82 h 23 m||Show|
The early forecast is for a high chance of rain - not exactly shocking for Seattle - with winds in the 10 mph range. That's not a plus for the Over. Nor is the quarterback matchup. Jameis Winston has been far more effective in his home games inside the New Orleans zone. Geno Smith is a backup. Both Winston and Smith are turnover-prone. Winston has been sacked nine times and picked off three times in three road games this season. The Saints are solid defensively both against the run and pass. The Saints entered this week ranked third in the metric DVOA, which is defense-adjusted value over average. The Seahawks' defense features middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and safety Jamal Adams, two of the top players at their respective positions. The Under has cashed nine of the last 11 times the Seahawks have played an NFC opponent.
|10-24-21||Lions v. Rams UNDER 50.5||19-28||Win||100||67 h 3 m||Show|
I have been watching the NFL for nearly 60 years. Never have I seen a worse wide receiver group than what the Lions have with Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kalif Raymond, KhaDarel Hodge, Tom Kennedy and Geronimo Allison.Jalen Ramsey can catch up on his reading facing these guys. The Rams, of course, know Jared Goff well. They know his many weaknesses and lack of downfield passing. Detroit's one-time decent offensive line isn't very good anymore either because of injuries and rookie left tackle Penei Sewell's continued struggles. The result is the Lions have failed to score 17 points in their last five games, averaging 15.2 points during this span. They have scored one first half TD since Week 2. The Lions lack talent on defense, too. But they play hard for Dan Campbell. Until getting clobbered by the Bengals, 34-11, this past Sunday the Lions held their previous three foes - Ravens, Bears and Vikings - to an average of 20.6 points. Detroit should be motivated to perform better defensively after getting lit up by the Bengals. Matthew Stafford can produce big points, but Sean McVay has no reason to reveal any trick plays, or new wrinkles against such a weak road foe. If a blowout is occurring, McVay might even pull Stafford and the rest of his offensive starters. The oddsmaker still hasn't quite caught up to the Lions when it comes to totals. The Under has cashed in Detroit's last four games. The Lions have gone Under the total by an average of nearly 11 points a game during their past four games.