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Sunday Service Picks and Consensus Reports
Re: Sunday Service Picks and Consensus Reports
I have added Baltimore as a strong opinion and I'd take the Ravens in a 2-Star Best Bet at +10 points or more. I also will consider the Baltimore-Indy Under a Strong Opinion
3 Star Selection
*** HOUSTON 26 Tampa Bay (-3.0) 22
10:00 AM Pacific, 09-Dec-07
This looks like a letdown spot for the Buccaneers, who are coming off a coming off a divisional win over New Orleans and have another divisional opponent next week. Tampa Bay applies to a negative 10-46-2 ATS late season letdown situation and Houston applies to a very strong 51-11-3 ATS contrary indicator. The Texans are also 22-8-1 ATS in their history as an underdog after consecutive losses while Tampa Bay has a history of letting down in non-division road games under coach Jon Gruden – especially after a win. The Bucs are only 8-21 ATS in non-division road games under Gruden, including 3-18 ATS more recently (0-3 this year with losses at Seattle , Indy, and Detroit ). Tampa is 0-12 ATS in their last 12 non-division road games following a victory, so this certainly looks like a flat spot from both a micro and macro perspective (i.e. team trends and general situations/indicators). My math model favors Tampa Bay by 3 points with Jeff Garcia at quarterback for Tampa Bay and Sage Rosenfels starting for injured Matt Schaub for the Texans - so the line is fair. I’ll take Houston in a 3-Star Best Bet at +3 points (- 1.10 odds or less) and for 2-Stars at +3 up to -120 odds.
3 Star Selection
*** GREEN BAY (-10.0) 32 Oakland 12
10:00 AM Pacific, 09-Dec-07
Oakland is coming off consecutive upset wins over bad teams Kansas City and Denver , but the Raiders are in trouble here. Green Bay will be looking to bounce-back from their loss at Dallas and the Raiders’ two recent victories will assure that the Packers won’t look past them. Green Bay applies to a 90-36-4 ATS scheduling situation that plays on good teams returning home after 2 or more road games and the Raiders apply to a negative 8-32- 1 ATS subset of a 24-62-2 ATS road letdown situation. The situations are just part of the story here, as my math model also like the Packers in this game. Oakland is a decent team with Daunte Culpepper at quarterback but they are a bad offensive team with Josh McCown behind center. Last week was the first time all season that the Raiders won a game that McCown actually finished and he’s averaged only 5.3 yards per pass play despite facing teams that would combine to allow 6.7 yppp to an average quarterback. Culpepper, meanwhile, has averaged 5.9 yppp despite facing mostly good defensive teams that would combine to allow just 5.7 yppp to an average quarterback and Culpepper has thrown just 5 interceptions on 186 passes while McCown has tossed 9 picks in just 143 passes. The Raiders are 5 points worse offensively with McCown at quarterback and it looks as if he’ll get the start again since Culpepper has not practiced at all this week (through Wednesday). Brett Favre hurt his elbow last week in the loss to Dallas , but he’s expected to make his 250th consecutive start (270th counting playoffs). The good news is that backup Aaron Rodgers looks fully capable of moving the offense through the air after looking good in place of Favre against the Cowboys tough defense. Neither quarterback may need to throw much given how bad the Raiders’ run defense is. Oakland has allowed 5.0 ypr this season (to teams that would average 4.0 ypr against an average team) and Packers’ rookie Ryan Grant has averaged 94 rushing yards per game and 4.9 ypr in 6 games since becoming the #1 back. My math model favors Green Bay by 18 ½ points with McCown at quarterback for Oakland (and by 13 points if Culpepper is at QB), so we have good line value to go along with a good situation. I’d consider making this game a 4-Star Best Bet if I knew for sure that Culpepper would not play and that Favre was healthy enough to be his normal self, but there is no way of knowing about how much Favre’s injury will affect him until he plays. Favre has played through the same type of injury before and I expect him to play well enough to win this game by double-digits. I’ll take Green Bay in a 3- Star Best Bet at -11 points or less and for 2-Stars from -11 ½ to -13 points.
TENNESSEE (pick) 21 San Diego 15
10:00 AM Pacific, 09-Dec-07
San Diego has played much better at home (5-1 ATS) than they have on the road (2-4 straight up and 2-4 ATS) and the Chargers are 0-4 straight up and 0-4 ATS on the road against teams that are currently at 6-6 or better – losing to Minnesota, Jacksonville, Green Bay and New England by 7 points or more each and by an average of 14 points. The only win or spread win that the Chargers have over a decent team was their fluke home win over the Colts – a game they barely won despite returning two kicks for touchdowns and being +3 in turnover margin. The Titans haven’t played that many good teams this year, but at least they’re 2-1-1 ATS against teams that are 6-6 or better. My math model actually favors San Diego by 1 ½ points in this game but I’m going to favor Tennessee on the basis of San Diego’s poor road performances against decent teams and a couple of statistical indicators. The Titans apply to a 163-95-8 ATS statistical profile indicator and a 191-113-6 ATS statistical profile indicator and the record is 56-18-2 ATS when both of those indicators apply to the same team. Tennessee has always been good under coach Fisher at home when laying a small number or getting points, going 36-18 ATS in home games when not favored by more than 3 points, including 6-1 ATS recently (1-0 this year). I’ll consider Tennessee a Strong Opinion at -1 or pick and I’d take Tennessee in a 2- Star Best Bet at +1 or more (-1.10 odds or less).
BUFFALO (-7.0) 24 Miami 12
10:00 AM Pacific, 09-Dec-07
Miami hasn’t scored an offensive touchdown in 3 games with rookie John Beck at quarterback. That’s not really Beck’s fault, as the Dolphins have no offensive weapons with star RB Ronnie Brown sidelined the last 5 games. Miami has averaged only 3.7 yards per play in those 5 games without Brown, who was not only averaging 5.0 ypr but also averaged over 8 yards per pass thrown to him (he still leads the team in receiving). Buffalo ’s defense is better than average in 8 games with their current lineup and they should have no trouble limiting the Dolphins’ attack. My math model favors Buffalo by 13 ½ points in this game after adjusting for current personnel, but Miami applies to a 71-29- 3 ATS contrary situation that plays on winless teams. That situation isn’t as strong if the opponent is a division rival, but it’s enough to keep me from playing the Bills as a Best Bet in this game. I’ll consider Buffalo a Strong Opinion at -7 or less.
SAN FRANCISCO 17 Minnesota (-8.5) 20
01:05 PM Pacific, 09-Dec-07
Minnesota has won and covered their last 3 games but the Vikings apply to a negative 10- 46-2 ATS late season letdown situation and the 49ers apply to a solid 118-53-8 ATS contrary indicator. San Francisco does have the league’s worst offensive team (4.1 yards per play) but their defense is solid (5.1 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.1 yppl against an average team) and should keep them in this game against a Vikings offense that will probably play this game even more conservatively than they normally do. San Francisco defends the run pretty well (just 3.9 ypr allowed), which is important against the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson. My math model favors Minnesota by 10 points and I’m reluctant to take the Niners in a Best Bet, even in a good situation, unless I’m getting a fair line. I’ll consider San Francisco a Strong Opinion at +7 ½ points or more and I’d take the 49ers in a 2-Star Best Bet at +10 points or more (-1.15 odds or less).
Strong Opinions ( Baltimore and UNDER)
BALTIMORE 16 Indianapolis (-9.0) 19
05:15 PM Pacific, 09-Dec-07
Baltimore is a much better team with cornerbacks Samari Rolle and Chris McAlister both playing and that was pretty evident by their defensive effort in last week’s near upset of the Patriots. Rolle and McAlister have both missed games this season and have only played together 4 times. In those 4 games the Ravens have allowed just 5.5 yards per pass play to quarterbacks that would combine to average 6.3 yppp against an average defensive team. That is in sharp contrast to the 8 games in which either Rolle or McAlister were out, which results in allowing 7.2 yppp to quarterbacks that would average 6.3 yppp against an average team. McAlister is expected to play again this week and the Ravens’ defense should limit the Colts’ attack if he does play. Peyton Manning hasn’t been nearly as good throwing the ball without favorite target Marvin Harrison, as he’s averaged a modest 6.7 yppp without Harrison (against teams that would allow 6.1 yppp to an average QB) compared to about 8 yppp with Harrison in the lineup. The Colts are only 0.2 yards per play better than average offensively without Harrison and Baltimore goes from being 0.4 yppl better than average to 0.9 yppl better than average defensively with McAlister in the lineup, which is about what they were last season. Kyle Boller is an upgrade over Steve McNair at quarterback, but the Ravens are still 0.5 yppl worse than average offensively while the Colts are 0.6 yppl better than average defensively. The Colts aren’t that much better from the line of scrimmage than the Ravens if McAlister is playing and my math model favors Indy by just 1 ½ points in this game and the math would only favor the Colts by 4 ½ points without making any adjustment for McAlister. While the line value is clearly on the side of Baltimore , I am a bit concerned about an emotional letdown this week from the Ravens after their emotional effort in a crushing loss to the Patriots. For that reason, I’ll only consider Baltimore as a Strong Opinion in this game, but I would take the Ravens in a 2-Star Best Bet at +10 points or more (-1.15 odds or better).
I will also consider the Under a Strong Opinion at 42 points or higher.
ATLANTA 23 New Orleans (-4.0) 22
05:30 PM Pacific, 10-Dec-07
The Saints have got to be a bit dejected after losing to Tampa Bay with a stupid turnover on a double-reverse setting up the Buccaneers’ winning score. In the game the Saints’ horrible pass defense made another horrible quarterback look like an All-Pro, as Luke McCown averaged 7.4 yards per pass play after averaging just 4.4 yppp in his career before that game. In week 9 the Saints allowed Jaguars’ backup quarterback Quinn Gray to throw for over 300 yards and average 9.8 yppp (Gray has averaged 4.5 yppp in his career in all other games). For the season the Saints have allowed 7.3 yppp to quarterbacks that would combine to average only 5.6 yppp against an average defensive team and it looks like Chris Redman will have the pleasure of padding his stats in his first NFL start tonight. As of Thursday morning there was no official word about who was starting at quarterback for the Falcons this week but there is plenty of speculation that it will be Redman after he moved the team well in relief of Joey Harrington last week. Redman averaged a solid 6.5 yppp on 25 pass plays last week, but he’s averaged a modest 4.9 yppp for his career, which is pretty close to what the Falcons have averaged as a team this season. I’ll assume it makes no difference who is at quarterback for the Falcons but Redman could end up being an upgrade. Either way, the Falcons will be able to throw the ball against the Saints’ horrible pass defense and my math model favors Atlanta by 1 point in this game. New Orleans is just 2-10 ATS as a favorite of 3 points or more under coach Sean Payton the last 2 years and I’ll consider Atlanta a Strong Opinion at +3 ½ points or more and as a 2-Star Best Bet if the line gets up to +6 points.
Re: Sunday Service Picks and Consensus Reports
Tom Stryker. 100% confirmed
Sunday, December 9th
5* #114 NEW ENGLAND (-) over Pittsburgh at 4:15 PM EST
You can look at this game a number of different ways and, believe me, I've done that. But, aside from all of the technical reasoning I've got that supports this investment, the main reason I'm opening up my wallet and investing on New England is because of the major advantage the Patriots have on the sideline. Bill Belichick versus Mike Tomlin is a huge coaching mismatch! For Steelers first-year skipper Tomlin, this will be his toughest test to date. For Patriots leader Belichick who has already coached and found success in a number of huge battles, this will be just another game.
If you need a technical reason to back this undefeated New England team, then consider the following: In their last 58 home games, the Patriots are a solid 48-10 SU and 36-19-3 ATS. In their own backyard off back-to-back ATS losses, New England has played extremely well notching a strong 9-2 ATS record. Finally, since 1993, Tom Brady and Company have produced a magnificent home record of 37-6 SU and 30-10-3 ATS from game 12 of the season out!
At game three of the season or later, Pittsburgh has struggled when asked to take on the NFL's elite posting a dismal 1-9 SU and ATS record in its last 10 games matched up against an opponent that carries a won/loss percentage greater than .875. Tie that up with the fact that NFL home favorites priced at -8 or more are a reliable 32-19-2 ATS provided they enter off a straight up Monday night road win and you have all the support needed to make this play. Take New England.
3* #112 GREEN BAY (-) over Oakland at 1 PM EST
Off back-to-back straight up underdog victories over Kansas City and Denver, this is going to be an awfully tough trip for Oakland. Green Bay enters this contest off a Thursday night beating at Dallas and, with a few extra days to prepare, the Packers will be looking to get back on the winning track.
If you visit Lambeau Field in the month of December, you better pack a lunch. Since 1992, the Bay is a tremendous 29-5 SU and 20-11-3 ATS as a December host. Provided the Cheeseheads own a won/loss percentage of .650 or better and their opponent arrives off a straight up win, this team trend tightens up to a beautiful 9-0 SU and ATS! Please note: Green Bay has won those nine battles by an average of 15.6 points per game.
Even though the Raiders enter with a little momentum, the Silver and Black are still one of the worst teams in the league. Oakland is a dismal 19-58 SU and 25-51-1 ATS in its last 77 contests including a shocking 3-21 ATS in this set matched up against a foe that enters off a blemish of seven points or more. Amazingly, the Raiders are a stunning 0-12 SU and ATS in their last 12 in this role.
Since 1982, non-division guests arriving off back-to-back straight up underdog wins are a wallet-breaking 27-51 ATS. The Packers are a red hot 14-2 SU and 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 games and they're in a bad mood. Take Green Bay! Thank you and best of luck, Tom Stryker.
#125 CLEVELAND (-) over NY Jets by 18 at 4:15 PM EST
Cleveland has played competitive football all season long and I fully expect the Browns to bounce back off their loss at Arizona.
If you take a look at Cleveland's log, you'll notice that the Browns have not dropped back-to-back battles this year. After an opening loss to Pittsburgh, Cleveland smashed Cincinnati in their next contest 51-45. Off a blemish at Oakland, the Browns bounced back with a 27-13 home win over Baltimore. From there, Cleveland fell to New England and then crushed Miami the next week 41-31. Finally after losing to Pitt a second time, the Browns got back on the winning track with a 33-30 decision at Baltimore their next time out.
New York enters this contest off a blowout win at Miami. Unfortunately, Fish hangovers have been tough on the Jets. In their last 45 games after battling the Dolphins, New York is a woeful 16-28-1 ATS.There are two additional team trends that go against the Jets here as well. First, as a non-division home dog, New York is a soft 6-26 SU and 10-21-1 ATS. Also, at home matched up against an opponent that enters off a straight up loss, the Boys from the Big Apple are a soft 32-61-4 ATS including 9-25 ATS in this set provided New York enters off a SU and ATS win.
In their last 27 priced as a favorite, the Browns are a sterling 17-10 SU and ATS including 12-4 SU and ATS in this set coming off a SU loss. That's enough technical power for this handicapper. Take Cleveland.
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