Your Expert NFL Tips for the 2018 Season

The Expert team at Champion Bets will be providing their best NFL Tips for the entire season, including the playoffs. For all of the prime time Games, Champion Bets will have full in depth previews for each match, regardless of the Conference or Division.

To view some of the previews in recent years including previous Superbowls from Champion Bets, head to the Betfair Hub.

And if you’re betting, go where the value is and head to the Betfair Exchange.


NFL Superbowl LIII

Monday, Feb 4th, 10:30am AEDT

NE was very impressive in their 37-31 OT victory at Kansas City. The Pats were out averaged in that game 6.2yppl to 5.6yppl. But, a closer look shows NE ran the ball 48 times to just 12 times for KC to skew the overall numbers. NE rushed for 3.7ypr to 3.4ypr for KC and NE averaged 7.6yps to 7.1yps for KC. The Pats were minus two in turnover margin, which makes their game even that more impressive. And, NE controlled the clock for about 23 minutes more than KC.

The Rams fell behind 13-0 in New Orleans and looked like they were going to get their doors blown off but regrouped quickly and with the help of a fake punt, got into rhythm and really controlled the game from that point, on their way to a 26-23 OT victory. They out gained NO 5.6yppl to 4.5yppl, out rushed them 3.0ypr to 2.3ypr and out passed them 7.2yps to 5.6yps.

My numbers favor NE by 2.4 points and project about 59.5 points. I don’t have any situations that apply to this game. The numbers are very tight in this game, in my mind, and don’t offer a clear value play on either team or total. There is a slight lean to the over but I could also see this game either start out a little slower than normal and/or see a good amount of running the ball, which could make it difficult to get over the total. If this total was 48, for example, and my numbers suggested 48 I’d feel much better about it going over because that’s a manageable number.  But, totals in the mid-fifties can become problematic if the game starts out slow, despite what happened two weeks ago in Kansas City.

This will be the ninth SB for Brady and Belichick. In the first eight SB’s these two have played and coached in NE has failed to score in the first quarter of each game with the exception of scoring three points last year. Does that mean anything for this game? Not really. In their four previous SB’s to last year they have either scored on a drive that started in the first quarter but took them into the second quarter where they scored very early in the second quarter or turned it over twice in scoring range in the first quarter. Last year Philadelphia got the ball first and consumed 7:05 on the opening drive in kicking a field goal.

The Pats eight SB’s with Brady have also seen the second half score more points than the first half in 6 of 7 games with one game the same amount of points in each half. The other note about SB’s in the last 20 years is the second half has outscored the first half to the tune of 15-4-1. Meaning, in 15 games the second half has been the higher scoring half, 4 games the first half and 1 game they scored the same amount in each half.

One other note you’ve likely seen the last few weeks is all of NE’s SB’s with Brady and Belichick have been close games. They have won every game by 3, 4 or 6 points. The six points was two years ago in OT, which could have easily been a three point game. The four points were against Seattle where Seattle threw the interception on the one yard line in the final minute of the game so they could have easily lost that game. And, their two losses were by 3 and 4 points, which they could have easily won as well. Does that mean they will play another close game? Not at all.  Belichick is the best coach of all time but he doesn’t always have the best team from a talent standpoint.

But, they are coached so much better than most teams they can simply let the opponent make mistakes and then take advantage of those mistakes. When it comes to the Super Bowl, Belichick is still the better coach. But, very often he is going up against a coach who is also pretty good. He can’t take advantage of the opponents mistakes as often as he can during the regular season or even in the early part of the playoffs. And, I believe, that’s one reason why these games always seem to be so close. So, it may not be a complete coincidence that their SB games are closer than some think they may be. The Pats are 5-3 SU in the SB with Brady but just 1-5 ATS as a favorite in the SB and 2-0 as a dog in the SB. Don’t be surprised if this is another close game. And, that’s why any three’s that are out there are likely worth taking.

The Rams generated at least five big passing plays (20+ yards) in five of the nine games WR Cooper Kupp played in. In the ten games Kupp hasn’t played in they generated five or more big passing plays in just two of those ten games and none since the KC game, which was the first game without Kupp back in week eleven. They still averaged 3.6 big passing plays a game without Kupp and NE averaged just 2.7 big passing plays a game without WR Josh Gordon who is also gone. But, using just games without those two players I get a projected total of just 50.6 points, which is another reason I would want more value before I would consider the over in this game.

The Rams passed the ball 56% of the time this year but in very competitive games where they felt threatened and knew they were in a dog fight, they passed the ball 64% of the time. I expect them to do that again on Sunday. NE, on the other hand, passed the ball 55% but in the same type of competitive games, they passed the ball only 51% of the time. They got more balanced in those games almost in an attempt to protect themselves more.

Combine that with short passes that act as runs and it helps them to control the game a little better as well. This is another reason both teams could be around 11 drives or less because of long drives by NE. This game should remain close throughout and if a three is available then it is likely worth taking. I would also add that in game betting could be a great opportunity in this game. If an in-game opportunity comes up where you can get either team at +7 or better that is likely worth taking, short of injuries, etc. impacting that lead. Same with the total.

If an in-game total gets into the mid 40’s or mid 60’s it could present opportunities for an in-game opportunity over or under respectively.


Betting Strategy

 BACK – 2nd half more points than first half $1.65

15 of the last 20 SB’s (6 of 8 for NE) have scored as many or more points in the 2nd half vs the first half

 BACK – Jared Goff over 267.5 yards passing $1.68

In competitive games against good teams Goff has thrown for 295 or more yards in each of those nine games. He carried a median of 339 yards in those games.

 BACK – Rob Gronkowski over 55.5 receiving yards 

In games Gronk started he has averaged 61.5 receiving yds. The Pats needed Gronk last week and he came through with 79 yards receiving. They will need him again this week and I expect him to be heavily involved in the offence.


Other Bet Suggestions

 BACK – Team that scores last wins game $1.53 

This game, like all Pats SB’s figures to be close and the last score is likely to win this game. The Yes has covered in each of the last nine SB’s.

 BACK – James White over 16.5 rushing yards $1.91

White has averaged 25.6 yards rushing in games Sony Michel has also played. He rushed for 23 yards in their last game at KC. Going over 16.5 rushing yards is a small number and a delay draw or two on 3rd and long could easily get us over the total.

 BACK – Jared Goff over 24 completions $1.91

Going back to those same competitive games listed above Goff averaged 27 completions with a median of 28 completions. Even if him ten yards in a blink. White is valuable in their back field, especially catching balls, but they will likely mix him into the mix a little running the ball as well. he isn’t getting any big plays over the top I expect him to dump off his share of passes to running backs, etc.

 BACK – Jared Goff over 1.5 touchdowns $1.63 

Again in those same nine games Goff averaged 2.4 td passes. In twelve games against teams with competent quarterbacks NE allowed 2 or more touchdown passes in ten of those twelve games.


Are you ready to master the Betfair Exchange this NFL Season?


Conference Championship Week

It’s Conference Championship week so let’s start with something I like to monitor each year and keep updated. Since 1970 there have been 48 years’ worth of Championship games or in other words, 96 games played.

A situation I have monitored over the years is to simply play the team with the better defence. In this situation we define the better defence as the team who has allowed the fewer points during the regular season. For this year those teams are New England and New Orleans.

Over those 48 years by simply playing on these teams you would have gone 60-32-3 65.2% ats with one game not applying because both teams allowed the same amount of points. A further breakdown of those games tells us in 20 of those 48 years you would have won both games and in 5 of those 48 years, you would have lost both games.

In 19 of those 48 years, you would have gone 1-1. In the other four years, you had a push and a loss, a push and a win and the one year a loss when the other game didn’t apply. So, 21 winning years and 7 losing years calling 1-1 years even if though the juice would be a slight loss.

This situation always serves as a starting point for me but doesn’t force my hand into these teams each year. And, since 2000 it has won both games 4 times, lost both games 3 times and gone 1-1 11 times so it hasn’t been as productive the last 18 years as it was the previous 30 years.

Also, since 1970, when laying less than 10 points the SU winner in these games is 79-4-2 ats. Essentially, pick the SU winner and you have the ats winner as well. Since 2009, this is 14-4 ats so all four losses have come within the last nine years.

Monday, January 21st, 7:05am AEDT

These two teams played back in week nine here in NO where the Rams lost 45-35. They also played in week four of the preseason here in NO. While that preseason game was meaningless this will be the third time the Rams have played in NO this season, which has to help them understand the environment better than most teams coming in here.

The Rams played that game without CB Aqib Talib but he is back for this game. The Saints played the game without DE Marcus Davenport and WR Tedd Ginn who will play in this game. They will play this game without DT Sheldon Rankins which is a big loss for them.

They will also play this game without TE Ben Watson which is a lesser loss but will still impact them. The Rams out gained the Saints in that game 8.2yppl to 7.0yppl and out rushed them as well 4.8ypr to 4.1ypr. They also out passed NO 9.8yps to 9.6yps. The yards per play numbers are a little skewed because NO ran the ball 15 more times than the Rams to control the clock.

LA would have still out gained the Saints had the runs been equal but the numbers would have been much closer. The Saints picked up one touchdown on a drive that started at the Rams 34 yard line following a turnover. The Rams were also stopped on a fake field goal attempt and then missed a field goal on the ensuing drive.

The Rams come off a couple of high scoring games like NE and that sets them up in a negative 47-24-1 ats situation playing against LA in this game. The Saints also qualify in a 25-12-1 playoff situation. This game also qualifies in the same 30-11-0 over situation based on the Rams high scoring outputs the last few games.

The Saints have struggled to cover games recently but they qualify in a bounce back situation based on that which is 55-24-3 in the playoffs. My numbers favor the Rams by 3.8 points and project about 55.3 points.

There are a lot of ways to look at this game. The Saints will play this game without their run stuffing NT Sheldon Rankins and the perception is they just haven’t played well in a long time. In addition, the Rams have been a ground and pound attack since picking up C.J. Anderson at RB and he now compliments Todd Gurley extremely well.

CB Aqib Talib is back for this game. The Rams are underdogs for the first time this year so they no longer have to win this game to cover this game. On the other side, the Rams haven’t played great lately either and they played the same Philadelphia team a few weeks ago on their home turf and lost by seven to the Eagles. While the Saints haven’t looked great, they defeated that same Eagles team here last week by six points.

The Rams had a fantastic rush attack last week and said they knew what Dallas was doing on defense and it greatly helped them. Does that mean they will struggle some against the Saints here because it would be presumed they wouldn’t have the same advantage?

I doubt it and they ran for 4.8ypr the first time against the Saints while the Saints averaged just 4.1ypr against a below average Rams rush defense. NO has not run the ball well all season. The Saints are 5-0 ATS as a home favorite of six or less points since late 2016 so they are a tough out at home when a short favorite. I wish I had more of an opinion on this game but unfortunately I do not.

There is slight value on NO but it’s not enough to get too excited about, especially with the additions and subtractions for both of these teams. I would lean under and make the under a stronger lean at around 60 but one of my models does project 67 points while the rest are all 55 or less so I will respect that and just lean under in this game.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 56.5

Monday, January 21st, 10:40am AEDT

In similar fashion, the Chiefs rolled over the Colts last week 31-13. KC out gained Indy 5.6yppl to 5.0yppl, were out rushed 6.2ypr to 5.5ypr but KC gained 180 yards rushing to just 87 for Indy.

KC out passed Indy 5.6yps to 4.5yps. KC controlled the ball for almost 20 more minutes than Indy. Indy almost got to the end of the first half without a first down in the game.

These two teams played in NE back in week six and NE won 43-40. The Chiefs outgained NE 8.4yppl to 6.7yppl, outrushed NE 5.5ypr to 4.6ypr but NE did rush for 173 yards to 94 for KC. KC out passed NE 9.8yps to 8.8yps. KC played that game without RB Damien Williams, S Eric Berry and LB Justin Houston.

All three should play in this game. But, they also played that game with RB Kareem Hunt who will not play this game. The Chiefs were minus two in turnover margin in that game. Mahomes threw an interception inside his own territory that NE turned into a touchdown after starting the drive at the KC four-yard line and he threw another interception in the NE end zone at the end of the first half as KC was trying to score just before the half.

Those two turnovers likely accounted for at least ten points because NE scored a touchdown and KC likely would have at least kicked a field goal if not a touchdown. But, KC also scored 14 points off a turnover where they started a drive at the NE 29 yard line and a kickoff return where they started a drive at the NE three-yard line.

There were about 21 points scored in this game off turnovers or long kickoff returns that started deep in the other team’s territory. NE was very balanced in that game, having run the ball 38 times and passed it 37 times. They ran the ball 21 more times than KC who rushed the ball 17 times and threw the ball 36 times.

NE controlled the clock for about 13 more minutes with all of their runs. Williams has proved to be a very capable back replacing Kareem Hunt but he still isn’t quite as dynamic as Hunt who had 80 yards rushing and 105 yards receiving in the game, including a 67-yard touchdown catch.

Tyreek Hill also had a 75-yard touchdown catch for two big plays in that game. Hunt also had a 31 yard run in the game. Williams is capable but probably just not as explosive as Hunt.

NE comes off a couple of high scoring games but that sets them up in a negative playoff situation which is 47-24-1 and plays against the Patriots here. The Pats also come off a game where they scored 41 points and such high scoring outbursts in the playoffs are usually not a good sign for the team’s next game.

Those teams are now just 4-27-1 against the spread, including 1-11-1 ats in this round. The Pats do come off those two high scoring games which sets them up in a total situation that is 30-11 to the over. My numbers favour KC by 6.4 points and project only 49 points in this game.

NE hasn’t won a road playoff game since 2006. Granted they haven’t played a lot of playoff games on the road but it’s been twelve years since they last won. Those losses since then on the road have typically come against good defensive teams. While KC isn’t a great defensive team they have been very good defensively at home this year allowing just 17 points per game against teams averaging 21 points per game.

It’s been well documented about NE’s demise on the road this year where they have allowed 24 points per game against teams averaging 21 points per game and averaging only 22 points per game against teams allowing 22 points per game. KC puts much more pressure on the quarterback at home where they are likely getting a quick jump off the ball. 62.5% of their sacks have come at home.

We haven’t seen NE on the road in over a month. And, when we last saw them on the road they were losing 17-10 at Pittsburgh which followed the crazy loss at Miami. NE has defeated just one team on the road this year with seven or more wins and that was a 38-31 victory at Chicago where Kahlil Mack was much less than 100%.

KC is now 32-15 to the under with Andy Reid as head coach and the Chiefs as a home favourite. The first two times these teams met they totalled 83 points but there were 21 points scored off of turnovers and kick returns and 3-7 points lost because of a turnover in the red zone. But, that game was played where NE is much better offensively and KC is much worse defensively.

This is a 180 where NE hasn’t been nearly as good on offence and averaged just 15 points per game without Josh Gordon early in the year while KC is much better defensively. I have a couple of models that project 57 and 61 points but my more reliable models suggest a much lower scoring game.

The Patriots are likely to try and control the clock through their run game and short passing game as long as the game is close. One lower than average scoring quarter could be enough with this high total. NE isn’t a road underdog very often but they are 20-10 ats since 2003 as a road underdog. I don’t go against NE very often but did go against them three times this year on the road when they were facing a very good defensive team.

KC doesn’t fit that mode but their defence at home has been very good this year. KC is 9-3 ats as a home favourite of seven or less since the beginning of last year when they started to really improve their offence. One of those ats losses was their three-point win over Baltimore earlier this year as -6.5 point favourites.

Another was the last second loss to the Chargers. KC possess the better offence and defence at this site, has tremendous value on their side and NE is in quite a few bad situations in this game. There is also good value on the under in this game. Always respect NE and never surprised if they would win this type of game but there is value on the KC side and under in this game.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Chiefs -3

 BACK – Under 56.5


Indianapolis Colts v Kansas City Chiefs

Sunday, January 13th, 8:35am AEDT

The Colts were very impressive in their dominating 21-7 victory over Houston last week. They out-gained the Texans 6.3yppl to 4.7yppl, rushed for 200 yards at 5.7ypr but allowed 6.6ypr.

KC comes off a bye and an easy 35-3 dismantling of the Oakland Raiders who beat the Broncos the week before in likely their last home game in Oakland.

Indianapolis qualifies in a negative playoff situation, which is 23-2-2 and plays against Indianapolis based on their back to back to back road games. That situation works against teams with win percentages of less than .666 which the Colts have.

Indianapolis was extremely banged up at the beginning of the season, had a new head coach and plenty of rookies getting acclimated to the system. Once they got healthy they have now won 10 of 11 games. I don’t consider them a team that carries a win percentage of less than .666. My numbers favor KC by five points and project about 52.3 points.

Both teams are in the top ten of the league in creating big pass plays with KC number one in the league. Both teams are also in the top ten of the league in allowing the fewest sacks in the league with the Colts number one.

The Colts defence is in the top ten in allowing the fewest percentage of big passing plays while KC is in the bottom ten of the league. The Chiefs are in the top ten in generating sacks on defence while Indy is in the bottom third. Andrew Luck is in his best role as a road dog of less than seven points. He is 8-3 ATS with one of those losses at Oakland in 2016 when he was hurt and didn’t finish the game.

KC is now 31-15 to the under with Andy Reid as head coach and the Chiefs as a home favourite. This is potentially a bad match up for the Chiefs. The Colts likely have the better defence, an offence that isn’t quite as good as KC but is very close to the same potency of the Chiefs.

Add in a very good head coach, a veteran quarterback and getting a bunch of points and this game sets up very well for Indianapolis. The Colts have been sacked a league low 18 times this year but just eight times since week six when they got their offensive line intact. And, six of those eight sacks came in weeks 12, 13 and 14 when center Ryan Kelly was out.

So, they’ve basically given up almost no sacks with Kelly since week six. The fact Indianapolis can run and throw the ball makes it very hard for KC to defend them. And, if Indy gets their running game going like last week, they will control the clock and potentially the game.

What could go wrong for Indianapolis? Well, they are on the road again this week which makes this three weeks in a row. That becomes a difficult assignment, especially when facing a team coming off their bye week. My defensive numbers account for the competition and they show the Colts defence to be about average, which is good enough for this game.

However, the Colts really haven’t faced any good offencive teams this year. They faced NE early in the year but Indy was extremely banged up on defense in that game. They also faced Philadelphia early in the year but Philadelphia was not very good on offence at that time.

Other than those two teams every team they have faced are in the bottom half of the league on offence so they definitely haven’t been tested yet this year. But, they also haven’t lost to a playoff team by more than four points this year other than that Thursday night game in NE.

The Chiefs, on the other hand, have played seven games against playoff teams this year. They have defeated only one of those teams by more than five points and that was back in week one against the Chargers on the road by ten points.

They then lost at home to those same Chargers late in the season. They’ve allowed at least 28 points to each better than average offensive team they have faced this year. The Colts should get to at least 28-31 points in this game.

KC could certainly get to 35 plus points but Indianapolis figures to ground and pound enough to control the clock the best they can. In addition Andrew Luck is very capable to get a late score when his team is down by 11 or less points to get the back door cover as well. Too many factors favoring Indianapolis to not give them a shot in this game.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Indianapolis +5


Dallas Cowboys v LA Rams

Sunday, January 13th, 12:15am AEDT

Dallas comes in off their 24-22 victory over Seattle back in Dallas. Seattle out gained Dallas 5.8yppl to 5.6yppl, were out rushed 4.8ypr to 3.0ypr, but out passed Dallas 8.1yps to 6.4yps. Much of the Seahawks numbers came on two pass plays that went for a total of 93 yards. When you take away those two plays Seattle averaged just 4.0yppl and 5.1yps.

Obviously the Rams are just as capable of creating those same big pass plays but Dallas dominated the game with the exception of those two plays.

The Rams come off their bye week and a mostly meaningless last game of the season against the 49ers, which they won 48-32.

The Rams have scored 79 points over their last two games. That’s usually a bad sign for playoff teams as those teams that have scored a lot of points in their last two games have gone just 23-47 ATS in playoff games.

The Cowboys also come off a spread loss and that qualifies them in a 30-11-2 playoff situation. This game also qualifies in an over situation, which is 29-11. My numbers favor the Rams by seven points and project about 47.8 points in this game.

The Rams are the second best team in the league in generating big pass plays. Dallas is second from the bottom in fewest big pass plays generated by their offense. The Rams are also in the top ten of the league in fewest sacks allowed on offense while Dallas is in the bottom ten of the league.

On the other side Dallas is in the top ten of the league in defending big pass plays while the Rams are in the bottom ten of the league in defending big pass plays. Both teams are middle of the road in generating sacks on defense.

Dallas is 5-2 ATS and 5-2 to the under with Dak Prescott at quarterback as a road dog of 3.5 or more. The two ATS losses were the last week of the season against Philadelphia in 2016 when they pulled their starters after the first quarter and last year in Atlanta when they were missing Ezekiel Elliott and LT Tyron Smith.

Sean McVay as head coach of the Rams is just 3-9-1 ATS against teams who made the playoffs that season. In those 13 games they’ve won only two games by more than seven points (10 vs Jax last year aided by their very capable special teams and 12 this year against the Chargers).

McVay has made a short living of beating up on bad teams. But, to date, they haven’t been able to separate themselves from the better teams in the league.

The Cowboys have allowed more than 24 points just twice this year. At home following their bye week to Tennessee (28 points) but seven came on a short field following a turnover and 35 in week seventeen to the Giants but Dallas rested some starters in that game. The Rams could certainly score more than 24 points in this game but they’ve also allowed at least 23 points to any average to above average offences they have faced this year.

My numbers looking at just home/away games favors the Rams by 9.4 points but those games also include all the bad teams the Rams have beaten up on. Against just playoff teams I get the Rams by only 4.2 points. Dallas should be able to run the ball on the Rams and play some ball control. In addition, the Dallas defence stands a good chance to limit the Rams rushing success.

They will likely give up some passing yards to the Rams but the Dallas defence is good enough to keep the Rams from running wild in this game. And, Dallas should be able to move the ball and get scores on their own as well.

Until Sean McVay can show me his teams can separate themselves from the better teams I will take the points along with some good situations in their favor as well.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Dallas +7


LA Chargers v New England

Monday, January 14th, 5:05am AEDT

The Chargers jumped out to a 23-3 lead over Baltimore and held on for a 23-17 victory. Baltimore out gained the Chargers 3.9yppl to 3.7yppl. They out rushed LA 3.9ypr to 2.7ypr but out passed Baltimore 4.7yps to 3.9yps. The Chargers were plus two in turnover margin. The Chargers scored nine points on drives that started at the Ravens 45, 42 and 15 yard lines. They also scored another 11 points on drives that started at their own 40 and 41 yard lines. In other words 20 of their 23 points were scored on very favorable field position.

The Pats come off their bye week and an easy mostly meaningless 38-3 romp over the NY Jets in week seventeen.

LA averages 27 points per game against teams allowing 24 points per game, 4.5ypr against teams allowing 4.5ypr, 7.3yps against teams allowing 6.4yps and 6.1yppl against teams allowing 5.6yppl. Their defence allows 20 points per game against teams averaging 23 points per game, 4.3ypr against teams averaging 4.5ypr, 6.1yps against teams averaging 6.4yps and 5.4yppl against teams averaging 5.6yppl.

The Pats average 27 points per game against teams allowing 23 points per game, 4.3ypr against teams allowing 4.3ypr, 7.2yps against teams allowing 6.2yps and 5.9yppl against teams allowing 5.4yppl. The defence allows 20 points per game against teams averaging 22 points per game, 4.9ypr against teams averaging 4.3ypr, 6.2yps against teams averaging 6.1yps and 5.8yppl against teams averaging 5.4yppl.

It is important to note the Patriots without WR Josh Gordon were much closer to an average offence so it remains to be seen how efficient their offence will be.

The Chargers are third in the league in generating big passing plays while NE is 11th. NE is third best in the league in allowing fewest sacks in the league while the Chargers are middle of the road.  Both teams are middle of the road in defending big passing plays.

The Chargers are bottom ten in the league in generating sacks on defence but NE is second worst in the league. This game puts Philip Rivers in his best role. As a road dog of four or more points the Chargers are 21-7 ats including 16-3 ats since 2012. Rivers is 1-2 ats versus the Patriots in this role. But, the Patriots are also great in this role. They are 45-17-7 ats as a home favorite of seven or less since 2003. The Chargers have the better talent in this game. But, talent alone doesn’t win games. The Chargers special teams continue to be an issue. They have solved their kicking woes (fg’s) over the last part of the season but punting is still an issue for them. The other weakness for the Chargers is an offensive line that is one of the weaker offensive lines in the league.

The Patriots played a very weak offensive schedule this year. Twelve of their 16 games came against offences in the bottom half of the league. Of the best offences they faced they allowed Chicago 31 points, Pittsburgh 17 points, Indianapolis 24 points and Kansas City 40 points. The Colts weren’t even a good offence when they played them. This could end up being a big problem for NE in this game. The Chargers are the more talented team but there is no value in this game. The line is fair. Both teams are in their best situations as well.

This is a tough trip for the Chargers. They played in Denver two weeks ago, flew home and then flew across the country to Baltimore, played a tough game against that defence, flew home and will now fly back across the country to Boston. And, they will play in the early game on Sunday. That is really tough and now they have to go against a team off their bye week. Unfortunately I have no opinion on the side.

As much as I feel the Chargers are the side in this game I won’t go against the Pats success at home laying seven or less. That was a role they were 4-1 ats again this year. I’m leaning towards the Under.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 47.5


Philadelphia v New Orleans

Monday, January 14th, 8:40am AEDT

The Eagles survived at Chicago and won 16-15. They were out gained by the Bears 4.7yppl to 3.7yppl, out rushed 3.6ypr to 1.8ypr and out passed 6.5yps to 6.3yps. Philadelphia was minus two in turnover margin. Philadelphia scored seven points on a drive that went 83 yards but 52 yards came on Bears penalties.

The Saints come off their bye week and a week seventeen game against Carolina where they rested their starters.

Philadelphia’s season can be broken down into quite a few sub seasons. They started the first two games with Nick Foles at quarterback but Foles didn’t have WR Alshon Jefferey. Philadelphia then went to Carson Wentz until week fifteen when Foles then took over for the injured Wentz. Since week 15 when Foles was the quarterback and had WR Alshon Jefferey (taking out the week 17 game against Washington who was decimated by injuries), Philadelphia has averaged 26 points per game against teams allowing 20 points per game, just 2.8ypr against teams allowing 4.1ypr, 8.0yps against teams allowing 6.1yps and 6.1yppl against teams allowing 5.4yppl.

The defence has allowed 23 points per game against teams averaging 27 points per game, 3.8ypr against teams averaging 4.4ypr, 6.4yps against teams averaging 6.8yps and 5.7yppl against teams averaging 5.8yppl. Those games all came against playoff teams in the Rams, Texans and Bears.

The Saints have averaged 33 points per game against teams allowing 24 points per game, 4.1ypr against teams allowing 4.5ypr, 7.6yps against teams allowing 6.5yps and 6.0yppl against teams allowing 5.7yppl. The defence allowed 21 points per game against teams averaging 24 points per game, 3.7ypr against teams averaging 4.4ypr, 6.8yps against teams averaging 6.7yps and 5.7yppl against teams averaging 5.8yppl. Those stats do not count the week 17 game when they rested starters.

QB Carson Wentz is out for this game. LB D.J. Alexander, DE Michael Bennett, CB Sidney Jones, LT Jason Peters and WR Mike Wallace are questionable.

The Saints do not list anyone noteworthy on the injury list.

The Saints haven’t covered their last two games but that works in their favor in this game. Teams laying eight or less points and coming off two games in a row where they haven’t covered are 51-22-3 ats in the playoffs. This is also Philadelphia’s third straight road game and that sets up them in a negative 23-3-3 playoff situation playing against the Eagles.

The Saints are fourth best in the league in generating big passing plays. Philadelphia is middle of the road but since Nick Foles coming back they are third best in the league in generating big passing plays. The Saints are also fourth best in the league in allowing the fewest sacks in the league and Philly in Foles three games against playoff teams since coming back is at the top of the league in allowing the fewest sacks. Both teams are middle of the road in allowing big passing plays.

The Saints are in the top ten in generating sacks while Philadelphia is near the bottom of the league. The Eagles are 8-3-2 to the over as a road dog under Doug Pederson. The Saints are just 2-10 ats as a home favorite of more than seven since the middle of 2014. The situations are in the Saints favor and the line value is in their favor as well. But, NO has not performed well in this role as a large favorite. If this line were to drop to seven or less I would probably look the Saints direction.

When the Saints have faced an offensive team that is doing what the Eagles are now they have been involved in high scoring games this year. They have totaled 80 points at Atlanta and 48 points at home versus Atlanta (Atlanta had multiple turnovers in the red zone in that game), 80 points versus the Rams and 59 points versus the Steelers. The Eagles haven’t really faced a lot of good offences this year but total 55 points at the Saints earlier this year allowing 48 points (Philly’s offence was not as efficient then as now) and they totaled 53 points at the Rams a few weeks ago with Foles. They played the Colts earlier in the year but that was not the same Colts team at that point. The over has a chance to hit in this game. In their last meeting with Atlanta NO totaled 48 points (31-17) but Atlanta turned the ball over multiple times in the red zone.

NO also slow played that game because they were in control the whole game. If they had been pressed in that game they could have scored a lot more points. As long as Philly stays somewhat close in this game they will press the Saints to stay at a decent pace in this game.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 51.5

Chicago Bears v Philadelphia Eagles

Monday, January 7th, 8:40am AEDT

Philadelphia needed a win last week but fortunately they were able to face a depleted Washington team and rolled to an easy 24-0 victory.

The Bears had little to play for last week once the Rams had secured their win but still played hard and knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs with their relatively easy 24-10 victory. They dominated that game 5.3yppl to 3.2yppl, 4.6ypr to 4.2ypr and 6.3yps to 2.7yps. They ran the ball 37 times to just 15 for Minnesota and controlled the clock for about 15 more minutes.

Philadelphia’s numbers with Carson Wentz or Nick Foles at quarterback have been pretty even for the most part. With Foles at quarterback, their offence remains below average. They average 25 points per game against teams allowing 24 points per game. But, they average just 3.7ypr against teams allowing 4.5ypr, 6.8yps against teams allowing 6.7yps and 5.5yppl against teams allowing 5.8yppl. With that said, they have been much better in just the three games Foles has played since returning to the starting lineup. In those five games Foles has played in (1st two of the season and last three of the season) the defense has played very well. They allow just 18 points per game against teams averaging 25 points per game. They allow just 3.1ypr against teams averaging 4.4ypr, 6.2yps against teams averaging 6.9yps and 5.3yppl against teams averaging 5.9yppl. Those numbers are slightly worse if I remove the last game of the season against Washington who played with mostly backups. But, their numbers are decent with Foles now playing. The biggest difference between Nick Foles and Carson Wentz is Foles is getting sacked on just 4.4% of his passes while Wentz was getting sacked on about 7.2% of his passes. They both average about the same yards per pass attempt (which counts those sacks into the equation) with Foles at 6.7yps and Wentz at 6.65yps.

The Bears are an average offensive team when I remove the two games Trubisky didn’t start. They average 27 points per game against teams allowing 24 points per game. They average 4.2ypr against teams allowing 4.5ypr, 6.7yps against teams allowing 6.4yps and 5.5yppl against teams allowing 5.6yppl. The defense has been stellar. They allow just 17 points per game against teams averaging 23 points per game. From the line of scrimmage they allow just 3.6ypr against teams averaging 4.4ypr, 5.3yps against teams averaging 6.3yps and 4.7yppl against teams averaging 5.5yppl.

Chicago qualifies in a Wild Card situation that is 18-3 ats. My numbers favour Chicago by 5.8 points and project about 43.4 points.

The Bears are first in the league in defending big pass plays so it isn’t likely that Philadelphia will generate many big pass plays. The Bears also generate pressure on the quarterback more frequently than Philadelphia. The Bears have allowed more than 20 points three times this year. NE scored 38 points but 14 points came on a kick return and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown. Kahlil Mack had a banged up ankle in that game and wasn’t 100%. Minnesota got to 20 points but that was on late garbage scores after the Bears held a double digit lead. The same goes for Detroit who got to 22 points but again got two late garbage touchdowns after trailing by double digits. Philly is only 5-7 ats as a road underdog under Doug Pederson and have gone 8-2-2 over the total in those same games.

They’ve allowed 23 or more points in eleven straight road games as a road dog. The Bears are on an impressive 7-0 ats run as a home favourite, including 6-0 ats this year. Philly is always a bit of an unknown with Nick Foles seemingly doing the impossible. And, their offensive numbers have vastly improved in these last three games with Foles at quarterback. So, they are very capable of doing damage in this game. Especially if Mitchell Trubisiky turns the ball over. But, Matt Nagy is very creative on offence and hopefully will continue to put Trubisky in favourable positions that help him succeed. If the Bears can continue to win the turnover battle then they are in a great position to move on in the playoffs. Chicago doesn’t surrender points at home and Philadelphia has a history of giving up points on the road. The great run for Philadelphia last year came at home and yes they did defeat the Rams this year on the road with Foles so they are certainly capable. Better defense at home should get this done. This is another game where the total is set lower than my numbers.

Knowing Philadelphia gives up at least 23 points per game on the road and the Bears have scored 24 or more in all eight of their home games this year, this game could go over the total as well.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 41.5 points


Baltimore Ravens v L.A. Chargers

Monday, January 7th, 5:05pm AEDT

The Chargers played a relatively meaningless game at Denver last week.Baltimore, however, needed a win at home against Cleveland and held off the hard charging Browns to win 26-24. Cleveland out gained Baltimore 7.6yppl to 6.3yppl. They were out rushed by the Ravens 6.3ypr to 3.6ypr but Cleveland out passed Baltimore 9.0yps to 6.4yps. The saving grace for the Ravens was a plus two in turnover margin. Baltimore controlled the clock for about 17 more minutes as they ran the ball 64% of the times (47 rushes).

The Chargers have been a well-oiled machine all year. They average 27 points per game against teams allowing 24 points per game. From the line of scrimmage they are averaging 4.7ypr against teams allowing 4.6ypr, 7.5yps against teams allowing 6.4yps and 6.3yppl against teams allowing 5.7yppl. The defence allows just 21 points per game against teams averaging 23 points per game. From the line of scrimmage they allow 4.3ypr against teams averaging 4.5ypr, 6.2yps against teams averaging 6.4yps and 5.4yppl against teams averaging 5.6yppl.

The Ravens changed their offence when they went to Lamar Jackson back in week 11. They now run the ball a league high 64% of the time. While they have gone 6-1 SU in those games the offence has been pretty average. They average 25 points per game against teams allowing 26 points per game. They are averaging 230 yards rushing per game at 5.1ypr against teams allowing 4.7ypr. But, their passing numbers are very poor at 6.1yps against teams allowing 6.8yps and 5.4yppl against teams allowing 5.9yppl. So, the offence from the line of scrimmage has been below average but their high percentage of runs has allowed them to control the clock. All of that has allowed them to make an already very good defence that much better. They allow just 18 points per game against teams averaging 25 points per game. They allow just 3.4ypr against teams averaging 4.5ypr, 5.6yps against teams averaging 7.0yps and 4.9yppl against teams averaging 6.0yppl.

I don’t have any situations on this game. My numbers favour Baltimore by 1.4 points and project about 40.6 points. My more specific match up model favours the Ravens by 3.9 points and projects just 35.7 points.

The Chargers are third in the league in generating big pass plays while Baltimore is just 25th best in the league. But, Baltimore is sixth best in defending those big pass plays while LA is 15th best. When these two teams met two weeks ago in LA, the Ravens held the Chargers to zero big pass plays. Baltimore connected on two big pass plays and three big run plays. The Ravens won that game 22-10 but had a late fumble recovery returned for a touchdown. But, they controlled that game from the line of scrimmage 6.0yppl to 3.5yppl. They out rushed LA 4.5ypr to 3.2ypr and out passed them 8.1yps to 3.6yps. Baltimore connected on a 68 yard pass that skewed their passing numbers but they still held the Chargers well in check for the game.

A minus two in turnover margin really did the Chargers in. Baltimore picked up ten points in the game on short drives or turnovers turned directly into points while the Chargers picked up all ten of their points on drives that started in Baltimore territory or that were aided greatly by penalties. There weren’t a lot of points scored on long drives in the game. In the first game Baltimore had seven drives in the second half. Only one of those drives lasted more than three plays. That was a seven play drive that went 21 yards plus another nine yards on penalties that ended in a long field goal. One other drive only lasted two plays because of a 68 yard touchdown pass. But, the Chargers may have figured out how to defend Baltimore a little better in the second half of the game.

This will be the first time Baltimore has had to face a team a second time after seeing Jackson the first time. LA has only defeated two playoff teams in their 12 wins so there are still some questions on if they can beat the best teams in the league. The Chargers defence has been very good this year. They have allowed more than 20 points in eight games. Three of those games they went over the 20 point mark because of turnovers that directly resulted in touchdowns. Four other ones came in games against some of the best offensive teams in the league (Chiefs (2), Rams and Steelers). One other game was against Cincinnati. So, there’s a good chance in this game Baltimore doesn’t get much past the 20 point mark. With that said, it’s also likely Baltimore doesn’t allow much past the 20 point mark as well.

With that said, low totals in the NFL are hard to go under, so I would have to see this total get closer to 44 before I would look under in this game. The side, while very unlikely to get there, would have to go to 3.5 before I would get interested in the Chargers and probably four. Baltimore is just 1-3 ats with Jackson at quarterback as a home favourite. Meanwhile, the Chargers are 18-5 ats as a road dog of 3.5 or more since 2013. Despite covering they have allowed 20 or more points in 21 of those 23 games.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Chargers+3


Dallas Cowboys vs Seattle Seahawks

Sunday, January 6th, 12:15pm AEDT

Neither team really played a game they needed to win last week. The Cowboys were fairly impressive on offence in a game that meant nothing to them but it was against the Giants.

Seattle’s fortunes changed back in week three, when ironically, they were facing these Cowboys back in Seattle. While neither of these teams are close to being the same now that they were back in week three. But, Seattle had a come to Jesus moment that week when they decided they would start running the ball more on offence. Since that game they have run the ball almost 56% of the time. That has also opened up their passing game via the play action. They average 4.9ypr against teams allowing 4.5ypr, 6.7yps against teams allowing 6.4yps and 5.7yppl against teams allowing 5.6yppl. They average 28 points per game against teams allowing 25 points per game. They have become a slightly above average team on offence. The defence, while being below average at the line of scrimmage, allows just 21 points per game against teams averaging 23 points per game because they control the clock with their run game and are getting timely turnovers. But, they allow 5.1ypr against teams averaging 4.5ypr, allow 6.6yps against teams averaging 6.4yps and 6.0yppl against teams allowing 5.7yppl.

They now get a Dallas team that added Amari Cooper to their roster back in week nine and has transformed their offence that now throws the ball with more regularity. As much as the trade has helped the Cowboys offence, they are still a below average offence, even though it has improved. They average just 22 points per game against teams allowing 23 points per game. From the line of scrimmage, they average just 4.1ypr against teams allowing 4.4ypr, 6.4yps against teams allowing 6.6yps and 5.4yppl against teams allowing 5.8yppl. Their defence has saved the day for Dallas. They allow just 22 points per game against teams averaging 24 points per game. From the line of scrimmage they allow 4.0ypr against teams averaging 4.2ypr, 6.5yps against teams averaging 6.7yps and 5.6yppl against teams averaging 5.7yppl.

I don’t have any situations on this game. My numbers favour Seattle by 0.2 points and project about 44 points.

One of the biggest differences between these two teams is their big pass play percentages on offence. Seattle ranks number seven while Dallas is 31st. And, while it is true Dallas has improved those numbers since adding Cooper, the majority of those big plays have come against Philadelphia and the Giants so it’s not as if they are doing that in each of their games with Cooper. They came against some very porous defences. Seattle isn’t great but scheme wise they are very intelligent and know how to play defence. On the other side of the ball Dallas defends big pass plays 8th best while Seattle allows them to the tune of the 28th worst team. Neither of these teams protects their quarterback very well as Seattle is second worst and Dallas fifth worst in the league in protecting their quarterbacks from sacks.

As good as the Dallas defence has been Seattle gets to the quarterback on a more frequent basis. Like the Houston game the favourite in this game has struggled to win by margin against the better teams they have faced this year. Their wins against playoff teams this year have come by 7, 3 and 6 points. The 7 and 6 point wins both came against Philadelphia with one being in overtime and the other on a late score in a tie game. If Dallas is able to win this game it figures to be a close win as well. Since going to the run game Seattle’s four losses have come against the Rams (twice), the Chargers and a three point loss to the 49ers on the road. They haven’t defeated a team above .500 on the road this year but Dallas has struggled to win by margin against the better teams as well. Again the numbers are too tight for a play here but I will lean Seattle’s way in this game. Seattle has the better coaching, more experienced team who comes up with turnovers more often than their opponent. They also have a much better capability of generating big passing plays, which is usually a good sign for the road team. There are enough weaknesses on the Seattle side that I would have to see at least three points before I would get interested in playing Seattle.

This game figures to be a run heavy game but there’s enough evidence that this fast track could lead to some points if we can get the right value. Again, I would have to see this total trickle down to something under 42 before I would get interested in the over. Definitely would get involved at 41 or less.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Seahawks +2.5


Houston Texans vs Indianapolis Colts

Sunday, January 6th, 8:05am AEDT

The Colts took care of business last Sunday night at Tennessee in a 33-17 victory that really wasn’t even that close considering seven of Tennessee’s points came on an interception return. They out gained Tennessee 6.1yppl to 5.7yppl but even those numbers are a little skewed because they chose to run the ball 20 more times than Tennessee. The Titans did out rush Indianapolis 5.8ypr to 4.4ypr but the Colts out passed Tennessee 7.7yps to 5.7yps. With those extra runs Indianapolis controlled the clock for about 20 minutes more.

Houston needed a win as well and got an easy win over lifeless Jacksonville 20-3. The Texans out gained Jacksonville 4.6yppl to 2.5yppl, out rushed them 4.1ypr to 1.9ypr and out passed them 5.1yps to 2.9yps. But, Houston was sacked six times to add to their league leading 62 sacks. Houston controlled the clock for about 11 more minutes by running the ball 17 more times. Jacksonville’s only points came on a muffed punt they recovered at the Houston ten yard line, which they still only got a field goal on.

The Colts started jelling as a team back in week six when they finally got most of the pieces to their offence back and also got healthier on the defensive side of the ball. Since that time, relative to the competition they have played, the Colts offence has scored only less than the Rams, Chiefs and Saints. They have averaged 29 points per game against teams allowing 23 points per game. The defence is allowing just 19 points per game against teams averaging 19 points per game. They are averaging 7.5yps against teams allowing 6.4yps and 6.2yppl against teams allowing 5.5yppl. The one weakness in the Colts game has been their pass defence, which allows 6.5yps against teams averaging 5.9yps in that same timeframe.

Houston, meanwhile, has been a pretty average team on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. They average 5.6yppl against teams allowing 5.5yppl and allow 5.4yppl against teams averaging 5.4yppl. They too, have been below average defending the pass, allowing 6.5yps against teams averaging 6.1yps. Both teams have been above average defending the run.

I don’t have any situations on this game. My numbers favour Houston by one point and project about 45.8 points. One of my models for the total, which looks at the match up specific to their client profile, projects about 48.8 points and that model is probably most accurate.

These two teams are on the opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to their offensive lines protecting the quarterback. The Colts have been sacked the least amount of time relative to their pass attempts while Houston has been sacked the most in the league. As good as the Houston defensive front is they are middle of the pack on the defensive side of the ball in terms of generating sacks. The Colts are just a few spots behind Houston. That tells me it will likely be very difficult for the Houston pass rush to get to Andrew Luck in this game. With both teams also being pretty stout defending the rush, that more than likely means both teams are probably going to put the ball in the air. In their first meeting back in Indianapolis week four Houston threw the ball 58% of the time (was sacked seven times) and Indianapolis threw the ball about 80% of the time.

The Colts were playing catch up most of that game which contributed to the higher percentage of pass attempts. In their second meeting in Houston, won by the Colts 24-21, Indy threw the ball about 65% of the time while Houston threw the ball about 63% of the time. Indy out gained Houston in that game 6.6yppl to 4.6yppl. In that second meeting Houston was sacked five times to just twice for Indianapolis. These two teams played very similar schedules this year, which also means neither team played a very tough schedule, with only three playoff games on their schedule outside of playing each other twice. Both teams went 1-2 in those games but some of those games were played early in the season when neither team was the same as it is now.

But, Houston hasn’t defeated a playoff team by more than three points so their margin against the better teams has not been very large. I don’t see any value in this game based on the current numbers. Both teams are likely to air it out again in this game given both defences are above average defending the run. But, the more Houston has to pass the more vulnerable they become because of their porous offensive line. That swings the pendulum to the side of Indy. The one other area that could cause issues for Indy is Luck is more prone to turn the ball over than Watson. Short of the turnovers I will lean slightly to Indianapolis in this game.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Colts +1.5

Indianapolis v Tennessee

Monday, December 31st, 12:20pm AEDT

The Colts came from ten down at home to the Giants to win late 28-27. Both teams gained 6.3yppl. The Giants out passed the Colts 9.4yps to 7.4yps.

Washington controlled most of the game at Tennessee but turnovers on their final two possessions did them in and their defense couldn’t stop Tennessee when they needed to. For the game they were out gained 5.3yppl to 4.9yppl. They out rushed Tennessee 4.7ypr to 3.7ypr but were out passed 6.9yps to 5.2yps. A minus two in turnover margin was the final nail in the coffin for Washington.

C Ryan Kelly is out. S Clayton Geathers, TY Hilton and WR Zach Pascal are questionable after not practicing. Hilton will likely play. TE Eric Ebron is questionable.

LB Brian Orakpo is out. QB Marcus Mariota is questionable.

I don’t have any situations on this game. My numbers favor Indy by about five points (using only Blaine Gabbert games) and project about 45.6 points.

Indianapolis is just 1-4 ats since 2015 as a road favorite, going 1-1 ats here in Tennessee. Tennessee is 5-1 ats as a home underdog going back to 2016. Indy’s biggest margin on the road against a playoff team was a three point win over Houston a few weeks ago but they did dominate Tennessee 38-10 about six weeks ago back in Indy. Tennessee has been pretty good at home against playoff or potential playoff teams with their only bad loss by 21 to Baltimore. They did lose NT Jurrell Casey last week and that is a big loss on their defensive line. The Colts rush defense has been very good this year and that is what Tennessee does best, which makes this a tougher than normal match up for Tennessee. I don’t have a strong opinion on this game. Indianapolis appears to be the healthier team and Andrew Luck has consistently beat Tennessee over the years. I will lean their way.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Colts -3

Kansas City v Seattle

Monday, December 24th, 12:20pm AEDT

Both teams are in the top ten of the league in creating big pass plays on offence.

But, they are also both bottom ten of the league in allowing big pass plays. The Chiefs are in the top ten of the league in fewest sacks allowed while Seattle is in the bottom ten of the league in allowing sacks on offence. This is one reason the Seahawks run the ball 55% of the time. Both teams give up plenty of yards against the rush.

KC runs the ball only 39% of the time so despite Seattle running it a lot and eating clock, KC will be going their share of throwing the ball. Along with that, the running game for Seattle is also allowing Seattle to deliver more play action passing and has improved their passing game as well, which has led to a more productive offence.

KC has totaled at least 50 points in every road game they’ve played this year and at least 58 in six of the seven road games they have played. The Seahawks have totaled 64 and 67 points in their two games against the Rams who are very similar to KC and they totaled 42 points against the Chargers but LA is a much slower paced team and also have a much better defence than the Rams or Chiefs.

This is a tough environment to play in and Seattle is playing a team that feeds directly into what the Seahawks want to do. That is run the ball and set up play action passing for some big plays down the field. Both teams are capable of getting those big plays and both teams give up the big plays. Getting to this number won’t be a drop in the bucket but it should get there based on the profile of both clubs. And Seattle has an excellent chance to win this game SU

Kansas City qualifies in a negative last road game situation, which is 75-32-2 and plays against them here. The Seahawks also qualify in a bounce back home underdog situation, which is 86-50-9. My numbers favor Seattle by 0.2 points and project about 58.2 points.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Seattle +2.5 and Over 53.5

Denver v Oakland

Monday, December 25th, 12:15pm AEDT

The Raiders allow the highest percentage of big pass plays while Denver is seventh from the bottom of the league. The Raiders are last in the league in creating sacks on defence while Denver is seventh best in generating sacks on defence. The Raiders are just 3-9-1 ats as a home underdog of four or less points since 2013.

The Broncos are a mess. Since losing WR Emmanuel Sanders and trading WR Demarious Thomas Denver has averaged just 4.4yps against teams allowing 6.3yps. Their rushing game has been equally as bad and they are averaging only 15 points per game against teams that allow 26 points per game. The defence has been just above average during that same time frame. The good news for Denver is Oakland’s offensive line is banged up and the Denver pass rush has a very good chance at getting to Derrek Carr and possibly creating turnovers.

I don’t see how either team is going to score many points in this game and there is value on the Raiders side even though the match ups aren’t greatly in their favor. Oakland has only faced on team this year at home that is a below .500 team and they beat Cleveland by three points in that game.

The Broncos, since losing both wide receivers and their best cornerback Chris Harris have fallen apart and lost 20-14 at San Francisco (were behind 20-0) and lost last week at home to Cleveland 17-16. In possibly their last game in Oakland the Raiders pull off the Christmas Eve special.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Oakland +3

Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints

Tuesday, December 18th, 12:15pm AEDT

The Saints list LT Terron Armstead as out again.

Carolina will be without their K Graham Gano and DT Kawann Short is listed as doubtful and will be a game time decision.

The Saints qualify in a negative road situation which plays against teams who are favored and have had a lot of success against the spread and is 124-65-6. Carolina qualifies in a Monday night home dog role, which is 41-19-0 ATS. This game also qualifies in an under situation, which is 335-236-3. My numbers favor NO by two points and project about 53 points.

Times are a changing in this division. When was the last time the Saints had a better defence than Carolina? N.O defends big passing plays better than Carolina and sacks the quarterback much better than Carolina. And, we already know the Saints have the much better offence.

The Saints are fourth in the league in generating big pass plays while Carolina is thirteenth. Both teams are in the top ten of the league allowing fewest sacks in the league but the Saints are better as well. Carolina’s numbers from the line of scrimmage have been pretty good the last four weeks but it’s turnovers that have mostly done them in.

The Saints are in their third straight road game and have been tough all year but they haven’t won by margin on the road against the average to better than average teams they have played this year. Against teams that have won six or more games this year their margin of victory has been 1, 10 and -3. The ten point win was against Minnesota where a couple of key turnovers did them in.

Meanwhile Carolina has gone 5-1 SU at home this year with their only loss a three point loss to Seattle. They have scored 27 or more in all but one of their home games. Carolina is 5-1 ATS as a home underdog in their last six games as a home dog. If the Panthers don’t turn the ball over they should stay competitive in this game.

A lingering bum shoulder for Cam Newton is an added concern but that will probably create a lower scoring game as well. Carolina wants to control the clock and tick this game away.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Carolina +6.5


LA Rams v Philadelphia Eagles

Monday , December 17th, 12:20pm AEDT

QB Carson Wentz is doubtful. LB Jordan Hicks, DT Timmy Jernigan, CB Sidney Jones and G Isaac Seumalo are out. DE Michael Bennett and S Avonte Maddox are questionable.

The Rams are healthy.

The Rams qualify in a late season scheduling situation, which is 67-25-1. My numbers with Foles starting favor the Rams by 15 points and project about 54 points.

Nick Foles will get the start in this game. Foles was horrible in Philly’s first two games this year before Carson Wentz took over. He averaged 4.9yps against teams allowing 7.1yps. The Eagles have played one elite team on the road this year and they were blown out at NO 48-7.

I don’t expect that to happen here but the Rams should be able to score plenty in this game and I don’t see Philadelphia scoring many points. Philly is only 4-7 ATS as a road underdog and have gone 8-2-1 over the total in those same games. They’ve allowed 23 or more points in ten straight road games as a road dog.

The Rams have scored 29 or more points in 8 of their 12 home games as favorites under Kyle Shanahan. I can’t really see a scenario where they don’t score at least 30 points in this game. With Aqib Talib playing for the Rams this year they have allowed 16 or less points in four of the five games he has played.

The one game they allowed 23 points was against a very good Chargers offence. Granted they played some poor offences in those other games but the Eagles offence isn’t that good this year either.

If the Rams get to 30 points in this game there’s a very good chance Philadelphia doesn’t score more than 17-20 points.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Rams – 12.5


Kansas City v LA Chargers

Friday , December 13th, 12:20 AEDT

LA will be without RB Austin Ekeler and CB Trevor Williams. DT Brendon Mebane is doubtful. RB Melvin Gordon is questionable.

KC will be without WR Sammy Watkins. RB Spencer Ware is doubtful as is G Cam Erving. S Eric Berry and WR Tyreek Hill are questionable.

KC may also get back safety Eric Berry from his injury dating back to week one of the 2017 season. How good Berry will be at this point remains to be seen.

This game qualifies in an under situation, which is 335-236-3. My numbers favor KC by 2.5 points and project about 49 points.

These two teams lead the league in big pass plays generated as a percentage of their pass plays. The Chargers defend the big pass plays a little better than the Chiefs.  The Chiefs have beaten the majority of the below .500 teams they have faced this year by double digits.

Against the teams above .500 they have won by 3, -3, -3, 5 and 10. The latter was week one against these Chargers. Against the elite of the elite, the Chargers have lost by ten to these Chiefs and by 12 to the Rams.

KC has won nine straight against the Chargers, going 7-2 ATS in those games. The Chargers are 17-5 ATS as a road dog of 3.5 or more since 2013. Despite covering they have allowed 20 or more points in 20 of those 22 games. The Chargers have only played three good offensive teams this year and allowed 38, 30 and 35 to the Chiefs, Steelers and Rams.

The Chiefs are 8-2 ATS as a home favorite of seven or less points. That goes back to the beginning of last season which coincides with their offence starting to become a high powered offence. In their last 31 games at home as a home favorite, KC has allowed more than 22 points in just 5 of those 31 games and just three times in their last 23 games as a home favorite.

The weather figures to be cold and windy Thursday night. Since Philip Rivers arrived in SD and now LA, the Chargers have played six times in Kansas City in December. All six of those games have totaled 43 or less points, including last year’s game which had a total of 47 and went under with 43 points scored.

The situation on the under is strong and there is value there as well. The Chargers like to run the ball on the road and are one of the league’s slowest paced teams. They run the ball approximately 46% of the time on the road to go with their slow pace. KC plays much better defence at home and like TB, we are getting a high number typically associated with them because of the points they allow on the road.

Eric Berry should add some support to their defense as well. This game has an excellent chance to go under the high total and the weather should help us as well. As for the side, I lean with the Chargers who have been fantastic as road dogs of more than three points.

KC has played very close games with many of their better opponents this year and this should be another one of them.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 53.5

Minnesota V Seattle

Tuesday, December 11th, 12:50 AEDT

My numbers favor Seattle by two points and project about 46 points.

Seattle sits near the top of the league in big pass plays while Minnesota sits near the bottom of the league in generating big pass plays.

Both teams are about in the middle of the league in defending big pass plays. Seattle does get sacked a lot on offence which is one reason they’ve gone to running the ball 55% of the time since week three.

The Vikings are in the top ten of the league in generating sacks by their defence. The Vikings are just 3-6-1 ATS as a road dog since the beginning of last year. Seattle is also just 3-6-1 ATS as a home favorite since the beginning of last year. Both of these teams have played some of the elite teams in the league this year and Seattle has played a little better against those teams.

Minnesota is 0-3-1 ATS versus the elite teams while Seattle is 2-2 ATS. The Seahawks are laying a short number, at home, in a hostile environment on a Monday night. I trust Russell Wilson to get the job done much more so than Kirk Cousins in a big game.

The Vikings qualify in a negative situation that plays against road teams who are playing an opponent who is above .500. That situation is 81-40-7 and has been a consistent winner year after year for me.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Seattle –3

LA Rams V Chicago Bears

Monday, December 10th, 12:20 AEDT

The Rams will get everything they got last week against the Lions but to the next level with the Bears.

The Lions defence is better with the recent acquisition and some players getting healthy. The Bears are much better. The Lions offense has actually faded quite a bit over the last month. The Bears offense is getting better and actually much better. The Lions had the game in their sight but dumb coaching moves potentially cost them that game.

The Bears will get much better coaching in this game. The Rams sit near the top of the league in generating big pass plays. Chicago ranks 13th in big passing plays. But, the Rams rank near the bottom of the league in defending big passing plays while Chicago ranks first.

I mentioned last week the Rams have beaten up on the bad teams as road favorites under Sean McVay but when playing a playoff team their games have been much closer. Against playoff teams or teams this year that have a chance to make the playoffs they have won by the following amount on the road as a favorite in each game – 4, 2, 3 and -10.

They also won by ten at Jacksonville last year as a dog and lost by 17 at Minnesota as a dog. The Jacksonville game they were beaten badly at the line of scrimmage but special teams won the game for them. Against those better teams and most of the time better defences they have scored 27, 7, 27, 33, 23 and 35 points. They’ve also allowed at least 20 points in each of those games but one.

Now, they get the Bears who are 9-2-1 ats as a home underdog since 2016. The Bears only loss by more than three points this year was by seven to the Pats on this field but that game featured a pick six, blocked punt returned for a touchdown and the Bears also recovered two turnovers deep in Pats territory that they took in for touchdowns shortly after.

This game figures to be a hard nosed game won by the better defence getting points at home.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Chicago +3

Jacksonville Jaguars v Tennessee Titans

Friday, December 7th, 12:20PM AEDT

For Jacksonville WR D.J. Chark and DT Abry Jones are out. S Cody Davis and T Josh Walker are questionable.

For Tennessee LB Derrick Morgan is questionable.

I don’t have any situations on this game. My numbers favor Tennessee by six points and project about 40 points.

Both teams are in the top ten in defending big pass plays. Tennessee sits at the bottom of the league in allowing sacks per pass play. Jacksonville was great on defence last week but they have now allowed at least 24 points in each of their last six road games. Now they face a Tennessee team that has scored 26 or more points in three of their last four home games.

The Titans are 7-3-1 ATS in their last eleven games as a home favorite. Jacksonville is 7-2-1 ATS as a road underdog. It’s hard to believe Jacksonville can get anything going with their offence and Cody Kessler at quarterback.

He wasn’t very good last week and I don’t believe it is going to get any easier, on the road, on a Thursday night with short practice time, etc. Favorites typically perform better on these Thursday night games and I don’t see this being much different here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Tennessee -4.5

Philadelphia Eagles v Washington Redskins

Tuesday, December 3rd, 12:15 PM AEDT

The Redskins list no players as out but list several players as questionable.

Philadelphia will be without LB Jordan Hicks, CB Avonte Maddox and Jalen Mills. DE Michael Bennett is questionable.

If this line is six or less Philadelphia would qualify in a contrary situation playing on teams who have not performed well against the spread for the season versus teams who have performed well against the spread. That situation is 213-127-13.

Washington would qualify in a situation that plays against average teams who are large favorites if they were getting more than seven points. So, both teams potentially qualify in good situations, which somewhat negates each of them. My numbers favor Philadelphia by two points and project about 41.5 points.

Colt McCoy starts again. McCoy wasn’t great last week but there isn’t a big difference between him and Alex Smith although McCoy is more likely to turn the ball over but the yards per pass aren’t significantly different between the two over the years.

Carson Wentz has improved and Philadelphia’s pass numbers have definitely improved from earlier in the year. But, at the end of the day, Philadelphia is just an average team on the offencive side of the ball.

With Wentz since week five they average 5.8yppl against teams allowing 5.7yppl and 6.9yps against teams allowing 6.8yps. They average 21 points per game against teams allowing 24 points per game. So, they are average at the line of scrimmage and slightly below average scoring points. No reason to think that changes from here on out for the rest of the season.

Doug Pederson was 9-2 as a home favorite in his first eleven attempts since taking the job in 2016. His teams allowed more than 19 points just four times in those games while they scored 24 or more in 10 of those 11 games. They were facing reasonable spreads, scoring points and playing good defence.

But, as the season progressed last year, their numbers started to become inflated. They’ve scored more than 21 points just once since late last year as a home favorite, and they’ve allowed 21 or more in four straight games.

All of that has added up to a 0-6 ATS record in their last six games as a home favorite. They’ve also gone 6-1 to the under in their last seven games as a home favorite. This game figures to be close, especially seeing neither team has really topped 24 points this year with the exception of just a couple of games.

Philly should get back some of its players in the secondary this week and Washington potentially gets back LT Trent Williams, RB Chris Thompson and WR Jamison Crowder.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Washington +6.5

Pittsburgh Steelers v LA Chargers

Monday, December 2nd, 12:20 PM AEDT

LA is without T Joe Barksdale, RB Melvin Gordon and DT Brandon Mebane.

Pittsburgh is without T Marcus Gilbert and S Morgan Burnett is doubtful.

I don’t have any situations on this game. My numbers favor Pittsburgh by two points and project about 49 points.

The Chargers are near the top of the league in generating big pass plays on offence. Pittsburgh sits near the middle of the league. Both teams are in the top ten of the league in fewest sacks allowed. The Chargers allow the tenth highest percentage of big pass plays. And the Steelers sit fourth in the league in percentage of sacks created by their defence.

The Steelers have covered their last three as a home favorite but they’ve been about average as a home favorite as of late, including failing to cover six straight prior to this three game winning streak.

What is amazing is since the beginning of 2015 they have been a home favorite 27 times. They’ve scored 24 or more in 24 of those 27 games. They’ve also gone over 10 of the last 11 games at home as a favorite, totaling 51 or more in 9 of those 11 games.

Here come the Chargers who are 16-5 ATS as a road dog of 3.5 or more since 2013. Despite covering they have allowed 20 or more points in 19 of those 21 games. The Chargers have only played two good offencive teams this year and allowed 38 and 35 to the Rams and Chiefs.

The Steelers have really only faced two good offences this year as well and allowed 42 to the Chiefs and 27 to TB. Pittsburgh defence has seemed to get better since those early games but it could be more because they haven’t played great offences as well.

I don’t have a strong lean either way on this game. My numbers suggest the dog and the under but I could certainly see this game being higher scoring and Pittsburgh covering. So not a lot of value to be found here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Chargers +3.5

New Orleans Saints v Dallas Cowboys

Friday, November 30th, 12:20 PM AEDT

For NO, LT Terron Armstead is out.

For Dallas WR Tavon Austin, DE David Irving, LB Sean Lee and TE Geoff Swaim are out. LT Tyron Smith is questionable and will be a game time decision after not practicing all week. The Cowboys also list two other guards as questionable.

New Orleans qualifies in a road let down situation, which is 69-27-4 and plays against them here. Dallas also qualifies in a great fundamental rushing situation, which is 97-37-4.

This game also qualifies in an under situation, which is 51-17-2. My numbers favor NO by only two points and project about 51.6 points.

This is by far and away the toughest test to date for Dallas. There appears to be some value on the Cowboys simply because of how hot the Saints have been. In addition their last two games have come at home and been big wins.

All that has added a premium on the Saints if you want to play them. These teams have some similarities in that their best defence is their offence. Both of these teams run the ball at a high rate to protect their defence. The Cowboys defence is better so doesn’t need as much protection but the run games of both offences have helped their respective defenses.

Against the best teams they have faced on the road this year the Saints have been out gained at Baltimore and Minnesota. Some of that is because NO has run the ball 55% of the time in those games. However, they only won at Baltimore by one point and although they won at Minnesota by ten points, two plays turned their fortunes around in that game.

Down by three points late in the first half with Minnesota driving to potentially go up by ten points, they fumbled in the red zone and the Saints returned the ball deep into Minnesota territory. They ultimately scored a touchdown just before halftime and went in up four points rather than down six to ten points.

They then picked off a pass early in the third quarter and returned it for a touchdown. Dallas has enough defence and if NO again goes ball control in this game it is likely to be another close game on the road for the Saints.

The Saints always have the ability to win by margin but this game sets up perfect for a home dog cover. Don’t be surprised if Dallas pulls off the upset.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Dallas +7

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans

Tuesday, November 27th, 12:15 PM AEDT

If Houston were to become a favorite of less than six points they would qualify in a very good Monday night situation, which is 43-12-2.

The Titans do qualify in a bounce back situation, which is 64-31-6 but that situation hasn’t been as good recently. My numbers favor Houston by 5.4 points and project about 40.7 points.

Tennessee’s offence is very pedestrian and I don’t see that changing in this game. Good news for them is although Houston’s passing game has been pretty good this year, Houston is the kind of team Tennessee can probably hang around.

The Texans offense isn’t explosive enough to rack up 38 points like Indy did last week. Houston has scored 42 and 37 against the Dolphins banged up defence and the Colts banged up defence at the time they played them. Beyond that they haven’t scored more than 23 points in a game.

Other than last week’s 38 point defensive effort at Indianapolis the Titans haven’t allowed more than 23 points (allowed 27 at Miami in week one but 7 came on a kick off return for a touchdown). This game has a very low total but still a fairly high spread and it doesn’t look like the winner gets much past 23-24 points.

The Titans have struggled in Houston, however, having lost six straight games here. They haven’t come closer than six points in any of those games. I would only look at Houston if this number came down to four points or less. If it gets to seven points and Mariota is starting I may get interested in Tennessee a little bit.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Houston -3.5

Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers

Monday, November 26th, 12:20 PM AEDT

DE Mike Daniels and LB Nick Perry are out for GB. S Raven Clarke is doubtful. GB lists several other players as questionable.

Minnesota is without WR Chad Beebe, LB Ben Gedeon, TE David Morgan and S Andrew Sendejo.

This game qualifies in an under situation, which is 327-233-6. My numbers favor Minnesota by 2.7 points and project about 45.6 points.

Minnesota is 11-2 to the under with Mike Zimmer as head coach when they are at home playing a divisional game. In those 13 games they have allowed more than 20 just three times although the 22 Detroit scored was a touchdown in OT.

The other two were against these Packers when they allowed 24 and 30 points. GB is 19-8 to the over as a road dog since 2013. A big part of that is GB allowing 26 or more points in 14 of their last 16 games as a road dog. GB has scored 20 or more points in 14 of those 16 games as well, which has led to the 13-3 over record for GB in those same 16 games.

GB has lost seven straight road games and if their defence continues to give up points like they have on the road this one will make it eight straight. The Vikings are 11-3 in their last 14 home games so this remains a tough place to play for visitors.

Mike Zimmer wants to run the ball and as long as Minnesota stays in this game he will attempt to do just that, which will eat the clock. GB would like to run the ball some as well. This won’t likely be easy to watch from an under perspective but sometimes the harder they are to bet the easier they are to win.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 48

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions

Friday, November 23rd, 4:30 AM AEDT

For Chicago QB Mitch Trubisky is doubtful. LB Aaron Lynch and TE Adam Shaheen are out.

For Detroit RB Kerryon Johnson and WR Marvin Jones are out. The Lions list several other players as questionable.

Chicago qualifies in a negative road favorite situation, which is 124-65-6 and plays against the Bears here. My numbers favor Chicago by 3.5 points and project about 45.5 points if Mitch Trubisky plays. This game would also qualify in an under situation if the total is above 45, which is 327-233-3.

Chase Daniel will now start this game in all likelihood and I would adjust this number by about 1.5 points. I would also make this total now closer to about 39 points with Daniel at quarterback.

Mitch Trubisky’s numbers improved this year under head coach Matt Nagy from 5.5 yards per pass last year to 6.9 yards per pass. His interception rate increased slightly and his sack rate decreased.

Some of that is probably due to having more experience but a lot of that is also probably because of the personnel around him along with the new offencive system that Matt Nagy has installed and having an offensive minded head coach like Matt Nagy.

While Chase Daniel has been with Matt Nagy in the past being back with him this year and more experience may improve his numbers. Daniel has a career yards per pass number of only 5.2 yards per pass but I would expect that to improve some in this current offence so it shouldn’t be quite the same drop off as it would be using just their career numbers.

This is a tough turnaround for Chicago having played Sunday night and now traveling three days later. It is a divisional match up and these teams just faced each other 11 days ago so it’s a little easier for them to prepare for this game.

The situation favors Detroit but had Trubisky played this would still be a tough match up for a Lions team that has been getting sacked at an alarming rate the past few games and now facing a Bears team that takes pleasure in sacking the opponent.

But, with Chase Daniel now likely at quarterback this levels the playing field some despite the Lions being really banged up on offence. It’s hard to say what Chicago will get on offense but with Trubisky the Bears have struggled on the road this year. They are just 2-2 and three of the games were all played within three points of each other.

Their lone easy win, a 41-9 victory at Buffalo, really wasn’t nearly as dominant as it seems as the defense scored multiple touchdowns and the offense gained next to nothing. They were playing maybe the worst quarterback in the history of the NFL and took advantage of that.

Meanwhile Detroit has been pretty competitive at home this year with victories over NE, GB and Carolina even though both the GB and Carolina game they weren’t real impressive but made the best out of their opportunities and won the games.

This is probably a lower scoring game and I will lean to the home team but can’t get too involved because it’s still a mismatch at the line of scrimmage regardless who is quarterbacking for Chicago.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 43.5


Washington Redskins v Dallas Cowboys

Friday, November 23rd, 8:30 AM AEDT

Washington’s loss but cover last week qualifies them in a 114-59-2 situation. Dallas also qualifies in a negative favorite situation that plays against large favorites of more than seven points that are average teams.

That situation is 295-197-9. My numbers favor Dallas by six points (adjusting three points for the quarterback change) and project about 39.5 points. McCoy may be a little better than that, which may only account for a two point adjustment so I would call Dallas a five to six point favorite.

Washington will be without RB Chris Thompson. LT Trent Williams and WR Jamison Crowder are questionable. CB Quinton Dunbar is also questionable.

Dallas is without WR Tavon Austin, DL David Irving, LB Sean Lee, C Adam Redmond and TE Geoff Swaim. They list several other starters as questionable.

These two teams sit in the bottom ten of the league in generating big pass plays. Dallas also sits in the top ten on defence in defending big pass plays while the Redskins are in the bottom ten in the league. The Redskins have had a good amount of success in Dallas over the years having now covered nine of the last ten years here as an underdog.

Washington, in general, is 11-5 ATS as a road underdog in their last 16 games in that role, including 2-1 ATS this year. Meanwhile, Dallas is just 9-19 ATS as a home favorite in their last 28 chances in this role. That includes being just 1-2 ATS this year. Washington’s defense has really only been exposed against really good offenses this year.

They allowed NO to score 43 points and Atlanta to score 38 points. The Colts, before they got their offense healthy, scored 21 points. Nobody else has really got into the 20’s on them when you consider Houston scored 7 of their 23 points on an interception return last week. They also haven’t faced many good defences but when they have they really haven’t scored more than 20 points.

They scored 21 last week but seven came on a short drive. Dallas has only one win this year by more than seven points and that was a 40-7 victory over Jacksonville but their offense doesn’t usually allow them to separate themselves from the competition.

I don’t see Dallas getting a lot of points in this game and the only question is really can Washington score with their offense. If they can’t then Dallas could cover this number. If they can then it’s a close game. Either way I see it likely staying under the total with a possible dog cover as well. Alex Smith wasn’t moving this offense so Colt McCoy shouldn’t be much worse than Smith.

These Thursday games are tough on the underdog historically although divisional matches are friendlier to the underdog.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 40.5


Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints

Friday, November 23rd, 12:20 PM AEDT

This game qualifies in an under situation, which is 327-233-3. My numbers favor NO by about 9.5 points and project about 56.5 points.

For Atlanta LB Deion Jones is out

For New Orleans LT Terron Armstead is out. WR Tre`Quan Smith is questionable but did not practice and DE Marcus Davenport is questionable but has not played the last few weeks.

Both of these teams are in the top 11 of the league in big pass play percentages. Surprisingly Atlanta is actually in the top ten in defending big pass plays while the Saints are in the bottom ten. The Saints are now 1-9 ATS as a home favorite of more than seven points, including 0-2 ATS this year.

Atlanta has faced three very good offences this year and allowed 29, 41 and 43 points. The latter to these Saints back in Atlanta. They’ve also faced three very poor defences this year and Atlanta has scored 34, 36 and 37 points with again the latter being against these Saints. NO has scored at least 40 points against each of the three poor defences they have faced.

They’ve also allowed 35, 37 and 48 points against the three best offenses they have faced, including 37 to these Falcons. Other than long drives by either team because they are running the ball, this game does figure to be a very high scoring game. My numbers project 56.5 points but when you factor in the match up and take out the games against anemic offenses or good defences, these numbers get bigger.

I then make the Saints a eight point favorite and project 76 points. The right number is probably somewhere in between. It’s just really hard to believe NO doesn’t get to 40 points in this game. And, if they do, Atlanta is likely to get to at least 20 points, which means this game is likely to go well over the total.

The situation that plays under in this game is to be respected but I just don’t see how this game doesn’t fly over the total. I will lean to Atlanta in this game but these quick turnaround games for the road team don’t do them any favors.

I just a lean to the dog but I do think there is value to the dog and the over in this game. Take a look at the Atlanta team total of 24 or less points and look to play that over as well

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 61 or less

Kansas City Chiefs v LA Rams

Tuesday, November 20th, 12:15 PM AEDT

This game qualifies in an over situation, which is 45-16-1. My numbers favor the Rams by three points and project about 60 points.

These teams sit one and two in the league in generating big pass plays per game and neither team gives up many sacks. Meanwhile, both teams give up their fair share of big pass plays. KC is 8-1 ATS as a road dog in their last nine games. The Chiefs are also 9-2 to the over in their last eleven games as a road dog.

They’ve allowed 27 or more in seven of their last eight games as a road dog and scored 27 or more in seven of those same eight games. For the Rams, since Sean McVay arrived at the beginning of last year here are the point totals they’ve scored between both teams as a home favorite and facing an efficient offence similar to their offense.

They’ve totaled 46 points (NO), 58 (LAC), 69 (MIN), 56 (GB) AND 67 (SEA). They’ve also won all of those games. The Chiefs have played three good offences this year and totaled 66 points (LAC), 79 (PIT) and 83 (NE). They won two of those and lost the other by three points to NE. WR Cooper Kupp is done for the year for LA and Sammy Watkins may not play for KC.

I’d prefer to take the points in this game and if this total came down to 60 points I would jump on the over. Both teams can run the ball and if we get an extended period of running the ball the clock will tick so I’d prefer to have a more manageable number if I am going to take the over.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Kansas City Chiefs +3.5

Pittsburgh Steelers v Jacksonville Jaguars

Monday, November 19th, 5:00 AM AEDT

Pittsburgh is without T Marcus Gilbert and DE Stephon Tuitt.

For Jacksonville they are without CB Quention Meeks but get back CB AJ Bouye. T Josh Walker and DT Eli Ankou are doubtful. Jacksonville has lost for the year their two tackles and their center Brandon Linder who was placed on IR this week. DT Marcell Dareus is questionable.

Pittsburgh qualifies in a very negative road situation that plays on teams having a lot of success covering the spread. That situation is 124-65-6. My numbers favor Pittsburgh by just two points and project about 44 points.

Jacksonville hasn’t done a lot of things right this year but they are still in the top ten in the league in defending big pass plays while Pittsburgh sits just outside the bottom ten in the league in defending big pass plays. But, the Steelers get after the quarterback and lead the league in sacks per game.

Jacksonville has struggled at that and is 27th in the league in generating sacks. The Steelers are back in one of their best roles. As road favorites since 2014 they are now 18-5 to the under. And, actually, they are 20-3 to the under had you gotten the best number in their last two losses.

Pittsburgh is also just 6-15 ATS as a road favorite of more than three points and 13-3 to the under in their last 16 games as road favorites of more than three points (15-1 under if you got the better total before game day). The Steelers defence is playing well and with Leonard Fournette back at RB Jacksonville will be happy to run the clock and keep the Pittsburgh offense on the sideline.

In addition, with AJ Bouye back I expect Jacksonville’s pass defence to improve. Might not be enough for the upset but Jacksonville should stay in this game and it should be lower scoring than the total as we get good value on both the side and the total.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Jaguars +5

Green Bay Packers v Seattle Seahawks

Friday, November 16th, 12:20 PM AEDT

For GB, they will be without LB Nick Perry, CB Kevin King, S Kentrell Brice and WR Randall Cobb. They also list LB Blake Martinez as questionable.

For Seattle LB K.J. Wright is doubtful.

GB qualifies in a momentum situation, which is 93-51-6, although that situation hasn’t performed as well later in the season. My numbers favor Seattle by two points and project about 47.5 points.

GB has lost six straight road games with five of them with Aaron Rodgers as the starting quarterback. The Packers have struggled on the road as a dog in recent years. Since the beginning of 2016 they have allowed 29 or more points in 12 of their 14 road games as dogs. Those games are 11-3 to the over.

The offence, when Rodgers has been playing has scored at least 21 points in each of those games as well with the exception of their last game at NE, where they scored 17 points. Road game on a Thursday night is a tough situation for any team and that doesn’t change for GB, especially missing some key players.

This game has a chance to be high scoring because GB is likely to give up points and certainly has the capability to score points. But, since week three Seattle run the ball at least 53% in every game except against the Chargers, where they ran the ball 43% because they fell behind early and had to throw more.

If Seattle is able to run the ball that could help move the clock and keep this game a little lower scoring.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Seattle Seahawks -2.5

New York Giants v San Fransisco

Tuesday, November 13th, 12:15 PM AEDT

The Giants qualify in a road underdog situation that plays on road dogs of three or more when two average to below average teams are playing each other. That situation is 178-120-6. My numbers favor SF by 1.5 points and project about 45 points.

SF is in the top ten in the league in generating big passing plays as a percentage of their passes. Both teams are in the bottom ten in the league in allowing sacks. But the Giants don’t really generate any sack pressure while SF is in the middle of the pack. That’s also probably a reason why the Giants are in the bottom ten in the league in allowing big passing plays.

Nick Mullens had the game of his life last week against Oakland in his first NFL start. That was only the second win by a SF QB in the last two years other than Jimmy Garoppolo. The last win was by CJ Beathard over these Giants last year 31-21. The Giants appear to be the same mess they were last year.

At least the 49ers have a sound coach that can dial something up for his team. We don’t know how good Nick Mullens is or how bad, but he has been in the system since last year so he at least knows the system.

As bad as the Giants have been this year they are actually 3-0 ATS on the road as a dog and scoring at least 20 points in each of their games, which are the only games they have scored more than 18 points in. They’ve also allowed 20 or more points in every game this year. The other saving grace is the 49ers are 1-14 ATS as a home favorite in their last 15 games.

Last week they ended up going off as a home dog and they are 0-3 ATS as a home favorite under Kyle Shanahan. The Giants look to be pretty healthy for this game and I’ll wait to see where the 49ers land on their injury report as they have some players who can play an important role for them on the injury report.

The 49ers defence had allowed 24 or more points in their first seven games but that was either because they had played some of the league’s best offence or turned the ball over to give their opponents very favorable field position that then turned into points.

The last two weeks they’ve played two of the league’s worst offenses and held those teams to 18 and 3 points. Although holding Arizona to 18 points when they only average 14 points isn’t a great feat.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – New York Giants +3.0

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys

Monday, November 12th, 12:20 PM AEDT

The Cowboys will be missing many players this weekend. They are without WR Tavon Austin, DE Taco Charlton, DL David Irving, LB Sean Lee, LB Joe Thomas and G Connor Williams.

Philadelphia will be without CB’s Sidney Jones and Jalen Mills and RB Darren Sproles.

The Eagles qualify in a couple of negative home favorite situations which play against large favorites who are average teams. Those situations are 191-103-7 and 295-197-9 and play against the Eagles here.

Philadelphia also qualifies in a negative situation that plays against average home favorites, which is 178-120-6. This game also qualifies in an under situation, which is 377-252-10. My numbers favor Philadelphia by four points and project about 38.5 points.

The Cowboys are near the bottom of the league in generating big passing plays. Both teams are in or near the top ten in allowing sacks on offense. The Cowboys are in the top ten in defending big passing plays and also the top ten in creating sacks on defense. This is a really tough scheduling spot for the Cowboys as they lost at home on Monday night and now face the Eagles off their bye week.

The last couple of years the games played here really didn’t matter because it was the last game of the season and one or the other team had wrapped up the division and rested their starters. Prior to that Dallas had covered four in a row here.

These two are 7-2 to the under here the last nine years with only two of the games totaling more than 41 points. With both teams hurting on defence and a lower total it becomes a little harder to suggest the under.

Since 2015 Dallas is 11-3 to the under in road games as a dog. They’ve scored more than 20 points just three times in those games. They are also just 1-4 ATS in their last five road dog games, having going 5-0 to the under and not scored more than 16 points in any one game.

Doug Pederson is 11-4 to the under in his 15 games as a home favorite, including 5-0 to the under in his last five games. They’ve allowed more than 19 points in just six of those 15 games. Pederson is also 0-4 ATS in his last four games as a home favorite.

I’m not interested in laying the points here but also not interested in taking the points with a banged up Cowboys defence. More interested in the under.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 44.5

Carolina Panthers v Pittsburgh Steelers

Friday, November 9th, 12:20 PM AEDT

Carolina is averaging 5.2ypr against teams allowing 4.3ypr but is just average throwing the ball. Overall, they average 6.0yppl against teams allowing 5.8yppl. The defence has improved and their pass defence now allows just 6.3yps against teams averaging 6.6yps. Overall, they are about average on defence.

Pittsburgh is still below average running the ball at 4.3ypr against teams allowing 4.6ypr but they average 7.0yps against teams allowing 6.6yps. Overall they average 6.1yppl against teams allowing 5.8yppl. The defence has improved week by week and now allows just 5.9yps against teams averaging 6.6yps and overall allows 5.3yppl against teams averaging 5.7yppl.

Carolina will be without WR Torrey Smith again. C Matt Kalil is questionable but did not practice.

The Steelers will again be without T Marcus Gilbert.

Carolina qualifies in a negative 69-27-4 situation that plays against teams coming off of successful high scoring wins. This game also qualifies in an under situation, which is 377-252-10. My numbers favor Pittsburgh by three points and project about 49 points.

Cam Newton and Ron Rivera are now 22-13-1 ATS as a road dog and 23-13 to the over during that same time frame. The Steelers are now 9-1 to the over in their last ten games listed as the home favorite. They’ve scored 28 or more points in nine of those ten games with the lone game under 28 their 26-14 loss to Baltimore earlier this year.

Carolina lost by seven at Atlanta before the Falcons sustained all of their injuries, lost by six at Washington and came from 17 behind in the fourth quarter at Philadelphia to win 21-17. Pittsburgh is in the top ten in the league in big passing plays while Carolina remains in the bottom ten in generating big passing plays.

Both of these teams are just outside the bottom ten of the league in defending big passing plays. Carolina is playing better week after week but they still haven’t shown a ton on the road yet this year. Maybe because they have been looking very good the last few weeks that changes this week, but until I see it change I can’t bet on it.

The Steelers played another good offensive team in Atlanta and held them to 17 points. I’ll lean Pittsburgh based on the situation but I would probably need this line to go under thee before I would get too excited.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Pittsburgh -3.5

Tennessee Titans v Dallas Cowboy

Tuesday, November 6th, 12:15 PM AEDT

When we last saw the Chargers they were holding on for a 20-19 victory over Tennessee in London after the Titans missed on a two point conversion to end the game. The Chargers out gained Tennessee 7.8yppl to 5.8yppl, were out rushed without Melvin Gordon 5.0ypr to 2.9ypr but out passed Tennessee 10.6yps to 6.6yps. Tennessee only had eight possessions in the game but scored on four of them, threw an interception, missed a fg and punted just twice. The Chargers scored on four of their only seven drives but two big scores on passes of 75 and 55 yards. And, as the season has gone for Tennessee, they can’t get any big plays out of their offense. When a team like the Chargers hits you with those big plays and you have no big plays of your own, it becomes tough to win in the NFL.

The Redskins held on defeat the Cowboys 20-17. Both teams averaged 5.3yppl while Washington averaged 4.1ypr to 3.3ypr for Dallas while Washington averaged 6.7yps to 6.4yps for Dallas. The Cowboys were minus two in turnover margin. While the YPPL were equal Washington ran the ball ten more times and passed the ball 13 fewer times to dilute their overall numbers. Washington also scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery.

Tennessee is averaging just 3.9ypr against teams allowing 4.2ypr and 5.5yps against teams allowing 6.3yps. Overall, they average a very paltry 4.8yppl against teams allowing 5.4yppl. The defense has been about average overall allowing 5.5yppl against teams averaging 5.5yppl.

Dallas is running the ball well right now at 4.9ypr against teams allowing 4.3ypr and 137 yards rushing per game against teams allowing 110 yards rushing per game. The passing offense is still well below average at just 5.6yps against teams allowing 6.3yps. Overall on offense they average 5.3yppl against teams allowing 5.5yppl. The defense has been very good allowing just 3.6ypr against teams averaging 4.4ypr, 6.3yps against teams averaging 6.5yps and 5.1yppl against teams averaging 5.6yppl.

Dallas qualifies in a couple of negative situations that plays against average home favorites. Those situations are 178-120-6 and 190-103-7 and play against them. This game would also qualify in an under situation if the total goes to 42 or higher, which is 377-251-10. My numbers favour Dallas by seven points and project about 36.5 points.

Dallas is just 9-18 ats in their last 27 games as a home favorite. It’s the same story for Tennessee as they’ve yet to score more than 20 points in regulation this year. And, now they face a Cowboys defense that has allowed more than 20 points just twice this year. Both of these teams are in the bottom ten of the league in generating big pass plays while both are in the top ten in defending big pass plays. That seems to indicate there will be long scoring drives for scores with hardly any big plays happening in the offense. Tennessee has been pretty good as a dog this year going 4-1 ats in all of their games. The Cowboys added WR Amari Cooper during their bye week. It’s up for debate how good Cooper is but he should upgrade a Cowboys wide receiver unit that was lacking talent. I much prefer to side with Tennessee and the points versus laying it with an offense that won’t be really aggressive but it’s not a strong play. I’d also look under in this game if the total went up to 42 for some reason.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 40.5 Points

Green Bay Packers v New England Patriots

Monday, November 5th, 12:20 PM AEDT

GB used their bye week to prepare perfectly for their game at the Rams and led for about 2.5 quarters before the Rams finally caught up. A costly fumble and the only turnover of the game denied Aaron Rodgers one last chance to bring GB back and get the late win in the Rams 29-27 victory. GB out gained the Rams 6.9yppl to 5.5yppl and out rushed them 5.6ypr to 4.0ypr as well as out passing LA 7.7yps to 6.9yps. But, in the end, the Rams made less mistakes which allowed them to remain unbeaten.

Buffalo played hard against NE on Monday night but at the end of their day their offense is so bad it just can’t generate any points. The game was closer than the final 25-6 score. NE out gained Buffalo 5.4yppl to 5.3ypp, out rushed them 3.0ypr to 2.4ypr and out passed them 6.6yps to 6.5yps. NE also got an interception returned for a touchdown. One of Buffalo’s two field goals came on a drive they started at the NE 35 and picked up another two yards and then settled for a field goal. They just can’t move the ball with the lack of weapons they have on their roster. The defense continued to do all it could for them and played a very good game against a good NE offense.

The Packers are getting it going on offense. They now average 4.8ypr against teams allowing 4.2ypr and 6.8yps against teams allowing 6.5yps. Overall, they average 6.2yppl against teams allowing 5.6yppl. The defense is average across the board and allows 5.5yppl against teams averaging 5.6yppl.

NE is averaging just 4.1ypr against teams allowing 4.4ypr and about 7.0yps against teams allowing 6.6yps. Overall they average 5.7yppl against teams allowing 5.7yppl. The defense is also about average across the board allowing 5.8yppl against teams averaging 5.7yppl.

WR Geronimo Allison is doubtful for GB. WR Randal Cobb, LB Nick Perry and S Jermaine Whitehead are questionable.

As usual the Patriots list just about their whole team as questionable.

I don’t have any situations on this game. My numbers favor NE by 3.5 points and project about 54 points.

Green Bay is in the top ten in the league in generating big passing plays while NE is surprisingly in the bottom ten in the league in big passing plays. The Packers traded away S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix who was having a very good season for them. Clinton-Dix was going to be a free agent and didn’t really fit into Mike Pettine’s style of defense that needs quicker players so GB saw an opportunity to get a draft pick rather than just outright lose him. The Packers have young players in the secondary and are banking on them continuing to develop. The Packers have struggled on the road as a dog in recent years. Since the beginning of 2016 they have allowed 29 or more points in 11 of their 13 road games as dogs. Those games are 11-2 to the over. The offense, when Rodgers has been playing has scored at least 21 points in each of those games as well.  Meanwhile, NE is 18-5-3 ats laying seven or less points at home since 2012. NE has played a very easy schedule so far this year with the only game against a good opponent being KC which they won 43-40 at home as a 3.5 point favorite. The Packers looked very good last week and that same kind of effort this week could get a win against the Pats but I’m not really interested in going against a team that just seems to cover as a home favorite. The over has the best potential in this game if it keeps coming down.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 56.5 Points

Oakland Raiders v San Francisco 49ers

Friday, November 2nd, 11:20 AM AEDT

The Raiders continue to be able to move the ball, averaging 5.9yppl against teams allowing 5.8ypp. But, the offence still continues to average only 20 points per game against teams allowing 24 points per game, primarily because they turn the ball over or can’t finish drives that end in points.

Moving the ball isn’t a problem. Scoring is. The defence is below average against both the run and the pass but allowing a whopping 8.3yps against teams averaging 6.7yps. Overall on defence they allow 6.7yppl against teams averaging just 5.9yppl.

The 49ers offence averages 4.8ypr against teams allowing 4.5ypr but is 0.7yps below what their opponents are allowing throwing the ball. Overall, SF averages 0.2yppl less than what their opponents are allowing. The defence has been pretty good. They allow less than what their opponents are averaging against both the run and the pass. Overall SF allows 0.3yppl less than what their opponents are averaging.

The Raiders list CB Daryl Worley and Gareon Conley as questionable along with G Kelechi Osemele as well.

The 49ers list QB CJ Beathard as questionable. They list both safeties Antone Exum and Jaquiski Tartt as out along with LB Rueben Foster as out.

Oakland qualifies in a situation that plays on dogs when two bad teams are playing each other. That situation requires Oakland to be getting three or more points and is 178-120-6.

SF is now 1-14 ATS as a home favorite in their last 15 tries. They’ve allowed at least 23 points in 16 of their last 18 home games and at least 20 points in each of their last 18 home games. Something will have to give as Oakland has scored 20 or less in 13 of their last 15 road games.

Oakland is 11-4 to the under in those same 15 road games on the road. The Raiders are also 4-10-1 ATS in those same road games. The Raiders have allowed at least 26 points in all but one of their games and 20 or more in every one of their games. They haven’t scored more than 20 points on the road.

Other than their game against offensively challenged Arizona, SF has allowed at least 24 points in every game this year. Since CJ Beathard became quarterback, the 49ers have scored 20 or less points in four of their five games.

They scored 27 against the Chargers but seven came on an interception returned for a touchdown. Beathard is hurt and is listed as questionable for this game and with the game playing on Thursday it may be hard for him to be ready for this game. If he can’t go Nick Mullens will make a start for SF.

Neither one of these teams are very good but this isn’t a difficult game for the Raiders to travel to. It’s just down the road so the typical Thursday night advantage probably doesn’t apply to this game. The Raiders appear to be a healthier team as well.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Oakland +3

New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills

Tuesday, October 30th, 11:20 AM AEDT

NE has been a machine on offense since getting back their receivers and trading for Josh Gordon. They have averaged 40 points a game against teams, allowing just 25 points per game. Built into those numbers are their two special team scores from last week but they are still rolling on offense.

They are averaging 6.4yppl against teams allowing 5.9yppl during that time frame. The defense remains about average on the year allowing 5.9yppl against teams averaging 5.8yppl.

Buffalo has just been brutal on offense this year. They’ve used three different quarterbacks and it should be Derek Anderson again this week. In his one game against a bad defence, he averaged 5.1yps, which is much better than the 3.9yps Buffalo was averaging prior to Anderson.

They likely lose the 25 yards or so that Allen was averaging rushing each game as well. The increase in the yards per pass more than makes up for what they are losing in the running game. The Buffalo defense continues to play well as they allow just 5.8yps against teams averaging 6.5yps. Overall, Buffalo allows 5.1yppl against teams averaging 5.6yppl.

This game qualifies in an under situation as long as the total remains above 43, which is 53-18-2. My numbers favor the Patriots by 14 points and projects about 44 points.

Buffalo has played an incredibly tough schedule this year and it doesn’t get any easier this week. This is only their third home game this year. They lost 31-20 to the Chargers after getting blown out early and scoring garbage touchdowns in the end and defeated Tennessee 13-12.

Now, they get the Patriots who have rattled off at least 38 points in each of their last four games. Again, last week’s score was a little misleading as they picked up two defensive scores. We must remember had they been forced to have drives with those possessions they could have just as easily scored so we can’t say they wouldn’t have scored 38 anyway although it probably would have been something less.

This is a Buffalo team that has scored more than 13 points just twice this year. They scored 27 at Minnesota after multiple turnovers gave the Bills favorable field position and then scored 20 vs the Chargers after falling behind 28-3 and the Chargers going into cruise mode. This is not a series that is typically close when these teams play here in Buffalo.

The Pats won by 20 here last year and by 16 the year before. If NE gets to 30 points in this game it probably becomes tough for Buffalo to cover unless they get some backdoor score late in the game when nobody cares.

Laying two touchdowns on the road in the NFL isn’t normally a great idea either, but it’s my slight preference here in a game where it’s hard to find value

Betting Strategy

 BACK – New England -13.5

New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings

Monday, October 29th, 11:20 AM AEDT

The Saints are a machine right now. Although they are not running the ball nearly as well as they did last year as they average 3.9ypr against teams allowing 4.3ypr. I wouldn’t be surprised if that gets better as the year moves on.

The passing game is very good again, averaging 7.8yps against teams allowing 6.6yps. Overall, the Saints average 6.2yppl against teams allowing 5.7yppl. The rush defence has been outstanding this year. They allow just 3.1ypr against teams averaging 4.0ypr but they are allowing 7.8yps against teams averaging 6.7yps and that is where the Vikings are most likely to strike them as well. Overall, the Saints allow 6.0yppl against teams averaging 5.7yppl.

The Vikings offence is averaging just 6.4yps against teams allowing 6.3yps despite the fact they throw for 293 yards per game. Overall, the Vikings offence is slightly above average. The rush defence has also been good this year allowing 3.7ypr against teams averaging 4.3ypr. But, like the Saints, Minnesota has struggled to defend the pass, allowing 6.9yps against teams averaging 6.1yps. Overall, the Vikings allow 5.7yppl against teams averaging 5.4yppl.

The Saints are healthy for this game.

Minnesota is not healthy. While they get back DE Everson Griffin, they are without RB Dalvin Cook, G Tom Compton, S Andrew Sendejo and LB Anthony Barr. T Riley Reiff is also doubtful and I wouldn’t be surprised if CB Xavier Rhodes, who is listed as questionable, does not play in this game either.

I don’t have any situations in this game. My numbers favor the Saints by 1.5 points and project about 52 points.

New Orleans is in the top ten in the league in big passing plays while Minnesota surprisingly sits tied for tenth worst in the league in generating big passing plays. That doesn’t bode well for the Vikings historically. And, on defense, the Vikings sit in the bottom ten of the league in defending big passing plays as well while New Orleans is just outside the bottom ten of the league.

The Saints added Eli Apple to their secondary this week and while Apple is just a guy, he is just what the Saints need in their secondary in terms of bodies that can at least play average cornerback play for the Saints. Minnesota has really only played two good offences this year and the Rams scored 38 on the Vikings while GB scored 29.

The Packers got a blocked punt returned for a touchdown so really only scored 22 points in that game. The Saints have really only faced two good defences this year and scored 21 against Cleveland and 24 last week at Baltimore. But based on what I’ve laid out above, we can’t currently consider the Vikings defense good.

They’ve been hurt by a rash of injuries at the wrong time. The Saints are 6-3 ATS as a road favorite in their last nine attempts. The Vikings have a long history of being very good as a home underdog. They are 13-3 ATS since 2012 and 6-2 ATS under Zimmer as a home dog.

They’re also 6-2 to the under with Zimmer as a home dog. With all that said this is a tough matchup for them this week, especially with their injuries and the current state of their defence. This total keeps rising and I doubt I would play the under because the matchup favors a higher scoring game.

I would have loved to have played the over in this game but my numbers just aren’t getting me there.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – New Orleans Saints -1

Miami Dolphins v Houston Texans

Friday, October 26th, 11:20 AM AEDT

Miami is now about an average team on offence, gaining 5.9yppl against teams allowing 5.9yppl. The defence has struggled, however, allowing 4.5ypr against teams averaging 4.3ypr and 7.6yps against teams allowing 6.5yps. Overall, they allow 6.2yppl against teams averaging 5.6yppl.

Houston is also now about an average team on offence. They gain 5.5yppl against teams allowing 5.4yppl. The defence, which has been below average for most of the season, is now about average allowing 5.0yppl against teams averaging 5.2yppl. Their rush defence has been very good allowing just 3.4ypr against teams averaging 4.3ypr. The pass defence is slightly below average.

Miami will be without DE Charles Harris, WR Kenny Stills, WR Albert Lewis and QB Ryan Tannehill.

Houston is without CB Aaron Colvin and Shareece Wright, WR Coutee, G Zach Fulton, TE Ryan Griffin, LB Brian Peters and S Andre Hal.

This game qualifies in an under situation which is 375-247-10. My numbers favor Houston by 6.5 points and project about 42.5 points.

Miami is hurting. They will be without WR’s Albert Wilson (their best receiver) and Kenny Stills. A few weeks ago they lost their starting center and guard. They haven’t performed well on past Thursday nights losing 40-0 in Baltimore last year and 22-7 in Cincinnati in 2016.

Adam Gase is just 6-11 ATS as a road underdog with Miami. They’ve scored more than 20 points in just 4 of those 13 games. And, they’ve allowed 27 or more in 10 of those 17 games. Luckily for Miami, they get a Houston offence who is also struggling to score points and a Houston team who struggles to cover against the spread.

Houston is 0-4 ATS in their last four games as a home favorite, including 0-3 this year with DeShaun Watson at quarterback. Houston is just 2-10 ATS as a whole in their last 12 games. They’ve also gone under 11 of their last 15 games overall. Houston has scored between 17-22 points in six of their seven games this year.

The other game they scored 37 at Indianapolis but that took OT where they scored and they were gifted 17 points between short drives and the extra opportunities in OT. So, they’ve really struggled to score more than twenty points this year in any one game. In addition, Miami sits near the bottom of the league in generating big passing plays and defends them equally as bad. Although they are now healthier than in the past in their secondary.

Houston meanwhile has defended the big passing plays well this year but they haven’t faced a lot of great offences to this point. They won’t face one this Thursday either. Miami hasn’t fared well on Thursday nights as of late. They haven’t scored much on the road, they are down key pieces on their offence, including their starting quarterback, two offencive lineman and two key receivers, including their best explosive receiver.

That doesn’t sound like a recipe for success on a short turnaround. If Houston continues their ways on offence, this game should be a lower scoring game.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 45

NY Giants v Atlanta

Tuesday, October 23rd, 11:15 AM AEDT

The Giants are averaging 4.6ypr against teams allowing 3.8ypr thanks mostly to Barkley breaking long runs for them. They average just 6.2yps against teams allowing 6.6yps and are about 0.2yppl better than what their opponents are allowing.

The defense has been slightly below average defending the pass and about average overall but allowing three points worse than what their opponents are averaging.

Atlanta averages 7.5yps against teams allowing 7.0yps and 0.2yppl better than what their opponents are allowing. The rush defense allows 5.1ypr against teams averaging 4.2ypr, is about average defending the pass and allows about 0.3yppl worse than what their opponents are averaging.

Average win percentage large favorites of more than six points don’t fare well in the NFL. If this line goes higher than six points the Falcons would qualify in a negative 190-100-7 situation that would play against them. My numbers favor Atlanta by only one point and project about 54.5 points.

Despite all of their defensive woes, Atlanta is in the top ten in defending big pass plays while the Giants are in the bottom ten defending big pass plays. From the line of scrimmage, these two teams are about even. The real difference is in the offensive efficiency between these two teams. The Giants struggle to score and turn it over while Atlanta isn’t turning it over and is having a lot of success in the red zone, which is something they didn’t do last year.

The Giants success on offense this year has come against the few below average defenses they have faced in Carolina (31 points) and Houston (27 points) although they only scored 18 points against New Orleans. In their last three games, they’ve played some pretty good offenses and surrendered 33 or more points in each game.

Since Atlanta started having defensive injury issues they have allowed at least 29 points in every game. They’ve also scored 31 or more in every game at home. They’ve totalled a minimum of 55 points in each of their four home games this year.

Bottom line in this game is Atlanta is going to get their points and the Giants have a very good chance of getting their points considering the poor Atlanta defense after their key injuries and the fact the Giants have some explosive weapons on offense that can likely exploit the Falcons defense.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 54 Points

Cincinnati v Kansas

Monday, October 22nd, 11:20 AM AEDT

Cincinnati’s offense has come back down to earth somewhat. They now average just 0.2yppl better than what their opponents are allowing. Their rush defense is below average allowing 4.6ypr against teams averaging 4.1ypr and the pass defense has been about average. The defense, overall, allows 0.2yppl more than what their opponents are averaging.

KC has not run the ball great this year but they are throwing the ball extremely well at 8.4yps against teams allowing 6.5yps and they average 6.8yppl against teams allowing 5.7yppl. But, the defense has been poor. They allow 5.4ypr against teams averaging 4.7ypr, 7.1yps against teams averaging 6.9yps and 6.6yppl against teams averaging 6.1yppl.

The Bengals are without several players. RB Giovanni Bernard, CB Darqueze Dennard, TE Tyler Kroft, C Billy Price and LB Nick Vigil are all out.

KC will play without C Mitch Morse as well as S Eric Berry and LB Justin Houston.

I don’t have any situations on this game. My numbers favor KC by five points and project about 58 points.

Both of these defenses are in the bottom ten of the league in allowing big passing plays while KC is in the top ten in the league in offensive big passing plays. The Bengals sit just outside the top ten. The Cincinnati offense has not been the same since TE Tyler Eifert went down in the Atlanta game three weeks ago.

They scored 27 at home against Miami but 14 came on defensive scores and then managed just 21 last week against Pittsburgh. Granted they will face a Chiefs defense that isn’t nearly as good as Miami or Pittsburgh. But, this is a Cincinnati defense that allowed 31 and 36 in their last two road games against what were better than average offenses when they faced them – Carolina and Atlanta.

There’s no reason to believe KC won’t get into the 30’s again in this game. The question becomes can Cincinnati do the same. Since the beginning of last year KC is now 8-3 ATS as a home favorite. And, they’ve allowed more than 20 points just twice in those 11 games.

As a matter of fact in their last 27 games at home as a home favorite, KC has allowed more than 22 points in just three of those 27 games and just once in their last 19 games as a home favorite. If this holds true again this week it’ll be hard for Cincinnati to cover if KC is getting to their usual 30+ points per game.

But, with all that said, it’s hard to lay a bunch of points with a defense as bad as KC so this is not a strong play.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Kansas City -5.5


LA Rams v San Francisco

Monday, October 22nd, 7:25 AM AEDT

The 49ers hung tough with GB on Monday night only to lose it at the very end on a field goal by GB, 33-30. Both teams ran the ball well with SF averaging 5.8ypr and GB 5.5ypr. Both teams threw it well as well with SF averaging 9.1yps and GB 8.3yps.

Overall, SF averaged 7.3yppl to 7.4yppl for GB. The problem for SF is they were minus three in turnover margin. GB was able to muster six points on field goals started inside the 49ers territory based on those turnovers.

The Rams average 5.1ypr against teams allowing 4.6ypr and 9.0yps against teams allowing 6.9yps. Overall, they average 7.2yppl against teams allowing 5.9yppl. The Rams defense has not been great, however, allowing 4.8ypr against teams averaging 4.4ypr. The pass defense has been about average. Overall, the Rams allow 0.3yppl worse than what their opponents average.

SF runs the ball almost equally as well as the Rams at 5.1ypr against teams allowing 4.6ypr. The difference for SF is they average 0.4yps worse than what their opponents are allowing. Overall they are about average on offense. The defense has been slightly better than average but they are allowing five points more per game than what their opponents are averaging thanks to turnovers.

WR Cooper Kupp is out otherwise the Rams are healthy.

SF will be without WR Dante Pettis. They also list several other players as questionable. Most notably CB Jimmie Ward, WR Pierre Garcon and CB Richard Sherman.

This game qualifies in a couple of under situations, which are 320-228-3 and 52-18-1. My numbers favour the Rams by seven points and project about 52.5 points.

Since CJ Beathard became the starting quarterback the 49ers offense has actually averaged 6.7yps against teams allowing 6.5yps so they have been just above average throwing the ball. They are also averaging 25 points a game against teams allowing 25 points a game so their scoring has gotten better as well.

Last week was the first week the Rams have scored less than 33 points in a game. Their defense has allowed 20 or more points in four straight games, granted last weeks last touchdown by Denver in the final minute was basically a meaningless touchdown. They now face a 49ers team in their third straight road game who has scored 27 or more in four of their last five games.

The only game they didn’t was their 18 point effort against Arizona here in SF. But, that was a five-turnover game for SF. Unfortunately for SF, their defense has allowed at least 24 points in every game as well, partly because of the turnovers. They are minus-eight in turnover margin and Beathard has a very high 4.4% interception rate.

SF hasn’t been a great home dog going just 4-8 ats in their last 12 but they are 3-0 ATS as a home dog against these Rams the last three years. Last week marked the first time in seven games as a road favourite under Sean McVay that the Rams haven’t scored at least 27 points.

The situations point to the under but the value points to the over so no play on the total for me. There does seem to be a little value on the 49ers

Betting Strategy

 BACK – San Francisco +10

Arizona v Denver

Thursday October 19th, 11:20 AM AEDT

Denver covered the spread but lost 23-20 last week to the Rams. They allowed the Rams to rush for 270 yards at 6.9ypr while gaining only 60 yards at 3.5ypr. The Broncos did average 6.9yps and actually held the Rams to 5.3yps. Overall, LA out gained Denver 6.2yppl to 6.0yppl. Seven of Denver’s points came after an interception on a 12 yard drive.

Arizona fell 27-17 at Minnesota and were out rushed 6.1ypr to 3.1ypr but managed to out pass the Vikings 5.9yps to 5.7yps. Overall, Minnesota out gained Arizona 5.9yppl to 4.9yppl. The Cardinals got seven points on a fumble return. Minnesota picked up ten points on drives that began inside Arizona territory.

Denver averages 5.3ypr against teams allowing 4.8ypr but is averaging just 6.4yps against teams allowing 6.5yps. Overall they gain 6.0yppl against teams allowing 5.8yppl  so they have been slightly above average but are scoring only 20 points against teams allowing 22 points so their point production has been below average. The defence is allowing 5.6ypr against teams averaging 4.3ypr but the pass defence has been better allowing 6.7yps against teams averaging 7.2yps. Overall, on defence they allow 6.2yppl against teams averaging 5.9yppl. But, they are allowing only 26 points per game against teams averaging 27 points per game so they’ve been a little better than average in terms of points allowed.

Arizona struggles to run the ball at 3.2ypr against teams allowing 4.2ypr and their passing offence is gaining just 5.1yps against teams allowing 6.6yps so they’ve been well below average there as well. Josh Rosen has averaged 5.9yps, however, against teams allowing 6.7yps so they are still well below average but not nearly as bad as their year to date numbers.

Team News

Denver will be without G Ronald Leary who is out for the year and T Jared Veldheer. They will also play without LB Shane Ray, S Dymonte Thomas and CB Adam Jones.

For Arizona they will be without G Mike Iupati and their other G Justin Pugh is questionable with a broken hand. S Tre Boston is also out.

Verdict

This game does apply to an over situation, which is 168-107-3 if the total is 43 or lower. My numbers favor Arizona by ½ points using just Josh Rosen stats and project about 43 points scored.

Denver is 1-11 SU their last 12 on the road, including losing 16-34 and 14-27 already this year. The problem for Denver on the road has been both their offence and defence. They’ve scored more than 19 points just twice in their last 12 road games. One was a 23 point effort at Philadelphia last year but that was only because they gave up 51 points and were so far behind they were scoring in mop up time. Their other effort was a 25 point effort at Indianapolis against a back up quarterback. They’ve allowed 21 or more in ten of those twelve games. That will be tested this week against an Arizona offence averaging just 21 points with Rosen but a good portion of those points have come directly off turnovers or turnovers that gave Arizona great field position. But, it’s hard to take a road favorite on the road who has allowed every team to score 23 or more with the exception of lowly Oakland, who still got 19 points. Now, they will face an Arizona team who doesn’t figure to give up too many points, especially with Denver missing two starting offensive lineman. Arizona is 13-6-1 ats as a home dog since 2012, including 5-2-1 since the beginning of last year so they’ve been consistently a good home dog. Those games are also 13-7 to the under as well.

Projected score: Arizona 23. Denver 20

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Arizona Cardinals +1

San Francisco v Green Bay

Tuesday October 16th, 11:15 AM AEST

Arizona went to San Francisco last week and got out of town with a 28-18 victory. They were plus five in turnover ratio and sacked SF four times. They outgained Arizona 447-220 yards but only 4.9yppl to 4.5yppl. Arizona was outrushed 4.3ypr to 2.4ypr and 147 yards to 56 yards. But, the Cardinals out passed SF 6.3yps to 5.2yps.

Those passing numbers are a little deceiving, however, as Arizona was only 10-25 but threw a 75 yards touchdown pass. Without that pass, they would have averaged 3.6yps. Arizona started out the game with that 75-yard touchdown pass. They recovered a SF fumble and scored a touchdown on an 18 yard, four play drive after that fumble.

They returned another fumble for a touchdown and picked off SF to score another touchdown on a 26-yard drive. So, Arizona’s offence really did nothing. Their offence really averaged just 3.0yppl after that initial touchdown pass.

The Packers fell behind 24-0 before they knew what hit them in Detroit. It was a game GB statistically outplayed Detroit in. GB out rushed Detroit 4.9ypr to 3.4ypr, outpassed them 7.6yps to 5.9yps and outgained them for the game 6.9yppl to 4.6yppl.

Detroit won the game 31-23 but they scored touchdowns on drives of one yard (after a fumbled GB punt was recovered at the one), 29 yards after a fumble recovery and a field goal on a drive of one yard after recovering a fumble on the GB 22 yard line. In other words, they scored 17 points on drives of 29 yards or less and two drives that literally went one yard each. Meanwhile normally reliable kicker Mason Crosby missed four field goals and an extra point. GB never punted in the game.

The 49ers running game has been pretty good so far this year averaging 5.0ypr against teams allowing 4.6ypr but their passing game has averaged just 6.1yps against teams allowing 7.0yps. CJ Beathard’s numbers for his last two games are the same as the 49ers year to date passing numbers and they are scoring about the same amount of points when compared to the competition level they are playing, which is about two points below the level of competition they are facing.

The 49ers defense, however, has been pretty good allowing just 3.7pr against teams averaging 4.0ypr, 6.3yps against teams averaging 6.9yps and 5.3yppl against teams averaging 5.8yppl.

The Packers have also run the ball pretty well this year gaining 4.6ypr against teams allowing 4.2ypr and have been about average throwing the ball. The defense has also been about average, allowing 5.2yppl against teams averaging 5.2ypp.

Predictions

GB qualifies in a couple of negative situations that play against large favorites who don’t have that good of a record, which are 189-100-7 and 295-197-9. But, GB is also headed to their bye week after his game.

Big favorites who have their bye week the following week are now 42-14-0 ATS after New Orleans covered last week prior to their bye week this week. My numbers favor GB by nine points and project about 46.5 points.

Both of these teams are in the top ten in defending big pass plays. The 49ers defence is giving up points even though they have played well from the line of scrimmage. Turnovers aren’t helping their defence. They’ve allowed at least 24 points in every game this year.

Meanwhile, the Packers have scored at least 22 points in every home game this year and their defence has played pretty well against below average offences, holding the Bears to 16 points (Chicago had a defensive score) and shutting out Buffalo. The 49ers are banged up on offence while GB seems to be getting a little healthier on offence.

I’m not sure SF can get into the twenties in this game and that probably leads to a lower scoring game. Since the beginning of 2015, SF has been a road underdog 25 times and allowed at least 20 points in 21 of those 25 games.

In that same time frame, they have been road dogs of more than seven points 13 times and failed to cover in eight of those games, allowing 26 or more points in 11 of those 13 games. Since 2015 GB has been favored by 7.5 or more at home six times and held their opponent to 20 or fewer points in each game.

I don’t see SF getting a lot of points in this game. Those six games all went under the total as well

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 46.5

Kansas City v New England

Monday October 15th, 11:20 AM AEST

Jacksonville fell at Kansas City last week 30-14. They outrushed the Chiefs 5.9ypr to 4.2ypr but were out passed 7.6yps to 6.1yps, sacked five times and committed five turnovers. Overall the yards per play numbers were pretty close at 6.0yppl for Jacksonville and 6.1yppl for KC. But, KC ran the ball 13 more times while Jacksonville threw the ball 27 more times to skew the yards per play numbers.

The Colts were decimated with injuries last Thursday, playing on the road, and they came up short at New England 38-24. In some ways they actually played pretty well considering the circumstances. They were out passed 7.8yps to 5.9yps and out gained overall 6.5yppl to 5.4yppl.

Kansas City’s offence continues to roll as they average 8.2yps against teams allowing 6.6yps. Overall they are averaging 6.5yppl against teams allowing 5.7yppl. The defence is allowing 5.8ypr against teams averaging just 4.7ypr. The pass defense has been closer to average and overall they allow 6.5yppl against teams averaging 6.0yppl.

New England’s offence is still just average on the year from the line of scrimmage but that should continue to improve as they get their offensive weapons back. The defence is slightly above average.

Kansas City will be without their best S Eric Murray and what would be their best S Eric Berry if he was playing this year. They will also be without their second best linebacker this year in Justin Houston.

As usual, the Pats list several starters as questionable.

Predictions

I don’t have any situations in this game. My numbers favor New England by 3.5 points and project about 58 points.

Kansas City is in the top ten in the league in generating big pass plays while NE is in the bottom ten but I expect NE to move up the ranks as they get their offence healthy. KC is also the worse team in the league defending big pass plays while NE is in the top ten in defending big pass plays.

The Patriots are 18-4-3 ATS at home laying seven or less points since 2013. Two of those losses Brady either didn’t play or left the game early because it was a meaningless end of season game. So, they are really 18-2-3 ATS.

Nobody is getting rich fading the Patriots at home and I won’t do it here either. The Pats have scored at least 27 points in each home game this year and 38 in each of the last two. Counter that with a KC team that has scored at least 27 points in every game this year as well and defeated NE 42-27 here last year to open the season.

Kansas City is also 7-1 ATS in their last eight attempts as a road dog and 6-2 to the over in those eight games. They are also 18-7 ATS in their last 25 road games as both a favorite and a dog so they have been very tough on the road. As for the total, it’s obviously a high number and stands a good chance to go over the total and I will lean that way.

Consider when NE faced a similar type quarterback last year, their games at home totaled 69 (KC), 69 (Houston and DeShaun Watson) and 63 (Carolina and Cam Newton). This is likely to get in the 60’s as well

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 60

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants

Friday October 12th, 11:20 AM AEST

Philly lost at home to the Vikings last week 23-21. They out rushed Minnesota 4.8ypr to 3.3ypr but were out passed 7.8yps to 7.4yps. Overall, they out gained the Vikings 6.6yppl to 6.1yppl but were minus one in turnover margin, which included a sack and fumble returned for a touchdown to break up a tie game. Philly actually scored almost 29% of their potential points and limited Minnesota to about 25% of their potential points but the turnover for a touchdown was too much to overcome. Minnesota only scored one touchdown on offence and otherwise had to settle for three field goals and two missed field goals.

The Giants lost a heartbreaking game at Carolina 33-31 as Carolina kicked a game winning field goal of 63 yards to send the Giants back home for their fourth loss of the season. The Giants held a very good Carolina rushing offence to just 3.8ypr in the game but gained just 3.1ypr themselves. NY threw for 10.1yps and held Carolina to 6.4yps. Overall, the Giants out gained Carolina 8.0yppl to 5.2yppl but Carolina controlled the clock for about 11 more minutes. The Giants had a couple of big passing plays in that game but even if you take them out they still averaged a very healthy number in the passing game.

Philly has averaged just 5.7yps against teams allowing 7.1yps this year. But, a lot of those horrible passing numbers were achieved with Nick Foles at quarterback. Since Wentz came back three games ago, Philadelphia is averaging 6.2yps against teams allowing 6.8yps. So, they are still well below average throwing the ball but getting better than the first two games. The defence has been above average allowing 5.6yppl against teams averaging 5.7yppl.

The Giants offence hasn’t been good but it’s actually better than Philadelphia, averaging 5.6yppl against teams allowing 5.6yppl (Philly is 5.2yppl against teams allowing 6.0yppl and in games with just Wentz at quarterback 5.6yppl against teams allowing 5.7yppl). The Giants defence has also been above average allowing just 5.7yppl against teams averaging 5.9yppl.

Roster News

The Eagles will be without S Corey Graham, DT Haloti Ngata and RB Darren Sproles. They also placed RB Jay Ajayi on IR this week. Remember they also placed S Rodney McLeod on IR a few weeks ago.

The Giants will be without TE Evan Engram. TE Rhett Ellison is questionable. If he can’t play they will be hurting at TE. It looks like they will finally get back DE Olivier Vernon this week.

Predictions

My numbers actually favor the Giants by 1.7 points and project about 44 points.

The numbers here favor the Giants and past history also favors a higher scoring game than usual. Philadelphia has controlled the Giants here, winning 9 of the last 11 games played in NY. However, the situation does not favor them Thursday night. Philly has allowed at least 21 points on the road as a road favorite in 15 of their last 17 games.

In addition, we know how hard it is to go on the road on a Thursday night. Those Thursday road teams are now 0-4-1 against the spread this year and have not won a game yet, going 0-5 SU.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Giants +3

Washington Redskins v New Orleans

Tuesday October 9th, 11:15 AM AEST

Washington is off their bye week and an impressive 31-17 victory over the Packers when we last saw them. They outgained GB in that game 7.0yppl to 5.2yppl, outpassed them 11.0yps to 4.9yps and rushed for 166 yards.

The Giants were brutal last week and very hard to watch. They were beaten soundly by the Saints 33-18. The only thing that kept the game close was NO settling for field goals multiple times. The Saints scored on seven of nine drives but settled for field goals four times, including after taking over from the 11-yard line following a turnover. The Giants were outgained 5.8yppl to 5.1yppl and combined with two turnovers that calculated to about a 13 point loss so pretty close to their 15 point defeat.

Washington averages 7.2yps against teams allowing 6.4yps and is above average as a whole on offence. The defence is allowing 4.5ypr against teams averaging just 3.9ypr but is allowing just 4.8yps against teams averaging 5.4yps.

The Saints average 7.4yps against teams allowing 7.0yps. Their rush defence has allowed just 3.2ypr against teams averaging 4.0ypr but are allowing a whopping 8.7yps against teams averaging 7.0yps.

The Saints get back RB Mark Ingram this week from suspension.

The Saints would qualify in a very good Monday night situation if this line drops below six, which is 43-12-2. My numbers favor the Saints by only .5 point and project about 50.5 points.

The Redskins are rushing the ball nearly 50% of the time this year. But, that will be tested this week against a very good Saints rush defence allowing just 3.2ypr. Washington has also thrown the ball very well and they will face a Saints pass defence allowing a whopping 8.7yps against teams averaging only 7.0yps.

On the flip side, Washington has struggled to stop the run this year but has been well above average defending the pass, which is the strength of the Saints offence. But, at the end of the day, this is still an Alex Smith led offence, which is in the bottom of the league in generating big passing plays while NO is near the top of the league in creating big passing plays.

But, again, this will be tested as Washington sits near the top of the league in defending those big pass plays and the Saints give them up with great frequency. Why Pat Shurmur and the Giants didn’t roll out Eli Manning and try to push the ball downfield last week is beyond me. Washington jumped out to a big lead here last year only to cough it up late and lose 34-31. The Redskins are 10-4 ATS as a road dog in their last 14 games.

They are also 9-4-1 to the over in those same games, having scored 23 or more points in 10 of those 14 games. For the most part the games they didn’t get to 23 they were facing very good defensive teams. Saints are 14-6-1 to the over in their last 21 as a home favorite. They are 9-3 to the over with totals in the 50’s in those same games.

The Saints have allowed 37 and 48 points to the better than average offences they have faced this year. It’s really hard to guess what Washington will do as they’ve been all over the board this year making them hard to predict what we will get from them. More than likely, however, Washington should be able to move the ball against this team.

The value is on Washington but the situation greatly favors NO if the number comes down below six.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 52.5

Houston Texans v Dallas Cowboys

Monday October 7th, 11:20am AEST

Detroit gave up a last-second field goal in their 26-24 loss at Dallas. They outgained the Cowboys 7.2yppl to 6.4yppl but were outrushed 183 yards to 96 yards and 5.2ypr to 4.8ypr. They outpassed Dallas 8.7yps to 7.7yps.

The game featured no turnovers and only 16 drives not counting the kneel down at the end of the first half (a normal game is about 22 drives). Dallas scored on six of their eight drives, while Detroit scored on just four of their eight drives but stayed in the game because they scored mostly touchdowns while Dallas settled for field goals.

Last week’s game may have ended with a high score of 37-34 in favor of Houston over Indy but the stats did not translate to a high scoring game. In addition 17 of the 37 points Indy gave up came on very short drives or direct turnovers. The first touchdown was scored by Houston’s defence following a fumble.

Another touchdown later in the first half came following another fumble and Houston recovered on the Indy eight-yard line. And, the game-winning field goal came on a 24-yard drive following Indy going for it on fourth down in their own territory in OT. Indy averaged only 2.4 yards per rush while allowing 3.4 yards per rush. They threw for 6.6 yards per pass which isn’t that impressive against a very bad Houston pass defence.

They allowed the Texans 7.1 yards per pass. Indy sacked Houston seven times while being sacked four times themselves. Overall, Indy gained 5.8 yards per play while allowing 5.5 yards per play and was minus-one in turnovers. The Texans controlled the clock for eleven more minutes than Indy.

The Cowboys average 5.8ypr against teams allowing just 4.9ypr but are averaging just 5.2yps against teams allowing 6.3yps. Their rush defence has been very good this year allowing just 3.6ypr against teams averaging 4.4ypr and the pass defence has been average so far.

Houston is averaging 7.0yps against teams allowing 6.3yps but also allowing 7.1yps against teams averaging just 5.8yps.

The Cowboys will get back DL David Irving this week from suspension. LB Sean Lee is out again. C Travis Frederick remains out and WR Terrance Williams is also out.

Houston will be without CB Aaron Colvin.

This game qualifies in an under situation, which is 110-57-3. My numbers favor Houston by one point and project about 46.5 points.

Houston sits near the top of the league in generating big passing plays while Dallas sits near the bottom of the league. Dallas has defended the big passing plays well this year. Dallas has struggled on the road this year and their passing offence has been well below average so far.

They’ll face a Houston defence that has been horrible defending the pass this year so maybe there is hope for the Cowboys. There may also be some hope for Houston as they look to get back CB Kayvon Webster who can maybe help their secondary. The strength for Dallas is their rushing offence but they will meet a very tough match with this Houston front who allows only 3.5ypr this year against teams who average 3.8ypr.

Dallas is better than that averaging 5.8ypr against teams allowing 4.9ypr but they won’t have an easy time running the ball this week. Dallas does get back David Irving this week from suspension, which will help their pass rush but they will be without LB Sean Lee again this week. Leighton Vander Esch has filled in admirably for Lee so far but the Cowboys are still worse without Lee.

Dallas hasn’t allowed more than 24 points this year and prior to last week, Houston hadn’t scored more than 22 points. But, as noted above Houston scored 17 of their 37 points on very short drives because of turnovers so their offence really only generated about 20 points again last week. The Texans have allowed at least 20 points every week as well.

The question is can Dallas get there having scored just eight and 13 points on the road so far this year. The Cowboys have been a dead under team as a road dog since 2015 as they are now 10-3 to the under in that time frame, including 2-0 this year. They’ve also failed to cover their last four as a road dog, going 0-4 ats and have not scored more than 13 points in those games, while giving up at least 24 in three of those four games.

But, does Houston deserve to be favored over anyone? My numbers just don’t get me there.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Dallas +3

Indianapolis Colts v New England Patriots

Frdiay October 5, 10:20am AEST Lucas Oil Stadium

Last week’s game may have ended with a high score of 37-34 in favor of Houston over Indy, but the stats did not translate to a high scoring game. In addition 17 of the 37 points Indy gave up came on very short drives or direct turnovers.

The first touchdown was scored by Houston’s defence following a fumble. Another touchdown later in the first half came following another fumble and Houston recovered on the Indy eight yard line. And, the game winning field goal came on a 24 yard drive following Indy going for it on fourth down in their own territory in OT.

Indy averaged only 2.4 yards per rush while allowing 3.4 yards per rush. They threw for 6.6 yards per pass which isn’t that impressive against a very bad Houston pass defence. They allowed the Texans 7.1 yards per pass. Indy sacked Houston seven times while being sacked four times themselves. Overall, Indy gained 5.8 yards per play while allowing 5.5 yards per play and was minus one in turnovers. The Texans controlled the clock for eleven more minutes than Indy.

On the other side NE did what it always does to Miami at home. And that is beat them badly and hold them to a low point total. NE won 38-7, out passing Miami 7.8 yards per pass to 4.3 yards per pass and out gaining the Dolphins 6.0 yards per play to 3.8 yards per play. The game was never close.

Both of these teams come in below average on offence (although I expect NE to pick it up) and above average on defence. Indy is averaging just 5.4 yards per pass against teams allowing 6.4 yards per pass and 4.9 yards per play against teams allowing 5.5 yards per play. Their defence has been surprisingly good allowing just 5.4 yards per play against teams averaging 5.7 yards per play.

New England is averaging 5.3 yards per play against teams allowing 5.4 yards per play and their defence is allowing 5.5 yards per play against teams averaging 5.9 yards play.

For NE they are without WR TY Hilton, RB Marlon Mack again, TE Jack Doyle, T Denzelle Good and CB Kenny Moore. They also list several players as questionable who missed practice, most notably CB Nate Hairston, S Clayton Geathers, C Ryan Kelly and LB Darius Leonard.

NE lists the usual multiple players as questionable, most notably TE Rob Gronkowski and CB Eric Rowe. They also get back WR Julian Edelman from suspension and could potentially see more out of WR Josh Gordon this week.

This game qualifies in an under situation, which is 372-243-10. The Pats also qualify in a couple of negative situations, which are 189-100-7 and 295-197-9 and play against NE here. Those situations play against large favorites who are average to below average teams record wise. My numbers favor NE by 7.5 points and project about 45.5 points.

While the line value and situations greatly favor Indy, I’ll repeat what I said last week. Nobody has gotten rich fading the Patriots at home over the years. And, while there was a period where NE wasn’t a good big favorite (pretty common in the NFL), that is no longer true.

Going back to 2015 the Pats are now 10-1 ATS as a favorite of ten or more points. They haven’t allowed more than 17 points in any of those games except the non-cover against Houston last year (36-33). At the same time they have scored at least 26 points in each of those games. If they get to 27 points again and don’t allow more than 17 points it will be hard for them to not cover. The Colts defence has played well this year but this is a tough assignment.

Indy just played almost a full overtime game and now must travel to NE for a Thursday night game. The Thursday teams have yet to cover this year (0-3-1) and now they must travel extremely banged up, including missing their most explosive player in TY Hilton. Not to mention they must face a NE team that is probably still looking to take out their revenge for deflate gate. Pats have just been too profitable at home and in this price range to go along with a really bad spot for the Colts.

The Colts offence just hasn’t been that good this year and I would expect them to struggle to get points in this game. And, the Pats, who are healthier now on defence figure to hold them down as well. If Indy can field some of their defensive guys this game could stay under the high total.

NE is in the top ten in defending big pass plays and both teams are in the bottom ten of the league in offensive big pass plays. I do expect NE to get their offence going once Edelman, Gordon and Gronkowski all get on the same page.

Lone danger with this under play would be NE putting up 40+ points, which they are always capable of doing. I’ll put NE in for 27 points but they could get to 33 or so as well.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 51

Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos

Tuesday October 2, 10:15am AEST Sports Authority Field at Mile High

SF out gained KC 6.4 yards per play to 5.6 yards per play, out rushed KC 6.1 yards per rush to 2.8 yards per rush but were out passed 7.7 yards per pass to 6.7 yards per pass. The Chiefs scored touchdowns on their first five drives.

Baltimore defeated Denver at home 27-14. Baltimore out passed Denver 6.3 yards per pass to 4.7 yards per pass but were out rushed 5.0 yards per rush to 2.8 yards per rush. Overall, Baltimore gained 4.9 yards per play to 4.8 yards per play for Denver.

Denver’s first score came on a six yard drive after blocking a Baltimore punt. They scored on their next drive and never scored again despite getting inside the Ravens twenty yard line in each of their final two drives of the game.

The Chiefs have been incredible throwing the ball averaging 9.1yps against teams allowing just 6.9yps. Overall they average 6.8yppl against teams allowing 5.9yppl. The defence is allowing 6.7yppl against teams averaging 6.3yppl and below average against the run and the pass.

Denver has averaged 5.2ypr against teams allowing 4.8ypr, 6.3yps against teams allowing 5.9yps and 5.8yppl against teams allowing 5.4yppl overall. The defence isn’t as bad as Kansas City’s but does allow 5.5yppl against teams averaging 5.3yppl.

Denver will be without TE Jake Butt who is out for the year after tearing his ACL this week in practice.

The Broncos qualify in my best fundamental rushing situation, which is an automatic play whenever it pops. That situation is 98-37-4 and is 1-0 for us this year already. My numbers favor KC by just ½ point and project about 56 points. They also qualify in a home dog situation which is 41-19-0, including 9-2 ats when the visiting team comes in undefeated.

Both of these teams are in the top ten in big pass plays on offence and both are in the bottom ten in defending big pass plays on defence. KC is 4-0 ats their last four games here in Denver but they lost one of those games as a big dog but covered and won the last two by three points, which would be a non-cover in this game.

The Chiefs had a run of covering ten straight road games as a road favorite but have lost their last three as road favorites. Meanwhile the Broncos are 6-2 ATS as a home dog their last eight tries. Broncos figure to be able to run the ball here and will be able to throw it when needed as well. Denver’s defence isn’t as good as it has been in the past but its good enough to give KC some challenges and the Broncos should be able to stay with KC in this game.

A great situation and value on their side in an environment that is tough to play in make this a solid play on Monday night.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Denver +4.5

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers

Monday October 1, 10:20am AEST Heinz Field

Baltimore defeated Denver at home 27-14. Baltimore out passed Denver 6.3 yards per pass to 4.7 yards per pass but were out rushed 5.0 yards per rush to 2.8 yards per rush. Overall, Baltimore gained 4.9 yards per play to 4.8 yards per play for Denver. Denver’s first score came on a six yard drive after blocking a Baltimore punt. They scored on their next drive and never scored again despite getting inside the Ravens twenty yard line in each of their final two drives of the game.

TB fell a little short on Monday night in their 30-27 loss against Pittsburgh. The Steelers out passed TB 8.2 yards per pass to 7.4 yards per pass while both teams gained 6.6 yards per play. TB threw the ball 12 more times while Pittsburgh ran the ball six more times. TB was minus three in turnover ratio. Pittsburgh picked up a pick six for a touchdown and another touchdown that started at the TB 33 yard line.

The Ravens are struggling to run the ball gaining just 3.1ypr against teams allowing 3.8ypr and they have been average throwing the ball. Overall, they average just 5.0yppl against teams allowing 5.3yppl. The defence has been very good, especially against the pass, allowing just 4.3yps against teams averaging 5.9yps. Overall, they allow just 4.3yppl against teams averaging 5.3yppl.

The Steelers have been just slightly better than average on offence gaining 6.3yppl against teams allowing 6.1yppl. Their rush defence has been horrible, allowing 4.6ypr against teams averaging 3.7ypr but the pass defence has been fantastic, allowing just 6.7yps against teams averaging 8.0yps. Overall, they allow 5.9yppl against teams averaging 6.1yppl.

Baltimore will be without CB Anthony Averett. It appears LB CJ Mosely and DT Michael Pierce will play despite being listed as questionable. They list many other players as questionable such as CB Brandon Carr, T Ronnie Stanley and LB Terrell Suggs.

Pittsburgh is listing CB Mike Hilton and S Morgan Burnett as doubtful.

I don’t have any situations on this game. My numbers favor Baltimore by two points and project about 51.5 points.

Both of these teams are in the top ten in big pass plays on offence. But, on defence the Ravens are in the top ten in defending big pass plays while Pittsburgh is in the bottom ten in defending big pass plays. The Ravens are 3-0-1 ats at Pittsburgh the last four games.

Baltimore is 4-1-1 ats as a road dog their last six games and 12-6-1 ats over their last 19 road games as a road dog. The Steelers are 0-5 ats their last five home games as favorites and have gone over the total in seven straight games as a home favorite.

They’ve scored 28 or more in each of those seven games but they’ve also allowed 24 or more in each of those last five games as well. Better defence, getting points is enough to keep this game close and probably get the outright win Sunday night.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Baltimore +3

Minnesota Vikings v LA Rams

Friday September 28, 10:20am AEST Memorial Coliseum

The Vikings got behind the eight ball very quickly last Sunday. They allowed the Bills to take their opening drive the length of the field to score a touchdown. But the drive was initially aided by a Viking 15 yard penalty and then advanced later in the drive by another 15 yard penalty.

The Vikings then fumbled on their first possession and Buffalo kicked a field goal off that turnover. Minnesota fumbled again, giving the ball to Buffalo deep inside Minnesota territory that they converted to a touchdown.

Before they knew what hit them, Minnesota was down 17-0. Buffalo would go on to score on their first five drives of the game. Minnesota was out passed in the game 6.6 yards per pass to 4.7 yards per pass. They were also minus three in turnover differential.

The Rams defeated the Chargers 35-23 and were in control the whole game. They out gained the Chargers 7.2 yards per play to 6.8 yards per play, including out passing them 9.5 yards per pass to 6.7 yards per pass. In their eight meaningful drives the Rams punted just once, scored four times, missed a field goal and had a fumble and an interception. So, the Chargers really didn’t stop them.

The Vikings are scoring only 21% of their potential points to this stage of the season while the Rams are allowing just 18%. On offence the Rams are scoring a staggering 45% of their potential points while Minnesota is allowing 27% of their potential points.

The final injury report has not been submitted as of yet but the Vikings already know they will be without one of their best defensive lineman in Everson Griffin again this week. CB Marcus Shields, who missed last week’s game did not practice yesterday and T Riley Reiff also did not practice making an already shaky Vikings offensive line even shakier.

For the Rams, their win over the Chargers was costly. CB Aquib Talib will be lost for several weeks and CB Marcus Peters may be lost for several weeks with an outside chance of playing in this game.

The Vikings qualify in two different bounce back situations after their SU loss as a 17 point favorite last week, which are 64-31-6 and 86-37-5. My numbers favor the Rams by six points and make this total about 44 points although some adjustment may need to be made for the loss of the Rams two best corners.

Mike Zimmer had a run of nine straight road underdog covers with his Vikings team back in 2014 to early 2016. But, since early 2016 his teams are just 1-4 ats as a road dog. They are also 13-5-2 to the under as a road dog under Zimmer. They have scored more than 20 points in only five of those twenty games. They’ve also only given up more than 23 points five times in those twenty games so defence does travel as well.

Since Sean McVay arrived in LA last year, his Rams are 5-2 to the under as home favorites but have scored 33 or more points in four of those eight home games and 26 or more in five of those eight games. What’s interesting with their games is they played the Andrew Luck Colts last year without Luck and held them to nine points.

They faced Houston without DeShaun Watson and held them to seven points. They faced the Cardinals this year with Sam Bradford but they are just a bad team in general and allowed zero points. The other five games were against Kirk Cousins (Wash), Russell Wilson (Sea), Drew Brees (NO), Matt Ryan (Atl), and Phillip Rivers (LAC).

They allowed at least 16 points in each of those five games and 20 or more in four of those five games. The 16 points in the Seattle game did feature a pick six as well. They lost three of those five games and only won one of those games by more than six points, which was last week’s game. They also allowed 43 points and lost to Philadelphia as a home dog last year.

Without both of their new superstar corners the defence is a little more like last year’s team and may not be able to win by a large margin. This could play out more like their games last year. But, travelling a long distance for a non-division game on a Thursday night is no cupcake for the Vikings either.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 49.5

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tuesday September 25, 10:15am AEST Raymond James Stadium

The Steelers fell behind 21-0 before they knew what hit them, came back to tie it 21-21 but couldn’t hold on in a 42-37 loss to the Chiefs in Pittsburgh. KC out gained the Steelers 8.3yppl to 6.4yppl, out rushed them 5.1ypr to 2.5ypr and out passed Pitt 11.1yps to 7.2yps. KC scored 60% of their potential points to 45% for Pittsburgh.

TB connected on a 75 yard touchdown pass on the game’s first play from scrimmage and never looked back in their 27-21 victory over Philadelphia. TB out gained Philly 7.5yppl to 5.5yppl and out passed Philly 11.2yps to 6.4yps. Philly did out rush TB 3.8ypr to 1.9ypr. Philly scored just 23% of their points while allowing TB to score 33% of their potential points.

Pittsburgh has been average on offence and slightly above average on defence by playing poor rush defence but very good pass defence.

TB is lighting it up on offence gaining 8.0 yards per play against teams allowing 6.5 yards per play. But, they also allow 6.6 yards per play against teams averaging 5.4 yards per play.

I don’t have any situations on this game. My numbers favor TB by 3.5 points and project about 63.5 points.

Since 2015 Pittsburgh is 22-7 (23-6 with a favorable week one number against Cleveland) to the under on the road, including 15-4 (16-3 under if you got a favorable number in week one at Cleveland) to the under as a road favorite. We rode this trend many times last year.

Since the beginning of 2014 Pittsburgh has allowed more than 24 points on the road as a favorite just twice. Pittsburgh is also 10-1-1 SU as a road favorite in their last 12 games. TB is now 9-3 to the under in their last 12 home games. They have not allowed more than 24 points in their last 13 home games. That includes two games against the Saints, one game against New England and one game against Atlanta. Dirk Koetter is 5-1 ats as a home dog in his last six games.

The numbers scream to play the over in this game but I am going to respect the fact Pittsburgh plays these road games different than their home games and TB has played good defence at home the last two years. TB should also be getting some defensive players back this week in DL Vita Vea and CB Brent Grimes that may help them to improve their defence.

On the other side Pittsburgh could be down a couple of offensive lineman, which isn’t a good thing against a pretty stout TB defensive front. I’ll lean over but the better play here may be on the home dog and they might just be the better team as well.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Tampa Bay +1

New England Patriots vs Detroit Lions

Monday September 24, 10:20am AEST Ford Field

The Pats were blown out at Jacksonville from start to finish in their 31-20 loss. They were out gained 7.0yppl to 5.0yppl, out rushed 4.3ypr to 3.4ypr and out passed 8.4yps to 5.9yps. The Jags scored 44% of their potential points and held NE to 28% of their potential points.

Detroit fell behind 30-13 before making it a game in the end but finally falling 30-27. Both teams averaged 5.8yppl while SF out rushed Detroit 6.8ypr to 5.4ypr but they were out passed 6.0yps to 4.9yps.

New England is basically average on both sides of the ball in the early going.

Detroit is averaging 5.5 yards play against teams allowing 5.1 yards per play while the defence has been about average. But, they have been down badly in both games and accumulated some garbage stats at the end of the game that may be skewing what their offence actually looks like.

The Pats list S Patrick Chung and DE Trey Flowers as doubtful. They also list TE Jacob Hollister as out. As usual they also list many other players as questionable.

The Lions list many starters as questionable such as CB Darius Slay, G T.J. Lang, WR Marvin Jones and DE Ezekiel Ansah.

I don’t have any situations on this game. My numbers favor NE by 4.5 points and project about 53 points.

As home dogs the Lions have allowed at least 23 points in 12 of their last 15 games. It’s more likely they will allow something in the 30’s to these Patriots who have been brilliant off a loss in the Tom Brady era. Since Brady arrived the Pats are 24-2 ats on the road as a favorite of less than seven points or a dog (0-1 as a 7 pt favorite) with an average score of 31-17. Last week we uncovered the perfect situation to go against the Pats when they are on the road against a very good defence. Not so this week. In fact when NE is coming off a loss, on the road and facing a defence who is allowing at least 23 points a game at the time they play them (Detroit allowing 39 points a game), the Pats have scored 30 or more points in seven of those eight games and won seven of those eight games by at least nine points. Stafford has scored at least 23 points in six of his last eight games as a home dog. It would seem to reason that NE will get into the 30’s in this game and that Detroit can get into the 20’s in this game.

NE is likely without two of their best defensive players in Trey Flowers and Patrick Chung, which should only aid Detroit getting into the 20’s. The values lies in Detroit’s favor but the situation is clearly screaming NE. I’ll lean NE but I think the better play here potentially could be on the over. CB Darius Slay will likely miss this game as well. Oh by the way Belichick has never been known to take it easy on his assistant coaches.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 54 Points

NY Jets vs Cleveland Browns

Friday September 21, 10:20am AEST First Energy Stadium

The Jets outgained Miami 5.7yppl to 4.4yppl but only managed to rush the ball for 2.2ypr while allowing Miami 4.4ypr. They did out pass the Dolphins 7.3yps to 4.5yps and threw the ball about 17 more times to skew the overall yards per play numbers. They scored just 15% of their potential points while allowing Miami to score 27% of their potential points.

The Browns have to be disappointed for the second week in a row, this time not because they tied but because they lost at the end, 21-18 at New Orleans. They outgained NO 5.5yppl to 4.5yppl, out rushed them 3.4ypr to 2.7ypr and out passed NO 7.1yps to 5.6yps. Both teams scored 26% of their potential points.

My numbers make this game a pick ‘em and project about 37.5 points. Cleveland qualifies in a negative early season situation, which is 140-70-8 and plays against them here. This game also qualifies in an over situation, which is 168-107-3.

These two have met each of the last two years in Cleveland with the Jets winning both games by three points, 17-14 and 31-28. Cleveland dominated the game here last year but turned the ball over in different ways, including four straight miscues of some kind inside the Jets 34 yard line.

They punted only twice but still could not walk away with the win. The Jets are only 5-9-1 ats the last two plus years as road underdogs. Cleveland is just 4-9 ATS as a home favorite the last five years. They are just 6-17-1 ats at home the last 24 games. They are also 15-4 under in their last 19 home games. I don’t have much of an opinion on this game.

This is a very tough road start for a rookie quarterback on such short notice to prepare for this game. But, at the same time, for a team who has won only one game in their last 34 games it’s tough to take them as a favorite.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 39.5

Seattle Seahawks vs Chicago Bears

Tuesday September 18, 10:15am AEST Soldier Field

Denver was very impressive in their 27-24 victory over Seattle. They outgained the Seahawks 6.5yppl to 5.6yppl, out rushed them 4.6ypr to 4.0ypr and out passed them 8.1yps to 6.2yps. Denver scored about 28% of their potential points to just 18% for Seattle.

GB outgained the Bears 6.3yppl to 4.5yppl and 7.3yps to 4.0yps. Chicago did out rush GB 5.1ypr to 3.8yps. Chicago cashed in on about 25% of their points and GB about 34% of their points.

The Seahawks are hurting. They are without WR Doug Baldwin, LB K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner. They are also likely without G D.J. Fluker and CB Tre Flowers who are doubtful and CB Shaquill Griffin who is questionable.

Chicago qualifies in a negative early season situation, which is 140-70-8, and plays against them in this game. That situation plays early in the season and isn’t quite as good in week two as it is in weeks three and four.  This game qualifies in an under situation, which is 91-51-5. My numbers favor Seattle by one point and project about 40 points.

Since losing in the SB to NE, the Seahawks have won 10, 10 and 9 games. That may not sound bad but they had won 11, 13 and 12 games the three years previous and this year they may well win less than eight games. Since that time in 2015 they have been a road underdog 12 times. They have lost eight of those games by at least three points (six by at least six points).

This team is a shell of what it used to be. But, how good is Chicago? That remains to be seen. Their offence did not look very good last week. Chicago is 4-11-1 ats as a home favorite since 2013. You’ll have to go all the way back to 2013 to find the last time they have scored more than 21 points at home as a home favorite.

I would normally think about Seattle in this spot but they are really hurting with the injuries and missing some of their most important people on both sides of the ball.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 43

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys

Monday September 17, 10:20am AEST AT&T Stadium

The Giants played well last week at home in a 20-15 loss to Jacksonville. A pick six did them in but they outgained Jacksonville 5.2yppl to 4.9yppl. Both teams scored on roughly 17% of their potential points in the game.

Carolina dominated what appears to be a challenged Dallas offence in their 16-8 victory. They outgained the Cowboys 4.8yppl to 4.1yppl and out passed them 5.0yps to 3.9yps. Dallas scored just 10% of their potential points while Carolina cashed in on about 24%.

LB Olivier Vernon is out for the Giants.

For Dallas C Travis Frederick, DT Datone Jones, DE Randy Gregory and S Xavier Woods are out. DE David Irving remains suspended.

Dallas qualifies in a negative early season situation, which is 140-70-8, and plays against them in this game. That situation plays early in the season and isn’t quite as good in week two as it is in weeks three and four.  My numbers favor Dallas by about one point and project about 37 points.

Since the beginning of the 2014 season the Giants are just 5-19 SU as a road underdog, including being just 1-5 SU during their 11-5 2016 season. They are also 9-4 to the under since 2016 as a road underdog. They have scored 19 or less points in 10 of those 13 road games since 2016, while allowing 20 or more in 10 of those 13 games.

Since Dak Prescott became the starting QB for Dallas the Cowboys have scored 26 or more points in 10 of the 12 home games they have been listed as favorites. One of those two they did not score 26 or more was a 19 point effort against these Giants to begin last season. As a matter of fact Dallas and Prescott have played the Giants twice in Dallas with the Cowboys scoring 19 points in both games. The totals for each of those games were 39 and 22 points. Even the two games with Prescott at qb in NY have been low scoring totaling 17 and 40 points.

The Giants have better skill people to go along with a good defence and capable quarterback. Dallas has a capable defence and quarterback as well. They obviously have a very good running back but their receivers are not great and both teams offensive lines are not good either because they aren’t that good (Giants) or they are facing injuries (Cowboys).

This figures to be a low scoring game and the Giants are the better team, in my mind, right now as they play this game. They have the better capability to get some explosive plays on offence. I expect the Giants to win this game.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – NY Giants +3

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinatti Bengals

Friday September 14, 10:20am AEST Paul Brown Stadium

Both teams come off impressive week one victories. The Ravens crushed the Bills 47-3, scored almost 50% of the potential points they could have scored and held Buffalo to less than 5% of their potential points. They out gained Buffalo 5.0yppl to 2.5yppl, including holding Buffalo to 1.8yps. Buffalo was sacked six times.

The Bengals went to Indianapolis and won 34-23. While the game was much closer than the final score thanks to an 83 yard fumble recovery for a touchdown for Cincinnati in the last minute of the game, the Bengals really out played Indianapolis in this game.

Cincinnati scored almost 43% of their potential points on all of their drives while Indianapolis scored only about 33% of their potential points. The Bengals out gained Indianapolis 6.6yppl to 4.9yppl, out rushed them 5.1ypr to 3.4ypr and out passed them 7.6yps to 5.5yps.

While both games were impressive victories the Cincinnati win on the road over a bad Indianapolis team was more impressive than the Ravens victory at home over what may be the worst team in football in 2018.

Cincinnati qualifies in a fundamental rushing situation, which is 143-80-5, assuming they are a dog in this game. Baltimore qualifies in two negative letdown situations, which are 257-181-9 and 68-30-3, and play against the Ravens here based on their dominating home victory in week one.

My numbers make this game a pick ‘em and project about 39 points. I’ll hold off on getting in on the total in this game because both of these offences may be better than they were last year.

The Ravens will play this game without CB Jimmy Smith again due to suspension and Cincinnati will miss LB Vontaze Burfict due to suspension. Baltimore may be better this year as their offensive weapons at the receiver position look to be vastly improved from previous years. But, Cincinnati, who watched their once strong offensive line fall apart the last few years, has restocked that line somewhat this year and has healthy receivers.

Their offence is much better than it has been the last few years and they always bring a good defence to town. The Ravens also usually have a good defence but I think the jury is still out on their defence. The Ravens defence beat up on some of the worst quarterbacks in the league last year. Week one saw them at it again, beating up on Nathan Peterman and Josh Allen. The Bengals are 8-1-1 ats as a home dog in their last ten games as home dogs. They have the better defence and may have the better offence as well.

The situations are in the Bengals favor, getting points at home, on a Thursday night, which makes this travel that much tougher for Baltimore. Cincinnati has won five of the last six played here between these two and seven of the last nine games here between these two. I had Baltimore here in week one last year (Ravens won 20-0) but the situations are in favor of Cincinnati this year.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Cincinatti +1

Atlanta Falcons v Philadelphia Eagles

Friday September 7, 10:20am AEST Lincoln Financial Field

Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta brought in a new offensive coordinator last year and for whatever reason their red zone offence took a major step back in 2017. Whether that corrects itself or not time will tell. But, the Falcons have been a lower scoring team on the road for a long time now with Matt Ryan and Philadelphia was lights out at home last year on defence.

Atlanta has gone under in 17 of their last 25 road games as a road dog. Philadelphia has been an under team at home under Doug Pederson having gone 12-6 to the under with Pederson as the head coach. They’ve allowed more than 15 points in just six of those 18 home games. The Eagles are down some defensive players in this game that played major roles for them last year. Those losses are felt across all three lines of the defence with Vinny Curry on the defensive line, Mychal Kendricks and Nigel Bradham at Linebacker and Patrick Robinson at CB.

And, Atlanta has come into Philly riding high before but been stopped dead in their tracks against the Eagles. In 2016 Atlanta came into Philly after scoring 30, 33 and 43 points in their three games previous to arriving in Philly and left with a 24-15 loss. Last year they came in after upsetting the Rams in LA to begin the playoffs and left with a 15-10 loss. In those last two losses at Philly the Falcons have scored only two touchdowns on 21 drives and settled for just four field goals. Atlanta scored only about 18% of the potential points they could have scored on those drives.

Atlanta lost NT Dontari Poe, DE Adrian Clayborn and WR Taylor Gabriel. They have added CB Justin Bethel and G Brandon Fusco. They also added WR Calvin Ridley in the draft.

Philadelphia Eagles

Meanwhile, Philadelphia scored about 29% of the total points they could have scored on their 19 drives in those two games. In 2016 it was Wentz and last year it was Nick Foles, who will get the start in this game. Both games saw about the same efficiency from Philadelphia’s offence. The Eagles defence was much better at home last year than on the road. They allowed just 12 points per game at home. In 2016, they allowed just 15 points per game at home.

Philly lost their offensive coordinator and quarterback coach and Nick Foles did not look great in the preseason. Philadelphia does have the head coaching edge and they should be right there again this year. But, something tells me this is going to be a tough game for them after an off-season of being told how great they were last year. But, Philadelphia has been tough on good teams coming into Philly the last few years.

Just ask the 5-0 Vikings of 2016 who left 21-10 losers and the Vikings last year in the NFC Championship game who left 38-7 losers. Oh, and the Falcons the last two years as well. I can’t see both teams being extremely efficient on offence out of the gates. I won’t go against the situation on Philadelphia but not sure how efficient they will be to start the season.

The Eagles experienced what most Super Bowl winner’s experience – a run on their players during the offseason. Gone are TE Trey Burton, LB Mychal Kendricks (probably headed to jail for insider trading), CB Patrick Robinson, DE Vinny Curry and WR Torrey Smith. They have added WR Mike Wallace, DT Haloti Ngata and DE Michael Bennett. LB Nigel Bradham is suspended for one game and LB Paul Worrilow is out for the year.

WR Alshon Jeffery will likely miss this game for Philadelphia. DL Tim Jernigans is also out for at least the first six weeks.

Verdict

The Falcons qualify in a poor week one road situation that is 10-37-5 and plays against successful teams from the previous year. This game also qualifies in a very good week one under situation, which is 44-16-1.

My numbers favor Philadelphia by 2.5 points and 45 points looks too big.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 45 points.

Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers

Monday September 10, 10:20am AEST Lambeau Field

The Bears lost G Josh Sitton, WR Kendall Wright, LB Jerrell Freeman and LB Pernell McPhee. They added WR Allen Robinson, TE Trey Burton and WR Taylor Gabriel. TE Zach Miller will miss the season.

The Packers lost CB Sam Shields, WR Jordy Nelson, S Morgan Burnett and CB Damarious Randall. They added CB Tramon Williams, DT Muhammad Wilkerson, TE Jimmy Graham and QB DeShone Kizer. LB Jake Ryan will miss the season. RB Aaron Jones is suspended the first two games.

Chicago is pretty healthy, including having Khalil Mack on a pitch count.

GB is without S Josh Jones. LB Oren Burks is questionable.

My numbers favor Green Bay by nine points and project about 35 points using just Trubisky stats and Rodger stats from last year. But, Chicago’s offence will be more aggressive and better than last year so those numbers aren’t real accurate.  The Bears qualify in a week one situation, which is 81-35-4 but they don’t qualify in the best part of that situation.

Since 2016 the Bears have played 15 road games as underdogs. They’ve scored more than 17 points in just three of those games. Their offence will get much better this year but the question is how quickly will the offence show up? Green Bay is 18-6-2 ats when favored at home by less than ten points since the beginning of 2014 and 11-3 ats if this line were to go under -7. The Packers opened at home last year against another good defensive team in Seattle and walked away with a hard fought win 17-9. Aaron Rodgers and many of the starters didn’t play much in the preseason last year and they were a little sluggish against a good defence in week one. I can easily see a similar story this year as GB walks away with a win and possibly a cover but a grind it out victory will not surprise me.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Under 47 points.

New York Jets v Detroit Lions

Tuesday September 11, 9:10am AEST Ford Field

The Jets said goodbye to DE Kony Ealy, DT Muhammad Wilkerson, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins and LB Demario Davis. They have added C Spencer Long, RB Isaiah Crowell, C Travis Swanson, CB Trumaine Johnson, LB Avery Williamson, WR Terrell Pryor and DT Henry Anderson. They also drafted QB Sam Darnold.

The Lions lost TE Eric Ebron, C Travis Swanson, LB Tahir Whitehead, DT Haloti Ngata and DE Akeem Spence. They have really added no new names.

My numbers favor the Lions by 9.5 points and project about 46 points using only Lion home games as a favorite last year and Jets games with McCown as road dogs. The other Jets quarterbacks were horrible. The Jets qualify in a 77-40-3 week one situation as well as a 45-26-0 over situation.

The Lions are 8-3 ats as home favorites in their last 11 games and have allowed more than 19 points in only three of those games while scoring at least 24 in 7 of those 11 games. Meanwhile the Jets are just 2-9-1 in their last 12 games as a road underdog and have scored more than 19 points in just 4 of those 12 games and they’ve allowed at least 24 points in 9 of those 12 games. This looks like a game where Detroit gets to about 24-27 points and I don’t see the Jets getting to 20 points.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Detroit -6.5


Los Angeles Rams v Oakland Raiders

Tuesday September 11, 12:20pm AEST Oakland Coliseum

The Rams were busy during the offseason. They lost WR Sammy Watkins, CB Trumaine Johnson, CB Kayvon Webster, S Cody Davis, LB Connor Barwin, DE Robert Quinn and LB Alec Ogletree. They added big names in CB Sam Shields, DT Ndamukong Suh, CB Marcus Peters, CB Aquib Talib and WR Brandon Cooks. RT Jamon Brown and CB Sam Shields are both suspended two games.

The Raiders said goodbye to WR Michael Crabtree, CB T.J. Carrie, LB NaVarro Bowman and WR Cordarrelle Patterson. They added LB Tahir Whitehead, WR Jordy Nelson, S Marcus Gilchrist, CB Rashaan Melvin, RB Doug Martin, CB Daryl Worley and WR Martavis Bryant. DT Ahtybn Rubin is out for the season.

My numbers favor the Rams by 3.5 to 5.5 points depending on how I calculate last year’s numbers for the Rams and project about 46.5 points. Oakland qualifies in a week one 77-40-3 situation. This game also qualifies in a week one under situation, which is 44-16-1.

Monday night home dogs are 15-5 ats in week one and Oakland figures to give the Rams everything they can handle on Monday night. If this line goes as high as six, and it might, Oakland may become a required play just based on the number. The Rams have added an all-star lineup to their roster and are on a short list of favorites for the Super Bowl. But, they didn’t play their starters during the preseason and could come out a little sluggish. In addition the Oakland Coliseum should be rocking for Chucky back as the Raiders new head coach. In Derek’s Carr’s career Oakland has allowed at least 20 points in all but two of the sixteen games they have been home dogs.

The Rams were 2-2 ats last year as road favorites winning by 4 as 5.5 point favorites at Tennessee and winning by 2 as 3 point favorites at San Francisco. They scored at least 27 in each of those four games.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – LA Rams -4.0


Related Articles

NFL Predictor Model

Betfair’s internal team of Data Scientists have created an NFL Predictor Model. The model creates probabilities for every game. ...

NFL Season 2018 Preview

The NFL season kicks off this Friday with the reigning Super Bowl Champions, the Philadelphia Eagles hosting the Atlanta ...

NFL Superbowl LII: Expert Preview

Champion Bets gives their analysis heading into the Superbowl between New England and Philadelphia