Coaching Change

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.

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NFL Week 6 Picks – Who’s Real

Its an interesting NFL Season, we had a number of undefeated teams going into Week 6, CAR, ATL, CIN that many wondered if they were real contenders or not. We also have a number of teams that are under .500 that many considered contenders going into the season like Seattle, Philly and Baltimore and then there are teams like Miami and Indy who we have no idea who they really are. Week 6 will answer the question of are they real for a number of teams and here’s hoping I am on the right side of those answers on my Week 6 card.

Season ATS 19-9-1

LW 3-0-1

Game 1 Wash @ NYJ Under 41

Bet% Over 40% Under 60%

This is one of the lowest totals of the game but the defenses have such an advantage in this game that its impossible not to think that the most likely result is a very low scoring game between these two teams. By DVOA we have the #11 Defense (Was) facing the 20th NYJ Offense and on the flip side we have the #2 DVOA defense the of the Jets facing the #17 Offense of Was. For unders I really like defenses that have an advantage in the pass game and we have that on both sides here. In avg passer rating, these two offenses rank 21st (Was) and 24th (NYJ) while the on defense Was ranks 12th  and the Jets are #1 in Opp passer rating with an avg of 62.3.

Another stat I love for the under is both defenses are great at forcing 3rd downs, Was is 11th and NYJ is #1 in percentage of 3rd downs to 1st downs, the reason I love this stat is it means that offenses are not doing well on 1st downs and the more 3rd downs they face the better the chance there is for the defense to get off the field. Both these defenses are in the top 5 in opponents 3rd down conversion percentage.

Game 2 Cin @ Buf +3

Bet% Cin 77% Buf 23%

At some point Andy Daulton is going to have a game that reminds us of the ‘old’ Andy Daulton and the Bengals are going to slip up like every team minus maybe the Patriots will and this feels like as good a spot as any. The Bengals are coming off of a huge win at home vs the Super Bowl finalist Seahawks where they came back from a 17 point deficit in the 4th quarter and won in OT. At 5-0 the Bengals have a lot to feel good about and with a Bye next week and a 2 game lead in the division this feels like it could be a let down spot.

Both these teams are having great starts on offense, Cin is 3rd in passer rating (115.6), Buf is 6th (103.6), Cin is 1st in Yards per pass, Buf is 10th, Cin is avg 4.0 yards per rush (21st) while Buf is avg 4.3 (10th). On defense however Bufalo is having a better year than Cin in every category, Buf is 6th vs the pass while Cin is 19th, Buf is 11th vs the run and the Bengals are 29th.

Tyrod Taylor is expected to miss this game but Buffalo should be getting some of their key offensive players back this week including Shady Mccoyand Sammy Watkins, which should make up for the downgrade at QB. I like that this is basically a 80-20 game with 77% of bets on the road fav and the with the Bengals in a classic let down schedule spot, ie off of very big emotional win and looking forward to the Bye, this feels like a great spot to take the home dog Bills.

Game 3:  Mia +2 @ Ten

Bet% Mia 57% Ten 43%

There is not  lot to write up about this game that points positively towards Miami, they have been terrible on offense and defense and were so bad that they were the first team to fire their coach. After starting the year with a couple of ok performances the last few weeks the were blown out by divisional opponents and looked like a team that the head coach had lost. This week coming off of a bye week and in their first game with interm coach Dan Campbell I expect them to put in a full effort and this is a team with a lot of talent on both sides of the ball.

One place I expect Miami to change this week is with their run game, so far this season they are averaging 16.2 rushes per game, last season when this offense was the #19th DVOA offense they were averaging 24.9 carries a game. Both these teams have struggled vs the run giving up 4.4 yards per attempt each but I expect Miami in this game to be better positioned to take advantage of that. Again there isn’t a lot to be positive about for Miami so far but if they are going to do anything to save this season from being a lost season, this game is a must win.

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Week 4 Review: A Perfect Morning

I can’t remember another week where the games played out closer to the way I capped them in my write ups more than this week. Sunday started with a perfect 4-0 morning and the next 2 games went almost exactly as I could have hoped for but the perfect day ended up being done in by Football Plinko, a 4th down play here, a hit upright there and the day ends 4-2.  A winning weekend that could have been so much more. That being said, starting the season with 0 losing weekends in the first month and 7 games over is pretty fantastic and reason to celebrate.

Hallway Dance

Week 4: 4-2

Season ATS: 16-9

Week 4 Results

Week 4 Rev

What Went Right:

  • Almost Everything.: First off the Dolphins were as big a mess and this game was as much of a mismatch as the numbers indicated. This game was never in doubt, the Jets led 10-0 after 1Q and cruised the rest of the way. Miami fired an overwhelmed Joe Philbin after this game and named their TE coach and former NY Giant Dan Campbell as head coach. Campbell has never been a coordinator or head coach at any level, this should go super smooth.
  • Betting against teams playing back to back road games continues be a winning proposition as 3 of 4 teams in that spot lost ATS including the Raiders and Eagles who I faded this week. The one exception was the Jags who I was on so that couldn’t have worked out better.

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