This NFL season, with sports betting expected to be a more common and accepted practice, we’re making a point to look beyond football 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.
2018 Article follows, check out Brad’s Week 2 over and under best bets for this season
Over of the week: Cleveland Browns at New Orleans Saints
The Saints defense was a mess in Week 1, and that might not be a complete coincidence despite the fact that unit put up strong numbers in 2017. The New Orleans D also started slowly in 2017, surrendering 65 points in the first two weeks of the regular season.
I don’t think they’ll give up 48 again like they did against the Tampa Buccaneers on Sunday, but this’ll be a much easier task for a Browns offense that is still meshing. If Cleveland can score 21 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, it should be able to exceed that total in New Orleans.
Even if we conservatively give the Browns 24 points, the Saints merely need to win for this to go over the total of 49. New Orleans is a huge favorite after scoring 40 points in its home opener and should be in for another stellar offensive performance.
In an attempt to redeem themselves, the angry Saints will probably be aggressive early. That probably means a big first half from a team that has scored 30-plus points in seven of their last 12 games. And if it doesn’t, it could mean more turnovers leading to shorter fields and easier points for Cleveland.
Predicted score: Saints 37, Browns 24
Under of the week: Miami Dolphins at New York Jets
This total is probably inflated by the Jets scoring 48 points on the road in their opener, but Gang Green looks destined to come back to earth in that respect in Week 2. New York benefited from five Lions turnovers, a special-teams touchdown and another score on defense in Detroit. And it helped that the Lions couldn’t get pressure on rookie Jets quarterback Sam Darnold.
Darnold is likely to come back to earth a little bit now that Adam Gase and Matt Burke have had plenty of time to review tape from his first regular-season NFL game.
The reality is the most sustainable aspect of that Jets’ performance in Detroit was their play on defense. Don’t expect more pick-sixes or another five-takeaway showing, but do expect them to hold them to fewer than the 20 points they scored in their home opener against the Tennessee Titans (the other seven came on a kick return).
Neither offense is overly reliable, and both defenses have more talent than most of us realize.
Predicted score: Jets 17, Dolphins 10
Good luck, we’re all counting on you.
Last week: 1-1
2018 season: 1-1