NFL Week 1 Pick Re-Cap
To make sure we accurately reflect our record and picks to both our subscribers and potential subscribers, we'll post our write up from the previous weekend each Tuesday. Attached is the NFL analysis and write up from Week 1 that was sent to all our subscribers. You'll see the ProMathletics Greenzone went 4-2-1 against the spread, this includes the Thursday night KC blood bath. Had the Jets went for the PAT instead of a two point conversion it would have been a healthy 5-1-1 to start the year. If you'd like a free week trial, send us a message on here, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on twitter @ProMathletics.
Oh, doggie do we have a lot of juicy lines out there for week 1! Last season, before we really started distributing our picks to more than just our friends, our model had 10 games identified in the GreenZone. We were worried that the data was a little funky since it is week 1, after all, but we trusted our stuff and went 9-1! Including a 5-0 with our Las Vegas Super Contest picks.
We don’t have a general rule of thumb, such as, “always take underdogs” or “West Coast teams playing in the Eastern time zone underperform”. We stick with our data evaluations of each team and then look to assess if there are any extenuating circumstances that give us caution. One pick that was firmly in the GreenZone by the numbers was the Colts at Rams. We had to demote the Colts to the YellowZone because the drop-off from Luck to Tolzien is potentially too material for us to ignore.
That being said, we have a lot of dogs this week. All dogs go to heaven. Every dog has its day. It’s a dog eat dog world. Going to be full doggy style on Sunday. Alright, had enough?!? Let’s get these fucking dogs some covers and maybe some outright wins for you money line lovers!!!
NOTE: [Units] outlined next to each pick in terms of “to risk” % of bankroll. 5 units = 5% of bankroll or $50 on $1k
[6.2 Units] Oakland Raiders (+2.5) at Tennessee - Win
This one falls into the bucket of the public putting an overemphasis on offseason roster moves. There isn’t any debate about who had a better offseason, the Titans made some solid moves in free agency and the draft. Mariota should have a much more complete stable of options and we anticipate this offense to take a step forward in 2017. That is where the focus is for your average Joe, but let’s not forget where these teams were to end last year. The soon to be Las Vegas Raiders went 12-4 in an EXTREMELY competitive AFC West while the Titans scrapped their way to a 9-7 finish in the lowly AFC South. If Derek Carr doesn’t break one of his tiny hands, they would have easily waltzed past the Texans and faced off against the Pats in the divisional round. Adding a corner here and a first round WR there doesn’t necessarily automatically catapult a team. We still see Oakland as a top 10 team, led by their offense and a middle of the pack (but improving) defense. The Titans are going to be just about league average again, with a capable offense, but a defense that will force the O to take more risks than they’d like. We have Oakland as about a 2.5 point favorite and that’s just too much value to pass up!
[5.8 Units] Washington Redskins (+1) home with Eagles - Loss
These two teams are about as even as a matchup as it gets on a mirrored-basis. Washington should be just inside a top-10 offense. People want to talk about no Pierre G. and D.Jack, but they are now lining up Terrelle Pryor, a healthy Reed (huge difference maker), Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, Vernon Davis, and a full stable of running backs. This offense is going to continue to perform with Cousins pulling the strings. Defensively they will be ehh…not great…not horrible…comfortably in that 16-22 type range. On the flip side, Philadelphia’s defense should be top-10, but it’s a feast or famine top-10. There will be games when they will attack and destroy offenses who can’t handle the Jim Schwartz sauce…and there will be games when they get picked apart because they are overaggressive. Offensively, they’ll be fine…not great…not terrible…league average. Styles make fights and they make football games too. This Redskins offense can handle the heat and will exploit any Eagles defensive lapses. Worst case, the spread should be 0 on a neutral field. Factoring in our homefield advantage of 2.6, plus the 1 point they are being gifted and we get value for the ‘Skins.
[5.5 Units] Detroit Lions (+2) home with Cardinals - Win
Here is another game where the home field advantage is swinging a neutral matchup into the GreenZone with the benefit of a couple bonus points. The “Cardiac Cats” scratched and clawed to a 9-7 finish and a playoff appearance behind an NFL single season record eight 4th quarter comebacks. Their defense last year took a major step back under D-coordinator, Teryl Austin, who had been a hot “next head coach” name for several years due to the consistency he had produced with often less-than-average defensive personnel to work with. They had some injuries and major holes in the front-7 that should be relatively shored up this year. They are aren’t going to be amazing, but they should take a step back towards average instead of being a bottom feeder this year. Offensively, Stafford is armed with a fat new deal and a more complete set of skill guys. They’ve upgraded the offensive line with major free agent signings on the right side and the run game should improve with a healthy Abdullah. The Cardinals stumbled to a 7-8-1 finish after a couple of very stellar seasons. They didn’t do a whole lot to improve over the offseason, but should still be a competitive team week in and week out. We have this line at Lions -4, which means that +2 is looking realllll juicy.
[5.2 Units] New York Jets (+8.5) at Buffalo - Loss
We can’t wait to hear from all of you if this one doesn’t pan out! Don’t be scared now…trust! The Jets have been highly publicized as having “the worst team of all time” potential. Their offense is definitely not one you’d pick if you needed a 4th quarter drive, but let’s remember these guys are at least all professionals! On the defensive side of the ball, they are actually kind of sneaky scary. They added some seriously high upside safeties in the draft to what is already a freaky front 7. They are young, but when they click they will wreak some havoc this year. Last year, the Bills developed a highly effective offense down the stretch by maximizing the talents of Tyrod Taylor. They ran zone-read run concepts out of the gun, moved him around a lot, and kept the route concepts pretty simple with a lot of deep shots to Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods off of play-action. That’s what he’s built to do. Well…they are kind of now saying “fuck that.” Gone are all of their vertical threat receivers, they brought in Jordan Mathews, but he is a solid possession guy…not a roof raiser. Their new offensive scheme is primarily under center and much more progression, option route based. So, they have basically put Tyrod in the exact opposite situation of where he is most effective. Additionally, he was out and had limited practice time to learn the new offense due to a concussion the last couple weeks. The Bills probably eek this one out, in a game that NOBODY should watch, but we think covering 8.5 or 8 ain’t happenin’. We have it at under a 4-point game and always take value over public chatter and “odds to win Super Bowl” headlines.
[4.9 Units] Chicago Bears (+6.5) home with Falcons - Win
This action is not for the faint of heart. Atlanta is coming back from a historic year where they should have won the Super Bowl (run the fucking ball!). They scored on 55.4% of their drives last year and averaged 34 points per game, that’s just stupid. To an average bettor this looks like a massacre, but we say not so fast my friend (RIP Lee Corso). Even though they were so dominant LY, the Falcons lost their OC, Shanahan, this offseason and the offensive numbers will regress. Also, remember on the other side of the ball this Falcon defense ended the year ranked 26th in DVOA. With that being said, it’s still the Bears. Not saying the Bears will win but at home they will keep it close. The Bears QB Mike Glennon just needs to manage the game and sustain long drives by dump downs to Kendall Wright and Dion Sims while taking a shot with Kevin White down field when available. The real offense will come with giving RB Jordan Howard as many touches as possible. The kid averaged 5.2 yards-per-carry last year. If Da Bears can keep Atlanta off the field and burn the clock this game can easily stay under a TD. Also, week 2 Atlanta plays at home in their brand-new stadium against the GB Packers, this may truly be overlooking an opponent at its best. At the end of the day value is value, and that is where the worthwhile bet is.
[4.6 Units] Denver Broncos (-3) home with Chargers - Push
The Denver Broncos had the #1 rated defense in our system last year. Their offense was pretty close to the opposite of that. The Chargers had some of the worst luck of any team we can remember in the last 15 years, but maintained a relatively consistent offense and actually played pretty well on D. There has been some major coaching changes for both of these units, as McCoy, the former Chargers HC, is now the Broncos O-Coordinator. He should be able to get more out of the unit with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders at his disposal. The QB situation is going to be an adventure, but good coordinators can develop gameplans to put sub-par QBs in a position to be successful. See: Shannahan – Hoyer. The defense should continue to be top-10 and we like getting Von Miller on Monday night. When he wants to go, watch out. This one was right on the cusp of the Green/Yellow in terms of pure system value, so we did rank it as our last pick. Denver wins this game at home, but if you get a -3.5, probably better to wait for a halftime or live line.