14-1 ATS on Super Bowl Games: THIS is our Official Super Bowl Pick

You read that right. In my 15 years predicting the Super Bowl on nflpickles.com, I have a record of 14-1.

Who didn't I get right? The Saints in 2010. I've bet for and against Brady successfully. I've bet the underdog and the favorite (those are about 50% each in the last 30 bowls).

The reason I believe is that there might be too much non-smart money on the game.

We break it down on my Rokfin channel.


For $9.99, you get to see and profit. Cancel any time. https://rokfin.com/article/8186


NFL Point Spread Pick - AFC Conference Championship

There is just too many stats, trends, and common sense going against this average Bengals team. This one trick pony Burrow-Chase that beat the Chiefs not long ago will not have the same luck against a team with so many weapons and much superior coaching.

First, the revenge angle. This Chiefs team is looking on putting away this team early. They will learn from the mistakes they made on that week and last weekend on the defensive sided. Chase might have a game, but I assure you Andy Reid won't let it be another 3 TD, 266 yd game. The Chiefs did start strong in that game scoring 3 easy TDs against a defense that is below average. But then Chase did the same that Davis did to them last week. Next weekend, Chase will be double teamed so they'll need to find someone else. 

These two teams in my opinion are in two different weight classes. The Chiefs I'm not sure if they didn't want to show up that day on week 17 or they did and got up early but didn't want to continue fighting. During the playoffs they'll fight as you saw last weekend. 

David and Goliath and you know I like betting Goliath. This year, home teams favorites by a TD or more are 43-26 (60%) ATS. Also in Conference Championships, 56% of the time the home team covers, favorites by more than a field goal are 15-8 (65%) ATS, the median final margin is -6 for the home team. 

This late in the playoffs, the heavy favorite usually wins. The big offensive advantage destroys their opponents.

There is a version of this game where the Bengals somehow keep it a one score game. A game where the Chiefs are not looking like themselves and even trail for a bit. Then come back and win or are up by 9 and the Bengals score a field goal but KC ends up with the ball and the game. That's a scary thought with a 7 point spread. Definitely 7.5 is too high and the line already corrected to 7 and at 6.5 it was too low and didn't last there either. I do not see how this line shifts from where it's at, seems to have found a balance point.

Models: They are mixed and not convincingly for KC. Yes, the one I'm posting below is the strongest ensemble and has KC by a lot. But there are some with KC by somewhere between 3 and 4. I'm sticking with the best performing one and the one that aligns with Goliath. 

In summary, don't over think this. KC is gonna win. It's probably a blowout if KC's defense is able to get a turn over or stop a few more third downs. On the other hand, I don't expect the Bengals defense to come even close to stopping the Chiefs.

As I mentioned in the NFC Championship article, a parlay of KC -7 the one I'm backing in NFC looks juicy and very likely. If you're not feeling the blowout, take it straight up or tease. Have fun and let's win some more $ with MyHomie.

The pick: Chiefs -7

To see who I'm backing in the NFC Championship go to my Rokfin channel: https://rokfin.com/article/7848/NFC-Conference-Championship




NFL Point Spread Picks - Divisional

Feeling good after hitting all 3 top picks last weekend. Bucs, Chiefs, and Rams all predicted blowouts. Almost hit the honorable mention in the Raiders but whatev they suck. Also, 4 of the 5 quarterbacks getting their first playoff game lost by a lot. The only one who won? Burrow because he was facing a 1st timer in Carr. Carr, Murray, Hurtz, and Mac Jones all had to go home. Enough bragging, it's time to continue this streak and analyze these games: 

LOS ANGELES @ TAMPA BAY -3

The Los Angeles Rams just came out of a huge blowout against the Cardinals and beat these same Bucs in week 3 34-24 and hence we get a 3 point spread. Not even a half point for the Super Bowl champs or the goat. 

Don't get me wrong, these Rams are legit. Cooper Kupp, Odell Beckham Jr have powered these passing offense. The offense looked much better at the beginning of the season but dropped to 14th on the back half of the season. Some of it may have to do with Stafford's league leading 17 INT, and some with their struggling running game. The numbers tell us that the Rams are now an average offense that depends much on the passing game.

The stronghold for the Rams is Aaron Donald and the defense. They are strong against both the pass and the rush. They are fired up and can put pressure on Brady, which is his only weakness, pressure. They sacked him 3 times in game 3. But as of late with injuries in the secondary it could be trouble. It wasn't against Kyler Murray but Brady can exploit the newcomers' weaknesses.

The other problem with the Rams is that they struggled to beat good teams, teams in the playoffs. They had a win against the struggling Cardinals and the one win against the Bucs in week 3 and that's it. Then they lost against the 49ers (2), Packers, Titans and beat a bunch of bad teams like the Jaguars, Texans, Lions, and Giants. The Bucs on the other hand went 6-1 against playoff teams including the one loss on week 3. 

The number one offense in the league are the Bucs and by a lot according to DVOA. #1 passing offense and the #4 rushing offense. They rank #2 in first downs and #1 in late downs. Tom Brady led the league in TDs and passing yards with a top 5 rushing attack. This offense is humming even without Godwin or Brown.

The Bucs defense finished top 10 in the league. It started slow, then it got some injuries but it is healthy and much better as of late and especially at home. They struggled on the road all season so the venue change is a positive sign for this D. 

Models: All machine learning models predict Bucs by 7 or close to it. The home team favorite by 3 and a prediction of 7 gives a situational confidence of 56%. Not too high, but it's the playoffs so I prefer to stick with the narrative that all statistical signs point to the Bucs.

Injuries: Fournette and Jones at RB for the Bucs are a question mark, although Vaughn was able to fill in just fine. The worrisome injury are in the Bucs offensive line. RT Tristan Wirfs and C Ryan Jensen are two Pro Bowl linemen that are question marks this weekend but badly needed against the Rams. Watch for their injury updates.

This game for me does boil down to the two QBs. Stafford vs Brady. In that case, I'll take the GOAT.

THE PICK: Bucs -3 


For analysis and picks for the other 3 games visit Rokfin.com/NFLpickles

NFL Point Spread Picks - NFL Wild Card

PHILADELPHIA @ TAMPA BAY -8.5

The Bucs are at it again and after a roller coaster ride, Fournette is back to boost the offense and last week we saw Evans. Lavonte David, JPP, and Shaquil back so the defense is definitely healthier. This defense ended the season ranked #9th and for the most time was never completely healthy and now will benefit greatly against the #3 rush offense of the Eagles.

Here's why I'm backing the Bucs. The Eagles went on a 6-2 run at the end of the season to sneak into the playoffs but who did they beat? Lions, Jets, Giants (2), WFT (with covid). Their competition was terrible but it did hype up the team. Now they are getting over 70% of the money and bettors forget who's on the other side. I think people are also looking at last year's Bucs game vs Washington with a similar spread. The Bucs won of course but didn't cover.

These two teams faced each other in October and although the final score was 28-22, Tampa dominated that game. The first fourteen points for the Eagles were on 50+ yard penalties. The defense was rushing Hurtz but at the same time preventing him to run for big yardage. No Gronk. Again, a much healthier defense now. In this game, the Bucs were 7 point favorites on the road.

This year home favorite over a TD but less than double digits went 11-6 ATS (64.7%). My models don't have the Bucs covering by much more than the spread likely a more fair price for this game is 9.5 or 10 so there's some value at 8.5.

When the Bucs take a double digit lead, the run offense for the Eagles goes away making it very difficult to make a comeback.

The Pick: Bucs -8.5

Check out the rest of the machine learning NFL picks on Rokfin.com.





NFL Point Spread Picks - AFC Wild Card

LAS VEGAS @ CINCINNATI -5.5

When these two teams met in November, the final score was 32-13 but it was a 3 point game in the 4th quarter with 5 minutes left. At the end, Chase caught on in the endzone, Carr threw and interception, and Mixon scored to make it a 19 point game from a 3 point one.

Cincinnati benefited from a crappy division and one of the softest schedule by any team. Even with an easy schedule, they had nine one-score games. The are ranked right in the middle overall average team in DVOA both on offense and defensive side. On the defense, their weakness is in the pass as they rank 24th at 11 points below average.

Coincidentally the Raiders also had 9 one score games including the last 4 games of the season which they won. Their offense is ranked similar to the Bengals, but I would argue with Waller healthy they could be ranked slightly better. Derek Carr started the season on a tear but quickly regressed to his mean. The Raiders defensive corp is stronger against the run which will force more times for Borrow to throw. With the snowy weather, Cinci might be thinking of leaning on the run more and play conservatively which will not be the right strategy.

Two average teams that don't have any significant differences in matchups are hard to read and seem like a close game. Looking at the trends, this year home teams favorite by less than a TD are just 33-59 (35.9%) against the spread (ATS).

I'm not excited much about this game as it will come down to the last play. But in these situations of even teams, the price should be 3 or 3.5 for the home team and given it's 5.5, I'm taking the underdog. This is contrary to what my machine learning models say which is Cinci by 7. But the situational confidence is so low it's worth to look twice, handicap and adjust.

THE PICK: Raiders +5.5

All other picks can be found on Rokfin.com/NFLpickles