Looking to rebound after the worst week of the season, I have 3 unders on the card this week, so here hoping the games ‘Get Low’……..Skeet Skeet.
Season ATS 31-23
Game 1: Car @ Phi-6.5
Bet%Car 36 Phi 64
For the 2nd week in a row I will be taking the square play in an Eagles game, this time on MNF. I should of bet this game at the open of -6 as there was only one way it was going, not sure if it will get to 7 by Monday but it wouldn’t surprise me.
The Eagles will have Mark Sanchez starting at QB for the injured Nick Foles, I do not think this changes the teams value or their ability on offense, in fact I would rank both players similarly. I think both guys can make all the throws needed in the offense but both guys are also turnover prone and are capable of single-handedly sinking the team with interceptions. Last week in Houston the Eagles got their starting C Jason Kelce back (after being out 5 weeks) as well as RBs Darren Sproles and Chris Polk which allowed them to commit to the run game for the first time in weeks, the Eagles ended with 41 rushes for 190 yards. This week the Eagles will also get Pro Bowl LG Evan Mathis back giving the team their best 4 run blockers for the first time this season.
The Panthers have really struggled on defense this season, 24th in DVOA on Defence, they have been especially bad vs the run as they rank last in the league giving up 4.8 yards per attempt, I expect the Eagles to control this game with the run and give Sanchez opportunities downfield with play action.
On offense the Panthers rank 20th in DVOA, they are 28th in yards per play at 5.1 which is a problem because they are also only 23rd in yards per point at 16.3 yards per play. The panthers have had lots of trouble on their offensive line, Cam Newton has got sacked 6.8% of his attempts which is 12th most in the league, the Eagles who have been getting lots of pressure recently are 10th in the league in getting sacks at jut over 7% so I expect the Eagles to get plenty of pressure of Newton and make it difficult for the Panthers to be very efficient on offense.
Game 2 KC @ Buf Under 42.5
Bet%Under 32 Over 68
This line opened at 43 and has been going down even though there are more bets on the over than the under and I think it is clear why. Chiefs and Bills have played similar games this season, both offenses are ball control offenses that rank 20th and 23rd in yards per play at 5.3 and 5.2, and 21st and 24th in yards per pass at 6.5 and 6.7 yards/pass so neither offense is explosive.
On defense these are 2 very good teams, the Chiefs rank 12th in defensive DVOA while the Bills are 4th, both teams are in the top 10 in yards/play against and the top 5 in RZTD%. these are also 2 of the best teams at getting to the QB, The Chiefs are #1 as they get sacks on 9.7% of pass attempts and the Bills are 3rd at 8.6% so we should see both teams try to keep the throws short and quick.
For Buffalo their offense will be further hindered b injuries as Sammy Watkins is questionable and even if he plays he will be well less than 100% and the same with Fred Jackson who practised this week but wasn’t expected to be able to play.
Both teams have had only 2 of their 8 games go over this season, the fact that that the game is expected to be close, the spread is 1, should lead to conservative play calling and a low score.
Game 3: Mia @ Det under 44
Bet% Under 28 Over 72
I’m not sure how many people would guess this hut if you were to ask who are the 2 best Defenses in the league are who would they be? Well according to DVOA they are Detroit and Miami which I think not many people would guess as this total has risen since opening at 41.5. The defenses of both teams have been dominant, they rank 1st and 3rd in yards/play against, 1st and 5th in yards/pass against, 2nd & 11th in yards/rush against, 4th and 5th in sack percentage, 5th and 6th in RZ attempts allowed and for the purposes of this total maybe most importantly, they rank 1st and 3rd in opponent points per game.
On offense only Miami ranks in the top 10 in any key metric as they are 3rd in yards per rush attempts with 4.8 though this week their starting RB Lamar Miller is not expected to be 100% and will be limited. Miami is also 9th in scoring averaging 26 pts/ game but do think that is a little misleading. Miami has played some struggling defenses the 4 games against Oakland, Jacksonville, Chicago and San Diego Miami averaged 32.5 points/game. In the 2 games against elite defense they have played, KC and Buffalo, Miami has averaged only 12.5 points/game.
As for the Lions they have really struggled to generate offense this season especially on the ground where they rank dead last at 3.1 yards per attempt. Lions should see their efficiency on offense improve this week with Calvin Johnson returning from injury but i’s unlikely we will see Stafford have enough time to make a lot of big plays deep to Johnson this week and there may be some rustiness for Johnson as well. Detroit were under machines in Johnson’s absence, I think this week vs a very good Miami defense that continues.
Game 4 Mia @ Det-2.5
Bet% Mia 36 Det 64
Above we can see that both teams will be bringing very good defenses to this game but between the return of Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush to the Detroit offense and home field I think the Lions should have an advantage in this game over Miami.
Miami is coming off of 3 straight wins but this is the 3rd road game in 4 weeks and they play a monster divisional game on Thursday Night vs the Bills who already beat them this season. Add in the fact that Lamar Miller is banged up and I think we see a less than optimal performance from the Dolphins in this game.
One thing that concerns me for this bet as well as the under is the injury to Lions DT Nick Fairley who has been a force for the Lions inside and one of the keys for their defense.
Game 5 Ten @ Bal -9.5
The Ravens have lost 2 straight divisional games and are now last in the AFC North at 5-4, all this despite being the #2 DVOA team in the entire league. With there record being what it is and being last in the divsion we can expect a motivated ravens team this week and one thing they have shown this year is when they play the leagues also rans, they don’t just win, they dominate.
The ravens have played 3 games where they have been favored by more than 3 points, First against the Panthers they were favored by 3.5 and won by 28, then they were favored by 3.5 in TB and won by 31. Finally they were favored by 7 against the Falcons, a game they won by 22.
The Titans on the other hand who will start Zach Mettenberger in his 2nd career start, the season have been dogs of 6 points or more 3 times this year, they covered the last one against Wash losing by 2 in a game they played against Kirk Cousins/ Colt Mccoy. In the other 2 games they were 6.5 point dogs to the Bengals which they lost by 26 and 7.5 point dogs in Indy a game which they lost by 24.
In a must win game, I expect the Ravens to come out and make life miserable for Mettenberger while getting back on track on offense at home.
Game 6 Teaser SF @ NO Under 55, Phi-1
I liked the Saints SF game to go under 49 but decided to use it in a teaser to get a little extra margin here. As I mentioned in my review of last weeks picks the Saints have been s different team on defense the last few weeks, blitzing far less and playing more coverage. This change in strategy has led to the Saints giving up 24, 23 and 10 the last 3 weeks to the Lions, Packers and Panthers.
On offense the Saints have relied more on the running game as of late, which allows them to control time of possession but also means fewer pass attempts from Brees. The 49ers, although not as strong defensively this year as they have been in the past have given up more than 23 only twice this year, 28 to Chicago and 42 to the Broncos in a game where Peyton Manning was going for the TD milestone on SNF.
Where the 49ers really help this under is on offense, in the last 2 weeks, SF has scored 17 and 10 and in fact in 4 of their 8 games they have scored 20 or fewer. The 49ers have had issues all year on their offensive line which has really impacted their run game averaging only 3.3 yards per attempt the last 3 weeks and 4.1 yards for the full season. 49ers do have some injuries on defense especially at LB but in a game they probably have to win I expect them to try to keep this low scoring they know they cannot win a shoot out, so I expect them to play conservative on offense and really gameplan on defense to take away Saints big plays.
Game 7 Pit @ NYJ +4.5
Bet% Pit 80 NYJ 20
Adding this game on Sunday morning, it was one I was close to firing on all week. As of Sunday morning 80% of bets on Pit yet at many books the line has dropped today to 3.5. It makes sense that everyone would want to bet on Pit here after 2 brilliant games in a row where Rothlisberger threw for 6 TD’s in each game, meanwhile the Jets have 1 win this season and last week didn’t cover has a 10 point favorite.
The bet is mainly because of the reverse line move but it is important that before the last 2 weeks the Steelers struggled with the likes of the Jags and Texans and lost at home to the TB Bucs. After 2 performances like the ones that Big Ben had there has to be a let down at some point and this seems like a good spot for it, how do you get up to play the 1-7 Jets after pummelling their rival Ravens at home on SNF last week . Steelers also had some key injuries in the secondary Ike Taylor and Troy Palomalu will both be out here.
As for the Jets the one thing they do well is run the ball, they are 5th in the league averaging 4.7 yards per attempt, meanwhile playing the run is not a strength for the Steelers as they are 24th in the league giving up 4.4 yards/attempt so if the Jets are going to stay in this game it will be by running the ball and keeping the Steelers off the field.
Betting the Jets is not fun, which is why nobody this week wants to do it but it looks to be the right side.