Week 9 Picks – Shook One

Last week was a real tough one, even though I was able to win the 2 prime time games and salvage the week from full disaster that Sunday morning 0-3-1 stuck with me all week. As a result of the tough week, I had a real tough time with this week’s card, one of the issues I had last week was just too many games on the card in trying to avoid that I ended up second guessing myself a lot this week and ended up missing out on some good numbers.

2015 ATS: 29-19-2

LW 3-4-1

Game 1 Mia @ Buf Over 43.5

Bet% Over 59%Under 41%

My numbers had this game at a total of somewhere around 48 so even though the line move is towards the under I feel good about this game being a high scoring game. Buffalo came into this season expected to be one of the premiere defenses in the league but have given up 25 points per game and in the last 2 games gave up 34 to both the Bengals and the Jaguars. Both these teams have been over teams in their recent history, Buffalo has had 4 of their last 6 go over and 7 of the last Miami games have gone over.

Injuries are one of the reasons I like this over, for the Bills they have not had Tyrod Taylor and Shady McCoy healthy at the same time yet and while they have some injuries on the receiving corps this is probably the most healthy and complete offense they have had all year. Miami on the other hand lost their most important defensive player last week, the Dolphins have 13 sacks this season, Cameron Wake, who is now out for the season had 7 of them. No other Dolphin has more than 2.

On a short week playing against the Patriots, Miami’s run offense had a terrible game with 15 yards on 13 carries but on the season they are averaging 5 yards per rush attempt which is 2nd in the league and as the Bengals and jags showed the last 2 weeks, the Bills can be run on.

Game 2: Stl +2 @ Min

Bet% Stl 51% Min 49%

These teams are very similar on both offense and defense, they both have offenses led by their run games with below average passing offenses. On defense, both these teams are led by their defensive lines and are among the best pressure defenses in the league.

While both these teams excel at the same things the Rams do almost all those things a little better than the Vikings. Neither of these teams are great on offense, they rank 27th and 28th in offensive DVOA due to passing games that have struggled all year but both teams have top run games led by 2 of the best RBs in the league. The Rams have the #1 run game averaging 5.0 yards per attempt while the Vikings are 9th averaging 4.5 yards per attempt, the Rams have the better overall numbers even though Todd Gurley has only played the last 4 games.

On defense these are 2 of the best scoring defenses in the league with both teams giving up around 17 points per game but St. Louis grades out much better in most categories. The Rams are 4th in defensive DVOA wile Vikings are 24th, Rams are 6th in rush defense giving up 3.7 yards per attempt, while the Vikings give up 4.4 which is 25th. Both these teams get a ton of pressure on opposing offenses but agin the Rams grade higher, The Rams are 2nd in the league in defensive pressure plays per game averaging 16.6 (Sacks, QB Hits, TFL) while the Vikings are 14th 12.9 pressure plays. The biggest mismatch in the game looks to be the Rams D vs the Vikings Oline which is 27th in pressure plays given up.
Game 3: Stl @ Min Under 40.5

Bet% Over 60% Under 40%

This is the lowest total on the board and with good reason as these are the 2 most under teams in the league, both teams have had 5 games each go under so far.

We have 2 defences in the game that should have major advantages over the offenses especially the Rams D vs the Vikings offense.  The #4 ranked DVOA defense of the Rams faces the #27 offense of the Vikings and as mentioned above the biggest mismatch may appear to be the Rams defensive line which is 2nd in pressures vs the Vikings offensive line which is 27th in pressures allowed.

On the flip side, while the Rams have the best running game in the league, they are 27th in passer rating, they face the second highest percentage of 3rd downs and they are last in 3rd down conversions. The Vikings defense is 13th in yards per play against and 4th in yards per point against, while the Rams should be able to run against them it probably won’t be enough to put up a lot of points.

Game 4: NYG @ TB over 48.5

Bet% Over 78% TB 22%

The Giants and Bucs are 2 of the most stone cold over teams in the league so far and I would expect that to continue. The Giants are coming off one f the highest scoring games ever last week vs NO, on the season they are giving up 26 points per game but what’s interesting is that in the 3 games before they game up 52 to NO, they gave up 27,20 and 27 to 3 struggling offenses, the Eagles, the Cowboys minus Romo and Bryant and the SF 49ers who just benched their QB.

TB is not a very efficient offense but they have shown the ability to score points especially in the last 4 games where they have averaged just over 28 points per game and should be able to score against this struggling NYG defense.

The Giants offense has been absolutely on fire the last month and facing the 31st ranked pass defense should keep that roll going, Manning threw for 350 yards and 6 TDs last week and this TB pass defense ranks similarly to the Saints. These are also 2 of the worst red zone defenses, the Giants are giving up TDs on almost 60% of red zone trips and the Bucs are giving up TDs on almost 70% of trips.

One place we may get some quick points is turnovers, the Giants have 17 turnovers and we have seen Winston struggle with interceptions early in the season.

Game 5: 6Pt Teaser Atl-1 @SF & Phi @Dal Under 49.5

The Atl SF game opened at 5 and at that price Atl was definitely the right side but this game quickly moved to 7 once it was known that Blane Gabbert was the new starter fir SF. At that point I decided I would use Atl in a teaser with another game that had moved ff of a good number.

SF is dead last in overall DVOA, 31st in offense and that was with Kaepernick at QB, Blane Gabbert is a much worse QB then the starter that had steered the 31st ranked offense. To make matters worse, SF will also be without Carlos Hyde this week. As for Atlanta, some of the early season shine has wore off the last few weeks with an OT win over Washington, an awful performance in Tennessee and a home loss to TB but they are still competing for the playoffs and the division so losing 2 straight to TB and SF would be disastrous.

In Philly Dallas we have an Eagles defense that has been one of the best in the NFL this season (ranked 3rd in DVOA) facing a Dallas offense that has been a complete mess since the injury to Tony Romo. In their last 5 games, Dallas has scored more than 20 points only once, 2 of those games were played against the Giants who are 25th in defense and the Saints who are 32nd. Against 2 good defenses, the Seahawks and Patriots Dallas scored 12 and 6.

The Eagles offense has also struggled much of this season and played one of their worst games this year in the first matchup vs the Cowboys. The Eagles run game has looked best this season with Ryan Mathews but he is not expected to be 100% this week and may miss the game entirely. Another huge injury for the Eagles is at LT were all pro Jason Peters will miss the game. The Cowboys have been much better at getting pressure the last 3 weeks since Greg Hardy came back and without Peters, the much beleaguered Eagles Offensive line will be in tough against the Cowboys. Bradford when pressured has been very unwilling to get the ball down the field so I expect a lot of short passes in this game which means we shouldn’t see a lot of quick scores.

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