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5 for 5 - W8 Recap

Week 8's 4-1 record gets us back to 0.500, but at -1.73 units... it is still not great. It was an overall great week for the Super Contest (the Vegas contest whose lines we use in this column), where the top 5 picks went 5-0! (GB, Phi, Was, Sea, Chi)


Let's dive into the 4-1 record and see where we were right.


Summary

1. KC -10 (Den) - Loss (30-23 KC)

2. Was PK (@ NYG) - Win (20-13 Was)

3. Ind -3 (@ Oak) - Win (42-28 Ind)

4. NO PK (@ Min) - Win (30-20 NO)

5. GB +9.5 (@ LAR) - Win (29-27 LAR)


1. KC -10 (Den) - Loss (30-23 KC)

I expected KC to simply outpace Den's offense, as they were averaging nearly 14 points-per-game more. KC was up 30-14 at one point, but in the end Den's FG with 4 minutes left was the back door into the 10-point spread.


Regardless of Den's FG, KC's lack of 4th scoring was the difference. Before this game, KC averaged 8.4 points in the 4th quarter but had 0 in this game. If KC had scored in the 4th, they would of been right on their game average of 37.1 points and would have covered. However, with their 4th quarter possessions were: Interception (2 plays), Punt (5), Punt (3), Punt (3), Punt (3). Within the 5 minute mark, KC clearly was conservative trying to run down the clock, with run-run-sack-punt and run-run-run-punt.


2. Was PK (@ NYG) - Win (20-13 Was)

NYG's do not have a good run game, as we stated they were dead last in ALY (Adj. Line Yards from FootballOutsiders.com) coming into this game. It showed, as they had only 37 yards on 14 carries. Additionally, as they fell behind, Eli ended up throwing the ball 41 times.


NYGs are not good, and still a bit unsure if Was is good or was simply able to capitalize on a bad team.


3. Ind -3 (@ Oak) - Win (42-28 Ind)

Speaking of bad teams, Oak seemed to put up a fight in this game and potentially win it, as they were up 28-21 going into the 4th. However, Oak lost the 4th 21-0!


Turnovers helped but were not the story, as Ind went on a 75-yard drive to tie it, then a 57-yard drive to take the lead, and finally a 25-yard drive after an Oak fumble to get a final score of 42-21. The poor D-Line play from both sides seems to led to similarly good QB stats and excellent third down conversions (Ind was 9-13(!) and Oak 4-8), but Ind put up over 100 more yards rushing. Whether Ind wore down Oak or Oak is prone to giving up the wrong play at the wrong time (remember when Mia exploded on them?), I am not sure, but it does look like Oak is not a 60-minute team.


4. NO PK (@ Min) - Win (30-20 NO)

Our pick was right but reasoning was wrong. I expected NO to out score Min, which they did, but consider this, as rushing yards was close (NO 106 - Min 85), Min dominated the stats elsewhere: first downs (27-17), passing yards (338-164), and Time of Possession (31:23 - 28:37).


This game was close, and turnovers once again played the key part. Credit to NO for using it to their advantage, which was the difference. NO won the turnover battle 2-1, not crazy, but as Min pressured Brees into throwing a pick, they soon fumbled after driving deep into NO territory. NO used one play to score a TD before Min then kneeled to run out the half (17-13 NO at half). As Min was driving and the fumble had a big defense return, that TO took away points from Min and added 7 to NO. Then as the game stayed tight, Cousins threw a pick-6 in the 3rd.


A close game that looked like NO owned it, however the stats show that Min stepped up even with an injured D, to hold NO to respectable numbers. The 14-0 points-of-turnovers was the difference, and credit to NO for making it happen.


5. GB +9.5 (@ LAR) - Win (29-27 LAR)

GB's D played way better than expected. Keeping it a back and forth, which gave Rodgers the chance to win it. If it wasn't for the Montgomery fumble, negating Rodgers last chance drive, GB may have won outright.


I thought LAR would carve up GB's D but GB would keep some pace, with a great backdoor chance, and have enough to cover +9.5. The real story was GB's D and keeping LAR under 30, no easy task.


 

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