LW : 4-3
Game 1: Hou @ Cle -3
Bet% Hou 45% Cle 55%
This was the first bet I made this week as I was pretty sure that it wasn’t going to stay at 3 though I still like the Browns even at the current 4s out there. The Texans have won 2 games this year and both are against the Jags. In their defense Houston did start with a very difficult schedule starting with Chiefs, Steelers and Ravens and also playing the Packers. The issue I think is that one they weren’t really in any of those games outside of the Steelers and now with the position they are in which is outside the playoff run and under an interm coach who has no chance of being a head coach again this seems like a lost season.
Matchup wise this is a great spot for the Browns, coming off of a bye the Browns get Nick Chubb back and now face the #28 DVOA run defense in Houston. This is expected to be a cold and rainy game so it plays perfectly into the Browns big matchup advantage with their #10 run offense.
Game 2: Phi -4 @ NYG
Bet% Phi 53% NYG 47%
I missed this at 3.5 because I thought there was a good chance that Giants money would come in and drop it to 3 but that never happened and money has continued to come in on Philly, a move I obviously agree with. These teams played 2 weeks ago in a game where the Eagles were opened around this same number and got bet up and the Giants covered and were in position to win straight up, so why take Philly here?
If we go back to that TNF game, Philly was coming off a brutal 3 game stretch where they flew across country to play SF, then on the road in Pittsburgh and back home to play the Ravens before playing Giants in that TNF game. This week we get Philly off of a bye and the really big news is that they are getting healthy for the first time in forever. I think you can make the case that this is the healthiest the Eagles offense has been since week 1 2019. At the skill positions the Eagles will have Miles Sanders and Alshon Jeffrey back giving them the best 4 WR (Fulgham, Reagor, Ward, Alshon) Wentz has had all year and really 2 years. Sanders is back and at TE Goddart should be 100% after returning week 8. The Eagles will also be getting there LG Isaac Seumalo meaning the Eagles will have 4/5s of their starting lineup they would have had coming into the year.
Both from a schedule and injury/health scenerio this is a great spot for Eagles and it really comes down to Carson Wentz. Wentz has been a bottom 5 QB this year and if you believe that continues then the Giants are an easy take here. I see Wentz regressing back to a top 12 QB and benefiting from a much better cast around him should be a major help. I like the Eagles by a TD here.
Game 3: Was +3.5 (-115) @ Det
Bet% Was 44% Det 56%
Washington has been playing really tough the last few weeks but because they games were against fellow NFC East teams and nobody really considers them tough competition. Washington has been incredible on defense this year, they #5 in DVOA overall and #1 vs the pass which is why I think they have a very good shot at winning this game straight up. because I see the Lions pass game really struggling here.
The Lions have just been a much different offense in the games Kenny Golliday misses, last week against poor pass defense in Minnesota, Stafford had miserable day with 211 pass yards and 2 INTs. This Washington pass defense should be able to get pressure, the Lions offensive line is 21st in ASR while Washington is #1 in adjust sack rate.
Game 6: TB -5.5 @ Car
Bet% TB 62% Car 48%
Last week TB was the #1 DVOA team and went on to play one of the single worst games any team has played all season. I think had TB played anywhere near what was expected this line would have been at least 7 and if they won it would have been TD plus. The Panthers have been much better than expected this year, they are currently 16th in DVOA and at 5-4 ATS are a very popular underdog.
This just feels like a get right spot for the Bucs, Brady is coming off of one of his worst games of his career gets the 26th ranked Panthers defense but maybe most importantly the Panthers are a team that does not generate pressure, they are 26th in adjusted sack rate at just 4.5%. While its a great schedule spot for the Bucs it feels the opposite for the Panthers as they are coming off a great performance in KC last week, a game they were in the whole way and led most of the way and now have to get right back and play an embarrassed Bucs team.
Game 5: Cin +7 @ Pit
Bet% Cin 53% Pit 47%
Definitely missed the best of this number as it opened at 9 then went off the board most of the week and came back at 7.5 which I also didn’t get in at. It just seems like the Steelers play to the level of their competition and I don’t think the near loss last week to the Cowboys is going to shake them out of it the way a straight up loss woud have..
Roethlisberger will play this week after not being able to practice due to Covid. We have seen teams have varying results in this situation, some have handled better than others but not having your QB available at practice does seem like reasonable disadvantage.
The Bengals have been great on this spot as underdogs, despit only winning 2 games this year they are 6-2 ATS. In the end this is just about the number and following the money. This line has been dropping from the open and even went through the 7 at some of the sharper books so getting the 7 here is worth taking and hoping for another lackluster effort from the Steelers against a clearly inferior team.
Game 6: SF +10 @ NO
Bet% SF 47% NO 53%
This is the flip side of the bet above where I am taking the Bucs off of one of the worst losses of the season, here I am fading the Saints off of one of the single best performances of the year. There are no stats or numbers that are going to help make the case to take the 49ers here, the Saints are the #1 team by DVOA and look every bit of the Superbowl contender they were tagged at to start the year. The 49ers are actually better by DVOA then you would think at #15 which is why this line feels too much to me. Even with all the injuries SF is not the Jets or Jags they still have a lot of talent on the team and one of the best coaches in the league.
In the end I am just fading the Saints here, coming off of that dominant win on national TV vs the Bucs last week, this feels like a natural down spot and it wouldn’t surprise me if the 49ers are in this game the whole way.
Game 7: Den @ Oak Over 51
Bet% Over 62% Under 48%
Las Vegas is best over team in the league, they are 6-1-1 to the over, they are in the top 10 in scoring 27.2 PPG and in the bottom 10 in scoring defense giving up 28.2 PPG. Denver has the reputation of being a defensive team but this year while they are top 10 in DVOA they are also giving up 27.1 points per game and as a result have been an underrated over team with 5 overs to 3 unders.
I think there are a couple of scenarios that lead this game to the over, the first is a back and forth game where both offenses have success and we see a game with both teams in the 30’s. The other is a game scenario that we have seen the last few weeks for the Bronco’s which is they fall behind early and make a furious comeback late and as a result push the game over that way.
Game 8: 2 team 6 pt teaser LAC +1.5 @ Mia & Min @ Chi +8.5
The Chargers continue week after week to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory including last week when I was on them against the Raiders and they had 2 shots to win the game at the end and dropped both in excruciating fashion. This is probably the spot they win straight up but I am not strong enough to lose with them 2 weeks in a row so I love taking them through the 3 and 7 here. Miami is 2-0 with Tua at QB but have benefited from defensive TDs boh of those games. If we dig into the boxscores, last week Miami was outgained by 130 yards, the week before vs the Rams they were outgained by an amazing 325 yards. Not exactly a recipe for sustained success.
I like the Bears on MNF but again taking them through the 3 and 7 is really attractive here. The Vikings have had 2 straight wins behind Dalvin Cook dominating but the Bears are one of the leagues best run defenses at #7 in DVOA and I can see Nick Foles have success against this Vikings defense.