NFL Week 9: Over and Under Best Bets
This NFL season, with sports betting expected to be a more common and accepted practice, we're making a point to look beyond 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: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers are rolling offensively. One week after putting up 21 fourth-quarter points on the Philadelphia Eagles, they scored 36 on the league’s top-rated scoring defense in a home victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
Little reason to believe they won’t push the 40 mark on Sunday against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers D that ranks dead-last in the league with 33.3 points per game allowed, especially in the comfy confines of their home stadium. The Panthers have scored at least 30 points in their last three home games, so look for another explosion against Tampa Bay.
And the Bucs shouldn’t have too much trouble scoring either. They’ve put up at least 27 points in all but one game this season and are in better shape with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback instead of Jameis Winston.
Even if Carolina pulls away, there’s a good chance we’ll see garbage-time points from a loaded Bucs offense, which should make it easy to push 60 here.
Predicted score: Panthers 38, Buccaneers 35
Under of the week: Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots
This number might be inflated by the fact it’s a high-profile game between two high-profile teams involving two high-profile quarterbacks in prime time, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up with a relatively low-scoring tilt Sunday night.
The Green Bay defense hasn’t been good this year, but it still ranks in the middle of the pack in terms of points allowed and is coming off a strong showing against the league’s most potent offense in Los Angeles. Jaire Alexander, Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels are playing superb football, and I don’t think that’ll change against a New England offense that wasn’t clicking in Week 8.
One thing that was clicking for the Patriots Monday night in Buffalo? The defense, which allowed seven or fewer points for the second time in five weeks. Trey Flowers is grooving up front, and you wonder if they’re going to start stringing strong performances together. After all, Bill Belichick is Bill Belichick.
I don’t expect New England to shut down the Packers the way it shut down the Bills, but I don’t think either team is coming close to the 30-point mark in what should be a closely contested Sunday nighter.
Predicted score: Patriots 24, Packers 23
Good luck, we're all counting on you.
Last week: 1-1
2018 season: 10-6