All games ATS:
78-68-2 (53.4%) = Katz (7-5-1 last wk)
74-72-2 (50.7%) = Rabbitt (5-7-1 last wk)
74-72-2 (50.7%) = RC (5-7-1 last wk)
74-72-2 (50.7%) = Skol (5-7-1 last wk)
72-74-2 (49.3%) = Savage (9-3 last wk)
One of the most wicked weeks in handicapping…everything that was right went left, up was down. It was a week that finished leaving me wondering – there is no way there are professional handicappers hitting 60% consistently over a full season or back-to-back seasons – if they are picking 3-5 games a week ATS. It’s impossible. What Colin Cowherd has done with his Blazing Five record is stunning over the years, but even he is fighting for .500 this season.
I’m exploring more trends outside of ‘Team A is better than Team B because ___’. I’ve been looking more at the virtues of betting more blindly against the public and picking underdogs by default in any game we show our line close. So many games turn on bad calls, no calls, etc., that just having the cushion of points has some safety/security/edge when picking every game in a week. I look at these things/trends…but there’s the same randomness over a couple week stretch. It just feels like an impossible task figuring out the silver bullet key items for picking games.
…which is what I love.
I bizarrely believe I will stumble onto the key for picking games more consistently…even if I never do. I love the pursuit of it. I love the study and theory of it. I don’t assume I’m going to lose or live under a dark cloud every week…so, I don’t overreact to one week normally. I always think – this week I may have made adjustments enough that I might have found a key to better picking/handicapping. Just like fantasy…I believe that I WILL find the right call/thing every week. That’s what makes it fun. Same theories I used to try to pick stocks in the stock market…which is also an irrational, emotional marketplace with all the numbers and metrics in the world to study.
I had a 5-7-1 week picking all games, a 1-4 record in Blazing Five, and like 2-4 on personal/real bets in Week 10. I don’t feel doomed. I shake that off and get onto Week 11. I’m close to the same YTD percentages as the leaders picking all games and alive my Survivor Pools…the Saints lost, but so did the Colts, and where people didn’t switch to Chicago to take the pool – I got new life/same life in Survivor. We’re hanging in there panning for handicapping gold in Week 11. Good luck to us all!
I changed up some theory/formulas based on the past few weeks and things I saw same time/mid-season last year. Let’s see if it ‘works’.
PIT at CLE (-3.0) *LOST*
The Computer says: PIT by 9.8…Spread Differential 12.8
I’ll be rooting for the Browns/Baker, but everything about the matchup and the play of the teams to this point favors the Steelers in a blowout win…that the Browns cannot play two good games in a row. The other factor here is the Steelers are winning but they are luckily winning…against so-so teams. The Computer loves PIT here, so I’ll pick them…but I would not personally bet on PIT or against CLE here on TNF at CLE.
KC at LAC (+4.0)
The Computer says: LAC by 0.5…Spread Differential 4.5
Let the Patrick Mahomes losing streak continue. KC is failing ATS with Mahomes because the public loves him too much, and I was a victim of it AGAIN last week. No more (which means Chiefs win by 714 points this week). So many KC OL injuries here. Picking KC, laying points with Mahomes at QB has been wasted money for most of the season.
ARI at SF (-10.5)
The Computer says: SF by 2.7…Spread Differential 7.8
Yes…SF is the better team, but they just lost their top RB, WR, TE, OL and have a questionable kicker. Arizona is not afraid of SF, after giving them a run just a few weeks ago -- and the Cardinals can score points to keep this close or win it.
JAX at IND (-3.0)
The Computer says: JAX by 0.7…Spread Differential 3.7
The Computer thinks this is a close enough matchup of talent but give the edge to the team with their new/old QB re-debuting to breathe a little life in.
NO at TB (-5.5)
The Computer says: NO by 12.4…Spread Differential 6.9
The Falcons play the Saints tough, as do Bucs tend to as well. The Saints without Marshon Lattimore and a starting key OL (Peat). There's a reason to just take the points, but it’s more a momentum move of NO coming off an embarrassing loss and thus the Saints should have a bounce back moment here, and Winston is such a giving turnover machine regardless of the secondary.
CIN at OAK (-10.5)
The Computer says: OAK by 6.8…Spread Differential 3.7
I’m in love with Oakland’s uprising too, but this is a lot of points for a team like Oakland to be laying. One decent but fluky win over LAC does not mean this team is a 10+ point favorite to teams now…but this might the one situation it’s right to…vs. CIN. Still, we’ll take the points.
*SURVIVOR PICK* Given what I can choose from still…this stands out for the Raiders playing the worst team in the league. Given the home field that will be rocking because of the momentum of this team and the chance they have to be in 1st-place all of a sudden with a win. The Raiders are in a good place this week…which based upon last week’s results – means they are going to get beat by two TDs! You have to ride ‘em. Let’s survive!!
NYJ at WAS (-2.0)
The Computer says: WAS by 2.5…Spread Differential 0.5
The Computer would have WAS as the best bet of the week if Keenum was at QB. With Haskins, a shaky confidence.
DAL at DET (-6.5) *CHANGE*
The Computer says: DAL by 4.8…Spread Differential 6.5
We’ll see if Matt Stafford returns to switch this to Detroit, but I might switch anyway. Dallas tends to play down to their bad opponents…but pulls away late. Not sure if I want to take the +4.5 with the home team. Once Stafford is ruled out it may go to +6-7, and then I go Detroit.
HOU at BAL (-4.0)
The Computer says: BAL by 0.6…Spread Differential 3.4
The Computer is thinking the Ravens are due to lose and Houston is the kind of team that can match offense with Baltimore, and at least keep it close.
DEN at MIN (-10.5)
The Computer says: MIN by 6.8…Spread Differential 3.7
I know it’s MIN at home, which is a huge advantage -- but Denver is a lot better than given credit. Still, the Vikings are 4-0 at home this season, with all wins by 10+ points. It’s hard to bet against Minnesota at home, but it’s a lot of points… Denver is 3-2 in their last 5 games, and really should be 4-1 in that stretch. They are a tough ‘bad team’.
BUF at MIA (+6.0)
The Computer says: BUF by 3.3…Spread Differential 3.2
I kinda love the +6 with Miami at home…a Dolphins team playing better and a Bills team that is overrated by strength of schedule.
ATL at CAR (-5.5)
The Computer says: CAR by 4.1…Spread Differential 1.4
Depending upon the injury reports this may just flip to ‘take the points’. Atlanta looked damn good last week and it’s a lot of points to lay.
NE at PHI (+3.5) *CHANGE*
The Computer says: NE by 4.5…Spread Differential 1.0
The Computer sees upset potential all over this with Philly…and NE gets fully confirmed/exposed as a ‘good’ team, not great.
CHI at LAR (-6.5)
The Computer says: LAR by 5.3…Spread Differential 1.2
I’ll easily take the points here because LAR is so rocked with injury…the Bears should keep it close or upset LAR.