Last Updated: 2019-10-19
We’re 3-3 with our NFL System Play of the Week and this week we’ll take a look at the game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks opened as 4-point favorites and the line has dropped to Seattle -3 with Baltimore getting 60% of the wagers. The total opened at 50.5 and have seen two-thirds of the wagers come in on the over and the total has still went ahead and dropped to 49.
The Ravens are 4-2 on the season, but just 1-4-1 against the spread, having failed to cover in either of their last two games even though they won them both. Excluding their opening-week thumping of the Miami Dolphins, Baltimore has been pretty consistent on offense, having scored between 23 and 28 points. Defensively, the Ravens have had a couple of bad games, with the game against the Kansas City Chiefs understandable, but they also allowed 40 points to the Cleveland Browns in their worst defensive effort of the season.
The Seahawks have made a habit of winning close games this season, with four of their five wins by four points or less. Seattle’s defense isn’t what it has been in the past, but the offense has been able to overcome the poor defense effort and score enough points to get the victory, defeating the Rams 30-29 two weeks ago and coming away with a 32-28 victory over the Cleveland Browns a week ago.
Seattle has scored at least 21 points in each of their games, which really isn’t bad for a team that’s not exactly known for its high-powered offense and they’ve played a few decent teams in that span, so it’s not as though all of their victories came against bad opponents.
But Seattle’s recent play has them in a pretty good under situation, as teams who allowed 28 or more points in each of their last two games and still managed to win are just 11-20 in totals dating back to 1991. This is the second time this has popped up this season and the first was the Chiefs vs. Colts a few weeks back. The last five times this has popped up the games have landed on the under, so while there are a few people I respect on the other side, will go ahead and take the under in this one.
END OF WEEK 7 PICKS
For our NFL System Play of the Week, where we’re 3-2 on the season, we’ll take a look at the game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams opened as 3-point favorites and the line has held pretty steady. You did have to lay -120 with the Rans earlier in the week, but it’s dropped down to the traditional -110 both ways.
The 49ers have been a nice surprise so far this season, but then again, haven’t exactly faced off against the best the NFL has to offer, with road games against Tampa Bay and Cincinnati and their home schedule wasn’t much harder with games against the Steelers and the Monday night game against the Browns.
The 49ers have scored at least 30 points in three of their first four games and are also playing pretty good defense, allowing just 14.2 points per game.
The Rams are coming off a tough loss to the Seattle Seahawks and were absolutely horrible against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the game before that, at least of the defensive side of things, as they allowed 55 points to the Buccaneers. The Rams allowed 49 points in their first three games, so it’s not as though they can’t play defense.
The Rams offense hasn’t played too poorly, but you’re not going to win many games when the defense has been as bad as the Rams have been the past few weeks.
The Rams have a collection of smaller trends in their favor, but not really the one key system that we try to zero in on. For starters, teams who have lost at least their last two games are 19-13 ATS when favored over a team who has won at least four in a row. I like the premise of the trend, but there really aren’t quite enough games to make a significant sample size.
Home favorites who lost their last game by fewer than three points, which is obviously one or two points, are 21-12 ATS when hosting a team who won their last game by double-digits, so another points in the Rams’ favor.
The Rams have at least played New Orleans, Seattle and Carolina, along with two of the same teams the 49ers faced, Tampa Bay and Browns, so they’ve played a tougher slate than San Francisco.
The Rams have too much talent to play the way the past few weeks, so will take Los Angeles -3 in this one to get things turned around.
END OF WEEK 6 PICKS
We’re 2-2 with our NFL System Play of the Week and this week we’ll take a look at the game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals opened as 4-point favorites and the line is now down to Bengals -3 after the Cardinals received 70% of the wagers, which is usually a sign of trouble, but have to think the opening number was a bad one by oddsmakers, as they gave too much credit to Arizona’s last two defeats, assuming those would be sticking in the minds of bettors. But a 27-3 thumping at the hands of the Steelers also stuck in bettors minds and at least the Cardinals have a tie to their credit, so can see why people would be on Arizona in this one.
The Bengals played the Seahawks tough in their opener and also put up a decent fight against Buffalo, but have been blown out in their other two games. Arizona has been pretty much the same, playing tough in their first two games and getting beat-up a little bit in their last two.
Both teams have played some decent competition, with both playing Seattle and the Cardinals also getting the Panthers, Ravens and Detroit, while the Bengals have played the Steelers, 49ers and Bills, so it’s not as though either team is losing to the bottom feeders of the league and are playing teams that could challenge for playoff spots.
But after being an underdog three times and even the other game, asking the Bengals to cover as a favorite is a bit of a tall order, as winless teams in Week 5 or later cover the spread 44% of the time as a favorite, but it’s the Cardinals who sway the edge here, as away underdogs are 82-61-7 over the years after losing by at least 17 points in each of their last two games.
The Cardinals can be expected to throw in some clunkers this season, as it’s all part of playing a rookie quarterback. But Arizona has shown a little ability to run the ball, which is more than can be said for the Bengals, who are averaging under 50 yards per game.
The Cardinals get a slight edge on offense, as they’re averaging 4.3 more points per game than they Bengals, while Cincinnati has played slightly better defensively, allowing 31 fewer yards and 1.2 fewer points, so Arizona has slightly better numbers. This one is pretty much a toss-up so will have to take the points.
END OF WEEK 5 PICKS
For our NFL System Pick of the Week, where we’re just 1-2, we’ll take a look at the game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills. The Patriots opened as 6.5-point favorites and the line is now up to Pats -7 with New England getting more than three-quarters of the wagers in this one.
The Patriots have torn through all three teams they’ve played so far, knocking off the Steelers 33-3 on opening day and following that up with a complete thrashing on the Miami Dolphins. Their toughest game of the year so far has been last week’s 30-14 win over the Jets, when New York scored a pair of non-offensive touchdowns to prevent the shutout. The Patriots haven’t allowed an offensive touchdown this season
The Bills also bring a 3-0 record into this one, although they haven’t necessarily been impressive at times, but the bottom line is that they’re 3-0, just the same as the Patriots are. The Buffalo offense hasn’t really torn it up, but the defense has been solid, allowing a high of 17 points.
The Patriots have played just one road game and that was at Miami, so you have to take that one with a grain of salt, as the Fish have made everybody look good so far this season. Tom Brady has done most of the damage for the Patriots, who really haven’t gotten their rushing attack going this season and New England averages just 3.2 yards per carry and gains 98 yards per game.
New England’s rushing defense has gotten the job done, holding teams to 199 yards per game and have only allowed 110 rushing yards on the season, but that’s going to change Sunday, as the Bills can run the football and they’re not going to change the way they do things regardless of the defense they’re going up against. Buffalo has rushed for 151 yards per game and have attempted at least 25 runs in all three games, with more than 30 in each of their last two.
The number of bettors on the Patriots is exceptionally high for an NFL game and that seems like it spells trouble more often than not. One reason is that bettors are a little taken with the ease the Patriots have won their first three games, but teams who have won their last three games by a minimum of 16 points are just 35-52-4 (40.2%) ATS and it’s been New England responsible for the last two losses.
And the Bills are getting slighted a little bit, as well, since undefeated home underdogs in Week 4 or later have gone 9-2 dating back to 1996, so will take a shot on the Bills +7 in this one.
END OF WEEK 4 PICKS
Just a brutal play here last week with the Fish, as we dropped to 0-2 to start out the season. For this week, we’ll use one of the old stand-by systems that has withstood the test of time and that’s to go against home favorites off a victory as road underdogs when both spreads are at least 6 points.
The team that falls into the parameters this week is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are coming off a 20-14 victory at Carolina and now favored over the New York Giants. The Bucs aren’t really a team you’d want to trust as favorites, no matter how poorly the opposition has played and Tampa Bay is just 6-11 as a favorite since 2015.
Tampa Bay was getting six points last week at Carolina in what looked to be a fairly cheap price for the Panthers, but the Bucs pulled off the upset after wilting in the second half against the 49ers opening week. Tampa Bay opened as 6.5-point favorites against the Giants and the line has dropped to 6.
Teams in the Bucs’ situation are just 27-37-1 ATS over the years, so it’s typically hard to follow through with back-to-back solid performances in the NFL. If the underdog in the game lost their previous game, the record falls to 23-36-1 (39%).
Obviously, the big news in New York this week is the benching of Eli Manning in favor of Jones and if you’re going to start your first NFL game on the road, Tampa is probably as good a place as any, as there are going to be plenty of empty seats and not the hostile atmosphere that you may find in a place like Green Bay or Seattle.
Away underdogs who lost each of their last two games by at least 14 points have gone 115-81-5 (58.7%) over the years, so a few decent situations favoring New York.
While Jones looked good in the preseason, this is a different situation all together, but the Bucs defense doesn’t exactly strike fear into opponents even though they are coming off a pretty good game in Carolina. It was just the fourth time Tampa Bay has allowed 14 or fewer points on the road dating back to the 2010 season.
Not real thrilled the Giants are getting the majority of the wagers, although the quarterback change could have something to do with it, but will go ahead and take New York +6 in this one.
END OF WEEK 3 PICKS
A bit of an ugly start to the NFL last week, going 1-2, and losing an ugly one with the Chiefs under on this page. For our NFL System Play this week, we’ll look at the game between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins, where the Pats opened as 18-point favorites and are now 18.5 after receiving two-thirds of the early wagers. The total has moved from 48 to 48.5 even though more than 55% of the early wagers have come in on the under.
The Patriots didn’t have any problems against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, rolling to a 33-3 victory and now travel to play a Dolphins team that was thumped 59-10 by the Baltimore Ravens. The spread is certainly on the high side, but it’s a decent number, as evidenced by all of the wagers that have come in on the Pats.
Naturally, I can’t pass up the Fish as such large underdogs and there is a bit of support for Miami, with home underdogs who lost their last game by 30 or more points going 68-48-5 against the spread over the years and 30-20-2 if they are getting a touchdown or more.
But the Patriots are in an even worse situation that sees double-digit road favorites posting an 8-19 ATS record if they allowed seven or fewer points in their previous game. Somehow, these double-digit favorites are just 18-9 straight-up, as well, while you would expect a better number out of a team favored by at least 10 points. These plays don’t come about too often, as they’re just 1-8 ATS dating back to the 2006 season.
The Patriots were a much different team on the road last year, where they averaged just 23.3 points per game, so not sure about laying 18.5 with them in this spot, as only once did they win by 19 points last year, when they beat Buffalo 25-6.
The other storyline besides how much the Dolphins stunk it up in Game 1 is how Brian Flores will do trying to slow down his old team, where he was the defensive coordinator and probably knows the New England personnel as well as anybody.
The Dolphins might be looking forward to the future, but the NFL is still a business and another 40-point loss is going to lead to a lot of empty seats, so expect a better effort from the ‘Fins in this one and will grab Miami and the points.
END OF WEEK 2 PICKS
Time to turn to the NFL and we’ll start off with our NFL Betting System Picks and look at a system that we’ve used the same basic premise for a couple of seasons now and one that’s specific to Week 1. The basic premise is we’re looking for home underdogs to go under the total in Week 1. We can break it down to more specifics based on the spread and the total.
But the common premise of taking games with a home underdog has gone a solid 58-89-5 (39.5%) dating all the back to the 1990 season. If we look at more recent trends, from 2010 onward, it’s still solid, going 16-27-4, which is 37.2% overs.
As of Friday night we have five road favorites, but the game we’ll look at it is the one between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Kansas City opened as 4.5-point favorites and the line has dropped to 3.5 despite the Chiefs getting more than 70% of the early wagers. The total has moved from 52 to 51 with more than two-thirds of the early wagers on the under.
If we look at Week 1 games with a road favorite and a total of 45 or higher, the record is just 9-26-1 and three of the games meet that criteria, but taking the Jacksonville game here, as the Jags have been dominant at home defensively and last year didn’t allow more than 20 points at home in a single game. Nick Foles is an improvement over the Blake Bortles we saw last year, but he doesn’t have do anything other than make smart decisions and not turn the ball over.
On the other side of the equation, Kansas City scored a minimum of 27 points in their road games and averaged 38, so something is going to have to give here and believe it will be the Kansas City offense. The Jaguars can play ball a ball control game when the offense is clicking, which it never did last year under Bortles despite the defense standing on its head at times.
The Jaguars know they’re not going to be able to match the Chiefs in a shootout, so the best chance for Jacksonville is going to be to try and shorten the game; run the ball a lot and take some time between plays to let the clock run.
This one should be a decent game between teams with different philosophies, but will take the under in this spot.
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