NFL Point Spread Picks - Week 7

Got a bit cocky last week and didn't deliver winning results going 2-3 ATS for a loss. This week we bounce back, leave the emotions behind, and roll with the punches no matter how ugly they may seem. Here we go!

NEW ENGLAND -7

No brainer right? Belichick owns the Jets. The Patriots haven't won at home yet. If they lose, hell will break loose at Foxborough. This is an important game for Mac, Bill, and the rest of the Patriots. I can't say the same thing about the Jets. 

  • The models estimate this game at two or three TD difference. Confidence also high. 
  • The Patriots blew them out not too long ago. That's not enough time for Zach Wilson to figure it out. 
  • Home teams favorite by 7 are 56% ATS in the last 123 games
  • 91% of the bets AND money are on the Patriots. Does this move to 7.5 soon?

Don't over think it. Belichick won't give in. Mac Jones continues to get better. The Patriots D currently ranked 11th hold this Jets offense, maybe get a score, and cover.

CHICAGO +12.5

Another ugly bet. Potential blowout potential against the worst QB in the NFL. There are only two reasons why this bet makes sense:

  • The Bears defense is ranked 6th against the pass. Stop the passing game and the Bucs game slows down significantly
  • The sharps are on the Bears with me. 43% and 65% of the money on the Bears

After that you can start talking about Tom Brady and the Super Bowl champs and you would probably want to stay away. Leave those emotions aside and put the money on the Bears defense to keep this game close.

There are two other locked picks you can get on my Rokfin channel. It's gonna be a great Sunday!


 

NFL Point Spread Picks - Week 6

For all 5 official picks visit my Rokfin page. $9.99/mo or $99/year. You get 2 of the 5 free here. Keep reading.

3-1 ATS last week and 68.8% across all games for the models. For this week, you will read that not only the statistical models are capturing opportunity, but bias, DVOA, and overall situational trends are all aligning very well. We roll this week with a few road teams getting under valued just because they are on the road and as always some recency bias from last week's games. This might be too good to be true, but some of these spreads seem way off. Let's dig in.

HOUSTON +9.5
Not my cup of tea of betting Houston, but I do think their defense is slightly better than it is given credit. Plus IND is not a dominant team so this is not a David vs Goliath scenario. It is currently ranked 15th according to DVOA. Houston's problem is the offense but maybe with veteran Danny Amendola back this week they will get enough boost to cover this week's biggest spread across all games. I've also never been a big fan of Carson Wentz and this looks like too many points for him, here's why:
  • All my statistical models have IND winning, but by a field goal or at most a TD. The situational confidence is big meaning that when the models predict this same situation, they are correct over 70% of them time across 45 games in this case.
  • Strength of schedule is also on our side. Although not a big difference, IND has had an average schedule while HOU has 6% above average for the rankings of their opponents
  • Houston's rank rushing the ball is last. Ingram and Lindsey haven't done their job, is this a good bounce back? IND is 22nd overall on defense with a slighter edge on rushing which means if anything is weak is the pass. Good sign since Houston can't run.
  • In the last 127 games, home teams favorite between 8.5 and 10 points are 45% ATS. If you narrow it to 9.5 home favorite, then they are 32% in 50 games
  • QB Rating: not much difference. Slight edge to Wentz
  • Both teams last week lost close games and blew big leads, yet one of them is almost a two digit favorite and that team was on MNF (short rest)
  • Lots of money coming in for Houston, 64% of bets yet over 90% of the money. Sharps (like me) like the underdog here.
DALLAS -4
When is Dallas going to get the respect they deserve? They are the only undefeated team against the spread and are only getting 4 points against the Patriots. Is it because they covered against the Bucs? My conspiracy theory is that the game was fixed; keep it interesting Brady but we know you're better so in the end you'll get the win. Dallas on the other hand is on a tear and signals a potential blowout. A spread of 6.5, 7, or 7.5 is likely the better one. You also have that:
  • All the simulation models have this game as a blowout of 21 points to 8 points at the least. The road team favorite with a blowout prediction is a very high confidence situation
  • Dallas strength of schedule has been much tougher. They rank 9th to the Patriots 28th
  • The #2 ranked team vs #20 just that should be at least a TD. DAL defense which wasn't supposed to be good is ranked 6th and 3rd against the rush which will put the ball more into the hands of Mac Jones, great!
  • As always, the sharps bet against the Cowboys but not the public. That's a bad sign, but they have been wrong all year about the Cowboys talented team now that the defense is not an issue (for now). 82% of bets and 55% of the $
  • Who's got the QB advantage? Dak >>> Mac #3 vs #25 ranked QBs in the league. That's a huge difference.
Thursday Night Football
Mixed results for a 7 point spread for the models. Some at 10 and some under 7. Trends, QB, and rankings would favor the Bucs to cover, but it could also be a close game like their last year's game vs the Bears. Stay away for me. Sharps are on the Eagles crossing that majority barrier to get 52% of the money but only 29% of the bets.

Sunday Night Football
Russel Wilson is out. Who knows how Seattle will do without him. Seems like this is not their year and will fall apart soon. Blindly going with the Steelers who are so on and off as well, but at home on prime time should show up, at least their defense will knowing it's a backup QB.

Monday Night Football
For Monday Night Football's official pick and 2 more for a total of 5 official picks this week, visit this link:



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NFL Point Spread Picks - Week 5

Four weeks in, gives statistical model something good to work with. Add the stat rankings, trends, strength of schedule, injury report, and we can find opportunities in week 5. Only one team is undefeated against the spread and all teams have covered at least once on the ATS Standings. This week we are going to capitalize on strong teams with hard schedules so far against weak teams, yes some chalk. We will talk about Thursday Night and Sunday Night football but being cautious because they could be traps. Let's dig in.

SAN FRANCISCO +5.5
Although San Francisco may be a bit banged up with Kittle and Garoppolo questionable for Sunday, this Cardinals team has been riding too high so far. This divisional game can go either way and getting 5.5 points maybe even 6 seems like something to jump on. 

  • All models in the ensemble have the 49ers winning or at least covering. The situational confidence is highest of all
  • In the last 123 games, home favorites less than 7 but more than 5 have only covered 33% of the time
  • The schedule has been slightly tougher for SF. They rank 6 vs 12 for ARI
  • Surprisingly, these teams are ranked by DVOA similar on offense, but ARI is ranked 6th on defense. The opportunity is in SF running the ball as ARI is ranked 16th against the run
  • If Trey Lance plays QB for SF I like this game even more as he can run the ball. We do need Kittle though.
TENNESSEE -4.5
Keep fading Jacksonville especially against Derek Henry. This spread should be more like 7 but giving that Tennessee is visiting and recency bias from Jacksonville looking semi decent last week and the Jets beating the Titans this is the number we get. Although we don't know if AJ Brown or Julio Jones will play this week, they are more likely to suit up than they were last week. 
  • The smallest prediction was at 6, highest at 19. This is a potential blowout with great chances given they are road favorite by less than a TD
  • In the last 161 games, road favorites less than a TD but more than a field goal are 55% ATS
  • DVOA doesn't give much edge to TEN but the variance is key as JAC has been consistently (low variance) bad while TEN has one of the highest variance
  • Trey Lawrence (and a bunch of rookie QBs) haven't shown they can hang in this league yet. I like Tannehill here over Lawrence
  • Tennessee is coming from a loss against the Jets, recency bias. The Jets also have a much better defense than the Jaguars
  • Everyone, public and sharks, are betting Tennessee. Get it soon. This spread could go up quick.
There are two more opportunities plus my take on TNF and MNF in this article. From week 5 forward they are exclusive to my channel on Rokfin. If you subscribe through my channel, you get all the premium content on Rokfin. Football, Free Thinking Media, Spirituality, and even Aliens. Go get some and download the mobile app.



NFL Point Spread Picks - Week 4

Wow, what a week! Carolina's #1 defense continues to dominate but will now face a top 10 offense in Dallas. They are 3-0 ATS at the top with Dallas and Denver. The Rams (2-1 ATS) aren't the best defense but they are the #1 ranked offense so far. Cleveland, Arizona, and Denver all ranked on the top 5 overall! Who would've known? It's still early and there's a lot of variability. We had Green Bay and the Saints to win as underdogs and cover last week but missed on Seattle. 

This week the models detected 4 games with bias and opportunities. The main themes are to monopolize on are dominant vs weak, team bias, and road favorite underrated. Let's dig in!

TNF

Cincinnati should blow out Jacksonville right? I just haven't seen the Cincinnati offense score much and with a 7.5 spread, I'm not hoping for Joe Burrow to put up yardage here. Low scoring game with a high spread would imply bet the underdog, but neither am I going with the Jax. Recency bias with last week's win against the Steelers. When I doubt both sides, I prefer to stay away and put these units elsewhere.

TAMPA BAY -7

Tom Brady back in Foxborough on Prime Time should be a hell of a game. It'll be quite the match up but I think the player will have more influence on the game than the coach. Tampa Bay being the much better team, by them being on the road, they are not getting the points they deserve...should be 10. My only worry is that everyone is betting the Bucs here so grab the 7 while you can because this will go to 7.5.

  • NFL Pickles' models have this game anywhere between two and three TD margin
  • Something is off with this line and everyone knows it. 92% of the tickets and money on the Bucs
  • Tampa Bay ranked #8 DVOA at 24% while NE is 21st but -7.6% below the average
  • Tampa's defense hasn't been the same yet and this could be the game where they turn it around
  • QB Power Brady >>> Jones
  • No significant injuries for the Bucs and Godwin, Gronk all expected to play. James White is out for the remainder of the season for the Patriots
This is a detection of a blowout with a single digit spread. Almost a home game for Brady and Gronk.

Atlanta +1.5

Give me the home dog here. Washington's defense prowess is lingering from last year yet this year they have been bad. They rank bottom 5 against the pass allowing 921 yards 6 TDs and 1 INT. Atlanta's defense isn't that great either and is close to Washington's in DVOA. In terms of offenses, they also look similar with a slight yet so slight edge on the Football team. So if these teams have performed so similar, why is the home team the underdog?

  • Most of NFL Pickles' models have Atlanta by 3 which is exactly my point above
  • Situationally a road favorite at 1.5 is 56% ATS in the last 50 games. Last week this was Seattle.
  • Russell Gage is questionable which Atlanta could miss. Not likely a big factor.
  • Matt Ryan >> Heinicke, I like to bet the veteran here
  • Fade the house, Washington currently getting 60% of the bets and 80% of the money
An ugly take with the Falcons, but the Washington team is also garbage.

There's two more opportunities that I talk about on the full article on Rokfin

NFL Picks and Betting Strategies - Week 3

Overrated home teams, Goliath beats David, and other opportunities on week 3 of the NFL.

Wild & exciting week 2! One of my favorite strategies that we've talked in the past came true in two games and if you follow me on Twitter, you could've capitalized on MNF. Strong teams blow out weak teams. The spread is hardly ever above 14 and many strong teams blowout their opposition by more than two touchdowns.

On MNF we saw the undermined by recency bias Green Bay Packers cover a double digit spread against a weak prey in the Detroit Lions & Jared Goff. Tampa Bay also took care of their double digit spread against Atlanta triggered by their defense and Tom Brady wanting to get TDs under his belt. The Bills and Miami a similar story but one could argue Miami wasn't as weak as the latter two but the Bills were also under rated from their first week loss. 

Unfortunately this week there's only one double digit spread and it's Denver which wouldn't be categorized as "strong" just yet. The second highest spread, Baltimore against Detroit, could be an interesting one. At 8.5 road favorites, the Ravens are coming off a big win and should cruise in Detroit and players will be eager to gather stats into their game logs. 

The machines were trained and the numbers crunched. Below are the model outputs. We talk about 4 games that look interesting against the spread. There were like 4 QBs that went down last week so we have to be careful with back QBs and just sit out of those games to see how they perform. 

Here's the breakdown on games where there seems to be something off with the spread:

NEW ORLEANS +3
The Saints are going to Foxborough and these two teams are considered equal by putting a spread of 3 for the home team. But are they? The Saints are coming off a really poor offensive performance against the Panthers. Winston threw 0 TD and 2 INT and they rushed for a total of 48 yards, 19 from Winston himself. Maybe we are underestimating the Panthers D? The Patriots beat the Jets, c'mon man! In terms of ranking of defenses and offenses they might be the same, but the variability is worth noting. New Orleans has been the most night and day team so far while New England has been consistently ranked upper 20s on both sides of the ball on both games. It won't be another dark night for the Saints and they not only cover but win outright. 

GREEN BAY +3.5
Another prime time game for Aaron Rodgers and he's an underdog? Against Garoppolo? This is too good to be true. Sure they have also been night and day, but Rodgers won't be consistently bad. There's no other QB that can throw like he did on Monday. The defense might be the issue for the Packers especially on the ground where SF can take advantage. The 49ers are currently ranked 13th in defense but that's just two games and in one of them they allowed 33 points to the Lions. This means that GB will score big which will force SF to throw the ball and with Garoppolo that means game over, Packers roll. 

Get my other two takes and the results of the statistical models free on Rokfin

NFL Point Spread Model Outputs 2021 - Week 2

All statistical models need data. Without counting the pre-season, this year has given us 1 week of data. Although one can use data from last season, which we do, there's just not enough to make conclusive decisions for this week. 

If you have followed my blog for the past 14 years, you know I stay away in any significant way from week 1 to 5. To have fun watching games, throwing a .1 unit is fine, but even that, you know it's lost, could get lucky though. 

Last week we got a glimpse of a few surprises. 

The RAMS are good or the Bears are horrible
Could definitely be a little bit of both. The Bears defense, especially the secondary, is no good. Fade them against good QBs, yeah Stafford included. The Rams with Stafford might be a big deal, but the cat is not out of the hat yet. 

The Saints Still the Most Balanced Team
Winston looked good. He will throw the picks, but he will keep throwing. Stopping the Packers offense is no easy feat. They have good defense, a good offense, and even a top 10 special teams. They will, at some point, be over-rated but probably not yet for week 2. 

Arizona and Philadelphia Surprise
Both teams played well. Both ranked top 5 in offense and defense for last week. But this smells like low sample size bias and they should regress to the mean.

TEN, ATL, DET, JAX, GB Sucked
Mostly expected except for the Packers and Tennessee. I expected Julio Jones to be a bigger presence in Tennessee and probably they will target him more this week. The other 3 teams seems like fade every week type of teams.

That's it for this week's take. Sorry for the late Thursday night post (not before TNF), but did wanted to share what the model outputs are using last week and last year's second half of the season.

As always, give my channel a follow on Rokfin.com/nflpickles and subscribe to get my premium picks starting on week 5; oh and you also get access to a bunch of political and wrestling content. 

Game Vegas Line Estimate Diff % Conf.
LAS VEGAS @ PITTSBURGH -5.5 -10.8 -5.3 68.2
NEW ORLEANS @ CAROLINA 3.5 15.0 11.5 60.8
KANSAS CITY @ BALTIMORE 3.5 11.5 8.0 60.8
ATLANTA @ TAMPA BAY -12.5 -11.6 0.9 60.7
LA RAMS @ INDIANAPOLIS 3.5 7.2 3.7 60.4
CINCINNATI @ CHICAGO -2.5 -7.3 -4.8 56.5
NEW ENGLAND @ NY JETS 5.5 1.7 -3.8 54.9
TENNESSEE @ SEATTLE -5.5 4.0 9.5 53.6
MINNESOTA @ ARIZONA -3.5 -5.2 -1.7 52.4
DENVER @ JACKSONVILLE 6.0 -5.5 -11.5 50.8
DALLAS @ LA CHARGERS -3.5 0.7 4.2 50.7
BUFFALO @ MIAMI 3.0 4.5 1.5 48.1
DETROIT @ GREEN BAY -11.0 -8.1 2.9 46.2
NY GIANTS @ WASHINGTON -3.5 -1.6 1.9 45.6
SAN FRANCISCO @ PHILADELPHIA 3.0 2.8 -0.2 44.9

6 Teams Covered Over 60% of the Time, Who Will It Be in 2021?

There were also 6 other teams that only covered less than 40%. Accurately finding these teams from the beginning is a jackpot strategy for the season.

Pick your pony! Or ponies... Last year there were 6 teams that didn't cover the spread over 60% of the time and and 6 teams that covered the spread 60% of the time. If you bet against and for these teams respectively all season long, you come out winning big. Let's take a look:

2020 Over-rated teams (covered the spread <40%)

CLEVELAND 6-10 37.5%

NY JETS 6-10 37.5%

MINNESOTA 6-10 37.5%

ARIZONA 6-10 37.5%

DALLAS 5-11 31.2%

HOUSTON 5-11 31.2%


CLEVELAND

Does Cleveland's "stacked" team continue to be over-rated in 2021? It might not. Many "experts" gave their first pick of the draft an A by grabbing Newsom who will protect against the pass more effectively than they have. On their second pick, they selected Anthony Schwartz who could've been the fastest player in the whole draft giving Baker a shot at long passes. Not a big fan on the volatility of the Browns, but they might get out of the <40% ATS in 2021.

NY JETS

Zach Wilson already being compared to Mahomes? He's got worked to do, but it was the right move for the Jets to pick the best QB available. On their second pick, they select an offensive lineman in Alijah Vera-Tucker to protect the young QB. Their defense wasn't horrible (a bit below avg) so I think the Jets will be out of these and won't finish as one of the teams under 40. 

MINNESOTA

I'm not a fan of Kirk Cousins so that makes me biased. They have plenty of weapons in the offense with Jefferson and Thielen and finished last year with one of the top 10 offenses in the league. Despite that, they were able to finish just below 40% even with an impressive run in the end. Kirk will be Kirk and this team stays under 40.

ARIZONA

Kyler Murray is too short to be a franchise QB, there I said it. Even though I'm 5'7" and always looking for short athletes to succeed, I'm not getting the Altuve vibe from Murray. The offense finished 20th overall in the league and they drafted a LB on their first pick. For their second pick, the selected a 5'7" receiver in Moore. This midget team is going nowhere and it might be a good strategy to just bet against every week and come out +60% on it.


Keep reading on Rokfin and see my picks for which ponies I'm gonna ride this year.




 

"Defense Wins Championships" - Part 2 - Myth or Fact for Super Bowl


Last year, I wrote a piece on whether defense wins championships in the Super Bowl. It was an interesting analysis, given that last year's Super Bowl was clearly a big offense in KC vs a strong defense in the 49ers. We busted that myth, bet on the Chiefs, and put another Super Bowl win under our belt. This year, things are a little bit different. Let's get into it. 

We have arguably the best offense in the 2020 Chiefs against the best defense in the Bucs. But the buc doesn't stop there. It's not like the Bucs have a weak offense or the Cheifs have a weak defense. The plot above has the last 31 Super Bowl winners by DVOA and take a look. You can quickly see where KC falls on the chart. Pretty close to where they were last year but better on offense. 

Read the rest at https://rokfin.com/article/3292/Defense-Wins-Championships--Part-2--Myth-or-Fact-for-Super-Bowl

Conference Championship NFL Point Spread Picks

You're not gonna like this week's picks. You could be better off betting against them. I'm sticking to the models and either going down with the ship or ending the season with a solid 3-0 ATS. They are contrarian, you could find 10 reasons why not to do it, but I'm here to tell you why I'm sticking to it.

Buccaneers +3.5

Betting against Aaron Rodgers at home? You're crazy. Betting against Aaron Rodgers (6-2 ATS last 8 games) during the playoffs is absurd. The public surely thinks so. As of Tuesday, they have 57% of the bets and 60% of the money. This means that there's no clear sharp action on the Packers but the general public are cheeseheads. He beat the Rams defense, good for him. But played a mediocre offense without its top receiver and a QB with a broken thumb. Let's see how the Bucs challenge will pan out.

  • Machine learning models (ALL of them) have the Bucs winning outright with high confidence. Through 20 years of data, the models have seen this situation 74 times and have been correct 64.9% of the time.
  • Bucs pass offense is top 3 in the league. #3 in pts/gm and #2 in pass yards/gm. The Green Bay pass defense is decently ranked #8. If they fall asleep in the back or get tricked with a play action, Brady will catch on and throw long.
  • Bucs will run the ball a lot. It worked for them last week and it did in week 6 against the Packers (158 yards and 2 TDs). Runs the clock out and keeps the game close.
  • The Bucs weakness in defense is the run, but they were able to hold their ground against Kamara last week and against the Packers in week 6 (94 rushing yards and 1 TD).
  • Will Rodgers again have a hard time against them? Possibly. The answer is in the blitz.
  • Tampa Bay had the toughest schedule in the league according to teamrankings. Green Bay's schedule is ranked #18. Point Bucs.
  • The Green Bay offense is in full speed. Against the #1 defense, they were still able to score 32 points, rushing for 188 and passing for 296. They have a lot more weapons now that the Bucs need to figure out. Point Packers.
  • Who's the real goat? I'm gonna go with the guy with 6 rings vs. 1. Aaron Rodgers hasn't won a Super Bowl in 10 years and was humiliated by SF last year who I never thought had that good of an offense. Now, although a much better team, they face an even tougher defense and top 5 offense. Brady > Rodgers.
  • LaFleur is a great coach and in two years has built one of the best offenses in the league. Arians takes more risks, sometimes not good ones. But no risk no reward. Experience > 2 year coach.
  • Trends: Since 2006 (51 games) road dogs between 0 and 4 points are 64.6% against the spread. 7-2-1 (77.8%) in the last 10 games.
  • Intangible: Tampa is one game away from playing the Super Bowl at home.
As the locals in Tampa Bay would say, Tampaaaaaaaa!

For all other picks, visit rokfin.com/nflpickles

Wild Card NFL Point Spread Picks

A historical 61% ATS during playoffs in 13 years of experience. The real ride starts this week. Up your bankroll % because we're going to win big. Wildcard weekend is here and we've found 3 solid opportunities. Let's roll!

Subscribe today. It's the best $9.99 you will invest in sports. The Super Bowl is in Feb 7th so if you subscribe today, you only have to stay for one month. That's all playoff picks + Super Bowl for $9.99. Why so cheap? Because Rokfin is the best place to monetize content. You win and I win. 

The first one is a freebie.

Buffalo -6.5 Saturday 12pm CST
Buffalo is unstoppable right now and there are no signs of stopping. We have picked them 2 weeks in a row now out of a 8-0 ATS streak their in. Now they face noodle arm Philip Rivers and the Colts as a 6 and a half point home favorite. Although most of my models hover around a 10 point win for Buffalo, here are some reasons why I think this could get ugly for the Colts quick:
  • The Colts have had the easiest schedule of all the teams. Of their 11 wins, only 3 were against playoff teams (Bears, Titans, Packers).
  • Josh Allen's story of being rejected by universities (Fresno State) over and over until Wyoming gave him a chance is amazing. The guy is a fighter and will continue to prove his haters wrong. Captain Class type of guy.
  • My favorite angle here is that the Colts weakness in the defense is in the pass while we all know the strength of the Bills offense is in that same spot. Colts rank 19th in pass D while the Bills are 3rd in the league.
  • The Bills D is playing much better as of late especially against the run game. 
  • Home teams favorite between 6 and 7 are 57% ATS in the last 216 games. That's a big sample! About the same percentage in 2020.
Buffalo rolls past the Colts, Philip Rivers retires.

Get all picks at rokfin.com/nflpickles