Unders were the talk of the down during Week 1 of the 2022-23 NFL season.
Of the 16 games played during the opening weekend, 11 of them went under the closing point total at Caesars Sportsbook, which is the official odds partner of Bet Chicago Sports. It felt like an extension of the preseason, with many offenses struggling to get much going.
Sportsbooks will obviously adjust for Week 2, but was it enough? Here are three totals that caught my eye and might be worth throwing on your card for this week’s slate. Make sure to place your bets at Caesars Sportsbook after taking advantage of their new-user offer through our partnership.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers | Under 54.5
Look, it is never easy to be rooting for an under ticket during a duel between quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. This suggestion is not for the faint-hearted, but I do believe this total is inflated by a few points.
The Chargers will be without Keenan Allen, who has not practiced this week since sustaining a hamstring injury in Week 1. They also ran too much on early downs for my liking in their win over the Raiders. Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi called 23 runs on early downs compared to 26 passes. Trust your unicorn quarterback, Joe, the numbers say to.
The Chiefs have already ruled out kicker Harrison Butker for this game, so expect to see safety Justin Reid (you read that right) to fill in again. Guard Trey Smith is also questionable. Something tells me the Chargers won’t blitz Mahomes as much as the Cardinals did (for some reason) in Week 1, so maybe Mahomes finishes with three touchdowns instead of five this time.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Minnesota Vikings | Under 51
From Thursday’s thrilling showdown to another primetime matchup, I am tempted to take the under in the Monday Night Football matchup between the Eagles and Vikings. Both offenses delivered in Week 1, which is why this total has climbed a few points from its opening mark of 48.
Context is always key, of course. The Eagles scored 38 points against a Detroit Lions defense that ranked the worst in football last year. Justin Jefferson was seemingly always open in a 23-7 win over the Packers, but some of that could be chalked up to it being Kevin O’Connell’s debut and nobody really having tape on this new-look offense.
Both defenses will certainly be studying the film this week, but this total mostly seems high due to these teams running at a slower pace. Both the Vikings and Eagles are run-first offenses, so over bettors are banking on efficiency to get 52 combined points.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints | Over 44
Not much needs to be said about this one. The Buccaneers cruised to a 19-3 win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1, despite the offense failing to execute in the red zone. The Bucs finished with one touchdown and four field goals in an ugly win.
While Game 1 highlighted concerns along the offensive line, Tampa Bay has the weapons to produce better than it did last week. Julio Jones didn’t look old, and Leonard Fournette appeared unstoppable. I’m betting on the offensive issues resolving this week against a team that has gotten the better of the Bucs ever since Tom Brady came to town.