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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.

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By Joe Nelson
Posted 08/13/2018 at 04:00 PM

Those playing the ‘over’ with typically low Week 1 preseason numbers had big returns with several high scoring outcomes and 11 of 16 week 1 contests hitting on the ‘over’. The numbers have been adjusted significantly for Week 2 with every total north of 37 after most Week 1 numbers started around 35 or 36 before the Friday and Saturday games climbed after a high scoring Thursday. Last season preseason games leaned sharply to the ‘under’ particularly in the last two weeks as it is too soon to jump to conclusions that some of the new rule changes are instantly pushing games to higher scoring levels, though it is certainly worth a close watch.
Teams working out quarterbacks in Week 1 may have been a bigger factor than the rule changes with several battles in play and seven teams wound up with more than 40 passing attempts last week. That sounds like a lot but nine teams hit that many attempts in Week 1 last season as often in the fourth quarter of tight games teams are allowing rookies and unproven players a chance to try to win the game with a late scoring drive in a meaningful game situations. In Week 2 of the preseason last year 25 of 32 teams threw at least 30 times in but only one team threw more than 45 times, a mark five teams hit last week, though it is worth noting that there were a handful of ugly completion percentages out there in the Week 1 box scores.
#1 draft pick Baker Mayfield was one of the most productive passers last week in his NFL debut throwing for 212 yards though at only a 55 percent completion rate. Mayfield was among the Week 1 top 5 in QB Rating for players with at least 10 attempts, joining ironically three former Cleveland starting quarterbacks in that group with Colt McCoy, Brandon Weeden, and Cody Kessler all posting productive results.
11 of 16 games last week were also decided by 10 or fewer points with several outcomes shifting with deep reserves deciding the fourth quarters. Teams producing lopsided wins were among the top recent preseason performers with Green Bay, Minnesota, and Baltimore all double-digit winners last week though the Vikings and Packers padded the scoring late for misleading results. First time NFL head coaches wound up 2-3 in their preseason debuts with Steve Wilks and Frank Reich narrow victors while Matt Nagy, Matt Patricia, and Mike Vrabel fell to 0-1 with Nagy actually now 0-2.
Common sense might support teams playing a second straight home game to start the preseason while going on the road for consecutive away games in the first two weeks could be perceived as a negative. The against the spread historical data refutes it however as teams at home for the first two games fair quite poorly in the second week including home favorites in Week 2 that won at home in Week 1 going 26-44-1 ATS since 1984.
Teams in a second straight road game do very well provided they lost in Week 1 as the results for teams that won in Week 1 on the road are less conclusive. The Bears fit that situation this week but the circumstances are different with Chicago also playing in the Hall of Fame game, making for three straight away games in three weeks on the August schedule. With home games completed in the first two weeks the Patriots, Packers, and Broncos will be on the road in back-to-back weeks before the regular season starts but all will be at home in Week 1. 
The Rams and Raiders play this week and will open the regular season against each other Monday night for an awkward matchup this week. More problematic will be the preseason Week 4 game between the Colts and Bengals who open the regular season against each other the next week for a bizarre scheduling situation that should lead to a sleepy preseason contest. Best of Luck and on this week’s slate…



By Joe Nelson
Posted 08/06/2018 at 03:50 PM

Injuries are a big storyline in every NFL preseason and while a big name starting quarterback has been yet to fall there have been some big names in impact positions wiped out for the 2018 season. Several contenders may be scrambling in the coming weeks and as usual the preseason won’t be necessarily about earning a spot on a particular team it will be about earning a spot somewhere else as many teams will be in need of waiver additions.
A few NFC contenders have been hit hard with Green Bay losing LB Jake Ryan for the season while OT David Bakhtiari has suffered an ankle injury of a yet to be disclosed severity. The Rams and Eagles lost possible meaningful defensive contributors while Tampa Bay is battling offensive line issues knowing they need to keep two quarterbacks healthy ahead of the start of the season. In the AFC the Colts and Jaguars have had lengthy injury reports while the Patriots, Browns, and Bills have been sent juggling quarterbacks and Chargers are reeling at tight end. As good as any team might project to be on paper injuries can derail any season with great impossible given the regular season roster constraints.
College Football managed to steal the headlines ahead of the NFL opener with scandal rocking the Big Ten powerhouse Ohio State. Urban Meyer’s coaching track record makes him a legendary performer but his career and legacy are in jeopardy. Ohio State will have a hard time finding a way to keep him employed given that they fired Jim Tressel just over seven years ago for lying about a much less consequential situation involving NCAA infractions and illegal player benefits.
After a bowl season where the Big Ten appeared to be closing the gap with the SEC and the ACC nationally it is a huge strike to the clear Big Ten favorite and the conference’s best threat to make a run in the College Football Playoffs after being shut out of the bracket last season. The challenge for the Buckeyes in potentially having to replace Meyer is that it will be hard to fathom that anyone on the staff or administration wasn’t aware of the situation and aided the cover up, even though Meyer may be the only one on record lying that gets held accountable.
Ironically the most obvious replacement for Meyer in-house would be Greg Schiano who has had his own scandals following him and unsuccessfully vied to be the Tennessee head coach before backlash followed rumors of his possible hiring. There will also be a ripple effect around several programs with culpability questioned among former Meyer assistants and others who worked with Zach Smith, the assistant behind the scandal, with Tom Herman (Texas), Luke Fickell (Cincinnati) and Steve Addazio (Boston College) on top of that list. None of those coaches should expect to be at any risk to lose their positions as Meyer will be but some tough answers and admissions may be in order that could cause some negative spotlights on those programs. Three Big Ten East powers have now been rocked by off the field scandals in the last decade but Penn State has proven that a program can get back national spotlight on the field in rather quick order even following the most horrendous of situations. College football kicks off in less than three weeks with two FBS games August 25.
NFL favorites wound up 34-27 S/U but 26-31-4 ATS in last season’s preseason with a severe ‘under’ lean with totals 22/37/2. Favorites wound up 7-7 in Week 1 with totals 6/8 as the edge for the underdogs and the ‘under’ was most prominent in the final two weeks including the ‘under’ 12-3 in Week 4. Best of Luck and on this week’s slate…


Nelson: AFC Coaching Changes
Nelson: NFC Coaching Changes
Nelson: AAC Outlook
Nelson: Big 12 Outlook
Nelson: Pac-12 Outlook
2017-2018 NBA Member Leader: +493
2017-2018 NBA Money Total: +1,053
2017-2018 NCAA BK #2 Percent Leader: 57%
2017-2018 NCAA BK Money Total: +2,129
2017 MLB #3 Totals Leader: +682
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: 07/20/2018 to 08/20/2018
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08/13/2018 at 04:00 PM
Between the Lines - Aug. 13

08/06/2018 at 03:50 PM
Between the Lines - Aug. 6

01/26/2018 at 05:22 PM
Between the Lines - Jan. 26

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