2016 Week 14 Picks

As we get to the last few weeks it becomes more and more difficult to know what the motivation levels for teams who are basically out of the playoffs will look like. On MNF we saw sharps take a position on the Jets and the line moved from Ind -1 to NYJ -1 on the thinking that they would be motivated for a prime time game. The weren’t. The Colts were the only NFL team that showed up and the game was basically a curb stomp. I expect we will see more of these in the next few weeks so understanding the situational aspect of games becomes more and more important.

Week 13: 3-2

2016: 46-28-2

Game 1: TNF Oak @ KC -3.5

Game 2: NO +3 @ TB

Bet% NO 40% TB 60%

*I bet this game on Thursday and would pay -120, -125 to get that, I think there will be some opportunities on Sunday morning. I do think Saints will win this game but feel much better with the 3 in my pocket.

I was against the Bucs last week in SD and they for the 2rd straight week put up a very impressive win. At some point the travel back and forth across the country has to impact them and that is one of the reason I like the Saints here. I have the Saints as the 10th best team in the league by my metrics and the Bucs 18th, by DVOA the Saints are 15th and Bucs 20th so we are getting some value here since the line has them as even.

One of the reasons I think we are getting value on New Orleans is that historically they have been much worse on the road than home but that has not been the case this year. Saints are 2-3 on the road but ATS they are 4-0-1 or 4-1 depending on your number and it is because the passing game has been pretty consistent in their home/road splits. Saints home/road splits for passer rating (110/100.1) and yards per pass att (8.4/6.6) are much better than past years and it shows in their points per game on offense where they are averaging 31 points at home and 26 on the road, last season the Saints averaged 30 points at home and just 18 on the road.

As mentioned Tampa Bay has been great the last 3 weeks ago but none of those teams have been as good as the Saints on offense and the last time the Bucs played elite and comparable offenses, the Raiders and Falcons put up a combined 73 points in Raymond James stadium.

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Week 13 Review (3-2) + TNF Pick

Week 14 TNF- Game 1 Oak @ KC-3.5

Bet% Oak 54% KC 46%

There has been late money coming in to push this line to 3.5 from 3 and I am going to follow. I liked the Chiefs most of the week but never felt good enough to be until seeing this push. These are very even teams, by DVOA they are 6th and 8th but I think when  you look at the temperature being below zero,  the home field advantage for the Chiefs feels worth more than 3. Last week warm weather teams playing in winter conditions (Mia, SF, LA & Tex) all lost ATS and for Oakland you wonder how the cold will impact Carr’s injured hand.  Add to that Oakland lost starting LG Kelechi Osemele late today. I expect the Chiefs to run the ball and not stop running in this game, last week Bills averaged 7.1 yards per rush att, I expect Reid to use the run to control the clock and keep the Raiders offense on the sidelines. KC has beat the Raiders 3 straight SU including in Oak earlier this season.

Week 13 review: 3 Wins 2 Losses

2016 season: 46-28-2

week-13-results

What Went Right

  •         Eric F’n Berry–  The Chiefs just keep Chiefing. This game was pretty even by yards KC- 389 vs Atl 418 but the Falcons had 32 1st downs to 17 by the Chiefs and 6 of those were by penalties. KC had 128 yards in penalties which is not exactly a winning recipe but they also have Eric Berry. Berry had a pick 6 and an improbable game winning pick 2 where he intercepted a 2 pt conversion and returned for 2 giving the Chiefs the lead and ultimately the win.
  •         Steelers and Giants are who we thought they were: The Giants had won 6 straight against teams that had struggled offensively, while the Steelers seemed to be rounding into form. The score flattered NYG, Pit outgained them 389-234 and if it wasn’t for 115 yards in penalties the Steelers would have controlled this game even more.
  •         Seattle gets revenge: Seattle lost 2 games to the Panthers last season and after playing a terrible game in Tampa were primed for a big game here and boy did they deliver. This game was never in doubt and for Seattle fans and backers the best news has to be the emergence of Thomas Rawls in this game, Rawls rushed for 106 yards on just 15 carries with 2 Tds.

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2016 Week 13 Picks

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

2016: 43-26-2

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. (more…)

Week 12 Results: 6-3

Week 12 was a massive card for us, the largest I can remember betting with 9 games bet over 3 days and originally I had KC on the card as well but pulled it Sat night when Dee Ford was ruled out. There is certainly a down side in betting so many games, namely you are paying vig on every game and that cuts down your winning and also just an overall increase in risk of losing a lot more but for this week it worked out. Ideally I would like to  have 5 or 6 games a week that I really love but I have not reached the point yet where I can really pinpoint my strongest plays so I generally play all the games I like. All that being said we went +3 in week 12 and now a 3 week run where we have gone 15-6 has me feeling pretty pretty good.

shinsuke-toronto-3

Week 12 results: 6 Wins 3 Losses

Updated 2016 (through week 12)   43-26-2

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2016 Week 12 Picks

Thanksgiving Week in the NFL is an interesting one because we have the full day of games on Thursday and then because so many people are off and at home watching games we see a lot of money on games and larger bet% splits because there is so much public money in market. We hit on our one Turkey Day pick with Washington +7 and hope to continue our hot streak with this week’s cards. I have a feeling there will be a lot of work Sunday morning and some additional picks not listed because if the public money shows up Sat night and Sunday morning we might see some additional value.

Week 11: 4 – 1

2016 (Through Week 11): 37-23-2

Game 1: Was +7 @ Dal

Game 2: Cin @ Bal Under 41.5

Bet% Over 42% Under 58%

The Bengals had as bad a week as you can have last week, not only did they lose at home to the Bills effectively ending any hopes of making the playoffs, they also lost AJ Green for the foreseeable future and Geo Bernard for the season. We saw the Bengals last week struggle on offense vs  the Bills who are good on defense but basically league average, Bengals were shut out in the 2nd half and averaged just 4.2 yards per play for the game.

The Ravens are a much better defense than the Bills especially vs the run. I expect the Bengals want to lean heavily on Jeremy Hill in this game with no AJ Green and Bernard and the Ravens are the #1 run defense by DVOA and yards per att. Bengals passing game will rely heavily on the TE Eifert, remember they started the season without their #2 and #3 WRs from the last few years Jones and Sanu and neither Lefel of Boyd has made an impact this season. Add to all this that the Bengal’s offensive line has been one of the worst all year, currently 26th in adjusted sack rate.

The Ravens offense has been a problem all year, they’re 30th in offensive DVOA and the offense is averaging just 18.1 points per game despite not having faced many elite defenses. I’m not sure either team hits 20 in this game and think we are most likely to see a score somewhere around 17-13. (more…)

Week 11 Results: 4-1 Plus Thanksgiving Day Pick

This week’s review includes a bonus Turkey day pick. Week 11 continued our hot streak from Week 10 as for the first time this year we had big back to back weeks. Unders were a major part of the week 11 card and even though 2 of the 3 games we bet went under we only ended up 1-1 in those games. Whats frustrating is that the Vikings-Cards game was one of only 2 games on the entire schedule that went over (12 of the 14 week 11 games went under) and you will read below it had no business going over. Still a 4-1 week is a great week and our season record is now over 61%

shinsuke-week-11

Thanksgiving Day Pick (Week 12)

Game 1: Was +7 @ Dal

Bet% Was 48% Dal 52%

Betting against the Cowboys has been about as bad a bet as there has been on the card as they have won 9 straight games not just straight up but ATS. That winning streak means that the price to bet Dallas keeps going up and getting the full TD here is too much value to pass up.

Lets first start off with the fact this is a divisional game and if we look at the Cowboys 3 toughest games of the season so far they are unquestionably the loss in the opener to the Giants, Week 2 in Washington and the comeback OT win at home vs the Eagles. Washington lost that week 2 game 27-23 and while the Cowboys are a much better team now than they were them so is Washington.

Washington has been steadily moving up in league rankings, in week 4 they ranked 14th in DVOA, currently they are 7th, the Cowboys comparatively rank 4th.   There is no question that Cowboys have a major advantage in the run game, Dallas has the #1 rushing offense and Washington in my numbers ranks 28th but there is some light in the tunnel as over their last 3 games Washington has given up just 3.7 yards per rush att compared to 4.6 on the season. Those 3 games were against the Vikings, Bengals and Lions so nowhere near the calibre of the Cowboys but there are some signs that Washington’s run defense is tightening up.

In the end I expect both offenses to have a lot of success in this game, we have seen the over get bet from 49 to 51 and like the other 3 divisional games I expect a close 1 score game.

Week 11 Review: 4 Wins 1 Loss

Updated 2016:  37-23-2

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2016 Week 11 Picks

Every week is different, there are weeks where games jump out right away, there are weeks where nothing looks good until the weekend. This week as I scanned the card early nothing jumped out and by the time I did like a few games we saw some big line movements, especially in the totals.  We are in the part of the season where weather begins to play a larger part and Sharps will start hitting unders early in the week either anticipating winter conditions or simply getting some insurance just in case. Something I will start doing as well on Sunday Nights. To get around the line drives I am playing a teaser card on unders and I anticipate I will be playing a lot more unders.

Week 10: 5-2

2016: 33-22-2

2015: 63-37-3

 

Game 1: Ari @ Min Under 40

Bet% Over 39% Under 61%

When looking at playing unders one of the things that I think gives the best chances if there is a mis-match between the defensive lines and offensive lines and it is rare we see a game where both sides have an advantage like we see in this game.

The Vikings issues on the offensive line have been well documented and it should get even worse because they lost starting T Jake Long for the season this week. The fact that it will get appreciably worse because they lost a player that was a street FA and arguably not even a replacement level player tells you everything. According to DVOA, Vikings are 31st in run blocking, 22 in pass blocking and  26th in overall sack percentage giving up sacks on 7% of pass plays but in the last 3 games that number shoots up to 9.92%.

Meanwhile the Cards pass rush has been really good, they are 12th in adjusted sack rate,7th in total sack % and #1 in my pressure rankings which include QB hits and hurries. Arizona is 4th in defensive DVOA and 3rd vs the pass, since Vikings only chance to move the ball is in air as they are not just last in rushing but are historically bad averaging only 2.7 yards per rush.

On flip side we have seen the Vikings defence slip a little during this 4 game losing streak, after 5 weeks they were 2nd in Defensive DVOA, they are now 6th but to put that slide into perspective, over the season the opp passer rating is 74.6 but over last 3 weeks it has been 99.3, same with yards per pass att which is at 5.8 for season but 7.2 for last 3 weeks. Now I think there are 2 reasons for this, 1 is fatigue, the Vikings offense doesn’t stay on field and as a result Vikings defense has played a lot more snaps. The second is injuries, Vikings have had key players like Eric Kendricks, Zavier Woods miss games.

Vikings defense should be healthy in this game and they have a very good matchup against the Cards offensive line as the Cards line is 24th in adjusted sack rate.

I also like the home road splits for this under, the Vikings at home have an opp passer rating of 68.6 vs 80.2 on road and we know Carson Palmer has his issues on the road. Palmer has a passer rating on road of 73.1 on road compared to 85.6 at home and has 5 interceptions in just 2 road games.

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Week 10 Results: 5-2

Week 10 had one of the largest cards of the year, it included 2 late Sunday morning plays that split but it really was a week a card I liked a lot as opposed to week 9 where I had only 4 plays and even one of them felt forced. Of the wins none of them really felt lucky, Washington had a big lead early gave it back but pulled out it out late, Eagles seemed to be in control most of game but could never really run away. A very good week and the overall record is looking great through 10 weeks. Just not as great as these guys.

tribe-dance

Week 10 Game Results: 5 wins 2 losses

week-10-results

What Went Right

  • #1 DVOA Overall & Defense: The Eagles lived up to their Football Outsiders ranking as they played a very dominant game, the margin should have been greater as Eagles out-gained Falcons by 130 yards and ran almost 30 more plays.
  • Dominant Defenses: I loved the under in the Chiefs- Panthers game, it was probably my favorite bet of week and in a game that had a defensive TD, the ridiculous play by Eric Berry and then another score set up by the incredible play by Marcus Peters. So basically the best offensive players for the Chiefs were in their secondary.
  • Titans Offense is Lit: Who in the world could have expected this? Mariotta has been the best QB in last 4 weeks and in this one they put up 35 points in first half. I thought this would be statement game for Titans and Packers were kind of reeling but nobody could have expected this.
  • 3 Quarters were enough: For 3 of the quarters, the Vikings-Washington game went exactly as I had hoped it would but Vikings made this one interesting in the 2nd quarter scoring 20 points which for them is about 2 weeks worth of points.Washington had 3 sacks and 18 total pressures (QB hits, TFL,Sacks) and were able to keep the Vikings out of end-zone at end of game to preserve this win.
  • Russel Wilson the Best: I am not a Seahawks fan, but am as big a believer in Russel Wilson and the Seahawks as Superbowl contenders as their is. The undisputed DVOA champs of the last 3 years will probably end up at the top again and in this game proved they are every bit the SB favourite that New England is. Russell Wilson was brilliant in this game and as we mentioned the Seahawks offensive line would be able to hold up against the Patriots 32nd ranked D line and they did. NE had 3 sacks but only 11 total pressures and Seattle put up 420 yards of offense and managed red zone trips on 7 of their 10 drives.

What Went Wrong

  • Betting on Bortles- At this point I don;t think I can bet on any game that I need Bortles to win. This was a great spot for the Jags but Bortles missed 2 wide open throws that should have been TDs, and added 2 fumbles and an interception. Until we see something change I just can’t back the Jags getting any less than 3 pts.
  • Oh those Cowboys– Dallas has won 8 straight games ATS, I have been against them the last 2 and its just amazing how we have not seen any let downs, or any performances where they just get outmatched. This game became kind of a mess because of all of the 2 pt conversions the Steelers missed, the Steelers went 4-5 in RZ while Cowboys were just 1-3. Steelers went 0-4 for 2 Pt conversions and gave up 2 TDs to Elliot in last 2 minutes. Crazy game that I thought we had through the first 3 quarters.

 

2016 Week 10 Picks

This week was a really tough week, I can’t remember feeling as disappointed, disillusioned and disheartened as I did after Tuesday night. Yesterday I got the new Tribe album and it was the first time I felt some relief, some joy, some escape. It’s beautiful and perfect. RIP Phife. Thank you Tip, Ali and Jarobi we needed this.

Week 9: 2-2

2016: 28-20-2

2015: 63-37-3

Game 1: KC @ Car Under 44.5

Bet% Over 60% Under 40%

Both these teams played games last week that went way under, we were on the Panthers-Rams under and I bet against the Chiefs last week. The Chiefs will get Alex Smith and Spencer Ware back in this game but after a week off I expect Andy Reid to be very conservative in this game especially with Jeremy Maclan out this game. Even though Maclan hasn’t been as big a part of the offense this year as everyone expected there is no doubt that he is still a focal point of defenses so with him out the Panthers should be able to squeeze the Chiefs offense.

The Panthers defense struggled mightily early in the year but the last 2 weeks vs Arizona and the Rams it looked a lot closer to last year’s group. By DVOA their  defensive line is now a top 10 group vs the pass and run and the Chiefs line hasn’t been particularly good, so this is a good matchup for Panthers defense.

On the flip side, the Panthers offense has issues on the offensive line. Not only will they be without Michael Oher again but they will be without starting center Ryan Kalil who didn’t practice at all this week. The Chiefs have been a much better pass rush team the last month lead by Dee ford who has 7.5 sacks the last 4 weeks.

This feels like a game both teams offensive lines are going to have a hard time holding up, they both rank in the bottom 10 and face defenses that can create pressure. The Chiefs have thrived on turnovers but even in games like last week where they were +4, they still only scored 19. We have seen the Panthers offense struggle in games where Cam gets hit a lot which has been most weeks. Take out the games vs Saints and Falcons and this is an offense that has struggled to score so far especially against teams with pass rush.

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