- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
It's never under until the game is over. Bettors learned this valuable lesson Monday night as a Raiders rally turned a 17-10 4th quarter score into a 33-27 overtime win. While many expected scoring to regress after a historic offensive season, the NFL's prime-time games still brought plenty of excitement. Prime-time games were 3-0 to the over and averaged 10 points more than the daytime ones.
This week's Thursday night matchup could buck that trend. The New York Giants and Washington Football Team square off after poor offensive showings in Week 1. Money coming in on the under has moved the total down from 43 to 40.5. The line moving through two key numbers of 43 and 41 devalues a bet to the under, increasing the chances that the streak of overs on prime-time games continues. The odds on over 40.5 are currently -115 at BetMGM.
Excluding prime-time action, we saw 69% of the NFL's games go under the total on Sunday. The unpopular nature of betting unders can lead to some very advantageous numbers. There is always an opportunity to find value on totals each week and here are three NFL unders I circled for Week 2.
Las Vegas at Pittsburgh under 47
The Raiders' fourth-quarter heroics covered up an overall poor offense performance and game plan. Now they travel to Pittsburgh on short rest off an emotional win. The Steelers' defense looked dominant in holding the Bills to 16 points and only one touchdown in four red-zone opportunities. Field goals are the main ingredient to an under, and I don't expect the Raiders' one-dimensional offense to get much going after traveling 2,200 miles.
Najee Harris played 100% of the snaps for the Steelers on Sunday, reaffirming coach Mike Tomlin's desire to run him until the wheels fall off. The Raiders' defense allowing the third-most yards per rush indicates the Steelers will have plenty of success on the ground. A strong running game and good red-zone defense are enough to punch in the under in this matchup.
L.A. Rams at Indianapolis under 47.5
The Colts are going to be a team that cashes a lot of unders this year. The market still overrates Carson Wentz, and coach Frank Reich will increasingly utilize the running game to mask the offense's issues. Wentz mustered only 16 points against a Seattle defense that has major question marks at cornerback.
The Rams showcased Matthew Stafford in a big way Sunday night, but the Colts should provide a stiffer test than Chicago's defense. The Rams finished 11th in rushing rate (seventh in 2020), so I don't expect coach Sean McVay to abandon the run game. The two teams are 20th and 26th in pace of play, so I like my chances that Week 2 looks a lot like Week 1 in Indianapolis. Take the under.
New England at New York Jets under 43
The Jets' new-look offense had the same old results. The offensive line allowed a league-leading six sacks and lost OT Mekhi Becton to injury. Now the Jets' new coaching staff faces the man who devised one of the most highly regarded game plans in Super Bowl history. Bill Belichick's success against rookie quarterbacks is well documented, and I'm willing to bet Zach Wilson's head will be spinning. The Patriots don't have the explosive offense to carry this total. New England is 7-1-1 to the under in its last nine games.
Stats provided by football outsiders and teamrankings.com.