Welcome to the recap blog. Weekly results are a silly thing to track -- the small sample and high variance nature of the NFL makes them totally irrelevant. However, I do feel it's important to have an easy place to track all our bets, where we can easily see how we're performing over a larger sample size. I'm also going to be reviewing what the lines closed at and compare that to where we bet them. We typically bet games on Tuesday, and have stressed over the years how important it is to get your damn bets in early. Dom and I have both noticed that lines tend to move toward the model, meaning we're grabbing value early in the week that is no longer available as the market wises up. I think it'll be fun to actually track that, if nothing else to see if Dom and I are full of shit.
Buffalo @ LA Rams (+2.5)
Line closed: BUF -1.5, line moved toward the model
Kicking things off with Thursday Night Football, we took the Super Bowl Champs to cover 2.5 against the Bills, a team I (and everyone else) has ranked as the number 1 team in football. Everyone outside of Cooper Kupp on the Rams offense was flat out bad, which included 3 interceptions from Matt Stafford. LT Joe Noteboom, who is replacing an elite Andrew Whitworth (retired), gave up 8 pressures. Whitworth gave up 16 pressures for the entire 2021 season. Jalen Ramsey also struggled -- Josh Allen had a perfect 158.3 QB rating when targeting Ramsey (per PFF).
Final score: Buffalo 31, LA Rams 10.
Indianapolis @ Houston (+7.0)
Line closed: Indy -7.0, line remained the same
In one of many games that instantly ruined everyone's survivor pick, the Texans managed to tie the Colts, producing a sweat free win for us as we only needed them to cover 7. Michael Pittman had 121 yards receiving and Jonathan Taylor had 161 yards rushing, but outside of that the Texans were able to shut down the Colts. Matt Ryan struggled in his Colts debut, earning a 58.9 PFF grade. On the Texans side, LT Laremy Tunsil is clearly back at full health -- he allowed just 1 pressure over 43 pass blocking snaps (PFF). Brandin Cooks also remained solid, as he caught 7 balls for 82 yards (12 targets). Ex Bill Jerry Hughes added 4 pressures and 2 sacks.
Final score: Indy 20, Houston 20
Cleveland (+1.5) @ Carolina
Line closed: Carolina -1.5, line remained the same
Baker Mayfield was unable to "fuck up" his ex team, as he allegedly predicted. Mayfield completed just 57.1% of his passes and was charted as having two "turnover worthy" plays from PFF, which gave him a 47.0 grade. 6th overall pick Ikem Ekwonu also predictably struggled at left tackle, where he had to deal with Myles Garrett all day. Ekwonu gave up 4 pressures and had a PFF pass blocking grade of an almost impossibly low 17.9. On the Cleveland side, Jacoby Brissett struggled, but the run game was unstoppable. Cleveland ran the ball 36 times and gained 6.0 yards per attempt. They were led by Nick Chubb, who gained 141 yards on 22 attempts (6.4 average). In the end, it was all they needed to beat Carolina outright.
Final score: Cleveland 26, Carolina 24
San Francisco @ Chicago (+7.0)
Line closed: San Francisco -6.5, line moved toward the model
We had some injury luck on our side, as TE George Kittle was injured in practice and never played. The weather conditions were also horrendous, so I'm not quite sure what we can take from this game. It's certainly a disappointing result for the 49ers, who lost to one of the worst teams in football. We'll take it.
Final score: Chicago 19, San Francisco 10
New England (+3.5) @ Miami
Line closed: Miami -3, line moved toward the model
It turns out the offseason concerns about the Patriots offense appear very real. When they were able to move the ball, they decided to turn the ball over, ending the night with 2 fumbles and a pick. The Patriots defense was the better side, but they embarrassingly gave up a touchdown on 4th and 7 from their own 42 with 24 seconds left in the half. When you only put up 10 points, it really doesn't matter how well your defense plays.
Final score: Miami 20, New England 7
Green Bay @ Minnesota (+1.5)
Line closed: Minnesota -1.5, line moved toward the model
As it turns out, having good receivers matters. Aaron Rodgers spread the ball out, targeting 10 different receivers. His leaders by targets: two running backs, a rookie 4th rounder, and a tight end. On the other side, Justin Jefferson had 9 catches for 184 yards and 2 touchdowns, reminding everyone that he's still very good at the game.
Final score: Minnesota 23, Green Bay 7
NY Giants @ Tennessee (-5.5)
Line closed: Tennessee -5.5, line remained the same
Yet another upset, but this time we were on the favorites. Although Ryan Tannehill played well, his receivers did not, who collectively had 4 drops. Derrick Henry also wasn't up to his usual standard on the ground -- he had 80 yards on 21 attempts (3.8 average). The defense had no answer for Saquon Barkley, who gained 164 yards on 18 attempts (9.1 average) while also adding 6 catches for 30 yards as a receiver.
Final score: NY Giants 21, Tennessee 20
Final tally on side bets: 4-3
Takeaways: Obviously, we're happy any time we have a winning week, but I'm far more happy that of our 7 bets, the closing line moved toward the model in 4 of them. In the other 3, the line stayed the same. It's a key reminder to get your damn bets in early.
Michael Carter o33.5 rushing yards -115 (BetMGM): Carter finished with 10 carries for 60 yards. Rookie Breece Hall had 6 carries for 23. Result: WIN 1 unit.
Mecole Hardman u3.5 receptions +110 (FanDuel): Hardman had 3 catches for 16 yards. Result: WIN 1.1 units.
Ja'Marr Chase o70.5 receiving yards -115 (BetMGM): Ja'Marr Chase is an animal. He had 10 catches for 129 yards. Result: WIN 1 unit.
Jacoby Brissett o200.5 passing yards -110 (FanDuel): Brissett went 18/34 for 147 yards. He was awful. Result: LOSS 1.1 units.
Trey Lance o190.5 passing yards -120 (PointBet): The weather conditions certainly didn't help, Lance was 13/26 for 164 yards and a pick. Result: LOSS 1.2 units.
Aaron Jones u4.5 receptions +125 (DraftKings): Aaron Jones had 3 catches for 27 yards. Result: WIN 1.25 units.
KJ Osborn u37.5 receiving yards -110 (FanDuel): JK Osborn had 3 catches for 14 yards. We were safe. Result: Win 1 unit.
Tom Brady u0.5 interceptions +105 (DraftKings): Tommy threw a pick, unfortunately. Result: LOSS 1 unit.
Jalen Tolbert o24.5 receiving yards -110 (Caesars): Tolbert was a healthy scratch, so the bet cancelled. Taking the over on someone who didn't play is a tad embarrassing on my part. The projections I had seen all had Tolbert as the #2 option, but apparently Dennis Houston had passed him on the depth chart. Result: CANCELLED
Jerry Jeudy u4.5 receptions +120 (DraftKings): Jeudy played well -- he had 102 yards, which included a ridiculous 67 yard touchdown. He had just 4 catches, though. That's all that matters for us. Result: WIN 1.2 units.
Final tally on prop bets: 6-3, plus 3.25 units