Brad is back with five more bets for Week 16, including three on the early Saturday kick-off!
We went 1-2 last week for -1.05 units dropping us to +4.94 units for the season. We got some decent CLV on the two totals but only hit one. Such is life and such is betting.
Three Bets In Tampa To Kick Off The Weekend
First up, I am taking a punt on Famous Jamies and the fightin’ Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Winston, as everybody knows by now, is so volatile that he’s great to back as an underdog where more randomness helps the dog, and bad to back as a favourite.
Backing the Bucs on the Moneyline as a dog under Winston has netted a +6.9% ROI per Bet Labs, and betting against him as the fav would be +10.5%.
This week they’re getting the full FG at home, presumably because outside weapons Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are both out.
Based on the season to date numbers I made this games Bucs +1, so the question is whether those two receivers are worth circa 7% of win expectancy.
I’d argue no. Brashad Perriman has been efficient with his opportunities this season (113 yards and 3 TDs last Sunday), while OJ Howard and Cameron Brate at TE have been told to expect more opportunity this week.
These are still NFL-calibre weapons and will see TB target Houston over the middle where the Houston pass defense is an NFL-worst 61% worse than average by DVOA. Second worst, for reference, is Jacksonville who are *only* 48% worse than average.
Houston are also a volatile team but we could catch them in a flat spot, with this out-of-division game sandwiched between two division-deciding games against the Titans.
On a similar note, if I like the Bucs, I also have to like the over as the total has dropped three points since open, presumably also because the receivers are out. Bucs games are now 11-1 to the Over in the last 12 games because they are simply the perfect Over team.
The offense plays fast and pass-heavy, the QB chucks the ball around and the defense stops the run but can’t stop the pass, so teams throw against them 65% of the time – the most in the league.
I think we see a blitzkrieg of passing to kick off Saturday football this year.
End of a dynasty?
Staying on Saturday, I’ll have the Bills +6.5 against the Patriots.
I think it’s fair to put these defenses on a similar level and the offenses aren’t that different either now, despite reputations. By weighted DVOA, the Patriots are the 19th best offense in the league, just two spots ahead of Buffalo.
The Pats appeared to ‘get right’ last week by clobbering the Bengals but actually lost the success rate battle 43% to 42%. To the Bengals!
The first time these two teams played, the Bills dominated the game, winning the success rate battle by a massive 13 percentage points (41% to 28%).
I think Sean McDermott is one of the few coaches who can match wits with Bill Belichick and this line should be 5.5 rather than the current 6.5.
It’s also worth mentioning the Pats D could be without starting cornerbacks Jason McCourty and Jonathan Jones, weakening the strongest part of the team.
Snoozer in a soccer stadium
Finally, I am taking the Charges/Raiders under 45.5.
This is another one from the late-season divisional game angle, which has seen games going under at a 63% clip over the last decade or so. We also have two of the league’s slowest teams here.
Oakland games have the third-fewest snaps and Chargers’ games are dead last, with both teams content to milk the clock and run the ball.
It’s also worth noting the Chargers left tackle Russell Okung could miss here, while the Chargers defense is top 10 in pass success rate allowed over the last month with difference-making safety Derwin James back on the field.
Chuck it all together and you have two offenses likely to be inefficient and moving at a snail’s pace. UNDERS.
- Bucs +3: 1 unit @ 2.02
- Bucs ml: 1 unit @ 2.5
- Bucs/Hou Over 49.5: 1 unit @ 1.97
- Bills +6.5: 1 unit @ 1.99
- LAC/OAK Under 45.5: 1 unit @ 1.91