Joe Gavazzi’s 2018 NFL Pointspread Prognosis 2018/2019 Playoff Issue 2 CFB National Championship Game & NFL Playoffs “Keep on Trackin’ ” Regular Season Final Stats 2018
Play any team with ANY positive Net TO margin of 2 or more in a game
ROAD TEAMS ON A ROLL Last week, for the first time in my distant memory, road dogs were a perfect 4-0 ATS in Round #1. Remember when Round #2 home teams were like money in the bank. That has all changed as well. In the last 15 years, the Round #2 Playoff record for road dogs is 33-24 ATS. Buyer beware… if you are thinking of a Round #2 rebound by the “better rested home team”. On the OVER/UNDER front, the linemaker posted an average total of “43” for last week’s game (3 points below the league average for this season). He was right! The games went 3-1 UNDER. This week, undeterred by that low scoring effort, the 4 games have an average opening line of 49.5 PPG. From a longer term perspective, I note that 5 of the 8 Playoff teams (KC, LA Rams, New England, Philly and New Orleans) are returning to the Playoffs from last year. That makes the newcomers to this round as Indy (4-12 SU LY), Dallas (9-7 SU LY), LAC (9-7 SU LY) as the 3 newcomers to this round. Note that, of this week’s Playoff teams, ONLY INDY HAD A LOSING RECORD FROM LAST YEAR. Considering the linemakers’ projections for the season, note that ALL 8 PLAYOFF TEAMS EQUALED OR SURPASSED THEIR PROJECTED WIN TOTAL OF THIS SEASON. Finally, all teams, EXCEPT last year’s Super Bowl participants, New England and Philly, had better records this season than last.
Consistent with years gone by, any preferred team in a game will be UNDERLINED.
Saturday, January 12th Divisional Playoffs
Indianapolis Colts (+5-) at Kansas City Chiefs 4:35 PM ET Typical season for an Andy Reid coached KC team. After a 10-0 SU, 8-2 ATS season start, the Chiefs finished 2-4 SU, ATS. Reasons for the decline included bloated imposts, a “bigger book” on QB Mahomes (66%, 50 TDP), the worst Playoff defense at 26/406 while allowing 132/5.2 overland, and the suspension of RB Hunt. Looking for a bounce on what many consider to be a tough home field. Consider that the Chiefs are 0-6 SU at home in recent Playoff games. Combined with the fact that the Chiefs are now 1-11 SU in their last 11 Post Season forays and it makes a tough sell for the home chalk. Not necessarily eager to line up with a road team who was victorious last week as a Round #1 Playoff dog, a win which followed a 4-12 SU season. QB Luck, however, has made a strong case for the importance of a quality, veteran NFL signal caller. After a 1-5 SU beginning, Luck led the Chiefs to a 10-1 SU mark since October 14th, with the only loss a hard to explain 6-0 defeat to Jax on December 2nd. Last week, Indy played outstanding on defense holding Houston to just 322 yards, many in garbage time. Overland, an emerging Colt OL led the way to a 200-105 RY edge led by RB Mack with 148 RY. Maybe the Chiefs got back on track with their final game 35-30 win vs. Ok. But that may have been more about a +3 TO edge as opposed to a 409-292 yardage edge. Looks like another live Playoff road dog who is in the better current form, has the advantage of a veteran signal caller, against a Chiefs team whose Playoff history is clearly working against them. IF THE COLTS CASH TODAY, IT WILL RUN THE RECORD OF PLAYOFF DOGS TO 15-1 ATS.
Dallas Cowboys (+7) at LA Rams 8:15 PM ET Riding one last road dog! Rams began the year on fire. With a 4-0 SU, ATS start in which they scored 33 or more points averaging 35 PPG, all that while holding their opponents to just 17 PPG, the offensive fireworks lit up the betting windows making them a 7 point favorite at Seattle when they next took the field. The result was what would become a typical 9-3 SU, 4-8 ATS finish for the Rams as they struggled to overcome imposts of 7 or more points in all but 3 of those final 12 games. Do final game blowouts against Arizona and San Francisco by a combined score of 79-41 signal a turnaround? Or is it more relevant that, in facing Playoff teams Seattle, New Orleans, Seattle, KC, Chicago and Philly since October 7th, they are 3-2 SU with no victory by more than 5 points. Dallas would certainly qualify as a team of that ilk. Last week they outrushed Seattle 164-73 holding the best rushing team (160 RYPG) well below their average. That clearly bodes well as they look to lock down the Rams run game averaging 139/4.9, the best of the remaining 8 Playoff teams. The 3 game winning streak appears to be a positive for Dallas owner Jerry Jones. He has bought a $250 million dollar yacht to celebrate the Cowboys 8-1 SU surge (following their 3-5 SU first half of the season). Only a 23-0 loss to Indy on December 16th has interfered with that Dallas run since November 5th. In that time, victories have included Philly (twice), New Orleans and Seattle last week. And the Rams do not appear to be any better than those teams, especially when facing quality opponents.
Sunday, January 13th Divisional Playoffs
New England Patriots (-4) vs. LA Chargers 1:05 PM ET Last week, the Chargers parlayed a +2 net TO margin and the shoddy play of rookie QB Jackson for a 23-17 win. That added to their outstanding road record which has seen them go 9-1 SU, ATS in road or neutral games this season. That includes recent road wins at Seattle, Pittsburgh, KC and Baltimore last week, as outright underdog wins against Playoff teams. This has clearly been the best season in recent memory for the 13-4 SU Chargers. Veteran QB Rivers is certainly an able signal caller aided by his vast experience. All, however, is not “peaches and cream” for the Chargers this afternoon. They got the benefit of a relatively mild weekend in Baltimore. TODAY, HOWEVER, THEY WILL BE MAKING BACK-TO-BACK 1:00 PM ET STARTS playing at Gillette Stadium where the weather is predicted to be in the teens to mid-20s. Home field advantage, and obvious experience edge of New England is a major advantage in this contest. New England has now qualified for a 1st Round bye for a 9th consecutive seasons. In addition, they have won 15 consecutive home games, with 7 of those 8 home victories by 7 or more points. Simply cannot buck that type of edge with the B&B combination.
New Orleans Saints (-8-) vs Philadelphia Eagles 4:40 PM ET Nearly impossible to conceive that a team with a -8 net TO margin has advanced to the 2nd Round of the NFL Playoffs! Last week, in a closely fought game in Chicago, where they were both outrushed 65-42 and outpassed 291-58, the Eagles overcame a -2 net TO margin for a 16-15 “double doink” win vs. the Bears. Maybe it has been the pride of a Super Bowl winner that has led to the 4-0 SU streak to close the season (including LAR, Houston and Chicago). Maybe it is the coaching of HC Pedersen, or maybe it is the insertion of QB Foles, last year’s Super Bowl MVP, who has authored the 4-0 SU run and now has a 10-2 TRGS since late December of last season. Among the 7 losses for these Eagles was a 48-7 smack down on this field November 8th. In that contest, New Orleans parlayed a +3 net TO margin and a 173-58 overland edge along with a 546-196 total yardage edge for that 48-7 victory. Though the Eagles rush defense is solid in allowing foes a Playoff best 21 rush attempts and just 95 RYPG, their own rush defense is averaging that same amount. The Saints magical 13-3 SU season has been authored in part by QB Brees who completed 74% C with a 32/6 ratio. Not given enough credit is the coaching of veteran HC Payton. The run game that has the best margin of the remaining 8 teams at 127 to 80 RYPG or Saints defense allowing just 22/349 all add up to solid reasons why the Saints get this comfortable victory today and BREAK THE STRANGLEHOLD OF 14-1 ATS OF PLAYOFF DOGS ENTERING THIS WEEK.
BONGO'S 6-PT. PRO PLAYOFF TEASER OF THE WEEK--
CHIEFS +1 and the RAMS -1
This is based on the Monday afternoon lines. This is as obvious as it gets. Taking the rested hometown power teams versus the 1st round winners. Duh. My 7-year-old granddaughter who knows nothing about sports betting but is a good student could have figured this out. In fact, maybe I asked her!!!
Will I be surprised if one (or both) of these two visitors wins the game? No. But this is how I bet and that is how I must roll around here.