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- October 28, 2015 at 12:50 pm #10936
NFL Week 8 Essentials
By Tony Mejia
Detroit at Kansas City: Charcandrick West broke off 110 yards on 22 carries to help the Chiefs take down the Steelers on Sunday, keeping the team alive as they look to overcome a crippling season-ending injury to Jamaal Charles. This is a must-win too, so West will have to produce again but should have help with Jeremy Maclin expected to be cleared following concussion protocol. Matthew Stafford had x-rays on his hand come back negative and should play. The best part about this game being in London is envisioning British analysts breaking down the contest. But what about Charcandrick West? Cheerio.
Minnesota at Chicago: The Vikings have taken advantage of a light schedule and are entrenched in the No. 6 spot in the NFC as they square off against their sixth opponent with a losing record at Soldier Field. The Bears come off a bye week, their first under John Fox, who has great weapons in coordinators Adam Gase and Vic Fangio getting extra time to concentrate on this one. Go to a1serviceplays.com If Jay Cutler doesn’t turn the ball over, the Bears will have an opportunity to make the rest of the NFC’s playoff hopefuls awfully happy here.
Tampa Bay at Atlanta: Jameis Winston and the Bucs blew an opportunity to win a huge road game in Landover, faltering after taking a 24-0 lead and winding up with 16 penalties for 142 yards. Lovie Smith went 0-for-2 against the Falcons last season and now has to deal with Dan Quinn as his future as Tampa Bay’s head coach is openly questioned. The Falcons offense has sputtered of late, but has the personnel worth backing to snap out of their funk.
San Diego at Baltimore: Philip Rivers has an improved offensive line to operate behind now that the guys up front are getting healthier. Considering his special relationship with Keenan Allen, a marginal team becomes far more imposing as a result, especially with Antonio Gates hoping to return and fortify a tight end combination with Ladarius Green that looks like the best in the league. The Ravens come off a road Monday night game and have been away from home for consecutive weeks, which could complicate matters. It’s become painfully obvious that Baltimore won’t be part of the postseason picture this season, so there’s a possibility that John Harbaugh’s team checks out on him given all the injured leaders unable to guide by example.
Arizona at Cleveland: Arizona might wind up dealing with a Monday night hangover after a home win over the Ravens. After surviving down the stretch as the Ravens drove inside the red zone, the Cardinals will run into a Browns squad that struggled offensively last week and will be looking to right the ship despite their lack of weapons. Given Johnny Manziel’s issues, getting Josh McCown back up to speed is Cleveland’s top priority. The Cards won’t make that easy.
N.Y. Giants at New Orleans: Look for Eli Manning’s return home to carry major implications given the standings in the NFC East. After Sunday night’s win over Dallas, the Giants have officially survived their brutal 0-2 start and have put themselves in position to win the division without many major missteps. Go to a1serviceplays.com The Saints have survived a rough spot too and seem to be getting the best from Drew Brees, who spent the first portion of the season injured and establishing new post-Jimmy Graham relationships. Both teams are going to want this one badly.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh: Look for Ben Roethlisberger’s return to be the most important development here. Despite a damaging loss at Arrowhead, the Steelers still have managed to overcome an injury to their quarterback and remain a threat in the AFC. The Bengals are looking to remain undefeated and send another message that they’ve separated themselves from the back in the North. Count on Todd Haley simplifying things for Roethlisberger, who will be thrown into the fire at less than 100 percent against an elite defense.
San Francisco at St. Louis: Colin Kaepernick has been hit-or-miss all season and takes the field looking to win a divisional game after falling short against Seattle. The Rams defense was dominant against Cleveland and will be tough to overcome, but a healthy Anquan Boldin would certai/nly help matters. Nick Foles has quietly gotten the job done for the Rams, but this is all about keeping Kaepernick from finding a rhythm.
NY. Jets at Oakland: Coming off an awful setback against the Patriots, New York hits the road for its longest road trip under vTodd Bowles. Since Derek Carr and receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree have become such a force, this no longer looks like an easy bounce-back game, setting up a tremendous matchup between receivers and corners. Jets WR Brandon Marshall does have some atonement in mind given the missed opportunities in Sunday’s loss to New England and will join Eric Decker in being problematic.
Tennessee at Houston: Marcus Mariota is set to practice for the remainder of the week, so odds are he’ll be out there under center for this Oilers Bowl. The Titans are expecting to struggle but would love it if their top draft pick is out there getting on-the-job training. Jadeveon Clowney participated last week and got his first career sack, so we’ll see if the Texans are going to be able to turn things around at home.
Seattle at Dallas: The Cowboys may have Dez Bryant back and also probably found a starting running back given Darren McFadden’s performance against the Giants. Unfortunately, Matt Cassel proved that mistakes could again be his downfall, which should be an issue against a Seahawks secondary that badly wants to make up for lost time and restore their reputation as the best unit in the game.
Green Bay at Denver: Two undefeated teams spent all week thinking about one another, so the Sunday night matchup should be brilliant. Aaron Rodgers vs. Peyton Manning sounds like an awful mismatch, but the Broncos defense has been tremendous and certainly give the home team a chance here, particularly with a road environment involved. The Broncos have to run the football and will need Manning to be on his game in recognizing coverage and blitzes, an underrated part of his game that has also fueled his undefeated start.October 28, 2015 at 12:53 pm #10937
Tech Trends – Week 8
By Bruce Marshall
DETROIT vs. KANSAS CITY from London (FOX, 9:30 a.m. ET)
Chiefs finally broke slump with first win and cover last six a week ago vs. Steel. Detroit only one cover this season. Lions “under” a surprising 10-2 last 12 reg.- season games away from Ford Field. Chiefs were “under” 6-2 away LY but went “over” first three on road in 2015 prior to “under” at Vikes.
Tech Edge: Slight to “under” and Chiefs, based on “totals” and team trends.
MINNESOTA at CHICAGO (FOX, 1:00 p.m. ET)
Bridgewater still just 2-6 SU as starter on road and Vikes only 3-8 SU away since last season, but have covered five straight TY. Vikes “under” 13-8-1 for Zimmer since LY. Bears unbeaten last three vs. number TY and covered both meetings LY.
Tech Edge: Slight to Bears and “under,” based on team and “totals” trends.
TAMPA BAY at ATLANTA (FOX, 1:00 p.m. ET)
Falcs cooled a bit after 4-0 spread break from gate, no covers last three. Atlanta still just 4-7 as home chalk since 2013 (1-1 TY). Falcs destroyed Bucs LY winning both games by DD margins. Lovie has fared better on road(7-4 vs. line) than at home (3-8 vs. spread) since taking over Bucs LY.
Tech Edge: Slight to Falcons, based on recent series trends.
NY GIANTS at NEW ORLEANS (FOX, 1:00 p.m. ET)
G-Men “over” 11-5 last 16, Saints “over” 14-8-1 last 23 reg.-season games. Saints have win and covered last two at home after dropping six in a row SU and vs. points at Superdome.
Tech Edge: “Over,” based on “totals” trends.
SAN FRANCISCO at ST. LOUIS (FOX, 1:00 p.m. ET)
Niners have won and covered last two at Rams but are just 3-10 last 13 vs. line overall after last Thursday’s loss to Seahawks.
Tech Edge: Slight to Rams, based on recent Niner woes.
ARIZONA at CLEVELAND (FOX, 1:00 p.m. ET)
Cards “over” 5-2 TY after Monday vs. Ravens, Browns “over” 6-1 in 2015. Big Red 11-4 vs. spread last 15 reg.-season road games, but Browns 11-4-1 last 16 as dog for Pettine.
Tech Edge: “Over,” based on “totals” trends.
CINCINNATI at PITTSBURGH (CBS, 1:00 p.m. ET)
Steel has won and covered last three meetings. Though Cincy has covered all three on road TY and is 5-0-1 overall vs. line in 2015. Steel 12-6 vs. line last 18 reg.-season games at home. “Unders” 5-1 last 6 between pair at Heinz Field though Steel “over” 7-2 last nine at home with Big Ben at QB. Bengals “over” 5-1 this season.
Tech Edge: “Over,” based on “totals” trends.
SAN DIEGO at BALTIMORE (CBS, 1:00 p.m. ET)
Bolts just 4-14 last 18 on board, but Flacco just 1-5 vs. line TY prior to Monday at Arizona. Ravens “over” 6-2 last 8 and “overs” 4-1 last five in series. If Bolts a dog note they are 1-2 in role TY but were 14-6-1 in role previous three seasons.
Tech Edge: “Over” and slight to Chargers, based on “totals” and team trends.
TENNESSEE at HOUSTON (CBS, 1:00 p.m. ET)
Texans have covered 7 of last 8 meetings. First Titans road game since Week Two at Cleveland! They’re 3-9-1 vs. line last 13 away. Titans also “over” 5-1 TY and Texans “over” 4-1-1 TY. Series also “over” 6-2 last 8.
Tech Edge: “Over” and Texans, based on “totals” and series trends.
NY JETS at OAKLAND (CBS, 4:05 p.m. ET)
Heidi Game replay! Jets 5-1 vs. line for Bowles and now on 8-1 spread run since late 2014. Raiders “over” 7-3 last ten at Coliseum.
Tech Edge: “Over” and Raiders, based on “totals” and team trends.
SEATTLE at DALLAS (FOX, 4:25 p.m. ET)
Hawks finally got road win and cover at Niners after losing first three away TY (0-2-1 vs. line). Carroll still 35-21-4 vs. line in reg season since late 2011. Dallas 1-6 vs. line last 7 at Arlington since mid 2014.
Tech Edge: Seahawks, based on team trends.
GREEN BAY at DENVER (NBC, 8:30 p.m. ET)
Broncos 24-2 SU in reg season at home since Peyton Manning arrived in 2012. Also “over” 18-8 in those games. Pack 14-12 SU away since 2012 in reg season.
Tech Edge: Slight to Broncos and “over,” based on team and “totals” trends.October 28, 2015 at 12:56 pm #10939
NFL Football Betting Trends – Sunday – Nov, 1
Detroit at Kansas City, 9:30 AM ET
Detroit: 3-13 ATS off 1 or more straight overs
Kansas City: 7-0 ATS off 2 or more consecutive unders
Minnesota at Chicago, 9:30 ET
Minnesota: 13-4 ATS when playing with 6 or less days rest
Chicago: 1-9 ATS after having won 2 out of their last 3
Tampa Bay at Atlanta, 1:00 ET
Tampa Bay: 31-13 ATS after scoring 30 points or more last game
Atlanta: 6-25 ATS after gaining 375 or more total yards in 2 consecutive games
NY Giants at New Orleans, 1:00 ET
New York: 65-39 ATS in road games after 1 or more consecutive wins
New Orleans: 12-28 ATS at home after game with a t/o margin of +2 or better
San Francisco at St Louis, 1:00 ET
San Francisco: 0-7 ATS in all games where the total is between 35.5 and 42
St Louis: 8-1 ATS off a non-conference game
Arizona at Cleveland, 1:00 ET
Arizona: 19-8 UNDER as a road favorite of 7 points or less
Cleveland: 9-2 ATS after 1 or more consecutive losses
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, 1:00 ET
Cincinnati: 6-16 ATS off 4 or more consecutive overs
Pittsburgh: 6-0 ATS at home after covering the spread in 2 out of 3
San Diego at Baltimore, 1:00 ET
San Diego: 4-12 ATS against conference opponents
Baltimore: 38-21 ATS after being outgained by opp by 100 or more total yards
Tennessee at Houston, 1:00 ET
Tennessee: 1-7 ATS after 4 or more consecutive losses
Houston: 37-28 ATS off a road loss
NY Jets at Oakland, 4:05 ET
New York: 36-20 OVER after 2 games with a turnover margin of -1 or worse
Oakland: 0-6 ATS after a game with a turnover margin of +2 or better
Seattle at Dallas, 4:25 ET
Seattle: 13-4 ATS in all games where the total is between 35.5 and 42
Dallas: 8-1 OVER after outrushing opponent by 75 or more yards last game
Green Bay at Denver, 8:30 ET
Green Bay: 14-5 ATS as a favorite
Denver: 7-18 ATS against NFC North division opponentsOctober 28, 2015 at 1:13 pm #10950
Why Week 8 is a crucial tipping point for NFL ‘Over/Under’ bettors
By HARVARD SPORTS ANALYSIS COLLECTIVE
We are nearly at the halfway mark in the NFL season, and the power dynamics of the NFL are coming into focus. The Patriots seem intent on destroying everyone, the Broncos remain undefeated despite looking extremely beatable, and Texans, despite shining on HBO’s Hard Knocks, don’t seemed to have improved much. But how will our observations hold up over the remainder of the season?
Turning our attention to totals, will Cleveland, Houston and Cincinnati – which have each hit the Over in all but one game so far – continue to produce high-scoring finishes? Will Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia – all of which have only gone Over once so far – continue to be involved in low-scoring games?
Essentially, we wanted to know if we can use a team’s performance in the first half-ish of the season (prior to Week 8) to predict its Over/Under performance for the remainder of the season (Week 8 and later).
We looked into this using a long-term dataset, going back to 1985. For each team, we looked at the percentage of games that went Over the total for both before and after (and including) Week 8. We then ran a regression, trying to predict the percentage of games a team would go Over the total in the second half of the season using their Over/Under percentage from the first half as the independent variable.
We looked at whether teams that went Over the total continued that trend in the second half. Running a regression, we found there to be a significant correlation between performance in the first half versus the second half. The coefficient of the previous half performance was negative and highly significant with a p-value of 0.000315.
The negative coefficient is interesting, as it shows that teams that often play Over the total in the first half actually go Under the total more often than not in the second half of the season. This suggests that the betting market expects teams in high-scoring games to continue to be in high-scoring games, leading the totals being raised for said teams. This again reflects, as we’ve said in previous posts, how the betting public see streams that contain some randomness and assign to them more significance than they deserve.
Looking at the numbers, let’s focus on the extremes: teams that are consistently going either Over or Under. Let’s look at teams that went Over either greater than 80 percent or less than 20 percent of the time. This would basically be going all but one game Over, or all but one game Under.
Since 1985, there have 62 teams that have gone Over at least 80 percent of the time prior to Week 8. Those teams have been involved in 853 unique games after Week 8, seven of which pushed for the total.
Of the games that didn’t push, only 395 of them went Over – just 46.6 percent. Although this isn’t a huge difference, given the large sample size, it’s statistically significant, with a p-value of 0.054.
We can also see that there have been 82 teams that have gone Over in less than 20 percent of their games before Week 8, and have been involved in 1161 unique games after Week 8 in the the total bet did not push. Of those, 625 of them – 53.8 percent – ended up going Over the total. Again, this is not a huge difference but is pretty significant, with a p-value of 0.009774.
So all of this suggests that bettors see teams scoring a lot of points, letting up a lot of points, and generally just being involved in high-scoring games (or vice versa with low-scoring game) and assume that trend will continue to the second half of the season.
It’s also interesting that same thing is not happening with teams who win ATS more often than not, because this suggests that bettors know how to properly evaluate teams that do so. Either they don’t raise their expectations that much, or it is a sign that the team is actually better than expected. For the discrepancy that we see with totals, however, it suggests that bettors may be reading too much into a series of especially high or low-scoring games.
Looking at this season, there are six teams that fit into one of the categories that we looked at. Cleveland, Houston and Cincinnati have all gone Over the total in all but one game, and so you might now look for totals that seem too high for those teams and take the Under on those games. Meanwhile, Minnesota, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have gone Over the total line in less than 20 percent of their games, so it might be wise to take a long look at the Over in their remaining games.October 28, 2015 at 1:15 pm #10951
Books struggle to show Denver respect with NFL Week 8 odds
By Colin Kelly
For many observers, the Denver Broncos’ unbeaten record is a lot of smoke and mirrors. A stout defense has bailed out an embarrassingly-ineffective offense led by a surprisingly pedestrian Peyton Manning.
In Week 8, that smoke could clear and the mirrors could break, with Denver (6-0 SU, 4-2 ATS) hosting a team that looks much more worthy of its perfect mark – the Green Bay Packers (6-0 SU, 5-1 ATS).
Both teams are coming off their bye week. In Week 6, Green Bay held off San Diego 27-20 as a healthy 10.5-point home favorite – the first time this season the Packers haven’t covered the spread. Denver, meanwhile, is arguably coming off the ugliest of several ugly wins, edging Cleveland 26-23 in overtime as 3.5-point road chalk.
John Lester, senior lines manager for Bookmaker.eu, said the line opened as a pick ‘em for the Sunday night game in the Mile High City, but it moved toward the Packers in a hurry.
“The pros were ready to pounce when we opened this, and in a matter of minutes the number had moved to -2.5 in favor of Green Bay,” Lester. “Both teams had a week to prepare, and sit and think about their perfect records. It’s no secret the public is down on Denver due to the negativity surrounding Manning, but it’s not as if Green Bay has destroyed any of its opponents this year.
“I can see this getting to -3 at some point, but there will be some sharps who enter the underdog mix then. The smartest play is probably the Under.”
John Avello, executive director of race and sports for Wynn Las Vegas, said Denver has played its way into being a home pup.
“It’s very rare when Denver is an underdog at home, but this is one of those rare times. In their two home games, the Broncos just squeaked by the Ravens and Vikings,” Avello. “I will say both defenses have played extremely well.”
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (N/A)
Cincinnati (6-0 SU, 5-0-1 ATS) has been a great on the field and at the betting window, and now has a chance to put a stranglehold on the AFC North. The Bengals are coming off their bye week, after beating Buffalo 34-21, laying three points on the road in Week 6.
Since losing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (knee) in Week 3, Pittsburgh has just hoped to tread water, and has ostensibly done that, going 2-2 SU. The Steelers had a two-game SU and ATS uptick halted at Kansas City, losing 23-13 as 3.5-point underdogs Sunday, and they’ll hope to have Roethlisberger back in the fold this week.
But with that unknown, the line on this game will have to wait.
“The Steelers need Big Ben back, and I believe he will show up for this one,” Avello says. “If that’s the case, expect to see the Bengals getting points, and with their ATS record, that’s frightening.”
Lester is also prepping for Roethlisberger’s return.
“Big Ben is closer and closer to being ready, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s back for this division showdown,” Lester says. “The guy is tough as nails, and him on one leg is better than a healthy Landry Jones or Mike Vick. We’ll hold off on releasing a line until his status becomes clearer. Roethlisberger is worth a full touchdown to a line, so if he’s ready, the Steelers will be favored.”
Seattle Seahawks (-5) at Dallas Cowboys
It’s a battle of two teams that made the playoffs last year, but as November dawns, both are in positions where they can’t afford another loss. Two-time defending NFC champion Seattle (3-4 SU, 2-4-1 ATS) opened Week 7 in the Thursday night game, shutting down San Francisco 20-3 giving 6.5 points on the road.
Dallas (2-4 SU, 1-5 ATS) has lost its way without quarterback Tony Romo and wideout Dez Bryant. The Cowboys dropped their fourth in a row SU and ATS Sunday, losing to the New York Giants 27-20 as a 3-point road underdog. Bryant could be back this week, but Romo is out until at least Week 11, meaning Matt Cassel (3 INTs Sunday, including a pick-six) will again be the starter.
“Money came in on the road chalk Sunday night, and we quickly moved to -6,” Lester says. “The public may pile on and get this to the key number at some point, but I don’t expect it will finish there. Matt Cassel was absolutely an upgrade over Brandon Weeden at the pivot for Dallas, and the offensive line had an excellent game at New York. The Cowboys could steal a win here, especially if Dez Bryant is back in the lineup.”
Avello wasn’t quite as sold on Cassel.
“The Cowboys tried a new QB this week and that didn’t work, and now they are really desperate for a win,” he says. “The Seahawks aren’t that far from desperation either, knowing that Arizona is probably not fading this year, so they must keep pace in the wild-card hunt.”
Indianapolis Colts at Carolina Panthers (N/A)
Carolina reached the playoffs last season by winning a dismal NFC South Division with a 7-9 SU record. This year, the Panthers (6-0 SU, 5-1 ATS) are already on the brink of that same number of wins, after dispatching Philadelphia 27-16 laying three points at home in the Sunday night game. They’ll be in the spotlight again for Week 8, on Monday night.
Meanwhile, Indianapolis – which reached the AFC Championship Game last season – has to be grateful that the AFC South is the top contender for this season’s dismal division award. The Colts (3-4 SU, 2-5 ATS), 5.5-point home favorites Sunday against New Orleans, trailed 27-0 at one point and lost 27-21.
“The Colts have looked flat-out bad, and if not for playing in the weakest division in the NFL, they would have no shot at the playoffs,” Avello says. “Carolina keeps rolling at 6-0, and this pointspread may end up higher than I initially thought, due to the direction each team is going.”
Says Lester, “We’ll look to make Carolina around 6-point chalk if everything goes accordingly Sunday night against Philadelphia. The internal turmoil in Indy appears to be affecting performance on the field. Well, that, a bad offensive line and a Swiss-cheese defense.
“It’s two straight prime-time games for a Panthers team that seems to be finally growing accustomed to winning on the big stage.”October 28, 2015 at 1:17 pm #10952
Football bettors must react quickly to these NFL Week 8 odds
By AAA SPORTS
Each week during the pro football season, Art Aronson of AAA Sports looks at the NFL odds and tells you which spread to bet now, which one to bet later and and which total to watch as the week plays out.
Spread to bet now
Green Bay Packets at Denver Broncos (+2.5)
The half point hook below a field goal makes this an attractive number for Packers backers as two of the NFL’s remaining undefeated teams go at it this Sunday night in Denver. Heavy early money has flowed in on the 6-0 Packers, as bettors no doubt believe that Green Bay has a decided advantage at the quarterback position after several lackluster performances from Peyton Manning.
Manning has dropped like a stone in key offensive categories, and now ranks 17th in passing yards, 26th in TD passes and is a stunning 31st (only Ryan Mallett is worse) in QB rating. There is a widespread belief league-wide that the Broncos are 6-0 despite Manning, not because of him.
In fact, the Broncos are only a handful of plays from being 1-5. Green Bay, meanwhile, is a solid 5-1 ATS. Both teams are coming off their bye week.
Spread to wait on
Indianapolis Colts at Carolina Panthers (-6.5)
No reason to jump here, especially if you’re among the dwindling number of bettors who have not yet given up on the Colts. Heavy action on the Panthers might be enough to push the line to seven, especially for bettors who don’t mind shopping around.
Indianapolis’ second-half comeback last Sunday at home against the Saints gave Colts backers something to hang their hats on, even as they embark on a nasty three-game schedule: at Carolina, home versus Denver, and at Atlanta.
Total to watch
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (51.5)
Over bettors have cashed handsomely (both are 4-2 O/U) on these AFC East teams this year. New England’s offense has been devastating at home and the 51 points the Patriots scored against Jacksonville were not even as impressive as the 30 they put up on the Jets’ best-in-the-NFL defense last Sunday.
Miami has seemed to come alive offensively, and should be able to move the ball against a New England defense that is always willing to give up yards for clock when ahead in the game. The last time the teams played in Gillette Stadium, the Pats won 41-13. This could be a similar result.October 28, 2015 at 1:18 pm #10953
Three bargain bin NFL daily fantasy players to fit your budget
Oct 27, 2015
Did you wind up rostering Todd Gurley in Week 7? You did? Great! Apologies to everyone who didn’t, but you were told. You were told.
Gurley ran roughshod over the woeful Cleveland Browns, racking up 128 rushing yards and his first two NFL touchdowns. And given his affordable price, the St. Louis Rams rookie wound up as one of the best FanDuel picks of the week.
So who will be this week’s Todd Gurley? Here’s a look at the best Week 8 options across three tiers of price points:
$7,000-$7,900: RB Doug Martin, Buccaneers ($7,500, at Falcons)
Martin has been on fire the past three weeks, posting lines of 20-106-1, 24-123-2 and 19-136 to reassert himself as the top dog in the Tampa Bay backfield. Martin and the Buccaneers face a Falcons run defense that has limited opponents to just 3.7 yards per carry, but has allowed 10 TDs on the ground. Martin will be one of the top rushers Atlanta has faced and he should have a big day if Tampa Bay can stay in the game.
$6,000-$6,900: RB Danny Woodhead, Chargers ($6,100, at Ravens)
The San Diego offense is scary good, and Woodhead is a pivotal part of it. He had a pair of late touchdown receptions in the Chargers’ Week 7 loss to Oakland. While he surely benefited from the absence of TE Antonio Gates, there’s no denying Woodhead is one of QB Philip Rivers’ preferred targets. He should feast on a Baltimore pass defense that has been scorched for 286 yards per game through the air.
$5,000-$5,900: TE Delanie Walker, Titans ($5,400, at Texans)
Walker is one of Tennessee’s most reliable pass-catching options, having hauled in 29-of-38 targets for 299 yards and a touchdown on the season. He’s a stronger TE play if Marcus Mariota returns from a knee injury, but he’ll be effective even if Zach Mettenberger lines up under center. The Texans’ pass defense is a mess, having allowed a league-high 16 passing touchdowns, and Walker should take advantage.October 28, 2015 at 5:40 pm #11036
NEWSLETTER NFL Football Prediction From Robert Ferringo
Take ‘Over’ 39.5 San Francisco at St. Louis (1 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 1)
This play here is a nice little against-the-grain play that no one is making. The 49ers offense has been pathetic for most of the year. Seattle squashed them last week and the 49ers mustered just three points. On the other side is a St. Louis. The Rams shut down Cleveland last week, allowing just six points, and St. Louis has allowed just 18 points in its last two games. So this one should be a grinder, right? I don’t think so. The Rams have allowed 22 or more points in four of their six games. That includes giving up 24 to a weak Washington offense and 31 to a Seattle team that was struggling at the time. A motivated Seattle team shut down San Fran. But the Niners had managed 52 points in their previous two games and things were starting to click a bit. And even if the 49ers offense can’t get to 20 in this game their defense on the road has been comically bad this season, allowing an average of 40 points per game away from home. Six of the last 10 meetings in this series have gone ‘over’ and the ‘over’ is 3-1 the last four times they’ve played with a total below 40. I see around 45 total points in this game and I like this one to go ‘over’.October 28, 2015 at 5:40 pm #11037
NEWSLETTER NFL Football Prediction From Strike Point Sports
Take #269 New York Jets (-2) over Oakland (4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 1)
The Jets played the Patriots extremely well this past weekend, and they are going to bounce back in a big way versus Oakland. I know that this is a small line, and taking a small road favorite versus a team that they are better than is a tough spot, but not here. The Jets secondary matches up well versus Oakland’s big play WR core, and they will slow down Derek Carr and company. The Jets are a solid team and they won’t let this game slip away. The Jets are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following an ATS loss and 4-0-1 ATS in their last five road games. New York has also had tremendous success versus the AFC as of late as they are 7-0-1 ATS in their last eight games versus the AFC. Oakland is on the other side of the table as they are 19-39-1 ATS in their last 59 games following an ATS win and 3-12-1 ATS in their last 16 games following a S.U. win. Take the small road favorite here, as their top-notch defense will slow down an Oakland offense that looked a bit better than they are last weekend. Jets win 28-17.October 28, 2015 at 5:41 pm #11038
NEWSLETTER NFL Football Prediction From Indian Cowboy
Take #266 Tampa Bay (+7) over Atlanta (1 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 1)
It was another heartbreaking defeat for a young Bucs team as they fall short to the Redskins on the last play of the game essentially despite the fact they were up 24-0. Now they can say that they played in a game that Kirk Cousins captained the largest comeback in Redskins history. But the Bucs have shown progress that is undeniable. This team is 2-4 and has already beaten a foe in New Orleans on the road outright and also beat Jacksonville as well. This is a team that faces a Falcons team that has looked vulnerable of late, barely beating Tennessee – a game they should have lost – and nearly losing to the Redskins – another game they should have lost – and falling short to the Saints. With Tampa Bay coming off a heartbreaking loss, looking to bounce-back against a division foe, Atlanta struggling against strong defensive lines similar to Tennessee, we like the Bucs to hang tough here against the Falcons and likely lose by a field goal.October 28, 2015 at 5:41 pm #11039
NEWSLETTER NFL Football Prediction From Allen Eastman
Take #273 Green Bay (-3) over Denver (8:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 1)
As for this play, one of these teams is going to stay unbeaten, and I think it is going to be Green Bay. Denver has been able to overcome Peyton Manning’s waning arm strength. But he won’t be able to keep up with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense in this one. The Broncos are just 1-2 ATS in their last three games. They have been fortunate to escape lowly teams like Cleveland, Oakland and Minnesota with wins. Green Bay has won each of its games by at least a touchdown and three of their last four wins have come by 10 points or more. The Packers are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games after a bye week and they are 24-9 ATS in their last 33 games against a team with a winning record. The Broncos defense has been great and has carried this team. But I think that Rodgers will be good enough to beat them on the road. Play the Packers.October 30, 2015 at 12:16 pm #11366
Public Fades – Week 8
By Kevin Rogers
Five teams are listed as home underdogs in Week 8 of the NFL, which includes the 6-0 Broncos, who host the 6-0 Packers on Sunday night. Four clubs are playing their second consecutive road game, as those squads this season own a dreadful 6-19 straight-up record. The Vikings, Jets, and Seahawks are listed as favorites in this situation, including New York traveling to Oakland for a late afternoon kickoff.
In this week’s edition of Public Fades, we’ll focus on going against the Jets and Seahawks, two teams that have combined for a 2-4 record in true road games (not counting New York’s victory in London over Miami). Can the Raiders win two straight and the Cowboys snap their four-game skid?
Jets (-2 ½, 44 ½) at Raiders – 4:05 PM EST
New York came close to handing New England its first loss of the season, but couldn’t hold onto a 20-16 lead in a 30-23 setback. The Jets allowed a season-high in points, while Tom Brady threw for 355 yards on 54 attempts, as the Patriots ran the ball only nine times for 16 yards. A late Nick Folk field goal managed to give Jets’ backers a push as seven-point underdogs, as New York owns a 4-1-1 ATS record this season.
The Raiders return home after an impressive 37-29 triumph at San Diego as 3 ½-point road underdogs, while building a commanding 30-6 halftime advantage. Oakland won only its second away game since the start of 2013, as Derek Carr tossed three touchdown passes, while rookie Amari Cooper hauled in over 100 yards receiving for the third time this season. The Raiders have lost twice so far at the Black Hole, but those two defeats came to teams that own a combined 12-0 record (Bengals and Broncos).
So why back the Raiders?
Joe Nelson feels it will be tough for New York to follow up last week’s loss heading west, “The Jets have frequently played the Patriots tough in recent seasons and those are always two of the biggest games of the year. It can be tough to bring that same focus the following week and the Jets are just 3-7 ATS in the last 10 games following up a New England game. The Jets have been a road favorite just twice in the past two seasons and Oakland is looking like a formidable team with stockpiled talent starting to come together in Jack Del Rio’s first season leading the Raiders.”
Nelson points out that the Jets haven’t exactly beaten top-notch competition so far, “All four New York wins have come against losing teams, something the Raiders currently are not for a rare instance of the team being .500 this far into the season. Oakland also lost one-score games to Chicago and Denver and Oakland has been the slightly superior offensive team in this matchup on a yards-per-play basis. The strong play for the Raiders has come with three of the last four games on the road as this will be a rare opportunity to host a marquee opponent with something on the line given what may wind up being a tight AFC Wild Card picture.”
NFL expert Antony Dinero says Oakland’s young receivers will be a challenge for New York’s secondary, “Although the Raiders are going to pop out on film as being far better than they have been, this challenge is definitely a tough spot for Jets players who put such an emphasis on making a run at a New England and now have to focus on this Oakland squad. After taking a 37-6 lead through three quarters in San Diego, Del Rio’s team isn’t lacking for confidence. Cooper and Michael Crabtree will give Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie major issues.”
Seahawks (-6, 41) at Cowboys – 4:25 PM EST
Seattle dropped to 2-4 two weeks ago following a disappointing home loss to undefeated Carolina, but the Seahawks rebounded with an impressive road victory last Thursday at struggling San Francisco. Pete Carroll’s club pulled within a game of .500 as the Seahawks trail the Cardinals by two games in the NFC West. In all three victories this season, Seattle hasn’t allowed an offensive touchdown, while giving up just 13 points those wins, compared to an average of 28.7 points allowed in its four defeats.
The Cowboys are counting the days until Tony Romo returns from his broken clavicle, as Dallas has dropped four straight games since a 2-0 start. The latest defeat came last Sunday against the rival Giants, as New York used a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to break a 20-20 tie in a 27-20 win by the Giants. Darren McFadden rushed for 152 yards in the loss for Dallas, while Matt Cassel was picked off three times in his first start with the Cowboys, as Dallas has covered only once in six games.
So why back the Cowboys?
In breaking down Seattle’s wins, Nelson says this team hasn’t faced strong offenses, “The Seahawks still have good defensive numbers, but they are a bit skewed having faced a struggling 49ers offense that is arguably the worst in the NFL as well as a Bears’ team with Jimmy Clausen starting that week. The Rams, Packers, Bengals, and Panthers all out-gained Seattle this season and Dallas has been a productive offensive team, gaining 6.0 yards per carry and completing over 72 percent of passes.”
Playing away from the Pacific Northwest has also been a struggle for the defending NFC champions, “Seattle has not been the same team on the road going 1-3 this season away from home and this will be a second straight road game with long travel going up against a desperate Cowboys team looking to snap a four-game slide. Dallas has won four of the last five meetings between these franchises going back to 2008 including out-gaining last season’s NFC champions by nearly 200 yards in a 30-23 win in Seattle last October,” Nelson notes.
NFL handicapper Vince Akins says in spite of the four turnovers last week, Dallas is in an advantageous betting spot, “Teams coming off a game with a -4 turnover margin or worse improve the next game on average, covering 53.1% of the time, and the Cowboys are 5-1 ATS in that spot since 2008. Looking at Dallas specifically in spots where they were road dogs last game and lost primarily due to turnovers, they’ve seen dramatic improvement the next game going 13-0-2 ATS since November 2003 coming off a road loss as at least a two-point dog where they committed at least two turnovers.”October 30, 2015 at 12:17 pm #11367
NFL’s Biggest Betting Mismatches: Week 8
By Jason Logan
Each week, Jason Logan breaks down some of the underlying mismatches in the NFL, hoping to give you an inside edge when handicapping the schedule and setting your daily fantasy lineup. Here are four of the biggest betting mismatches from Week 8:
Detroit Lions vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-5, 45)
Lions’ new OC Jim Bob Cooter vs. Chiefs’ improving defense
New Detroit offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, whose name seems ripped from “The Dukes of Hazard”, doesn’t have much time to put his schemes in action after replacing former OC Joe Lombardi. Cooter has mere days to familiarize his offense and find a balance between what he wants to do and what this offense already knows. And on top of that, Detroit has to travel to London, England for Week 8’s date.
Given that Cooter was the QB coach in Detroit for the past season and a half, bettors should expect the Lions to air it out even more, despite the fact that they already throw the ball on a league-high 69.98 percent of their snaps. That’s bred 18 total turnovers – most in the NFL – with 10 of those coming via interception. The Lions face a Chiefs defense with six picks in seven games, including three from standout rookie corner Marcus Peters.
And as far as Detroit’s playcalling at the line of scrimmage, Kansas City has benefited from nine false start penalties already this season – totaling 44 yards against opponents. The Chiefs stop unit has really taken off in recent weeks, allowing an average of just over 329 yards for 15.7 points per game in their last three contests – second lowest in the NFL in that span.
Daily fantasy watch: Buy – Chiefs D/ST, Sell – QB Matthew Stafford
Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns (+4.5, 46)
Cardinals explosive run game vs. Browns’ big-play problems
The Cardinals rushing game has stunned NFL pundits, continuing to get production from a ho-hum running back corps led by the resurrected Chris Johnson, who sits second in the NFL in rushing yards. Johnson is coming off a 122-yard performance against the Ravens last Monday, picking up the bulk of those yards on a 26-yard TD run and a 62-yard dash in which Baltimore thought they had tackled the former rushing champ.
Johnson is burning up the turf for 5.1 yards per carry and has rumbled for 15 runs of 10 yards or more this season, headlining an Arizona offense that has 27 total runs of 10-plus yards on the season – fourth most in the league. That’s helped average 125.6 yards on the ground per game, keeping defenses honest and off the back of QB Carson Palmer.
Cleveland is allowing 151 yards rushing per game – worst in the NFL – and has been bulldozed for 163.7 yards on the ground over its last three contests. Last week, the Browns watched Rams rookie RB Todd Gurley slice them up for 128 yards on 19 carries, including a 48-yard run. Add that to the big plays Cleveland has given up on the season, which sits at 29 runs of 10 or more yards heading into Week 8.
Daily fantasy watch: Buy – RB Chris Johnson, Sell – Cleveland D/ST
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans (-4/ N/A)
Titans’ late-game collapses vs. Texans’ fantastic fourth quarters
The big question for this game is the health of Titans rookie QB Marcus Mariota, who missed last week with a sprained knee. However, it might not matter who’s under center for Tennessee if its defense keeps coughing up points in the fourth quarter. The Titans stop unit has allowed opponents to score 9.3 points per final frame this season, which sits fifth worst in the NFL.
Outside of pitching fourth-quarter shutouts last week versus Atlanta and in Week 1 versus Tampa Bay, Tennessee has allowed 49 total points in the last 15 minutes. That type of defensive dwindling sets up for some painful backdoor covers the other way, especially against teams like Houston. The Texans have certainly been saving their best for last, as it pertains to fourth-quarter production.
Houston averages a league-high 12.1 points per fourth quarter this season, including 13 garbage-time points in the final quarter during a blowout loss to the Dolphins last week. In Week 6, the Texans put up 21 points in the closing 15 minutes to edge the Jaguars. Standout WR DeAndre Hopkins has recorded 319 of his total 776 receiving yards in the fourth quarter, along with three of his five TD catches. However, the biggest closer for the Texans in the fourth quarter actually hasn’t been the offense: it’s the defense. Houston is giving up only 4.1 points per fourth quarter on the year – third best in the NFL – allowing the team to outscore opponents by eight points in the fourth act of each contest.
Daily fantasy watch: Buy – WR DeAndre Hopkins, Sell – Titans D/ST
Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys (+6, 41)
Seahawks’ poor pass protection vs. Cowboys’ improving pass rush
When Russell Wilson gets sacked in AT&T Stadium Sunday, at least he’ll have that awesome Jumbo-Tron to look at rather than the usual blue sky or beams and girders. It may seem a little presumptuous to say the Seahawks QB will get sacked in Dallas, but with the way Seattle has protected its franchise player it’s a safe bet Wilson ends up on his back more than a few times.
The Seahawks have allowed Wilson to get sacked 31 times this season – five more than any other teams in the NFL (and that other team is Cleveland). Wilson was sacked five times in a blowout win over San Francisco last Thursday – a Niners pass rush that has only nine sacks prior to that game. The offensive line has been blown up by the blitz, which according to ESPN, has sacked Wilson 18.6 percent of the time when rushing more than four.
It’s well established that Hardy is not a nice person, and he’s done his part to play the role of the bad guy, but this guy can flat out crush QBs. He has three sacks in his first two games back from suspension, has recorded a sack in six straight games going back to 2013, and gets some help on the pass rush with rookie DE Randy Gregory getting healthy and second-year DE/LB DeMarcus Lawrence expected to play. Dallas has seven sacks in the last two games, a big turnaround from its total of just six combined in the four games previous.
Daily fantasy watch: Buy – Dallas D/ST, Sell – QB Russell WilsonOctober 30, 2015 at 12:19 pm #11368
NFL Wise Guy Betting Report
The NFL markets likely won’t move much midweek, when the NBA season starts many bettors put the NFL during the week on the back burner. Bettors DID hit a few games early.
254 CHIC +2 down to +1.
Wise Guys simply do not like the Vikings, especially on the road. Vikings got their road win last week, now bettors expect the Bears off a bye to take them out.
273 Gb -2.5 up to -3-100
Wise Guys refuse to believe Manning can beat Rodgers here……No1 QB in the league vs. one that is REALLY REALLY struggling…..
276 CAR -6.5 up to -7-100.
Bettors are bailing on Luck and Indy….. when you fall behind 0-27 vs. a New Orleans team that sucks on the road, how are you going to compete in a MNF game on the road vs. an undefeated team?October 30, 2015 at 12:21 pm #11369
Best bang for your NFL Week 8 daily fantasy buck
By Scott Rickenbach
Daily Fantasy has woven itself into the fabric of sports betting, whether the leagues want to consider it gambling or not. Each week, Covers Expert and regular DFS player Scott Rickenbach breaks down the best buys in NFL daily fantasy, comparing players priced in the same range to give you the edge when it comes to which player is the best bang for your DFS buck.
Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears ($7,700) vs. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($7,800)
Jeffery had a monster game last week, catching eight balls for 147 yards and a touchdown, against the Lions. That was a long time coming for Chicago’s oft-injured receiver, who missed the previous four games with a hamstring injury. We’re selling Jeffery at his peak, going up against a stout Vikings defense but also with Minnesota’s offense chewing up the clock. The Vikings have dominated time of possession over the last three game, hogging the pigskin for an average of 34:29. That TOP ranks first in the NFL during that three-game span. The Bears might not have enough time on offense to make it worth a buy on Jeffery.
Evans also had the big day Bucs fans have been waiting for. The second-year receiver caught eight of 12 balls thrown his way for 164 yards and one touchdown. Last season, Evans proved to be a bulk producer which means he would post consecutive big weeks. Now that he’s healthy and gaining chemistry with Jameis Winston, we expect a massive follow-up effort from Evans, who faces the Falcons’ porous pass defense which has allowed 274.7 yards through the air per game, 25th worst in the NFL.
Justin Forsett, Baltimore Ravens ($6,900) vs. Chris Johnson, Arizona Cardinals ($7,300)
Forsett is one of the few offensive weapons the Ravens have. He carried the ball only 12 times for 36 yards and a touchdown against Arizona last Monday, adding eight yards receiving for 11.9 DFS points. Forsett hasn’t been able to follow last year’s breakout season but has averaged more than 16 DFS points the past four weeks. The Ravens will look to run and chew up the clock versus the Chargers, keeping the ball out of Philip Rivers’ hands. San Diego has also been torn up for 132.1 rushing yards against per game, which sits second last in the NFL.
Johnson continues to prove fantasy pundits wrong with his solid efforts. He had 18 carries for 122 yards and a score versus Baltimore Monday, but 62 of those gains came from a play in which everyone but Johnson thought he was down. He too faces a dismal run defense in Cleveland, which has allowed 151 yards rushing per game. But Cleveland has some bite on offense and this one could turn into a shootout, taking touches away from CJ2K. Remember, he had just five DFS points in Week 7 at Pittsburgh and averages only 7.5 DFS points on the road this season.
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers ($8,000) vs. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons ($8,000)
Newton had just 16.88 DFS points in the win over the Eagles last week, in large part to three interceptions. However, not all those picks were Cam’s fault and he is always a threat to score with his powerful arm but also his fleet feet. Newton has been awesome at home, averaging more than 25 DFS in front of the Carolina crowds, and hosts a Colts defense that ranks 29th at defending the pass and was tortured by another dual-threat QB – Buffalo’s Tyrod Taylor – in Week 1, giving up 195 yards and a passing touchdown while watch Tylor run for a bonus 41 yards on the ground.
Ryan has yet to pass for more than two touchdowns in a single game, thanks to the emergence of RB Devonta Freeman in the red zone. Last week, he put up 251 yards with a TD but threw two interceptions, trimming his DFS winnings to 11.74 points versus Tennessee. In Week 8, Atlanta faces a Tampa Bay defense allowing only 219.5 passing yards per game, fifth lowest in the league. Coach Lovie Smith wasn’t happy with his defense’s efforts against the Redskins last week, making Kirk Cousins look like Joe Theismann, so we expect a stiffer stop unit from Tampa in Week 8.
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