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Joe Nelson - About Me

Joe Nelson has been a regular on the Vegas Insider leader board for nearly a decade. Well known for producing the Nelly’s Sportsline Green Sheet football newsletter, Nelson provides his very best picks to Vegas Insider clients.
The 2013-14 football season was especially profitable for Nelson, finishing as the Vegas Insider win percentage leader in BOTH the NFL and college football at 60%, finishing as the money leader in the NFL and #2 in money earned in college football amongst the deep and excellent field of handicappers at Vegas Insider. Few handicappers have ever been able to put together such strong finishes in both disciplines in the same season.
Nelson has also produced strong seasons in basketball and baseball in addition to the success in football as a long list of documented top finishes on Vegas Insider indicates. Nelson was also the champion of the prestigious Wise Guys Football Contest in 2011, besting a field of 72 national handicappers and then went on to finish 2nd in the same contest in 2012 for impressive back-to-back finishes.
With a statistics background and years of experience working with several established handicappers as well as over a decade as a professional handicapper, Nelson provides a unique approach with traditional methods as well as innovative strategies. Nelson’s handicapping focuses on team situations, schedule analysis, and line evaluation as well as following a variety of statistical indicators that are incorporated into the process.
You can find regular blog posts and articles for insight and commentary throughout the year and be sure to consider getting on board for a successful 2014-15 season.

6 Pick NCAA Basketball Daily Picks, Saturday February 28
1 Pick nba Daily Picks, Saturday February 28

By Joe Nelson
Posted 01/15/2015 at 02:43 PM

How much a team spends on its quarterback can be an overlooked factor in ultimately winning the Super Bowl. In the salary cap era it certainly makes sense that the less you spend on one key player the better the rest of your team can potentially be and there is some data to support that notion. Only three times in the last 12 seasons has a team that won the Super Bowl had a top five highest paid quarterback in terms of the salary cap number and the only four times in that span has the Super Bowl winning quarterback had a salary cap number above $10,000,000.
The average Super Bowl winning quarterback has ranked 21st among quarterbacks in their salary cap hit going back to the 2001-02 season but that number is misleading as second year quarterback Tom Brady was paid just $314,993 against the cap that season, 78th among quarterbacks. If you take that season out and also take out last season when Russell Wilson had a cap number of $681,085 for 53rd in the league among quarterbacks, the ten seasons from 2002-03 to 2012-13 featured the average Super Bowl winning quarterback ranking about 12th in the league in cap number, pulling in an average salary of $8,851,469. That is still a big number but 15 quarterbacks this season made more than that against the cap.
Of the four remaining quarterbacks in this week’s conference championship games two are highly paid, one is more modestly paid, and one is one of the absolute steals of the league. Aaron Rodgers had a cap number of $17,550,000 this season while Tom Brady is at $14,800,000. Both are huge numbers and higher than any Super Bowl winning quarterback ever. Eli Manning’s second Super Bowl season in 2011-12 featured the highest salary for a winner at $14,100,000. The three highest ranked Super Bowl winning quarterbacks in terms of salary against the cap have all been named Manning with Eli 3rd in 2007-08 and Peyton 5th in 2006-07 and Eli also 5th in 2011-12. Rodgers is actually only 6th in the league in terms of the highest cap number this season and Brady is 12th. Four of this year’s top five did not even make the postseason with Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Jay Cutler, Drew Brees, and Sam Bradford as the top five, illustrating how disastrous your season can be if your quarterback is vastly overpaid.
Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson are both in the third season of rookie contracts but they came into the league in a much different manner with Luck the #1 pick in the draft and thus he is making $6,029,454 against the cap this season, 18th most in the league. Wilson made $817,302 against the cap this season, again 53rd in the league. The salary history indicates that the Seahawks and Colts may have the best chance to win the Super Bowl this season and Wilson’s low salary makes it clear why the Seahawks have the best chance to be a repeat Super Bowl champion since the Patriots did in 2003-04 and 2004-05 when Tom Brady was modestly paid as the 21st and 13th highest paid quarterback against the cap those seasons.



By Joe Nelson
Posted 01/12/2015 at 03:32 PM

As outstanding as Aaron Rodgers has been in his career he has been a bit of a frontrunner, often posting great statistics but rarely coming through with big clutch moments as most Packers games in the Rodgers era have been lopsided in either direction. Under Rodgers the Packers are 53-17 in games decided by more than seven points but just 27-24 in games decided by seven or fewer points. Rodgers played outstanding in the Super Bowl XLV run but in three of the four games it was the Green Bay defense making a big play to seal the game after Rodgers and the offense failed to put the game away. In now seven full seasons as a starter Rodgers has delivered just eight fourth quarter comebacks and only 12 game winning drives in 113 starts. For comparison’s sake Andrew Luck already has nine fourth quarter comebacks and 12 game winning drives in just three seasons and fewer than half as many games at 53 and Luck is incredibly 19-4 in games decided by seven or fewer points. This season however Rodgers has delivered a couple huge signature wins with the comeback drive in Miami and the big win over the Patriots and now with a huge playoff win in a fourth quarter comeback following up the week 17 heroics against Detroit. Rodgers now has a chance to make the leap from a great player to a legendary player. He’ll have to get it done against a legendary defense in a historically tough venue while playing at less than 100 percent, but the storyline is certainly set up well.
The underdog is 9-7 in the last 16 NFC Championships and the road team has won three of the last four seasons. The AFC Championship has been a little more favorable for the hosts with the favorite on an 11-8 ATS run and the host advancing to the Super Bowl seven of the last eight years. Seattle has a chance to make a rare repeat Super Bowl run, something that has not been done since New England won back-to-back titles in the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Speaking of the Patriots this will incredibly be a fourth consecutive AFC championship though New England has failed to win the past two appearances with double-digit defeats the past two seasons. In nine of the last 14 seasons New England has been one of the final two teams in the AFC for a truly remarkable run of consistent success. A Super Bowl with Tom Brady and Rodgers would certainly be appealing in star power but third year quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Luck have a chance to cement an early path to greatness as well this week.
Wilson lacks the volume of success in the statistics of the other three conference championship signal-callers and many will deflect credit to the Seattle defense but Wilson is 41-13 as a starter. In playoff games Wilson has nine touchdowns and just one interception and for as great as the home field edge seems to be for Seattle Wilson’s numbers on the road are nearly as good, though he is 25-2 at home in his career including 2-0 vs. Green Bay, though most Packers fans would argue that record deserves an asterisk. Best of Luck and on to this week’s slate…


Nelson: Northwest Division Analysis
Nelson: Southeast Division Analysis
Nelson: Atlantic Division Analysis
Nelson: Central Division Analysis
Nelson: 2014-15 Bowl Season Recap
2014 MLB #3 Favorites Leader: +1,100
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2006-2007 NBA #3 Percentage Leader: 54%
2006 MLB #2 Member Leader: +1,238
2006 MLB #3 Money Leader: +214
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Joe Nelson's NFL Picks
Period: 01/28/2015 to 02/28/2015
Pick Type: All Picks
Record: 1-1-0 ( 50.0% , -9)
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Start Date: End Date:
01/15/2015 at 02:43 PM
Super Bowl Quarterback Salary Factor

01/12/2015 at 03:32 PM
Between the Lines - Jan. 12

01/05/2015 at 04:11 PM
Between the Lines - Jan. 5

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