Sep 10, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; A detailed view of a football and pylon before the game between the Detroit Lions and the Arizona Cardinals at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Over Under Bets for Week 1

Maybe you’ve already got your side bets decided for Week 1, but focusing only on point spreads, moneylines or fantasy robs you of potential opportunities to make money on over/unders.

Here are a few totals bets for Sunday and Monday that we are worthy of your attention. Lines currently via SugarHouse NJ. (Also check out Gagnon’s quick point spread picks on every Week 1 game.)

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (OVER 43)

This is low considering that the Lions have quarterback Matthew Stafford back while Chicago is pretty defensively worn down outside of Khalil Mack. Stafford was one of the highest-rated passers in the league before hurting his back last season, while Mack is dealing with a knee injury and his pass-rushing partner, Robert Quinn, has an injured ankle.

These teams combined for 44 points when they met down the stretch last year, and that was when the Lions were without Stafford and the two teams had Eddie Goldman and Darius Slay on defense. Look for this one to potentially push 50.

Not that we believe in trends too much, but the Lions have been OVER machines in Week 1 games. If you blindly bet the Lions to go OVER in every season opener, you would have won nine straight, 12 of 13 and 17 of 23 dating back to 1997.

Las Vegas Raiders at Carolina Panthers (UNDER 47.5)

I think oddsmakers and the public are giving too much credit to Derek Carr without Tyrell Williams, as well as too much credit to Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Rhule in their respective Carolina Panther debuts.

Sure, both defenses are works in progress. But the Raiders will likely keep things on the ground with Josh Jacobs, as their passing game works through changes against a decent pass-rush. The Raiders have some talent up front to apply pressure to Bridgewater. Neither team is likely to rack up more than 20 or so points, so this total strikes me as about a touchdown too high.

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (OVER 39.5)

The Jets and Bills combined for a grand total of 52 points in their two matchups last season. But there is fear for those considering the UNDER in this spot – fear that Buffalo’s balanced and talented offense could go for 30-plus points against a defense in flux following C.J. Mosley’s opt-out and the Jamal Adams trade.

So, New York is without its best two defensive players, while the Bills have added route-running star Stefon Diggs to the offense. Their stout defense is also back for more this season, and that unit could create points off defensive scores. They should be able to torture a completely retooled offensive line that might need time to get acclimated following an offseason that was severely limited by COVID-19. All it takes is a 30-10 Buffalo victory and the OVER hits and that score sounds about right.

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (UNDER 48)

I know these two teams surpassed the 50-point plateau in both of their 2019 meetings. But the San Francisco offense has been hit hard by injuries and significant changes, while both defenses remain sturdy and talented. Arizona’s D was also much improved after its Week 12 bye, and now they’ve added highly-touted rookie Isaiah Simmons to the mix.

Plus, it could take some time for Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins to establish chemistry on offense for the Cards. This feels like an early-40s total. And for what its worth from our friend the Trend Dummy, the 49ers have played UNDER the last six season openers.