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Handicapping Week 14: All Picks ATS (Featuring The Computer)
The losing continues. I haven’t had a winning record picking games in several weeks ATS. I was rolling on ‘best bets’ but have had my legs chopped out the last few weeks by big bets on Arizona (over OAK) and Indy (over Jags) the last few weeks. It’s been an ugly 2-3 weeks.
I’ve been trying to find a trend, a correction to make to go a different course…but I don’t see it. Every thing/angle/trend I’m looking at leads me back to the trend being a .500/coin flip event. Works in this game, doesn’t in this…as I chase my tail with false leads/trends. I tweaked some models for more home team bias this week, but that’s about it. I don’t want to blow up my overall model from a couple bad weeks on top bets or ATS, when it’s doing OK picking the games win-loss. Obviously, the spread part of this is tough/maddening/what we’re all chasing.
The best bet right now…go the opposite of my picks/go with ‘Savage’ who is rolling a 57.6% ATS this season-to-date. Our ‘everyone agrees’ picks are running 60% overall but that’s an ever-shifting sand down to the last moments of the pregame (for all us internally).
I don’t give up because of a bad stretch. I’ve had good runs, a great 2017…was hanging in this year until derailed the last few big bets. Nothing cures losing like getting hot (the bettor’s creed), which could be right around the corner…or not. I love the chase of the greased pig…so, I press on.
All Games ATS Through Week 13:
106-78-8 = Savage
103-81-8 = Rabbitt
99-85-8 = Skolman
94-90-8 = Katz
87-93-8 = RC
*18-12-1 YTD when all five Handicappers unanimously agree on an ATS pick.
BAL at KC (-6.5)
The Computer says: KC by 18.3 (Point Spread Differential = 11.8)
I’m starting to love this play…after total collapse midseason, the Ravens are ‘back’ (per the masses) – because bad Lamar Jackson and his win streak of narrowly beating Cincy, then muddled by OAK, and took out dead ATL.
So many QBs have thrown 300+ and scored 20+ on the Ravens this season. The Ravens are the same team for two years – really good defense against the weak and rollover against the stronger offenses. I think this is a fantastic bet under 7.0 – the perfect optics of people thinking the Ravens are somehow good now, and the Chiefs are flawed because they struggled with Oakland a touch and have no Kareem Hunt (neither are factors ahead).
DET (-3.0) at ARI
The Computer says: DET by 13.2 (Point Spread Differential = 10.2)
The Lions have been wiped out by a tough midseason schedule of nothing but contenders and Super Bowl threats. They played the Rams as well as anyone has this season, last week. The Lions are a lot better than given credit and are improving while Arizona has its whole O-Line on I.R. now and lost it’s best offensive weapon (C. Kirk). This could be a bloodbath win for DET.
IND at HOU (-4.5)
The Computer says: IND by 3.9 (Point Spread Differential = 8.4)
You know The Computer has been pro-Indy and anti-Houston for months. Here’s the Super Bowl of that theory. The Computer sees all the metrics favor Indy, so we’ll take the points.
PIT (-10.5) at OAK
The Computer says: PIT by 17.4 (Point Spread Differential = 6.9)
The team with the most sacks in the NFL (PIT) faces the team who can’t get to the QB at all/dead last with a bullet in sacks (OAK). Pitt coming off embarrassment tends to rise up and Oakland is playing better but gets the Steelers at the wrong time here. Jaylen Samuels might make the Steelers offense better, where Vegas/the public thinks worse this game.
PHI at DAL (3.5)
The Computer says: DAL by 9.6 (Point Spread Differential = 6.1)
The Eagles really did not play well at home, MNF, against the broken Redskins with Mark Sanchez and their depleted O-Line. They go to Dallas to face the hottest team in the NFL. I’ll take Dallas all-day here.
NYG (3.5) at WSH
The Computer says: WSH by 2.6 (Point Spread Differential = 6.1)
The Computer likes the Redskins at home here…even after I triple checked the numbers. A do-or-die game for WSH versus a not-great Giants team that could get caught napping here. Washington has things to play for, NYG doesn’t. If the Giants stumble…we might get Lauletta in the 2nd-half?
With a win, and because SEA-MIN (the current wild cards) play each other, Washington could be the #6 seed after Week 14. The Redskins’ last stand…and every week will be that, but it starts here.
MIN at SEA (3.0)
The Computer says: SEA by 8.9 (Point Spread Differential = 5.9)
Big wild card implications…The Computer likes Seattle’s current trends + home field MNF + if Penny plays heavy and has a coming out party to punch Minnesota here. Kirk Cousins’ track record in tough games on solo night games is not good.
CIN at LAC (-14.0)
The Computer says: LAC by 19.9 (Point Spread Differential = 5.9)
LAC the clear favorite but The Computer says stay away, because like with the Redskins-Giants…this is a ‘last stand’ game for Cincy for the playoffs. You’ll get the kitchen sink with them this week versus LAC hungover from their big Steelers win.
NE (7.5) at MIA
The Computer says: NE by 12.9 (Point Spread Differential = 5.4)
I’m not a fan of teams going to Miami. The Dolphins are 5-1 at home. Must win for Miami for the playoffs. Must win for the Pats for the #1 seed. This game totally flipped for me on the Xavien Howard ‘out’ news.
ATL at GB (-5.0)
The Computer says: GB by 9.7 (Point Spread Differential = 4.7)
It’s not so much the coaching change as the weather – bitter cold here. Not good for the southern/dome team coming north.
DEN (-4.0) at SF
The Computer says: SF by 0.6 (Point Spread Differential = 4.6)
The Chris Harris injury has huge ramifications. The 49ers are 0-7 on the road and 2-3 at home.
CAR (1.5) at CLE
The Computer says: CAR by 4.1 (Point Spread Differential = 2.6)
I thought The Computer would go Cleveland here, but Carolina has their playoff lives on the line and just shook up the coaching staff. Could be the needed reboot to pull this one out and right the ship.
LAR (-3.0) at CHI
The Computer says: LAR by 0.8 (Point Spread Differential = 2.2)
Would never bet, just going to sit back and watch and see whether the golden Rams offense can take the Bears great defense in freezing temps.
NO (-8.0) at TB
The Computer says: NO by 9.2 (Point Spread Differential = 1.2)
I wouldn’t bet this one either. The Bucs are perplexing…and this is their Super Bowl. Bucs stronger into the playoff picture with a win.
JAX at TEN (-4.5)
The Computer says: TEN by 5.4 (Point Spread Differential = 0.9)
I wouldn’t play this. If the Week 13 Jags defense shows up to Week 14 on TNF…it’s a close game.
NYJ at BUF (-3.5)
The Computer says: BUF by 3.5 (Point Spread Differential = 0.0)
Honestly…who has a strong feeling about this mess? Should the Bills lay 3.5 to anyone? Should you ever bet the Jets? I guess take the points in this one?