NFL 2019: Week #9
A few interesting stats worth noting heading into NFL Week #9:
— Road teams are 71-45-2 ATS so far this season.
— Division games have leaned strongly to the UNDER, going 23-12 to the low side of the total.
— In 121 games played, so far, UNDERs have prevailed overall, going 65-55-1.
— UNDERs have also produced a small profit across the board in both the first and second half. First-halves total have landed 64-56-1 to the UNDER. Second halves have landed 63-54-4 to the UNDER.
2019 NFL WAGERING RECORD
Wins — Losses — Pushes 24 — 30 — 0
Starting Bankroll: $ 8,296.
Current Bankroll: $6,631. (- $1,660.)
Last Week’s Results: 2 — 2 — 0 (+ $160.)
THIS WEEK’S WAGERS: This week, I’ve made three wagers. I’m laying $1,035. to win $900. Here are the plays:
Indianapolis / Pittsburgh OVER 40.5 — Risking $330 to win $300
Detroit / Oakland OVER 50.5 — Risking $33o to win $300
Jacksonville +7.5 / Chicago +10.5 — Risking $375 to win $300
Possible Late Additions (see Facebook): Seattle -5, Green Bay -4, and Dallas -6
THOUGHTS ON ALL GAMES:
HOU/JAX — HOU is laying -1.5 to JAX in this week’s London game with the total posted at 46.5. Rain forecast could muddy the track. I teased the Jaguars up over a touchdown to +7.5. Although they’ve played weak competition, CIN and NYJ, the Jaguars have won two straight and eclipsed the 20+ point mark in 5 of last six. Strength of JAX was supposed to be the defense, and they’ve been in fine form lately, holding opponents to just 13, 17, and 15 points respectively. At 4-4, this is a critical game for JAX, and I expect they’ll keep this one close. Meanwhile, HOU has not looked good it’s last two games. HOU played miserably against IND two weeks ago and might have lost at home to OAK had the officiating been more consistent. HOU will miss Watt on the defensive line this week, which is certainly an advantage to the underdog. JAX fields the #2 ranked pass defense in NFL and with #2 WR Fuller out for HOU, that could be problematic. Not a huge factor, but worth mentioning — HOU has never played in London before. This is the seventh time JAX has played in London, including last season. So, JAX could be slightly more in tune with these travel demands. Previous divisional matchup in HOU between these two teams produced a nail-biting 13-12 finale. Give me the +7.5. Also lean strongly to JAX at +1.5
WAS /BUF — WAS playing at BUF getting +10.5. Total is a season-low, at 36.5. Wind and some drizzle possible in the forecast, which won’t help either passing game. Total is too low to bet UNDER so the contrarian in me wants to bet the other way. But WAS offense is beyond anemic — producing just 36 points in its last five games, with zero TD drives their last 14 possessions. Hard to bet the Redskins in this spot. BUF hasn’t played well on the offensive side of the ball either. Does seems like a great rebound situation for BUF which got beat solidly last week at home to PHI. This is the third straight at home for BUF, which also helps the favorite. Can’t lay -10.5 with a team that isn’t moving the ball as well as earlier in the season. This marks the fifth time WAS has been a dog of 10+. They’ve covered in three of those contests, including the last two weeks. WAS starting rookie QB Haskins, which reportedly is a rushed decision (translation: he’s not ready). Terrible spot to start a rookie on the road off a loss versus a good Bills defense. Hard to predict what to expect. Between the weather, two struggling offenses, and a home team off an embarrassing loss, there are way too many variables to handicap. So, this is a pass.
TEN/CAR — CAR laying -3.5 to TEN, with total set at 42. CAR was destroyed at SFO last week, but that blowout might be a bit misleading. I sensed that CAR seemed to give up after falling behind early, realizing it might be better to stay healthy and prepare for next game. CAR has won 4/5 with backup QB Allen under center. CAR also leading NFL in sacks, getting to opposing QB 4.3 times per game. TEN also allowing heavy sacks last few games with new QB….Tannehill has hit the grass nine times in 10 quarters he’s played this season. Meanwhile. TEN is notorious as a road team in recent years. Titans just 11-22 ATS in last 32 games as a road dog. But most of those contests were with QB bust Mariota, replaced now by the journeyman Tannehill, who has won two straight. I was tempted to play CAR, but the hook on the -3 and the decent play of Tannehill keeps me off the home favorite.
CHI/PHI — PHI laying -4 to floundering CHI with total at 41. CHI on a bad slide, losing three straight. However, both teams have disappointed this season. PHI only 3-9 ATS the last 12 home games. PHI played best game of season last week at BUF, rushing for 200+ yards. But I expect CHI defense to regroup for this contest with backs to the wall and their season slipping away. Obviously, CHI offense is a monumental concern for betttors. But the PHI defense been woefully inconsistent, surrendering 24+ points in 6/8 games this season. I grabbled CHI +10.5 on the teaser, taking the half point on the key number (10) hoping that’s enough to get the cash. PHI is currently in the midst of a brutal stretch of opposing defenses, facing MIN, DAL, BUF, CHI, and then NWE next week. That’s quite an overwhelming task for any offense, especially one that hasn’t been healthy much of the season. Taking CHI on the teaser to keep the score within single digits. This teaser side probably won’t be appealing to many bettors, but there are some positive trends that also favor the Bears in this spot. Teams that come off two straight home losses do tend to focus more and play above market expectation in the next game, on the road. Lack of respect for Bears now gives some added value.
MIN/KC — Chiefs as home favorites have lost three straight games and now face what might be their toughest opponent yet, MIN coming in red hot on a four-game winning streak. QB Mahomes listed as doubtful. If so, Moore has played admirably and now with some experience should be able to guide the offense. Trouble has been KC’s defense. I wanted to play MIN in this game, but line offers no value at -4. Might bite if the number was -3. So, this rates as a pass. Total stands at 47, which might be a little high with Mahomes on the sideline. Something tells me Mahomes might see action this week if Moore doesn’t play well and KC is in the game. Based on that intangible, I’d probably swing and bet the other way right now, getting +4. But this isn’t a game I want to bet on at the moment.
NYJ/MIA — MIA has very quietly covered in three straight games. Now, the Dolphins are getting +3 at home. All the pressure seems to be on NYJ and especially QB Darnold coming off two awful games. Head Coach Gase, who took the Jets job after spending three seasons in MIA, is probably on the hot seat, as well. I don’t see the NYJ as a team that responds well under pressure. Given MIA has covered the line in three straight, strong lean to Dolphins. However, I didn’t like what I saw by MIA in second half of the PIT game, where they blew a two-touchdown lead. Off a short week, hard to say how MIA will perform with so little talent at skill positions. NYJ aren’t favored often, and we see why — they’re just 1-7 ATS as favorites since 2017. NYJ also facing some reported dissension in locker room with defensive captain Adams being shopped in a trade possibility. Jets MLB Mosley is also out for this game. Lean Dolphins but no wager.
IND/PIT — PIT laying -1 to Colts with total at 40.5. I like the OVER in this game, which is the lowest of any Steelers game this season by 3 points. PIT offense has consistently produced points since the QB injury/backup situation, scoring 20+ in six straight games. Steelers home games 13-6 to the OVER the last three seasons. Also worth noting that this total is the lowest of any IND game this season, as well. This is an outlier game for the Colts, who played two at home, visit PIT this week, then go back at home for two more. Weather looks to be perfect for game day, so I’m a bit surprised this total isn’t at least 42.5 to 43. I’ll grab some value by catching the key number 41. Also of note: IND is a perfect 3-0 ATS on the road this season, but line might have caught up to this fact as they’re a tiny dog. PIT getting very lucky in turnover margin, at +9 this season. That good fortune likely won’t continue.
DET/OAK — I like the total to fly OVER the 50.5. Had the OVER 51.5 in OAK/HOU game last week and missed by a half-point. But also had DET going OVER, which easily eclipsed the mark. Both defenses give up chunks of yards, big plays, and points, and two veteran QBs should indicate another shootout. DET has gone OVER in 5/7. OAK has gone OVER in 4/7. This is the Raiders first home game in Week #2. They play a critical three-game home stretch, against beatable opponents and a chance to get back into the playoff race. Shocking as this may sound, OAK could be in first place a month from now, if they take care of business. DET is a perfect opponent for OAK, allowing 30 PPG its last five contests, and has injuries in the defensive secondary. Lions awful in pass defense, ranking 32nd in the NFL in YPG allowed. Raiders hardly any better, rank 31st. Those are dreadful numbers. OAK ranks fourth in the NFL in YPP (6.2) and is averaging 26 PPG in last four contests, all away from home. More good news for OAK — offensive line playing well, allowed just 8 sacks all season of QB Carr. Seems like a reasonable expectation for both teams to put up points. Playing the OVER 50.5. Also probably some value on OAK -2.5, which is available in a few spots.
TB/SEA — SEA has been dreadful as a home favorite, losing ATS in all four games this season. Perhaps that’s why this number is down to SEA -4.5, despite the Seahawks looking very formidable at 6-2 and playing an opponent that’s lost three straight games. Tempting to lay the chalk here with SEA. Reason to bet here is fading a really bad defense, which has been slashed for 34 PPG on average its last five contests. Giving up 32 to the NYG, 37 to CAR, and 27 to TEN doesn’t inspire confidence. TB has also underperformed to the market, going just 2-5 ATS this season. I’d like to play OVER this game as well, but total is the week’s highest number at 52.5 and I just can’t bet it, especially given some feeling the SEA defense will rise to the occasion. SEA promises lots of value at this number. I might reconsider and make a late play at game time, especially of line inexplicably falls to -4 (which it won’t). Fifth straight road game for Tampa (one was in London). Ridiculous for NFL to do this to teams (Tampa and Oakland this season). Odd fact: Underdog has covered in ten straight Seattle games. Probably just a variance tic, but still worth mentioning.
CLE/DEN — Another QB with the last name Allen is starting, as Broncos found an excuse to place Flacco’s statue in the warehouse (reportedly out for the season) and will introduce a new QB who hasn’t ever taken an NFL snap. Impossible to handicap DEN offensive situation, which looks bleak. But back at home facing Browns’ defense that hasn’t played well in 2019, this is as good a situation as any for a new QB. CLE laying -4 which strikes me as a little high, especially given how well DEN defense has played. Broncos defense has come up strong much of the season, allowing just 18 PPG. On the other wide, CLE remains one of the NFL’s biggest disappointments. To be fair to the Browns, they’ve played a murderer’s row of games the last five weeks — LAR, BAL, SFO, SEA, NWE — and now face their softest opponent since facing the NYJ in Week #2. CLE probably the right side if you bet the game. Smarter bet might be UNDER 39, since DEN playbook should be abbreviated with a first-time starter and DEN defense playing well above average.
GB/LAC — Talk is this will be a home game for the Packers who will enjoy more fan support than the host. Very tempting to bet the road favorite here at -4, but it looks almost too easy. Chargers have been horrid in most games this year, often playing from behind in every game. Last week, they were down by 11, but rallied late to win. Game before that, LAC lost at TEN after being down by double digits. LAC were being shut out at home 24-0 to PIT in previous game. Then, in game before that, LAC lost at home by 7 to DEN. Only real “victory” was an easy win at dreadful MIA. Hard to see how LAC are going to turn things around. Team appears to be badly coached, unmotivated, no home-field advantage, and aren’t scoring. Chargers produced average of 17 PPG in last four games. That number won’t cut it against GB, which can light up a scoreboard. GB playing third straight AFC West foe and is on a roll, especially on offense. It’s the Packers or nothing here for me. Packers perfect on the road at 3-0 ATS. LAC have failed to cover at home, going 0-4 ATS. Shouldn’t this line be -6? Note also that LAC fired offensive coordinator (Whisenhunt). Head coach Lynn is taking over the play-calling. I fail to see how that improves the situation for the Chargers.
NWE/BAL — Big game of the week on SNF has BAL getting +3 at home against the dynasty. I’m tempted to play the Ravens off the bye in what’s clearly a statement game for the team. But I’d like at least +4, so won’t flesh out any cash. NWE is cheap here if you like that side. Offensive stats are down, but the defense has been stellar against very bad competition. There’s also the point differential, which is one of the best in history. That’s something that could motivate Belichick and his team in crucial situations where the spread is at stake. Remarkable Stat: NWE defense has allowed just 4 opposing TDs scored on its last 96 drives. That’s unheard of. No way I can step in front of the GOAT Patriots right now. I see compelling arguments on both side — Patriots have value at this number and the Ravens are probably a contrarian lean. No opinion on the total. However, these are the two top-scoring offenses in the NFL so a lean to the OVER 44.5 seems justified.
DAL/NYG — MNF features DAL in first place visiting Meadowlands again, where they were upset to Jets three weeks ago. DAL was laying -7 but line has dropped to -6. Probably some value at this number on Cowboys. What keeps me off DAL (at this moment) is a general tendency to stay away from road division favorites combined with DAL’s notorious inconsistencies. losing games like this that they should win based on edge in talent. DAL does come off a bye and played its best game of the season two weeks ago whipping PHI. There’s no excuse for DAL not to be fully prepared for this matchup. NYG porous defense should give Cowboys plenty of opportunities to produce yards and points. NYG allowing nearly 50 percent 3rd down conversion rate to opponents, which is sickening bad. DAL has won the last three meetings by average of 13 PPG. QB Prescott playing best of his career at the moment, and get back a healthy WR corps. Probably will look to Cowboys if line stays at -6. NYG are an awful 2-9-1 ATS at home since the start of 2018 season (but most of those games were with QB Manning). Will decide later.
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Season Record To-Date: 71-51-1
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