divisional underdogs

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 16 Review

Week 16 was a great week for dogs especially TD plus dogs, all 3 wins this week came in that situation, the rest of the card was basically the dogs breakfast.

Week 16: 3-2-1

2015 ATS: 57-35-3

Week 16 results

Wk 16

What Went Right:

  • Dogs.. Big Dogs: All 3 wins this week came from Dogs of TD or more, Atl+7, Cle +12, Stl +12. Two of the three (Atl & Stl) won straight up, in fact if you add in the Ravens-Steelers game which had the Ravens as 11 point dogs, all 3 division games that had spreads of 7 or more saw the under dog not just cover but win straight up.
  • There is that narrative that we hear at the end of every year, Team So and So has had a down year and the chance to be a spolier in this game is their Superbowl. Not sure how much we can attribute these upsets to that narrative but in the case of the Steelers, they had every incentive to win the game for playoff reasons but the Ravens still managed to win the game. That divisional component is  think the key in these upsets,these underdogs know the opponent and usually have had success against them making the likelihood of a close game much greater regardless of their current circumstance.

What Went Wrong

Can’t get TB right: My record on the Bucs has to be one of the worst on the season as I always seem to be on the wrong side. My numbers have them as atop half team but they have basically flopped as favorites and it happened again here as they lost straight up to the Bears.

Chargers came to play: Handicapping motivation is always dicey and this seemed like an absolute let down spot for the Chargers coming off their emotional win in week 15 but at least in the first half that wasn’t the case. San Diego put up 17 and in the 1st half and controlled much of the game making a raiders cover of more than a FG almost impossible