Quite the result last week with Tampa Bay putting up over 500 yards but scoring just 3 points resulting in the loss. Readers of this weekly blog give back 1.28x and my record through Week 10 sits at 9-4 (+7.64x).
I see a couple of spots worth taking advantage of this week.
Expecting Points Galore In Indy
My first bet is Tennessee Indianapolis Over 49 points.
The Colts defence is as bad as it gets in the NFL. They rank dead last in success rate pass defence and 21st in rushing success rate defense.
When comparing the success rate to the schedule, it makes the defense look even worse.
Through Week 10, Tennessee has played the third easiest schedule of opposing pass offenses and the fifth easiest schedule of opposing rush offences. In the past four weeks, they have played the 30th, 32nd, 23rd and 28th most efficient offences in the league and allowed 101 points – not good.
The counter-argument to that is that teams do not control who they played. Very true. What teams do manage, however, is the effort they put out against their opponent. Indianapolis has allowed their opponents to gain 105% of their average rush per play and 124% of their average pass per play.
Not only is Indianapolis giving up plenty of points, but they are also making very poor offences look significantly better than they are.
For Tennessee, it is a similar story.
The Titans have faced the second easiest schedule of opposing pass offenses and the fourth easiest schedule of opposing rush offences and rank just 14th in passing success rate defence and 12th in rushing success rate defence. When effort gets factored in, they decline much like Indianapolis. The Titans have allowed opponents to gain 103% of their average rush per play and 110% of their average pass per play.
The Colts with Andrew Luck should be very comfortable moving the ball on the Titans.
Tennessee ranks 23rd in adjusted sack rate and grade out 21st in pass rush. The Colts have one of the leagues top offensive lines that have kept Andrew Luck upright in four consecutive games. This has resulted in Indianapolis having the 4th highest successful play rate in offence (above even the Chargers and New England). With Mariota now injury free and able to grip the ball, the Titans offence has surged. The last three weeks the Titans rank 7th in successful play rate and average nearly 6 yards per play.
This is a matchup of two surging offences, with defences that can’t generate pressure in front of clear liabilities in the secondary.
Both quarterbacks will be comfortable to get any look they want, and this game should go well over the total of 49.
Happy To Oppose The Horrendous Raiders
My second bet is Arizona -4.
I have been pretty vocal about the state of the Oakland Raiders for a few weeks now. Concerning locker room issues, no team comes close to the Raiders.
It is no surprise that Jon Gruden has lost the locker room.
The roster is nearly unrecognisable from the start of the season, and the team is on the verge of implosion.
It started a couple weeks ago with the offensive linemen speaking out against Derek Carr (again) after he was noticed crying on the field after an injury.
Then there were more trades.
Then there was an embarrassing loss to Nick Mullens on national television.
Then there was last week.
With the game on the line, facing a 4 and 5 in the Red Zone, Derek Carr called an audible at the line of scrimmage. Wide receivers and playmakers appeared to respond on the screen to the adjustment. Three players took a few steps on a cross and stopped dead. Jordy Nelson isolated on the other side, ran the wrong way – and stopped. Derek Carr was left with nothing and rather than even attempting a pass, spiked the ball and jogged off the field.
The post-game press conference, Carr says something happened that frustrated him, and he was not willing to talk about.
A Raiders beat writer reported that two veterans post-game were heard saying “I gotta get the f*** out of here.”
It is as bad as it gets in Oakland right now.
On the other side, Arizona is trending up. The removal of Mike McCoy and insertion of Byron Leftwich into offensive play-calling duties was precisely what the team needed.
Leftwich has built an instant rapport with the offensive starters, and the team has come to life.
Rather than running star back David Johnson between the tackles as McCoy did, Leftwich has spoken out about his push to get him involved in the passing game.
Last week against the Chiefs, Johnson gained 95 yards on the ground, 87 receiving and scored twice, becoming the primary target for rookie QB John Rosen.
The aggressive combination of Leftwich and head coach Steven Wilks has booming reviews coming out of practice, and veteran leaders are all saying the right thing. There is a reason for point spread optimism in Arizona.
At the mid-way point in the season, the Raiders were the one team I highlighted on Twitter as not matching their metrics, which were all middle of the league. Since then, the team has tanked. Defensively they rank 22nd in passing success rate defence and 23rd in rushing success rate defence. They are on pace to finish dead last in the league for both.
The Raiders have the worst adjusted sack rate in the NFL which should benefit Arizona who is the worst pass blocking team in the league. The Raiders secondary is also extremely vulnerable allowing teams to gain an outrageous 134% of their average gain per pass play.
With Bryant expected to miss significant time for the Raiders and Nelson not reporting to practice on Wednesday or Thursday, it appears that WR1 and WR2 for Oakland will be Brandon LaFell and Seth Roberts, who would be hard-pressed to start for many other teams in the league.
Arizona has been able to generate a consistent pass rush on opponents (4th highest adjusted sack rate), and with Carr stuck behind an offensive line that has little interest in blocking for him – and no playmakers to throw at, the Cardinals are in prime position for a win and a cover.
Time To Tease It Up
My third bet of the week will be a 6.5-point teaser with the Los Angeles Chargers down to -0.5 and Minnesota up to +9.5 at odds of 1.79.
- Indianapolis Tennessee Over 49 (2.01) risking 1.00x
- Arizona Cardinals -4 (1.854) risking 1.15x
- Los Angeles Chargers -0.5 with Minnesota Vikings +9.5 (1.79) risking 1.26x
This week on the Matchbook Betting Podcast Nat Coombs, Paolo Bandini, Brad Allen and Matchbook’s Sully to preview Week 11 of the NFL season. If you haven’t already subscribed, search for ‘Matchbook Betting Podcast’ on your preferred podcasting app.