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Posted by on Nov 24, 2019 in Blog, Essays | 1 comment

NFL 2019: Week #12

 

 

NFL Season Trends through the end of Week #11:

Road Teams:  90 – 68 – 4  ATS
Home Teams:  68 – 90 – 4  ATS

All Favorites:  69 – 89 – 4  ATS
All Underdogs:  89 – 69 – 4  ATS

Home Favorites:  41 – 62 – 4  ATS
Home Underdogs:  27 – 28  ATS

Road Favorites:  28 – 27  ATS
Road Underdogs:  62 – 41 – 4  ATS

Overs/Unders:  79 – 83

 

In my longevity as a sports gambler, I’ve seen just about everything imaginable, including many highs and lows.  This moment is one of those low points.  But a downswing doesn’t mean surrender, nor even despair.

This week, I’m returning to data-driven handicapping methods.  I’m (mostly) dismissing subjective analysis, which has been the foundation of my methodology for several years.  Subjectivity analysis — anticipating motivation, coaching disparities, scheduling quirks, injuries, recent results, etc. — hasn’t produced any predictive value this season.  So, I’m returning to the core basics of hard data and pure analysis in picking games and totals.  Obviously, all games and betting situations, namely which data and trends to look at, are subject to biases.

Each of this week’s plays is driven by data — including longterm history and more recent results.  The most common data point I’m looking at (and following) is the surprising success of road underdogs.  Road dogs are absolutely killing it this season, so far.  While the 61 percent against-the-spread cover trend can be explained by variance, I’m counting on what we’ve seen in Weeks 1-11 to have some real merit and continue just a while longer.  When looking at this week’s lines, it doesn’t appear oddsmakers/bettors have made adjustments for road dogs performing so well in the regular season.

I’m cutting back on the detailed usual write-ups, but will take a position on each game for those who may be interested.

Note:  Here’s a link to a primer on betting on the NFL for those who may be unfamiliar with spreads, totals, props, and so forth:  BETTING ON NFL GAMES

 

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2019 NFL WAGERING RECORD

Wins — Losses — Pushes          27 — 36 — 0

Starting Bankroll:   $ 8,398.

Current Bankroll:   $5,376.  (- $3,022.)

Last Week’s Results (Week #11):         1 — 5 — 0  (- $1,500.)

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THIS WEEK’S WAGERS:  This week, I made 11 wagers.  I’m laying $2440. to win $2,200.  Here are the plays (each listed at -110 unless noted otherwise):

DEN +3.5 at BUF — Laying $220 to win $200
PIT -6 at CIN — Laying $220 to win $200
PIT / CIN UNDER 38 — Laying $220 to win $200
NYG +6 at CHI — Laying $220 to win 200
CAR +9.5 at NOR — Laying $220 to win 200
TB +3.5 at ATL — Laying $220 to win 200
TB / ATL OVER  51.5 — Laying $220 to won 200
1H — DET / WAS UNDER 20 — Laying $220 to win 200
DAL +6 at NWE — Laying $220 to win 200
GB +3.5 at SFO (-120) — Laying $240 to win 200
SEA +1 at PHI — Laying $220 to win 200

 

THOUGHTS ON ALL GAMES:

MIA +10.5 at CLE would normally be a wager on the “bet all road underdogs” angle, but a significant contrary trend keeps me off this game (favorites in the 10-14 range cover blindly 54.7 percent of the time since 2003, based on nearly 500 situations).  So, I’m avoiding dogs in this spread range.  Moreover, MIA is also suffering some alarming defensive injuries.  CLE might use MIA as a punching bag to generate some enthusiasm for a disappointed fan base, that is — if they’re able to dominate.  That could mean a blowout.  MIA was on a roll covering five straight before getting pummeled by BUF at home.  That loss might have deflated what little momentum the Dolphins were building and they could revert to their early-season ineptitude in this meaningless road spot.  It’s CLE or nothing for me in this game, along with the UNDER 46.5 because I don’t think MIA will score many points.

Playing DEN +3.5 at BUF.  Road dog angle is in place, plus DEN has looked much improved offensively since the QB change from Flacco to Allen.  These are two of the better defenses in the NFL, so in what’s projected to be a low-scoring game (total — 37), getting points could be a factor.  I bet DEN and lean slightly OVER 37, which seems a little low given DEN’s improved passing attack the last two games.

PIT is laying -6 at woeful and winless CIN.  Much media attention still focusing on brawl at the end of the CLE-PIT game.  I’m concerned about how focused PIT will be in the game versus a division rival getting zero respect.  CIN, despite being 0-10 SU, has played far better on the road this season than at home, so it would take +7 at a minimum to play the Bengals.  PIT defense has played well and given this is an absolute must-win, I think there’s enough talent on the Steelers roster to lay points here, especially when I saw tonight’s late line drop to -6.  Given the starting QBs and lack of talent at skill positions, I expect this game to be low scoring.  Cincy’s last nine drives — 44 plays, 158 yards, 3 points.  I have two wagers on this game — PIT at -6 and UNDER 38.

NYG at getting +6 at CHI, which has dropped from the +7 opener.  Given CHI offensive woes, taking the points with the dog seems to be the obvious play.  I’m making the pick based on the road dog angle but also do like the Giants here.  This just seems like too many points to give, and even with a porous defense, NYG should be able to keep the much-maligned CHI QB at bay.  Look for home crowd to turn on Trubisky quick if CHI doesn’t come out of the gate scoring points.   Bears have now lost 5 of their last 6 games.

OAK is laying -3.5 at the NYJ and many respected cappers are taking the home dog plus the points.  I can’t make that wager.  OAK got a real scare last week versus CIN and now riding a three-game win streak and tied for the division lead, I expect Raiders’ (especially Carr’s) experience will show here in a game where NYJ don’t have the weapons to take advantage of the opponent’s weaknesses (namely a passing game versus a bad bad defense).  I have no wager on the game but am inclined to lean OAK, which is on a roll and is used to the road (they played six straight games away from home earlier).

SEA has been on a roll and now plays at desperate PHI, which must have a win here.  SEA seems to get their wins through smoke and mirrors (or let’s just flat out give Russell Wilson his due for carrying this team).  Defense isn’t that good, but somehow they find ways to win.  I’ll play the road dog angle here and wager on SEA off the bye.

CAR is getting +95 at NOR.  Sorry that I couldn’t find +10.  Panthers played their worst game of the season last week, while NOR may have played its best.  CAR looked totally lost.  But based on what we’ve seen in what’s been a strange season, the Panthers should rebound and keep this close.  Had CAR not been blown out last week, I suspect this line would have been only -7 or slightly higher.  I think the public is overreacting to what happened in Week #11.

TAM is an excruciating team to watch and wager on, but the road dog angle says to do it.  I’m holding my nose and pulling the trigger with a barrel aimed squarely at my own head.  I can’t make a case for betting TAM, given they’re a league-worst 2-8 ATS.  Despite this fact, Bucs are getting only +3.5 to ATL, suddenly one of the hottest teams in the league.  Credit ATL for a huge bounce back in two road wins of the bye after being left for dead.  ATL defense has surrendered no touchdowns in the last 10 quarters.  This might be another Winston shit show.  As I said, I’m holding my nose, closing my eyes, and betting Tampa Bay.  Wake me up when the final score gets posted.  I can’t watch.  In just their last five games, TAM is -14 turnover ratio, which would be a horrible number for an entire season.  Also betting the OVER 52.5 — TAM games have gone OVER the number more than any other team and inside a dome versus an offense that can certainly score points, we might see a shootout.  Playing the dog and the OVER.

WAS might be the worst team in the NFL right now, and so getting only +3.5 doesn’t seem like enough points.  Tempting as it is to lay points with whoever plays the Redskins.  WAS lost their last four games and were outscored 52-18….scored just two touchdowns on its last 35 drives.  However, injuries for DET are a concern.  No plays.

TEN is -3.5 hosting JAX, which has been horrendous offensively in the last month.  TEN factors in on a solid angle which is to bet very good rushing teams against opponents that can’t run the ball or control time of possession.  I ran some data on this and it’s a historical moneymaker.  However, road dogs are plays for me this week, which makes this a pass.  It’s also reported RB Fournette will get plenty of carries.  Lean strongly UNDER 41.5 also.  However, I didn’t make any wagers on this game.

NWE is at home -6 vs. DAL in one of the season’s more anticipated games of Eastern division leaders.  DAL is the road dog here, but there are also reports of the flu bug in Dallas hitting some of the Cowboys.  Getting +6 is enough to make me bite and take DAL.  One thing worth considering is the NWE offense hasn’t played well in multiple weeks, so I’m not sure I’d want to lay many points with this team at the moment.  NWE is also playing the toughest part of their schedule at a really easy first two months.  That seems to be showing a few vulnerabilities.  Big coaching mismatch here, but I’m playing the Cowboys.

GBY+3.5 at SFO is the other premier matchup, which is the SNF game.  GB rates as a double play since they’re the road dog and also come up on the rushing angle I wrote about earlier.  Packers should be ready and rested coming off the bye.  Meanwhile, SFO hasn’t covered in their last three games

The other primetime feature is the LAR hosting what’s now the hottest team in the league, BAL favored by -3.5 over the Rams.  Strange, because if you had projected this line back in September, it would have been LAR -3.5 (or higher).  I suspect the Ravens might be getting just a little too much credit here, but I’m not betting on the Rams, which look soft.  This team really has taken a step back from last year’s Super Bowl run.  Some of this may be due to OL injuries, but I’ll pass on this one.  Also of note, after showcasing one of the highest-scoring teams in the league last year, LAR have turned into an UNDER team.  Last five games have gone under the number.  Leaning strongly UNDER 47 here, and might bet it late if that number is still available.

 

CONTEST WINNER ONLY/NO POINTSPREAD [$200 entry fee]

Season Record To-Date:  98-65-1

 

BD /SM INVESTMENT GROUP [37 persons Active]

Investor  —- Amount —- Pct. of Total Fund
Heldar $ 211 2.51%
Watanabe $ 100 1.19%
Peter Lucier $ 1,000 11.91%
Kramer $ 302 3.60%
Finbar O’Mahoney $ 200 2.38%
Howler $ 100 1.19%
Linda Keenan $ 500 5.95%
John Pickels $ 100 1.19%
Patrick Kirwan $ 100 1.19%
Sean McGinnis $ 300 3.57%
Jim Anderson $ 252 3.00%
Chad Holloway $ 200 2.38%
Eric Schneller $ 500 5.95%
Randy Collack $ 351 4.18%
Dave Lawful $ 100 1.19%
Paul Harris $ 1,000 11.91%
Dan Goldman $ 51 0.61%
Sharon Goldman $ 51 0.61%
Ken QB $ 102 1.21%
Chuck Weinstock $ 102 1.21%
Peter Taki Caldes $ 102 1.21%
Kenny Shei $ 51 0.61%
Jeff Deitch $ 51 0.61%
Kevin Un $ 128 1.52%
Becca (Kerl?) $ 22 0.26%
Corey Imsdahl $ 102 1.21%
Don Bingo Rieck $ 102 1.21%
Jeff Siegel (pending) $ 1,000 11.91%
Stephen Cohen (pending) $ 100 1.19%  XXX
John Reed $ 114 1.36%
George Wattman $ 51 0.61%
Mickdog Patterson $ 51 0.61%
Larry Lubliner $ 100 1.19%
Grizz Berentsen $ 100 1.19%
Edmund Hack $ 100 1.19%
Bob Feduniak $ 500 5.95%
David “Quick” Horowitz $ 102 1.21%
TOTAL $ 8,398 100.00%

$200 Invested into Pick Contest (see above)

__________

 

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