Picks - NFL Week 6
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GAME: DET +4 @ GB (O/U46)
Coming into the year, we were not believers in Matt Patricia. After finishing last year 6-10, good for last place in the NFC North, and with little change to the roster, it could be assumed that the Lions were in for a similar fate this year. It was not out of the realm of possibility that the Belichick disciple could even see an untimely ending to his Detroit tenure. Through the first four games, Patricia and the Detroit Lions have over-exceeded expectations. Each week that passed, no matter how much we increased their number, the Lions' Power Rating was too low. After losing to the Browns and tying the lowly Cardinals, the Lions went on to beat the Chargers at home, Eagles on the road, and come up just short against the Chiefs at Ford Field. The team is trending up without question, but has this run been as impressive as it seems on the surface?
The Los Angeles Chargers have been absolutely hamstrung with cluster injuries on the offensive side the ball. When they hosted the Philadelphia Eagles, they were also hampered by injuries. And when the Lions played the Chiefs? You guessed it! They, too, were bit by the injury bug. The NFL season is a grind. As the season progresses, no team is truly healthy. However, when those injuries significantly impact the line this early in the season, it says something. Each one of those games had cluster injuries on the offensive side of the ball. The Lions were opportunistic, but without question, found themselves in very fortunate spots. This game does not have the same amount of injury concern as the aforementioned ones, but Davante Adams, star wide receiver, is very questionable. A healthy Davante Adams scratch would move the line a full point. However, his questionable tag is already baked into the line. Which now begs the question, what should the line actually be?
The Green Bay Packers have been very dominate this year, only losing to the Philadelphia Eagles. Aaron Rodgers seems to have better chemistry with Packers Coach Matt LaFleur than he did with Mike McCarthy and the results are easily seen on the field. Our Power Ratings, which is an assessment of the team at this current moment with consideration to all injuries, has the Packers 2.5 points better than the average team with 3.5 points for home field advantage. The Lions are 0.5 points worse than the average team. Taking everything into consideration, our Power Ratings says this game should be Green Bay Packers -6. Considering this game is -4 even money, the choice is obvious.
Now, there are a plethora of other things to consider. The Lions have had two weeks to prepare for this after having their bye last week. They also have won four straight against the Packers. But this is a new coach with a new system and the Packers have had an extra day to prepare, as well. This line says the Packers are 0.5 points better than the Lions. Even with self-admittance that we have been too low on the Lions, this market overcorrection has simply gone too far.
2 Units: GB -4 (Points Bet +100)
GAME: CAR -2 @ TB (O/U47.5)
This division battle takes place on foreign soil. A London game with an early start time, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers find themselves home on paper only. Simply looking at these teams' Power Ratings, this is exactly where the line should be set. However, there is hidden value in the game as you dig a little deeper.
The Buccaneers beat the Carolina Panthers in week 2 with an injured Cam Newton at the helm. Certainly, Kyle Allen is not Cam Newton, but he is a much more effective quarterback than the one Tampa saw in their first contest. You know the Panthers have had this game circled since they last saw each other and will be hyper-motivated to even the score. With a loss Sunday, the Carolina Panthers would fall to 500 tied with the Bucs, but lose the tie-breaker. This game could easily be the difference between making or missing the playoffs. The Panthers have revenge on their side, which offers a significant situational edge.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been building their travel miles on their credit cards for the last month. They have not played a home game since September 22nd, 4 weeks ago. Now they find themselves in London. The Panthers were home last week. Which team plays better in a different country with a 9:30 (their time) start? Advantage Carolina.
Analytically speaking, the numbers also favor the Panthers. Carolina is -3 in turnovers. The Bucs are +3. Carolina yards per play this season is 0.9 yards better than they allow. The Bucs are 0.3 worse. The Panthers score 4.4 more points per game than they allow. The Bucs allow 0.2 more than they score.
With the situational edge, the travel advantage, and the numbers in their favor, the Carolina Panthers have to be the play this week.
2 Units: Carolina Panthers -2 (DraftKings -106) WON
GAME: NYG +16.5 @ NEP (O/U 42)
There are times when you place a bet and even though you lose, you were on the right side. That was our first quarter play last week on the New England Patriots. The Patriots won the game by a score of 33-7. The only touchdown Bill Belichick's defense gave up? A 65 yard reverse by Steven Sims Jr, which featured four broken tackles. It also happened to be the only touchdown given up by the Patriots in the first quarter this year. Still, the Patriots tied the game up and were threatening to score with under 2 minutes to play in the quarter, only to be thwarted by the Redskins or Belichick's own play calling on a 4th and 1. The Redskins were only able to muster 155 total yards the rest of the game. Right side. Wrong outcome.
Daniel Jones and the Giants' magical run came to a crashing halt last week in a loss at home to the Minnesota Vikings. For their trouble, they will now be on the road on a short week facing the dynasty that is the New England Patriots on a Thursday Night. It is true, Daniel Jones has proven the naysayers wrong, but this will be the second game in a row where he will underperform. He is down his two top receiving targets in Sterling Shepard (concussion) and Evan Engram (knee), as well as, his two top running backs in Saquon Barkley (ankle) and Wayne Gallman (concussion).
Foxboro + Short Week - Weapons = Recipe for Disaster
The weather is also going to come into play. The forecast calls for an 85% chance of rain and 17 mph winds. As explained in our The Weather and Sports Betting article, since 2003 the under hits 60% of the time when there are winds above 10 mph. The Giants starting running back will be undrafted rookie Jon Hilliman. With limited receiving weapons, the Giants will simply be unable to move the ball against a New England defense that is one of the tops in the NFL.
So now the only question is how to attack this game. We are going to avoid the side for the game because we hate laying such a high number, but we do love the Pats. The total also screams under with New England's defense, short week, Giants injuries, and the weather. When there are this many profitable angles, spread the love.
1 Unit: NEP 1st Quarter -3.5 (FanDuel -116) WON
1 Unit: NEP 1st Half -9.5 (DraftKings -132) LOSS
1 Unit: NEP/NYG U42 (DraftKings -110) LOSS
YEAR TO DATE: 22-16-1 / +8.38 Units