A quick look at the BetUS sportsbook for Thanksgiving Week will give you an idea on what we can expect for the NFL: plenty of ugly games. Nine of the week’s 15 games are lined at 46 points or fewer with at least eight teams projected to score 21 points or fewer. What does this mean? A rich selection of games for our Under of the Week.
But we found three worthy contenders featuring some uninspiring quarterbacks and strong defenses to cash at least one on the NFL odds.
NFL Week 12: Stuffing These Matchups
Second Runner-Up: Chicago Bears (3-7) at Detroit Lions (0-9-1)
When: Thursday (12:30 p.m. ET)
Totals: Under 41½
If we were to power rank matchups this season, this would easily be in the bottom. Heck, even a Jaguars-Texans game seems like a prime time match in comparison. What we have here are two inept offenses: the 29th ranked Bears and 30th ranked Lions. And they have two of the most boring quarterbacks in Andy Dalton and Jared Goff, respectively.
Why anyone would choose to watch this eludes our imagination. But it’s at least worth betting online to be lower scoring than the already paltry 41.5 offered on the book. Seven of their last ten games have both gone under and their combined average score is 32.3 points.
We’re two days away from 20 million people complaining about the Bears-Lions matchup while choosing to watch it rather than talk to their families.
— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) November 23, 2021
The only reason why this game may go over — and it is considerable given how bad this team is — is the Lions’ defense. Detroit is allowing the third-most points at home and the third-highest yards per play. If any team can make the “Red Rifle” fire, it’s Detroit.
First Runner-Up: Tennessee Titans (8-3) at New England Patriots (7-4)
When: Sunday (1 p.m. ET)
Spread: Under 44
Guess who’s back? Yup, Bill Belichick and the red-hot Patriots are back to remind folks never to count the GOAT out. The “Pats” have won five straight while scoring an average of 35 points. The Titans were on a similar run, but got flattened by the Texans thus ending their six-game streak.
But even with the Pats’ revitalized offense, it’s the defense that should shine in this game. New England has held its last three opponents to single-digit points. In fact, the Patriots have allowed the second-fewest points per game and have held teams like Tampa Bay, Cleveland and the Chargers to below their average.
The Titans’ defense also turned the corner after a disastrous start. This team held opponents to 23 points or fewer in five of its last seven games. Its offense can also struggle, as the Texans exposed last week. This would be the main pick to go under, except that both teams are still top-ten offenses and there is a potential for a high-scoring game here.
Under of the Week: Atlanta Falcons (4-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-8)
When: Sunday (1 p.m. ET)
Totals: Under 46
As covered in the Falcons-Jaguars article, this potentially topsy turvy game can lead to plenty of non-scoring possessions. Eight of Jacksonville’s last ten games have gone under the total, while three of Atlanta’s last four have as well.
We’re talking about the coldest teams in the NFL here. The Falcons, who have scored a whopping three points in its last two games, face the Jaguars, who are averaging just 8.3 points in its last four games.
Of course, the Falcons’ defense is so bad that it may just make Jacksonville look like a decent offense. Still, Jacksonville has never scored more than 23 points in a game and its biggest strengths: its running game and passing defense only contribute to this being our NFL prediction to go under its total.