NFL Week #10 — Analysis and Picks
After a disappointing start to the 2023 regular season, I’m now coming off my best -and most profitable- week. Hopefully, this good fortune continues. So, let’s get straight to this week’s picks, with a short summary of each selection:
[All wagers are juiced to -110 unless noted otherwise]
Game Bet: Indianapolis -1 at -115 (Risking $230 to win $200)
Indy looks to have value at this number on a neutral field. They’ve won twice as many games as the Patriots (4 to 2) and have the better offense, even with a backup QB (Minchew). Colts offense is surprising — averaging 25 PPG. The betting market seems unable to shake the outdated fantasy about Bill Belichick, who seems unable to do anything to stop the sinking Patriots ship. The Patriots are a dismal 1-10 ATS in their past 11 games as underdogs. QB Mac Jones is 4-14 ATS in his career as an underdog, including 1-13 ATS in his past 14 starts in that role. The Patriots offensive line looks to be a mess. Supposedly, New England fields the better defense. However, YPG shows NWE surrendering 333 (compared to 360 YPG for Colts). Patriots have scored just 135 points all season, and have been outscored by 93 points in nine games. Indy is 3-1 away from home this season, so the strange surroundings (Frankfurt) may not impact the Colts as much. I’ll take the team that’s playing with heart, and could be 5-3 right now were it not for some horrible officiating in a loss a few weeks ago.
Game Bet: Tampa Bay -1 (Risking $220 to win $200)
What is it about the Titans that makes them always competitive at home, but a terrible road team? Tennessee is 3-1 in Nashville, but winless at 0-4 on the road. Moreover, the Titans have looked bad in those losses. Tennessee hopes the change at QB might spark a dull offense. I’d rather bet on Tamp Bay which looks to be in a good position to end their four-game losing skid. I’m not confident Tampa Bay can and will shake off that thrilling but heartbreaking defeat to Houston last week (arguably, the best game of the season, so far), but if they can refocus, this is an ideal opponent to host at home to get back on track.
Game Bet: Minnesota +3 at -120 (Risking $240 to win $200)
I don’t trust New Orleans. This team is a complete fraud. We’re at midseason and after every single incompletion it seems that Saints QB Carr is yelling at his receivers for running the wrong route. These kinds of mistakes shouldn’t still be happening. The Saints struggled to beat dismal Chicago at home last week, which started an undrafted free-agent QB. Meanwhile, newly-acquired Dobbs (from ARZ) joined the team four days earlier and led the Vikes to a stunning road upset. Minnesota has won four straight (all covers), and even with their question marks, are a great value as a home dog to the Saints–who have absolutely no business laying this number of points….unless it was at CAR or CHI. Dennis Allen, the clueless over-his-head Saints head coach, is a horrid 3-14-2 ATS after an outright win. That ranks 138th of 142 coaches in the last 20 years. He’s also 0-5-1 this year as a favorite ATS.
Game Bet: Dallas -16.5 at -115 (Risking $230 to win $200)
I can’t remember the last time I gave -16.5 points in the NFL. Maybe never. Dallas has shown a tendency to use bad teams as a punching bag and even run up the score. Dallas crushed the Rams by 23, Jets by 20, Patriots by 35, and beat these same Giants by 40 in an opening night shutout. This wager is based on Tommy DeVito starting for the Giants. It’s easy to rip DeVito for his stats, but the play calling has done nothing to help the rookie’s confidence. One expects the Cowboys defense to make this a very long day for the Giants. I normally would have concern about this being a division game, and a possible revenge spot for the Giants. That said, Dallas comes off a tough defeat in PHI last week and should be in a foul mood and will take it out here versus an outclassed opponent. Line is up to -17 in some places.
Game Bet: Las Vegas [pick] (Risking $220 to win $200)
I keep staring at my computer screen, re-checking injury reports, and sticking myself with a pin to make sure I’m alive and awake and seeing things for real. WHY ARE THE FUCKING JETS FAVORED IN THIS GAME? (Note: The line opened at NYJ -1….which is now pick ’em). A few weeks ago, after watching QB Zach Wilson wearing blinders and make yet another drive-killing blunder, I told myself that I’m just going to bull run to the sportsbook, pull out whatever cash and is in my pocket, and bet against the Jets WHATEVER the line is, whoever they’re playing against. Until this QB is benched, the Jets are a fade (despite winning a few games with smoke and mirrors). I’m not a Las Vegas Raiders homer, and I still have doubts this team will quickly turn things around. But let’s give the Raiders credit for a great performance at home last week, dominating the Giants. The other New York team looks earily similar and has just as many offensive problems. So, le’ts look for Las Vegas to pull the repeat in back-to-back wins. The Jets defense should make this a much closer game. Other than that, how will they score points? The wrong team is favored here. I’d make this Las Vegas -2.5. I’m taking the dog. Yeah, it could be a trap. Fuck it, I’m taking the bait
Game Bet: Washington +6.5 (Risking $220 to win $200)
It’s hard to trust Washington, one of the league’s most inconsistent teams. This could be another letdown spot, especially in back-to-back roadies, coming off a win. Admittedly, I’m worried about another typical Washington “mail it in” performance. But I’m also not sure Seattle deserves being favored by this number given their own problems. The Seahawks come off a painfully gutless performance at Baltimore (my theory is–they threw that game intentionally with a minimal effort), priming them for a much more optimal spot here at home against a mediocre opponent. About this time last season, Seattle began to fade after looking like a serious contender. I see a repeat on the horizon. Still, I can also see why some cappers think Seattle bounces back big here. That said, assimilating all this into, I’m taking the team that’s 3-2 on the road and getting nearly a TD on the line. Commanders are 4-0 ATS as road underdogs. They are 4-1 ATS overall on the road. The Commanders are also 8-2-2 ATS in their past 12 games as underdogs.
First Half Bet: Minnesota +1.5 at -115 (Risking $230 to win $200)
Short and easy explanation: I’ll fade the Saints on the road being ahead at halftime playing against a streaking team that’s on a four-game win-streak.
First Half Bet: Washington +3.5 at -115 (Risking $220 to win $200)
Getting a hook with the +3.5 in the first half is just too generous to pass up.
First Half Bet: Dallas -9.5 (Risking $220 to win $200)
Cowboys should build a first-half lead and then coast to an easy victory at home. Dallas ranks #1 in the NFL in 1H scoring — at 18.6 PPG. They’re playing versus the #31st ranked offense at scoring in the 1H — at just 4.7 PPG….and those stats were with QBs Taylor and Jones (now, the Giants start third-stringer DeVito against a much better defense).
Team Total: Tampa Bay OVER 19.5 points (Risking $220 to win $200)
I expect the Buccaneers to reach 20+ at home versus a team that surrendered 20 to the Steelers last week. While NFL offenses aren’t lateral comparisons, Tampa Bay still comes off a 37-point score-fest last week. I expect a similar game plan this time around.
Kicking Prop: Gay (IND) OVER 6.5 points at -115 (Risking $230 to win $200)
Kicking Prop: Grupe (NOR) OVER 6.5 points at -120 (Risking $240 to win $200)
Kicking Prop: Joseph (MIN) OVER 5.5 points at -125 (Risking $250 to win $200)
Kicking Prop: Hopkins (CLE) OVER 5.5 points at -110 (Risking $220 to win $200)
Kicking Prop: Tucker (BAL) OVER 6.5 at -120 (Risking $240 to win $200)
Kicking Prop: Koo (ATL) OVER 6.5 at -130 (Risking $260 to win $200)
Kicking Prop: Zeurlein (NYJ) OVER 5.5 at -130 (Risking $260 to win $200)
Kicking Prop: Carlson (LVR) OVER 5.5 at -130 (Risking $260 to win $200)
The following comments apply to all the kicker props which are hopefully expected to go over on points. My kicking props (easily this season’s best handicapping discovery) have been very profitable. However, they can’t be bet across the board. I’ll keep working and retooling this prop to improve upon it. I’m convinced this is a winning long-term betting strategy, at least until sportsbooks catch on and start moving the numbers.
Game Total: Denver/Buffalo Under 46.5 (Risking $220 to win $200)
The Bills are really struggling right now. Slumping Buffalo is 0-5 ATS in their past five games, the longest active streak in the NFL. Much of the problem falls on the sputtering offense, which doesn’t look like the same explosive team we’ve been watching in recent years. Turnovers don’t help, either. Meanwhile, 3-5 Denver’s troubles are well-documented in what’s been a disappointing season, so far. The Broncos are coming off a bye and previous upset win at home versus Kansas City. That should keep the fire alive in Denver for at least a few more weeks, which I think translates into another solid defensive effort. However, prime time games have not been kind to QB Russell Wilson in Denver, who is averaging 12 points per game in five prime-time starts since he joined the Broncos. Vom Miller also has a chance to face his old team, which I think helps a better defensive effort. Both teams desperately need this game (could Buffalo really fall to 5-5?). The O/U on this game reflects some outdated percpetions of the two teams, especially Buffalo. I’d have this total at 44. This season, 20 of 27 (74 pct.) of primetime games (Thurs., Sun., and Mon.) have gone UNDER.
MY WESTGATE SUPERCONTEST PICKS – WEEK 10
The 2023 NFL contest has now reached the midway point. Good news — all 7 contest entries are now above the .500 mark.
Combined, we are +36 games above break-even. I’m very happy about that. Moreover, three entries rank in the top 150, and one ranks in 98th place. The top-20 places get paid.
Last season, the winner tallied 60 points ($200K for first). To get into the money took 55 points. Our best ticket is at 27.5 points. So, if we can repeat this same win pct. for the remainder of the season, that would rank right at 55 points, which gets us into the money. If I can improve by just one win, that could put us into a tie for 7th place out of 1300+ entries, good for about $9,800 in prize money based on 2022 result. Of course, this season will have different point scores and cutoffs, but that’s still a reliable guide.
Ideally, we can get 2 tickets into the Top-20. That would be hugely successful. All we need to do is pretty much repeat how things have gone in Weeks 1-9 in the coming Weeks 10-18.
[Note that these lines differ from above because they’re based on the close as of Wednesday night at Westgate]
TICKET 1 (26-16-3)
TICKET 2 (26-18-1)
TICKET 3 (25-19-1)
TICKET 4 (24-19-2)
TICKET 5 (23-21-1)
TICKET 6 (22-21-2)
TICKET 7 (24-20-1)
SURVIVOR CONTEST STRATEGY — WEEK 10
Here’s my latest article at SurvivorSweat.com on the $9.4 million Circa contest:
2023 NFL WAGERING RECORD
91 — Wins
89 — Losses
3 — Pushes
Starting Bankroll: $10,000.
Current Bankroll: $7,925.
Net Gain/Loss: – $2,075.
Last Week: 14 wins – 6 losses (1 push) (+ $1,810.)
11-Year Comprehensive Record (2012-present):
Last Week’s Picks and Results: 14-6-1
Kansas City -2 vs. Miami (risking $220 to win $200)….WON
Washington +3 vs. New England at -120 (risking $240 to win $200)….WON
Seattle +6 vs. Baltimore (risking $220 to win $200)….LOST
Minnesota +3.5 vs. Atlanta (risking $220 to win $200)….WON
Tampa Bay +3 vs. Houston (risking $220 to win $200)….PUSH
New Orleans -8 vs. Chicago (risking $330 to win $300)….LOST
O/U: Indy / Carolina UNDER 44 (risking $220 to win $200)….WON
First Half: Washington +1.5 at -115 (risking $230 to win $200)….LOST
First Half: Seattle +3.5 at -120 (risking $240 to win $200)….LOST
First Half: LA Rams +1.5 (risking $220 to win $200)….LOST
First Half: Tampa Bay +1.5 at -115 (risking $230 to win $200)….WON
First Half Total: Tampa Bay / Houston OVER 19.5 (risking $220 to win $200)….WON
Team Total: Green Bay UNDER 21.5 points at -120 (risking $240 to win 200)….WON
Kicker Prop: Joseph (MIN) OVER 5.5 points at -120 (risking $240 to win $200)….WON
Kicker Prop: Grupe (NOR) OVER 6.5 points at -125 (risking $250 to win $200)….LOST
Kicker Prop: McLaughlin (TB) OVER 5.5 points at -135 (risking $270 to win $200)….WON
Kicker Prop: Pineiro (CAR) OVER 5.5 points at -120 (risking $240 to win $200)….WON
Kicker Prop: Carlson (LVR) OVER 5.5 points at -130 (risking $260 to win $200)….WON
Kicker Prop: Zuerlein (NYJ) OVER 5.5 points at -120 (risking $240 to win $200)….WON
Kicker Prop: Gay (IND) OVER 6.5 points at -115 (risking $230 to win $200….WON
Teaser: Cleveland -4 / New Orleans -2.5 at -120 (risking $600 to win $500)….WON