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.
The final 2021 recap can be read here, which includes links to all other recaps.
Miami (+4.0) @ Cincinnati
Line closed: CIN -4, line remained the same
Our terrible week started off on Thursday Night. Through the first three quarters of the game things were even, with Miami taking a 15-14 lead with 2:40 to go in the third. The next several drives went as follows:
-Bengals field goal
-Bengals field goal
-Dolphins turn the ball over on downs
-Bengals take a knee
And that was that. With Cincy outscoring Miami 13-0 in the 4th, there was no chance of us covering.
Obviously, the big story coming out of this one was the scary concussion to Tua Tagovailoa. This has been written about extensively by people far more qualified than myself, so I won't dive into it other than to say the obvious: concussions are really, really bad and we need to do a better job protecting these players.
As for our bet, Teddy Bridgewater came in and was OK. He gained a respectable 8.4 yards per attempt, but had 2 turnover worthy throws and only completed 60.9% of his passes. Dealing with player injuries is a part of gambling. We move on.
Final score: Cincinnati 27, Miami 15
Minnesota @ New Orleans (+2.5)
Line closed: MIN -4, line moved away from the model
We had some tough injury luck in this one, with both Jameis Winston (back/ankle) and Alvin Karama (ribs) being ruled out. This explains the line movement away from the model. Since we're making bets earlier in the week, we have to make tough calls on injuries. I felt early in the week there was a chance Winston played, but Andy Dalton is a decent backup as well, so it was worth following the model's advise and taking the bet.
This was an extremely entertaining, back and forth matchup. However, it was consistently the Saints chasing the Vikings. They were unable to contain Justin Jefferson, who had 10 catches for 147 yards and a rushing touchdown. But still, Dalton kept them in it -- going 20/28 (71%) for 236 yards (8.4 average) and a touchdown. The Saints ground game also accounted for 111 yards on 27 carries (4.1 average). In the end, it simply wasn't enough.
Final score: Minnesota 28, New Orleans 25
Buffalo @ Baltimore (+3.5)
Line closed: BUF -3.5, line remained the same
Sweat city, population us. With the game tied at 20, the Ravens had a 4th and goal situation at the Bills 2. They naturally could have taken a chip shot field to go up 3, but opted for the Lamar Jackson throws an INT in the end zone instead. The Bills then took the ball all the way to the Ravens 1, but opted to take knees and take the field goal to run out the clock rater than risk turning the ball over. That gave the Bills a 3 point win, and a not so easy cover for us.
Final score: Buffalo 23, Baltimore 20
Washington @ Dallas (-3.5)
Line closed: DAL -3, line moved away from the model
We never like taking a 3.5 point favorite to have the line close at 3, but at least the result was in our favor. Dallas held the Commanders to 3 points in the second half and slowly but surely pulled away. Carson Wentz averaged 2.42 seconds to throw, but was still under pressure 42.2% of the time. While under pressure, Wentz completed just 37.5% of his passes, gained 2.9 yards per attempt, and threw a pick. Demarcus Lawrence led the way for the Cowboys with 9 pressures while Michah Parsons, Dorance Armstrong, and Dante Folwer Jr all had 3.
Final score: Dallas 25, Washington 10
Chicago (+3.5) @ NY Giants
Line closed: CHI -3, line moved toward the model
We had the opposite result in this one, where we had good closing line value but a bad result. Saquon Barkley and the Giants run game was the difference maker offensively -- he ran for 146 yards on 31 attempts (4.7 average). Meanwhile, the Bears couldn't get anything going offensively. Probably because they're the Bears.
Final score: NY Giants 20, Chicago 12
Arizona (+1.5) @ Carolina
Line closed: CAR -1, line moved toward the model (albeit insignificantly)
Arizona was down 10-3 at the half, but out scored Carolina 23-6 in the 2nd. Arizona didn't do anything too special offensively -- one of their touchdowns was the result of outstanding field position after Baker Mayfield threw an interception at his own 29 yard line. I'll shout out Cardinals receiver Marquise Brown, who had 6 catches for 88 yards and a touchdown.
Final score: Arizona 26, Carolina 16
Denver (+2.5) @ Las Vegas
Line closed: LV -2.5, line remained the same
I want to be mad at Russ Wilson, mostly because he's a jackass, but he had a solid game -- completing 68% of his passes and gaining 9.5 yards per attempt. PFF charted him with 3 big time throws, 0 turnover worthy plays, and gave him a grade of 80.3. There issues were a Melvin Gordon fumbled that the Raiders recovered and returned 68 yards for a touchdown, 3 dropped passes by Broncos receivers, and a Raiders offense that finally figured out that they're good at football.
Final score: Las Vegas 32, Denver 23
Kansas City @ Tampa Bay (+2.0)
Line closed: TB -2, line remained the same
When betting against the Chiefs, you have to accept that once in a while they are going to simply take over the game, leaving you completely helpless. Even when you bet on an elite defense like the Bucs. The first several drives of the game went as follows:
-Kanas City TD
-Tampa field goal
-Kansas City TD
-Kanas City TD
And just like that, it was 21-3 in the 2nd quarter. The Chiefs had no intentions of looking back.
The Bucs, to their credit, did all they could offensively to try to mount a comeback. Tom Brady threw the ball 52 times (and he played well), where they ran is just 6 times. They needed the defense to come up with stops to make the comeback possible, but it simply wasn't happening. They were unable to get consistent pressure on Mahomes and had no answer for Travis Kelce.
I do think we picked a good spot to bet the Bucs. Chris Godwin, Russell Gage, and Julio Jones all played. Mike Evans returned from suspension and was unstoppable. The Bucs offense is back to where we expected them, but they ran into Mahomes at his best.
Final score: Kansas City 41, Tampa Bay 31
Justin Fields o145.5 passing yards -125 (PointBet): Fields finished with 174 passing yards on 22 attempts (7.9 average). WIN +1 unit
Khalil Herbert u75.5 rushing yards -114 (FanDuel): Herbert had 77 yards. That jerk. LOSS -1.14 units
Nick Chubb u91.5 rushing yards -114 (FanDuel): Chubb had 118 yards. He is good at football. LOSS -1.14 units
Noah Brown u46.5 receiving yards -115 (BetMGM): This one was frustrating. Correct process, bad result. Brown had just 3 receptions, but had a 45 yards completion. He finished with 61 yards. LOSS -1.15 units.
Michael Gallup o25.5 receiving yards -120 (PointBet): Gallup had 2 catches for 24 yards. Unreal. LOSS -1.2 units
CeeDee Lamb o4.5 receptions +120 (BetMGM): Lamb had 6 catches for 97 yards. WIN +1.2 units
Curtis Samuel u4.5 receptions +135 (DraftKings): Samuel had 4 catches. We needed this one. WIN +1.35 units
Aaron Rodgers o228.5 passing yards -120 (BetMGM): Rodgers needed overtime to beat a third string quarterback, but we'll take the extra time given that we had the over. He finished with 251 yards. WIN +1 unit
Josh Jacobs u69.5 rushing yards -113 (Caesars): I like to bet against guys who have career days. Jacobs had 144 yards rushing. LOSS -1.13 units
Mack Hollins u51.5 receiving yards -115 (BetMGM): Mack finished with 33 yards. WIN +1 unit
Baker Mayfield o202.5 passing yards -120 (BetMGM): In yet another close one that results in an L, Mayfield finished with 197 passing yards. LOSS -1.2 units
Chris Godwin u40.5 receiving yards -115 (PointBet): .This one was doomed from a game script perspective. Tom Brady threw the ball 52 times. Godwin finished with 7 catches for 59 yards. LOSS -1.15 units
Final total: 5-7 -2.56 units
Week 1: 4-3
Week 2: 2-2
Week 3: 4-3
Week 4: 3-5
Season total: 13-13
Week 1: 6-3, +3.25 units
Week 2: 6-4, +1.7 units
Week 3: 3-7, -4.08 units
Week 4: 5-7 -2.56 units
Season total: 20-21, -1.69 units