NFL Week 10 Pick Recap
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 10 that was sent to all our subscribers. If you'd like a free week trial, send us a message on here, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on twitter @ProMathletics.
Another day, another dollar. Last week felt almost methodical and we mean that in the best way possible. We made money, which is always the ultimate goal. You know you came to the right guys when single digit Unit returns feels like a ho-hum run of the mill week. We counted Thursday night as a push since the official Westgate SuperContest line was +6, but hope a lot of you, like us, were able to get it at +6.5 and grab a little extra ching going into the weekend. Counting that as a push, we are at 62.5% GreenZone win rate and have accumulated +79.25 Units. We joked at the beginning of the year that we wanted a 100 Unit (or 100%) return on the NFL Season. There’s a long way to go, but we got a real shot at doubling everyone’s bankroll who has rode with us since week 1.
We have 5 no doubter Greenies this week and then 2 more we are throwing in the Greenish-Yellow zone. We are trying to capture our exact bets we have internally and that means including the true market lines that have moved into value range like that Cardinals +6.5 alert on Thursday. The only other line that has moved with much force is the JAX play is at 4.5 to 5 at some books now, but we still like it as a play at that spread.
NOTE: [Units] outlined next to each pick in terms of “to risk” % of bankroll. 5 units = 5% of bankroll or $50 on $1k. Our bet sizing methodology utilizes the Kelly Equation, and more specifically, half-Kelly. The sizes are descending because of “assumed losses” which necessitate dynamically reducing the bankroll.
[5.9 Units] Dallas Cowboys (+3) at Atlanta
What is the value of Zeke…that is the question. We debated the impact of the absence of the extremely hyped and productive second year man for quite a while. The systems like the Cowboys quite a bit, but all of the observed data includes the former buckeye back there toting the rock. Ultimately, the value of a running back has to be considered on a two-axis sliding scale; 1. How much work is required of any running back in the matchup? 2. How capable are the guys replacing his carries? Let’s take a look at each of these elements. A primary reason the systems like Dallas so much is because of their dominate running game and overall offensive line play against the Falcons who are one of the worst teams in the league against the run. Dallas, as a team, averages 4.8 yards per carry, while Zeke averages 4.1 YPC. Zeke’s high work load obviously drives down his average, but the point is this team will be able to run the ball regardless of who is getting the carries. When a back gets a 4-5-yard head of steam before first contact it makes things much easier. The second part of the equation checks the box as well. Alfred Morris has been the primary backup while Darren McFadden has been a healthy scratch for every game this year. Both of those guys have proven they can produce when given touches and they are about as fresh as someone can be in week 10 of the NFL season. We trust the models here, even with the loss of Zeke. The Falcons can’t stop anyone running the ball and will have to force some plays on O to try to keep pace with the Cowboys jamming it down their throat. The models have this as about a pk to Dallas by 1.5 points…who are we to say no?!
[5.5 Units] Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.5) home with Chargers
The public narrative this week is about how Phillip Rivers is 282-1 against the Jaguars and Blake Bortles has a negative 28 QB rating in his last 6 games against the Chargers. That’s great, but we don’t give a shit about games played 5 years ago. The data in 2017 has this Jacksonville defense beating the brakes off the Chargers. Styles make matchups and this is NOT a good matchup for the Chargers, even if they are coming off a bye. Their offensive line is struggle city in pass protection and Sacksonville can flat out bring the sauce while also playing very good pass coverage. In order to win this game, the Chargers will have to be absolutely dedicated to the run for 4 quarters and that’s just not in Phil’s DNA. We set the over/under for number of times Phil checks to a pass against a blitz and then ends up doing his patented side arm sling the ball at a running back’s feet at 15. On the other side of the ball, as long as the Jags are able to establish some balance and don’t let Bosa and the boys pin their ears back on the d-line, they should be fine. The model has this as a 6-10 point game and we will take those odds every day, even if the Chargers did beat the Jags by 40 in 2011. *Note: not all of the stats in this section were exact…
[5.2 Units] Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2.5) at home with Jets
All Joes think that Vegas oddsmakers are the smartest guys in the world and “how are they that good at making lines?!”. The truth of the matter is 90% of what books do is tap into what the psyche of the public betters is going to be for that week. This game is GreenZone by the numbers without a doubt and it’s easy for us to see the drivers for this line. The last time the public saw the Jets, they were dancing in the 4th quarter against the Bills on Thursday night football. The last time we saw the Bucs they were getting it handed to them in New Orleans (we were on the Saints, btw) in what was a terrible matchup for them. They lost Winston in the first quarter and were without best coverman, Grimes…it was a beat down. The public always rolls with what they saw last and that was good for Jets and very bad for Bucs. The NFL is loaded with parity, these are professional adults who are dedicating their existence to performing 1 day a week. These two teams are basically dead even in our analysis, but with home field, the Bucs should be about a 2.5 to 3-point favorite. We love these games where it’s pk on a neutral field, but instead we are getting the home team with points. Grimes is back, but Winston is obviously sidelined for a while. We are fine rolling with Fitzy who knows this Jets defense EXTREMELY well after playing there the last couple of years. The Jets struggle against TEs and we are banking on Fitzy using that Harvard intelligence to feed Brate and O.J. Howard early and often.
[4.9 Units] Green Bay Packers (+5.5) at Chicago
We may have been a week too early on the Packers play, but are confident now that the market is overreacting. It’s tough to quantify Arod to Hundley, which was why we said to heed with caution on that Packers play last week. However, at this point Hundley has basically played 3 full games out of the 8 this season for the Pack. In our models, he now accounts for almost 40% of the observed data and we have a big time GreenZone score on this game, purely by the numbers. Looking at this matchup from a more subjective lens, these are basically evenly matched teams. Hundley has been less than impressive so far, but the rookie on the other side really hasn’t done anything to win games. In his two wins as a starter, Trubisky completed 8 and 4 passes. That’s 12 passes in two NFL wins! You can’t hide someone that much for long before teams start forcing you to pass. In his most recent start, the Saints loaded the box, forcing Trubisky into 32 pass attempts. How did that go over? He completed 44% with 0 TDs, 1 INT, and a 37 QBR in a loss. Dom Capers and the rest of the defensive staff of the Packers are going to do the same thing…take away the run and force the rookie to put it up. After seeing last week’s film against Detroit, we are confident the Bears are going to employ a similar plan against the Packers. This isn’t going to be a well-played game, but we have it as Packer -1.5, so we will GLADLY take the 5.5 they are getting!
[4.6 Units] Denver Broncos (+7.5) home with Pats
This is probably the scariest of the picks this week and also probably the one that will have the biggest Pros vs. Joes divide. The Broncos have lost 4 games in a row and got fucking trashed last week at Philly. They had 3 consecutive road games, which can’t be overlooked. At home, they are 3-1 this year with wins over very quality teams. The QB situation there isn’t great, but let’s not forget how porous that New England secondary has been this year. Will the Patriots win this game…we’d be shocked if they don’t. However, 7.5 points at home with elevation and that defense is something we can get on board with. This is the Sunday Night game and we are comfortable with the Broncos defense showing up and showing out. The Patriots pass protection has been toward the bottom third of the league this year and Von Miller raises his game to another level when he gets the spotlight on him. We might be sweating out a backdoor job like the Cardinals on Thursday, but we don’t see this as an 8-point game and the models don’t either. Everyone is sell sell sell on the Broncos and that’s our cue to buy!
[4.3 Units] Detroit Lions (-12) home with Browns
The live line on this game at most books is 10.5. It is Green there and all the way up to 11.5, we had it just on the verge, but a pass at 12. The offensive gameplan is the one variable we wish we knew coming into this one. The Browns are absolutely garbage against the pass and Matty Stafford and the boys can toss it around the yard when they want to. On the flip side, the Browns have one of the best rush defenses in the league and the Lions are hands down the worst rush attack. If Jim Bob Cooter decides to air it out 40-50 times, the Lions should win by about 30. The Browns are almost comical in their pass defense and their only strategy is blitz the house and hope they hit the QB before he can throw to someone completely uncovered. The models have this as about a 13-14 point game, so at the current 10.5, it’s a bet for us and should be a bet for you.
[2.5 Units] San Francisco 49ers (+2.5) home with Giants
This game is very similar to the Bucs vs. Jets as far as the comparative numbers go. We have the 49ers as equally as good to slightly better than the Giants, at home and getting some points. It is a GreenZone pick purely by the numbers. The primary driver for us demoting this one to just a 2.5 Unit play is motivation. This game is the draft pick order tank job Super Bowl. We literally have no idea if either of these teams even wants to win the game. At the end of the day, these are all professionals and we think the 49ers players would want to avoid going the dreaded 0-16. They only get 6 cracks at it after tomorrow and this one is definitely the most winnable on paper. We trust the system and trust the 49ers have some pride, that being said, we never want to overexpose ourselves to two shitty teams fighting for the #1 draft pick.