Week 2 Picks

Game 1 Mia @ Buf+1

Bet % Mia 54% Buf 46%

Both teams won straight up as big under dogs last week and now meet with a chance to go 2-0 which nobody would have expected.  What bothers me here is the opening line of Mia -2, both teams are coming off similar wins so there is no extra motivation or let down potential.Whatthe line tells us is that on a neutral field Mia is 5-6 pts better than the Bills. The numbers do not back up Miami being the better team, by DVOA Buf is ranked higher and last year defensively Buf was one of the best DVOA teams raking 4th.

Buffalo is also a much better team at home,  6-2 ATS last year due partly to being significantly better in the passing game at home averaging 6.8 yards per pass at home compared to only 5.2 on the road. Statistically these were pretty even teams with Buffalo having the edge on defense but there is a significant home field advantage here, add in the fact that this is the first game in Buffalo after the announcement of the team sale and it remaining in Buffalo and there is plenty of reason to think that the Bills will play an A game.

Game 2. Det @ Car -1

Bet % Det 62% Car 38%

Both these teams won in Week 1, Car won a low action game with their back up QB against TB, while the Lions won on MNF with a spectacular performance by Stafford and Megatron against the Giants. I am guessing that is the reason for this line Detroit is sexy and the Panthers are not because on the surface it doesn’t make a lot of sense.  Again if we give 3 pts for home field then that means on a neutral field the Lions are a 2 pt favourite. Carolina was won of the best teams in the NFL last year and an analytics darling, much has been made of their changes on offence but replacing mediocre receivers with mediocre receivers shouldn’t cause a downgrade.

While there are metrics that favor both teams you can see below that their was a significant advantage for Carolina last year by Yards per point metric on defense and surprisingly also on offense. Getting the better team, at home at basically a pick em is too good to pass up here.

Car Det

 

Game 3. Atl @ Cin -5.5

Bet% Atl 53% Cin 47%

Both Atl and Cin are coming off big divisional wins as underdogs in week 1, Cin beat the Ravens in Baltimore week 1, while Atl beat the Saints at home in a thriller. For the Bengals a division winner last year the week win was not as important as it was for the Falcons to come back after a disastrous 2013 and beat their #1 rival.

While many will be quick to put Atl back into the elite group after their week 1 win, I think it is still debatable whether or not ATL has fixed their major issues from last year which were the defence and offensive line (Jake Mathews expected to miss Cin game).  What isnt debatable is that this is a game where we get a team that is significantly worse road team playing a team that is significantly better home team. For ATL we see both sides of the ball suffer on the road.

Atl week 2

 

As for Cincy, their defence travels well but at home their offense moves from pedestrian to elite. This is a case where we get the better overall team with a significant home advantage and also significant road disadvantage.  While many betters want to jump on Atl after beating the Saints this is a great spot for Cincy at home.

CIn week 2

 Game 4. Jax @ Was -5

Bet% Jax 53% Was 47%

Both Jax and Was lost in week 1 straight up and ATS but the perception of the losses was very different.  The Jags got off to a shocking start against the Eagles and took a 17-0 lead in a game they were 10.5 point under dogs.  The Eagles came back in the second half and not only won the game but also covered, nonetheless the reaction to the game was that Jax is much improved and gave the Eagles highly rated offense a lot of troubles.

As an Eagles fan I follow writers that break down the coaches All 22 tape and as this terrific breakdown http://t.co/BiDA2DddK1 showed the Eagles had people wide open all over the field but Foles for whatever reason struggled getting the ball out accurately. This should provide Wsh with plenty of opportunities to make plays and score points.

Wsh lost week 1  17-6 in Hou but it was a game they actually played pretty well and could have easily one if not for a couple of critical mistakes, a fumble deep in Hou territory and a punt that was blocked and returned for a TD by Hou.  For all the troubles that RGIII had during the preseason he played well in this game, Wsh averaged 5.9 Yds/play and 6.0 Yds/Pass.  This bodes well for Wsh against a Jags D that struggled mightily in week 1

Game 5. Dal +3.5 @ Ten

Bet% Dal 55% Ten 45%

This is a tough game to bet for me as there aren’t many stats that make Dal look good in this spot but this is really a bet against the new perceptions that have been made based on week 1.  Ten was impressive in week 1 winning straight up as a road dog in KC, KC a playoff team last year but expected by most to take a step back this year.

Dallas on the other hand looked as bad as a team can in a national game at home against the 49ers losing 28-17 in a game that featured 3 Tony Romo interceptions and 4 turnover overall, the game was basically over after the 1st Q when SF jumped up 21-3.

The NFL universe has been unanimous  this week in their panning of Dallas, Tony Romo and especially their defense.  I expect their defense to be bad but the expectations of how bad have gone over the top this week.  As a fantasy football player i have seen every expert talk about starting all your Titans, (Locker, Wright, Hunter, Walker).  With all the turnovers and early deficit in week 1 it was impossible to fully gauge how well or poorly the Dal defense played but they gave up 5.9/play which isn’t good but also isn’t completely off the rails.  While I don’t know how good the defense is I fully expect their offense to get on track and be able to score vs the Titans.  I am also not convinced that Jake Locker is someone who can be trusted to put up big games week in and week out and this may be a let down spot after big win in week 1.

Game 6. NYJ @ GB-7.5

Bet% NYJ 25% GB 75%

This was a game I circled after GB lost the opener in Seattle on Thursday Night of week 1. Coming off of a loss and with a long week to prepare GB should be primed for a good performance in their home opener and should have the right opponent. GB was only ranked 20th in DVOA and all of their key offensive metrics were down but that was mostly due to the fact that Aaron Rodgers was out for a significant part of the season.  If we look at 2012 when Rodgers was healthy all year GB was ranked 5th  by DVOA, the true rank is probably somewhere in the middle of 20 and 5 but it is still significantly ahead of the Jets.  GB will have Eddie Lacy back and their 2 #1WRs should have an opportunity to exploit the Jets poor corners and put up points.

The Jets are coming off a win against Oak and now go play a non conference game on the road as heavy under dogs, it is the type of game that if they get down early it may get away from them as Geno Smith and the Jets offense are not equipped to match the Packers’ offense blow for blow.  The Packers Defense struggled last year and looked vulnerable against Seattle in week 1 giving up 6.6 yards/pass but they should be able to hang with the jets pedestrian offense that only put up 19 points vs the Oakland Raiders in week 1.

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