Brad is back after another successful week with four more bets for week 11
2-1 last week for +0.67 units and lifting us to a healthy +3.64 on the season. Noice. Onto week 11 and apologies for only getting this out on a Friday, but I think there’s still a little value to be squeezed from this board.
Snoozer in Carolina?
First up it’s under 49.5 in the Atlanta/Carolina game.
I’ve argued before this season the Falcons defense isn’t as bad as it has looked and they’ve made me look silly, but we finally saw signs of life last Sunday with six sacks against the Saints. There was plenty of narrative around the improvement, from a change in playcaller to Raheem Morris taking control of the defensive backs. There might be merit in that but it might also be variance.
Defensive pressure rate is not sticky in-season thanks largely to the importance of opponents faced. As such, I think the Falcons are better than the team that ranks 31st in sacks even after last weeks blow-up. For the season they rank 4th in ESPN’s pass rush win rate and face an offensive line in the Panthers that ranks 30th in ESPNs blocking metric and 23rd in FO’s metrics.
Meanwhile, Kyle Allen has proven himself a below-average QB, ranking 23 in ESPN’s QBR. Lots of pressure on a poor QB suggests either not many points or lots of running, both of which are good for our under.
On the other side of the ball, the Falcons are getting a bit thin offensively after Austin Hooper and Devonta Freeman went down and they traded away Mo Sanu. They still have Julio and Calvin Ridley, but the way to attack this Carolina team is on the ground (3rd in pass defense DVOA and 32nd in rush D DVOA).
The Falcons showed a commitment to the ground game last week with 34 rushes for 143 yards and I expect to see more of the same this week, with plenty of running clock to get us under a chunky total.
Next up I’ll have the Dolphins +6.5.
I’m not sure what the Bills have shown to be worthy of laying this many points on the road. They are ranked 24th by DVOA and are arguably overrated by that, with their defensive DVOA driven by the second easiest schedule in the league. The Dolphins on the other hands are a team on the up, improving their DVOA every game since their Week 5 bye.
Remember, the first time these teams played in Buffalo, Miami had a better success rate and a better first down rate but had a couple of crucial turnovers in the redzone.
I don’t see any evidence to suggest those metrics will be different this time around and that would lead to an easy Dolphins cover and potentially their third win of the season.
Next, I’m taking the Patriots -3.5.
I consider myself a proud Patriots hater – we were heavy on the Ravens against them last time out – but I am a believer that Bill Belichick is our true football overlord. New England off a loss since 2003 are 40-14 ATS, and 24-4 ATS off a bye.
They should have left tackle Isaiah Wynn back for this one too and I expect them to spread the Eagles out, go no-huddle to tire the defensive line out, and attack those cornerbacks.
My concern is that the Eagles will be able to run on the Pats, but I will take the more efficient passing team every day of the week.
Finally, as a bonus pick, give us the Raiders -11. This is one of the best offenses in the NFL by most metrics, while the Bengals have basically packed it in for the season. They ran the ball 40 times last week despite being down double digits for the entire game and only let their rookie QB throw beyond 20 yards downfield twice in the entire game.
I’d be shocked if this didn’t go off Raiders -13.
- Falcons/Panthers under 49.5: 1 unit at 1.95
- Dolphins +6.5: 1 unit at 2.05
- Patriots – 3.5: 1 unit at 2.02
- Raider – 12: 1 unit at 1.98