Week 10 Review – Underdog Week

A remarkable week 10 where we saw underdogs cover 12 of the 14 games and even more incredible was that 11 of those underdogs won the game straight up. Only the Giants covered the number but didn’t win straight up vs the Patriots and there were about 4 things that had to all happen for NE to come back and get the win. With this week going the way it did, it really should have been a bigger week for me, there were about 3 or 4 games that I liked and ended up leaving off because I had been trying to make fewer plays weekly but not sure I am good enough at this point to isolate top plays from the rest. All that being said, another winning weekend and the overall record continues to hover above 60%

Dancing entrance

Week 10: 3-2

2015 ATS 35-22-2

Week 10 Results

wk10

What Went Right:

Home/Road Splits: I bet the Was-NO game based almost entirely on their home/road splits, both these offenses are dramatically better at home than the road and that is exactly how this game played out, Wash had one of their best performances at home averaging 8.7 yards per play, 23 1st downs and over 500 yards of total offense on their way to 47 points. The Saints who average 8.3 yards per pass att and a passer rating of 115 at home, averaged 6.4 yards per att and a passer rating of 83.8.

Favorites that haven’t delivered all year – Bothe Eagles and Ravens have disappointed all year but were favs of more than 5 pts this week.

I saw the Eagles and Dolphins as very similar teams, they are capable of beating or losing to almost anyone in the league and in this one it just didn’t make sense making the Eagles favs of 6 pts. Eagles did lead 19-3 in 2nd Q but mistakes on offense and special teams kept the Dolphins in the game and let them win straight up

As for the Jags they were severely outplayed in this game, the Ravens outgained the Jags 397-258 yards, held the jags to 3.5 yards per pass att but as they have done all year the Ravens found a way to lose a game they should have one easily. Ravens had 4 turnovers to just 1 for Jax and then Dumerville took a terrible penalty at he end of the game to set the Jags up for a winning FG.

What Went Wrong:

The Panthers are Amazing: In a spot that seemed perfect for a letdown, in a week where every other favorite besides Pit and NE lost, the Panthers just continued to do what they do. Carolina’s defense dominated the Titans holding them to just 46 plays, 11 first downs, 0 red zone trips and generated 2 turnovers. The Panthers offense was not great averaging only 4.7 yards per play but hey went 3 for 5 in the redzone and controlled the clock and the game.

The Rams D was bad, Nick Foles was worse – I was on the wrong side of one of the biggest upsets of the week and if there is a perfect script that will foil the Rams every time this is it. Score early on them and take the lead, force them to pass and take advantage of turnovers. The #5 Rams defense struggled mightily in this game in what was probably their worst performance of the season. Cutler was nearly perfect in this game as he passed for 9.4 yards per att, 3 TDs and a passer rating of 151. Nick Foles on the other hand had a passer rating of 53 and ended up losing his job.

What did we learn:

This week’s performance by underdogs really crystalized the fact that this is a mediocre league where anyone can beat anyone and I think it’s that way for 2 reasons.

First the level of QBing in the league ranges from inconsistent to dismal. You have handful of teams like Hou, Stl, Cle and probably 5 or 6 others, that are just hoping their QBs aren’t a disaster.

You have another group of 15-20 that can look really good one week or also just kill you singlehandedly the next, whether its young guys like  Derek Carr, or Andrew Luck or established starters like Joe Flacco, Matt Stafford and Phillip Rivers you can never be sure when a bad performance is coming but you just know it is . Even some of the top teams in the league Cincy, Carolina, Arizona are led QBs that while they are among the top performers in the league this season, they have a history of being prone to throwing games to the opposition.

Secondly, the salary cap has made constructing deep rosters almost impossible and any team quickly slide due to a cluster of injuries in a position group. You look at a team like the packers who were thought to have one of the best and deepest offense in the league in the off season. A season ending injury to Jordy Nelson in the off season, injuries to Randall Cobb, Devante Adams and Eddie Lacy that have slowed them down all of a sudden an offense with the best QB in the league looks pedestrian.

As a better, this means to me that looking at contrarian plays becomes more and more the way to bet and most importantly always having a portion of the bet on the money line on every underdog bet is crucial. This week saw 4 games where underdogs of 7 points or more won straight up including double digit dogs. Historically double digit dogs win straight up around 10% but I think that number is likely to increase going forward for the reasons listed above.

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