NFL Week 16 Pick Recap
Each week we'll be providing our pick recap to validate our performance and give everyone an in depth view of what our subscribers receive. Let's have a look at the selections below from week 16.
The GreenZone had a MONSTER week going 4-1, returning 15.4 Units! With that expected bounce back we are thoroughly positive for the year! Straight Bets are up 40.35 Units on the year, and exotics are up 13.85 Units! Bringing our season cumulative total to +54.2 Units good for a 54.2% return on a $10,000 bankroll.
The Yellow and RedZone were hot as they finished 6-5, the system overall had a great weekend going 10-6 straight up. Above is a breakdown of the entire Zone performances, along with Bankroll return based on our recommended unit sizing of each GreenZone game and exotic wagers. For the record we only recommend and count towards our units the GreenZone games.
Our published write-up and picks for Week 16 is below:
Two regular season weeks of NFL football left, and things are getting REAL. The NFL has done a much better job the last couple years of lining up schedules, so playoff implications are a plenty down the stretch. There isn’t any top team who can put it in cruise control for Week 16, so that helps in finding value knowing that teams have something to play for. There are a couple of teams very down in the standings who would be better served tanking for draft position and that is something we include in our qualitative analysis to hopefully ensure we aren’t putting ourselves in a bad spot.
This year we have witnessed a unique phenomenon with our “away” GreenZone teams greatly underperforming the “home” plays. The results have also been extremely below long-run observed history with our models. There isn’t any reason why, it’s just small sample randomness that will eventually regress back to the mean. Well, taking a look at the chart up above, if there is a week for those bastards to regress, this is it! We are on 5 road teams this week in the Green and we don’t hate it! Let’s make a nice little run and pad that bankroll heading into the playoffs.
For the exotics, we have our now standard 5-team teaser and parlay. For both of those wagers it is going to be “to-risk” 0.5 Units on: CHI, DEN, NYG, BUF, and JAX. All we want for Christmas is a 5-team parlay…is that too much to ask?!
Exotic Bets this Week
[0.5 Units] 5-Game Parlay: CHI, DEN, JAX, NYG, BUF - LOSS
[0.5 Units] 5-Game Teaser: CHI, DEN, JAX, NYG, BUF - LOSS
[6.6 Units] Chicago Bears (-4) at San Francisco - WIN
6.6 Units – CHI -5.5 or less
3.3 Units – CHI -6
No Action – CHI -6.5 or more
The Bears come into this Week 16 matchup with a 10-4 record and a very possible shot of securing a first round playoff bye if they win out. We are hoping that should be enough motivation for them to show up and let their defense do the talking. We have them as our #1 ranked defense by a very wide margin. There are a lot of advanced stats that go into our evaluation, but one that is very easy to grasp is turnovers forced. The Bears lead the league with 35 takeaways and they are going against a team in the 49ers who struggle to take care of the ball…third-worst in the league with 27 turnovers. The 49ers have been getting some love recently, and they played an inspired “revenge” game last week against the in-division Seahawks. However, the Seahawks gave up a kick return TD and had several major busts in the first half that allowed the 49ers to get out to a lead and get in a little groove. We have to trust our numbers here and the numbers say that the Bears defense should feast on the sub-par 49ers offense. If the Bears show up early, this one could get ugly if San Fran has to try to play catch-up.
[6.6 Units] Denver Broncos (-2.5) at Oakland - LOSS
6.6 Units – DEN -3 or less
3.3 Units – DEN -3.5 or -4
No Action – DEN -4.5 or more
Our models have this game as anywhere from a 4 to a 7-point victory in favor of the Broncos. The Broncos did let us down last week, but that was not as a result of a lack of effort. They ran into a very hot Browns squad who happened to make a couple more plays on that particular night. The Raiders, on the other hand, are the opposite of hot. They are 3-11 and have about as stripped down of a roster as one could imagine. The motivation in this game is not tangible for either team. The Broncos have been eliminated from playoff contention, but Vance Joseph appears to have the respect of the locker room and it Is clear he is coaching for his job these last couple of weeks. The Denver defense is still in our top-5 and is very good against the pass. We don’t expect the Raiders to have much success against this premiere group, which is far and away the strongest unit for either team in this game. The Raiders have a worst-3 in the league defense and a well-below league average offense. We can try to create storylines about who is more motivated until the cows come home, but the most important factors are the players taking the field. There is far more talent on the Broncos sideline and you have to assume those guys are going to be trying to pad their sack, int, etc. stats against a bad team. We will back the numbers and hope the Monday Night Football lights have the Broncs ready to let it rip.
[6.6 Units] New York Football Giants (+9.5) at Indianapolis - WIN
6.6 Units – NYG +7.5 or more
3.3 Units – NYG +7
No Action – NYG +6.5 or less
Chalk this one up in the “scary” category. No Odell Beckham, no points scored by the Giants last week, and no points allowed by the Colts last week… ”you’re fucking crazy”, you say. Well, we very well may be crazy, but this pick isn’t. Our models have this as about a 5.5-point game and we think that is a much more likely outcome than the Colts winning by 10. The Giants got off to a very rough, 1-7, start to the year, but have won 4 of their last 6. Our metrics rank them as right at a league-average team, which is a little surprising given their 5-9 record. The Colts also struggled out of the gate (1-5 first 6 games), but have gone on a 7-1 tear since that point. There is no doubt they are a better team than NY, but the question is, “by how much”? We have the Colts on just the fringe of our top-10. They are pretty balanced… offense, defense, and special teams…all just outside of that top-10 range. That is good, but they are much closer to league average (Giants) than they are to the top-5 teams in the league. The Giants aren’t sexy and last week is undoubtedly impacting the psyches of folks betting this one. Taking a team that is “hot” and just shut out a playoff team is an easy decision when they are going against someone who just got blanked. We aren’t going to overreact to the one data point last week and will instead profit when the Giants and Colts both play more closely to their true value.
[5.5 Units] Buffalo Bills (+13) at New England - WIN
5.5 Units – BUF +11 or more
2.75 Units – BUF +10.5
No Action – BUF +10 or less
A new week, same song, same dance. We just keep finding ourselves against the Patriots and it keeps working out for us. The only two things scary about this game are the Bills offense and the fact that New England has lost two in a row. If the 9-5 team who has lost 3 of their last 5 wasn’t named “The New England Patriots” we would not have any reservations whatsoever taking this game. We said it in last week’s write-up, the Pats have fundamental issues on the defensive side of the ball. Now, an offense that has already been a little bit “off” this year is losing their leading WR and a guy who changes the types of coverages that get played against them, in Josh Gordon. Gronk appears to be playing at about 60% and the Pats offense doesn’t strike a lot of fear in defenses right now. They are still guided by Tom Brady, so they are still efficient, but this isn’t a Chiefs, Rams, Saints-type offense where you are worried about getting gashed on every play. The one aspect that makes this game very easy to take is the Bills defense. We have them as our #2 D in the league, behind only Chicago. They are very hard to watch as a team, but that’s primarily because they are letting their defense dictate the outcome of games. They are content to run, run, run, punt and play D, and that’s exactly what we need them to do tomorrow. This #2 ranked defense is the best unit on the field for either team, so as long as they don’t try to outduel Brady, we should coast to a cover.
[5.5 Units] Jacksonville Jaguars (+4) at Miami - WIN - SU
5.5 Units – JAX +3.5 or more
2.75 Units – JAX +3
No Action – JAX +2.5 or less
Defense again. The teams with strong defenses and very lackluster offenses tend to get value down the stretch. We were on the Jags two weeks ago when they played the Colts (who are much better than Miami, by the way) and they easily covered their +4 spread by scoring a grand total of…6 points! The Jags offense has had even worse production since the demotion of Bortles to the bench, but the one thing they have been able to do is limit turnovers. Just as the Bills are content to let their defense drive the outcome, the Jags have adapted the same approach. Miami has fallen off quite substantially throughout the course of the season and now rank in our bottom-5 overall teams. The Jags have a very ugly 4-10 record, but their defense is still in our top-5 and we have them as several notches better as an overall team. This will hopefully be another low scoring, defensive, hard to watch, game. The Dolphins will be without Frank Gore who exited last week’s game against Minnesota and has since been placed on the IR. Gore led the team in rushing, but more importantly, was the best RB in pass protection. The Dolphins have a couple of athletes, in Yeldon and Ballage, who can tote the rock, but both have struggled mightily in pass-pro schemes. That is a benefit to the this play because the Jags are likely going to be pinning their ears back and getting after this very sub-par offense.