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Posted by on Dec 3, 2017 in Blog, Essays | 0 comments

NFL Week #13





CURRENT BALANCE:  $11,460. (+$1,460.)

OVERALL W-L RECORD:  44 wins / 34 loses / 2 pushes

Week #1 — 3 wins, 4 losses = net -$250

Week #2 — 1 win, 0 losses = net +$350

Week #3 — 7 wins, 2 losses = net +$1,070

Week #4 — 1 win, 1 loss = net -$20

Week #5 — 7 wins, 3 losses = net +$740

Week #6 — 2 wins, 2 losses = net -$40

Week #7 — 3 wins, 4 losses, 1 push = net -$280

Week #8 — 4 wins, 2 losses = net +$360

Week #9 — 2 wins, 2 losses = net -$270

Week #10 — 9 wins, 6 losses = net +$480

Week #11 — 3 wins, 4 losses = net -$280

Week #12 — 2 wins, 4 losses = net -$480


LAST WEEK’S UPDATE:   Last week, I posted 2 wins and 4 losses — for a net loss of -$480.  Some of my current down streak is bad luck.  Some is variance.  Some is poor handicapping.  I’ll try to make ammends this week as the lineup of games looks particularly inviting for several wagers.


WINLESS TEAMS UPDATE:   The “bet on all winless teams” angle continues to be a loser for the season.  Last week, Cleveland (the NFL’s only remaining winless team) lost and failed to cover again.   The system is now 6-9 for the season.  This betting system has lost -3.9 units, so far.  For anyone still riding this death train, Cleveland is getting +14 at San Diego this week.  I’m a contrarian, but I can’t imagine shelling out money to bet on the Browns at this point.



On to this week’s games (lines current as of Saturday night).  I made 6 wagers:


Detroit at Baltimore

I’m playing the visiting Lions getting +3 since I see this game as close to a pick ’em.  Ravens were quite fortunate to beat ailing HOU last week (+3 in the turnover battle and they still didn’t cover as a favorite).  An anemic offense doesn’t inspire confidence giving points.  Not only isn’t QB Flacco getting the ball downfield.  He won’t even throw the ball downfield.  Ravens always seem to pick up 4 yards on 3rd down and 7.  KEY GAME STAT:  BALT ranks 31st in the NFL in 3rd down conversions — only CLE is worse.  Like HOU last week (which has a solid run defense), Detroit should be able to stop the run and force Flacco into 3rd and long situations.  The strongest advantage with BALT is their kicker.  J. Tucker is “Mr. Automatic” anywhere within 55 yards and this is a rare instance where I give a team an extra few points based on the kicker alone.  However, Detroit’s offense is rolling along nicely — scoring 30, 28, 27, and 23 (against tough Minnesota) in the last four games.  Looks like DET should easily reach the 20’s here….but I’m not nearly as confidence BALT gets there based on the way this sputtering offense is performing.  DET also has ten days to prepare (last game was on Thanksgiving) versus BALT coming off the short week (Monday night game) which has just six days lag time.  I also like DET coming off the loss against team coming off a win, which makes for what’s likely a more focused effort this time.  DET offense is much better than BALT and certainly more consistent.  DET should be a prepared based on extra off time.  Both teams need this game badly and are in the playoff chase.  If nothing else, a close game mandates taking the team getting a full field goal.  Detroit gets my money as a solid play.


Denver at Miami

Shit Bowl comes early this year with DEN visiting MIA.  What a mess this game looks to be.  Midweek money pounded DEN from a +1 dog into a +2 favorite.  Credit DEN defense which still looks to play with some pride — ranked #3 in NFL in yardage allowed.  I do think this DEN defense is the standout factor in what otherwise looks to be an unbettable game for the casual fan.  Sharps will be all over DEN.  Both teams are reeling in the midst of long losing streaks.  However, DEN defense remains a standout unit.  Imagine how much better they might be if the offense kept the ball longer and gave them a bit of help.  Contrast several close losses by DEN with MIA which is getting destroyed each week — surrendering 35, 30, 45, 27, 40, and 28 its last six games. Also, hard to see how MIA maintains any offensive consistency with the revolving door of QBs which will now face an even bigger test now against one of the leagues best defenses.  DEN QB woes are well known and it’s hard to make a case for betting the Broncos.  However, a simple game plan and a solid defensive effort is probably enough for DEN to break its losing streak and cover a small number as the road favorite.  Betting the Broncos at any number up to -2.5.


Houston at Tennessee

Very tough spot for HOU which put up a valiant effort on the road on MNF last week (vs. BALT) and now plays another tough road game versus division rival seeking revenge.  HOU utterly humiliated TENN a few months ago (before QB injury changed everything).  TENN should be ready for payback here.  Titans are winners of 5 of last 6 (only loss at PITT) and have a shot at the division title.  No way they take this opponent lightly.  I’m tempted to lay the number which is -7.  But far better wager here appears to be teasing TENN from -7 down to -1 and combining with some other sugar on the board.  One factor that makes me shy away from laying a touchdown — HOU has a very solid run defense and this will likely force TENN into throwing more often than they will like.  Also, QB Savage who I have been hammering for weeks in my analysis, appears to be improving his last two games.  This game might be closer than some are expecting.  Let’s go with safer route here and expect the revenge-minded Titans to win this game at home and check half of a teaser bet.


Indianapolis at Jacksonville

I want badly to bet INDY +9 playing at JAX because the Jaguars shit offense doesn’t lead me to believe they should be laying this kind of number to anyone, especially versus a division rival.  This team simply does not produce enough points with enough consistency to be laying nearly two scores.  Versus three of the worst defenses in the NFL — CLE, ARZ, and CINCY — the offense struggled in all three games.  But to the Jaguars’ credit, this defense is capable of shutting out any opponent.  Points will be hard to come by for the Colts.  I especially like JAX here back at home after one of their poorer efforts of the season (defensively).  After surrendering just 31 points in four games, ARZ tagged JAX for 27 points in a loss last week.  I think this give JAX extra motivation to play shut down football this week against an INDY offense that ranks #27 in the NFL.  Hard to see where much scoring is going to come from in a game with a total lined at 40.5.  JAX game plan is to play this close to the vest and win the way they’ve been winning, which is ugly and with grinding the clock.  Both teams have played to the UNDER in 4 of their last five games.  Game between these two teams back in October resulted in just 27 combined points.  Playing the UNDER here which looks totaled at least a few points too high.


Kansas City at NY Jets

I don’t get this line — at all.  KC, losers of 5/6 (only trash win was versus horrible DEN at home) are laying more than a FG on the road?  It makes no sense.  NYJ have been my “BET ON” man-crush team many weeks now.  They burned me last week.  Actually, idiot CAR coach burned me last week as NYJ were covering all the way and then CAR inexplicably kicked a cover-killing FG with 21 seconds left in the game, when up by 5 (I was getting +5.5).  NYJ should have easily won that game outright, outplaying CAR for the most part — two 4th quarter touchdowns were the result of a fumble return for TD and a punt return for TD.  That was a false win for the opponent.  Good thing for those who watch the games who realize NYJ are at least as good a team at KC at the moment — and are playing at home and getting generous points here.  KC offensive production has been horrid of late — just 17, 9, and 10 points scored in last three games.  In this same stadium just three weeks ago, KC got stomped by NYG.  I love getting more than a field goal here.  CAR is a better team than KC and NYJ took them to the wire in this stadium a week ago, and now gett a hobbling opponent that can’t score points.  Jets.  Jets.  Jets.


LA Rams at Phoenix

I really like the Rams here — but only on a teaser.  Game line is -7 which means we take the favorite and instead get it at -1.  LA Rams are clearly in the upper echelon of teams and will likely stay here for a while since all the pieces are falling into place for what appears to be a very solid team.  LA Rams coming off a huge home win versus powerful NOR and need another win to keep pace in a playoff bye-week chase.  Can’t see the superior team letting down here versus an opponent that’s coming off an upset win.  If anything, that ARZ win last week (against JAX) will be an omen as to what can happen when an opponent is taken too lightly.  I don’t like laying a TD on the road, but teasing the Rams appears to be a reasonable option.  LA Rams stomped ARZ in first meeting 33-0.  If anything, Rams are probably even better now.  Laying small number on the teaser.


Pittsburgh at Cincinnati

I got this early in the week at CIN +6.5.  Line has dropped to +5.  I think there’s still value at this number.  CIN playing a rare home MNF game and so this is probably their Super Bowl.  I can’t make much of an argument for betting the Bengals.  They’ve been dominated by PIT in recent years.  What compels me to play the division dog here are the generous points they’re given plus a tendency for PIT to play down to its opponent’s level.  Steelers struggled badly versus CLE, CHI, INDY, and even last week at home against GB (all non-covers).  Similar opponent here.  CIN should get WR Green back.  Hoping for a close game where the points come into play.  This is clearly a case of betting CIN as the home dog or passing.  CIN isn’t totally out of playoff race yet at 5-6 record.  They have also quietly won their last two and hope to make this three in a row.  Bengals will get my money.  OVER 42.5 also looks to be worth a look.




Detroit +3 vs. Baltimore (Risking $220 to win $200)

Denver -2 vs. Miami (Risking $220 to win $200)

Teaser:  Tennessee -1 / LA Rams -1 (Risking $220 to win $200)

Indianapolis/Jacksonville UNDER 40.5  (Risking $220 to win $200)

NY Jets +3.5 vs. Kansas City  (Risking $220 to win $200)

Cincinnati +5 vs. Pittsburgh  (Risking $220 to win $200)



CHI was favored by -5.5 but that line dropped to -3 based on news QB Garoppolo will start his first game for SFO.  That’s almost worthy of a play on CHI as I don’t think the new starter is going to make much of a difference, not this early anyway.  If you didn’t bet SFO at +5.5 earlier in the week(which was probably the right play at that number), there’s no way you can take the short end of the shit number now and grab these scraps.  I do think the line moved a little too much here (I’d make this -3.5 or -4).  CHI has shown some spark this season, especially on defense and with the rushing game.  SFO has one lone win, against a horrible NYG team when everyone was calling for the head coach to be fired.  CHI playing with slightly more consistency, at home, against unproven QB (I give Garoppolo no credit for his success in NWE — this is an entirely new situation).  CHI isn’t really capable of blowing anyone out or even winning by much of a margin, so there’s no reason to jump in and lay points here.  I really do like CHI on the moneyline, as I think that’s the way to go if you have to bet this game.  I’m going to pass.

MINN playing at ATL is another game where the train has already departed the station.  You had to get MINN at +3 and laying just -110 early to make this wager.  Now, most places have this as +2.5.  MINN looks damn good at the moment and I’d take them getting a FG against probably anyone right now.  But ATL also looks to have turned things around (three impressive wins in a row).  I’ve written before about my reluctance to bet these indoor games on rubber grass, especially teams like ATL which might score 17 or might score 47.  I don’t like betting these kinds of games.  With a FG, I’m all over MINN.  Anything less, this is a pass.  MINN priced at +130 probably has some value since if they cover +2.5, they probably win the game outright.  So, betting MINN is probably best done via the moneyline at a nice plus price.

Only a fool would fade NWE at the moment, especially given BUF is offensively challenged.  How is BUF going to keep up in this game?  But as a rule, I don’t like these number of points in divisional rivalries, especially with road favorites.  NWE is laying -9 here.  Tempting as it is to lay that number, UNDER looks to be the better play if you want action.  Can’t remember any BUF home game played in December with a total this high (49).  I really do want to play the UNDER here, but I got burned last week in a very similar situation (almost identical — game still went OVER).  I fear NWE building a lead then getting lazy on defense.  To their credit, NWE defense has played stellar — holding seven straight opponents to 17 points or less.  So, hard to justify betting an OVER the way this defense is playing.  BUF defense completely shut down KC last week, but this unit also got hammered for 130 points in the previous three games before that.  Impossible to predict if this wildly inconsistent unit will be able to muster enough of an effort to slow down the Patriots.  I’m passing on the game.

TAM is a horrible spot this week playing their third straight road game.  That’s not a good situation for a mediocre (at best) team that’s been revolving QB injuries and some off-the-field controversy.  Home dog GB, which showed some life last week in a close loss at PIT, could use that confidence to finally win at home for the first time since QB A. Rodgers went down with his injury.  I’d like to be getting at least a FG here to take either side, so at +2 that’s not enough to go to the betting window.  However, total seems inexplicably high at 45 here.  UNDER worth a look perhaps.  Skipping this for now.

CAR at NOR should be a dogfight.  The natural inclination is to take CAR on the road getting what looks to be a generous +4.5.  One would think this game will go down to the wire.  However, CAR picked up a false win last week and QB Newton remains way too erratic for my taste.  He’s ranked #26 in the league in passing.  Last week, Newton was 11/28 passing.  That’s pathetic.  Now, CAR goes on the road again against rival they haven’t covered against in last five meetings.  NOR also coming off a loss and returning home puts them in a much better frame of mind tobe focused.  A counterintuitive thought here — if NOR won last week and CAR lost last week, I would probably be hammering CAR hard as the dog.  But in a reversal of this situation, I think given the way NFL teams often play we see things break in an opposite direction.  It’s the Saints here laying points, or nothing.  If I could find a -4, I might lay it.  Otherwise, this is a pass.

If there’s ever a spot to lay two touchdowns with the favorite in an NFL game, it’s probably backing the Chargers against the Browns this week.  The reasons for betting against CLE are self-evident and need not be explained.  The reasons for betting on SDI are even more compelling, especially given what this team is doing offensively.  Oddly enough, the terrible 0-4 season start for SDI created an unusual situation where a talented team simply cannot have a flat performance and expect to make the playoffs.  So, the focus appears to be there every week.  Last week, SDI destroyed the Cowboys by 20+ points and here they face a similar opponent (offensively speaking).  SDI should take care of business.  CLE is 2-9 ATS this season and a horrific 8-29-1 the last three seasons — which is unprecedented.  But I’m not laying this kind of number based on my “Any Given Sunday” rule based on some concern SDI could roll to a lead then play lots of reserves later and allow a backdoor cover.

I might have taken OAK if they were at full strength.  However, the suspensions (especially WR Crabtree) gives OAK less offensive firepower.  Hence, I am reluctant to lay this number, now up to -9 since the stunning announcement that much-maligned G. Smith will play in place of E. Manning.  Lots of fans cynical about Smith, but I think this is the right move for a franchise going nowhere.  Smith experienced a horrid few years with NYJ, and he knows this is likely his last shot in the NFL.  I have an odd feeling this game could be closer than the spread indicates, especially with OAK struggling as well as their deep threat out of the game.  I can’t bet NYG with so much disarray at the moment.  But only a fool would lay this number with OAK.  No bet.

PHIL at SEA should be interesting to watch, but no wager for me.  PHIL rolling at the moment and are laying -5.  Tempting to play SEA as the rare home dog.  What keeps me off the game are legitimate concerns the SEA home field advantage might be fading a bit.  Combine this with SEA injury situation, which could allow PHIL to have a field day.  PHIL has also very quietly turned into the NFL’s best defense in yardage allowed.  That does not bode well for a SEA offense that’s been inconsistent this season.  No action.


Good luck.


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