NFL Week 10: Numbers Don’t Lie
Well folks, it happened… Last week, while a successful week for my numbers (9-5 ATS) was a horrible week for my wagering. Burnt by teams completely not showing up (Jaguars & Packers) and some rough losses (Colts ML and Browns TT) I went 2-5 on my card. I tried to get cute, and play games I felt would have strong value and get in some pleasers and teasers too. Not this week.
For the readers, I’ll provide a breakdown of the slate. As always I’ll provide narrative for both sides and some key statistics and injuries. Best of luck, it is the smallest card of season with six teams on bye — don’t feel the need to force plays.
New format, but same concept. Because we cover SNF and MNF in our betting guides, my coverage for those games will be in those articles.
Projections YTD: 75-48 (122 sides with variance) 60.98%
** Denotes analysis/plays for those games.
New York Giants @ New York Jets **
Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints **
Kansas City Chiefs @ Tennessee Titans **
Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals
Buffalo Bills @ Cleveland Browns **
Arizona Cardinals @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers **
Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears
Giants @ Jets
Line: Jets +3, 44.5
Projected Line: Jets +1
This game cracks me up… While the Jets are an unmitigated dumpster fire, how are the Giants a 3 point favorite on a neutral field? Considering both these teams play on the same field, it is hard to give either side an advantage. The Jets are horribly beat up, with their injury report showing fifteen players marked as questionable, out or placed on the injured reserve since their last game.
Adam Gase could be one-and-done, if he cannot beat the Giants while at home — that spells serious risk for his job security.Touted as a ‘QB whisperer’ it seems like his tenure was doomed since the Googly-eyed Press Conference when he was announced as the head coach. With injuries in every area and no official word until a few hours before kickoff — I will not be betting on this game. If I had to be on one side, I’d take the points knowing both teams suck. If Le’veon Bell is playing and their offensive line is mostly intact, I’ll look for a live spot to back the Jets if they are down in the first half.
Falcons @ Saints
Line: Saints -14, 51
Projected: Saints -13.5
People are surprised that Dan Quinn still has a job going into this game, and I must say I am too. ESPN earlier this week sent me one of my favorite notifications of recent memory, here it is:
Dan Quinn had a former defensive coordinator as his wide receiver coach… you can’t make that shit up. How is Atlanta’s defense doing under Dan Quinn? Funny you should ask… currently the Falcons are surrendering 31 points per game, giving up 0.494 points per play, and a scary 407 yards per game — yikes.
Brees is back baby, and New Orleans is coming off a bye with all their weapons healthy. Alvin Kamara and Jared Cook will both suit up this week, and in the Superdome I expect New Orleans to light the board up.
Plays (0.5u on each):
New Orleans 1Q o7.5pts (+145)
ATL/NO 1H o24.5 (-110)
Chiefs @ Titans
Line: Titans +6, 49.5
Projected: Titans +6
This was one of those fun weeks where we got to guess whether a major contributor to a team’s performance would suit up or not. Some shops opened this game early in the week at Titans +3.5 when it was still assumed that Matt Moore was starting. At that time I had the Titans projected as 4.5 point underdogs, but the idea of possibly only laying 4.5 points with Patrick Mahomes was too good to miss out on. I jumped on KC -3.5 and never looked back. When news broke that Mahomes was playing, books reopened at 6-6.5 and I poured myself a glass of CLV on the rocks.
At +/- 6 I have no true feelings on this game, however I do lean under on the total. As I discussed with a fellow #GamblingTwitter nerd, this is a look ahead spot for Kansas City getting Mahomes back and going into a divisional matchup next week on Monday Night Football. In my mind, the Chiefs are more run heavy than usual, and Tennessee is their usual slow, boring offense and we see a total in the 40-45 point range.
Bills @ Browns
Line: Browns -3
Projected: Browns +1.5
Sound the alarm, we have a dog projected as a favorite. For those new to my write ups — the last time this occurred was outlined in Week 7 when I had the Ravens projected as a favorite over the Seahawks. This has been a profitable spot for me this year, and rather then take the points, I went for the riskier play with Bills money line.
I outlined my argument for the Bills in this week’s Hungry Dog:
Cardinals @ Buccaneers
Line: Bucs -4.5
Projected: Bucs -4
While I once was extremely against this Arizona team, and laughed at them regularly during the Rosen/Murray/Draft scenario I have had a change of heart. The Mayor of MunchkinLand and Cleft the Boy Chin Wonder have grown on me. The addition of Kenyan Drake seems to have only further helped their creative offense as they now have two worthy replacements anytime Johnson goes down or just another offensive weapon to help Kyler Murray. The Arizona Cardinals defense is horrible and although Jameis Winston loves to throw interceptions, even he will have fun in this game. This game is a DFS players wet dream, if you ask me. The Bucs are missing three outside linebackers, including both starters in their 3-4 system and a backup which opens up the middle of the field for receivers, backs and tight ends. On the other side, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin have been nothing short of lethal.
I happened to catch this game at Arizona +5 but I’d probably play the +4.5 as well. If Arizona can figure out how to play defense, and their coach learns to not call time outs and ice their own defense — they can be a frisky team over the next few years, making wild card but never doing too much damage beyond that.
While I respect Tampa Bay and Bruce Arians… Things are ugly down there. I can’t willingly back Jameis Winston and the defense’s lack of discipline is even worse… Tampa is near the bottom five of every penalty metric, including giving up 2.9 penalty first downs per game which pairs well with their 8.5 penalties per game. If Arizona can slow down the Tampa Bay offense and keep Winston guessing, the Cardinals could be live on the road
Play: Arizona +5 (would take it at +4.5 -110 or better).
Miami Dolphins @ Indianapolis Colts
Carolina Panthers @ Green Bay Packers **
Los Angeles Rams @ Pittsburgh Steelers **
Panthers @ Packers
Line: Packers -5.5, 47.5
Projected: Packers -8.5
I really like Carolina, so this one was hard for me. Thinking about the game situationally — I found a great angle I love. As someone who backed the Packers last week, I was nervous about going back to the well with them. At the same time, Carolina burnt me by not showing up in San Francisco two weeks ago off a bye, but performed well when I rode them last week against Tennessee.
While my numbers has Green Bay by a sizable margin, I actually won’t be playing the spread — although -5.5 sounds pretty solid to me. Aaron Rodgers and company are going to look to put up points for the home crowd and to silence the media after a letdown game in Los Angeles. Featuring a healthy Davonte Adams, this offense will be looking to move the ball and score often. My play for this game is on the Green Bay team total. While I like the 47.5 total — Green Bay feels like the better bet to me. With my model having Green Bay as 8.5 pt favorites, on a total of 47.5, this would imply my team total around the 28.5-29 mark and we have it at 26.5. Carolina’s defense is solid, but i can see the Packers offense scoring 3-4 touchdowns and also getting some points off the leg of Mason Crosby.
Green Bay TT o26.5 (-110)
Rams @ Steelers
Line: Steelers +4.5, 43.5
Projected: Steelers +1.5
This is one of those games that normally I stray from, but seeing how the model has performed on the season… I’ll be diving right in. On the surface, it seems like Pittsburgh is dead in the water without James Conner & facing Jalen Ramsey outside — but over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a new sense of resilience in the Pittsburgh defense. The Rams enter the game with the #4 DVOA defense, with Pittsburgh at #5. The difference maker will be in the trenches… Rams possess veteran leadership and sustained success, Pittsburgh features some young playmakers on the d-line and the #1 pass protection offensive line. If Pittsburgh can handle Dante Fowler and Aaron Donald, they’ll be able to sustain drives and keep it close to the Rams regardless of how many points the Rams score. Heinz Field is no joke, and our boy Jared Goff has shown that road games aren’t necessarily his forte… especially in hostile environments. The Pittsburgh secondary is great and will make things difficult for Los Angeles who will play without Brandin Cooks. Cooper Kupp has been a problem for secondaries, however a thinner receiving corps bodes well for Pittsburgh.
This line has moved from 3 all the way up to 4.5 — and if these square fans can have it their way they might move it to 5! With home field advantage and their stingy defense — give me Pittsburgh and the points. I haven’t locked this in as the line is moving towards me, but i will be backing the Black & Yellow.
Play: Pittsburgh +4.5