• Tony Bonk

Week 3 and 13 Wagers

Average week 1, bad week 2, and now the model selects more than a dozen wagers for week 3?!

Before diving in, let's recap our 2020 record:

- ATS Wagers: 2-3-1 (W1 was 2-1-1, W2 was 0-2)

- Total Wagers: 2-2 (W1 was 2-0, W2 was 0-2)

- Contest (Top 5): 4-5-1 (W1 was 2-2-1, W2 was 2-3)

Priors and The Model

Every model needs data, and deciding whether to use last season, this season, qualitative, power ranking system, or some combination of all those (or more) is a tough problem. Our model uses prior games played as a foundation, which until mid-season, still includes games from last season.

The good thing about that is during backtesting over two seasons (2018 and retesting on 2019 after using it to wager in 2019) resulted in approximately 58%ATS and nearly 60% Totals (remember, we rebuilt Totals this past offseason after a 50% result last year).

The bad thing about that is many teams significantly change over the offseason due to roster turnover, new coaches, or existing coaching bringing in new ideas and schemes. This makes it difficult to assume the underlying stats reflect the team you will get each week.

But, we can rely on manual review to exclude games with big changes but ultimately we trusting our backtesting process for longterm results.

Let's get to the picks.


The model liked seven games this week (usually on 2-3) for wagers, showing a lot of value on the week 3 card. Three of those seven, I am crossing off:

- LVR +6.5 (@ NE) --> short week for LVR and still lots of pre-Cam games for NE in the model

- Mia +3 (@ Jax) --> We will be avoiding nearly every Thursday this year, outside of Thanksgiving

- SF -3.5 (@ NYG) --> Too many injuries to trust a model prediction of a cover (even though I personally still kind of like SF to cover)

Top 5 (with odds for those I wagered)

  1. Car +6.5 (@ LAC) --> +6.5 -110,Bet Online

  2. Was +7 (@ Cle) --> +7 -107, Bookmaker

  3. Hou +4 (@ Pit) --> +4, -105, Bet Online

  4. Dal +4.5 (@ Sea) --> +5, -115, My Bookie

  5. Bal -3.5 (KC) --> -3.5, -110, Bet Online

You may notice that Bal is below my usual 'betable' threshold. It is close, and I like Bal personally, so I am making an exception (and I'm also using it in official contests).

Week 3, 2020 - ATS Model Results


So NINE games were selected by the model! That is not normal, with it usually being 2-3 per week. However, it has been discussed on many podcasts and articles about how scoring is up this year, offensive penalties are down, but how long will that hold?

We could say, no Total bets until we see if these over trends continue, but I think the numbers will come back down as players get more conditioned. I also have to think the NFL hears the talk on offensive penalties being down and will adjust accordingly.

At your own risk, dive into the Totals, because I trust the math and think sometime soon (hopefully this week...?) we see play that more mirrors the past few years (which the model was more closely built on).

One more note, there are two games I excluded from ATS but am keeping for Totals (excluding Thursday night regardless):

- LVR @ NE and SF @ NYG --> I am deciding to keep these for Total wagers because I think the changes in the teams help the Under (we are going Under in both of these). For example, NE is running Cam more, and typically more runs leads to running game clock, longer drives (per time), and overall less plays in the game. In SF @ NYG, the SF injuries to QB, RB, WR, DE, and CB, I think will impact their explosive plays but that they will still keep a run-heavy approach. I am a bit worried that NYG throw more without Barkley and if SF's DE / DL is banged up, then NYG could take advantage of weakened D line and CB. However, NYG do not have a great OL, so I don't expect their offensive success rate to jump up too high.

  1. NYJ @ Ind - Under 44 (-107, Bet Online)

  2. LVR @ NE - Under 47 (-107, Bet Online)

  3. Was @ Cle - Over 44.5 (-108, Bookmaker)

  4. GB @ NO - Under 53 (-110, My Bookie)

  5. LAR @ Buf - Over 47 (-110, My Bookie)

  6. SF @ NYG - Under 43 (-110, My Bookie)

  7. Dal @ Sea - Under 57 (-108, Bet Online)

  8. Ten @ Min - Over 50.5 (-108, Bet Online)

Week 3, 2020 - Total Model Results

Straight Up

And just for fun. Here are my rankings for Straight Up win this week, with a projection of what I think the ML price should be on each team. I use this as a basis for Survivor picks (but do NOT trust it outright, you must consider schedule and all the typical Survivor considerations).

Week 3, 2020 - Straight Up Model Results

Enjoy week 3.


©2020 by

This site does not endorse, recommend, or support illegal betting or gambling under any circumstances. All information on this site is for entertainment purposes only and is not intended to be used in any direct or indirect violation of local, state, federal or international law(s).

Please be smart, abide by the laws of your area. Don't do illegal things.