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Joe Nelson - About Me

Joe Nelson has been a regular on the Vegas Insider leader board since 2006. 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 season.

1 Pick NCAA Basketball Daily Picks, Sunday December 04
1 Pick nba Daily Picks, Sunday December 04
3 Pick nfl Sunday Picks, Sunday December 04

By Joe Nelson
Posted 11/28/2016 at 06:27 PM

The College Football Playoff selection committee has a pretty clear four-team plan this week but an upset in the Pac-12 championship or the ACC championship could spark some controversy. Focus will be on the Big Ten, where four teams currently seem to be viable candidates if there are openings. Penn State and Wisconsin fans are crying foul about Ohio State likely getting in despite not being in the championship game but that is wasted energy, the Buckeyes are definitely getting in. The controversy will be if a spot opens up and Michigan is taken ahead of the Big Ten champion. The 10-2 Wolverines could wind up with wins over the Pac-12 champion plus the Big Ten champion and the Big Ten runner-up. The head-to-head results would favor Michigan over Wisconsin and Penn State and quality wins are simply hard to find on the resumes for the Badgers and Nittany Lions. Penn State got the big lucky win over Ohio State but the rest of the Big Ten slate was quite weak. Wisconsin’s big win over LSU became heavily diminished as the season went on. Michigan will likely stay ahead of both teams in this week’s rankings and there might need to be a convincing performance from one side in Indianapolis to pass up the Wolverines who will get a lot of credit for playing extremely well in Columbus in a double-overtime result. Michigan’s case would likely be best if Penn State wins the Big Ten Championship as the 49-10 head-to-head result might be tough to overcome. A convincing result this weekend can be worth a lot of bonus points as recall Ohio State made its case two years ago to jump over the Big XII candidates with a 59-0 result in the Big Ten championship. It will be up to the teams on the fringe to deliver that type of dominance to ensure their inclusion. Knowing that spot will mean facing Alabama in Atlanta, the consolation prize of going to the Rose Bowl might not be such a bad option however.
This is shaping up to be a bizarre NFL season as while Dallas and New England look like conventional top contenders, some of the other teams with great records have very suspect numbers. In a short 16-game NFL season it isn’t unusual for there to be a team that defies the numbers with marginal scoring and big breaks to make the playoffs but right now the majority of the playoff teams would have very shaky scoring differentials. New England has the top scoring differential in the AFC but the next three teams would not make the playoffs. Houston (-42), Miami (+9), and Baltimore (+17) meanwhile would all get in while Oakland and Kansas City certainly don’t have the typical resumes of teams that are a combined 17-5. Detroit (+9), New York (+18), Washington (+16) all would be playoff teams in the NFC as well while teams with stronger scoring differentials in Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Minnesota would be at home. According to most power ratings three division leaders and five current playoff teams would rate in the bottom 16 of the league while a few top 10 squads are long shots to be in the postseason picture in the current standings. There is time to sort things out in the final five weeks but ultimately both leagues are shaping up to have less drama in the races for the top seeds but great drama in the wild races with six AFC teams within two games of 7-4 Miami who holds the #6 spot this week and six NFC teams within two games of 6-4-1 Washington who is currently #6 in the NFC.
Despite a competitive effort the winless Browns lost ATS last week but the other four teams with the worst records in the league were ATS winners or at worst finishing with a push with competitive showings from Jacksonville, San Francisco, Chicago, and the New York Jets. Late in the season value can grow on the teams at the bottom of the league and this year perhaps more than most seasons the difference between the bottom of the league and the upper tier of the league may not be all that dramatic in most instances. At this point is looks like that in seven of 15 matchups around the league the team with the better record will be getting points as looking at the standings may not be that meaningful. Best of Luck and on to this week’s slate…



By Joe Nelson
Posted 11/21/2016 at 04:19 PM

Louisville’s lopsided loss on Thursday night made for a fourth top 5 upset in a six-day span as it has been a wild November in college football. While the three teams that lost on November 12 are all still in play as playoff candidates, Louisville’s opportunity is all but gone. While the Cardinals would have brought a lot of excitement to the playoff field with the probable Heisman Trophy winner, the selection committee has to feel a bit of a sense of relief as the Cardinals were going to be a tricky case for inclusion. The committee made their big ACC decision last week by placing Clemson still ahead of Louisville but including a second ACC Atlantic team ahead of a potential 12-1 Pac-12 champion or other candidates would have been a very controversial decision.
While the Pac-12 has been a bit of an afterthought much of the season with many of the big games back-loaded on the schedule with the decline of some of the traditional powers, this week’s games out west should get plenty of attention. The Apple Cup Friday will determine the Pac-12 North champion and if that team is Washington they are still very much in the college football playoff conversation despite slipping to #6 last week. Colorado can claim the South title with a win over Utah Saturday, otherwise it will be USC. A 12-1 Washington team might still need a bit of help in the Big Ten shake-up as the Huskies should root for Michigan this week to lessen the chance to two Big Ten candidates. Colorado’s case won’t be a great one but if the two losses on the season wind up to Michigan and USC and the Buffaloes beat Washington State, Utah, and Washington in succession there might be a chance, though after years of losing in Boulder a Rose Bowl trip sounds like a decent consolation prize.
The Big XII has decided to add a conference championship game in future seasons but this season they don’t need to as the Oklahoma State/Oklahoma game on December 3 will serve that role. Much of the conference is idle this week and that game should be just as much in the spotlight as some of the championship games. The case for either is marginal as a playoff team as Ohio State’s blowout win in Norman will likely be hard to look past in comparison with the Big Ten teams in the running.
While most aren’t scrolling down past the top 6 in the rankings, last week Boise State was narrowly ahead of Western Michigan as the only two Group of 5 squads in the rankings. Both teams won last week against marginal competition as it will be tough to make an argument for a change in order this week. Both teams play much more formidable foes this week but the challenge for Boise State is that they might not get a chance to play in the conference championship game if Wyoming wins this week. In that scenario Western Michigan seems to be the easy choice but should the Broncos lose to Toledo or in the MAC championship things will get complicated with the door open for the Mountain West winner, Boise State as a non-division winner, or the AAC champion with Navy likely in the best position to have a strong case. The issue with Navy is they have the rivalry game with Army December 10, a week after the AAC Championship game and after the bowl matchups get set. Army is good enough to win that game for a change this season as that might be reason enough to leave Navy behind one of the other teams in the subjective committee rankings.
The declining NFL ratings have been a big story this season and perhaps one can look at the big storyline last Sunday being missed extra-points. With 12 attempts missed Sunday the move back to the 33-yard line has increased the challenge and added some intrigue but that shouldn’t be the league’s lead story after a critical week 11. This season has lacked compelling games with a collective mediocrity across the league. One factor might also be the back-loading of division games that would normally fill these weeks. While Week 16 and 17 will feature a few incredibly compelling division battles, often most of the divisions are well set by that point and some of those matchups might be better served being in November. Best of Luck and on to this week’s slate…


Nelson: 4th Quarter Covers - Week 14
Nelson: Close Calls - Week 12
Nelson: MAC Championship Preview
Nelson: 4th Quarter Covers - Week 13
Nelson: LSU at Texas A&M
2015-2016 NCAA BK #3 Money Leader: +1,709
2015-2016 NCAA BK #3 Percent Leader: 56%
2014 MLB #3 Favorites Leader: +1,100
2013-2014 NBA #3 Totals Leader: +993
2013-2014 NFL Money Leader: +1,340
2013-2014 NFL Percent Leader: 60%
2013-2014 NFL Guaranteed Leader: +805
2013-2014 NCAA FB Percent Leader: 60%
2013-2014 NCAA FB #2 Money Leader: +1,446
2013-2014 NCAA FB #3 Member Leader: +940
2012-2013 NFL #2 Member Leader: +200
2012-2013 NCAA FB Guaranteed Leader: +722
2012 MLB Guaranteed Leader: +2,480
2012 #2 MLB Totals Leader: +1,208
2011-2012 NBA #2 Money Leader: +1,219
2011-2012 NBA #3 Percent Leader: 55%
2011-2012 NBA #3 Member Leader: +711
2011 MLB #3 Underdog Leader: +1,607
2011 MLB #2 Member Leader: +1,789
2008-2009 NCAA BK Guaranteed Leader: +1,250
2007-2008 NCAA BK Member Leader: +1,450
2008 MLB #2 Guaranteed Leader: +2,236
2007-2008 NFL #3 Money Leader: +1,470
2006-2007 NCAA FB Member Leader
2006-2007 NBA #3 Percent 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: 11/04/2016 to 12/04/2016
Pick Type: All Picks
Record: 14-11-1 ( 56.0% , +193)
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Start Date: End Date:
11/28/2016 at 06:27 PM
Between the Lines - Nov. 28

11/21/2016 at 04:19 PM
Between the Lines - Nov. 21

11/14/2016 at 05:28 PM
Between the Lines - Nov. 14

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