Week 15 2-3
Season ATS: 54-37
Week 16-17 add a new challenge in that it becomes hard to handicap teams that have nothing to play for,teams that have just been eliminated how do they show up? lots of added factors in the final few weeks.
Game 1: SD +1.5
Bet% SD 60 SF 40
I didn’t have time to write this game up yesterday but did post on twitter.Basically I felt that SF would come out flat after losing to arch rival Seattle and having their playoff hopes die. This is a team that championship aspirations so hard to see how they would get up for a game after being eliminated.
Game 2: Min +4.5 @ Mia
Bet% Min 60% Mia 40%
Miami is another team who had their playoff hopes end last week and you wonder how they come out and perform this week. Miami has been a very good team this season despite being 7-7 they are 11th in DVOA and +26 in point differential. All that being said, last week in a must win game they were blown out by the div rival Patriots, it is likely that their coach will be fired and in a spot like this I’m just not sure we see their best effort.
The Vikings are 6-8 but 9-5 ATS, they have been a team that has competed every week and found a way to to stay close in almost every game. The matchup that really works in the Vikings favor in this game is in the run game, Min is 9th in the league at 4.4 yards per attempt while Miami is 25th vs the run giving up 4.4 yards per attempt and in the last 3 weeks its actually been 5.2 yards per att.
I wish I had got a better number as this game opened at 6.5 and 6 was available most of the week but I do think Vikings have a very good shot of winning straight up.
Game 3: Atl +6 @ NO
Bet% Atl 52% NO 48%
2 of the most confounding teams of the season, 1 game apart in the division NO at 6-8 and Atl at 5-9, No is 3-4 at home while Atl is 2-5 on the road and NO has a point differential of -10 while ATL is -21. All of that is basically to say these are the same teams, I’m not sure how much different they are and without a major home field advantage it’s hard to see why NO would be favored by 6.
Both offenses should be able to move the ball in this game as these are 2 terrible defenses, Atl is 32 and the Saints are 30th but often a game like this comes down to what happens in the Red zone and thats where Atl has the advantage. On offense Atl is 5th in the RZ at 65% the Saints are 9th at 60.3%. On defense the Falcons give up TD’s on 56.9% of trips which is 20th while the Saints give up TDs on 63% which is 27th.
I just see this game as a toss up, the Saints home field is no longer the bonus it had been the last couple of years, Atl is 4-0 in the division including a win vs the Saints in the opener, I think they are live here.
Game 4: Bal -6 @ Hou
Bet% Bal 71% Hou 29%
Baltimore is the #3 DVOA team, they are alive for a playoff spot and they play Houston and their #3 QB this week. There is no question that the biggest hole in the Ravens team is their secondary but between the Texans issues at QB and the fact that both Wr’s have been dinged up this week, it seems unlikely they will be able to take advantage of the Ravens issues at corner.
Baltimore is +109 in point differential and have made a habit of beating up on the teams they should so laying 6 here isn’t that scary a proposition. Baltimore is 4th in sack % so by putting pressure on Keenum there is a good chance they may be able to pick up some turnovers and short fields against a QB in his first start.
Game 5: Ind +3.5 @ Dal
Bet% Ind 54% Dal 46%
Indy and Dallas are the #11 and #10 teams by DVOA, on defense Indy is much better 13th vs 26th for Dal while on offense Dal ranks higher 5th vs Indy at 13th. That advantage on offense by the Cowboys is lessened this week with Demarco Murray playing just days after haiving surgery on his right hand, while he is expected to play there is no way he can be 100%. Dallas is 3rd in the league in rush attempts per game at 31.4 and in the last 3 games that number is over 34 so the run game is absolutely crucial to their success.
As for Indy they are still playing for playoff seeding and the while their offense is pretty one dimensional this game should fit that fine. Colts are 5th in the league in yards per pass att at 7.4 and Dallas is 27th in defending the pass giving up 7.4 yards per att.
With the Eagles losing on Saturday, the Cowboys path to the division title became easier as they now just have to win one of the last 2, I think that there may bea collective sigh of relief here this week and getting the hook with a QB like Luck is too good to pass up.
Game 6: Buf @ Oak+7
Bet% Buf 62% Oak 38%
This isn’t a game where the numbers help you make a case for Oakland but that is true of almost any game Oak plays and still they are a team that is 7-7 ATS. I like them this game because despite the fact that Buffalo has one of the best defenses in the league and is coming off of very impressive games vs the Pacers and Broncos they also have one of the worst offense in the league which makes covering points on the road a very difficult venture.
Buffalo ranks 28th in yards/play, 27th in yards/pass att, 26th in yards/rush and dead last in RZ TD% at 40%. Oakland is just as bad on offense in almost all the ranks but there is one big exception which is the Raiders are actually 1st in RZ TD% at 73.8. The Raiders have had 2 big wins at home in their last 3 vs KC and SF both those teams were teams that like Buffalo rely on their defenses to cover for offenses that have trouble scoring. I don’t think Oak will win this game straight up but I do think they will stick around and have shot late in the game.