It's an interesting time to be a sports betting enthusiast. New Jersey just legalized sports betting, even though sports leagues will sabotage that in a hurry, and Bill Simmons isn't picking NFL games anymore, apparently. But NFL games are still going on, and we're still here pickin' em. Let's get to work.
COLTS -3 over Bengals
Indianapolis has the third best point differential in the league, and AJ Green isn't playing again this week. The Andrew Luck led Colts have covered nearly three quarters of their home games. Laying a field goal here feels real safe.
RACISTS -6 over Titans
The Titans are ranked below Washington in every per play statistical category except for yards per rush attempt, and it looks like Charlie Whitehurst is going to be starting at quarterback for them again this week. This pick is not a declaration that the Washington Football Team is good, but a factual assertion that the Titans are bad.
Dolphins +3 over BEARS
Miami is fourth in the NFL in DVOA on defense, and are averaging five yards per carry on offense. Nearly two thirds of bettors are currently on the Bears, but this line has moved down from as far as Chicago -4 in some spots to the current field goal spread.
Browns -5.5 over JAGUARS
Both of these teams have abysmal defenses. Cleveland is 29th in DVOA, 22nd in yards against per pass attempt, and 28th in yards against per rush. Jacksonville is 26th in DVOA, 28th in yards against per pass attempt, and 12th in yards against per rush attempt (a number greatly aided by the number of late game runs they deal with).
Here's the difference, though: Cleveland's offense is goddamn fantastic. The Browns are fourth in the NFL in offensive DVOA, fourth in yards per pass attempt, and 12th in yards per rush. Jacksonville, meanwhile, is dead last in DVOA, 25th in yards per pass attempt, and 27th in yards per rush.
So both teams have bad defenses, but there's no saving Jacksonville's putrid offense. Cleveland may drop fiddy.
RAMS +6.5 over Seahawks
Lamborghini Percy is gone to the Jets after doing some teammate punchin', apparently, and the Seahawks are stuck doing one of those pain in the ass trips where they have to play a one o'clock game coming from the west coast. Those are not good things.
Also not good: Seattle, despite having a lights out run defense this year, is ranked 19th in DVOA against the pass this season. Austin Davis looked pretty competent last week against a San Francisco defense ranked fourth against the pass. Call me crazy, but I think the Rams keep it close here.
PACKERS -6.5 over Panthers
Carolina's defense has been a trashtastic voyage since Greg Hardy was rightly put on the shelf. Traveling to take on a confident Aaron Rodgers won't help them any.
RAVENS -6.5 over Falcons
Baltimore looked the best they will ever look last week against the Buccaneers, while Atlanta looked the worst they will ever look in a home loss to the Bears. But I don't think it can be overstated just how good Baltimore has been so far this season.
The Ravens are in the top ten in the league in offensive and defensive DVOA, as well as offensive and defensive per rush attempt numbers, and have done so against a schedule that's played .607 ball this year.
Atlanta, meanwhile, has arguably the worst defense in the NFL. Their 8.4 yards against per pass attempt is the worst in the league, which won't cut it against the very elite looking Joe Flacco.
BILLS -5.5 over Vikings
Money is pouring in on the Bills here, with the line moving 1.5 to 2 point depending on where you look. The Bills are ranked seventh in the league in DVOA on defense, compared to Minnesota's 22nd ranked unit. Kyle Orton is gonna have a field day, I tell ya!
LIONS -2.5 over Saints
This game would have been so much cooler if Jimmy Graham and Calvin Johnson were healthy human beings. Alas, here we are, anticipating a game between the top and bottom ranked defenses in DVOA. The Saints are the latter, in case you were wondering. They also can't cover on the road.
Chiefs +4 over CHARGERS
Giants +6.5 over COWBOYS
There's no way the Giants play as poorly as they did last week, and there's no way the Cowboys play as well as they did last week. Zero chance.
Cardinals -3.5 over RAIDERS
I want to pick the Raiders here, but I have no balls.
49ers +6.5 over BRONCOS
This is a game between San Francisco's third ranked defense and Denver's second ranked defense by DVOA. The Niners are tied for first in the league in yards against per pass attempt, so it's hard to see Peyton Manning making it look as easy as he usually does. Peyton may get passing touchdown number 509, but this game is going to be hella close.
Texans +3 over STEELERS
This is a bad football game that makes me feel sad. I'm going to sleep early on Monday night.
Last Week: 10-4-1
This Week: 0-1
2014 ATS: 50-41-1