NFL Week 3 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 3 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.
We talked about how much the market was overreacting last week and we did not disappoint! Getting off to a good start is vitally important if you want to have a big year and that’s just what we’ve done. Our 7-3 GreenZone record last week was good for +21 Units! We hope you aren’t new to our subscribers’ party this week, but even if you are, we have plenty of value sitting there waiting for us.
GreenZoneGreenZone returning +35 Units to the ProLievers out there in just two weeks’ time!
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.
[5.9 Units] Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) in Londontown with Jags
We took both of these teams last week. One took care of biz like we said they would, the other lost the one way we described as a potential risk…Bortles! This Jags defense is for real, the numbers and our eyes both agree. The problem last week against Tennessee, in a game that got ugly late, was the complete ineptitude of the offense. Bortles final stat line of 20/34 with 1 TD and 2 INTs was bad, but nothing compared to his first half line of 5/14 with 2 INTs and 1 fumble lost. The defense was having to defend short fields all day with no rest and eventually they fell apart. Bortles had the look of damaged goods last week and we can’t believe the staff isn’t repeating their preseason demotion of him and giving Chad Henne a shot. The Ravens, on the other hand, have maintained the same blueprint for the first two games. At Cincy in week 1 and home last week with the Browns the Ravens have caused 5 turnovers. That’s 5 turnovers EACH GAME…not total. They are content to run the ball and call conservative pass plays until that opportunistic defense gets them the ball in advantageous situations. John Harbaugh and the rest of the coaching stuff had to have raging boners when they put in that Jags week 2 film. After seeing about the first quarter and a half John probably said, “Welp, go home and spend some time with the fam, boys. Our work here is done…let’s use the exact same game plan we did the last two weeks.” This one will be close for a couple quarters, with the Ravens probably struggling to get the chains moving against a tough Jags D and without best O-lineman Yanda. But just wait…Bortles will find a way to turn it over 3-5 times and that will be the end of the Jags. Note: this game is at 9am EST in London which is supposed to be a “home” game for the Jags. We haven’t found any historical significance to these games except that they are a true neutral site.
[5.5 Units] Detroit Lions (+3) at home with Falcons
The Lions have been good to us so far this season and the numbers say to triple down. Full disclosure, as some of you know, I am a diehard Lions fan. Thankfully, the rest of our squad is not. They talk me off the ledge whenever I’m getting out over my skis with too much heart and not enough head. That being said, the value for this game is once again too much to turn down. Our algos have the Lions at about 3-point favorites…they are getting 3 points instead, that’s 6 points of juicy GreenZone goodness, my friends. Pure system play aside, the Falcs have some injuries that make this one even more desirable for us. The Falcons are going to be without best pass rusher, Beasley, tomorrow as well as starting RT, Schrader. Disrupting the timing of the Lions pass game with heat and stopping a surprisingly tenacious front-4 for the Lions are two of the best ways to get a W in the D. It looks like the Falcons ability to do both of those things will be limited on Sunday. The Lions have been better in all three phases of the game so far this season. The defense that had a miserable year last year is playing as a top 5-ish unit in 2017. We don’t expect them to maintain that for a full year, but they are definitely back to being at least average on that side of the ball. Atlanta is a different team on the road, as we saw week 1 at the Bears. This should be a competitive game, but anticipate an outright Lions win with the bonus cushion of getting 3 points.
[5.2 Units] Carolina Panthers (-5.5) home with Saints
The Saints have given up an average of 390 yards/g in the air with a QB rating against them of 141 so far this year! 400 yards with basically a perfect QB rating! The Panthers have limped out to a 2-0 start with inconsistent offense that has this spread a lot lower than it should be. People are concerned about Cam Newton’s recovering shoulder and if he can make all the throws he needs to. Well, nothing will help an offense find a groove like playing against this Saints D. It won’t matter if Cam Newton has a 13-year old girls shoulder tomorrow, these guys are scoring 40+. What is even more amazing for this play is the Saints are sitting out CBs Marshon Lattimore and Sterling Moore this week after already being down starter, Breaux. This left them with 3 healthy cornerbacks until they promoted undrafted rookie Arthur Maulet from the practice squad today. So, you take already the worst secondary in the NFL, remove their best 3 guys, leave 3 healthy CBs, and then promote some undrafted dude?? Good luck, boys. We all know the Saints can score, but the Panthers defense is still legit and Cam and the boys are going to be dancing all afternoon. We have this as about an 8-point game, but given the skeleton crew going out there in the secondary we anticipate a bloodbath.
[4.9 Units] Minnesota Vikings (+3) home with Bucs
The story all week has been about Sam Bradford’s knee. While his numbers week 1 against the ultra shitty Saint’s secondary may suggest otherwise, Sam is not Aaron Rodgers. Nobody thought the Vikings had a shot this season because of elite QB play. This is a team that is going to win games by playing defense, getting turnovers, running the ball and playing field position. After Bradford torched the hapless Saints, many became blinded to this fact. Speaking of being blinded, we spoke about the Hard Knocks’ bias last week, and dismantling the Bears did nothing to bring expectations back to earth. But let’s be honest, there’s a big difference between playing at home with an extra week of preparation against the Bears and going to skol country and playing a top 5 defense and a healthy Dalvin Cook. Healthy is also something the Bucs are not. We don’t know for sure if it is related to the drinking hose at Winston’s house that is so close to where the guys piss, but there is a serious bug inflicting the squad. DT Chris Baker, DE Jacquies Smith and G Kevin Pamphile all have a case of the Hershey squirts. Add Kwon Alexander (OUT) and Brent Grimes (Q) to that injury report and you’re looking at a different team that is EXTREMELY susceptible to the run. One last note: Case Keenum is 2-0 against TB with a 118 QB rating (his best against any team in the league).
[4.6 Units] Buffalo Bills (+3) home with Broncos
We have a straight system play backing the Bills at home getting the 3 points. Per our models, the Bills should be about a 1.5 favorite on the backs of their top-5 defense and average offense. The Broncos are getting all the public money and you aren’t going to find too many Joes who think taking the Bills is a good idea. That makes us like it even more. The Broncos have gotten off to a 2-0 start, with home wins against the Chargers and Cowboys. We aren’t convinced the offense can maintain its current level of production and facing the Bills defense on the road should be a much more formidible task than they’ve had so far. We’ll cross our fingers for a couple Semien mistakes against the McDermott defense and take the 3-point home dawg.
[4.3 Units] Houston Texans (+13.5) at New England
This one has been at +14 points for most of the week after the Super Contest line closed at 13.5 on Wednesday. The system loves the Texans, but we have to be a little cautious here because of the obvious Tommy-factor. Part of the reason the system loves the Texans so much is the Patriots defense has been absolutely terrible so far, ranking 32nd in DVOA per football outsiders. They are getting back their heart and soul in the middle, Hightower, but we don’t anticipate them bringing the house on the Texans the way the Jags D did week 1. On the other side of the ball, the Houston defense will hopefully be able to slow down the machine that is the Patriots offense. We said it last week and it worked out, so we’ll say it again. A 14-point spread is fitting for best team in the league vs. worst team in the league. The Patriots could very well end up being the best team in the league by the end of the season, but they aren’t right now. On the other side, the Texans definitely aren’t anywhere close to worst team in the league, even if their offensive performance remains subpar. We see this as an 8-10-point game, so take the +14 if you can get it!
[4 Units] Arizona Cardinals (+3) at home with Cowboys
How many 3-point home dogs can we take in one week?! The crazy thing is we have one more to go! Same story, different game writeup. We have the Cardinals as a 1.5-point favorite at home on Monday Night Football. We gotta take that 4.5pts of value when we get it…every time. There are definitely some reasons to demote this one down the ranks with our bet size. Arizona has looked lost for most of their two first games, with the worst version of Carson Palmer rearing his turnover-prone head. No David Johnson again this week for the Cards limits them even further. Those points aside, the Cardinals have a top 10 defense with an average offense. On the flip side, the Cowboys have a top 10 offense with an average-at-best defense. If this game was in Dallas, it’d be a different story, but we have to take those 3 points for another home dawg!
[3.7 Units] Seattle Seahawks (+3) at Tennessee
Seattle seems to always show up when they need to and look for this game to fit that mold. Everyone is high on Tennessee after an impressive win last week in Jacksonville. Let’s not forget that win came with the help of three turnovers at the hands of Mr. Blake Bortles (see the Balt/Jax write-up). Though the Seattle offense is still struggling and still trying to figure out how to give Russell Wilson time in the pocket (currently ranked 28th in time allowed), the Defense has still showed why it’s a top 10 D. The Titans may be relying on just Derrick Henry as RB DeMarco Murray is struggling with a hamstring injury. The Seahawks added DT Sheldon Richardson from the Jets for this type of offense. Look for this to be a low scoring game with Seattle covering at +3 if not winning this outright.
[3.4 Units] Washington Redskins (+3) home with Raiders
Early in the week 93% of public money came in on Oakland covering the 3 points. After what Oakland has done the 1st two weeks and after last year’s historic numbers, the public is showing typical overreaction. Vegas is expecting a shootout with the o/u of 54 which is the highest of any game this week. Da Raiders offense with the addition of Marshawn Lynch has been dominant so far but they will finally be tested against a good defense. Both of the teams Da Raiders have faced are ranked 20+ in DVOA, per football outsiders. The Skins come into the game ranked 12th. Regardless, we know Da Raiders are going to score but can the Skins? Jay Gruden and staff have showed they are committing more to the run this year after losing some key WR’s. Cousins has not been very good through 2 games but if history proves anything he typically gets better as the season goes on. As dominant as Da Raiders have been on offense they have been complete opposite on Defense, ranking 27th in DVOA and that’s playing the Titans and the Jets. This will be more of a competitive game than people think and we will take the home dog who we have as a slight outright winner per our systems.