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.
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…)
This was not a week where I saw a lot of line value based on analytics or numbers and with 6 teams on byes it was probably going to be smaller card anyways. 2 of the sides are schedule/letdown spots and we have another teaser this week were we hope the home teams can just get the win. Coming off our first big winning weeks since week 1 has lifted the overall record to just under 60% which is great to see. The recipe the last few seasons has been to try to avoid the really public plays which I think limits the big losing weeks. Then from there we grind out the weeks and hopefully have a few weeks like last week and week 1 where the ugly games all hit and boost the overall record.
Week 8: 4-1
Game 1: Dal @ Cle +7.5
Bet% Dal 76% Cle 24%
In a game between the #2 DVOA team and the 32nd DVOA team we are going to have an impossible time finding any numbers that support taking the Browns and the points here. They do not exist. This is pick based solely on the schedule and the very likely scenario that the Cowboys will have a let down here.
Last week the Cowboys came off of their bye and played a prime time game vs divisional rival Philadelphia, they struggled for most of the game, trailing 20-13 through 3 quarters in what was Dak Prescott’s least efficient start since the opener before coming back and scoring on their last drive then in OT to steal a huge victory.
Now this week they play the worst team in the league, the winless Browns and beyond that Jerry Jones has basically come out and said that Prescott will be the starter regardless of Romo’s health so that urgency from the QB is also gone. You know the Cowboys have spent the week celebrating not just the win but the idea that even without a complete game they can come back and win. How seriously did they work this week to get ready for the winless Browns? Also they play the Steelers next week so you have to think there is going to be some looking ahead for both the players and coaches to that marquee matchup. (more…)
After having 2 really good weeks in a row (12-2) I’m a little nervous this week because on one hand I know there is going to be some regression as it doesn’t seem possible to keep being on the right side this often and while I really like this week’s card, I am fading some of the best and most prolific teams in the league. One of the themes in this week is fading teams that have big games next week, hopefully we catch them looking ahead.
Game 1 Bal +3.5 @ NO
Bet% Bal 42 NO 58
This was the first game I bet after open, it opened at Bal +4 which I missed but did get in with the 3.5. So the Saints will be playing their 3rd straight game at home and I get the idea that it seems impossible that they could lose all 3 and that’s why everyone would be on the Saints but would you have thought they would lose both of the first 2? I don’t think so which is why I don’t think that alone can be reason to take Saints here or stay away from Ravens.
Baltimore’s season is pretty amazing, at 6-4 they are last in their division but have a +80 point differential, are the 3 DVOA team overall, #7 on defense and # 12 on overall, so by all these measures Baltimore come out looking like one of the best teams in the NFL. The Saints on the other hand at 4-6 have a point differential of 8 and are the 16th overall DVOA team, 30th on defense and 5th on offense. So it looks like we have the better team getting 3.5 on the road in this game, what about the spot?
On Thursday Night Football I took the New York Jets who covered the +10, on the same night I saw Nas performing Illmatic live in it’s entirety something I’ve been waiting for 20 years to see. I also have the NY Giants this week and think they can win straight up. Week 7 …..NY State of Mind
Game 2 NYG+6.5 @ Dal
Bet%NYG 45 Dal 55
This game is the ultimate bounceback / let down game.