Its an interesting NFL Season, we had a number of undefeated teams going into Week 6, CAR, ATL, CIN that many wondered if they were real contenders or not. We also have a number of teams that are under .500 that many considered contenders going into the season like Seattle, Philly and Baltimore and then there are teams like Miami and Indy who we have no idea who they really are. Week 6 will answer the question of are they real for a number of teams and here’s hoping I am on the right side of those answers on my Week 6 card.
Season ATS 19-9-1
Game 1 Wash @ NYJ Under 41
Bet% Over 40% Under 60%
This is one of the lowest totals of the game but the defenses have such an advantage in this game that its impossible not to think that the most likely result is a very low scoring game between these two teams. By DVOA we have the #11 Defense (Was) facing the 20th NYJ Offense and on the flip side we have the #2 DVOA defense the of the Jets facing the #17 Offense of Was. For unders I really like defenses that have an advantage in the pass game and we have that on both sides here. In avg passer rating, these two offenses rank 21st (Was) and 24th (NYJ) while the on defense Was ranks 12th and the Jets are #1 in Opp passer rating with an avg of 62.3.
Another stat I love for the under is both defenses are great at forcing 3rd downs, Was is 11th and NYJ is #1 in percentage of 3rd downs to 1st downs, the reason I love this stat is it means that offenses are not doing well on 1st downs and the more 3rd downs they face the better the chance there is for the defense to get off the field. Both these defenses are in the top 5 in opponents 3rd down conversion percentage.
Game 2 Cin @ Buf +3
Bet% Cin 77% Buf 23%
At some point Andy Daulton is going to have a game that reminds us of the ‘old’ Andy Daulton and the Bengals are going to slip up like every team minus maybe the Patriots will and this feels like as good a spot as any. The Bengals are coming off of a huge win at home vs the Super Bowl finalist Seahawks where they came back from a 17 point deficit in the 4th quarter and won in OT. At 5-0 the Bengals have a lot to feel good about and with a Bye next week and a 2 game lead in the division this feels like it could be a let down spot.
Both these teams are having great starts on offense, Cin is 3rd in passer rating (115.6), Buf is 6th (103.6), Cin is 1st in Yards per pass, Buf is 10th, Cin is avg 4.0 yards per rush (21st) while Buf is avg 4.3 (10th). On defense however Bufalo is having a better year than Cin in every category, Buf is 6th vs the pass while Cin is 19th, Buf is 11th vs the run and the Bengals are 29th.
Tyrod Taylor is expected to miss this game but Buffalo should be getting some of their key offensive players back this week including Shady Mccoyand Sammy Watkins, which should make up for the downgrade at QB. I like that this is basically a 80-20 game with 77% of bets on the road fav and the with the Bengals in a classic let down schedule spot, ie off of very big emotional win and looking forward to the Bye, this feels like a great spot to take the home dog Bills.
Game 3: Mia +2 @ Ten
Bet% Mia 57% Ten 43%
There is not lot to write up about this game that points positively towards Miami, they have been terrible on offense and defense and were so bad that they were the first team to fire their coach. After starting the year with a couple of ok performances the last few weeks the were blown out by divisional opponents and looked like a team that the head coach had lost. This week coming off of a bye week and in their first game with interm coach Dan Campbell I expect them to put in a full effort and this is a team with a lot of talent on both sides of the ball.
One place I expect Miami to change this week is with their run game, so far this season they are averaging 16.2 rushes per game, last season when this offense was the #19th DVOA offense they were averaging 24.9 carries a game. Both these teams have struggled vs the run giving up 4.4 yards per attempt each but I expect Miami in this game to be better positioned to take advantage of that. Again there isn’t a lot to be positive about for Miami so far but if they are going to do anything to save this season from being a lost season, this game is a must win.
Game 4: 6 point teaser Car +13 & Car – Sea Under 46.5
Bet% Car 49% Sea 51% Over 40% Under 60%
The Panthers are 4-0 but nobody is really impressed because of who they have beat (Jac, TB, Hou,NO), the Seahawks are 2-3 but the record doesn’t really matter because they are the Seahawks and we know the Seahawks are great. Still if we look at Seattle’s record so far they have beat 2 bad teams at home Det and Chi and lost to Stl, GB and Cin on the road, so yes we know they have been a great team in the past and may be one by the end of the season but so far this year that hasn’t really been the case.
The biggest criticism of the Panthers is that their offense lacks playmakers and is too reliant on Cam Newton to be counted on week in and week out. While they certainly may rely on Newton a lot it is interesting how the offense has performed so far, they rank 11th in DVOA and maybe most impressive they rank #1 in big play differential ( runs of 10+ yards, passes 20) which seems opposite of their reputation.
Seattle is coming off of a tough OT loss in Cincinnati where they lead by 17 in the 4th quarter and continues to struggle on the offensive line, last week they gave up 17 pressure plays (QB Hits, Sacks, TFL) and on the season they are Russell Wilson has been sacked on 12.8% of pass plays which is dead last in the league. I expect both defenses to play well in this game and points to be at a premium. Seattle is giving up 3. yards per rush which 4th and we knw that the Panthers will want to run the ball, so far they lead the league in rush attempts with 32.8.
While I like the Panthers +7 and the Under 40.5, both seem like the right number so by playing them in a teaser we get some safety of margin here. I will play a little on the Car ML as well as I do think the most likely result is a 1 possession low scoring game.
For the MNF bets, I will be betting on Monday when I think the Giants line and the total will both be at their highest.
Game 5: NYG +5.5 @ Phi
Bet% NYG 73% Phi 27%
Last week I bet a future on the NY Giants winning the NFC East and one of the reasons I bet it last week was because I knew with this game in week 6 I would be on the Giants and if they win the price of that future will drop dramatically as they will be much bigger favorites. I was on the eagles last week because I though the Saints defense was tailor made for the Eagles to feel good about themselves, the Saints not only give up big plays in the pass game but also are one of the worst run defenses in the league. The Eagles averaged 5.5 yards per rush last week after averaging only 2.9 yards per rush going into the week. Unlike the Saints the Giants have been a very good run defense, they struggled last week against the 49ers but overall are tied for first with the Eagles in giving up only 3.5 yards per attempt. The Eagles offense relies on the run game to create pass big pass plays through play action and also to help their struggling offensive line slow down the pass rush.
The Giants have not had any success running the ball all year but still have managed the #7 DVOA offense behind Eli Manning and his 100.2 QB rating. The Eagles defense has been great against the run but in the pass ther secondary has been exposed in a number of games. The Eagles pass defense relies on getting pressure like last week when Fletcher Cox had 3 sacks vs the Saints but the Giants have been great so far at protecting Manning, he has been sacked only 2% of plays and they are 4th best at avoiding pressure. If Odell Beckham can be anywhere near his regular self, there is nobody in the Eagles secondary that can match up with him.
Game 6: NYG @ Phi Under 50
Bet % Over 73% Under 27%
This total is heavily influenced by the 2 games these teams played last week rather than what they had shown through the first 4 weeks. As mentioned above, the Eagles had the perfect matchup last week with NO where they scored 39 points but in the first 4 weeks they scored 24,10,24,20 and in the Jets and Washington games they got TDs from the Defense and ST. In the games that their run game has struggled the offense has had a very difficult time generating 1st downs and points in the redzone and they have been one of the worst teams in the league in converting 3rd downs at 28%
The Giants have been much better than the Eagles on offense but they do have a number of key offensive players that are either injured or playing hurt and its hard to imagine they will be as efficient as they normally are. The Eagles defense has had to carry the team for much of the season and considering how much they have been on the field, being ranked the #7 DVOA defense is very impressive.