This weekend's NFL slate had a tough act to follow after last week's massive upsets by the Jaguars and the Broncos. Week 10 delivered with plenty of unpredictable storylines highlighted by Cam's return to Carolina, Tampa Bay getting beat in Washington and the Lions finding creative ways to avoid leaving Pittsburgh as losers.
From a betting perspective, some reliable outcomes continued as well on Sunday. The public kept betting overs, and the games keep going under. If you bet every game under the total this week, you are heading into tonight with a little extra cash in your pocket. In fact, that has been the case almost every week of the season. Week 5 was the only week where the majority of the games went over the closing total. There are plenty of opportunities to attack NFL unders each week and they should increase as the weather becomes more of a factor. It's best to target these games early in the week before the betting market drives the number down. Here are two unders that provide great value for this weekend's NFL games.
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (Under 49.5)
Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins inside the optimal conditions of US Bank Stadium has to be a recipe for fireworks. Not so fast. Green Bay has been pumping out greenbacks for everyone who has been betting on them this season. I'm sure you have heard the Packers have covered nine straight weeks, but here is what they are not telling you. They have been just as profitable on totals. The Packers' 9-1 record to the under is the NFL's best. If the books want to give us a number well above the league average, I will take the cheese.
The Packers' formula on offense this season has been effective but focuses more on efficiency. Green Bay is the slowest paced team in the NFL. The Packers take their time and make each play count. Aaron Rodgers' offense is top five in both EPA/Play and offensive success rate but only 22nd in total yards. That's not great for fantasy football, but it's perfect for when you have a wager on the under sitting in your account.
The Vikings struggle on defense against the run, which should persuade Packers coach Mike LaFleur to keep the ball on the ground and the clock running. Green Bay will control the tempo, keep the Vikings' offense off the field, and quiet the opposing crowd. These two teams average 21 and 24 points per game, and I don't think the on-field matchup warrants a total this high. Let's grab the under today before it gets bet down.
Detroit Lions at Cleveland Browns (Under 45)
Bettors love consistency. There are three things you can count on in Detroit: death, taxes, and the Lions failing to reach 20 points. Since their 41-33 loss to San Francisco to open the season, the Lions have averaged 14.5 points per game. Their scoring peak was 19 points in a nine-point loss to the Rams, and have hit the under in seven of eight games during that span. QB Jared Goff is 30th in EPA/Play among quarterbacks, nursing an oblique injury and Dan Campbell is now calling the plays. I couldn't dream of a better scenario to fade than what is happening to the Lions offense right now.
It takes both teams' cooperation to hit a full-game total. Cleveland will be able to score points on Detroit's defense. I'm comfortable with that as long as we avoid the type of game that we saw when Philadelphia rushed for 236 yards during a 44-6 route in Detroit. The rush defense looked much better in Pittsburgh and still grades out in the top 2O on EPA per rush allowed. Cleveland's offense continues to sputter with Mayfield banged up and has been held to 17 or fewer in four of the last five games. Cleveland ranks 31st in pace and I can see this one playing out much like the Browns' 26-6 win in Chicago earlier this season.
Stats provided by football outsiders and rbsdm.com