Last week was a good week but should have been so much better, really the theme of the season so far. 2 of the losses came in the same game and I should have stayed off that Monday Nighter but was able to make up for those with some in game bets and the Washington ML helped as well.
Game 1: Buf @ Dal Over 46.5
Bet% Over 42% Under 58%
This line opened at 45 and has been bet up and I totally agree with the move. I think we are getting some value based on the games last week which both were way under the total. I was on the over in the Buf-Den game last week and it never came close because of 2 reasons; 1) Weather- The conditions in Buffalo were much windier than had been expected and as a result Denver really struggled passing the ball 2) Brandon Allen was terrible, the wind definitely impacted Brandon Allen much more than Josh Allen, as Brandon Allen finished with a QBR of 6, he simply didn’t have the arm strength to play in those conditions. We also had very difficult conditions in New England last week which the Cowboys really struggled with and as a result I think this line opened about 3 points lower than it should have.
Dallas should be able to run on the Bills, Buffalo is 26th vs the run and Dallas should be able to exploit that with Elliott and also then use play action. Buffalo should also have success against the Cowboys 19th ranked defense especially with the changes they have made the last 2 weeks. Warren Sharp is the only person I have seen point this out but since moving their OC upstairs, the Bills are using 11 personnel over 90% of time up almost 30% and have also increased their pace of play dramatically. Both teams get matchups they can exploit with perfect conditions in Dallas, I think this game gets into the 50’s.
Game 2: GB @ NYG +6.5
Bet%: GB 88% 12%
This game will probably be one of the biggest needs for the books but they new that when they opened it under a TD. This game opened at GB -6.5 and has never come close to 7 and in fact has dropped to 6 at few points. Not only are over 80% of bets on GB, by keeping it under a TD this will be one of the most havily teased games and yet the books have not moved it to protect themselves so why are they so comfortable needing the Giants? Lets start with the Packers, they have lost their last 2 road games and their defense continues to drop in overall rankings, they are 24th in DVOA, they are giving up 6.1 yards per play which is 29th and their rush defense is 28th. It is very difficult to cover a number this large on the road with a bottom 7 or 8 defense and that is how GB is playing over the last half of the season. The Giants have not been able to get Barkley going the last few weeks but this should be a big week for the Giants RB. The thing you like about betting the Giants as underdogs is they have made Daniel Jones development their top priority so even in games where they are down big, they let want Jones out there playing and trying to get them back in the game which is why they have had so many late backdoor covers. The Packers are being treated as one of the best teams in the conference with this line and they are probably much closer to a middle of the pack team because of their defense.
Game 3: Phi -10 @ Mia
Bet% Phi 61% 39%
The Eagles are coming off of their 2 worst offensive performances and the bloom has come off of Carson Wentz both nationally and locally as a result. In last week’s game vs the Seahawks the Eagles were missing their WR1, WR2, WR3, their All Pro RT and RG and also their RB1. Somehow they were still in that game late because the defense was able to keep Seattle out of the endzone for the most part. The impact of missing that many starters can’t be overstated. The Dan Orlovsky tweet above really does a great job of showing how impactful the losses of Jeffrey and Agholor were. Now that Wentz has 2 starters at WR back, this game vs Miami will be only the 3rd game of the season where the Eagles will have the majority of their receivers and secondary healthy, the other 2 were wins in Buffalo and vs Chicago. With the Cowboys loss on Thursday the Eagles are in the drivers seat for the division and I expect the offense to use this game as a get right spot, Alshon Jeffrey, Agholor, Lane Johnson, Brandon Brooks will all be back. The Eagles defense has been one of the best units in the league the last 4 weeks and I expect them to continue vs Fitzpatrick especially because they don’t have to worry about the Miami run game.
Game 4: Ten +1.5 @ Ind
Bet% 44% Ind 56%
So this bet is based on a lesson learned last week with the Eagles Seattle game. Last week was a great spot for the Eagles but they had so many cluster injuries on the offense that players were forced into positions they had not been in all year and it showed in really subtle but critical ways. The Dan Orlovsky tweet really shows how precise routes are and being a little off or on a different page really shows up in critical spots. The Colts will be without their top 3 WRs, star WR TY Hilton, Devin Funches and most likely Paris Campbell, they will also be without TE Eric Ebron, starting RB Marlon Mack and #3 TE has a broken thumb. That is a lot o=to overcome for Brisett and the Colts offense. The Titans have been playing really well since Tanehill took over at QB, they are 4-1 in the 5 games he has started though all 4 wins came at home, they have scored at least 20 in each of those 5 games. If the Titans score 20 in this game they will win straight up, I can’t see the Colts getting more than that.
Game 5: Cle -2.5 @ Pit
Bet% Cle 69% Pit 31%
The Steelers are another team with major pieces missing on offense this week as they will be without JuJu Smith Schuster, James Connor is doubtful, Pouncey is still suspended and Devlin Hodges who started as their #3 QB will be starting. The Steelers managed to win despite their offense for about a month with incredible plays from their defense which seemed to include a Minka Fitzpatrick TD every week. Scoring from defense and special teams is not something that you can count on and it feels like we are now seeing Pittsburgh come back to reality, in the last 3 weeks the Steelers have scored 17, 7 and 16. The Browns seem to have found some confidence in the last couple of weeks, they have won 3 straight and scored 21 vs Pittsburgh 2 weeks ago and 41 last week. 3 weeks is also how long Kareem Hunt has been on the active roster and I do think there is correlation, Hunt gives them another big weapon and allows Mayfield to get the ball out quickly. There will be a lot of talk about Myles Garret and Mason Raymond and the debacle on Thursday night but neither player will be in his game and I just think that the Browns will know they can go in and overwhelm this version of the Steelers.
Game 6: Min +3 @ Sea
Bet% Min 31% Sea 69%
Week 13 has been a disaster so far but this is about the long haul and if you think there is value on the board you have to keep firing. I like the Vikings in this game and think they have a very good shot to win straight up. These teams are very even, #7 and 8 by DVOA but by point differential the Vikings are +84 while Seattle is +29. Seattle has been in very close games that they have needed to pull out late against lesser competition like ATL, CIN, CLE and TB. This just feels like a spot for the Vikings to get an upset.