I added a couple of future bets this week, I took Seattle to win the NFC and Superbowl, I think they will be able to go into Dallas and win if need be and have them as the best team in the league when healthy. I also made the same bets on the Steelers, I think the patriots are the most likely to make it out of the AFC but the odds are not worth it to me the Steelers are the most balanced team in the AFC.
I have been red hot the last 3 weeks going 15-6 (71%) which is both incredible and of course unsustainable. There is certainly a part of me that wants to drastically change the bet amounts and cash in while the going is good but of course it doesn’t really work like that. Last week I won 2 games by half a point and 1 by a point, those types of games could easily go against us for the next few weeks. Be careful of false prophets
Week 12: 6-3
Game 1: KC +6 @ Atl
Bet% KC 50% Atl 50%
This line opened at Atl -4 and has climbed to 6 and some 6.5’s and it makes sense to want to back the Falcons here because they certainly are the more impressive team by both eye and analytics. The Falcons have moved to #1 in DVOA, KC is #8, Atl is #2 in net Yards per play, KC is #27, Atl is #1 in net yards per pass attend KC is 30th so as someone who uses numbers as a key in capping Atl is certainly a team I can see wanting to bet on.
I like the Chiefs in this game because they are built, coached and play to simply stay in games and getting this number of points is too much value. I think you will see the Chiefs very much take the gameplan the Eagles had (see Reid-Pederson connection) vs the Falcons in week 10 because it was essentially the gameplan the Chiefs run, which is to take the air out of the ball by running the ball, taking as much time between plays as possible to shorten the game and keep the Falcons offense off the field. In that week 10 matchup the Eagles ran almost 30 more plays than the Falcons (76-48) including 38 run plays at 5.5 yards per att and on defense brought a ton of pressure. The Falcons offensive line is 20th in adjusted sack rate, the games they have lost have been games where teams have managed to make Ryan uncomfortable. For the Chiefs this will be the first game they have a healthy and impactful Justin Houston, who dominated last week vs the Broncos, combined with the new and improved Dee Ford (10 sacks in 10 games this year) who missed last weeks games. The Chiefs are 13th in defensive DVOA but that is with their best player missing the first 11 games of the year, with Houston back and paired with Ford I expect them to move into the top 10 by end of year.
On the flip side, the Falcons are giving up 26.5 points per game to opposing offenses which is 3rd worst, are 24th in defensive DVOA and 26th vs the run. The Chiefs are 15th on offense and will be getting their #1 WR Jeremy Maclin back this week after missing the last 3 games with a groin injury.
The Falcons are much more dangerous team at home but the 3 teams that were able to bring pressure on their schedule, the Seahawks, Eagles and Broncos all held them to 24 points or less. If KC can keep them in that range I think they will not only cover the 6 but have a chance to win this game straight up.
Game 2 Phi @ Cin Under 42
Bet% Over 42% Under 58%
This is the week we see if the Eagles defense, specifically the pass rush, has been in a slump or if they simply have just run out of gas and are no longer the unit we thought they were. The last 3 weeks the Eagles have generated just 3 sacks, last week was especially ugly as they had just 5 pressures and 0 sacks vs Aaron Rodgers home on MNF. The caliber of QB the Eagles have played the last 3 weeks has been very high, Matt Ryan, Russel Wilson and Aaron Rodgers are among the top 5-6 QB’s in the league and have weapons that Eagles certainly had to be careful of. This week the Eagles play a Bengals team that minus Aj Green and Geo Bernard is severely lacking in difference makes on offense and also has the 27th ranked offensive line in terms of adjusted sack rate. The Eagles defense is still 3rd in DVOA despite playing those 3 QBs the last month and should get their best matchup his week.
The Eagles skill position players which are among the worst in the best of times will most likely be without starting RB Ryan Mathews and the only WR that Carson Wentz trusts, Jordan Mathews. J. Mathews was hurt in the Packers game and there was a noticeable difference when he was out. As for Wentz, not unlike most rookies, he has been a different player at home than the road. At home he has a passer rating of 88.9 and averages 6.8 yards per pass att, on the road the passer rating drops to 79 and they average 5.7 yards per att. The Bengals are 18th in defensive DVOA and over their last 3 games are giving up 5.7 yards per pass att and allowing opposing offenses to score just 18.7 points per game.
Both these offenses are struggling with injuries to key playmakers and over the last 3 games are averaging a combined 32.4 points per game, I don’t think either team gets to 20 here.
Game 3: TB @ SD -3.5
Bet% TB 62% SD 38%
The Chargers have been one of my favorite teams to bet on his season, they are just 5-6 SU but 7-4 ATS and a top 12 top 15 team overall that is undervalued most weeks. This week not only are they the better team but I think find themselves in a great schedule spot.
Tampa bay is coming off of 2 of their biggest wins of the season, a road win in KC two weeks ago and then last week’s upset of Seattle at home. Now they have to go all the way back to the West coast and play the Chargers, so basically they have gone across country 3 weeks in a row. Add to the travel that TB plays the Saints in a huge divisional game next week, in fact they play the Saints 2 of the next 3 weeks with Dallas sandwiched in between. Coming off of 2 huge wins, with 3 high profile games coming up this is definitely a game that is a prime let down spot.
By DVOA these teams are both playing well, SD is #9 and TB ranks 12 and these teams rank pretty closely in most of the matchups. The one discrepancy is that the TB run defense is 20th in DVOA and 25th in yards per rush att while the Chargers run defense is 13th in DVOA and 10th in yards per rush att. I can see a scenario where the Chargers wear down a tired Bucs team with the run and open up opportunities with the pass game. Gerald Mccoy missed practice early in the week with a foot injury but did participate on Friday, if he is not 100% that would be a big loss to the Bucs.
Game 4: NYG @ Pit -6
Bet% NYG 54% Pit 46%
The Giants are 8-3 and getting 6 to 6.5 points in this game, just based on record it seems simple to bet on them but how good are they? One of things I found amazing last week when looking at Giants Browns was their point differential. At 8-3 the Giants have a point differential of 18 points by comparison, the Steelers who are 6-5 have a pt differential of 44 but bear in mind that the Giants beet the Browns last week by 14 meaning at 7-3 they had a pt differential of just 4 points.
The Giants have been carried by their defense, they 7th in defensive DVOA, they are giving up just 5 yards per play (7th), 77.2 opp passer rating (4th) and 6.4 yards per pass att (7th). While the defense has played well this week’s matchup vs Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense is a completely different animal than who they have faced in this 6 game winning streak (Cle, Chi, Cin, Phi, LA, Bal). The Bengals offense was the only top 20 offense the Giants have faced during this winning streak and Cincinnati has nowhere near the talent or explosiveness that the Steelers will present.
The Steelers have finally gotten healthy the last few weeks and the offense has looked like the top 5 unit we expected. Over the last 3 weeks Big Ben is averaging a passer rating of 114 and 7.7 yards per pass att and on the season the Steelers offense is scoring 29 PPG at home.
Quietly the Steelers defense has also been improving and they are now #11 in defensive DVOA. In ths matchup the Steelers should be able to eliminate the Giants #24 run game and focus on their pass game. The Giants offense has not been very good on the road averaging just 16 PPG compared to 23 at home and averaging 1.4 yards per pass att fewer on the road than home.
I see the Steelers getting ready to make a run to end the season, I have them as the #4 team in the league but they are just 1 game up in the division so have no room for slip ups, I love them in this spot and just do not the Giants will be able to keep up in this game.
Game 5:2 team 6 Pt Teaser. NYG @ Pit (pk) & Car @ Sea -1
For Steelers see above.
Even after last week’s debacle in TB I have the Seahawks as the best team in the league and this is a great spot for them which is why this has been bet up to Sea -7 and 7.5 in some spots. Rather than going over the TD I will just use them in this teaser.
Seattle last week was not only in a tough travel and schedule spot but had key injuries on defense (Earl Thomas, Desean Shead) but also their starting center Justin Britt which caused huge problems on their offensive line. This week not only do they get those 3 back but also get back star DE Michael bennet as well as LB Mike Morgan.
The Panthers loss last week in Oakland basically killed any hopes of the playoffs and now they are forced to play their 2nd straight game on the west coast vs the best team in the conference who is coming off of a bad loss. Oh yeah, this is also a playoff revenge game for the Seahawks and you know they will be taking extra pleasure in beating the already beaten down Panthers.