MARLBORO, NY-The NFL owes it’s maddening popularity to gambling. It doesn’t matter if you’re throwing some shekels down on fantasy football, an office pool, a numbers “box” at the local watering hole, or betting against the Las Vegas point spread. What I do on NFL Sundays is give you people money-winning advice–at about a 60% success rate over the past three years. You shouldn’t be betting exhibition games and while the regular season doesn’t officially kick off until September 7th, it’s the right time to look at OVER/UNDER win totals for 2017. Today, I select my top four UNDER totals with OVER totals to follow next Sunday.
TENNESSEE TITANS (8.5) This is a surprise team from last year that finished with a 9-7 season. It’s one thing to creep up on unassuming opponents but it’s another to win when expectations are high. For whatever it’s worth, this year the Titans have he third most favorable schedule but Las Vegas has set the bar low in my estimation on this one for a reason unbeknownst to the gambling public. The Titans have one of the better offensive lines, a formidable running game as a result and a lethal red zone offense. The defense could stand to improve and is why I’m picking the young Tennessee team UNDER 8.5
DENVER BRONCOS (8.5) Denver will be heavily reliant upon the defense to win games since there are major question marks on the offensive side of the ball–namely quarterback. I say it doesn’t matter whether the Broncos start Paxton Lynch or Trevor Siemian under center since they will be playing the league’s most difficult schedule. The AFC West is as tough a division as they come and I don’t see enough talent on offense to finish better than .500 and that means Broncos UNDER 8.5
OAKLAND RAIDERS (10) They won twelve games last year without much of an effective running game despite one of the NFL’s better O-Lines. Enter aging Oakland native Marshawn Lynch to get the tough yards when needed. I’m not buying it. I’d have a much better feel for the over if Derek Carr wasn’t coming off a broken leg. Sometimes QB’s become skittish in the pocket when they have a leg injury of some sort (see Carson Palmer) and it takes a little time before the confidence returns. Again, the division is no cakewalk and I just don’t see eleven wins on the horizon. This wager appears to be a “push” at ten but my gut tells me UNDER 10.
TAMPA BAY BUCS (8.5) Public Enemy sang Don’t Believe The Hype and I’m uttering the same words as related to the Buccaneers who brought in some more toys for Jameis Winston to play with. Deep-threat WR DeSean Jackson and first-round draft pick TE O.J. Howard will make big plays but Famous Jameis Winston will throw picks at the wrong time and sabotage another 9-7 record. In the pinball-like NFC South division games, their offensive talent won’t be the problem but the defense has to stop the opposition and that doesn’t happen regularly enough. Tampa Bay is everybody’s sexy pick but Don’t Believe The Hype. UNDER 8.5
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