Week four was kind to us as we rebounded nicely from the week three pain. Our picks went 2-0-2 (two pushes, don’t see that often) on the week including the 3-star win on the Texans. Our yearly total now stands at +5.29 units. Remember, a unit is what your single bet would be, so if you bet $10 a unit, you would be up $52.90 on the year. Our top play on the Texans +2 won in OT thanks to a curious decision by the Colts to go for it on 4th down in a tie game with time running down. Meanwhile, the 2-Star bets went 1-0-2 with both the Vikings and Broncos pushing the bet as underdogs. The Vikings looked in control for a good amount of the game but the Rams are showing to be one of the top teams in the NFL. The Broncos had a chance to win the game outright vs the Chiefs on Monday night but Case Kennum’s pass just barely went over the outstretched fingertips of Demaryius Thomas. We did however cash in on the Patriots beat down of the Dolphins.
As I have written about before, we have already discussed some key terms and looked at some season win total bets as well. Every week for the entire season I will be listing my best bets for the week, as well as picks and advice for survivor pools and pick ‘em leagues. Each week, we will also look back to the prior week to see if any lessons could be derived from what we experienced.
3-Stars: 3-2 (+2.19 units)
2-Stars: 5-3-2 (+3.10 units)
Total: +5.29 Units for a weighted win percentage of 61.29%
Without further ado, here are the picks:
Top Play (3-Star)
Colts/Patriots Under 50 (Thursday Night)
Thursday night games are usually sloppy affairs and this one seems to have the makings of one as the Colts will be without two of their top play makers in TY Hilton and Jack Doyle, as well as a banged up offensive line. The Patriots were on fire on both sides of the ball last week in dismantling the previously undefeated Dolphins. Add that all together and this seems to be a pretty one-sided affair tonight. There is also some reverse line movement on this total as 60% of tickets are on the over, yet the total has dropped three points. Another point aiding our play is that in the last nine Thursday night games with a total of 50 or more, the under has won 6-2-1. The spread and total suggest a score of 30-20 in favor of the Patriots. I think the Colts will struggle to reach that number and therefore suggest a 3-Star play on the under tonight.
Solid Plays (2-Stars)
This is a very fishy line. The common bettor will see the Broncos as being a far superior team than the Jets and hammer this line. The opposite is true when it comes to the sharps as they have dragged this number down from +2 to a pick ‘em as of writing this article. 27% of bets are coming in on the Jets but that two-point drop shows the reverse line movement is in the Jets favor. Play the Jets in this one.
Another Pick ‘Em game and another one to hold your nose on. The Packers are a far superior team, at least to the eye test and Detroit has struggled this year outside a great performance vs the Patriots. However, there is reverse line movement on this game as well (31% with a 1-point drop). A recent trend also likes the Lions in this game as they are 4-0 against the Packers when they aren’t underdogs. Take the Lions to pull off the upset here.
This is uncharted territory for the Hawks as they are touchdown home underdogs for the first time since 2011 against the Ravens. The Rams are possibly the best team in football right now, but I think that only fuels the Seahawks to come out firing this game. Since the start of the 2011 season, the Seahawks are 8-1-1 ATS (7-3 SU) when home dogs, and I’ll trust Russell Wilson to not get blown out in this one either.
Survivor Pool Plays
Our safe plays went 3-0 last week, so hopefully you are still alive in your pools to keep picking. Both risky plays are alive as well, so let’s hope we keep moving along.
Safe Plays – Patriots over Colts
Risky Plays – Jets over Broncos, 49ers over Cardinals
Stay Away – Rams over Seahawks, Ravens over Browns, Packers over Lions, Bengals over Dolphins
Pick ‘Em Plays (no spread)
We went 8-7, which is a winning record but most likely not good enough to win your league. Let’s reverse course and look for another double-digit win week.
Patriots, Browns, Chiefs, Titans, Panthers, Jets, Falcons, Lions, Dolphins, Chargers, 49ers, Eagles, Seahawks, Texans, Saints
There were a lot of very close games last week. And while nothing, from a betting angle really stood out, one thing we can see is that underdogs are usually the way to go in the NFL (at least against the spread). Home Dogs are 10-5-1 ATS this year and have even won six of those games outright. Keep that in mind when seeing an away favorite, no matter how mismatched the teams seem.
As always, if the Eagles do not end up in my best bets section (and generally they won’t since I have a rule to never bet them, to much emotionally invested to begin with as well as bias of being my favorite team) I will post what my play is on them anyway. Last week was Ugly, with a capital “U.” Not many positives can be taken from that game and there should be a big layer of concern now. This defense is not good. The corners are very bad and a huge liability no matter who they are called to cover. What’s worse is that the defensive scheme all but exploits this fact since Schwartz doesn’t believe in over top safety help. The Eagles have been able to negate a lot of their secondary concerns by having the best D-Line in football generating constant pressure. However, this year that isn’t working because the Eagles corners are giving 10-15 yards of cushion to receivers on any play. It’s a lot to ask of the defensive line to pressure the QB in under two seconds. Because of these major defensive concerns, as well as a lack of aggressiveness on offense, it’s next to impossible to suggest any play on the Eagles at all. While I always think the Eagles will win, and last season taught us that when everyone was against this team is when they performed at their best, it’s hard for me to advise laying three points against a solid Minnesota team. Stay away from this one.