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Week 10 Best Bets - Totals
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Week 10 NFL Best Bets – Totals

We weren't able to get there with the 'over' in the Steelers/Ravens rematch last week as the Ravens settled for too many short FG's early and the pace to cash an 'over' ticket could never really get there. Had the Ravens been able to score a game-tying TD late to force OT at 23-23, I may be singing a different tune today, but losses happen and you can't let them linger and affect your handicapping process going forward.

So it's on to this week's betting board and there are quite a few total plays that appear quite attractive. However, I've isolated a single total option that I believe to be the best one of the bunch, so let's get right to it:

Odds per - Bookmaker.eu

Best Bet: Washington/Tampa Bay Under 51

Backing 'unders' in Buccaneers games this year has been quite hazardous to one's bankroll with Tampa sporting a 7-1 O/U mark, but this matchup does set up to likely be a lower-scoring game for a variety of reasons.

First off, Washington suffered multiple injuries on their O-line a week ago, as both starting G's Brandon Scherff and Shawn Lauvao left and did not return. T Morgan Moses was banged up as well, with T Trend Williams still on the shelf. The first three of those names are listed as day-to-day on the current injury report so they could still end up suiting up on Sunday, but even if they do, they won't be at 100% and that spells trouble for QB Alex Smith and the time he may have in the pocket.

Tampa's defense may not resemble anything of a stellar unit this year, but put them up against injured starters or less talented back-ups for the majority of the game and the Bucs pass rush should be able to cause plenty of chaos.

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Secondly, knowing their O-line is in shambles, Washington's going to have to go back to either running the ball a lot or playing that dink-and-dunk quick passing game that Smith has excelled at throughout his career. Getting the ball out of Smith's hands will be the ultimate goal, and that in turns means that the likelihood of those huge chunk plays happening – that have gashed Tampa all year – pretty slim.

The Redskins haven't exactly been a big chunk offense as is this year, and with five straight games of putting up 23 or fewer points – including 20 or less the last three weeks – having the Redskins do their part in putting this game 'over' the number is going to be tough.

On the flip side of things, Tampa's going to eventually realize that getting in these shootout type games is not their path to success. Granted, the ship has likely already sailed on the Bucs having a “successful” season, but when two of their three wins have come in the only two contests where they held their opponent to 23 or fewer points, you would hope that emphasizing strong defensive play would help turn this thing around.

Turnovers by Tampa's offense has done their defense no favors, so protecting the ball is going to be critical again for Tampa this week, and with Washington coming into this week as one of the better turnover margin teams in the league (+7), you've got to figure that continues to be a point of emphasis for the Bucs.

Finally, because the Bucs 'over' record has been so good this year and many of those 'overs' have been no doubters, the high side of this total was always going to attract plenty of money. VegasInsider.com shows about 75% of the money on this total on the high side, and yet unlike in past weeks when that type of action has forced a move, this week's number has basically stood pat at 51. Washington's 3-9 O/U run in their last 12 games likely has something to do with that, as does Tampa's 0-4 O/U mark at home after consecutive road tilts.

This game should top out somewhere in the mid-to-high 40's when all is said and done, as long as a multitude of turnovers from either side don't continuously give the opposing offenses short fields to work with. Washington's on a 1-5 O/U run when facing a losing team, 1-4 O/U after scoring 14 or fewer points, while Tampa is actually 4-10 O/U in their last 14 at home.

Going against the grain is something I've never been shy about doing, as this week I think that run of Tampa Bay 'overs' that the majority of bettors is counting on to continue comes to a grinding halt.

  
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