I started week 5 by making a futures bet on the NFC East champion. I took the NY Giants for 2 units @ +325, I had meant to make this bet last week and had seen the Giants at over +400 before their win against the Bills but I still think the Giants are prohibitive favorites and are worth this future at any price above +200. With Romo out at least another month, along with Dez Bryant, with all the issues the Eagles are having on their offensive line, in their run game and secondary, if the Giants can remain relatively healthy I like them to win this division handily. Giants play the Eagles next week and if they win that game which I think they will, I expect the giants futures to drop well below +200.
Season ATS 16-9 LW 4-2
Game 1: Chi +10 @ KC
Bet% Chi 50% KC 50%
This was the first game that jumped out at me when looking at the opening lines and I bet it thinking it would move down which it didn’t but I still think it is the right side. When we think of teams that can cover double digits, we generally think of teams like NE and GB that have elite offenses. The Chiefs are not that, they are the #18 DVOA offense, 17th in Qb rating and of critical importance if covering a big number like this they are 25th in redzone TD% at 50%. While they have a middling offense the defense is an even bigger problem, Chiefs are 30th in Defensive DVOA, 27th against the pass in both passer rating and yards per attempt. While the Bears are certainly not a good team, 30th in DVOA I think they are actually better than their results so far have indicated when we consider their schedule, the 3 osses came against GB, Arizona and in Seattle and also for 2 of those games they were without Cutler for all or most of the game.Its just impossible for me to believe a team with a middling offense and bottom of league defense can be a 10 point favorite.
Game 2: NO @ Phil -5.5
Bet% NO 63% Phil 37%
This fees like a good spot for the Eagles to right themselves on offense after a 2nd half last week where they finally got some big plays in the passing game. The Eagles have some major issues on the offensive line and otside of last week have not been able to get any large plays in the pass game. The Saints appear to be the perfect elixer for what ails the Eagles, The Saints are dead last in avg opp passer rating at 116.3 and giving up 9.4 yards per attempt which is also dead last. In terms of big plays, the Saints have a big play differential of 13, the Eagles are plus 3.
The Eagles defense has been very consistent and able to keep the Eagles in most games, they are #3 vs the run and there weakness in the secondary doesn’t seem like one the Saints can take advantage of with a less than 100% Drew Brees, This is a must win game for Chip Kelly, the division is still up for grabs and he should be able to get his offense going vs this defense.
Game 3: Buf @ Ten +1
Bet% Buf 77% Ten 23%
This game opened at Buf -3 and even though 75% of the bets are on Buffalo we have a line move towards the Titans so there is a reverse line move here. The Titans are coming off of a bye so they have extra time to get ready for this Bills defense. The Titans offense has been very good early in the year, 4th in passer rating, 8th in yards per pass att so they should be able to move the ball but I think the major issues for Buffalo will be on offense.
Last week, the Bills were without Shady Mccoy and Sammy Watkins leaving the offense to Tyrod Taylor and Karlos Williams, Its a game I had looked to bet all week but regrettably never pulled the trigger on. The Bills struggled on offense, averaging 5.9 yards per pass and 2.3 yards per rush now this week they are now also without Williams and down to their #3 RB. The Titans should be able to handle this version of the Bills offense, they are #6 in Defensive DVOA and 5th in Sack percentage. The Titans have really excelled in forcing 3rd downs this year and last week the Bills saw 16 3rd downs to only 14 1st downs, the more 3rd downs Ten can force the better chance they have to get off the field.
Game 4: Was +7 Atl
Bet% Was 25% Atl 75%
Atlanta is 4-0 SU and also 4-0 ATS because of that each and every week they win and cover the line gets shaded more and more towards the Falcons, essentially it acts as a tax to take the red hot Falcons. In this case a TD favorite seems like a lot, the Falcons have played 3 NFC East teams so far and in every game the spread was under a FG, in the opener they were 3 point under dogs to the Eagles. While Atl are clearly the better team there are a couple of areas that Wash could take advantage of specifically in the run game. Wash is 3rd in the league in yards per rush at 4.4 and Atl is 27th in opp yards per rush at 4.4 so Wash should be able to control the game on the ground and stay close.
In the end whether Wash is able to stay close and cover in this game may be determined in the redzone, Atlanta has been #1 in the league in converting 80% of redzone trips to TDs while the Wash defense is #3 in allowing TDs on only 37.5%.