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It was another week in the NFL packed with surprises, but fans looking for plenty of scoring were left unfulfilled. Entering Monday night's matchup between the Seahawks and Saints, teams averaged a season-low 22.2 points in Week 7. NFL unders continue to be one the most consistent and profitable bets on the board, going 58-46-2 on the year. Week 5 was the only one of the season in which the under hit at less than a 50% rate.
Each week of the NFL uniquely writes its own story. A big factor in unders continuing to make bettors happy last week was that two consecutive high-scoring weeks drove the totals average to its highest point since Week 2. That was not the case this weekend. The game average of 46.3 sits two full points below last week’s, with unders paying out in seven of 12 games. Quarterback injuries will continue to be a driving factor and a consistent target for under bettors. The Seahawks total in every game with Russell Wilson was over 49, but Monday night you can currently bet it at 41.5 points.
Quarterbacks don't have to be injured to yield value in a total. Anytime they are performing below expectation for a stretch there could be value based on the matchup, opponent or weather. You would be surprised to find out the Kansas City Chiefs have averaged fewer points than both the Giants and the Jets the past three weeks. I am not sure I want to throw dirt on Patrick Mahomes yet, but I did grab unders on two games involving quarterbacks that have recently lost the confidence of their head coaches.
Carolina at Atlanta (Under 46)
Sam Darnold's roller-coaster of a season continued to descend with Sunday's loss to the Giants. The Panthers sent Darnold to the pine as his offense failed to reach the end zone in a 25-3 loss to the Giants. Carolina averaged a meager 2.8 yards per play and is dead last in the NFL in both total yards and yards per play the last three weeks. The Panthers have averaged 16.3 points per game during that time and are 31st in passing yards at 154.3. The good news for under bettors: They are sticking with Sam on Sunday against Atlanta.
Atlanta has hit the over in its last three games and its poor rush defense will provide the opportunity for Carolina to keep Darnold in manageable situations. I am just not sold Darnold can deliver. PJ Walker went 3-of-14 in relief so there is nowhere to turn for coordinator Joe Brady to get this offense cooking. We saw in Week 3 vs. the Giants how Atlanta can get dragged into a low-tempo game by a struggling offense. Carolina is still third in defensive success rate. It makes sense we see a similar result.
Philadelphia at Detroit (Under 48.5)
The Lions' average total this season is also 48.5, and Detroit has hit the under in six straight weeks. The driver for this number is an Eagles defense that ranks 29th in success rate and just allowed Derek Carr to complete 91.2% of his passes in an embarrassing 33-22 loss. Some will see this as an opportunity for Jared Goff to fight for his job, but the same can be said for new Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon.
Key Eagles veterans — and even head coach Nick Sirianni — were very vocal about the defense needing to challenge opposing offenses more after Sunday's loss. The Lions have one of the few receiving corps that the Eagles can match in the secondary, and the path to beating Goff has always been through interior pressure. I expect a much more aggressive Eagles defense and a big game out of Fletcher Cox. The Lions' defense showed some life against the Rams and if they can hold the Eagles in the 20s, we hit this under with ease. Buckle up for another low-scoring Dan Campbell slugfest.