NFL Week 2 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 2 that was sent to all our subscribers. You'll see the ProMathletics Greenzone went 6-3 against the spread, with the Lions getting 3.5 tonight. If you'd like a free week trial, send us a message on here, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on twitter @ProMathletics.
We have a historic “overreaction week” and an unprecedented 10 GreenZone games. We’ll keep the introduction short due to the write-ups on 10 fucking games!! Last week, we went 4-2-1 with the Monday Night Football push. That was good for +11.5 Units…or $1,150 on a 10k bankroll. We added another 2.75 Units on Thursday night with our cautious Texans play. So, 1+ week in and our suggested plays are 5-2-1, +14.25 Units. Not a bad start if you like winning and making money.
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 because the outcomes are not sequential. We are going to put out a lengthier discussion and explanation of why our unit sizes are what they are, but for now, just trust we know what we are doing or flat-bet if that makes you more comfortable.
[6.2 Units] Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5) home with Titan
We aren’t “trend bettors” in any sense, but it is reassuring to know that Blake Bortles is 3-0 against Tennessee at home. For whatever reason, he feels comfortable going up against the Titans, so that is good news for what is our biggest potential concern with this play…Bortles. That being said, this Jags defense is nasty on paper and played nasty last week in the face of a juiced-up post Hurricane Harvey Texans home crowd. 10 sacks last week…10! That was against a Texans squad that will likely contend for a playoff spot and just got a road win on a short week (hey…who called that?). It’s not a mirage…this defense has some absolute studs acquired in the draft (Myles Jack, Jalen Ramsey, Dante Fowler Jr.) and in free agency (Calais Campbell, A.J. Bouye, Tashaun Gipson, Barry Church). They’ve had a good on paper roster the last couple years, but now with Doug Marrone and Tom Coughlin running the show, they should actually be able to produce. The addition of Fournette helps give them a pound and play defense identity that is a necessary approach with Blake Bortles back there taking snaps. On the flip side, the Titans are still public betting darlings because of the flashy toys added in the offseason. Regardless of added skill guys, this Titans offense is still predicated on being able to run the football and then creating with Marriota once they soften you up. It’s going to be hard to get that going against the extremely physical Jags D. The model has Sacksonville winning this one outright, so we’ll happily take a couple free points!
[5.8 Units] Baltimore Ravens (-8) home with Browns
The Browns played well (for them) at home last week against a Steelers squad that appeared to be sleepwalking for most of the game. Their defense should be above average this year and we expect the Browns offense to make big plays at times with Hue Jackson smitten over Kizer’s skill set. However, this is the first road start for the rookie QB in a divisional matchup that has not been courteous to them in the past. Our algos have this game at about 10.5-11 points and we aren’t going to argue with that. When you get value at home against the Browns, you take it. There are concerns about Flacco’s back still not being 100%, but these Ravens just went to Cincy and won by 20, so we’ll take our chances. Baltimore forced 5 turnovers in Week 1 against an experienced QB who has made the playoffs basically every year of his career…they should get at least a couple more this week against the rook and be able to cover pretty comfortably.
[5.5 Units] Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5) home with Vikings
This is an ideal Week 2 matchup in that the Steelers looked much worse than anticipated last week and the Vikings are getting crowned as Super Bowl Champs because of their thrashing of New Orleans. We have this line projected at almost -9! Minnesota’s biggest offensive woe last year was their ability to run block and protect. They made some moves in the offseason to hopefully shore that up, but the Saints defense last week was not exactly a tough test. This Steelers front-7 can get after it and we are anticipating a much different day for Bradford. It’s not going to help that he has a knee issue going on that has been limiting him in practice. He’s going to play, but running away from Bud Dupree, Ryan Shazier, and TJ Watt probably isn’t going to go that well with a hobbled knee. On the other side of the ball this is a strength vs. strength matchup. Pittsburgh has top-3 in the league offensive potential and can gash opponents better than anyone when they get hot. The Vikings defense has been as steady as it gets the last 3 years and they don’t have any real glaring weaknesses. It should be a well-played game, but we like the system value and can see the Steelers getting plenty of stops and making just enough big plays on O to win this one by a touchdown.
[5.2 Units] Detroit Lions (+3.5) at Giants
Both of these teams got off to rough starts last week…the Lions regrouped and ended up outscoring the Cardinals 35-13 after the 1st quarter…the Giants continued to scuffle in their 19-3 loss at Dallas. This game being Monday night gives Odell Beckham Jr. a little bit more time to rest that ankle, but don’t expect the real OBJ even if he does play. This Giants offense needs the threat of him explosively splitting your defense wide open at any point if they want to move the ball. We don’t see that happening this week and the Lions, who feasted on Carson Palmer boner mistakes, could take advantage of a frustrated Eli Manning who has a fondness for saying “fuck it” and chucking ducks into the sky. The strength of the Giants defense is against the run. They stop the run and then force long passing situations. The Lions can’t run the ball on ANYONE, so they probably won’t make much of an attempt at it. They’ll be content spreading the ball around quick on short routes, playing possession football, and waiting for a Giants mistake. Lions have a good shot at taking this one outright, but you have to love the hook at +3.5 if you can get it.
[4.9 Units] San Francisco 49ers (+14) at Seattle
This is a scary one…no doubting that, but in times of fear #TrustTheSystem. This line (14 points!) is indicative of a “best team in the league” vs. “worst team in the league” matchup. The system doesn’t see that as the case and neither do we. The Seahawks have struggled early the last several seasons and their execution last week at Green Bay points to some more figuring it out for this year. They are going to win the game, but beating a divisional opponent by 15 points is not a given unless you are firing on all cylinders. San Francisco had a very rough opener last week and that’s led to this monster spread. This 49ers group should be improved over last year, with major upgrades to the coaching staff and roster, despite what they showed last week. The Seahawks are looking at this as a “gimme” week and probably not doing a lot of game planning while trying to correct mistakes from last week. Hard to find a way in which Seattle doesn’t win this game, but 14 points is quite a bit off from our intrinsic projection of 9.75, so we’ll roll with what got us here.
[4.6 Units] Denver Broncos (+2.5) home with Cowboys
The Denver Broncos had the #1 rated defense in our system last year. That was the opening sentence of our pick for them last week and it hasn’t proved to be any different now. We see this game as a toss up and when in that situation you take the home team getting points. Will the Dallas power run game be able to give the vaunted Denver defense some trouble? Absolutely. Will the Broncos offense that put up 24 vs. a pretty solid Chargers D be able to make some things happen against an average at best Dallas defense? No doubt. Like we said, it’s a toss up…except the home team is getting 2.5 points! Dallas got about a 24 hour headstart in preperation, but Denver didn’t have to travel with the home-home start. It also should be even more of a home field advantage for them playing at altitude against the Cowboys who don’t make their way to Denver often.
[4.3 Units] Miami Dolphins (+4) at LA Chargers
Let’s get the elephant out of the room, yes, Jay Cutler is the QB for the Dolphins. With missing most of last year in Chicago, Jay decided to retire and then come out of retirement to help his former HC Adam Gase after Ryan Tannehill tore his ACL. With the weapons around Cutler in Miami, Coach Gase just needs him to manage the game. The offensive line will be much improved as basically everyone returns including the center, Pouncey, who missed most of last year due to injury. He has a stud running back in Ajayi and a quality WR corp, led by Jarvis Landry. Let’s just say this offense will be much better than the Denver Broncos O that put up 24 on the Chargers on MNF. Chargers HC Anthony Lynn “vowed to recommit the run game.” I say good luck with that as the Dolphins have one of the best D-Lines in the league. Also, “home field” for the Chargers is a 30,000 capacity soccer stadium that used to host the Crossfit games, enough said…. Take the points as the Chargers on short rest (Dolphins extra week to prepare) and in front of a bullshit crowd will not win this game. #MiamiStrong
[4 Units] Buffalo Bills (+7) at Carolina Panthers
Bills HC McDermott should be able to put together a pretty decent gameplan this week with his return to Carolina where he spent the last 6 seasons as defensive coordinator. He knows the strengths and weaknesses of the offense and will be able to put his guys in the spots that give them the highest chances at success. Will the Bills players execute or not is the real question. Carolina looked pretty good last week at San Fran, but Cam Newton is still getting his sea legs after missing a lot of prep time this offeseason and the Bills defense could present some problems. We’ll back the system, the rushing attack, and above average defense of the Bills and hope this one stays a low scoring affair.
[3.7 Units] New Orleans Saints (+6.5) home with Patriots
Points! Expect to hear that phrase early and often during this game. It took Belichick and DC Matt Patricia several weeks last year to find out what they had on defense and get it tightend up. It appears to be more of the same on that front after the Chiefs sliced and diced them on national TV. Oh wait, the Saints got absolutely shredded on national TV as well?? Awesome. The Pats will get it figured out at some point on defense, but it isn’t going to be this week. The Saints were able to grind out 19 points after a lot of redzone stops against a tenacious Vikings defense in Minnesota, they should be fine putting up a lot of touchdowns against the current Pats D at home. The Patriots will come into town with Brandin Cooks looking to make a statement against his former team and don’t think Tom Brady doesn’t want to send a message to the league. Unfortunately for the Pats, they are all sorts of banged up and probably won’t be able to put any distance between them and the Saints moving it up and down the field. Take the points in what should be a shoot out.
[3.4 Units] Chicago Bears (+7) at Tampa Bay
Well, we were pretty much spot on with our prediction of the Bears/Falcons game last week. If the Bears don’t drop two TDs in the last 30 seconds of the game they come out as victors. Rookie running back Tarik Cohen had a nice little break out game, as he rushed for 113 yards and QB Mike Glennon managed the game. This week, the Bears head to Tampa Bay as the Buccaneers look to get their season started. If you watched Hard Knocks on HBO you saw all the offensive talent that the Bucs have. Starting with their fearless leader, Jameis Winston, and two stud WR’s in DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans. However, because their best RB Doug Martin is suspended the 1st four games, the Bucs will be forced to utilize RB by committee. Establishing the run game for Winston is critical. “Don’t try to do too much” is a saying that haunts Winston at night before he gets woke by his motivational speaker alarm clock. Well, without a run game Jameis will feel like he has to do too much and take risk that will get him in trouble. Again we see Tampa Bay winning this game but it will be within a TD, so take the points and ride that Bears 2-0 ATS. *Editors note: teams hosting a game after a hurricane 0-1 SU and 0-1 ATS this year