NFL Week 7 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 7 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.
Welp, we must have jinxed ourselves on Thursday night…that’s the only explanation of the absolute bonezone job we got with that Chiefs play. The uncalled offensive pass interference on the first bomb to Amari Cooper should have been our sign to just turn off the game right then. That’s alright though, we are going to have some games where we get screwed and that one was probably 1 or 2 with that Lions/Falcons game we had earlier in the year. Even with the boneage, we still stand at 29-17-1 in the GreenZone for a 63% season winning percentage and +65.55 cumulative units.
We have five more GreenZone games tomorrow and two others that are somewhere in between a Green and Yellow play. This week, more so than any other week this year, we had a lot of line movement for the live market vs. the spreads posted by the Westgate Super Book on Wednesday night that are used for the Las Vegas Super Contest. With the plethora of books people use, we have to pick one source as our benchmark and that’s the most widely published static number. It is prudent to adjust bet size if you get a less favorable line, and in some cases, avoid a bet altogether if the line has moved too much. There are times when we don’t get to bet one of the picks we had in the Super Contest because the line has moved against us, it’s just part of the biz. Don’t get greedy if you missed the boat...the key, as always, is to stay disciplined. It’s a long year and we’ve done a nice job of getting off to a pretty fucking solid start. Stay the course, regardless of any week-to-week fluctuations, we are going to make a lot of money this season.
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] Tennessee Titans (-5.5) at Cleveland
The Browns are Browning a lot harder than even we anticipated at the beginning of the year…which is saying a lot. Whenever the ball is in the air, the Browns are in trouble. They are worst in the league at defending the pass and they are dead last in passing offense; not a good combo for the modern NFL style of play. They will go back to rookie, Kizer, at QB this week after sitting him down in favor of Kevin Hogan in week 6. We don’t have a high degree of confidence that making a rookie starter take a week off and then come back will improve his performance. The Titans, who we faded early in the season because they were getting so much public love, have come back down to earth. If this was week 1 the line probably would have been about 7.5 to 9.5. Mariota was a bit limited still last week against the Colts, but they were able to keep him clean and win by double digits. The Browns are much more turnover prone and the QB shuffle game isn’t going to help them achieve any sort of offensive consistency. We’ll lay the points and if both teams play close to the level they have thus far, we should be good to go here.
[5.5 Units] Buffalo Bills (-3.5) at home with Bucs
Last week, the Bucs were getting their asses beat in the first half against the Cardinals 24-0 and in the process lost Winston to an AC sprain in his throwing shoulder. The Bills were chilling at home on their bye week getting rested up and feeling good. The true value of coming off an extended period of rest is tough to quantify, but we do know that teams coming off a bye have covered 55% of the time over the last ten years. Our system doesn’t account for a specific number value, but we do factor it into our qualitative assessment, specially if teams are getting guys back who needed some rest. This is a physical Bills defense and the model has them valued even without a bump up from the bye. To make things even better for our wager, the market line has been pretty firm right at -3 instead of the -3.5 that was posted in the SuperContest. Winston is going to play, but we don’t know for sure how healthy he is. Regardless of Winston, we still like the Bills defense at home and well rested to get at least a 4-point win. Also, it doesn’t hurt to know that if this game is close there is basically a 90% chance the Bucs will miss a couple FGs to make sure we get the cover.
[5.2 Units] Denver Broncos (+1.5) “at” Los Angeles StubHubbers
You have to almost feel sorry for the Chargers this year…almost, but definitely don’t because Phillip Rivers is a fucking turd. However, from an objective position, they are getting screwed having to play games at the 30k seat StubHub field. What makes matters worse is the lack of Chargers fans in LA, eliminating all home field advantage as opposing teams fans flock West for takeovers. They have played 3 “home” games this year and it’s been overwhelmingly filled by visiting fans. Best case…this is a neutral field for them. Our models have the Broncos winning this game even if we were giving our 2.6pt home field advantage to the Chargers. Take those 2.6 points away and it’s a no-doubter. The Broncos still have a top-10 D and this is the type of offense they play the best against. They are long and fast and love it when teams try to spread it around. The way to hurt the Broncos defense is going right at them and that is not what the Chargers are built to do. This should be a competitive game, specially given it’s the second time this year these teams have faced off. We have the Broncos as favorites even as an away team, so we’ll take our shot and look for the Chargers to move to 0-4 at “home” this year.
[4.9 Units] New York Football Giants (+5.5) home with Seattle
It’s hard to get the warm and fuzzies about the Giants at this point, but we are backing the system results. The Giants lost three starting receivers two weeks ago and the market reaction was quite predictable with EVERYONE being on the Broncos in time to watch them get handled at home by the winless G-men. We kicked the Giants game because they were down so many starters and we try to avoid games with too much noise. In a weird way, losing the WRs maybe helped crystalize the identity of this squad. When they have won Super Bowls and been competitive in the past, they rode their defense and run game, with just a dusting of Eli Manning random amazing plays. Last week, they forced turnovers, committed to the run game, and let Eli only put it in the air 19 times. Result: win. The Seahawks have rattled off a couple wins in a row, but they still have all sorts of issues up front on the offensive line. In an ideal world, this game is defensive matchup and decided within 3 points one way or the other. The live market line has shown the initial posting of 5.5 (as of Wednesday) was too much value for the Giants. We still like it at 3.5, but back off exposure a bit unless you can get it at 4 or more.
[4.6 Units] San Francisco 49er (+6.5) home with Cowboys
The 49ers have been a covering machine this year. Yes, they are 0-6, but their last 5 losses have been by 3, 2, 3, 3, and 2 points. It’s statistically impressive to not have a win and have played in that many 1-possession games. This game is a little bit “noisey” with the Cowboys coming off a bye and the potential anger of Zeke Elliot. Also, do the Cowboys just run the ball with him 40 times knowing that he’s going to have a 6-week break starting in the next couple weeks? We felt those were rationale to move this pick down the list with our bet sizing, but not material enough to ignore the value. Our models have this as about a 3-point game, so we will trust our stuff and take the home dog.
[2.1 OR 4.3 Units] New England Patriots (-3.5) home with Falcons
The reason we have the different bet sizes are because that half point hook at -3.5 is pretty important in this game. At time of writing, this line is at -3.5 +100. If it creeps into the -3 -120 range, we recommend taking it at the 4 unit size. If it doesn’t budge off of that level, take just a dusting of the Patriots or stay away. As has been well documented by us, the Patriots have struggled against the pass this year. However, they have made large strides in that department the last several weeks and they are starting to move closer to league average against the pass instead of garbage. The Falcs can sling it around, but we don’t see them stopping Brady and the boys when they are on offense either. This should be a fun game and have plenty of offense. Tread lightly if you can’t get it at 3.
[2.0 Units] Green Bay Packers (+5.5) home with Saints
This one boils down to what your value on Aaron Rodgers is. He’s the best QB in the league right now and the drop-off going to Brett Hundley making his first NFL start is an unknown. Hundley struggled big time last week against the great Vikings defense, throwing 3 interceptions. However, he should play better after having a full week of practice instead of a handful of reps that he probably took the previous week in practice. Both of the Packers starting tackles, Bakhtiari and Bulaga, are cleared to play and that should help give Hundley plenty of time to operate. We took a small taste on this one, but there is obviously a lot to chew on.