I found this weeks card very difficult, with so many games under a FG I found myself going back and forth on a lot of these games all week. In the end there were a few that really jumped out in terms of the numbers and those are the plays this week.
2015 ATS 35-22-2
Game 1: Ind +4.5 @ Atl
Bet% Ind 52 Atl 48%
This game opened at 6.5 and sharps bet it down, unlike previous weeks where I have laid off of a game because I missed out on the best number early in the week I am going to go ahead and take the Colts even at a lesser price. The reason is that the Falcons have shown over the last 5 games that they are capable of losing to anyone.
In the Falcons last 5 games they have played Was, NO, TB, Ten and SF and despite playing 5 of the worst teams in the league the Falcons were 2-3 straight up and 0-5 ATS. The biggest surprise of the Falcons season when they started 5-0 was their run game, through the first 5 games they were 7th in the league averaging 4.4 yards per rush att. The run game allowed them to be balanced and very efficient on offense as they ranked 6th in offensive DVOA. They are now averaging 4.1 yards per rush att and are ranked 16 in offensive DVOA despite not playing any top 10 defenses in the last 5 games and in favt playing 2 of the bottom 3 defenses SF and NO.
Even though Andrew Luck is out I don’t downgrade the Colts at QB this week for 2 reasons. Firstly the Andrew luck that has played this season has not been a major positive to the team, whether it was due to injury or something else, his passer rating of 74.9 is 30th in the NFL. In 2 starts Hasselback has a passer rating of 95 and with 2 fll weeks to prepare I expect Hasselback to have a very good game in Atlanta.
The Colts still are favored to win the division and in their last 5 games they have faced much better competition than the Falcons playing the Patriots, Panthers and Broncos and putting up the same 2-3 record.
Game 2. Den -1 @ Chi
Bet% Den 45% Chi 55%
This spread is kind of amazing 3 weeks ago I can’t imagine this spread would have been less then Den -6 but after 2 straight losses by Den and an impressive win last week by the Bears at St.Louis and the Broncos starting Brock Osweiler this line is basically a pick.
Its hard to see how a change in QB can hurt the Broncos, they started the year 7-0 soley because of their defense. Despite 2 straight losses, they are still the #1 ranked defense by DVOA, they are equally good vs the pass (#1 in yards per pass att, #3 in avg passer rating agst) as they are vs the run 2nd in opp yards per pass attempt. Demarcus Ware will miss the game but Aqib Talib should be back.
With Peyton Manning at QB the offense was dead last in DVOA and last in passer rating, its almost impossible for Osweiller to not be an improvement on that. Osweiler should be more mobile and able to run a truer version of Kubaik’s offense. The Bears defense is 28th in defensive pressure plays (S+TFL+QB Hits) so Osweiler should be able to have some time to make plays.
The Bears were great last week in St Louis and Jay Cutler has had a very good season overall, 12th in passer rating 95.3 but the Bears have some lingering injuries on offense and I expect the Broncos to be able to get a lot of pressure and create some big plays. The Bears 27th ranked defense should provide the Broncos offense to get going especially on the ground where the Bears are giving up 4.6 yards per rush.
Game 3: Was @ Car -7
Bet% Was 36% Car 64%
Square play of the week and after last week where the favorites got killed winning only 2 of 14 games this does feel a little dangerous but I think there are 2 keys in this game that really jump out and make the Panthers worth laying a full TD.
Last week I bet on Washington vs the Saints and one of the major reasons was both teams had huge discrepancies on offense in their home and road splits. As we can see below Washington is a very different offense on the road. Facing the the #3 DVOA defense I expect Washington’s road woes to continue.
|Yards Per Pass Att||7.5||5.6|
|Yards Per Rush Att||4.8||2.8|
The other key to this game is the matchup between the Panthers run game which is 13th in yards per attempt (4.1) but 6th in DVOA, that efficiency is really impressive considering they lead the league in rush attempts with 33.7 per game. That run game should have a field day vs Washington who are 31st vs the run giving up 5 yards per rush and they have actually been much worse than that in their last 3 giving up 5.5 yards per att.
Finally this game offers one of the biggest advantages in big play differential. The Panthers are the best I the league with a differential of +24 of pass plays of 20 yards or more and run plays of 10 yards or more while Washington is 2nd worst at -20.
Game 4: 6Pt Teaser Car -1 & GB +7
The rationale for using the Panthers in a teaser is above.
As for GB vs Min this is really the biggest game of the season as it basically decides the division and with so much on the line its hard not to take Aaron Rodgers even despite his last few weeks. Here’s the really interesting thing about the QB matchup as un Rodgers like Rodgers has been over the last 3 games he has till been much better than Bridgewater has over the last 3 games.
|Yards Per Pass Att||5.4||5.7|
In terms of efficiency GB has been a better team than the Vikings in every phase, In DVOA the Packers rank higher in offense (5th vs 24th), defense (10ths vs 20th) and overall (9th vs 17th). Playing this game in a teaser and getting the full TD builds in a margin of safety that even if the Packers continue to play as poorly as they have the last 3 month they should still be able to stay within one score.
Game 5: KC@ SD Under 45
Bet % Over 65% Under 35%
Both of these teams have lost their big play threats this season with season ending injuries to Jamal Charles and Keenan Allen leaving them mostly as ball control offenses.
SD is also missing their big play threat Malcolm Floyd leaving Stevie Johnson, Danny Woodhead and Antonio Gates as the only passing threats as a result of the injuries Rivers’ yards per pass att over the last 3 games dropped to 6.4 a full yard below their season avg of 7.5. The SD run game has struggled all year, averaging 3.6 yards per rush, 29th in the league.
The Chiefs have one of the most conservative offenses in the league, the Chiefs are averaging 6.7 yards per pass att (20th) but have been very good on the ground averaging 4.8 yards per rush in their last 3 games. With Jason Verett back for the Chargers in this game that should negate Jeremy Maclin leaving the offense in the hands of Smith, West and Kelce which means short passing and the run game.
This is a key divisional game, both these teams know each other well and last season both games would have finished under this 45 (26 and 43).
Late Add: Game 6: Adding TB+7 @ Phi
Bet% TB47% Phi 53%
Not a lot to add here, I like that Vincent Jackson is active, the Eagles should be better with Jason Peters back but he didn’t practice much all week so I doubt he is 100% or even close. I do think Sanchez is an upgrade for Eagles at QB but while the offense will be more efficient, Sanchez is also more likely to make big mistakes as he did last week in the end zone. I just don;think the Eagles should be favored by 7 over anyone at this point ad TB could definitely win straight up.