You experts at the GodzillaWins production studios and sadness factory are here with another sharp take on a host of games that have us buzzing with excitement for their monetary value. I may or may not have lost an arm at the blackjack table in New Orleans last night, so here’s our opportunity to make a little dough before the holiday week begins.
Storylines abound for this week. Is Jeff Saturday the second coming of the messiah? Will Josh Allen’s redzone woes continue? Are the Ravens ready to blow somebody out? Are the Jets worse than advertised? Will GodzillaWins ever get an advertiser? All questions will be asked and none will be answered below. Enjoy your Sunday, sickos.
|Thru Week 10 Records||Wins||Losses||Push||Winning %|
|Eagles at Colts (+6.5) (o/u 45)||Eagles||Colts|
|Lions at Giants (-3) (o/u 45)||Giants||Giants|
|Bears at Falcons (-2.5) (o/u 49)||Falcons||Bears Team Total +22.5|
|Jets at Patriots (-3.5) (o/u 38)||Patriots||Jets|
|Bengals at Steelers (+3.5) (o/u 39.5)||Steelers||Under 39.5|
|Cowboys at Vikings (+1.5) (o/u 48.5)||Cowboys||Cowboys|
Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts (+6.5) (o/u 45)
Kickoff: 1:00 pm EST
Jack: Jeff Saturday’s homecoming in Indianapolis should be electric as the Colts host the best team in the NFC. It’s hard to trust the metrics for the Colts, because Saturday seems to have reignited this hapless bunch into a real NFL team. Matt Ryan is sprinting down the sidelines. The offensive line is communicating. The front office finally figured out a good filing system. Jim Irsay hasn’t contacted his connection in over a week. You have to feel good if you’re Indy.
According to FootballOutsiders, Philadelphia has one of the worst run defenses in the league. It’s the team’s achilles heel. We know the Colts are going to try to utilize Johnathan Taylor in the run game. Last week, the Commodores kept the Eagles defense on the field for 70 snaps by controlling the clock and forcing Philly off the field for a few early stops.
This has to be the Colts strategy going into this game. Saturday seems to have the offensive line working together. If Matt Ryan can limit the mistakes on offense and the Colts defense can come up with some early three and outs, the Colts have a good chance to keep the game close. Earlier in the week, you could have gotten 7 for this line, but 6.5 is still a good number. Enjoy the game.
Pick: Colts +6.5
Nate: Philly lost a tough divisional game last week, ending their tenure as the last remaining unbeaten team in a season full of a ridiculous amount of parity.
They were always going to lose at some point, and I’m not going to read too much into it, other than they just caught a feisty Washington team that managed to have everything break its way.
Indy is annoying because everyone is heaping praise on Jeff Saturday, but all he did was beat the Raiders. The Raiders are 2-7. The list of juggernauts who have handed the Raiders a loss are the Chargers, Cards, Titans, Chiefs, Saints, Jags, and Colts. Over half that list is teams that just aren’t very good, and there are probably only two postseason locks. All of this is to say, the Colts were supposed to beat a bad, dysfunctional Raiders team.
I could probably out coach Josh McDaniels, so I’m not surprised Jeff Saturday could throw on a headset and do the same.
I’m not a believer in the Colts yet, and I think the Eagles should be over a touchdown fave here.
We’re getting a discount because the Eagles laid an egg last week.
Pick: Eagles -6.5
Detroit Lions at New York Football Giants (-3) (o/u 45)
Kickoff: 1:00 pm EST
Jack: One of my favorite statistics to look at right now are the luck rankings from ActionNetwork. The luck rankings take the win probability percentage swings and measure them against a team’s actual on-field performance. As of Week 10, the Giants rank the second luckiest team in the NFL, behind only the Eagles.
This is no surprise. All the metrics point to the Giants as a middle-of-the-road team with an excellent track record for closing out games. If you want to take the Giants on any given week, it’s hard to find metrics that will support that decision. Smart gamblers, like Nate, have been fading the G-Men all year and have been losing because of it. Ouch.
Our friends in Detroit fall at the bottom in the luck rankings. This is due to a porous defense that has trouble protecting any lead that the offense gives them. The Lion blow leads. That’s what they do.
Most people use analytics like the luck rankings to decide which teams with good records to fade. All the statistics will tell you that at some point New York will revert back to the mean and start losing games that they should have never been favored in in the first place.
But maybe there’s another way to look at these rankings.
Maybe the luck rankings can give us insight into the intangibles. Well coached teams close out games regardless of performance. Poorly coached teams (or young teams, like the Jaguars) don’t. I’m riding with Lady Luck.
Pick: New York Football Giants -3
Nate: Longtime readers will be familiar with my burning hatred for the Giants. They are incredibly lucky, their stats suggest they are a middle-of-the-road team, and they play in the NFC East. All of these factors have created an alchemical reaction that forces me to bet against them every week and lose money most of the time.
Now, I’m willing to bet on them.
Most of this has to do with the fact that the Lions absolutely cannot stop teams on defense. Football Outsiders rates that unit as 26th overall in the league. They are 24th against the pass and 27th against the rush. Every semi-mobile quarterback has rushed for their season-high against them (Fields, Hurts, Rodgers, Tua, and Geno). You’re going to tell me this unit is going to stop Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley from getting yards on the ground? Right.
Lions had a heroic comeback, but that was against a bad Bears defense in a fluky game.
Doesn’t happen here.
Pick: Giants -3
Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) (o/u 49)
Kickoff: 1:00 pm EST
Jack: I’m taking a different angle on this game, because I can’t trust the Falcons to do anything on defense except watch the opposing team celebrate in the endzone. We’ve been on the Falcons all season, but the defense has been horrid after a strong start. They are 30th in overall DVOA for defense. They don’t blitz. Their third down percentage on defense stinks. Teams score points against the Falcons.
Marcus Mariotta has been bad lately, even if some of the advanced metrics still have him in the middle of the pack. The Dirty Birds cannot figure out how to use Kyle Pitts in the offense either, which is maddening when you watch him get 2 yards of separation on every play.
The Bears have been trending upwards. They have scored at least 29 points in their last three games after turning Justin Fields into a run-first QB. He should be able to throw the ball against the Falcons as well. The Bears will find the end zone.
I don’t trust either defense here, so the spread means nothing to me. 49 points is too high for an NFL total, so I’m looking elsewhere for value. I would recommend taking the Bears team total at 22.5. This is way too low for a team that is finally scoring big points. The Falcons will let up 28.
Pick: Bears Team Total 22.5.
Nate: I wish I knew how to quit this Falcons team.
I’m not sure they should be favored over anybody at this point, and I have to take anti-nausea medication to sit through watching Mariota play in the 4th quarter, but here we are.
This is mostly just a matchup play and one that I think favors the Falcons.
Falcons are a middle of the road unit against the run. PFF grades them out at 15th, so they can occasionally slow teams down there. That’s basically what the Bears have been doing during this period of offensive explosion with their rush heavy attack after they unleashed the power of Justin Fields’s legs.
Fields is still vulnerable as a passer and I think that will be the key. The Falcons generate basically zero pass rush and are horrible in coverage, but I’m not sure Fields can win a game with his arm.
Keep in mind, the Bears are scoring a bunch of points, but they’re still losing.
I’ll ride with the Birds once again.
Pick: Falcons -2.5
New York Jets at New England Patriots (-3.5) (o/u 38)
Kickoff: 1:00 pm EST
Jack: According to FootballOutsiders, our friend, Mac Jones, ranks 29th in DYAR, which basically measures how valuable a QB is to the offense. For context, Joe Flacco ranks ahead of Jones. He’s not even a starter.
Things are not right with this Patriots offense. Still, the Pats find themselves in the playoff hunt as the specter of Belichick haunts the league. They have been able to utilize their strong defense and incredible secondary to force bad decisions from inexperienced QBs. The Zach Wilson Experiment could fail here against a coach that eats up bad QBs.
Too bad I love the Jets too much to quit them. These are two top five defenses with incredible secondaries that are going to make life hard for the opposing quarterbacks. The smart money might be on the under, since these defenses rule the roost, but I love the Jets here catching points. The game should be close. Take the points.
Pick: Jets +3.5
Nate: My opinion on this game is influenced heavily by my begrudging respect for Bill Belichick. The man just does not lose to the Jets, and he rarely loses to bad quarterbacks. Zach Wilson is a bad quarterback.
Ultimately, this is a game in which both teams’ profile as having great defense, offenses that range from mediocre to bad.
Bill B. has won 13 in a row against the Jets. But does he cover when he wins, may be the question a savvy bettor would follow up with. He only covers if you consider 12-0-1 a good record against the spread in that time.
I’ll take Bill Belichick and his sick mind every time in what is looking like an ugly, low-scoring, defensive battle.
Pick: Pats -3.5
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (+3.5) (o/u 39.5)
Kickoff: 4:25 pm EST
Jack: This might be my shakiest take of the week, but the total here feels too low to ignore. T.J. Watt is an absolute wrecking ball and I expect him to make hay against a bad Bengals offensive front. The Bengals have an explosive offense, but they’ve struggled against good pass rushes all season. When they play a team with zero pass rush (see: Falcons) they score early and often.
This point total makes me suspicious. It’s so low that I feel like Vegas is baiting the public into taking the over. I might be getting too cute here, but Pickett still has to play like a real boy and Burrow has a T.J. Watt problem. I’ll root for fumbles and three and outs.
Aside: I also took the Steelers in a moneyline parlay with the Jets. The juice is incredible and both the Steelers and Jets can win outright.
Pick: Under Total Points +/- 39.5
Nate: I bet the Steelers for a pile earlier in the week when +6 was still out there and added a little sprinkle on the moneyline.
I don’t love +3.5 as much for obvious reasons, but I still think the Steelers probably win this game outright.
It’s hard to overstate how much T.J. Watt means to this defense and now that he’s back, it really shows.
Bengals are going to miss the playmaking of Ja’Marr Chase, and it’s even tougher playing a nasty and revitalized Steelers D.
Google search Mike Tomlin as an underdog at home and you’ll find about 800 different trends that will illustrate what a machine he is in those spots.
Steelers are a team on this rise, so fade them at your own peril.
Pick: Steelers +3.5 and have some fun with the moneyline if you’re feeling frisky.
Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings (+1.5) (o/u 48.5)
Kickoff: 4:25 pm EST
Nate: The Cowboys are primed to bounce back after losing to Green Bay last week. Godzilla can’t shut up about the “bad juju” of betting against your team, but I bet with my head not my heart, and that’s why I’m cashing more winners.
The Cowboys were always going to have a game where they just looked flat, and I’m haunted by memories of Aaron Rodgers beating the Cowboys in big games, so I could see this coming from a mile away.
But, now we’re back on the Cowboys. I won’t bore you with a bunch of stats here, but the bottom line is that the Cowboys are just a better team than the Vikings.
Even professional teams can have letdowns, and the Vikings are coming into this game after a wild come from behind victory against the Bills in a game that they probably should have lost.
Cowboys get back on track here.
Pick: Cowboys -1.5
Jack: This is one of the only games Nate and I agree on this week and there’s not much more I can add to his folksy analysis.
If we return to our luck rankings, we can see that the Cowboys are 3rd and the Vikings rank 6th. The Vikings are overperforming in a number of areas and are catching some great breaks at the end of games. (How do you fumble right there, Josh Allen?) They are overvalued here and we should all be glad to only have to lay a little over a point.
Micah Parsons & Co. are going to force Kirk Cousins to make some bad decisions. Look for a lot of sacks and interceptions. The Vikings unravel and the Cowboys secure a nice win on the road.
Pick: Cowboys -1.5