WEEK 3 PICKS – IT’S A DOGGY DOG WORLD

It is the week of the home dogs with an amazing 11 home dogs and this definitely feels like a week where books are more than happy to take a lot of money on those short road favs. I am pretty sure that more of the home dogs will cover than not but you have to hope you are on the right ones. Not a card for the faint of heart.

 

2016 Season: 56-40-3

2017: 7-2

Last Week: 4-1

GAME 1: Sea +2.5 @ Ten

Bet%: Sea 58% Ten 42%

After an ugly win at home vs the 49ers the Seahawks bandwagon has seen an exodus this week which is surprising to me because if anyone that has followed Seattle knows that ugly games against bad divisional opponents is kind of the norm here. Last year Seattle opened the year with a 12-10 win vs Miami followed by an ugly 9-3 loss to the Rams, they then won the next 3 games 37-18 vs SF, 27-17 @ NYJ and 26-24 vs the eventual NFC champion Atlanta Falcons. In 2015 Seattle opened 0-2 and then went 9-3 in the next 12. This is who they are, this is what they do.

I also like this matchup for Seattle because everyone knows they have issues on the offensive line but through the first 2 weeks the Titans had only 14 total pressure plays, the Seattle line had a better 2nd half last week and as their run game gets sorted they should be better again this week.

For the Titans they have also started slow on offense, last week they had only 6 points in the first half when Bortles fell apart and interceptions and 3 and outs gave Tennessee a number of short fields. They had TD drives of 34, 49 and 25 yards. This week the Titans will be without their lead back DeMarco Murray an their best receiver Corey Davis. Last year Seattle was #1 vs the run by DVOA and I think last week vs 49ers was an anomaly. I like the chances of the Seattle D to keep Mariota and the Titans run first offense in check.

Looking at the Seattle schedule if they win Sunday, I think this is a point where we could see them go on a run and win 6 or 7 in a row, so if you are looking to bet a Seattle future, I would do it before Sunday. I think Seattle wins straight up here.

Game 2: Bal @ Jax +3.5 (In London)

Bet%: Bal 67% Jax 33%

Nobody plays in London like the Jacksonville Jaguars. This will be the 5th straight year the Jags make the trip across the pond and while their 2-2 record isn’t exactly Patriot like, the routine nature of the trip does mean that this is a game they are going to be totally comfortable with.

This game opened at 4 and despite the majority of bets being on the Ravens the line has dropped and it wouldn’t surprise me to see this get to 3 by kickoff.

Both these defenses got off to great starts in Week 1, the Jags earned the nickname Sacksonville after their 10 sack game in the opener and this week face the Ravens in their first game minus Marshal Yanda, their best lineman.

Through the first 2 weeks the Ravens are 2-0 and+7 in turnovers which has made up for the fact that the offense hasn’t exactly lit the league on fire. Flacco has 338 yards passing through 2 weeks which is actually 10 yards less than Bortles who the Jags are trying everything in their power to stop from passing.

Getting the hook on a neutral field where the Jags should be the more comfortable team seems like very good value here.Both defenses are capable of winning this game on their own but I think people are overvaluing how good the Ravens offense has been to start the year.

Game 3: Den @ Buf +3.5

Bet%: Den 82% Buf 18%

This game has had the largest split in Bet% all week and it’s easy to see why. The Broncos have had 2 high profile wins, a MNF win in the opener and then a blowout of the Cowboys in their home opener on the FOX national TV game. The Bills on the other hand beat the Jets who may be the worst roster in the NFL and then lost to the Panthers last week in a low scoring low profile game.

I love this spot for the Bills. As mentioned Denver has played 2 high profile games to start the year, a divisional game on MNF to open the season and then Denver for their home opener.  Next week Denver plays another big divisional game vs the Raiders so if there is a game where we see a let down it’s going to be this game where they fly out east for an early start against a low profile team like the Bills.

The Bills defense has started the season playing very good defense under new head coach Sean McDermott and will I think have a very good chance to create problems for Trevor Siemian who has been better than most expected to start this season. The Broncos were 28th in offensive DVOA and I’m not sure we can expect them to make a huge leap this year with no major upgrades on offense. This feels prime for regression.

For the Bills offense I think we will find out if the Broncos truly have fixed their issues on run defense. Last year Denver finished first in defensive DVOA but were 21st vs the run and gave up 4.3 yards per rush. Buffalo had the leagues most efficient run offence last year and I think will have success on he ground this week against Denver

Game 4: KC @ SD(Waiting for +3.5)

Bet%:  KC 74% SD 26%

I think the 2 toughest sides to put your money on this week are the Bills and the Chargers. Kansas Ciy has looked as good as anyone through 2 weeks with impressive wins vs the Patriots and Eagles. I love Andy Reid, I am an unabashed Andy Reid stan and he has been great through 2 weeks but they did trail in the opener going into the 4th Q and then had the extra rest to get ready for the Eagles last week which was a one score game despite the Eagles losing 2 key starters in the secondary.

While the Chiefs have been on the right side of the karma train the poor Chargers are at it again losing games in agonising fashion. Chargers are 0-2 but in both games had their FG kicker on to tie the game in one and take the lead in the other but missed both leading to 0-2. Chargers are better than their record and you have to think these breaks will even out at some point but you never know.

The one worry I have with the Chargers is their new head coach Anthony Lynn. In both games he has made mistakes in game management late that ended up costing them and there is a major coaching edge in this game with Reid. That being said, the Chargers are 0-2 and if they are going to make anything of this season this game is critical. I think the line will get to 3.5, already we can buy the hook pretty cheaply but I think if we wait it will get their on its own.

I will have money on the ML in all these games as well.

Other games under consideration ( No Bets yet- Will confirm Sunday Morning)

Game : Cin +7.5 @ GB

Bet% Cin 31% GB 69%

Packers are really banged up in this game, it looks like Nelson will play but not sure on the others,  I will wait to see if the tackles play or not before betting. The Bengals who haven’t scored a TD yet and fired their OC after a near mutiny by the offensive players are 0-2 with both losses at home. I think there is a chance they come out and play a great game here and catch the Packers sleeping.

Game : Mia @ NYJ +6.5

Bet% Mia 73% NYJ 27%

It’s hard betting on the Jets but the offense has looked capable and Miami is in a bad spot here. This becomes basically a 3rd straight week on the road for the Dolphins and 6.5 points is a lot of points in that scenario.

Game: Sea@ Ten Under 21 1st half

I wrote last week about how Seattle picks up the pace on offense late in games but often starts slow. 21 is the key number here, if I can get 21 I will probably be on the under for 1st half.

 

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Week 2 2017 Review: 4 – 1

When you start the 2017 season like a boss with back to back 1 loss weeks

In the grand scheme two winning weeks doesn’t guarantee anything but it is awful nice to start the year as a winner on back to back weeks and build a little bankroll as opposed to the opposite where you have to climb out of a hole. As the great Andy Reid always says, Any week you can win in the NFL is a good week.

2016 Season: 56-40-3

Week 1: 3-1

 Week 2 Results: 4 Wins 1 Loss (more…)

Week 2 Picks- Overreaction Week

Every year I post the thing same thing for week 2 and that is that it the week that has the most overreaction by bettors all season and therefore we should be able to find some good opportunities. We have seen 60 minutes of football and while that does provide us some information to form opinions it is important to understand the circumstances and be balanced in our week 2 opinions.

2016 Full Season: 56-40-3

Week 1 2017: 3-1

Game 1: Min @ Pit -5.5

Bet% Min 56% Pit 44%

This is my favourite type of game to bet week 2, 1 team (the Steelers) was a heavy favourite vs one of the worst teams from last year and did just enough to win while the other (Vikings) was extremely impressive on national TV vs a famous team.

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Week 1 2017 Review: 3-1

Always nice to start the season with a winning weekend. Week 1 offers a lot of value but it is easy to get caught expecting too much carryover from the previous season and I have to admit I was a little worried with the fact that our card was heavy on favorites.  Thankfully the wins came in and for the most part we didn’t need to sweat them out making week 1 a success.

2016 Full Season: 56-40-3

Week 1 2017: 3-1

Wk1 2017

What Went Right: (more…)

2017 Week 1 Picks

It is year 4 of GTC and we have had 3 straight years of winning seasons though last year was the worst record of the 3 after a bad run to close the year. The format of the blog will continue to be mostly the same with weekly picks going up usually Saturday Night and then the review post in the middle of the week. Last year we started with a perfect week 1, here’s hoping we can take it back for a similar start this year.

Previous 3 Seasons

2016 Regular Season: 53-37-3

2017 Playoffs: 3-3

2016-2017 NFL Season Overall (Playoffs and Reg Season) : 56 – 40- 3 or 53%

2015 Reg Season: 57-35-3

2016 NFL Playoffs including SB: 6-2

2015-16 NFL Season Overall (Playoffs and Reg Season): 63-37-3 or 63%

2014 Reg Season 60W-42L

2015 Playoffs & Superbowl 4-6

2014-2015 Total season 64-48 = 57%

Week 1 Picks

Game 1: Phi -1 @ Was

Bet % Phi 58%  Was 42%

This game opened with Was -3 which seems like the right opening number for any NFC East game but it has been basically unanimous that sharp money on the Eagles has moved this line, so why are they all on Eagles? (more…)

2016 Season Review By The Numbers

Just some cleanup on last season here at Get The Cover, it was the 3rd season I posted all my plays here and by percentage it was the worst season so far.

2016 Review (all plays posted on Get The Cover)

2016 Regular Season: 53-37-3

2017 Playoffs: 3-3

2016-2017 NFL Season Overall (Playoffs and Reg Season) : 56 – 40- 3 or 53%

While 53% isn’t terrible the goal is to cross the 55% bar annually and we missed it by a couple of plays. I dug in a little deeper to see how the bets last year broke down and basically it was a great year betting underdogs and pretty awful betting everything else.

Bet Type Wins Losses Pushes Win %
Underdog 29 14 2 64.4%
Favorite 13 15 1 44.8%
Under 5 5 0 50.0%
Over 4 3 0 57.1%
Teaser 3 3 0 50.0%
Pick’em 2 0 0 100.0%
Total 56 40 3 52.8%

 

This may be just an anomaly I do not remember having splits this dramatic in previous years but will be something to pay attention to this year.

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.

cm-punk

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.

GL

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

conferece-review

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.

ne-win

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.

ne-loss

 

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.

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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.

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