NFL 2019: Week #7 Picks
Here’s a photo certain to shock a few readers.
Go ahead. Just call me “Bet Genius.”
Someone snapped this photo a few days ago at the Global Gaming Expo conference here in Las Vegas in front of an online company that provides high-tech sports betting software.
I wish I could claim that some of the things I observed at the four-day conference rubbed off and re-energized my betting prospects. The fact is, most of my time was spent attending seminars and meeting people in the sports betting industry, including several sportsbook managers. I did come away with great optimism for the future of sports wagering in America. We are just seeing the beginnings of what I predict will become a transformative spectator experience with sports, which is destined to be far more interactive. But that’s not why you’re here, reading this intro.
Unfortunately, I’m in the midst of a dreadful 1-11 run, my worst betting results in seven years. There’s not much one or anyone else can do other than continue working, reading, handicapping, and trying to make adjustments.
The bad news is — I’m down about 25 percent from my starting bankroll. The good news is — there are a lot more weeks ahead and opportunities to get back on the winning side.
Obviously, tailing my plays is not recommended unless you’re really sick and love punishment. But for my faithful group of investors, I will continue to make wagers and then explain my reasoning. The only way to get out of a slump is to work a little harder and try and look at things that might have been missed earlier.
Now, on to Week #7.
2019 NFL WAGERING RECORD
Wins — Losses — Pushes 17 — 25 — 0
Starting Bankroll: $ 8,296.
Current Bankroll: $6,151. (- $2,140.)
Last Week’s Results: 0 — 5 — 0 (- $1,320.)
THIS WEEK’S WAGERS: This week, I’ve made eight wagers. Each bet is to win $200. That’s eight wagers — laying $1,780. to win $1,600.
A note about my betting strategy: Instead of retrofitting arguments in support of each wager, which is often pointless and non-productive, I’m making spot wagers riding a trend I hope will continue. This season through six weeks underdogs are 36-53-2 SU, but a remarkable 52-36-2 ATS. Home teams are struggling, going just 40-49-1 SU, and even worse performers ATS, going a horrid 33-55-2.
This brings me to the basis of seven wagers, which is to bet these road dogs to continue having success.
There’s certainly something to be said for “RTTM,” which means “Return to the Mean.” Things will average out with time and more trials. Hence, we can probably agree road dogs are not going to cover 60 percent of the games this season. At some point, lines will adjust and ATS results will show more balanced outcomes.
However, looking at the opening lines and line-moves this week, I’m seeing little or no adjustment in reaction to the strong showing of road dogs. Lines moves were split 3-3, as in games where the opening line moved, home faves got just as much betting love as road dogs. So, this tells me the market hasn’t caught on to road teams playing above expectations, so far.
What possibly accounts for road dogs performing so well ATS? Possible theories include:
— Pure randomness
— Road teams better prepared than in previous seasons
— Home field advantage not as strong as in previous seasons
— Teams with strong home field advantages historically not faring as well in that role, so far (SEA 0-3 ATS; GB 2-2 ATS; KC 1-2 ATS)
— Inconsistent officiating increases variance, perhaps helping underdogs more than favorites
Obviously, we don’t have enough trials to draw any definitive conclusions. However, as a bettor who generally sides with underdogs and likes taking points when capturing key numbers, I’m certainly willing to gamble this week that the success of these road dogs will continue.
Here are the plays:
Arizona +3 (Even) vs. NY Giants — Risking $200 to win $200
Houston +1 (-110) vs. Indianapolis — Risking $220 to win $200
Miami +17 (-110) vs. Buffalo — Risking $220 to win $200
Oakland +4.5 (-110) vs. Green Bay — Risking $220 to win $200
Baltimore +3 (-110) vs. Seattle — Risking $220 to win $200
New Orleans +4 (-110) vs. Chicago — Risking $220 to win $200
Minnesota / Detroit OVER 43.5 (-110) — Risking $220 to win $200
TEASER: Detroit +8.5 vs. Minnesota / Philadelphia +8.5 vs. Dallas — Risking $240 to win $200
THOUGHTS ON EACH GAME:
Fezzik touted me on NYG -3 this week, and vig is steaming to -120 on the fave. I get the reasoning for backing the rejuvenated Giants at home, which is just as much a play-against spot against the Cardinals which travel to the East Coast and might suffer a letdown off a two-game winning streak. No argument on backing the Giants, but I’m with the well-coached, emotionally-high Cardinals getting a FG in a spot as the road dog.
INDY seems like the right side with extra rest hosting HOU off a huge road win which must go on the highway again this week. But HOU is playing exceptional on offense, right now. I’m happy to take them in the road dog scenario. Bettors might not be caught on yet to how HOU could eventually be the #2 seed in the AFC.
I told myself no more MIA bets this year, but I have to pull the trigger getting +17. As solid as BUF is playing, especially on defense, not sure if they show much or go all out here, since they won’t have to do much to win. First of a three-game homestretch for the Bills, which could end reach midseason at 7-1. Good sign for MIA they are starting Fitzpatrick at QB, which is probably their best chance to score points. Getting +16.5 I might pass. But +17 is enough points to real me in on the division road dog. Oh, and for all their awfulness, MIA defense isn’t that bad.
Total in the MINN-DET game dropped from 44 to 43 in some spots, and historically these two rivals have played UNDERS. However, I like OVER at this total based on two upper-third ranked offenses (11th and 13th) combined with two experienced QBs with good wideouts. DET defense also ranks 29th. At home on rubber grass I expect enough points to break this total. Vikings game posted 58 points last week. Lions have posted 45, 64, and 51 in their last three games. Also like what I’ve seen from Lions this season, so far as a teaser bet. Detroit suffered two losses previous two games, losing by a combined total of 5 points to Green Bay and Kansas City. They should also keep this one close, let’s hope under a touchdown (+8.5).
Oakland is playing its fourth-straight road game (one of those in London). This seems like a nightmare for the Raiders. But they’ve also won two straight away from Oakland. I can’t make a good case for my bad number +4.5 when the opener was +7 very early in the week. But I’m riding the rested Raiders against a team that probably should have lost its previous home game, except for a few bad calls. Packers also off short rest and in a “fat and happy” spot, ripe for an upset.
I wish I could bet Cincinnati +4.5 at home, but this defense is decimated with injuries right now. Not that it matters, perhaps since the Bengals are so bad in every phase of the game. Something tells me Cincinnati will finally wake up and play a solid game. Oddly enough, Cincy is 3-1 ATS on the road, but 0-2 ATS at home. Jacksonville offense should finally wake up, but I can’t see laying points with such an inconsistent offense. Total dropped and settled on 44, which still looks a little high to me.
Lots of solid bettors on ATL at home catching +3 versus Rams, who are reeling at the moment on a three-game skid. ATL was +4, and that’s a tempting side. Wanted to go UNDER 54.5, but hard to pull that trigger as bad as the Falcons have been on defense. Game could go in many directions. Hard to figure which of these disappointing teams wakes up and makes a statement.
SFO laying -10 on the road seems like a stretch, especially coming off the huge road win over rival Rams last week. But I’m now convinced this team is well-coached and the defense is solid. I can’t possibly bet a Redskins team that barely squeaked by in a non-cover at MIA last week. Total at 40 seems a little low. But rain in forecast keeps me off the game.
Two miserable teams face off in the Titans-Chargers matchup. Hard to say which team is more disappointing. At least Chargers have some excuse with nagging injuries. But TENN hasn’t played well either and finally woke up to Mariota being a possible draft bust. New Titans QB starter this week, which only adds to all the uncertainty.
I really like BAL +3 at SEA, even though I missed the better number early in the week. BAL is 4-2 SU but has gone just 1-4 ATS in last five games. SEA is woeful ATS at home, at 0-3. Despite the less than impressive stats, these are two good teams that should play down to the wire. So, I like taking the points. Rain in forecast probably slightly helps BAL since they tend to be a duel threat with rushing QB, although R. Wilson certainly belongs right up there. SEA probably should have lost it’s last two games, and could be 2-4 at the moment — so I do like the visiting Ravens. Also, total at 48 might be a little too high.
Understandable why CHI is getting love, with line shooting from -3 to -4 versus NOR. But let’s remember CHI’s offensive concerns. Let’s also acknowledge NOR continues being underestimated by the betting markets, yet again dogs to a team with offensive inconsistencies (recall NOR beating JAX las week, while inexplicably getting +2.5). RB Kamara is out, so that hurts the Saints. But getting +4 points with a team that’s won and covered in four straight games strikes me as a solid wager.
PHIL is +3 in a few spots, laying -120. I like that side. But the better value for me is the teaser up to +8.5. Dallas has lost three straight games and hasn’t defeated anyone respectable yet. This will certainly be a game that brings Dallas’ top effort, but the same can be said for the Eagles, also at 3-3. In a game that should be close, I like the points.
I’m not a believer in the NYJ, even though they pulled off a big upset last week. NWE is laying -9.5 to -10 on the road here, and it’s easy to fall into the trap and bet the home underdog. The better play might be UNDER 44, if you can find it. NWE defense has been suffocating. Both teams combined at 4-7 to the UNDER this season.
CONTEST WINNER ONLY/NO POINTSPREAD [$200 entry fee]
Season Record To-Date: 50-43-1
Week #7 Picks:
Denver over Kansas City
LA Rams over Atlanta
Buffalo over Miami
Cincinnati over Jacksonville
Detroit over Minnesota
Green Bay over Oakland
Houston over Indy
Arizona over NY Giants
San Francisco over Washington
LA Chargers over Tennessee
New Orleans over Chicago
Baltimore over Seattle
Philadelphia over Dallas
New England over NY Jets
BD /SM INVESTMENT GROUP [37 persons]
211. — David Heldar
100. — Steve Watanabe
1,000. — Peter Lucier
302. — Bruce Kramer
200. — Finbarr O’Mahony
100. — Howler
500. — Linda Keenan
100. — John Pickels
100. — Patrick Kirwan
300. — Sean McGuiness
252. — Jim Anderson
200. — Chad Holloway
500. — Eric Schneller
351. — Randy Collack
100. — David Lawless Lawful
1,000. — Paul Harris
51. — Dan Goldman
51. — Sharon Goldman
102. — Ken QB
102. — Chuck Weinstock
102. — Peter Taki Caldes
51. — Kenny Shei
51. — Jeff Dietch
128. — Kevin Un
22. — Becca
102. — Corey Imsdahl
102. — Don Bingo Reick
1,000. — Jeff Siegel (payment pending)
100. — Stephen Cohen (payment pending)
51. — John Reed
51. — George Wattman
51. — Mickdog Patterson
100. — Larry Lubliner
100. — Guy Grizz Berentsen
100. — Edmund Hack
500. — Bob Feduniak
63. — John Reed