Apologies for the website issues causing delays for this week’s picks.
An excellent Week 2 for our picks, as for the second week in a row underdogs performed very well, and we happened to pick entirely underdogs! Our Big Plays went 2-1 for the second straight week, punctuated by a San Diego (+6) surprise win over Seattle. The Jets (+8) raced out to an early 21-3 lead, but in an eerie almost-repeat of the Jaguars/Eagles fiasco, the Jets offense went into hibernation and the Packers came back to win (but fail to cover), 31-24. For the second straight week, we got an unlucky break before the game even began. The Vikings (+3) were unable to muster any kind of threat against the Patriots, losing in a blowout.
Vindication! The Cowboys have been a trendy pick to be the worst team in the NFL this year, yet our system believes they are a playoff-caliber team. While Week 1 was more indicative of the former, Week 2 was certainly a good sign for the latter, as the Cowboys (+3.5), our lone Other Play, cruised to a convincing road win over the Titans.
Our unofficial Break-Even or Better selections went 1-1, as Kansas City (+12.5) played Denver close, covering the massive spread, and Oakland (+2.5/+3) was on the receiving end of a blowout for the second straight week.
Here’s how we did in closing line value (CLV) last week:
- San Diego: picked at +6, closed at +4.75, CLV +1.25
- New York Jets: picked at +8, closed at +7, CLV +1.0
- Minnesota: picked at +3, closed at +3.25, CLV -0.25
- Dallas: picked at +3.5, closed at +3.25, CLV +0.25
- *Kansas City: picked at +12.5, closed at +13, CLV -0.5
- *Oakland: picked at +2.75, closed at +3, CLV -0.25
Break-Even or Better selections should cover the spread between 52.5% and 54% on the time, our Other Plays 54%-55%, and our Big Plays should win more than 55% of the time. Our estimate for each game is based on our line for the game, regressed appropriately towards the market number, as well as the value of different points. How much we weight the market’s number is based on the historical predictive power of the closing line relative to our line. This makes our estimates conservative, since we generally expect lines to move in our direction.
This week’s picks are based on consensus lines as of 11:40pm Vegas time on Wednesday night. As usual, we do not account for matchup factors or injuries (except QB). M-P lines are based on M-P ratings and a standard home field advantage.
Big Plays (4-2 YTD)
- Dallas -1.5 at St. Louis [MP Line: DAL -6.7]
- New York Giants +2 vs. Houston [MP Line: NYG -2.9]
Other Plays (1-1 YTD)
- Chicago +2.5/+3 at New York Jets [MP Line: CHI -0.7]
Break-Even or Better (1-3 YTD)
- Tampa Bay +6/+6.5 at Atlanta [MP Line: TB +4.4]
*Denver would have qualified as a BEOB at a line of +5, but most major sportsbooks are now at +4.5.