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We’ve never seen an offensive surge like we’re seeing this year in the NFL.

Fifteen teams have scored at least 100 points. League wide, teams have scored 3,233 points — the most through the first month of any season in the Super Bowl era. Teams are averaging 25.7 points per game.

Last year at this point, only eight teams had scored 100 points, and altogether had tallied 2,799 points — an average of 21.8 points per game.

I’ll do the math for you, that’s a 17.8% increase.

A number of intangibles can affect the scoring. It may be offensive-minded coaches getting crafty, an increase in dual-threat quarterbacks, or the lack of preseason games taking a toll of unsuspecting defenses.

But a major factor we have to recognize is NFL officials keeping their hankies clean. Through the first month, we’ve seen 843 flags thrown. There have been 99 declined and 24 offsetting, bringing us to 720. That’s 11.4 penalties per game. Through the first month

last season, there were 945 net penalties, an average of 14.7 per game. That’s a 22.4% decrease in penalties.

It’s certainly a big reason why we’ve seen 70 of 122 (57.3%) games go over the posted total (with four pushes).

Through Week 4 and approaching this week’s games, the number of games with a total of 50 or higher has grown from two in Weeks 1 and 2, four in Week 3 and eight in Week 4. As of Tuesday, there were seven games with a posted total of 50 or higher.

Jeff Sherman, VP of Risk Management at the Westgate’s SuperBook, said while he doesn’t believe people will blindly start betting the over as these numbers climb into the 50s, sharp bettors are doing their part in creating a decent market with bets coming in on the under.

“You’re looking at these totals getting bumped up so we can try to attract some money,” Sherman said. “If it has staying power, we’ll see. We just need to get to a range where we don’t have sharps and the public on the same side.”

If you’re looking for an edge on which teams trend high, the Saints are 4-0-0 over while the Bills and Raiders are 3-0-1 after pushing when their game landed on 53 this past Sunday. Eleven teams are sitting at 3-1-0 with their totals.

My winning percentage is climbing after going 5-0 last week (my play on the Patriots-Chiefs game was canceled after the game was postponed by one day). Let’s keep the winning streak going:


Buccaneers -4.5 at Bears: They got that guy named Brady, but is anyone else paying attention to how the Buccaneers are committing to the running game? A nice balance for one of the game’s greatest-ever quarterbacks, and this offense is clicking. The dinged-up Bucs have depth. BUCCANEERS


Raiders at Chiefs -13: If anyone can send a defensive coordinator to the unemployment line, it’s Patrick Mahomes. This might be the week Paul Guenther is handed a termination slip. The Chiefs didn’t overexert themselves Monday night, perhaps knowing they have three games in 11 days. Just as Buffalo’s Josh Allen did against Las Vegas’ secondary, Mahomes will carve them up. CHIEFS

Broncos at Patriots -11: This game has a big IF on it. I need Cam Newton under center. If he plays, I’m pounding New England to avenge Monday’s debacle. If an asymptomatic Newton somehow isn’t cleared, this is a no play. ­PATRIOTS

Bills -8.5 at Titans: Another IF game, simply contingent on Tennessee being cleared. Buffalo catches a team that has seen limited time in its facility and may come in a bit rusty. Some called it a built-in bye, but teams adjust and clean things up on normal bye weeks. The Titans will fall flat, and Allen will continue his MVP crusade. BILLS

Bengals at Ravens -13: The Ravens are home for the first time since the Monday night loss to the Chiefs. No, there were no fans, but that doesn’t take away from the pride factor. The Ravens defense welcome rookie Joe Burrow to the AFC North. RAVENS


Chargers at Saints -7.5: I hate to do it, but six straight favorites for you this week, as New Orleans is back on national television for the first time after back-to-back primetime losses to the Raiders and Packers. The Bolts blew a lead in Tampa Bay on Sunday for their second straight loss, went all the way home, and are now on the Gulf Coast. They’re not stopping Drew Brees. SAINTS

Last Week: 5-0

Season: 16-7


About the Author

W.G. Ramirez

W.G. Ramirez is a 32-year veteran covering sports in Southern Nevada, and resident of 46 years. He is a freelance reporter in Las Vegas and the Southern Nevada correspondent for The Associated Press.

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