Betting NFL Totals: High/Low Week 9 Picks on Rams-Saints, Bears-Bills

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, October 31, 2018 2:35 PM UTC

Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018 2:35 PM UTC

We have reached the midpoint of the NFL season and this week's high and low total takes us from the Bayou, where the L.A. Rams visit New Orleans, to Buffalo, where the Bills will host Chicago.

Doug's NFL Totals Record: 7-9

Are the defenses catching up to the offenses? It seems that way when breaking down the totals as the "under" was 9-5 last week, taking a two-week figure to 19-9 "under." Will we see more of the same against the NFL odds this week?

Los Angeles Rams at New OrleansSunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (FOX)Free NFL Pick: UnderBest Lines: Bovada

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This meaningful NFC clash features the top two scoring offenses in the conference and the second- and third-highest scoring clubs in the NFL.

In the last two weeks, the Rams and Saints were slowed down for a half, but good luck trying to do so over four quarters. Los Angeles and New Orleans both just kept playing until they found the opposing teams' weakness and went to work.

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Sunday's @NFLonFOX broadcast team for Saints vs Rams: @Buck, @TroyAikman and @ErinAndrews #LARvsNO pic.twitter.com/VJfXVa4M9T

— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) October 30, 2018
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The total for this matchup is 59.5, and there are several reasons to believe it should be an "over," besides the teams' scoring potential. New Orleans, for example, is 9-1 "over" after five or more consecutive wins against the spread. And the Rams are 10-4 "over" after allowing 350 or more yards. Besides, four of the past five meetings in the Crescent City have gone "over."

But here's one aspect to think about: Nobody is talking about either team's defense. Sean McVay's Rams defense is allowing only 19.1 PPG. Sean Peyton's Saints defense has made tremendous strides since their early games and in the past four outings has permitted only 20 PPG.

We're not expecting a defensive struggle, just an excellent game with both teams in the high 20s on the scoreboard, which leads to an "under."

Chicago at BuffaloSunday, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)Free NFL Pick: UnderBest Lines: Heritage

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Years ago, before all the rules to improve scoring and protect the quarterback, the vast majority of the time there were two common totals, 37 and 41 points. Those making NFL picks just had to figure out if 20-17 or 24-17 sounded right for the total they were betting. The total for this encounter is a yesteryear 37.5.

For this Bears-Bills battle, it's all but assured one team will do their best to keep the score low. Buffalo is averaging a league-worst 10.9 PPG. LeSean McCoy has started carrying the ball loosely in the open field, almost daring opposing teams to slap at it. We're sure the Bills coaches have said something to him about it, but what can they do since he's their only really good offensive player.

Against the four weakest offenses Chicago has faced, they have permitted 12.5 PPG. That leaves the other part of a low total up to the Bears offense against Buffalo's defense.

The Bills defense allows 25 PPG, but that number is not all on the defenders. Pick 6's and left with terrible field position after a bushel of three-and-outs place these stop troops in a world of hurt. A truer indication of coach Sean McDermott's defense is the No. 6 total defense ranking.

On a short week and after a superior defensive effort, the Buffalo could have a defensive letdown. But after six straight "unders" and being 16-6 "under" after consecutive games with a turnover margin of -2 or worse, let's stick with "under" 37.5.

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