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

 

2016-21 NFL Results

2016-21 NFL Best Bets are 299-213-2 (58.4%)  – 161-97-2 on Sides, 107-89 on totals, 6-5 1st-half totals, 11-13 team totals, 13-8 teasers, 1-1 season win totals.

 

2016-21 NFL Strong Opinions are 202-158-9 (56.1%) – 87-86-7 sides, 74-57-1 totals, 1-1 1st-half sides, 4-1 1st-half totals, 7-6 Team Totals, 3-1-1 teasers, 26-6 Post-season prop bets.

The NFL Week Pass is no longer available. The lines move when I release my plays and many move out of qualifying range due to line moves.

 

Those of you that purchase the week pass on a regular basis have still done well but you’re much better off getting a 4-week package for $295, which allows you to receive the plays as they’re being released, which will add more than 3% to your win percentage compared to playing my Best Bets at the Sunday lines.

Chicago Bears @
Detroit Lions

Thu, Nov 25 9:30 AM PT

Rotation: 105, Odds: Detroit Lions +3, Total: 41.5

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Lean – Chicago (-3) over DETROIT

Backup quarterback Tim Boyle made a great case for Jared Goff being a competent QB in a terrible situation last week. Boyle had only a 4.2-yard average depth of target against the Browns and averaged 3.4 yppp. Jared Goff is in line to return for the Thanksgiving game, but Chicago’s defense is built to stop the Lions passing attack. Roquan Smith leads all linebackers with 4 forced incompletions and is a wrecking ball against opposing tight ends/running backs. The Bears are conceding just 5.4 yards per target to opposing TEs (4th) and they’ve allowed only 317 receiving yards to opposing RBs all season. Tight end TJ  Hockenson leads Detroit with 73 targets and the Lions target running backs on 27.9% of passes (2nd).

Andy Dalton is averaging only 5.5 yppp since the start of last season but that is an upgrade over Justin Fields, who was averaging 5.0 yards per pass play before being declared out due to an injury to his ribs. However, WR Allen Robinson (hamstring) is likely out, leaving Dalton short on weapons. Chicago has just a 51.8% pass rate (31st) and won’t have much success on the ground versus a Lions rush defense ranked 4th.

Our model favors the Bears by 5.7 points, with a predicted total of 43.9 points. It’s interesting to note that the favorite is 17-0 straight up and 15-2 ATS (with the 2 dog covers by just 0.5 points and 1.5 points) in Detroit’s Thanksgiving Day games since 2004.

Las Vegas Raiders @
Dallas Cowboys

Thu, Nov 25 1:30 PM PT

Rotation: 107, Odds: Dallas Cowboys -7, Total: 50.5

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1-Star Best Bet – *Over 50.5- Las Vegas at DALLAS

Lean – Las Vegas (+7.5)

Dallas surrendered 5 sacks on non-blitzes last week in the loss to the Chiefs, but I expect the offensive line to be much better on Thanksgiving with LT Tyron Smith back in uniform. Smith led the league in pass blocking efficiency before an ankle injury in week 8. Smith will shut down edge defender Yannick Ngakoue, who has 43 pressures (11th). The Cowboys average 1.3 more yards per rush and 1.4 more yppp with Smith on the field this season.

WR Amari Cooper is out but Dak Prescott should have plenty of time in the pocket to find Michael Gallup downfield across from Raiders CB Brandon Facyson, who is surrendering 1.39 yards per cover snap. I had expected WR CeeDee Lamb to clear the concussion protocol but he is out and is worth about a point.

Las Vegas is averaging 14.3 points per game since losing Henry Ruggs and now the offense is undervalued. The Raiders added DeSean Jackson to replace Ruggs’ speed and he went from 17% snap rate in week 10 to 34% last Sunday when the Raiders averaged 7.1 yppp versus the Bengals. We have Ruggs worth 0.9 points, but Jackson should get even more playing time in this game stretching the field for Derek Carr to find tight end Darren Waller underneath. Dallas is surrendering 8.7 yards per target to opposing TEs and Waller is averaging 1.82 yards per route run (4th).

Our model favors the Cowboys by 4.1 with a predicted total of 53.7 points. The Over is a 1-Star Best Bet at 50.5 or less.

Buffalo Bills @
New Orleans Saints

Thu, Nov 25 5:20 PM PT

Rotation: 109, Odds: New Orleans Saints +6.5, Total: 45

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1-Star Best Bet – *Buffalo Team Total Over (26.5 -115)

Alternate play is Buffalo -6.5

Lean – Over (45)

Lean – Buffalo (-6.5) over NEW ORLEANS

The Bills consistently play in some of the worst weather of any team in the NFL. The average wind speed in a game across all teams has been 6 mph while Buffalo has played half of their games with the wind of at least 12 mph. Since the beginning of last season, the Bills have averaged 31.9 points in 10 games with better than average scoring conditions and only failed to reach 27 points once in those ten games. Josh Allen will be in perfect weather on turf at the Superdome Thanksgiving night and he will likely score at least 27. Saints edge defender Marcus Davenport (shoulder) is out, and he leads the team with a 14.1% pressure rate.

The Bills surrendered 5.7 yards per rush last Sunday with LB Tremaine Edmunds not in uniform due to a hamstring injury, but Edmunds will be back on the field this week and the Saints likely won’t be able to count on the ground game without Alvin Kamara. Edmunds has a 10.1% run stop rate (8th) and is a crucial cog in Buffalo’s 2nd-rated rush defense. Meanwhile, fellow linebacker Matt Milano is conceding only 0.63 yards per cover snap and will take away any underneath passing by Trevor Siemian.

Our model favors the Bills by 10.2 points, with a predicted total of 51.9 points, and the best way to play this game is with the Bills’ team total over, which is a 1-Star Best Bet at 26.5 points or less up to -120 odds. The alternate play is Buffalo at -6.5 or less.

Tennessee Titans @
New England Patriots

Sun, Nov 28 10:00 AM PT

Rotation: 251, Odds: New England Patriots -7, Total: 43.5

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1-Star Best Bet – *Tennessee (+7) over NEW ENGLAND

Tennessee’s offense will be without top wide receivers AJ Brown (chest) and Julio Jones (hamstring) as well as RB Derrick Henry (foot). Those three are worth 2.8 points combined according to our metrics, but the Titans should not be getting a touchdown even after accounting for the lack of Brown, Jones, and Henry.

New England’s strength of schedule this season ranks 30th and the Patriots are a middle of the pack 12th in net yards per play after compensating for their opponents. Mac Jones is averaging 6.7 yppp during the five-game winning streak which would rank just 14th. For context, Tua Tagovailoa is averaging 6.7 yppp this year, so all the praise for Jones is a bit much, although he’s good for a rookie. New England’s offense is 33 for 66 on third down during the winning streak, converting at a rate usually reserved for the most dominant offenses in the NFL, of which the Patriots are not. Last year’s Packers and the Saints in 2011 were the only teams in the last decade to convert half of their first downs. In other words, the Patriots have been lucky to convert on 3rd-down as often as they have lately.

Tennessee’s defense is allowing a league-low 4.7 yards per target to opposing tight ends and will shut down the Hunter Henry/Jonnu Smith tandem. The Titans have the 9th-rated rush defense, and they will limit a Patriots ground game ranked 11th by our numbers.

The most likely outcome for New England’s offense is 24 points on Sunday. Tennessee’s offense has reached 20 points in all but two games this season. The Titans would have put up around 28 points against the Texans last week if it weren’t for the five turnovers even with Brown only available for 52% of snaps. That loss has the Titans undervalued heading into this game.

Our model favors the Patriots by just 2.4 points even with the injury adjustments, with a predicted total of 43.9 points, and Tennessee is a 1-Star Best Bet at +7 at -115 odds or better.

New York Jets @
Houston Texans

Sun, Nov 28 10:00 AM PT

Rotation: 253, Odds: Houston Texans -2.5, Total: 45

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1-Star Best Bet – *NY Jets Team Total Over (21 -115)

Strong Opinion 6 pt Teaser – NY Jets (+8.5) with Miami (+7.5) at +7.5 or more

New York (+2.5) over HOUSTON

Zach Wilson is back under center for New York, and this will be by far the softest defense he has gone against in his young career. The Falcons are the only team Wilson faced in his first six starts that aren’t ranked above average in yards allowed per pass play. Houston’s defense is surrendering 7.0 yppp (26th) and Wilson is in line for his best game of the year. Texans nickelback Tavierre Thomas is conceding a league-low 0.36 yards per cover snap in the slot and he will limit Jamieson Crowder on the inside but the other Jets receivers should be consistently open. I expect Wilson to look deep for WR Elijah Moore as 26% of the rookie’s targets have had 20+ air yards this season.

DE John Franklin-Myers led the New York’s defense with six pressures last week and he could be even better in this game across from backup right tackle Charlie Heck. Tyrod Taylor will not have time to operate and will likely look to his receivers underneath, as he attempted just 29% of his passes beyond the sticks against the Titans.

Our model favors the Jets by 5.2 points with a predicted total of 48.3 points. The Jets’ team total Over 21 at -120 odds is a 1-Star Best Bet and we’ll use the Jets (+8.5) as part of a Strong Opinion teaser with Miami +7.5.

Philadelphia Eagles @
New York Giants

Sun, Nov 28 10:00 AM PT

Rotation: 255, Odds: New York Giants +3.5, Total: 45.5

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Lean – NY GIANTS (+3.5) over Philadelphia

The Giants fired offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and former Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens will now be calling the plays for Daniel Jones. New York could catch a huge break if CB Darius Slay is unavailable due to a concussion after Slay conceded only 9 yards while breaking up a pass and taking an interception for a touchdown last week. Slay is allowing just 0.72 yards per cover snap and is worth 0.9 points by our numbers. Giants LG Matt Skura is surrendering a 6.4% pressure rate and has no chance of staying in front of interior defender Javon Hargrave, who ranks 8th in pass rushing efficiency.

Jalen Hurts is also likely to face some collapsing pockets as DT Leonard Williams has 33 pressures (7th) and will line up across from Philadelphia LG Landon Dickerson, who ranks 44th in pass blocking efficiency out of 55 qualifying guards. Rookie WR DeVonta Smith has 8 deep receptions (5th) but he will be contained by cornerback James Bradberry, who has 9 forced incompletions (2nd). The Eagles target tight ends on 27.4% of passes (4th) and Hurts will be looking for Dallas Goedert as New York’s defense could be without both starting safeties for the second-straight week. Rob Gronkowski averaged 2.54 yards per route run last Monday night with Jabrill Peppers and Logan Ryan not on the field.

Our model makes Philadelphia a 3.0-point favorite, with a predicted total of 45.0 points, but the matchup favors the Giants, as does a 34-2-1 ATS contrary angle.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @
Indianapolis Colts

Sun, Nov 28 10:00 AM PT

Rotation: 257, Odds: Indianapolis Colts +3, Total: 53

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1-Star Best Bet – *First Half Over (24.5)

Lean – Tampa Bay (-3) over INDIANAPOLIS

The Colts rushed for 264 yards during last week’s blowout win in Buffalo and Jonathan Taylor converted 44% of his carries into a first down or touchdown, but I do not think Indianapolis will lean on the ground game as much this Sunday. Opposing offenses have a league-high 67% pass play rate against the Buccaneers and Tampa Bay has the 8th-rated rush defense by our metrics. I expect Frank Reich to be more aggressive throwing the ball with interior defender Vita Vea (11.5% run stop rate) returning for the Buccaneers this week.

Tampa CB Carlton Davis is unlikely to suit up again, which means we’ll see CB Sean Murphy-Bunting out of position again as he usually lines up as a nickelback when Tampa Bay’s secondary is at full strength. Murphy-Bunting is surrendering 2.10 yards per route run when lined up on the outside this season. Michael Pittman is averaging 1.98 yards per route run (17th) and Carson Wentz will look for him downfield when lined up across from Murphy-Bunting.

Tom Brady’s top two wide receivers should have no problem getting open against the Colts secondary. Chris Godwin is averaging 1.75 yards per route run in the slot (6th) and will line up across from Kenny Moore, who is allowing 1.47 yards per route run in the slot ranking 21st out of 24 qualifying nickelbacks. Indianapolis CB Xavier Rhodes is surrendering 1.72 yards per cover snap and has no chance of staying with Mike Evans, who has 7 receptions on passes with at least 20 air yards (11th).

Our model favors the Buccaneers by 7.6 points, with a predicted total of 55.4 points. The first half total over is a better option than the full game over in this case.

Atlanta Falcons @
Jacksonville Jaguars

Sun, Nov 28 10:00 AM PT

Rotation: 259, Odds: Jacksonville Jaguars +2, Total: 46

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Atlanta (-2) vs JACKSONVILLE

The Falcons were shut out last week but I’m mostly going to give them a pass as they had a rookie head coach preparing for his first Thursday night game missing 40% of the team’s receiving yards. Arthur Smith should put together a much better scheme this week with nine days to prepare. Furthermore, Cordarrelle Patterson will likely suit up on Sunday and he is leading all running backs averaging 3.22 yards per route run. Edge defender Josh Allen is Jacksonville’s major pass rushing threat with 39 pressures (14th) but he will be shut down by LT Jake Matthews, who ranks 8th in pass blocking efficiency. Matt Ryan should have time in the pocket to pick apart a Jaguars secondary that could be without top CB Shaquill Griffin due to a concussion.

Jacksonville WRs Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault each have 40 targets in the last 7 games since DJ Chark was lost for the season with a broken ankle, but Trevor Lawrence’s top receivers have vastly different outlooks on Sunday. Falcons CB AJ Terrell is conceding just one reception every 15.8 cover snaps (5th) and he will shut down Jones. Atlanta’s nickelbacks are surrendering 1.33 yards per route run to opposing slot receivers and will struggle with Shenault.

Our model favors the Falcons by 0.6 points with a predicted total of 44.2 points, but the matchups strongly favor Atlanta and that’s who I took in my pool.

Carolina Panthers @
Miami Dolphins

Sun, Nov 28 10:00 AM PT

Rotation: 261, Odds: Miami Dolphins +2, Total: 42

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Carolina (-2) vs MIAMI

Lean – Under 42

This game will feature two of the most aggressive defenses in the NFL as the Dolphins have a league-leading 40% blitz rate and Carolina’s blitz rate is 32% (6th). I expect Cam Newton and Tua Tagovailoa to handle the blitzes differently.

Miami’s offensive line ranks last in pass blocking efficiency and the Panthers have a 29.4% pressure rate (2nd). Tagovailoa will not have any time in the pocket and hasn’t done well when the defense sends five or more pass rushers. Tagovailoa is averaging 5.2 yards per attempt versus the blitz compared to 7.9 yards per attempt when not blitzed.

Chrstian McCaffrey injured his hamstring in the second quarter of week 3, then missed four games, but he has been back on the field the last three weeks. McCaffrey has 21 receptions during the previous three games and is now averaging 2.98 yards per route run. Cam Newton will be able to find McCaffrey sneaking out of the backfield when Brian Flores’s defense decides to blitz.

Our model favors the Dolphins by 0.6 points, with a predicted total of 41.9 points. The matchups do favor Carolina and the under.

Pittsburgh Steelers @
Cincinnati Bengals

Sun, Nov 28 10:00 AM PT

Rotation: 263, Odds: Cincinnati Bengals -4, Total: 45

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CINCINNATI (-4) vs Pittsburgh

Lean – Under (45)

Pittsburgh’s defense surrendered 7.7 yards per play last Sunday night without edge defender TJ Watt (hip), CB Joe Haden (foot) and S Minkah Fitzpatrick (covid), but all three starters are expected to be back in uniform this week. Watt ranks 9th in pass rushing efficiency and they will need him on the field as interior defender Cameron Heyward (40 pressures) is likely to be limited by LG Quinton Spain, who ranks 10th in pass blocking efficiency.

Joe Burrow had 70% of his completions go for a first down last game despite more than half of his passes thrown short of the sticks, but he is averaging 8.4 air yards per attempt (9th) and will likely look downfield more often this week.

Cincinnati’s defense conceded just 10 points to the Steelers in week 3 and Ben Roethlisberger averaged only 4.8 yppp. Roethlisberger could be in trouble again as LT Dan Moore has surrendered 5 sacks and will not be able to contain edge defender Trey Hendrickson, who ranks 4th in pass rushing efficiency.

Our model makes Cincinnati a 3.4-point favorite with a predicted total of 44.3. I won’t lean with Pittsburgh because the matchups significantly favor Cincy, but I will lean with the under. Pittsburgh went over on the road last week, but the Steelers are still 41-12-2 Under in their last 55 road games, including 38-7-2 Under when the total is 49 points or less. The Steelers are also 62% Under the week after going Over the total since 2011.

Los Angeles Chargers @
Denver Broncos

Sun, Nov 28 1:05 PM PT

Rotation: 265, Odds: Denver Broncos +2.5, Total: 47

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Minnesota Vikings @
San Francisco 49ers

Sun, Nov 28 1:25 PM PT

Rotation: 267, Odds: San Francisco 49ers -3, Total: 49

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Cleveland Browns @
Baltimore Ravens

Sun, Nov 28 1:25 PM PT

Rotation: 271, Odds: Baltimore Ravens -3.5, Total: 46

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Seattle Seahawks @
Washington Football Team

Mon, Nov 29 5:15 PM PT

Rotation: 273, Odds: Washington Football Team -1.5, Total: 46

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Lean – Seattle (+1.5) over WASHINGTON

Lean – Over (46.5)

The Seahawks are underrated after scoring 13 total points in the two games since Russell Wilson returned and only winning once since week 4. It looks like Wilson prematurely came back from his finger surgery but he should be getting healthier each week and should not be an underdog to Taylor Heincke. Opposing quarterbacks have been taking downfield shots against Washington CB William Jackson as his average depth of target surrendered is 13.7 yards (6th-highest). Tyler Lockett leads the NFL with 11 deep receptions and will likely get behind Jackson at least once on Monday night.

Seattle’s linebackers Jordyn Brooks and Bobby Wagner surrendered 17 receptions for 158 yards and a touchdown last week. Heinicke will look to attack Brooks and Wagner as running back JD McKissic is averaging 1.83 yards per route run (3rd).

Our model favors the Seahawks by 1.1 with a predicted total of 48.8 points and Seattle is 16-2-1 ATS in games after consecutive loss under coach Peter Carroll, including 3-0 ATS this season.

Los Angeles Rams @
Green Bay Packers

Sun, Nov 28 1:25 PM PT

Odds: Green Bay Packers +1, Total: 47

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Lean – Los Angeles (-1) over GREEN BAY

Green Bay is 26-6 at Lambeau Field after week 10 of the season when hosting teams that play in domes and it looks like the temperature will be in the upper 30s on Sunday, but Matthew Stafford has plenty of familiarity with the environment having played in the Packers’ division for a decade.

Cooper Kupp is averaging 3.06 yards per route run (2nd) but he will be limited by nickelback Chandon Sullivan, who is conceding only 0.80 yards per slot cover snap (4th).

All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari has yet to suit up for the Packers, but backup Elgton Jenkins was conceding just 1.5 pressures per game. However, Jenkins tore his ACL and his backup Yosh Nijman will be tasked with defending Aaron Rodgers’ blindside against edge defender Von Miller, who ranks 9th in pass rushing efficiency and should be fully implemented into the Los Angeles defense following the bye week.

Jalen Ramsey shadowed Davante Adams in the Division Round of the playoffs last season and Adams averaged just 6.6 yards per target. I could see another frustrating game for Adams if DC Raheem Morris deploys his All-Pro cornerback in shadow coverage again.

Our model favors the Rams by 0.9 points, with a predicted total of 47.9 points, but I’ll lean with Los Angeles based on the matchups.