NFL Week 7 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 7.
The GreenZone sputtered this weekend going 2-3. We lost our parlay and teaser as well. This equated to an overall return of -6.6 Units for straight bets, and -7.6 including exotics.
The Yellow and RedZone were mixed as they finished 4-4-1, the system overall had a mixed weekend going 6-7-1 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 (+2.5) home with Lions - LOSS
6.6 Units – MIA pk ‘em or with any points
3.3 Units – MIA -1
No Action – MIA -1.5 or more
“The Dolphins really boned us last week…there’s no two ifs, ands, or buts about it.” That was the opening of our commentary last week…thankfully, after what was a very concerning late development, the Dolphins took care of business against a very strong Bears team. It seems like we hit a 3 to 5-week spell a couple times every year where our data loves a team much more than the public…the Dolphins are clearly in one of those grooves right now. Quarterback situation aside, this game ranks up on the all-time list for us in terms of total value. We have Miami being anywhere from a 3-point favorite, on the low side, to a 9-point favorite on the high side. That is a LOT of value. Miami, by our measure, is a top-10 team. They have a top-10ish defense, have some of the best special teams units in the league, and are about average on offense. The Lions, on the other hand, are in our bottom-10 and are FAVORED on the road at Miami. The average offense for the Dolphins is much more a product of having a group of explosive playmakers than it is about elite quarterback play. Osweiler gets a lot of shit, but let’s remember the reality of his situations. He was solid enough in a good situation in Denver to convince the Texans to write him a big fat check. He was horrible in Houston, but it’s hard to imagine a QB that would have been successful there at that time…it’s like judging Case Keenum based on his days under Jeff Fisher for the Rams when that offense was trash. Despite playing in a couple systems that proved to be very difficult for others to be consistent, I want to Brock and roll still is 14-12 lifetime as a starting QB. You can find a LOT of guys with under .500 records as a starter…the guy isn’t Nathan Peterman. The only real caveat in this game is that Osweiler is going again instead of Tannehill. There may be, which we aren’t really that sold on, a small drop-off in expected offensive output with the back-up in, but it sure as hell isn’t anywhere near the 6+ points difference we would need for this game to not be firmly in the GreenZone. Matt Patricia has a history of struggling in Miami and the Lions have looked like a completely different team home vs. away this year. We trust the data and feel the back-up QB caveat in this case does not necessitate the demotion of this play.
[6.6 Units] Kansas City Chiefs (-6) at home with Bengals - WIN
6.6 Units – KC -6 or less
3.3 Units – KC -6.5
No Action – KC -7 or more
Whew…what a cover by the Chiefs last Sunday Night to bring us home in Week 6. We said the defense would give up some points…they did. But, we were also confident the level of offensive production by the Chiefs would be enough to keep it to a field goal game…it was. The Sunday Night showdown in Foxboro against Brady and Belichick is a very hard game for a QB who is basically a rookie. Mahomes played his worst half of professional football in the 1st and was clearly too amped up…missing a lot of throws high and hard which is the universal language for “I’m too fucking pumped up right now”. The kid can ball…he settled down and dropped dime after dime in the second half to bring them back into the game. This Sunday night should feel like a walk in the park for him after that experience and there are just too many weapons on the Chiefs for the Bengals nicked up defense to even imagine trying to stop them. The question remains: can the Chiefs get enough stops to run away? We think so. Their defense looked completely different in front of the home crowd two weeks ago and we are banking on a fired up primetime crowd at Arrowhead to help them out. The models see this as a 7 to 8-point game and we think the mounting injury issues for the Bengals actually pushes that a little further into the Green. This one should be a nice little weekend cap for us again as the settled down Chiefs, no longer having the pressure of being undefeated, explode all over this Bengals defense.
[5.5 Units] New York Jets (+3) at home with Vikings - LOSS
5.5 Units – NYJ +3 or more
2.75 Units – NYJ +1 to +2.5
No Action – NYJ pk
There are three phases of the game for every team; offense, defense, and special teams. The Jets are better than the Vikings in two out of three of these areas. We have these teams as basically right on top of each other in our total valuation, so this spread should be a pick ‘em on a neutral field, or roughly Jets -3 when taking into account home field advantage. The fact that we are getting 3 free points for what should be a home team favored by a field goal is too good to pass up. There are some issues with both teams on the injury front, but we think it is pretty close to a wash, to maybe even a net positive for the Jets. The Vikings have already ruled out 4 key starters, and have a couple more that are questionable. The Jets have a banged up secondary and WR corps. These injuries undoubtedly introduce some “noise” into our data, but when both sides are impacted, there isn’t any material change to the anticipated outcome. The key in this game is going to be the Jets ability to run the ball. Last week, they established a physical, gashing, run game and were able to get balance going with play action passes. Minnesota has struggled against the run and have been lit up when teams have been able to maintain balance against them. On the other side of the ball, the offensive line for Minny, without LT Reiff, could struggle again. They will also once again be without starting impact RB Cook, so it’s going to take a miracle performance by Kirk Cousins for us to not cover this one. Gotta trust the numbers here, Jets at home +3 is G.R.E.E.N.
[5.5 Units] Chicago Bears (+3) at home with Patriots - LOSS
5.5 Units – CHI +3 or more
2.75 Units – CHI +1 to +2.5
No Action – pk ‘em
As crazy as it is to say heading into Week 7 of the season, we still have the Chicago Bears as a better overall team than the New England Patriots. The anecdotal evidence that the Patriots get better as the season progresses has occurred too many times for it not to be true. We understand they are playing at a higher level right now than they were in Week 1. That being said, the observed data still has the Bears with enough margin of value in this one that we are comfortable taking the action even if we think the Patriots are trending upward. The Patriots offense with Josh Gordon and Edelman is going to get better by the week, but we already have them in our top-10 for that side of the ball. However, the Bears have our number 1 rated defense and look like they are going to match up very well against the Patriots O. Starting NE RT Cannon is out, which means Khalil Mack is going to get to show Bill Belichick how good he is against a very bad back-up in Waddle. We know he didn’t practice early in the week, but he finished the game against the Dolphins and was limited in Friday’s practice…if you don’t think he’s going to strap it up after getting dissed by the Hooded One, you’re crazy. On the other side of the ball, the Bears should be able to run the ball against the Patriots and find speedy Cohen out in space. Nagy is an Andy Reid coaching tree guy, so having that fresh film from the Chiefs match up last week should help him identify what things worked well and not so well against the current Patriots defense. As a reminder, the Chiefs put up 40, so we think he will find more things that worked than that didn’t work…
[5.5 Units] Carolina Panthers (+4.5) at Philadelphia - WIN
5.5 Units – CAR +3 or more
2.75 Units – CAR +2.5
No Action – CAR +2 or less
This is the healthiest the Carolina Panthers have entered a game during the 2018 season. Even with the at times depleted starting lineup, the numbers the Panthers have put up still have our models identifying them as having value. We have them as a better team on a neutral field by about 2 points. This game is in Philadelphia, so it’s not as ridiculous as a couple of the other ones we have already discussed, but they should be at worst case a 3-point road dog here. Philly made a fantastic run last year and that Super Bowl victory is apparently still weighing pretty heavily in the betting publics’ minds. Carolina is all systems go with absolutely no negative caveats for them in the data. This should be a very physical game and we like this Panther defense to give the still inconsistent Philly o-line some problems. As talented as that Eagles offensive line is, they are currently 25th in adjusted sack rate, per Football Outsiders. There hasn’t been any real sign of improvement and Jason Peters and Lane Johnson have both been extremely banged up, exiting multiple games and missing practices…not a recipe for fixing things quickly. This should be a close one, we are confident it’s going to be + or – 3 one way or the other.
[0.5 Units] TEASER - MIA, CHI, KC, CAR, NYJ - LOSS
[0.5 Units] PARLAY - MIA, CHI, KC, CAR, NYJ - LOSS