Last week in the write up I mentioned that the card did not look like the usual card I have, it was all favorites including road favorites and included teams that were heavy public sides. There are no hard rules, short road favorites are not always the wrong side but the cases they are not are fewer than when they are. Avoiding the really bad expected value situations has been a big reason for my success the last 2 seasons and last week was a good reminder of why chasing the anomaly is a losing play long term.
This week is a return to the types of pays that have done well for us week after week, lots of dogs especially the uglies that nobody wants to bet.
Week 6: 3-3
Game 1: Min (5-0) @ Phi ( 3-2) +3
Bet% : Min 76% Phi 24%
This is the fun thing about betting, last week the Eagles were the one game looking back that I know I talked myself into the wrong side. Short road favorite, heavy public play and I ignored everything I know about the NFC East. This week I think the Eagles are absolutely the team that is the right side because almost everything from last week is reversed.
Eagles are a full FG home dog getting 20-25% of bets depending on who you ask. And why wouldn’t you want to bet the Vikings? They are undefeated, have the #1 defense and 5-0 ATS so backing them has paid off for bettors huge this season. The Eagles are coming off of 2 straight losses, last week after losing their starting RT Lane Johnson to suspension, Washington got pressure all over them so why wouldn’t we bet on the Viking much better pass rush to dominate even more?
I like the Eagles here because I think their defense will get right and be able to dominate the Vikings offensive line. The last 2 weeks Eagles defense had their issues with Washington and Detroit but those teams had 3 Wide sets and passing games that Eagles couldn’t match up with due to lack of depth in the secondary. The Vikings have the worst rushing attack in the league and are limited in passing game, that should allow the Eagles Dline to pin their ears back and make things difficult for Sam Bradford.
There is no question the Vikings defensive line will target Vaitai the rookie RT taking over for Lane Johnson after his struggles last week. I expect the Eagles to do a much better job of protecting the rookie with a TE or back helping and leaving Jason Peters on his own on the left side. Vikings will certainly get to Wentz this game but I expect both QBs to be pressured a lot in this game so we will see which QB handles it better.
By DVOA Vikings are #1 but even after 2 straight losses the Eagles are still 4. I expect both teams to slide 4 or 5 spots by end of year but I do think they are closer than it feels this week due to the Eagles loss last week. Minnesota offense has been just doing enough to get by but have not been put in a position where they have to score.
1 more thing, I talk a lot about luck and regression of those factors to the mean. Vikings are 1st in takeaways and 1st in giveaways, they are +11 through just 5 games. There is no way that keeps up long term, whether it happens this week or the next they are going to lose turnover battle in a game.
Game 2: SD +6.5 @ Atl
Bet%: SD 48% Atl 52%
*I bet this game at +6.5, there are still some out there but I would still bet at 6. Do not see this going to 7 and if it did it wouldn’t last very long.
It feels like every week I say I am believer of the Falcons being real but also end up on the other side of them. Atlanta comes back home after 2 very impressive road games out west in Denver and in Seattle. The success of the Falcons means that betting them has become more expensive and this week I believe that premium on the Falcons gets a nice spot here for the Chargers.
SD has been really good this season by most measures except win loss, which is good for us as bettors because we end up getting value with them. Chargers are 13th in DVOA, and 8th in in offense despite being without their top WR and RB. Again I say it every week but Phillip Rivers is the most underappreciated superstar in the NFL. SD has also moved up to 12th in defense and the play of Joey Bosa the last 2 weeks have been a major factor in their improvement. Also important to note that The Chargers have led every game this year late in the 4th Q, so their record is deceiving of the overall quality of the team.
Atlanta has moved to #6 in DVOA, #2 on offense but 26th on defense so while they have played very well so far and the defense has had their moments, overall they have not been very efficient and may keep them from being a truly elite team. I also think a little let down after 2 huge games vs Denver and Seattle coming back home to play a 2 win team is likely so I could see them start slow here.
In the end I just think these 2 teams are much closer than the perception or this spread would indicate. By DVOA they are 6th and 13th, by my rankings they are 7th and 10th so far this season. Phillip Rivers has kept the Chargers in every game and against this Falcons defense I expect that to continue, I would not be surprised to see them win this game straight up. (more…)