NFL Week 9 Pick Recap
OH BABY…the highs and lows of the gambling game never lose their luster, do they? We followed up a tough, tough, Week 7 with a “better than sex” 7 and oh last week. We try to stress maintaining your disciplined approach and the last two weeks exemplify the importance of it. We are cruising right along into Week 9 with still great season-to-date performance. At the sort of midway point we are sitting on a 61% win rate in the GreenZone, which is good for +69 Units. Those totals reflect the soup sandwich of a game we lost on Thursday night when the Bills decided to remain in Buffalo instead of showing up in New York for the actual football game. That is neither here nor there, we got a solid weekend slate and we are about to bankroll some more units…for the boys.
Our boy, @TyinVegas, looked into the stats this week and October produced $44.4 million in revenue for the Vegas sportsbooks. That’s $44.4 million lost by pros and Joes alike. We had one rough week, but still managed to stack on an additional +15 units during the last four weeks. Take pride in knowing that we are making money while everyone else but the books are losing!
Make sure you don’t go too hard today, because tomorrow we are fucking STACKING that paper!
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.
[5.9 Units] New Orleans Saints (-7) vs. Tampa Bay
There isn’t much of a “momentum” factor in our modeling except for a couple components of data being weighted with some recency bias. With that being said, the Saints do appear to be “hot”, having won five games in a row and turning around a defense that looked like it could be near the worst in the league over the first three games of the season. The defense in New Orleans will likely never be the identity of this Saints team while Drew Brees and Sean Payton are pulling the trigger, but they are about league average at this point and pairing that with a top-3 level offense is a powerful combo. It’s hard to know what you’re going to get from Tampa Bay in a given week, and a lot of that falls squarely on the shoulders of their young franchise QB. Winston has shown an affinity for highs and lows and loves to take risks that aren’t necessary (see: legs, crab). The Saints should be able to carve up the bottom-3 in the league pass defense of the Bucs, forcing Winston into chase mode. That historically has not gone well for them. The true market line on this game at time of publishing is -6.5 and we see it as more of a 10-point game. Lay the points and enjoy watching Winston chuck it deep into double and triple coverage all day!
[5.5 Units] Carolina Panthers (-1) vs. Atlanta Falcons
Looks like we are staying in the NFC South for our second ranked pick with this big-time matchup of divisional foes. For only being week 9, this is a pretty critical matchup for these two with the Panthers at 5-3 and the Falcons at 4-3. Sometimes teams in the NFL, or any sport for that matter, will randomly not show up and the numbers are out the window (anyone watch that Bills game on Thursday??). That shouldn’t be the case here…they should both come out pretty fired up and understanding the potential playoff implications down the line. Taking these teams at their true ability we have Carolina as a better team on a neutral field. They are at home, which helps even more against the indoor loving Falcs, and are actually getting 1-2 points at time of publishing. With the homefield advantage we actually have the Panthers as about a 4-5 point favorite. We love trusting the system when there isn’t any noise in the data and we are confident both teams are going to go 100. Nothing cute about this one, Panthers have better defense, Falcs a little better on O, we’ll ride with the systems and trust for a Carolina win.
[5.2 Units] Baltimore Ravens (+5) at Tennessee
The line shown in this write-up reflects the Las Vegas Super Contest line that was locked before it was confirmed that Joe Flacco will be playing on Sunday. At the time of publishing the true market line that most books are at is +3.5. We like it in the Green regardless of whether it’s +5 or +3…in fact, we actually have Baltimore winning this game. The public still loves Tennessee despite them being painfully average to slightly below average in all facets of the game. We have them as about the 20th best offense and defense…not a whole lot to get excited about. Baltimore’s offense is right there with them, but what flips the scales in this one is the defense and special teams of the Ravens. That is the identity of this Ravens team and when they are able to mix in any sort of offense they become a scary team. Both teams are coming in with extended rest, with the Titans coming off a full bye week and the Ravens having last played 10 days ago. Flacco missed some practice time after the sweet chin music he received from Kiko Alonso, but we can’t imagine he needs a lot of prep time at this point in his career. This should be a pretty closely contested game, but we like the Ravens to possibly sneak out a win and keep it within 3 if they can’t.
[4.9 Units] Green Bay Packers (+2.5) vs. Detroit Lions
The models have this as a big-time Green game and would be our number 1 play if we blindly backed the numbers. The issue with this one that got it bumped down the list a bit is the obvious lack of Aaron Rodgers in the gun for the Packers. We have the Packers as a 0.5 to 4-point favorite in this one, but the question remains, how long will it take the numbers to find true north with Hundley back there. He has had a couple of games worth of snaps baked into the data and the Packers are coming off a bye week where they likely retooled the offense and definitely got him a lot more comfortable. The Lions appear to be coming apart at the seams, losing 4 of their last 5 with the offense not finding anything close to the rhythm one would expect with their roster. This market line is down to Packers +2 and we still like it there, but if it would swing into the Packers must win territory, you have to heed with caution. The Lions haven’t been playing great, but taking Brett Hundley to beat Matthew Stafford in prime time is still a risky proposition.
[0 Units] Indianapolis Colts (+13) at Houston
We have this listed as zero units because the reality is you aren’t getting this thing at +13 unless you took it before Thursday at about 6pm. We had this in the Green before Deshaun Watson went down for the year, but the monster line movement that occurred after that announcement force us to kick this one.
[4.6 Units] Kansas City Chiefs (“-1”) at Dallas
The line here is in quotes because that puppy flipped once it was announced that, yet again, Zeke is a go. It looks like the hangman’s noose may be closing in on that turd, Goodell, so let’s hope this BS of the suspensions back and forth will stop screwing with our gaming soon. Back to the game, this live line is now Kansas City +2.5…for those of you less math inclined, that’s a 3.5-point flip. Our model didn’t like the game for either team at Dallas +1, but we have KC in the Green at +2.5. Kansas City has top-3 offense and special teams and we highly doubt this Dallas defense is going to be able to stifle the balanced attack of the Chiefs. The real question is whether or not the Chiefs will be able to stop the ground game of the Boys. We have this as a 0.5 to 1-point win for the Chiefs. When the line is +2.5 and we have the Chiefs as 0.5point faves, that gets us to our coveted 3 points of value. We’ll ride with the value and take the Chiefs in anotha one.
[3.0 Units] Washington Redskins (+7) at Seattle
This is a noisy one for sure. The live line is at Skins +7.5 which gives us a little more Green to work with, but there are major injuries and departures on both sides of the field. The Seahawks are without Earl Thomas and slot corner Lane (traded to Houston this week). Historically, the Seahawks defense drops off quite a bit when Thomas is not on the field. For how dominant the Hawks defense has been, they run very simple schemes and rely on being better athletes than their opponents. The person who makes these single-high safety base defenses tick is Thomas. The dude can cover the entire field and allows them to be aggressive up front without the fear of getting burnt in the back-half. Well, that luxury is gone now and we like Cousins to be able to get some carvery going. The question on the other side is whether or not the Redskins are going to have enough protection to afford him some time to do so. We still like the system numbers here, specially at +7.5, but back off the exposure a bit just because of the injuries for the Redskins offensive line.