Blindly betting trends is generally not a good idea, but it makes sense to investigate when the trend is almost perfect on the season and has hit at a better than 2-to-1 rate over the last five NFL seasons.
I first wrote about this last week and then the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings promptly went out and proved us right in a 12-10 field goal fest.
This week will be an interesting test of the Monday Night Football under trend as Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars, the 10th highest scoring team in the league, face off with the Cincinnati Bengals with Jake Browning at the helm.
This would be a different handicap if Joe Burrow was healthy. This will be Browning's first road start in Burrow's stead.
Bengals vs. Jaguars Odds, Spread and Total
Monday Night Football OVER/UNDER Trend
So far this season, the UNDER in Monday Night Football games has gone an insane 13-1, and it's been a cash cow dating back to the 2019 season.
The total for the Bengals-Jaguars matchup this week is set at 40 points, but how should we look to bet it?
Browning was 19-for-26 for 227 yards with a touchdown and interception in a 16-10 loss to Pittsburgh last week and 8-of-14 for 68 yards and a touchdown in relief of Burrow at Baltimore a week before that.
Those numbers don't scream terrible, but they also don't scream efficient, either.
The Jaguars defense allows the 10th most yards, but is No. 12 in points allowed. The Jaguars aren't elite on defense, but are more of the bend, don't break mold.
The engine that makes the Jaguars offense go is running back Travis Etienne, whether it's on the ground or as a receiver.
Etienne has 1,038 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns, while the Bengals rush defense has been porous, ranking last in the NFL in rushing yards allowed and near the bottom of the league in yards allowed per carry.
Etienne will play but has hurt ribs, which could affect the number of snaps he sees. The Jaguars have relied more on D’Ernest Johnson and Tank Bigsby recently as Etienne has fought through various bumps and bruises.
That makes a difference to me, as Etienne is a threat to score anytime he touches the ball as a runner or receiver while Bigsby and Johnson are not.
Each team is 6-5 to the over on the season, so there is reason to at least consider that side, and the return of star receiver Tee Higgins to the Bengals has to be factored in.
A total of 40 increases the possibility of a defensive or special teams touchdown putting this game over, but in the end, a backup quarterback starting for the first time on the road and a home team that may have its most dynamic offensive talent limited pushes me towards the under again this week.
There's an argument to be made that the market has factored the injuries in by setting the total at 40, and I don't disagree with that, but ultimately feel like the under is the play in this situation with these teams.
Pick: Bengals vs. Jaguars UNDER 40
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Track Marty's Bets here!