5 for 5 - Week 9, 2018
We are back at 0.500 and ready to get into positive units! Two of our choices are going against line moves, so people with more money than us disagree, but line moves be damned! Let's get some winners based on data!
Using the Westgate Super Contest lines:
1. Tam +6 (@ Car)
2. Den -1 (Hou)
3. Sea -2 (LAC)
4. NO -1.5 (LAR)
5. Ten +6.5 (@ Dal)
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers +6 (@ Car)
1 - Can I say Fitzmagic for a five?!?!?! Just kidding. However, Fitzpatrick playing and Winston on the bench is a great reason.
2 - Tampa is explosive, they are second in the league in Yards Per Play (9.0) behind only LAR. Car plays a more methodical approach and is 22nd at 6.7 ypp.
3 - Tampa defense is terrible, and I think Car will have nearly 35 minutes of possession because of it, but don't think that Car is a lock down D. They have holes and are ranked 17th in defensive DVOA (Tampa is 29th). I think Tampa will be able to keep up with Cam and the Car offense.
4 - Panthers play at Pit on Thursday night. Tough to look past a division game but look-aheads are very possible.
5 - Six points are a lot when it's two bad defenses.
Counterpoint - Car offensive line is ranked 8th in ALY and Adj. Sack Rate, while Tam is 29th and 19th. If Car goes up, they will likely be able to chew up the clock.
2. Denver Broncos -1 (Hou)
I have picked against Den so much that is about time to go with them!
1 - Hou's O-Line ranked 29th in Adj. Sack Rate
2 - Hou is now without Fuller, who opened it up for Hopkins and helped them get to 7th in Yards Per Play
3 - I do not think Den is good, but they are better at home (2-2 home vs 1-3 SU on the road, and that road win was the Ari self-destruction Thursday game)
4 - On those same lines, I do not know how Den is rated 7th in DVOA, but they are, while Hou is 12th overall. I will take -1 to a better team who also has a home field advantage in Mile-High
5 - Hou is on a five game win streak, which is hard to do no matter who you play, however I think they had some schedule luck to get those 5 wins: @Ind, Dal, Buf, @Jac, Mia
- @ Ind (OT game where Ind went for it on their side of the 50 and didn't get it)
- Dal (Hou played well but repeatedly couldn't finish drives and kept Dal close
- Buf (close game until Allen got injured and Peterman came in)
- @ Jac (the Bortles-acalyspe has begun)
- Mia (Brock on a Thursday with his two best receivers out)
3. Seattle Seahawks -2 (LAC)
This line has moved to Sea +1, an entire 3 points. Do not like going against that, but since it's within +/-3, I'm going to pick the winner and hope the spread goes along.
1 - Sea has been winning a lot lately by running the ball and LAC run D by their D-Line is ranked 21st per FootballOutsiders.com
2 - Also, LAC D-Line (Bosa still out) is 28th in Adj. Sack Rate, so Wilson will have time
3 - Melvin Gordon, a key piece to LAC offense, is still questionable after missing two weeks ago (by last week)
4 - Sea's D is up to 2nd in DVOA
5 - LAC have only lost to KC and LAR, not bad, but they have not beat any good teams yet either: Buf, SF (after Jimmy G injury), Oak, Cle, Ten
Counterpoint - Sea travels to LAR next week; LAC are 3rd in Yards Per Play at 8.8
4. New Orleans Saints -1.5 (LAR)
This is another one where we are on the wrong side of line moves, going from NO -1.5 to NO +2 as of 7am EST Sunday morning. Not great, but sticking to my guns.
1 - NO has a good run D, ranking 2nd in DVOA run D (however, strong counterpoint: NO is 29th in pass D)
2 - NO returning home after two big wins on the road (Bal, Min)
3 - Goff has played well but Brees vs Goff, I will take Brees at home every time
4 - NO has a better chance of getting to Goff, as NO's O-Line is 3rd in run blocking and 6th in Adj. Sack Rate. LAR isn't a slouch, as they have the highest rated run blocking but fall back to 14th in Adj. Sack Rate per FootballOutsider's O-Line metrics
5 - These teams are both good, I'm going more experience and home field versus better record; let's enjoy this one
5. Ten +6.5 (@ Dal)
1 - We are on the right side of the line movement here, with Ten going from +6.5 to 4.5
2 - The stats are all pretty close: Close in Yards Per Play (on Off and Def), DVOA; Dal slight advantage in Offensive DVOA and O-Line; Close in D-Line but Dal has strong advantage in Rush D; Ten has SP advantage by DVOA - A lot will come down to the coaches - Jason Garrett (who seems to find ways to lose games he shouldn't) versus Mike Vrabel (who in his short time has found ways to win games he shouldn't)
3 - Mariota's injury (nerve damage in his elbow), which caused him to lose grip strength and be inaccurate, should be close to fully healed after their bye week
4 - Both teams have big games next week, Dal @ Phi and NE @ Ten, so I'll differ back to which coach do I trust more to stay in the moment and keep his team prepared
5 - I'm reaching now, but this is the largest spread Dal has had this year, either favorite or underdog, and I don't think it's justified for Dal to be more than 6 points favorites to any team not named Bills or Browns