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.
LA Chargers (+4.5) @ Kansas City
Line closed: KC -4, line moved toward the model, but such a move is mostly irrelevant
We started out on Thursday Night with a back door cover. It was a relatively even match, the Chiefs had 5.9 yards per play and the Chargers were at 5.4. By DVOA, the Chiefs offense was at 13.8%, the defense was at 2.0%, the Chargers offense was at 19.2%, and the defense was at 10.4%. That reflected in the score early in the 4th, where things were tied at 17-17. That was until Justin Herbert threw an interception from his own 3 to Jaylen Watson, who returned it 99 yards for a touchdown. After a series of punts, KC was able to get a field goal, giving them a 10 point lead. With just 3:20 left in the game, that more or less shed all doubt as to who was going to win, but we're betting the spread, baby. Justin Herbert and the Chiefs took the next drive 73 yards, resulting in a touchdown pass to Josh Palmer. That put the game within 3, which is exactly where we needed it.
Final score: Kansas City 27, LA Chargers 24
Carolina (+2.5) @ NY Giants
Line closed: CAR -1, line moved significantly toward the model. We bet the Panthers as dogs and they closed as favorites.
Everything was correct about this bet. Obviously, we're always happy to see such a line movement toward our bet, as we have our weekly reminder to #getyourdamnbetsinearly. On top of that, Carolina was the objective better team in this game, earning 11.2% DVOA to New York's 6.1%. Carolina also had 5.1 yards per play to NYG's 3.8. Unfortunately, we still failed to cover the spread. Good process, bad result.
The big difference in the game? Turnovers. Carolina fumbled 3 times, losing 2 on each of their first two drives. New York didn't fumble once. Carolina also had a dropped interception. Even still, it was a close game from the start, with Carolina tying things up at 16 with 10:46 to go in the 4th.
The Giants got the ball next. They moved the ball just 37 yards, but took 7 minutes and 12 seconds off the clock, which resulted in a 56 yard field goal. That put Carolina in a spot where they were down 3 with 3:34 to go, but after a 9 yard sack, they punted on 4th and 15 from their own 37 with 2:12 left. The Giants never gave the Panthers another shot, and that's how she ended.
Final score: Giants 19, Panthers 16
Seattle (+10.0) @ San Francisco
Line closed: SF -8.5, line moved toward the model.
The big story out of this one was the ankle injury to Trey Lance, which will end his season. Obviously, we're hoping for a speedy recovery from Lance. He's an exciting prospect, and everyone benefits if he's healthy enough to play football. That said, backup Jimmy Garoppolo is probably better than Lance today, so this injury probably wasn't a good thing for our bet.
That didn't matter, though. Seattle was a dumpster fire on offense. I asked the very rhetorical question in the preview blog: what if Geno Smith doesn't suck ass? I argued, between last year, the preseason, and week 1, we may be able to confidentially say he does not, in fact, suck ass. After showing the tiniest bit of confidence in Geno -- perhaps the first person on planet Earth to do so while simultaneously wagering real dollars on him -- he decided to go ahead and suck ass. I'll grant you, he did complete 80% of his passes, but he did so averaging just 5.4 yards per target (aDOT) and gaining 6.6 yards per attempt. PFF charted him with two turnover worthy plays, giving him a 58.1 grade. We can take solace in the fact that the worst throw of the game was not done by Smith -- instead, that honor belonged to DeeJay Dallas, a running back for the Seahawks, who surprisingly showed us that playing quarterback in the NFL is actually difficult. Dallas threw one of the worst interceptions I've ever had the displeasure of witnessing.
I award you no points, and my God have mercy on your sole.
So yeah, San Francisco won. By 20.
Final score: San Francisco 27, Seattle 7
Houston (+10.0) @ Denver
Line closed: DEN -10, line remained the same
The Texans had a very bad game. They had a DVOA of -46.4%, 5th worst of the week. Their quarterback, Davis Mills, completed just 50% of his passes and gained 4.7 yards per attempt. Even from a clean pocket, Mills completed 56.7% of his passes and gained 4.9 yards per attempt (PFF). That's bad quarterbacking. On the ground, the Texans averaged 4.4 yards per attempt. They committed 9 penalties for 94 yards.
Guess what? We still fucking covered.
This is partially thanks to Russ Wilson, who somehow completed only 45.2% of his passes. To the Texans credit, they were able to get consistent pressure on Wilson -- he was under pressure on 34.3% of dropbacks (PFF) and took 3 sacks. With Jerry Jeudy (ribs) injured in the first quarter, Courtland Sutton became the only viable receiving option for the Broncos. Denver got the win, but they certainly weren't covering 10 with that offensive output.
Final score: Denver 16, Houston 9
Sides recap: We finished the week even at 2-2. We've recommended 11 games so far this season, and haven't had a single line move away from the model. This week we had two significant line movements toward the model, one not so significant movement toward the model, and one line that stayed the same. Given the results we've had in previous seasons using this version of the model, I'm extremely happy with the recommendations so far.
Ashton Dulin o33.5 receiving yards -130 (DraftKings): Dulin, stepping into an expanded role due to injuries to Michael Pittman (quad) and Alec Pierce (concussion), was the Colts top receiver. He caught 5 balls for 79 yards. WIN, +1 unit
Leonard Fournette u31.5 receiving yards -115 (DraftKings): Uncle Len was battling a hamstring injury. He caught 2 passes for 9 yards. WIN, +1 unit
Bryan Edwards o13.5 receiving yards -110 (BetMGM): Edwards caught 1 ball for 2 yards. LOSS -1.1 units
Jacoby Brissett o190.5 passing yards -110 (FanDuel): In what ended up being a slaugfest between the Jets and Browns, Brissett threw for 229 yards. WIN, +1 unit
Trevor Lawrence u0.5 interceptions +125 (PointBet): Lawrence had one of his better games as a pro. He did not throw an interception, but PFF did chart him with a turnover worthy throw. We'll take it. WIN +1.25 units
Russ Wilson o9.5 rushing yards -110 (DraftKings): That old bitch ran for 3 yards. LOSS, -1.1 units.
Trey Lance o188.5 passing yards -110 (FanDuel): Unfortunately, Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the 1st quarter. LOSS, -1.1 units
Cooper Rush o213.5 passing yards -110 (FanDuel): Everyone hates betting on backup quarterbacks. That's exactly why I love doing it. Crush threw for 235 yards. WIN, +1 unit
Deebo Samuel u35.5 rushing yards -125 (PointBet): At 4:09 in the 1st quarter, Samuel took a hand off out of the shot gun for 51 yards, surpassing his total by 15.5 yards on a single play. LOSS, -1.25 units
Kirk Cousins u280.5 passing yards -114 (FanDuel): Cousins had a very tough game against the Eagles defense, which resulted in jury 221 passing yards. WIN, +1 unit
Final total: 6-4, +1.7 units
Week 1: 4-3
Week 2: 2-2
Season total: 6-5
Week 1: 6-3, +3.25 units
Week 2: 6-4, +1.7 units
Season total: 12-7, +4.95 units