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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

NFL Week 3: Sunday's TOTALS Betting Guide

The UNDER is 14-18 through the first two weeks of the NFL season (according to, for less than a 44% win rate. From a totals betting perspective, this start is inconsistent with recent history, as last year, for instance, the UNDER finished 135-128-4. Low scores' edge was more pronounced in 2014, when the UNDER went 140-122-4. Moreover, through the last five completed NFL seasons, the UNDER is 667-645-21 -- roughly seven percentage points better than this year's hit rate.

This history is consistent with the findings of Paul & Weinbach (2002), who observed that the UNDER is a winning proposition in more than half of NFL contests.

As such, we are not concerned that our system has exhibited a decided bias in favor of the UNDER. Contrarily, we expect that the UNDER's success in 2016 will eventually revert to the ballpark of historical levels.

For week 3's NFL Sunday, we highlight the two plays indicated below. We also indicate the vigs we incurred laying our wagers, and our estimate of aggregate final scores.

To ratioanlize our picks, consider that the Titans could muster only 16 points in each of the first two games of the season. While Tennessee's sub-par output in week 1 versus the Vikings top-ten defense might be excusable, the offensive disappointment at the Lions last week is harder to forgive (Detroit's defense ranked 28th by DVOA in week 2). Further, Marcus Mariota's primary receiver, TE Delanie Walker is questionable for Sunday's action. Against this backdrop, we expect the Titans to deliver limited offensive productivity, even against the Raiders especially porous stopping ability.

Regarding our second play, we are aware of Ben Roethlisberger's and the Steelers' 38 point effort on the road in their week 1 undressing of the Redskins. However, Washington's defense is projected by to finish 27th this year; as such, readers might be well served to ingest this inflated number with a grain of salt. To this point, in their next out, versus the Cincinnati Bengals' (projected) #11 defense, Pittsburgh was held to 24 points -- essentially in line with their average productivity in 2015.

On the other side of the ball, Philly's overall team defense ranks second in the league, and the Eagles are the best in the business (through two weeks, anyway) at stifling opponents' passing game. Thus, we do not anticipate Big Ben will record overly gaudy numbers, as was the case in week 1.

Additionally, while the Eagles managed 29 points each in games 1 and 2 of the young 2016 season, those figures were registered against the soft defenses of the Cleveland Browns (projected to finish 30th by's DAVE) and the Chicago Bears (expected to finish 24th). As the Steelers boast above average defensive abilities (by DVOA and DAVE), we think it most likely that Philadelphia's offensive output sags as well.

Happy betting!!

#nfl2016 #nfl2016wk3 #raiders #titans #steelers #eagles #paulandweinbach2002 #nfl

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