cluster injuries

2020 – Week 1 NFL Picks

It is year 7 of posting picks on this blog. Last season was the worst year I have had and the second losing season as we finished 44-48-1. 2020 is like no other year and this NFL season will be a really interesting one as we will need to figure out how many of the truisms we believe in actually hold up in this strange Covid year. Let’s get to work.

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Game 1: Cle +7.5 @ Bal

Bet% Cle 38% Bal 62%

The Ravens were the runaway stars of the 2019 regular season while Cleveland was maybe the team that disappointed their preseason projections the most.

I like the theory that we are often a year early on teams that are anointed to take a big leap forward. That was true with the 49ers and I can see it being true for the Browns. The Browns were perhaps the worst coached team in the NFL last year and having a credible, professional head coach with a plan that fits his personnel, especially on offense should be major upgrade.

Week 10 Picks

Last week was one of the worst for the books and usually I end up on the same side more often then not but last week I was on some very public sides especially on the LAR-NO total and came out with a perfect 4-0 week.

mr perfect vintage GIF

 

Week 9: 4-0

2018: 27-14

Game 1: 6 Pt teaser : Jax +9 @ Ind & Dal @ Phi -1

On the Jags, this really is it if they have any chance to make the playoffs. Jags are coming off of a bye and playing a divisional opponent who also only has 3 wins. The Colts schedule compared to the Jags has been much easier, they are coming off of wins vs the Raiders and Bills but lost to the Jets before that. The Colts are 22 in DVOA on defense but they are better vs the run at 13. Jags will get Leonard Fournett back so I expect them to play similar to last year where they grind the clock and give Bortles some easy shots to make plays. Even if Jags offense come out flat the defense is still 6th and I think they keep it to 1 score. (more…)

2016 Week 5 Picks

Week 4 was the second straight losing 2-3 week. losing weeks are going to happen but you want to obviously minimise the severity of them but more importantly you don’t want to have them impact the following week. Sometimes after losing it’s hard to fire on a lot of games and you can get conservative or move away from good bets because you lost similar ones the previous week. Shot memories can be helpful in betting. I liked a lot of games this weekend, the card may end up being the largest in terms of games played so far but yo gotta just go with it. It’s a long season, week 5 is no time to run and hide.

 

Last Week 2-3

NFL 2016: 12-8-1

2015: 63 – 37 – 3

Game 1: Was @ Bal -3.5

Bet%; Was 52% Bal 48%

Washington is coming off of 2 straight wins and appears to be back on track after a 0-2 start, while the Ravens lost their first game of the year to the Raiders. With the Ravens at home, this line essentially makes them 0.5 favorites on a neutral field but I don’t see them that close.

In my ratings I have Baltimore as #10 and Washington at 17, I think by the end of the year both may drop a few spots but the gap feels about right. Baltimore is 4th in defensive DVOA, and 1st vs the run. Last week, Washington had their best run game of the year averaging 5.6 yards per rush which meant they didn’t have to just rely on Cousins and the pass game.

Even though Washington ended up winning both of their last 2 games they were in position to lose both and probably would have had it not been for some very timely turnovers from the Giants and Browns. Both Giants and Browns turned the ball over 3 times and Washington was +4 in TOs in those games.

The Ravens are coming off of a very tough loss where they allowed the Raiders to drive down with 2 mins left and score a GW TD. Ravens outgained Raiders 412-261, ran almost 30 more plays then them and probably deserved a better fate.

On the injury front, Washington was particularly hit hard last week with players leaving, it looks like Kerrigan and starting G Lauvao will play but may not be 100%.

Game 2: Chi +5 @ Ind

Bet% Chi 47% IND 53%

This one just feels like too many points for Chicago in what is a very tough spot for the Colts and in fact in DVOA rankings Chicago ranks a little higher than the Colts based on only this season (23rd to 27th).

Lets start off with the schedule side for the Colts. Indy becomes one of the only teams I can remember to not get a bye the week after playing in London. Maybe it doesn’t have a major impact Sunday but it has to be somewhat of a disadvantage and I think it is unlikely they had a regular week of practice because of it.

The Colts are 1-3 and they will definitely need this win if they want to make the playoffs so there is that ‘desperation’ risk but I’m just not sure that it is enough to think they can cover a number like this coming off of a cross continental trip.

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NFL Week 6 Review – The First Cut is the Deepest

For 5 weeks in a row I was able to avoid any losing weeks but in week 6 that luck ran out. The toughest part of the losing week was the Car-Sea game,had I stuck with my original pick, trusted the numbers and just taken the Panthers +7 instead teasing it with the under I would have been 3-3 and avoided the losing week but those decisions always seem obvious when looking back. Losing sucks.

Xaviar crying

Week 6: 2-4

ATS 21-13-1

Week 6 Results

Week 6

What Went Right

  • Miami’s commitment to run game – In the write up I described how under Joe Philbin Miami had abandoned the run averaging 16 rush attempts per game, 9 less than last season. In heir first game under Campbell Miami rushed 32 times for 180 yards (5.6/att)
  • The Eagles offense is still terrible and the defense is carrying them – The Under on MNF cleared easily as the Eagles defense dominated this ugly game that saw a total of 7 turnovers. The Eagles D held NYG to 247 total yards (3.9/play), 7 points and also scored 7 on a pick 6.

What Went Wrong

  • The Washington defense- Washington came into this game giving up 6.4 yards per pass and 4.4 yards per rush, the Jets offense dominated them in this game averaging 9.7 yards per pass attempt and 5.4 yards per rush attempt (221 rush yards total). the rush defense was actually worse than those numbers as the garbage time runs dropped the average,  Chris Ivory ran for 146 yards on 20 carries or 7.3 yards per attempt. One of the problems that you can run into with games dominated by defenses is turnovers resulting in short fields and was points, this game featured 5 turnovers 2 that lead directly to TDs and there was also a blocked punt that was returned for a TD.
  • The Bengals didn’t have a let down- These are the games where its easy to look dumb, games where you know you are taking the inferior team on a short line and are betting for the superior team, the Bengals, in this case to simply not play well. There were games this week, ATL-NO, Ari-Pit where that is exactly what happened, the better team was playing on the road and had a let down and the home dog took advantage and won outright. We weren’t so lucky in Buffalo
  • Seattles Redzone Defense: I should have stuck with my first instinct and just played the Panthers +7, that seems obvious in hindsight but the teaser looked very good at half where Car was down 3 and the total was at 17 and even after 3 when Car was down 6 and the total was at 34. Seattle once again led this game late and collapsed in the 4th Q getting outscored 13-3 and a big reason they lost this game is that the Panthers went 3 for 3 in the redzone. Seattle had been giving up TDs on 50% of redzone trips through 5 weeks but couldn’t get any in this game.

What did We Learn

Importance of ‘Clustered Injuries’ – Injuries are often difficult to handicap and usually in the case of skill positions the impact of a missing WR/RB is over estimated by betters, in fact there is a popular theory by pro bettors where they will bet on a team that has lost a key player to injury in the first week believing there is an over valuing of that player. The largest injury impact is always at the QB position where there can be a dramatic drop off from #1 to #2 but that drop off will always be adjusted in the line.

Where it is important to look at injuries is when a team has multiple injuries in position group. For most positions, you are not going to see major drop off between the starter and back up but when you have multiple starters out, NFL teams just do not have a lot of depth and the #7 or 9 offensive lineman on the team is going to be a below replacement level player.

This is what happened in Washington this week and something I just missed. Washington was without 3 starters on their offensive line including their star LT Trent Williams and their center, the combined career starts for Washington’s line in that Jets game was 14. Washington also only had 1 starter in the secondary and while Breline has proved he should have been the starter anyways, with the reliance of offenses on 3 and 4 WR sets losing 2 starters at CB and a safety is just too much to withstand. For my under I needed Wash to be able to run he ball and shorten the game which because of the injures they couldn’t. Also the depleted secondary was taken apart by the Jets, as the new corners get more playing time their negative impact will decrease but in this game it was substantial.

Lesson: Pay attention to injury reports and cluster injuries.