Courtesy of Erik Drost - CC.BY.S.A 2.0
NFL

NFL Week 7: Part 1

Week 6 turned out to be more or less a bust (5-8). Though we had a good start, we stumbled through the last four games, going 0-4 down the stretch. The key misses were the Bucs (blew massive lead and failed to cover by 1 point), the Panthers (lost cover in OT), and the Steelers (blew a 14-0 lead and the 5 point spread).

The Jaguars, Rams, Cowboys, Packers, and Chiefs all covered this week, as the Ravens pick had to be wiped from the board (we picked Ravens in the header but had the Chargers in the score).

A New Strategy Going Forward

After going through our data since Week 4 (when we began tracking this), we found some trends which should be helpful for us each week.

We reviewed the cash percentages wagered on each game since Week 4, and the teams with the majority of cash wagered on them have gone 30-11 ATS. The teams with more than 60% of the cash on them are 19-5. The teams with more than 80% of cash on them are 7-1.

The plan going forward is to finalize the picks from the articles at 11:00 am EST every Sunday (when the cash settles). By then, we will have the final picks, factoring-in the cash numbers from PFF in our decision.

This week, we’ll cover the first seven games of the week in this article and the last six in part two.

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Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

 

Broncos at Browns -3

The Broncos are banged-up, but it looks like Teddy Bridgewater will play tonight. As for the rest of the team, the questions at receiver are also valid. Defensively, the Broncos have been great against the run, but they have been taken advantage of through the air.

For the Browns, the slide appears to be in full effect. Following a narrow loss against the Chargers, the Browns were eaten alive last week by the Cardinals. In addition to losing that game, the Browns lost Kareem Hunt. Baker Mayfield is also questionable coming into Thursday’s game.

The spread for this game started at -3 for Cleveland, and it’s slid all the way down to -1.5. The wild part is, the cash handle on the game has continued to shift in favor of Denver. The handle went from 64% Denver to now 79% Denver. Going off the numbers since we started tracking in Week 4, teams with over 60% of the cash handle have gone 19-5.

Broncos 23 Browns 20

 

Bengals +6.5 at Ravens 

The Bengals finally had a rout. After being involved in games decided by three or less points in four of their first five games, the Bengals blew the doors off the Lions on Sunday. Now, the Bengals are starting to get a little more buzz as a potential playoff team in 2021.

The Ravens solidified their place near the top of the AFC hierarchy last week after completely shutting down the powerful Chargers offense. It was the second big test for them on the season and the first time their defense really looked great all season.

The key in this game is the game plan the Ravens had last week. Facing a Chargers offense with a QB great under pressure, a great RB, and great WRs, the Ravens still blitzed the Chargers like crazy, they got overwhelming pressure, and havoc ensued. Guess what? They can use a similar strategy this week against a similar offense in Cincinnati.

Right now, the indication is the Bengals will be prepared for the slew of blitzes the Ravens throw at them. The cash handle on this game started out around 59% for Baltimore at -6.5. Despite the line staying put, the cash has shifted towards the Bengals (67%). This game should be very close.

Ravens 26 Bengals 20

 

WFT at Packers -8.5

The WFT is an absolute mess right now. Following their loss to the Saints two weeks back, they were torched by Patrick Mahomes in DC on Sunday (after thwarting Mahomes in the first half). There’s also the questions around the WFT defense. With lofty expectations heading into the season, the hopes for the WFT are quickly diminishing. It may be a make or break week.

The Packers were flexing on Sunday after beating the Bears in Chicago…again. Rodgers improved his lifetime record vs the Bears to 20-5. The Packers are still very much a Jekyll and Hyde team, so it’s important we remember that when we’re considering them each week.

The cash handle on this game started out at 74% to WFT but has since slipped to 59% WFT, despite no line movement. It’s a funny line, honestly. However, when you consider the Packers’ play calling when they have a decent lead, this WFT action at +9 is warranted.

Packers 30 WFT 20

 

Falcons -2 at Dolphins

The Falcons are coming off a bye and will face a Dolphins team who is returning from an embarrassing loss in England (not to mention the Deshaun Watson and Tua trade rumors). Over the past few games, the Falcons have found some footing on offense (but it was also WFT and the Jets).

The Dolphins have been one of the biggest disappointments this season. After going 10-6 and barely missing the playoffs last season, the Dolphins have come apart at the seams of late. Can a home game against the Falcons solve some of their problems going forward?

The Falcons have been the cash favorite all week. Even with just a half-point shift, the Falcons are still at 64% of the cash, so they appear to be the pick this week. With the amount of turmoil going on with the Dolphins, I like the Falcons (coming off a bye) to look solid this week.

Falcons 30 Dolphins 24

 

Jets at Patriots -7

The Jets are coming off a bye, poised to keep their offensive momentum going (at least 20 points in their last two games). With such a young team, it’s simply going to take time for this offense to get into synch.

The Patriots suffered a heartbreaking home loss against the Cowboys, who may be the most “ahead of schedule” team in the league right now. Mac Jones has continued to look like the most impressive rookie quarterback so far, and the Patriots appear more comfortable letting him test the secondary more now.

Late money has hit the Jets over the past couple days, but the overwhelming cash numbers are still in favor of New England (74%). I really like Bill Belichik against rookie QBs and expect we’ll have another sound victory today.

Patriots 34 Jets 17

 

Panthers -3 at Giants

The Giants were mercilessly beaten last week. As we sort of expected, the dam finally broke on Daniel Jones. Facing their first great defense of the season, Daniel Jones was baited and confused for the entire game. Once Kadarius Toney was knocked out of the game, it was over for the Giants, as they had nowhere to turn.

The Panthers are experiencing a slide ride now; losers of their last three. Darnold hasn’t been as sharp lately, as it seems teams are accounting for his rushing ability now. Defensively, the injuries have taken their toll. For the Panthers, this week’s game is very critical to their season.

Carolina went from 51% cash to 65% early in the week til early Sunday morning with no spread movement. With the way the Giants have been playing and with their lack of offensive weapons, I like the Panthers this week. It’s also worth noting the Panthers defense has shown up in big ways at various points this season.

Panthers 23 Giants 17

 

Chiefs -4.5 at Titans

Don’t be fooled by the offensive ineptitude of the WFT last week. This Chiefs defense is still bad. On the other side of the ball, it took a half for the Chiefs to get rolling, but they really hit their stride in the second half and buried the WFT.

The Titans and relying heavily on their run game and it’s showing no signs of letting them down. The Titan’s biggest problem still appears to be the secondary, which was again exploited last week against the Bills. Had it not been for errant throws, the Bills probably would’ve put the game out of reach. It’s fair to ask this week, can the Titans slow this Chiefs air attack?

The Titans appear to put together a solid week and follow it up with a poor week the next. Tennessee went from 59% cash favorites to KC being at 70% with the slight drop from 4.5 to 4 on the spread. I don’t trust the Titans after a big win. Even though the Chiefs give us zero confidence defensively, I like the Chiefs passing attack more.

Chiefs 33 Titans 27

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