Week Fifteen NFL Sports Betting: Picks Against The Spread
And just when you publicly admit you are proud of yourself for having a good year of NFL sports betting against the spread, you get on the side of a pretty horrible beat (New Orleans not covering -2.5 at home when they scored 46 points) and a straight-up bad side (Seattle Seahawks +1). We have mostly run well this year when in very public NFL sports betting spots, mostly with the Chiefs and Cowboys, so it hurt to be on the clearly wrong side with Seattle. Nevertheless, we continue our battle towards a 57% or better record this year.
As always, use this article as a reminder to keep tailing the SportsGrid betting model and #TrustTheProcess.
Davis Mattek NFL Sports Betting Record: 25-18 ATS
Week Fifteen NFL Sports Betting Picks
Dallas Cowboys +1.5
Hear me out: regardless of how bad the Dallas Cowboys have been in their last three games, they STILL lead the NFL in yards per play on offense. When lines are made and when advanced sports bettors start to bet on lines, yards per play is their top metric. Granted, Dallas has been slowly declining in yards per play on offense and in yards per play on defense as well as having the worst special teams DVOA in all of football (32nd). This is not a perfect team and they are certainly not a perfect team; but should they be an underdog at home to Jared Goff and this Ravens team? I think that seems unlikely, so this bet is more about the number than the team itself.
Jared Goff went all of November without throwing a touchdown pass and then had back to back hot games against the Seahawks and Cardinals. For the course of the whole season, Goff has a QBR that ranks him 27th amongst all qualified quarterbacks. Dak is coming off three of his worst games as a pro quarterback and is third in the NFL in QBR behind only Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. Now, we have all see how bad Dak was against Chicago. Is he as good as his early numbers indicate? Probably not. Is he as bad as the numbers against Chicago and Buffalo say? Of course not. When a talented Dallas team is getting points at home, I am going to take that side and I would imagine that this line could even get to Rams +3 by Sunday morning.
Houston Texans +3.5
Yes, the Texans just got boat-raced at home against the Denver Broncos and their rookie quarterback the point that we wondered if DeShaun Watson was even going to play the fourth quarter because his team was down by so many points. Yes, Ryan Tannehill leads the league in adjusted yards per pass attempt and is playing the best football of his career. No, we are not going to be betting on that form continuing. Perhaps the best piece of advice I have ever gotten from someone who is better at prognosticating than I am is that a vast majority of wealth is acquired from not over-reacting to small sample sizes. I am not going to say that Tannehill is the same guy he was in Miami over 5,000+ dropbacks because he clearly has the ability to play better than that sample but I am also not treating him like Patrick Mahomes.
For his career, DeShaun Watson averages 8.1 yards per passing attempt on over 1,200 dropbacks. Tannehill is over a full yard worse at 6.9 yards per attempt. Now, again, I am not saying that Miami Tannehill is Tennessee Tannehill but I do feel confident saying that Watson is a better quarterback than Tannehill (though, Mike Vrabel could be a better coach than Bill O’Brien). Getting the extra half point with Houston is the road is rather nice as home-field advantage has in many ways been negated so I disagree with the thesis of this line which is that Houston might not even be favored over the Titans in a neutral ground. We are betting on Watson and we feel confident.
Arizona Cardinals +3
The Cardinals started out the year being the best-kept secret in NFL Sports Betting as their field goal-centric offense was actually useful enough to cover against most superior teams. Bookmakers did not have the right weight on Kyler Murray’s skill level versus many of the Cardinals but that is gone now. The last month of the season, the Cardinals have been anything but inspiring and in fact, have been rather bad. If there was ever a “get right” spot for a team that is still close enough to beating their Las Vegas win total, it is the Arizona Cardinals getting the Browns at home. The Browns were projected to make the playoffs and perhaps even win their division and instead have been probably the biggest disappointment in the NFL this season.
The Browns are averaging .4 more yards per play than Arizona but have scored only one, singular point more than them this season. Kyler Murray is also above league average in QBR while Baker Mayfield sits a few points below. In all reality, Cleveland is probably a slightly better overall team (and they are for sure more talented) but Kyler has been better this season than Baker and the Browns are a candidate for worst-coached team in the league. A poorly coached team, traveling on the road to a theoretically-explosive offense, means that we are taking the home team and the points.
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