Week Six NFL Sports Betting: Picks Against The Spread
Things are moving back in the right direction after last week where we nailed the Oakland Raiders hanging with the Chicago Bears in London though we clearly had the wrong side of Chargers/Broncos as the Broncos not only covered 6.5 points but just won outright. Home teams have been doing historically bad in 2019 which doesn’t really mean anything moving forward but it is just an interesting thing to note and remember while evaluating your results.
We moved to 7-8 against the spread on the year which is, of course, not pleasing to anyone but just a reminder to keep tailing the SportsGrid betting model and #TrustTheProcess.
Davis Mattek Record: 7-8 ATS
Week Six NFL Sports Betting Picks
Arizona covered against the Detroit Lions, Baltimore Ravens and actually won outright against the Cincinnati Bengals. Kliff and Kyler were unable to overcome Kyle Allen and the Carolina Panthers and got shellacked by the Seattle Seahawks on the road. The biggest results for Kyler were by far the game-winning drive against the Bengals and hanging with a really talented Baltimore Ravens team. On the other side of the coin, is there a team more abjectly hopeless than the Falcons? They are 1-4 with their only win coming in unconvincing fashion against the Eagles.
The Falcons defense ranks 29th in the NFL in yards per pass attempt allowed and they have been blown out by the likes of the Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings. This line of Falcons by more than two points on the road IN Arizona just strikes me as bizarre. Similar to how we could not figure out why Chicago and Chase Daniel were favored by so much in a neutral environment against the Raiders, the Cardinals and Falcons are actually pretty equivalent teams. They are bad defenses, with good quarterbacks and questionable decision-makers at head coach. The Falcons defense is second-to-last in the NFL in expected points and the Cardinals are legit 30 points better in that metric. That should mean a PK line at best, not Atlanta being favored on the road. The Cardinals are my favorite pick of the week at two or more points.
As this weeks’ SportsGrid Fantasy Football podcast guest noted, one of the biggest surprises of the year has been that Joe Flacco is merely bad not mega-horrible-outrageously bad. Denver is tied for 17th in the NFL in yards per play on offense which is fairly respectable given what the expectation for Joe Flacco-lead offenses has been in the past. The team has only seven turnovers through five games which is again, pretty respectful for Joe Flacco. The offense has been better in expected points than: The Carolina Panthers, the Titans, Chicago Bears and a few other teams that we expected to be decent on offense in 2019.
More than anything, this is a “context” selection. The Broncos have historically been a strong team at home and that isn’t a “trends” bet that is just 1) true for most NFL teams and 2) a unique condition that exists for their team because they play football in the freaking mountains. No quarterback has taken more sacks this season than Marcus Mariota and no offense is due for more turnover regression than the Titans with only ONE turnover in five games. That means that the Titans are worse than league average in all of important offensive metrics while not turning the ball over at all. I am interested in shorting that turnover luck and taking Denver here.
New Orleans +1
This is going to hurt you more than it hurts me: Gardner Minshew has been fantastic this far and I am more than ready for this bet to look insanely stupid in a week but the Saints clearly seem like the side here. New Orleans is 14th in the NFL in expected points generated on offense while Jacksonville is 19th. The Jaguars are 23rd in the NFL in expected points on defense and the Saints are 24th so it is not a situation where one team is clearly dominant over the other.
There is also the element of not knowing exactly what Gardner Minshew is quite yet. He is averaging 7.8 yards per pass attempt compared to Teddy’s 7.0 YPA but Minshew has fumbled, somehow, SEVEN times in four and a half games. Now, the turnover monster has not come home to roost for Mr. Minshew yet but given the fumbling issues, it seems like something that could rear its’ head. More importantly, though, the Bridgewater-lead Saints have beaten the Seahawks, Cowboys, and Buccaneers while not really breaking a sweat. They are well-coached, have talented offensive players around Bridgewater and seemingly a league-average or better offense. That is enough to take their side against Jacksonville.
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