NFL Week 4 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 4.
The GreenZone had mixed week going 4-4-1. This resulted in a small loss of -1.90 Units. The Yellow and RedZone were off as well as they finished 2-3-1. Below is a breakdown of the entire Zone performances, along with Bankroll return based on our recommended unit sizing of each GreenZone game and exotic bets.
Furthermore, each write up for the 9 games we covered for our subscribers is included. This is sent each week for every GreenZone game, and we will also do a FREE write up on the Thursday night game regardless of Zone. See below for our in depth analysis on our picks from last week.
[6.6 Units] New York Jets (+7.5) at Jacksonville - LOSS
6.6 Units – NYJ +6.5 or more
3.3 Units – NYJ +6
No Action – NYJ +5.5 or less
This game could end up looking like a replica of last week for the Jags. These are two strong defensive teams who are subject to periods of struggle on the offensive side of the ball. The Jets young, athletic defense has actually been a better performer in 2018 than the vaunted Jags unit. There are a lot of similarities between the two and it looks like the Jets may be making the same leap the Jags did on defense a couple of years ago after multiple first round selections panned out. The Jags, when healthy, are still a much more balanced team and have a much more consistent offense, but at this point in the year they are struggling with a lack of fire power. The Jags win this game at home, but 7.5 point is a LOT. This is a team that just lost at home last week to a Titans team that doesn’t have as good of a defense and about the same level of offense as the Jets. As long as the Jets don’t have turnovers leading to defensive scores, this game should be a grind for both sides and easily stay within a touchdown.
[6.6 Units] Denver Broncos (+5) home with Chiefs - WIN
6.6 Units – DEN +3.5 or more
3.3 Units – DEN +3
No Action – DEN +2.5 or less
The Chiefs offense has been amazing in 2018 and they don’t show any signs of slowing down. We have them as far and away the number one offense based on our metrics and they are also the number one special teams unit in the league, thanks primarily to the electric return games of Hill and Thomas. That being said, they have the WORST defense in the league. Denver has been painfully average so far this year and that should be enough to keep this one within striking distance. Simply having an average offense has proven to be more than enough to get points on the board against the Chiefs. This is a divisional game, in prime time, with competitive Broncos squad. The numbers support it, but it’s hard to imagine they get embarrassed at home. If there is going to be a way to slow down the Chiefs offense, it’s gotta be through disruption. The Broncos have the edge rushers to get after it, so we are hoping Von Miller decides to get some shine on Monday night, as he has been known to do. We still see the Chiefs as sneaking out a tight road win, but 4 or 5 points is a gift…take the value and cap off the NFL week with a cover on Monday night.
[5.5 Units] Miami Dolphins (+6.5) at New England - LOSS
5.5 Units – MIA +4 or more
2.75 Units – MIA +3.5
No Action – MIA +3 or less
We know, “there is no way the Patriots lose three in a row and get to 1-3”, we get it. We were against the “no way the Patriots lose two in a row” thesis last week and we aren’t backing down on this touchdown spread. The fact of the matter is the Patriots defense is not very good right now and doesn’t appear to be on the verge of getting things corrected. The Dolphins have been rolling and their balanced attack and the dual threat ability of Tannehill are both characteristics the Pats have noticeably struggled with so far this year. They made Blake Bortles look like an MVP two weeks ago and he was able to scramble to extend plays and/or pick up first downs pretty much the whole day. The Patriots offense will get a boost with Josh Gordon and being at home for the first time since Week 1, but the Dolphins have had a top 5-ish defense thus far and shouldn’t get ran off the field. We see this as a Pats by three type of game, so we are more than happy to take the +6.5.
[5.5 Units] Cincinnati Bengals (+5) at Atlanta - WIN
5.5 Units – CIN +4 or more
2.75 Units – CIN +3.5
No Action – CIN +3 or less
This is entirely a bet on how bad the Falcons’ defense is at this point in the season. They have struggled in 2018 and now they are down arguably 3 of their best 4 defensive players. The Bengals have played very well so far this year and are extremely well balanced, boasting a top 10-ish offense, a league average defense, and a top 10-ish special teams group. Atlanta, while still being a fringy top-10 offense are on their way to being the worst defense in the league, by our metrics. We think this game will be a shootout, but it’s very hard to conceive a way Dan Quinn can get this Falcs D into any sort of shape to get consistent stops against a strong Bengals offense. The line on this one has come down to +4 at most books at time of writing, but we still like the Bengals at that level. We see this as more of a pick ‘em type spread than the +4 or +5 and that’s value we can’t turn our backs to.
[4.4 Units] Indianapolis Colts (-1) home with Texans - LOSS
4.4 Units – IND -1 or less
2.2 Units – IND -1.5 or -2
No Action – IND -2.5 or more
The Texans have stumbled out to a rough start this year and unlike in years past, they don’t have a plethora of injuries to point to as the excuse. The main issue for Houston is the very bad play up front on the offensive line. They have a strong assortment of skill guys and Watson has shown he can be productive when given time…the problem is, he is getting very little of that right now. The Colts will present a challenge for this very weak front, as they come into the game ranked 7th in the league in adjusted sack rate, per Football Outsiders. Interestingly enough, the Colts have had a better defense overall this year than the Texans who were tabbed by many to have a top defense with the return of JJ Watt. Our proprietary systems like the Colts to win by about 2-3 points and despite some guys being nicked up, we are going to back the home team in this AFC South divisional matchup.
[4.4 Units] Tennessee Titans (+4) home with Eagles - WIN
4.4 Units – TEN +4 or more
2.2 Units – TEN +3.5
No Action – TEN +3 or less
Boy…are the Titans winning ugly this year or what?! They are somehow, someway, 2-1 on the year and are 2-0 in the division. The Eagles had a lot more hype and are still definitely a better and more complete team than the Titans over the course of the season. However, the rust on Wentz and the rest of the Eagles skill guys who are either hurt, back-ups, or coming back from injuries is a very real thing. We still see the Eagles sneaking out of Nashville with the road-win, but it should be a field goal game. Take the 4-point home dog and hope the Titans continue to make their matchups as ugly as possible.
[4.4 Units] Oakland Raiders (-2.5) home with Browns - WIN
4.4 Units – OAK -2.5 or less
2.2 Units – OAK -3
No Action – OAK -3.5 or more
The Fighting Jon Gruden’s are 0-3 and have been crushed in the fourth quarter this year. Their defense has worn down and been the primary culprit in going 3 for 3 in blowing leads. Offensively, the Raiders have been consistently solid, with Carr completing a very high percentage of passes, sometimes at the expense of being too conservative. The Browns have fought to a 1-1-1 record while leaving some opportunities on the table. Baker Mayfield came into the game last week as a sub after Tyrod Taylor went down and sparked the second half comeback victory. A lot of people think he is the long-awaited answer for the Browns shortcomings at QB, and we tend to agree he has an enormously bright future. That being said, a cross-country road game in the NFL is no easy task. The system value is on the Raiders…we are discounting the units a little bit here due to how good Baker looked, but in our experience, ADDING value for a rookie QB in his first road start is very unorthodox. So, with that in mind, we are going to maintain our trust in the numbers on this one.
[4.4 Units] Dallas Cowboys (-3) home with the Lions - LOSS
4.4 Units – DAL -3 or less
No Action – DAL -3.5 or more
Our models see this as anywhere from a 4 to 6-point game in favor of Dallas. Both of these teams come into the game at 1-2 on the season and it feels like a must win for each if they want a shot at making the playoffs in tough divisions. Our models still have the Lions as a pretty bad squad because of the absolute beatdown they took in Week 1, but they looked less than impressive in Week 2 as well, so we have to rely on the data we have. The model still favored them last week, correctly, against the Pats, so we think their value is still being calibrated in the appropriate range. The rationale for this being a lower unit play is the uncertainty regarding the style of the matchup. Dallas still has an extremely efficient run game, but the problem is their passing offense has been so bad that they haven’t been given enough opportunities to run the ball. It’s very difficult in the NFL to consistently pick up first downs without some semblance of pass attack. Dallas has proven that this year, picking up only 50 first downs vs. 70 for Detroit. If Detroit is able to play ball control and get a lead with the same recipe they used against New England, then it could be difficult for Dallas to cover. However, if Dallas dictates with the run game, they could flip Detroit’s game plan on them. Detroit’s run defense is very bad, so that is what we see in our base case scenario. This game has been pretty firmly at 3-points, but we do not like it with the hook at 3.5.
[6.6 Units] Minnesota Vikings (+7) at Los Angeles Rams - PUSH
6.6 Units – MIN +7 or more
4.4 Units – MIN +6.5
No Action – MIN +6 or less
Thursday night write up in blog post from Thursday