NFL Week 8 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 8. 

The GreenZone fired up this weekend going 4-2. We hit our second parlay and third teaser on the year as well. This equated to an overall return of 9.9 Units for straight bets, and 18.15 including exotics. Straight Bets are up 1.05 Units on the year, and exotics are up a saucy 13.25 Units! Bringing our season cumulative total to +14.3 Units.

The Yellow and RedZone were mixed as they finished 4-4, the system overall had a good weekend going 8-6 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 wagers. For the record we only recommend taking GreenZone games. 

Our write-up and picks for Week 8 is below:

We are almost to the mid-way point of the regular season…almost, not even past the midway point in the 17-week regular season and then the absolute treasure that is the NFL Playoffs.  Keep that context in mind…it is a marathon and not a sprint.  It feels like we have been at this for a while this year, but the reality of the situation is that large profits accumulated during the first 7 weeks of the season can easily be squandered and then some by the time it’s all said and done.  Conversely, although it’s been basically a sideways grind for us this first 7 weeks, we can still have a monster year if we stay disciplined and keep working our process.  We are basically flat on the season when taking into account the straight bets and the exotics.  We know that isn’t why people pay to subscribe, and it’s certainly not the reason we spend all the time and effort tirelessly working our data and analysis.  That being said, we aren’t trying to dig out of a hole and still have a TON of time to regress to our historical levels.  Let’s have a big Week 8 Sunday, boys!!

For the exotics this week we have a slight twist due to the Jets falling just on the cusp of our GreenZone.  We are going to do a 5-game teaser still that will include: CAR, ARI, SEA, PIT, and NYJ.  However, the parlay will just be a 4-gamer with CAR, ARI, SEA, and PIT.  Remember, that is 0.5 units on each of those exotics and we are still firmly in positive territory on these on the season, despite underperforming on an outright pick basis for where we likely will end up by the end of the season.  We will continue to keep track of the straight bet vs. exotics separately for documentation purposes, but right now we are up an even 5-units on these during the 2018 season.


[6.6 Units] Carolina Panthers (+2) at home with Ravens - WIN

6.6 Units – CAR +1 or more

3.3 Units – pk ‘em

No Action – CAR -1 or more

The Carolina Panthers got a hard-fought road win for us last week at Philadelphia and despite the slow start, showed how good they can be with a full roster at their disposal.  Baltimore has been playing at a fairly consistently high level all year, outside of that no-show job against the Browns.  Based on our data, we do have Baltimore as being a slightly better team, due primarily to their relative advantage on the defensive side of the ball.  We have the Panthers as a better offense and better overall special teams.  With no caveats or manual adjustments considered, we have this as anywhere from a Panthers by 2, to a pick ‘em due to the home field advantage.  That raw data plus the fact that the Panthers are getting healthier and Cam Newton presents a different kind of challenge for the Ravens D and we are comfortable with this being a true GreenZone play.  Carolina is solid across the board and their defense has got better each successive week with Thomas Davis back on the field.  This is going to be a physical matchup that should be well played by two likely playoff teams.  Take the home dog and watch them win a close one outright.  

 

[6.6 Units] Arizona Cardinals (+1) at home with 49ers  - WIN

6.6 Units – AZ pk ‘em or with any points

3.3 Units – AZ -1

No Action – AZ -2

Who is fired up to be on the Cardinals?!!  Probably nobody, we get it.  That Thursday Night Football game last week was about as ugly as it gets on the offensive side of the ball.  Five turnovers and two pick-6s is cause for major changes and in fact, those changes occurred with the axing of former offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.  That vacancy got the former gunslinger, Beefy Byron Leftwich, promoted to OC.  A couple things on that game… 1. Both starting offensive guards were out which led to them getting taken apart from the inside out. 2. 5 turnover games are not usually something that is repeated… Think about the Lions Week 1 disaster against the Jets or the Vikings implosion as 17-point favorites against the Bills.  Although it was a complete meltdown, that’s not true of the Cardinals actual ability.  They are getting back both guards, had a mini-bye week with the long layoff, and should get a shot of juice from a young, aggressive, OC.  On the flip side, the 49ers are in meltdown mode.  Their defense is horrible whereas the Cardinals are actually still a top-10ish D (pick 6s and short fields doesn’t mean your defense stinks).  The 49ers are more banged up and have already lost to the Cardinals at home this season.  We know this isn’t a sexy pick and the public will probably stay as far away from this game as possible, but there is value there and that is what we are in the business of taking.

 

[5.5 Units] Seattle Seahawks (+3) at Detroit - WIN

5.5 Units – SEA +1 or more

2.75 Units – SEA pk ‘em

No Action – SEA -1 or more

One of the most heated debates in all of sports right now is human scouts versus analytics.  We believe that the best strategy in evaluation is a combination of the two, leaning more heavily on the numbers.  This game is a perfect example of us trusting the numbers, when at first glance it appears that these two teams would be a pretty even matchup.  Both teams are now 3-3 after starting 0-2.  The Lions have beaten both the Patriots and the Packers, while the Seahawks played neck and neck with the undefeated Rams just 2 weeks ago.  However, when we take a look at the analytics, the Seahawks have proven to be a pretty significantly better team.  If this game was played on a neutral field, we’d have the ‘Hawks as five point favorites. While Detroit has Matthew Stafford and a newfound run game and definitely has at least a slight edge on offense, the difference in this matchup comes on the defensive side of the ball.  Seattle is a top 5 defense, even with Bobby Wagner, KJ Wright, and Earl Thomas missing time.  Well, Thomas has probably played his last game in a Seahawks uniform, but Wagner is playing more like himself lately and KJ Wright is set to make his season debut on Sunday.  On the other sideline, the underlying stats indicate the Lions are one of the five worst defenses.  While our qualitative analysis says they are probably closer to bottom 10 than bottom five, there remains a huge gap between the Seattle and Detroit units.  The addition of All-Pro DT Snacks Harrison will certainly help to solidify the middle of the defense, there are still too many questions on that side of the ball to be giving points to a capable, Russell Wilson led offense.

 

[5.5 Units] Pittsburgh Steelers (-8) at home with Browns - WIN

5.5 Units – PIT -8 or less

2.75 Units – PIT -8.5 to -10

No Action – PIT -10.5 or more

This is a tale as old as time.  The endless optimism about the Cleveland Browns finally turning things around…just for it all to crash and burn with doom that seemingly can’t be avoided.  The Steelers, appearing to be in shambles and Big Ben being done, just to slowly put together the pieces and end up making the playoffs.  That anecdotal historical performance over the last 2 decades isn’t factored into our modeling, but it is an accurate way to describe what we have observed in our data over the first seven weeks of the season.  These are two teams heading in different directions.  We have the Steelers being anywhere from 8.5 to 14-point winners in this one and that is before you consider the bye week and momentum components to the trend of their performance.  The distraction of Le’veon Bell seems to be fading by the week and the connection between Ben and his WRs, most notably Antonio Brown, that was shaky in the early part of the year is starting to look as dialed in as ever.  If you don’t think the Steelers want revenge after they pissed away their 14-point 4th quarter Week 1 lead, you are nuts.  We see this one as a thumping.  This is a turn the channel or focus on other games almost the entire 2nd half because the Steelers are up by about 4 scores type game…enjoy it, we need some stress-free wins.

 

[5.5 Units] New York Jets (+7) at Chicago - Loss

5.5 Units – NYJ +5.5 or more

2.75 Units – NYJ +5

No Action – NYJ +4.5 or less

The Jets are another team that has left a bad taste in our mouth this season, with some bad timing on our parts for the games that we have been on them, and performance that has had it’s fair share of ups and downs.  Despite the bit of a roller coaster it’s been, this is a 3-4 Jets team that has won 2 of the last 3 outright, going up against a Bears team that is 3-3 and has dropped their last 2.  The Bears defense that was downright terrifying the first several weeks of the season has come back down to reality a bit and they now sit just a couple slots above the Jets defense in our rankings.  They are still good, they are BOTH good on defense and in our top-10…that is kind of the story here.  Both offenses have young QBs who can look terrific at times and very bad at others which is a large reason for them both being right about .500.  That being said, both defenses have been relatively consistent performers and have only given up big point totals when their offense put them in bad spots over and over again.  We do have Chicago winning this game but see it as more of a 3 to 5-point game.  It should be a grind it out affair and the fact that both Khalil Mack and Allen Robinson are questionable helps.  The Jets will definitely be without Enunwa and may be without Robby Anderson as well, but their offensive line and ground game, which is more important than them airing it out, should be intact.  Additionally, their defense that was pretty banged up a couple weeks ago is progressively getting healthier and should be able to keep the Bears offense in check.

[0.5 Units] 7PT TEASER - NYJ, CAR, AZ, PIT, SEA - WIN (Demoted to 4 Team)

[0.5 Units] PARLAY - CAR, AZ, PIT, SEA - WIN