Superbowl 51

So this is going to sound crazy for a NFL betting blog, one that has made 97 bets this season but I do not have a bet on the side or total of the Superbowl. Superbowl is obviously the most bet game of the year, there are tonnes of people who don’t bet all year but bet on the Superbowl but I have looked at this game for 2 weeks and just don’t see a side I like. Crazy I know.


The main issue I have had is the Patriots defense and how good are they? They are the #1 scoring defense but finished regular season 16th in DVOA because they just didn’t play anyone. That was my logic last week with Steelers but they lost Bell and and the Patriots smothered the rest of the offense. So while it’s impossible to say they are top 5 defense because they haven;t played great offenses it’s also impossible to say they are’t because they can’t help their schedule. They stopped everyone on their schedule so maybe they are that good and they will be able to slow the Falcons down too. The Sharps seem to think they will as we have seen sharp action on the under all week.

I lean Atlanta and under but don’t love either enough to bet so instead I will look at live betting opportunities. I also like the 1st half under and may put a small bet on that but again no official plays.

I have played some props to keep the game interesting including Matt Ryan as MVP, at 3-1 I’m using it as a better Atlanta win bet than the ML. If the Falcons win I can;t see them doing it without Ryan being great, so because I think a Falcons win is highly correlated to a Ryan MVP I will take the the +315 over the +220 Falcons ML bet.


2017 Conference Review

Try as we might we have been stuck at .500 for the playoffs and that continued in the Conference Final round. Still, my performance has been better than the NFL’s record of good playoff games in 2017 which is at like 1-13.

Conference Final Round: 1-1

2017 Playoffs: 3-3

2016 Regular Season: 53-37-3


GB @ ATL – Like basically every game this playoffs, this wasn’t close. Falcons got up early and Green Bay was too banged up at WR to have any chance of coming back. Atlanta took advantage of the Packers issues in secondary with a near perfect game from Matt Ryan. 10.3 yards per pass att, 4 TDs 0 Ints and a QBR of 98.4.


Pit @ NE: I liked Pit in this game mainly because this was supposed to be the first real offense that the Patriots played all year but 2 things killed that. First Levian Bell got injured early and had only 6 carries. Secondly Ben Rothlisberger was not good and low key he actually had not been very good since coming back from injury but really all season something had been off. In this game Rothlisberger had a QBR of just 57.1 and struggled in the Redzone with just 1 TD in 3 trips including a coming up short in a 1st and goal from the 1. NE is obviously a very good team but how they keep getting breaks like the Bell injury is crazy.



2017 Conference Finals + Divisional Round Review

Coming off of another 1-1 week last week as the Andy Reid magic off a bye wore off and the Chiefs lost a heart breaker at home. The plus side of that loss for us is that the Steelers futures are still alive including AFC Champs which we will hopefully cash Sunday. Here’s hoping for a Superbowl between the Steelers and the ATLiens.

2016 Reg Season: 53-37-3

Playoffs: 2-2


Game 1: Pit +6 @ NE

Bet% Pit 44% NE 56%

How good are the Patriots? Statistically there is no question they grade out as the best team in the league, they finished 1st in overall DVOA and Weighted DVOA, they were 1st in point differential and won 14 games despite not having Tom Brady for the 1st 4 games and Rob Gronkowski for just 8 games. So the answer to how good they are should be awesome, easily the best team I the league and it’s a no doubter. Here’s the problem, who have they played?

The best QB The Pats have played this year is Russell Wilson, they lost that game at home 31-24. Here are the next best 4 QBs they faced by passer rating, Ryan Tannehill (12th), Andy Daulton (15th), Tyrod Taylor(18th), Carson Palmer (20th). Those were the best 5 QBs on the schedule, the rest of the schedule is full of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brock Osweiller, Trevor Simien, Charlie Whitehurst and the Browns, Jared Goff, Colin Kaepernick and in the Steelers game Landry Jones.

The Patriots schedule makes it so difficult to truly know how good this team is especially the defense. Football Outsiders has the Patriots playing the easiest schedule in the league this year and its hard to argue. As a result we don’t really know how they will hold up against a test as good as the Steelers.

Pittsburgh finished the year 8th on offense and 11th on defense but we know that they didn’t have their Big 3 Ben, Brown and Bell for 16 games, Bell missed the first 3 to suspension and Ben missed 3 to injury. We also know the defense has been improving late in the season especially the pass rush. Through the first 7 weeks the Steelers were 31st in sack percentage at 3.71%, they finished the season 11th at 6.05%. The Steelers pass rush in late in the season and playoffs has been led by Bud Dupree who didn’t play until week 12 because of an injury but has been dominant over the last 4 games.


Divisional Round 2017 + Wildcard Review

Wild Card week was pretty uneventful with a split of the 2 plays and again this week I didn’t see a lot of value, the lines looked right on the card so instead of forcing we have just 2 plays, both on Sunday. This is my favourite football weekend of the year and 3 of the 4 games should be lots of fun to watch.

Rain Drop 

Drop Top

Andy Reid off a bye can’t be stopped

2016 Reg Season: 53-37-3

Playoffs: 1-1


Game 1: Pit @ KC -1

Bet% Pit 55% KC 55%

First off, while I do believe this is a spot the Chiefs come out and win< I should mention that I have  future on the Steelers and this line provides a perfect hedge opportunity on the Chiefs so that is 1 reason I am on the Chiefs here but not the only one.

This game has been moved to Sunday night from the morning because of ice storms, the weather and night game should improve the KC home field advantage here. Lets start with the fact that the Steelers have just not been great on the road. They finished the year 5-3 on the road but their road schedule was not a tough one, they had wins over Cle, Cin, Buf, Ind and Wash, Washingto is the only one in that group that had a winning record. The struggles on the road really show up in the pass game. At home The Steelers had a passer rating of 108.6, 24TDs to 7 Ints and averaged 8 yards er pass att.On the road, the passer rating drops to 77.9 with just 9 pass TDs to 8 Ints and 6.7 yards per att.

The KC pass defense has been good all year, they are 4th in pass defense DVOA but they are especially good at home. The avg passer rating of Chief opponents at home is just 67.5 and they give up 5.8 yards per att at Arrowhead. With the weather conditions expected on Sunday the Chiefs defense should be able to handle the Steelers pass game.

That leaves the game in the hands of Levian Bell and there is no question this is the concern for Chiefs backers. KC finished 20th in DVOA vs the run and 23rd in yards per rush att giving up 4.4. Bell has been the reason the Steelers won 5 road games despite the pass games struggles and Chiefs will have to slow him down minus Derrick Johnson their best run defending LB.

Despite the issues with Bell I still think this is the spot the Chiefs come up big and the first reason is Andy Reid. For all his detractors, Reid is a coach that has had great success in the playoffs, and was especially good off of a bye in Philadelphia. The Andy Reid bye legend is well documented, 16-2 in the regular season off of a bye and 3-0 in playoffs. What more impressive in that playoff number is that the 3 teams he beat were Bret Favre and the Packers, Mike Vick and the Falcons and Culpepper/ Moss and the Vikings and he held those 3 high powered offenses to a combined 37 points.I think Andy will find a way this week to slow Bell down.

On offense this is not only an efficient pass game 911th in DVOA) but one that has the most fire power the Chiefs have had since Reid got their 4 years ago with 3 legit playmakers in Maclin, Kelce and Tyreke Hill. Hill will be the X factor in this game because he is the type of player that can score from anywhere on the field and in game that will have weather issues it would surprise nobody to see a score on a kick/punt return be the difference.

The Chiefs finished tied for 2nd in turnover differential this year and normally that is a number that means you have been lucky and we expect their to be regression to the mean. The Chief may be an exception to that rule.We know Alex Smith is an extremely conservative QB that does not throw a lot of interceptions and we also know that the defense is full of guys who play for turnovers like Marcus Peters and Eric Berry which helps explain why the Chefs have finished in the top 2 in turnover differential 3 of the last 4 years. In a cold weather game with rain and possibly snow, I expect the Chiefs to come out on top in the turnover battle.


Wildcard Week 2017

And here we are, the 2 most fun weekends of the year, though this week’s wildcard matchups are far less attractive than last years, still it’s the playoffs and playoff football is awesome. I have Superbowl futures on the Steelers and Seahawks so that is where my rooting interest is, the Seattle bet was mad the week before Earl Thomas got hurt which feels a little like buying Hillary Clinton stock Nov 7th.

After another strong regular season we try to keep it going for another few weekends but again a reminder that with fewer games, the lines are tighter and just because it’s the playoffs doesn’t mean you need to bet more or have to bet every game. Stay Calm.

2016 Reg Season: 53-37-3 (58.9%)

Game 1: Oak +4 @ Hou

Bet% Oak 41% Hou 59%

For weeks I have been telling anyone that would listen that the 2 teams I couldn’t wait to bet against in the playoffs were Oakland and Houston, that was before Derek Carr got hurt and that was obviously before I knew they would play each other.  The Raiders to me were a team over-rated in the market, by efficiency and point differential their record was ahead of their true performance and I thought there would be great value betting against them in the playoffs. Once Carr got hurt that was no longer the case.

As for Houston, I wanted to bet against them because they may be one of the worst division winners in recent memory and with Osweiller back at the helm this is exactly the team we have seen all year. Houston finished 9-7 but still ended up with a -49 point differential which is 26th in the league. Their Pythagorean wins for the year is 6.5 meaning based solely on pt differential, their record is 2.5 wins better that it should be. By Football outsiders estimated wins metric which uses team efficiency, red zone scoring, close game performance and some other measures their estimated win total for 2016 is 4.7. Houston finished 29th in DVOA overall, 30th on offense and Brock Osweiller finished with 15TDs , 16 INTs and a  Passer rating of 72.2. All of which is to say Houston is bad. (more…)

2016 Week 17

Like last year I think I will be sitting out week 17, just too much uncertainty and there is nothing really jumping off the page as good value. This may change on Sunday morning as money comes in and lines get settled but right now I will likely pass.

If I do play any games, the 2 games that I could see myself being on right now are the Saints at +7.5 or higher and Cleveland at +7. I will confirm on Sunday if either is a play. GL and Happy New year. Also Happy return of RTJ.

2016 Week 16 Christmas Picks

Christmas falls on a Sunday so we basically have games every day this week and makes the betting week a little different. Week 15 was our worst week of the year but looking at those games a lot of things went wrong in ways you would not normally expect. Continue to believe in the process.

Week 15: 1-4


Game 1: NYG @ Phi +2.5

Game 2: SD @ Cle +6

Bet% SD 76 Cle 24%

*I bet this early in week at 6 and I see that most 6’s are gone though I would expect the line to go back up a little on Saturday morning when more public money comes in.

There is no statistical analysis that brings you to Cleveland as a good bet, this is simply the motivation of the team not to finish winless on one side and a team with no real motivation on the other. SD played their last meaningful game last week at home vs divisional and in state rival Oakland. As has been the case most of the year, they were in a position to win most of the game but coughed up late. The Chargers have been a good team all year struck with bad luck in injuries and close game losses. Still, outside of not wanting to be the 1 team that loses to Cleveland what is to gain here. Getting SD  travelling across country, playing in the cold in Cleveland after another tough loss to a rival team is the perfect scenario for the Browns to have a chance.

Game 3: Atlanta @ Carolina Over 51

Bet% Over 64 Under 36%

Atlanata is the best offense and the best over team in the league. On offense they are 1st in everything that matters, 1st in DVOA, 1st in Yards per att (8.9 which is a full yard more than 2nd place NE), 1st in passer rating and 1st in offensive points per game. The last 2 weeks they scored 42 and 41 without Julio Jones who is one of the 3 best WRs in football.

While the Panthers defense has been pretty good for the season, 10th in DVOA, even the top 2 defenses Seattle and Denver got scored on by Atlanta so I’m nt sure it matters. Oh yea i the 1st matchup Atlanta scored 48 vs the Panthers in week 4.

On the flip side the Panthers offense has shown they are still playing the last 2 weeks and this is the type of game that Cam Newton should have a lot of success in. The Falcons are 27th in defensive DVOA, 28th vs the run and we know the Panthers offense starts with the Jonathon Stewart and the run. Falcons are 29th in points against and I think the Panthers should be able to score at least 24 here at home.

Atlanta is 12-2 to the over and honestly I hate that I haven’t been on any of them so even though this may be late to the party, I like this game to be just another on the long line of 60 point Falcon games.


Week 15 Review: 1-4 + TNF Pick

Week 16 Game 1

TNF: NYG @ Phi +2.5

Bet% NYG 78% Phi 22%

By record and perception these teams are in very different classes, the Giants are 10-4, winners of 8 of their last 9 and unless they lose both their remaining games they are going to the playoffs. The Eagles are 5-9, lost 7 of their last 8 and look to be easily the worst team in the NFC East. Here’s the thing, by DVOA these teams are 11th and 14th, by point differential the Giants are +22 the Eagles are +20 and in their first meeting which was a 28-23 win by the Giants at home, the Giants jumped ahead 14-0 on 2 terrible interceptions by Wentz but the Eagles outplayed them the final 4 quarters.

The analytics types love the Eagles, there were multiple tweets on Sunday after the failed 2pt conversion in Baltimore that the Eagles are the best 5-9 team ever which is some solace for us Eagles fan. Still, all that is to say theses teams are much closer in performance than their records indicate.

I like the Eagles in his spot because, first, the comeback last week showed this team still cares and is still playing for their rookie coach. Secondly it really is the final shot at having a big moment, at home on TNF vs a divisional rival and they are getting Lane Johnson and Darren Sproles back. Getting Johnson, their starting RT and I think their best most talented player on offense  back is huge, they were 3-0 with him in the lineup, which is not to say they would have continued at that level but he does make a huge difference. That right side of the line with Johnson and Brooks should be able to really have success in this game and the Eagles have definitely missed Sproles in the passing game.

Beyond all the on the field analysis, we also have a reverse line move here, the line opened NYG -3 and is closing NYG -1 in sharp books despite Giants getting almost 80% of bets.

I like the Eagles to win straight up here.


Week 15 Review: 1 Win 4 Losses

Updated 2016: 49-35-3

Mama said there be days like this. Week 15 was a disaster. Jesus.


week-15-review (more…)

2016 Week 15 Picks

Hard to believe it’s already Week 15, lots of interesting matchups this week and weather will play an important part in a bunch of games. As we get to the end of reg season, I think using strictly numbers becomes less and less valuable and the games become much more about schedule, motivation and situations. We are also at the part where we basically have games every goddam day this week including Saturday for which we have a play.


Week 14: 2-3-1

2016: 48-31-3

Game 1: Mia @ NYJ +3

Bet% Mia 64% NYJ 36%

Dolphins are clearly the better team over the season but this feels like a really great spot for the Jets and there are some 3’s available which I think provides value. The Jets are in the midst of a dismal season and there will certainly be changes at the end but they get a stand-alone game here on the heels of a great comeback last week in San Francisco where they came back from being down 17 at half. The temperature in this game will be close to freezing which is a huge advantage for the Jets vs the South Florida Dolphins.

Miami will obviously be without Tanehill in this game and even though they are 8-5 their current playoff odds are somewhere between 27%-35% depending on the model you believe. There has to be some disappointment and the possibility of a major letdown this week, the odds with Tanehill weren’t great as they essentially would have to run the table but with Matt Moore at QB there’s almost no chance that will happen. Which brings us to Matt Moore and he really is the wildcard here. Moore has not had any significant action since 2011, he has attempted only 35 passes in the last 5 years and this starting on the road in game that will be near freezing is not the easiest spot to see if you are still a credible NFL QB. Neither of these teams have been able to stop the run this season and this game will probably come down to whoever does the best job vs the run because I do not think either pass offense is going to be trusted by the coaches to win the game. Weather, Matt Moore and home field should help the Jets get the cover here and win straight up. (more…)