This NFL season, with sports betting expected to be a more common and accepted practice, we’re making a point to look beyond NFL point spreads and analyze often-neglected totals. As part of that approach, we’re offering up our favorite bet over and favorite under each week.
Over and Under Best Bets
Over of the week: Cincinnati Bengals at Atlanta Falcons
Without Deion Jones, Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen and with Takkarist McKinley also hurting, the Falcons defense is a bit of a mess. That unit just surrendered 43 points at home against the New Orleans Saints. And while the Bengals’ offense isn’t as strong as New Orleans, they did scored 68 points in their first two games of the regular season.
Look for Andy Dalton and A.J. Green to step up against a limping defense and score more points than the 21 they put up against a solid Carolina D in Week 3.
The Panthers also scored 31 on the Bengals, and the Falcons have a lot more firepower than that. Even if Atlanta doesn’t get Devonta Freeman back, Matt Ryan is on fire and he’s got plenty of options now that rookie receiver Calvin Ridley has broken out in support of Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Tevin Coleman.
The Falcons could put up 40 here, while the Bengals could be good for 30. Even if both fall short by about a touchdown, this goes way over that total of 51.
Predicted score: Falcons 33, Bengals 24
Under of the week: Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
The Colts offense just isn’t taking any chances with Andrew Luck under center, which is why they’ve been held to 23 or fewer points in each of their first three outings. Doubt they score more than that against a Texans defense that is loaded with talent and could be on the verge of coming around following a three-sack performance from J.J. Watt in Week 3.
Watt looks ready to take Houston’s fate into his own hands. And while it might only be a matter of time before the Texans offense finally explodes, this might not be the week. Deshaun Watson hasn’t looked himself, and now he’ll be facing a surprisingly strong young Colts defense on the road.
With rookie second-round linebacker Darius Leonard shining, Indy has surrendered just 29 points in its last two games, both of which came on the road. Back at home against a worse offense than the two they faced (Washington and Philadelphia), it’s hard to imagine them giving up more than 20.
Predicted score: Colts 20, Texans 13
Good luck, we’re all counting on you.
Last week: 0-2
2018 season: 2-4