Adam Chernoff: Perception vs. Truth - NFL Week 8

7 min

Sometimes, I need to stay out of my head. It can be a dangerous neighbourhood.

After dominating NFL markets for six weeks, last Sunday I tried to be cute and pick a market spot that went against ALL apparent on-field analysis. I got pummelled.

Mistakes happen. Thankfully, it was a minimal loss and a cheap lesson that now and then, it is better to pass than it is to try force a win.

This week, I am not forcing anything. On October 15th, I highlighted this spot to oppose Houston. Everything has come together since then.

Bookmakers missed severely with the opening price of Seattle -5 1/2.

Last Sunday night I was sitting and waiting for the markets to open fully prepared to back an expensive 7 or even 7 1/2 points with Seattle. The instant I saw Seattle -5 1/2, I locked in my third Double Bet of the NFL Season.

I will keep things to the point. Sunday will be the worst game Deshaun Watson will play all season.

NFL Reporters love a good narrative. Deshaun Watson has given them everything they want to talk about and more through six weeks of his career. Unfortunately for bettors, these descriptions can be influential in the wrong way.

The numbers always tell the truth, and they paint the Houston QB in a very different light. This season, Deshaun Watson has faced the 23rd most difficult slate of opposing defences. In those six games he has:

  • The fourth highest percentage of negatively graded throws.
  • The ninth highest percentage of turnover deemed plays.
  • The lowest drop rate in the league by receivers (2 drops).
  • The second worst adjusted completion percentage.

Watson loves play action, and he likes to throw deep. In six games, he has thrown deep on 17% of his passes, more than any other QB in the league. He has been aided by luck as shown above, but also by referees. In six games, Watson has earned 151 yards via pass interference, 29 yards more than any QB in the league and 65 yards above league average.

All of his success on deep throws have come against inferior safety play. The strong and free safety player grades for opponents are as follows:

  • Cincinnati (35th/39th)
  • New England (28th/36th)
  • Tennessee (63rd/5th)
  • Kansas City (81st/74th)
  • Cleveland (86th/42nd)

This Sunday Watson goes up against Earl Thomas (13th) and Kam Chancellor (9th). Not only will this be his most challenging matchup – by far – but it will be the first time he faces an opponent with two safeties in the Top 25, let alone the Top 15.

Watson and the Texans have not had to leave the city of Houston since September 24th (34 days) and despite having the bye and extra time to prepare, in my opinion, have no answer for the Seattle defence.

There is no more opposing place to play, and without having the luxury of throwing deep, Bill O’Brien is going to have to put forth a game plan that does not fit his team.

His game plan was put further in doubt after comments by the team owner on Friday caused many key players on the Houston offence to walk out of practice. Rumours of the team lying down on Sunday have driven this price up. Distractions like this are the last thing a rookie quarterback needs heading into the most challenging matchup of his career.

Harry Findlay, a legendary gambler and speaker at the upcoming Matchbook traders conference, said in a video that he goes out of his way to find winning sources. If someone can win, he wants that info. I am of the same belief, and you often see me mention gamblers I look up to and listen to in my write-ups.

In week two, my first Double Bet of the season was Cleveland and Baltimore Under. I mentioned that Christian Pina – a professional bettor from Las Vegas I deal with often – loved the same wager. Not only is he too backing Seattle this week, but so is my entire close network of bettors. We all agree on this spot, and that rarely happens.

Both of my Double Bets this season have won this season, and I am confident this will be number three. Seattle is an excellent bet at anything less than seven as I believe they win by double digits.

Week Eight Bets:

Seattle Seahawks -5.5 (Double Bet)

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