Its a thin line between Good and Lucky and this week there was a really thin line between a 2-3 week and 3-2 week. And this was it
Just the way it was drawn up, a last second TD for the Over and Win! Pure Unicorn Magic!
Week 9: 3-2
2015 ATS: 32-21-2
Week 9 results
What Went Right
- Totals – All 3 wins this week were totals and even though a couple were really close and one a near miracle, the game flow for all of the games was pretty much what I had hoped for. The Rams Vikings game went under even though it opened as the lowest total of the week and the game went to OT. Both those teams are built for unders week in week out.
- Dumb Luck, Sort of– The Giants–Bucs game was unbelievably lucky to go over with that last play of the game but really that game should have had no problem getting over. There was over 700 yards of offense in this games and 8 redzone trips, the Bucs went 1-4 in the redzone and there were some killer drops, Mike Evans had 6 drops himself which was a record according to ESPN Stats & Info. The Drops, RZ FGs and turnovers that kept the score down much lower than the game flow would have indicated.
What Went Wrong
- Betting against the Vikings– For the 3rd straight week I lost betting against the Vikings, who are now 7-1 ATS. Vikings continue to baffle, they are plus 28 in point differential and +22 ATS differential, so on average they are covering by about 3 points per game. In terms of efficiency they still rank low 24th overall in Weighted DVOA, 27th in Offensive DVOA but just keep covering.
- Square Teaser of the Week: Both sides of the teaser lost but really it’s the Atlanta- SF side that is the lesson here. Atl had basically 80% of the bets and I’m sure there was no game used in teasers more than that one because you could get them down to 1. Atlanta was never in position to cover and did have a shot to take the lead late when they drove down to the SF 5 yard line down 4 but a terrible call to go for the FG instead of going for it ended those hopes.
What Did We Learn
Recent Trends Matter: We’re at appoint now where with 8/9 weeks in the books some of the teams look very different today than they did a month ago and definitely 2 months ago. I will use last 3 game 4 game trends a little more and full season trends a little less.
Atlanta is a perfect example of why this is important, after starting the season 5-0 and 4-1 ATS their overall numbers are still very good but there has been a significant drop in their run game the last 3 games. Through 5 games they were averaging 4.4 yards per rush which provided a great balance to the passing game, on the season they are now at 4.1 yards per rush but over their last 3 games they averaging only 3.4 yards per rush which s 27th. They clearly haven’t been the same team the since their start and the huge drop in the run game has been why, the 3.4 in the last 3 games is more telling than the 4.1 overall.
The Plinko Gods Giveth and the Plinko Gods taketh away. Last week in a really big week, there were 3 close games that could have gone either way and all went mine, this week there were 4 Sunday games that all looked good in the 4th Quarter and all 4 ended up going the wrong way. The 2 prime time games helped salvage the week and save me from disaster but not enough to save me from a terrible Sunday morning that felt like a kick in the mouth.
Week 8: 3-4-1
2015 ATS: 29-19-2
Week 8 Results
What Went Right:
- London Mornings: The Lions went into the game as one of the worst defenses vs the pass and rush, 32nd in opp passer rating and 32nd in opp yards per rush att. The Chiefs didn’t have a huge day in the air but on the ground the Chiefs gained 204 yards on just 32 carries. The key to the game was the Chiefs getting an amazing 6 TDs in 7 RZ trips way above their season averages of 3.4 RZ trips and 41.7% TD conversions.
- The Saints Defense: the bet on the Giants was that the Saints defense would get dominated by Eli and the Giants passing game. Eli had 350 yards passing 6TDs, 0 Ints and a passer rating of 138.2
- The Broncos Defense: Took under 46.5 in GB – Den feeling that the GB offense had not been quite as good vs better defenses this year and the Broncos D was not only the best they had faces this year but was in fact the best in the league. This was maybe the best performance of the week, holding Aaron Rodgers to 77 yards passing.
What Went Wrong:
- 4th Quarters : NFL Plinko has never been so cruel. In 3 of the 4 Sunday morning games (Pit-Cin, NYG-NO, Chi-Min) all 3 of my picks led the game midway or late in the 4th Q, the 4th game Cle-Ari had Cleveland leading at halftime and down 4 with the ball deep in Cardinals territory late in position to not oly cover but maybe take the lead outride. While watching the games I thought worst case I would go 2-2, 0-3-1 was crushing.
- Injuries: A part of this review is too see not just what went wrong but also what would you change? What went wrong that you can avoid? The one thing you can never account for is in game injuries and this week it was amazing how many teams I had bet on suffered key injuries during the game. The Bears lost Matt Forte while leading, The Steelers lost Levean Bell while leading, McCown finished the games with badly bruised ribs that certainly affected his play. Just a really unlucky week
- The Giants Defense: When capping the Giants Saints game I mentioned how there was concern with the Giants Defense because they have basically lived off of turnovers sine the Amukamara injury. Against the Saints they had 1 Interception and the saints scored on literally very other drive, Brees finished with 505 yards and 7TDs.
What Did We Learn:
The game I am most upset about betting was the TNF Dolphins- Patriots game. While Miami had come in with 2 huge wins they were over the Titans and Texans, 2 teams that have been a mess all year and now we had a matchup between Dan Campbell and Bill Bellicheck on a short week with NE at home. This should have been a no play, we had no real indication of how Miami would look against a great team and the coaching mismatch was so large that really this one was just a hope and prayer. Taking a rookie coach, especially one who has never been a head coach before vs an all-time great on a short week is just a bad bet. I think in situations where you have either extra time to prepare or an extra short period of time to prepare these types of coaching mismatches matter more.
Week 8 was a big bounce back week after suffering the first losing week of the season in Week 7 but what this week really highlights is how often ATS wins and losses come down to a single play or bounce. There were 2 games I was dead wrong on (No @ Ind, Min @ Det) and 2 games that I was definitely on the right side (Hou @ Mia, Cle @ Stl) the 3 other games were all toss ups and luckily they all went my way. Luck or not, wins are wins and reason to strut a little.
Week 7: 5-2
Season ATS 26-15-1
Week 7 Results
What Went Right
- Dan Campbells Dolphins– For the second week in a row, Miami blew out the opposition and dominated the game on the ground. Everything went right for the Dolphins who scored 21 in the 1stQ and lead 41-0 at half. Campbell’s commitment to Lamar Miller and the Miami run game paid off big again as Miller ran for 175 yards on just 14 carries as this game was over early.
- Todd Gurley and the Rams Defense. The Browns came in with the 31st ranked run defense and the Rams took full advantage averaging 6.1 yards per rush and 2 TDs. The Rams pass rush also won their matchup, they had 16 pressure plays including 4 sacks. The Browns seemed to get worn down as this game went which is how I thought the game would play out.
- Nick Folk and Plinko– Gill Alexander, @beatingthebook on twitter, hosts the best NFL betting podcast on the planet “The NFL Megapod” and often compares betting NFL games to Plinko, the old Price is Right game. I often use Gill’s line here because it is really a perfect description of how so many games are determined. This week all the plinko bounces went my way. Nick Folk hit a 55 yard FG with under 30 seconds left to save a Jets cover in a game that they were within 1 score the whole way until the last 2 minutes. The Giants were outplayed most of the game but got 2 Def/ST TDs including a game winning TD on a 100 yd KR. In the 6pt teaser on MNF, the Ravens had a chance on the last play of the game to tie the game and kill the teaser but came up 4 yards short. Plinko for the win!
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.
Week 4: 4-2
Season ATS: 16-9
Week 4 Results
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.