NFL Week 6 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 6.
The GreenZone was absolute fire this weekend going an impressive 5-1-1. Additionally, we hit our teaser and parlay for the first time in 2018. The parlay was demoted to a 4 teamer due to the Cards push. This equated to an overall return of +33.75 Units on the weekend! If you had the Cards at 10.5 you would have been up a remarkable +39.75 Units!!
The Yellow and RedZone were on as they finished 6-2, the system overall had a monster weekend going 11-3-1 straight up! 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.
[6.6 Units] Miami Dolphins (+3) home with Bears - WIN
6.6 Units – MIA +2.5 or more
3.3 Units – MIA +1 to +2
No Action – MIA pk or less
The Dolphins really boned us last week…there’s no two ifs, ands, or buts about it. They were up big against the Bengals, getting 6.5 points and then went on to give up two fumble-ish/strip/ball maybe going forward pick/recovery 6s in a row to defensive linemen to rip our hearts out. That sucked, definition of a bad beat, but that cannot skew our opinion of their mean level of expected performance moving forward. It is all systems go on this game from a data perspective for us and there aren’t any real caveats to kick it out. The Bears coming off a bye on the road is not necessarily a recipe for success, as we witnessed on Monday night, and despite the torching of the Bucs defense in Week 4, the Bears offense still is registering very low by our measurables. The Bears defense is for real, there’s no doubting that, but the Miami defense is still a top-5ish unit and we like that match up against an error prone Trubisky on the road, while needing to cover points. Winning on the road in the NFL is tough and there just isn’t enough separation between these two to overcome that home field advantage. We have this as a 1 to 2-point win for the ‘phins and will happily take the bonus 3 points.
[6.6 Units] Dallas Cowboys (+3) at home with Jaguars - WIN
6.6 Units – DAL +2.5 or more
3.3 Units – DAL +2
No Action – DAL +1.5 or less
Blake Bortles giveth, and Blake Bortles taketh…just when you think the guy has maybe reached some level of consistency he goes out and throws 4 picks against what was previously the worst passing defense in the league. Here’s the deal, when he gets time and takes care of the football, the Jaguars, with their top-notch defense, are very hard to beat. However, when things start to go sideways for the Jags offense, they go VERY badly in a hurry and there’s not a defense on the planet that can bail them out. Blindly, our models favor the Cowboys in this game, with everything pointing to Dallas -1 being the true intrinsic line. We never completely blindly follow the outputs without examining the assumptions going into each team’s respective rankings, and in this case, it makes us like the system value even more. The Jaguars offensive line is pretty much the walking dead at this point. Additionally, they are definitely without Fournette for one more week and may even be without Ramsey at corner. The Cowboys are going to struggle to consistently move the ball against the Jags D that will be completely locked in on stopping Zeke. That being said, we are projecting another very bad offense performance by the Jags on the road that is too much for their defense to overcome. Bortles has QBRs of 16.2 and 19.4 in the Jags two losses this year…look out for another one of those type days against this surprising Cowboys defense at home that has two of the top 12 linebackers in the league so far this year as rated by Pro Football Focus (Vander Esch #2 and Smith #12).
[5.5 Units] Arizona Cardinals (+10) at Minnesota - PUSH
5.5 Units – ARI +9 or more
2.75 Units – ARI +7.5 to +8.5
No Action – ARI +7 or less
The Arizona Cardinals were a very profitable team for us last year and they are shaping up to having similar qualities in 2018. Their offense has left a lot to be desired this year, ranking near the bottom of the league in our passing and rushing metrics. However, their defense is very quietly in our top-10. Even though their chance of winning this game is basically nonexistent, 10 points for a team that has the best defense on the field is a lot. Josh Rosen appears to be an immediate upgrade over Sam Bradford and Drew Stanton who had the majority of snaps last year. We think the combination of him going against a Minny pass-D that has been shredded this year (even by Josh Allen!) and David Johnson should provide enough offense to get the cover. It also helps that Sendejo has been ruled out this week for Minny, which should only further limit their defense, and best offensive lineman, LT Reiff, is out as well. Kirk Cousins has had a couple miracle games carrying this team even with bad offensive line play, but facing this Cardinals defense without the starting LT should really put a damper on things. We know it’s scary, but the numbers were on the Bills in Minny, so just let that be some added trust factor for ya.
[5.5 Units] Kansas City Chiefs (+3.5) at New England - WIN
5.5 Units – KC +3 or more
2.75 Units – KC +2.5
No Action – KC +2 or less
What a matchup, what a showdown. Last year, we were all over the Chiefs the first game of the season when they were getting 9 points in Foxbroro and ended up being an outright winner by 15 points. There has been a lot that’s changed since that game 13 months ago, but a lot has also stayed the same. Alex Smith has moved on, but it’s very clear that KC was ready for the Patrick Mahomes era to begin…and boy has it began. The Chiefs are off to a 5-0 start which has been a pattern for Andy Reid teams. Unfortunately for Andy Reid, his teams have often hit tough patches in the middle to latter portion of the year in just about as many seasons. The Patriots, like always, are rounding into form now that it’s October. We aren’t in the business of making hunches on who is getting hotter right now, so both of those historical trends aren’t factoring into our analysis this week. Kansas City has a historically good offense so far and there is very little to indicate that will slow down. They just absolutely shredded the Jaguars last week, who definitely are a better defense than NE. Belichick does not have a bread and butter alignment or personel grouping, but instead focuses on taking away what an offense does best and forcing them out of their comfort zone. The problem with that strategy this week is…the Chiefs do EVERYTHING well. We are not exagerrating…inside run game, perimeter run game, screens, underneath passing attack, deep shots, short yardage situations, take care of the ball…you name it, they do it at a very high level. The system value here is due to this game basically being a pick ‘em in our models because of that large relative difference between the KC offense and the NE D. That being said, NE is going to have a lot of success getting chunks against the Chiefs defense that has been near the worst in the league. This is going to be a fun game, with lots of points, it’ll be a FG or less and we still see KC getting the outright win.
[5.5 Units] Tennessee Titans (+2.5) home with the Ravens - LOSS
5.5 Units – TEN +0.5 or more
2.75 Units – TEN pick ‘em
No Action – TEN -0.5 or more
The Tennessee Titans have won 12 of their last 13 games at home. A lot of those haven’t been pretty, but a win is a win. Last week, the Titans really let us down by dropping a wiiiideeeee open touchdown late in the 4th quarter that would have sealed the cover. They ended up settling for a short FG, boning us in the process…there was at least some justice though with the Bills making them pay for it and kicking a game winner as time expired. That game in Buffalo was about as ugly as it gets. They lost 2 fumbles (random) and threw a pick, and still almost won the game despite losing the turnover battle 3 to 1 on the road. Although it sucked being on the other side, that game was more about some random mistakes than it was a true downgrade of the Titans as a team. The Ravens have had an up and down season and showed last week how much of a sludge they can turn into offensively when they are facing a capable defense. That is the crux of this matchup here…the Mike Vrabel led Titans defense plays inspired football (even last week) and should be able to give Flacco and co. fits. This won’t be a good game to watch, but the models have it a pick ‘em, so we have to take the home squad getting 2.5 points.
[5.5 Units] Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5) at Cincinnati - WIN
5.5 Units – PIT +0.5 or more
2.75 Units – PIT pick ‘em
No Action – PIT -0.5 or more
As previously discussed in the Dolphins write-up, the Bengals really stole one away from us last week. As disappointing as that was, the fact remains, they are being overvalued by the public right now. To the untrained eye, that “10-point dominating win over the Dolphins” last week means this Cincinnati team is for real and are the favorites to win the AFC North. To us, dissecting the actual performance, that was pure randomness that they benefitted from for the first time in the history of their franchise. These Steelers/Bengals games are always tough, physical, matchups and we know both teams are going to show up. This will be about as close to playoff intensity as a game can be in Week 6. We have these two as being about even offensively, although an argument can be made that the Steelers are improving after their early-season off-field distractions, Pittsburgh significantly better defensively and on special teams. This is very similar to a couple games we have already gone over in that it truly should be a pick ‘em. Getting 2.5 points for the Steelers, who we feel like are making positive strides towards reaching their actual ability, is system and subjective value we can’t turn down.
[4.4 Units] Los Angeles Chargers (-1) at Cleveland - WIN
4.4 Units – LAC -1 or less
No Action – LAC -1.5 or more
We have the Chargers as our #3 power ranked offense right now…the Browns…#30. On the flip side, the Browns are a top-5 defense and the Chargers are hovering around league average. So, this is like a lot of matchups where the debate is which style of game is going to ultimately occur. If this is a track meet, the Chargers win by probably double digits. Although Baker is an improvement, and the Browns skill guys are vastly better than years past, the Cleveland offensive line simply can’t hold up consistently enough for the Browns to hang with the Chargers fire power. However, the reason we are demoting this one down a little bit is if it’s more of a grind, like the Browns have consistently played at home, the boys in Orange could sneak out another home win. We still like the matchup, specially given Gregg Williams propensity to blitz. Phillip Rivers is absolutely torching defenses against the blitz, so it will likely force the Browns to take a somewhat different approach. This should be a good game, but the 60% probability is the visiting Chargers take home the victory.
[0.5 Units] TEASER - MIA, DAL, AZ, KC, PIT - WIN
[0.5 Units] PARLAY - MIA, DAL, AZ, KC, PIT - WIN