Just because a game looks ugly on the outside it doesn't mean a bettor can't profit from the game in some fashion.
Sometimes the traditional betting angles of taking a side doesn't offer much, if any, value, but choosing a team total can be just what the doctor ordered, even for less than glamourous matchups.
Chargers vs. Raiders Team Total Prediction
That famous college football philosopher Mack Brown once said, "Sometimes you gotta hug ugly", and this is my week to hug ugly.
The Raiders and Aidan O'Connell were shut out last week at home by the Minnesota Vikings in a 3-0 snoozer and O'Connell managed 171 yards on 32 pass attempts, averaging just 5.3 yards per throw.
Minnesota is a top 10 defense though and the Chargers are not. Los Angeles is 29th in total yards allowed and 28th in yards per pass attempt at 7.1 yards per attempt.
The Raiders are also embarrassed at last week's results and when your coach says you should throw deep more often, I expect they will do so.
The Chargers have their own problems at quarterback with Easton Stick running the show, which could mean defensive touchdowns or short fields for the Raiders.
Bounce back is too strong, but I'm going contrarian on this one.
Pick: Raiders OVER 17.5 points
Texans vs Titans Team Total Prediction
The Texans will be on the road for the second straight week, this time likely without their phenomenal rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud.
As the injuries pile up, this team is a shell of the team that I thought had an outside shot at making the playoffs less than 10 days ago.
With Tank Dell out for the season, Nico Collins questionable, and Stroud not at Wednesday's practice, all signs are pointing to a struggle for the Texans offense.
Pick: Texans UNDER 17.5 points
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Jets vs. Dolphins Team Total Prediction
Don't be fooled by the New York Jets' 30 points last week against the Texans. They had zero at the half before things disintegrated for Houston.
The Jets are still 32nd in a 32-team league in total yards, dead last in rushing yards per game, and 29th in passing yards per game.
Thirty points or not, this is not a good offense.
Pick: Jets UNDER 14.5 points
Patriots vs Chiefs Team Total Prediction
The Chiefs have been pretty good on defense, allowing the third-lowest points per game in the NFL throughout the season and the Patriots have been horrid on offense.
The Patriots also needed some help from Mitch Trubisky to put up 21 points last week on the Steelers.
That said, the Patriots did total 303 yards on the Steelers and have extra rest for this game after playing last Thursday, while the Chiefs were in an emotional knockdown drag-out affair with the Bills.
This is also a Chiefs team that can and will turn the ball over, perhaps adding an extra opportunity for points.
The Patriots don't need to win for this bet to win, they just need two touchdowns and two extra points.
Pick: Patriots OVER 13.5 points
Cowboys vs. Bills Team Total Prediction
Dallas is the highest-scoring team in the NFL at 32.4 points per game and the Cowboys have topped 30 nine times this season already.
The Cowboys' offense isn't the same on the road, averaging only 23.7 points away from AT&T Stadium and the Bills' defense has been decent wherever they play, coming in sixth in points allowed and 14th in yards allowed.
A 4:25 P.M. start in Buffalo on Sunday means the weather will be approaching freezing temperatures, perhaps not as cold as the Bills would like, but certainly colder than the climate-controlled Cowboys are used to.
Pick: Cowboys UNDER 24.5 points
Eagles vs Seahawks Team Total Prediction
The suddenly struggling Philadelphia Eagles travel to the Great Northwest to take on the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football
Seattle's defense hasn't been good and has given up an average of 527 yards per game over the last three weeks. Ugly.
One look at the schedule provides some context though, as those three weeks involved a home game against the 49ers and then road trips to Dallas and San Francisco.
The Eagles have been a top-10 offense for most of the season, but have scored only 32 points over the last two games, which also happen to be against the 49ers and Cowboys.
The cross-country trip to Washington state, the recent offensive struggles and the tendency for Monday Night Games to go under lead me to the under for Philadelphia.
Pick: Eagles UNDER 26.5 points
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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