Got back on the plus side last week with some close calls on the Giants, Dolphins plus we got Eagles winning straight up. I was dead wrong on the Panthers – 49ers game but the Texans-Raiders game was the right call and had every opportunity to get over yet fell just short. I like this week’s card so lets hope to get a +2 or 3 week.
Game 1: Cle +1.5 @ Den
Bet% Cle 39% Den 61%
So obviously this is not a number available, I do not bet a lot of opening numbers but this was a game I had circled and after going through the Browns boxscore vs NE I knew I wanted to be on them this week vs Denver. I obviously feel great about this bet with a rookie starting at QB for Den but I would bet the current number of -3.5 if I didn’t have the opener as I think they win by a TD plus. The Cleveland defense is 21st in DVOA but they have played a very tough schedule of offenses so far including the 49ers, Ravens, Seahawks, Rams and Patriots. This is a major stepdown in competition and I think they get right this week. The Broncos are 3rd in DVOA on defense but you can run on them, they are 30th in DVOA and I can see the Browns offense having a big day behind Chubb and in play action.
Game 2: TB +6 -115 @Sea
Bet% TB 47% 53%
This is one of the heaviest sharp sides of the weekend. This line opened at 6.5, got bet down to 6, got bet down again to 5-5.5 consensus and I think by gametime will be 4.5. These 2 teams had opposite box scores last week, TB outgained Tennessee 389 to 246, held Titans to 4.3 yards per play but lost the game 27-23 because they lost the turnover battle 4-1. Seattle got out to a big lead against the Falcons who had Matt Shaub playing due to a Ryan injury and lead that offense to 512 yards vs the Seattle defense. The Seattle defense has not been good all year and Bruce Arians has a very good idea of how to play offense against Pete Carrol due to being in the same division for years. This game will likely come down to how committed Seattle stays to the run, for our sake we hope they stay to the script. TB is one of the best run defenses in the league, 10th in DVOA and 5th from PFF, meanwhile as much as Seattle likes to run they are much more efficient in the pass game 2nd in DVOA vs 10, 1st vs 13th in PFF. The other thing to look at this game is the fact that Seattle has a huge MNF game next week vs the 49ers, so there could be so look ahead factor here.
Game 3: 2 Team 6Pt Teaser TB +12 @ Sea and Jax +8 vs Hou
The case for TB is above, I like them at +6 and think they have a shot to win straight up but here we get them over double digits. I am combining it with the masters of the London game the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags and Texans are 12th and 13th in DVOA so not much to pick between them but injuries are a major factor this week. Houston continues to get hit hard with the injury bug losing JJ Watt last week but unlike previous years they do not have Jadeveon Clowney there to pick up the slack anymore. On offense the Texans will be without Will Fuller again but also their starting C Greg Mancz and we know this is a team that does not have depth along the offensive line. Add the injuries to the fact that the Jags have the London trip down and even have a nice little fan base, I think this is a great spot for Jags but in the teaser we get it over a TD.
Game 4: Ten @ Car -3.5
Bet% TEN 33% Car 67%
The Titans are winners of 2 straight despite being outplayed in both games, the Panthers are coming off of their worst game of the season after getting blown out by the 49ers which I think gives us some nice value here. I really like the matchups here for the Panthers, on offense Christian McCaffrey gets to play the 23rd best run defense by DVOA after paying 2 very good run defenses in their last 2 games and still putting up big numbers. Kyle Allen had his worst game of the year last week, a game where everything that could go wrong did go wrong including 3 INTs. This should be a game where he can put the game in CMC’s hands and then make plays off of that. The other matchup I love in this game is the Panthers have the #2 defensive line by adjusted sack percentage, the Titans OLine is dead last so while I expect the Titans to be able to have some success running I think it will be a very long day for Tannehill.
Game 5: Ind +1 @ Pit
Bet% Ind 73% Pit 27%
This game by the bet% and line looks like a trap and I guess I am falling right in but I just see these 2 teams in very different classes and I think the Colts had a let down game last week so they should be less susceptible to it this week. The Steelers got down to Miami 14-0 partly because Mason Rudolph was a total mess early in that game and really got bailed out by that hideous defensive call by Miami on 3rd and 20 late in the 1st half. The Steelers have 3 wins this year, they have beaten the winless Dolphins, the winless Bengals and the 3-5 Chargers, they are winless vs teams with a winning record. The Colts lead the AFC South but the #2 and 3 teams Jags and Texans will play in London on Sunday morning which I think could give them some urgency in this game. The Colts defense in the last 3 weeks have only given up 13 to the Chiefs, 23 to Houston and 13 to Denver last week and I fully expect them to be able to keep the Steelers under 20. The Colts offense will not be as good with TY Hilton missing but this game is basically a pick, I think they score enough to win a close one.