EPA is Expected Points Added, ATS is Against The Spread, YPPL is yards per play, YPPP is yards per pass play.

 

2018 NFL Best Bets now 24-14 (63.2%)!

 

2016-18 NFL Results

2016-18 NFL Best Bets are 161-115-2 (58.3%)  – 106-59-2 on sides, 52-51 on totals, 1-2 1st-half totals, 0-1 team totals, 2-1 teasers, 0-1 season win totals.

 

2016-18 NFL Strong Opinions are 108-81-4 (57.3%) – 50-50-3 sides, 48-30-1 totals, 3-0 1st-half totals, 7-1 Super Bowl prop bets.

Green Bay Packers @
Seattle Seahawks

Thu, Nov 15 5:20 PM

Rotation: 307, Odds: Seattle Seahawks -3, Total: 48.5

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Best Bet – *Over (48.5) – Green Bay at SEATTLE

Lean – Green Bay (+3)

Seattle’s defense is overrated as they’ve been a completely different unit without Earl Thomas. The Seahawks ranked 15th in success rate allowed before losing Thomas at the end of week 4 and they rank 30th is success rate allowed since his injury surrendering 1.1 more yards per play. Conversely, Green Bay’s offense is trending upwards. Aaron Rodgers is no longer dealing with mobility restriction like he was earlier in the season and the Packers have found an effective ground game. Aaron Jones’ 55% rush success rate leads the NFL and his 6.1 yards per rush since joining the league last year is best all qualifying running backs. Jones didn’t play more than 30 snaps in the first 7 weeks, but he’s been featured more since the bye and received 83% of the carries last Sunday. The Packers have the league’s 2nd-best rush offense and there still could be room for improvement with Jones in a workhorse role.

Seattle is the only offense in the league with more runs than passes, which gives them a favorable matchup against Green Bay’s defense ranking 28th against the run and 12th against the pass. Even Russell Wilson is using his legs more often with 9 rushes last Sunday after averaging just 3.0 rushes per game coming into the week. Wilson ranks 8th in expected points added with his legs among quarterbacks, after finishing second last season, and the Seahawks will gain an extra dimension on offense if he continues to utilize his scrambling ability like he did versus the Rams. DE Nick Perry is out for the Packers so we’ll see more of Reggie Gilbert, who has the same amount of pressures and more sacks in 32 fewer pass rushes than Perry this season. Although, Gilbert will have an unfavorable matchup lining up across from Duane Brown, who ranks 15th among tackles in pass blocking efficiency.

Our model leans with the Packers but there is more value on the over and I’ll take the Over in a 1-Star Best Bet at 48.5 points or less (Strong Opinion Over 49).

Carolina Panthers @
Detroit Lions

Sun, Nov 18 10:00 AM

Rotation: 451, Odds: Detroit Lions +4.5, Total: 49.5

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Dallas Cowboys @
Atlanta Falcons

Sun, Nov 18 10:00 AM

Rotation: 453, Odds: Atlanta Falcons -3, Total: 48.5

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Lean – Dallas (+3/+3.5) over ATLANTA

Dallas LB Leighton Vander Esch had a great game on Sunday night and now ranks 2nd among all linebackers with an 11.7% run stop rate on this season. However, with all of the Vander Esch plaudits, I think the value of Sean Lee is getting lost as Vander Esch lacks the pre-snap communication of Lee and the Cowboys once again struggled to defend passes in the middle of the field last week – allowing Zach Ertz to gain 145 yards and 2 touchdowns. We may see Falcons’ TE Austin Hooper, who saw 11 targets last week, in line for an excellent game with star WR Julio Jones, whose 2.99 yards per route run ranks 2nd, likely held in check by Dallas CB Byron Jones, who is conceding just 0.62 yards per cover snap (4th).

Pro Bowl middle linebacker Deion Jones was activated for the Falcons and Atlanta’s 17th-rated rush defense should improve if he plays (questionable as of Thursday night) – just in time to face Ezekiel Elliott, who picked up another 151 yards on the ground last week. Elliott also ranks 2nd on the Cowboys in targets and he was in line to do some damage in the receiving game as the Falcons allow 7.1 yards per target to opposing running backs (25th). However, Jones surrendered only 0.74 yards per cover snap in 2017 (7th) and Elliott may be bottled up if the linebacker is able to suit up for the first time since week 1 (check his status).

Amari Cooper is not transforming this Cowboys offense despite being featured heavily with 18 targets in his 2 games. In fact, Cooper is gaining less yards per target so far in Dallas than he did in Oakland. Dak Prescott should have plenty of time to find Cooper downfield though, as Atlanta’s pass rush hasn’t been great this season with the regression of Vic Beasley. Takkarist McKinley is the Falcons only player above 5 sacks, but he is likely to be shut down by Tyron Smith, one of three tackles yet to concede a sack with at least 300 pass blocking snaps.

Our model favors the Falcons by just 2.1 points and the Falcons apply to a negative 35-92-2 ATS situation this week. I’ll lean with Dallas at +3 points or more.

Cincinnati Bengals @
Baltimore Ravens

Sun, Nov 18 10:00 AM

Rotation: 455, Odds: Baltimore Ravens -6.5, Total: 44.5

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Minnesota Vikings @
Chicago Bears

Sun, Nov 18 10:00 AM

Rotation: 457, Odds: Chicago Bears -2.5, Total: 44.5

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CHICAGO (-2.5) vs Minnesota

The winner of this game will take an important lead atop the NFC North and Chicago seems to have the better end of the matchups. Bryce Callahan is one of the best nickelbacks in the NFL, conceding just 0.64 yards per cover snap in the slot (3rd), and he held Adam Theilen to 95 combined yards in the two games last season. Stefon Diggs is coming back from a rib injury and is unlikely to get anything going in the vertical game running routes against Prince Amukamara, who’s caught more interceptions (2) than allowed completions (1) on 10 deep targets this season. The Bears front has a 33% pressure rate (8th) and should cause problems for a Vikings offensive line ranked 27th in pass blocking efficiency. Kirk Cousins won’t have a lot of options under heat with his two top receivers blanketed, but Minnesota’s 31st-rated ground game is also unlikely to move the ball versus Chicago’s top-ranked rush defense.

On the other side of the ball, Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and Anthony Miller all average more yards per route run in the slot than they do on the outside, which is atypical among wide receivers and a good way to attack the Vikings. Minnesota CB Mackensie Alexander surrenders 1.71 yards per cover snap in the slot, ranking 8th-worst among 42 qualifying nickelbacks, and I expect Bears’ coach Matt Nagy to feature his receivers on the inside to take advantage of Alexander. Minnesota’s defense boasts a 9.4% sack rate (2nd) and is looking particularly menacing since DE Everson Griffen returned to the lineup, but all that pressure could encourage Mitch Trubisky to scramble out of the pocket. Trubisky has added nearly double the number of points with his feet this year than any other quarterback this season so the pass rush could backfire at times.

Our model favors Chicago by 2 points but the matchups seem to be in the Bears’ favor in this crucial Sunday night tilt. I’ll pass.

Philadelphia Eagles @
New Orleans Saints

Sun, Nov 18 10:00 AM

Rotation: 459, Odds: New Orleans Saints -8.5, Total: 56

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Lean – Philadelphia (+8.5) over NEW ORLEANS

The defending Super Bowl Champions are sitting at 4-5 and have hardly any room for error the rest of the season. Beating the Saints in the Superdome is a tall challenge and I have no doubt that the Eagles will give a good effort here as they try to salvage their season. Philadelphia is 6-1 straight up in their last 7 games as an underdog and responded to the challenge a few times in last year’s post-season run. Still, it’s unlikely that Philly wins this game – although I do think it can be competitive.

New Orleans has the 7th-rated rush defense in our numbers and I expect Philadelphia to focus on the passing game as they haven’t found a consistent rusher since Jay Ajayi was lost for the year. It looks like All-Pro right tackle Lane Johnson will miss this game too, which is problematic for the Eagles. Backup RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai allowed 4 pressures last week and he’ll be lined up across from All-Pro Cameron Jordan, who should have a productive game if Johnson doesn’t play. Carson Wentz will likely see pressure and his favorite safety valve Zach Ertz probably won’t have his best performance. Ertz is currently on pace for 133 receptions and 1403 yards, both of which would be the all-time records for a tight end, but the Saints concede just 6.4 yards per target to opposing tight ends (5th).

New Orleans’ potent offense will be without Terron Armstead, who’s one of 3 tackles with at least 300 pass blocking snaps yet to allow a sack this season. Armstead is a key cog in a Saints offensive line that is ranked 2nd in pass blocking efficiency, but he will likely miss multiple weeks with a shoulder injury. Brandon Graham and Michael Bennett, both among the 5 edge rushers to record at least 40 pressures thus far this season, should cause havoc on Drew Brees’ blindside with Armstead out. The Eagles, however, will be without top cornerback Ronald Darby and Saints’ star WR Michael Thomas, whose gaining a league-best 3.07 yards per route run, should be in line for another superb outing.

Philadelphia has played 16-straight games without losing by more than a touchdown and our model makes them a 6.7-point underdog in this game. I’ll lean with the Eagles plus the points.

Tennessee Titans @
Indianapolis Colts

Sun, Nov 18 10:00 AM

Rotation: 461, Odds: Indianapolis Colts -1.5, Total: 49

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Lean – INDIANAPOLIS (-1.5) over Tennessee

Andrew Luck has not been sacked since left tackle Anthony Castanzo made his season debut on October 14th, and that streak of 4 games without a sack is the longest in the NFL since 2010. In fact, it’s nearly been 5 games without a sack as Luck was taken down on the second play of the Patriots game. Luck has now gone 185 pass plays without being sacked and his offensive line should give him plenty of time to find T.Y. Hilton downfield in a favorable matchup. Hilton will line up across from Malcolm Butler, who’s the only qualifying cornerback surrendering more than 2 yards per cover snap, and he should be featured heavily in this game with Tennessee likely to take away Luck’s bread and butter, the tight end. The Colts target tight ends on 29% of passes (2nd-most), but the Titans allow just 5.8 yards per target to opposing tight ends (2nd-fewest).

For Tennessee, Corey Davis was impressive with 125 yards and a touchdown last week against the Patriots’ Stephon Gilmore, who ranked 5th in yards allowed per cover snap among corners coming into the game. The former top 5 pick now ranks 15th among wide receivers with 2.10 yards per route run and he could be a real threat in the second half of the season if he develops some consistency. Marcus Mariota is now fully healthy after playing hurt much of the season and he’s gained 7.3 yards per pass play with 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions since their bye week. Indianapolis’ pass defense ranks 31st in our numbers and I expect Mariota’s success to continue.

Our model favors Indianapolis by 3.7 points and Tennessee applies to a 40-95-3 ATS road letdown situation that is based on their upset home win over the Pats. I’ll lean with the Colts at -2.5 or less.

Houston Texans @
Washington Redskins

Sun, Nov 18 10:00 AM

Rotation: 463, Odds: Washington Redskins +3, Total: 42

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Houston (-3) vs WASHINGTON

The Redskins offensive line is in shambles as they play without 6-time Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams and both starting guards. They lost backup Geron Christian to a torn ACL last week and his backup Ty Nsekhe is now questionable with an ankle injury. I expect J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus to dominate the trenches in this game. The Texans have the 3rd-rated rush defense in our numbers and should limit receiving out of the backfield as they allow just 5.1 yards per target to opposing running backs (6th). Alex Smith may not have his running backs available on check-downs, but he does have a favorable matchup targeting tight ends, which Washington does at the 4th-highest rate in the league. Houston’s defense is surrendering 9.1 yards per target to opposing tight ends and I expect productive outings from Vernon Davis and Jordan Reed.

The Texans will play their second game without deep threat Will Fuller, but Demaryius Thomas might be a better fit for Houston’s offense as Deshaun Watson doesn’t typically have time to look downfield due to getting pressured on a league-high 45% of his drop backs. The Texans target wide receivers 4th-most in the league, and while Washington’s defense has done a good job limiting opposing running backs and tight ends, they concede 9.5 yards per target to wide receivers (29th). I expect Watson to utilize DeAndre Hopkins and Thomas often on Sunday.

Road favorites coming off a bye are 69-38-1 ATS since 2000 but Washington applies to an 80-25-1 ATS home underdog momentum situation that is based on last week’s impressive win at Tampa Bay. Our model favors Houston by 3.7 points after accounting for the injuries but I’m going to pass on this game.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @
New York Giants

Sun, Nov 18 10:00 AM

Rotation: 465, Odds: New York Giants -1.5, Total: 52

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Lean – NY GIANTS (-1.5) over Tampa Bay

Lean – Over (52)

The Buccaneers scored 3 points despite generating 501 yards of offense last week, which is the lowest point total for any team above 500 yards of offense in NFL history. In fact, Tampa Bay was the first team to score in single digits with above 500 yards of offense since 1986. The Buccaneers pulled off the rare feat thanks to 4 turnovers, 2 missed field goals and scoring 0 touchdowns on their 5 trips to the Redzone. Tampa Bay’s offense is still gaining 6.7 yards per play (4th) and they certainly won’t experience bad luck to that extent moving forward.

The Buccaneers’ defense will likely be without one of the surest tacklers in the league in Lavonte David, whose 17.5 attempted tackles per miss ranks 11th among linebackers, and another starting linebacker Kwon Alexander is also out for the Bucs. Tampa Bay’s defense sans David and Alexander sets up Saquon Barkley to thrive both on the ground and catching passes out of the backfield. The Buccaneers concede 177 slot receiving yards per game, most in the NFL, meaning we’ll likely get a heavy dose of Sterling Shepard, who is gaining 1.74 yards per route run in the slot (11th). Odell Beckham also will likely find himself open facing the mediocre Brent Grimes on the outside.

Our model favors the Giants by 3 with a predicted total of 54.8 so I’ll lean Giants and over.

Denver Broncos @
Los Angeles Chargers

Sun, Nov 18 1:05 PM

Rotation: 467, Odds: Los Angeles Chargers -7, Total: 46

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Oakland Raiders @
Arizona Cardinals

Sun, Nov 18 1:05 PM

Rotation: 469, Odds: Arizona Cardinals -5, Total: 40.5

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Pittsburgh Steelers @
Jacksonville Jaguars

Sun, Nov 18 5:20 PM

Rotation: 471, Odds: Jacksonville Jaguars +5.5, Total: 46.5

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Kansas City Chiefs @
Los Angeles Rams

Mon, Nov 19 5:15 PM

Rotation: 473, Odds: Los Angeles Rams -3.5, Total: 63

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Lean – LA RAMS (-3.5) over Kansas City

Lean – Under (63)

The Rams spent this week in Colorado preparing for a high-altitude game in Mexico City following the same line of logic as the Patriots, who destroyed the Raiders 33-8 last year south of the border. However, this game will be now be played in Los Angeles as field conditions at Estadio Azteca were deemed unplayable. This game should be exciting to watch regardless of where it is played. Let’s take a look at the match-up between the teams sharing the league’s best record at 9-1.

The Rams wide receivers get 69% of the team targets, the 2nd-highest share in the league, but targeting wide receivers isn’t necessarily the best strategy versus Kansas City. The Chiefs concede just 6.9 yards per target to opposing wide receivers (2nd-fewest) but have been vulnerable to tight ends and running backs without S Eric Berry and LB Derrick Johnson this season. Furthermore, the Los Angeles wide receiving corps will be without Cooper Kupp, who’s adding 0.1 more expected points per target than the other Rams receivers in 2018. Some will speculate Kupp’s success is due to Sean McVay scheming him open, but it’s worth noting Josh Reynolds has -2 receiving yards from 31 routes in the slot and Kupp’s absence may be an issue for this offense. As odd as it sounds, the Rams passing attack doesn’t match up favorably with the Chiefs this week and I expect Todd Gurley to be featured heavily against Kansas City’s last-ranked rush defense.

The Rams defense ranked 13th in success rate allowed through the first 3 weeks of the season, but rank just 26th since losing elite CB Aqib Talib. Former Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters is surrendering 1.85 yards per cover snap (3rd-worst) and will line up across from former Rams wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Kareem Hunt has avoided 41 tackles on runs this season, 8 more than anyone else in the league, and I expect him to be featured heavily against the Rams 29th-rated rush defense that just allowed 273 yards on the ground last week.

This is the highest posted total in NFL history and of the 24 totals of at least 57 points since 2000, the over is 17-6-1. However, our model projects a fair total of 61.4 points and there’s reason to believe both teams will utilize their ground games on Monday night, which eats up the clock and reduces yards per play. I will lean under. Our model favors the Rams by 4.5 points and they apply to a 70-23-3 ATS Monday night home team situation, so I’ll also lean with Los Angeles.