For purposes of these articles I will list the contest line as well as the most current line using 5Dimes sportsbook. I will note if the current line is playable or not. I have personally bet all of these sides unless otherwise noted. As always, shop for the best lines.
Current NFL Record:
YTD Supercontest Picks: 28-30-1 (48%)
Thursday Night Football: 10-2-1 (83%)
Other Sunday Posted Picks: 10-7 (59%)
All Posted Picks: 48-39-2 (55%)
Eagles -10 vs Miami (Current Line: -10 -110 5Dimes)
- This will be the third straight week I am fading the Dolphins after their 5-game covering streak. I have won the first two so let’s go for three.
- The Eagles need this game badly and after Dallas fell on their face on Thanksgiving, the Eagles are ready to pounce in the division. Sometimes in a game like this against a team like the Dolphins, teams have the tendency to look ahead, but motivation and focus will not be an issue here.
- Even though they have struggled as a team lately, the Eagles have the fifth-best defense in success rate since Week 7. They should be able to shut down the 29th ranked DVOA offense in Miami, who have struggled since Preston Williams and Mark Walton were declared out for the season.
- Philly comes in as the ninth-best team in DVOA rankings. Miami has faced four other teams ranked in the top 11 overall in New England, Dallas, Baltimore, and Cleveland. In those four games, Miami has lost by 43, 25, 49, and 17 points.
- With the Eagles expected to get back multiple starters on offense including Lane Johnson, Nelson Agholar, and Alshon Jeffrey, I think Carson Wentz will want to prove the national media wrong with a big game.
Colts -2.5 vs Tennessee (Current Line: -1 -110 5Dimes
- I didn’t get a good line when it comes to the contest but under 3 points is still good value to me.
- I was on the Titans last week when they blew out Jacksonville, but this is clearly a line move based on recency bias. The Titans caught Jacksonville on the third leg of three straight games away from home. It was also a great matchup against a Jags defense that gets torched by big runs.
- As good as the Titans offense has been under Ryan Tannehill, let’s remember the one game they have played on the road with him at QB was the one game they lost, at Carolina. They trailed 17-0 at half and lost by 10. In addition, Tannehill has faced defenses that rank at least 14th or worse.
- The Colts come off of last Thursday’s tough loss at Houston, but the extra rest should do them some good this late in the season.
- They match up pretty well against this Titans offense and the Colts defense has been one of the best in the NFL the last six weeks. They rank sixth against the run and ninth against the pass in success rate since Week 7.
- The Colts seemingly were in the same situation at home against the Falcons and Texans earlier this season as well as the Jags at home just two weeks ago. All three times, the line moved against Indy and on the road teams. And in all three cases, the Colts dominated on the scoreboard.
- This season with Jacoby Brissett at QB, the Colts are 6-0 ats and 4-2 straight up as underdogs of 3 or less and favorites of 3 or less. This team is tremendous in competitive games and coaching plus excellent play within the trenches is the difference.
Jags +1 vs Tampa (Current Line: +2.5 +100 5Dimes)
- This setup is very similar to the Colts/Titans game. I am perfectly ok fading this line move under 3 points.
- The Jags played a tough stretch, with three straight games away from home, including a “home” game in London. I am throwing away last week’s poor performance at Tennessee who was coming off a bye.
- Now we have a Tampa team, who I’ve backed much of the season, coming in as a small favorite. This current line is saying they’d be -8.5 in Tampa. That’s ridiculous. I am ok buying Jacksonville at a low spot here.
- Where Jacksonville struggles the most is defending the run game. They rank dead last in DVOA at stopping the run but are 13th defending the pass. The problem is that Tampa loves to throw the ball and can’t run it well. They are 16th in DVOA run offense and 20th in explosive runs.
- The Jacksonville defense ranks ninth in generating pressures. Jameis Winston is notorious for making mistakes and is 30th in passer rating when pressured. Winston has faced three teams, in four games, against top 10 pass rushes. In the games against the Saints twice, the Rams and the Niners, he has thrown 8 INTs with 13 sacks taken. The Jags can definitely cause problems for Winston.
- Nick Foles has struggled so far in his two games back, but he gets to face one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. Tampa pass D is 25th in DVOA and is 31st in defending 20+ yard passes. Foles has attempted the seventh-highest percentage of deep throws. He has struggled completing such throws but if he is going to continue taking shots, this is the defense to do it against.
Cincinnati +3 vs NY Jets (Current Line: +3 -110 5Dimes)
- I saw this line at +4 when Andy Dalton was announced as the starter and couldn’t believe it when the line initially didn’t move. Rightfully, the spread got bet down to 3 but I don’t know if the Jets deserve it. Would the Jets be -9 in New York? I can’t image they could be above 7/7.5. This line is 1.5-2 points too high.
- In order to determine if this line is out of whack, I wanted to reset the Bengals offensive stats for only games where Dalton started. Under Dalton, Cincinnati averaged 14.6 offensive points per game and 6.1 yards per pass attempt. But that was against four of the top five and six of the top 14 DVOA pass defenses. Ryan Finley led the Bengals to 11 points per game and 5.4 yards per pass attempt in three games. When you adjust the Bengals, offensive points scored per game, in each of the QB’s games for competition, the Bengals have scored four more points per game.
- Finley was downright awful in his three starts. The Bengals produced a 29% success rate during his three games, second-worst in the NFL in that stretch. Against the 30th ranked Oakland pass defense, Finley managed to only complete 13 passes out of 31 attempts for 115 yards and 1 INT.
- I think this line is only giving Dalton credit for being 1 point better than Finley and I think that’s crazy.
- The Jets offense is obviously much better with Sam Darnold than Luke Faulk, but the Jets are still only 15th in pass success rate under Dalton. Should a middle of the road pass offense that has lost by 14 at Jacksonville and 8 at Miami ever be laying 3 or more on the road against a competent QB like Dalton?
Patriots -3 at Houston (Current Line: -3 -120 5Dimes)
- It’s easy to point to Bill O’Brien being owned by Bill Belichick (O’Brien is 0-4 lifetime vs NE) but I want to focus on this national perception that the Patriots offense is no longer “good”.
- Look I get it, the Patriots aren’t the same dynamic offense as in years past, but circumstances have masked the reality. The Patriots are 19th in success rate throwing the football since Week 7 after starting the season ninth-best in the NFL. But here is the thing, they’ve had to play in some miserable weather conditions and, as we all know, Tom Brady at his age isn’t the ideal QB in those conditions.
- Last week was a nightmare weather day with constant rain and wind. Two weeks ago, the Patriots had to deal with extreme wind gusts in Philadelphia. Neither Wentz nor Brady could throw the ball downfield. Against the Browns in Week 8, Brady and the offense had to play again in a constant rainstorm. In fact, the Patriots haven’t played in a game where the weather wasn’t a concern since Week 9 at Baltimore. In that game, against one of the best defenses in the NFL, Brady completed 65% of his passes for 285 yards and 6.2 yards per attempt. His passing yardage was 40+ yards more than the second-highest game by any QB (Russell Wilson) since Jimmy Smith returned to the lineup.
- Now the Patriots get to face the 26th ranked DVOA pass and overall defense. And they get to do it in a dome. Brady has faced five straight pass defenses ranked in the top 18, almost all in bad weather. Brady has only faced two other bottom 10 pass defenses this season, against the Dolphins and Giants. In those two games, he completed 51 of 69 passes (74%) for 598 yards (8.7 YPA) and 2 TDs.
- Deshaun Watson will move the football, but I think this is the perfect get right spot for Brady and this offense.
Other sides and totals I have personally wagered on and I still like at the current number:
- Giants +7 (-125 5Dimes)
- Rams -3 (-105 5Dimes)