For the playoffs, I will post picks on sides and/or totals on all the games since I know people are in contests and pools. I will highlight the ones that I have personally wagered on and will be including the units I have bet as well. I will also mention the specific games that I did not wager on and are for pools and contests only. Note, I will only count the sides and totals that I have personally wagered on for my playoff record.
2019 NFL ATS Record posted in this article:
Supercontest Picks: 40-44-1 (48%)
Thursday Night Football: 11-3-1 (79%)
Other Posted Reglar Season Picks: 18-9 (67%)
Playoff Picks: 0-4 (-5.4 units)
All Posted Picks: 69-60-2 (53%)
What a way to start the playoffs last week with an utter disaster. Nowhere to go but up!
Sides and Totals I have wagered on:
Niners -7 (1 Unit -110 5Dimes)
- The return of Dee Ford, Jaquiski Tartt, and Kwon Alexander will go a long way in helping the Niners get back to the best defense in the NFC. The pressure splits with Ford on and off the field are enormous. According to Next Gen Stats, with Ford on the field, the Niners’ 36.3% pressure rate is first in the NFL but with Ford off the field, the Niners 22.7% pressure rate would rank 19th in the NFL. Opposing QBs have thrown 3 TDs and 4 INTs with Ford on the field and 20 TDs with 8 INTs with Ford off the field. Needless to say, the Niners will be welcoming Ford back with open arms. San Francisco has thrived on getting pressure without blitzing as they rank fourth from the bottom in blitz rate.
- The pressure from the Niners will be huge against Kirk Cousins who has performed really well against the blitz. Against the blitz, Cousins has a passer rating of 117 with 7 TDs and 0 INTs. All his numbers are better against the blitz than without. Also, Cousins has only faced two pass defenses in the top 10 in DVOA pass defense rankings. Against the Bears and Chiefs, in which the Vikings lost both games, Cousins averaged 227 passing yards on 62% completion percentage and a 6.1 yards per attempt average. This pales in comparison to his 8.5 YPA against all other teams. It also doesn’t help that Adam Thielen has stitches in his ankle against the No. 2 pass defense in the NFL.
- I think Jimmy Garoppolo will be ok against a defense that has to prepare for a Kyle Shanahan offense on short rest off an OT game. The Vikings are seventh in DVOA pass defense but they are decimated in the secondary with two CBs out and Xavier Rhodes hampered with a shoulder injury. Garoppolo has faced 5 other top 10 pass defenses and has completed 71% of his passes for 8.1 YPA and 5 TDs. He has thrown 6 INTs so the hope is that he avoids the big mistake in this spot. He did lead the Niners to a 4-1 record in those 5 games, with two double-digit victories.
- The Niners run the ball (31%) from 21 personnel more than any other team in the NFL. The Vikings, surprisingly, rank dead last defending the run from 21 personnel at 74% success rate and a 6.9 YPC average. Expect Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, and Matt Breida to have success against this defense.
- Not that it’s a total apples to apples comparison but thought it’s something to note as well. There have only been three teams that won as an underdog of 7+ points in the Wild Card round and all three lost by double digits the next week by an average of 22 points per game. Always beware of the plucky underdog after a big upset win.
- I have this as the Niners -8, so I think the recency bias of a big upset the prior week has come into play here with a 7-point line.
Over 47 Titans/Ravens (0.5 Unit -110 5Dimes)
- I originally hit over 48 when the lines first came out but bought back 0.5 units with an updated weather report. I still like this over and it’s currently sitting at 47 but it’s not as strong as I’d like it with a normal weather night.
- It’s easy to assume both teams will just run the ball to death, but I think the Ravens will come out firing in the passing game more than expectations. Tennessee ranks 10th defending the run but 21st defending the pass, according to DVOA. Lamar Jackson’s yards per attempt against the six pass defenses he faced that rank in the top 10 of DVOA was only 6.2 but against the six pass defenses that rank 19th or worse, that figure skyrockets up to 9.7.
- Against the four top 10 DVOA pass offenses that the Titans have faced this season, they allowed an average of 323 passing yards per game, 10 TDs, 0 INT, and 8.23 YPA. The Ravens are first in DVOA pass offense. The Titans also come in eighth from the bottom in pressure rate, so Lamar should have all day to find open WRs. It wouldn’t shock me if Marquise Brown catches a couple of deep balls.
- I also think the Titans will be able to put up points as well. The Ravens come in 17th defending the run and while I think they will not allow the consistent 4-5-yard runs from Derrick Henry, I can see a couple of long runs. The Titans, led by Henry, rank fifth in open field yards, per Football Outsiders, and will go up against a Ravens defense that ranks 29th in open field yards allowed. The Ravens have faced three other teams that rank in the top 10 in open field yards, the Browns, Chiefs, and Niners. Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy from the Chiefs ran the ball 17 times for 116 yards (6.9 YPC) on the Ravens. In two games against the Ravens, Nick Chubb ran the ball 35 for 210 yards (6.0 YPC) and Mostert 19 for 146 yards (7.7 ypc). If Henry can get to the second level, look out.
- The Ravens blitz more than any other defense in the NFL at 55%. Ryan Tannehill has faced three of the top 10 teams in the NFL in blitz percentage. Overall against the blitz, Tannehill has gone 61-92 (66%) for 893 yards, 9.7 YPA, 9 TDs, and 1 INTs. Against all pressures this season, Tannehill ranks third in completion percentage, second in QB rating and also has taken the 3rd highest percentage of sacks in the NFL.
- A.J. Brown has turned into the Titans’ No. 1 WR and finished the regular season as one of the hottest WRs in the NFL. Where Brown has made the most hay is after the catch where he leads the NFL in YAC per reception at 8.8. Baltimore ranks 24th in YAC per reception allowed. Marcus Peters has never been known as a DB who enjoys tackling so if Brown can get away from Peters on a slant in 11 coverage, he can make some big plays.
- I have this modelled at 51 total points but considering there is a chance of rain with 13+ mph winds that could gust to over 30 mph, I am not as confident as I would be normally.
Seattle +4.5 (2 units -110 5Dimes)
- Let’s call this Fraud Bowl 2020. I have consistently faded Seattle all season, but I like them here against the team that has overachieved more than even the Seahawks this season.
- The Packers went 13-3 with a point differential of +67, which typically equates to a team with 9.7 wins. Seattle went 11-5 with a point differential of +7, which typically equates to a team with 8.2 wins. The +3.3 overachievement by Green Bay exceeds the 2.8 from Seattle. They rank 1-2 in the NFL in wins above expectations.
- The Packers come in rated 10th overall by DVOA with the Seahawks eighth. On a weighted DVOA basis, the Packers are 13th and Seahawks ninth. Even after considering home field advantage for Green Bay, there isn’t much reason that they should be 4.5-point favorites here.
- In Russell Wilson’s career, the Seahawks are 16-6-2 (73%) ats in games where they are underdogs of 3 or more. He is 6-1 ats in his last 7 games in this spot with the only loss coming in Week 17 against the Niners when they were stopped at the GL to end the game. In those six losses ats, the average margin of loss has been 8 points and the Seahawks have only lost by 10+ twice. Wilson will almost always keep his teams within striking distance.
- If everyone is honest with each other, it’s clear Aaron Rodgers, while still being a very good QB, has not played at an elite level this year. Rodgers ranks 17th in yards per attempt, 18th in QBR, 12th in passer rating, 21st in completion percentage, and 13th in DVOA. Literally any way you slice it he’s just been a solid QB this year, nothing better.
- The Seahawks defense has struggled much of the season but since the acquisition of safety Quandre Diggs, the pass defense has really improved. Diggs comes in No. 2 in the NFL in yards per snap while in coverage and No. 3 in passer rating allowed among all safeties. In games with Diggs in the lineup, Seattle has allowed 25 passing yards less per game than with Diggs out of the lineup. With Diggs in the lineup. Seattle has allowed a low pass explosive percentage rate of 6% which rates as fifth-best in the NFL during those games. In games that Diggs did not play for Seattle, the defense has given up an explosive pass percentage of 10% which rates as ninth-most in the NFL.
- I think Wilson can have success in this matchup and that some of Green Bay’s pass defense stats are a bit overstated. Green Bay ranks 10th in DVOA pass defense but who have they faced? They got to face Mitchell Trubisky twice as well as backups Matt Moore, David Blough, Dwayne Haskins, Daniel Jones, and Joe Flacco. Wilson is sixth in QBR and seventh in DVOA among QBs. The only other QBs this Packers defense has faced are Matt Stafford, Dak Prescott, and Derek Carr. In those three games, the Packers allowed 27-44, 463 (10.5 YPA) to Prescott, 18-32, 265 (8.3 YPA) to Stafford and 22-28, 293 (10.5 YPA) to Carr. In aggregate, those QBs completed 65% of their passes for 340 yards and a 9.8 yards per attempt average.
Seattle +11.5/KC -2.5 Teaser (1 Unit -140 Bookmaker.eu)
For Contest or Picks pool only:
- Kansas City -9.5
- Tennessee +10