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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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NEW BLOG UPDATE

By Joe Nelson
Posted 09/26/2016 at 05:14 PM

After 11+ interesting and exciting season Les Miles is out at LSU. Both losses this season had wild finishes and those are the types of games that Miles has usually pulled out in his tenure in Baton Rouge. No matter the record the SEC champion will earn a college football playoff spot and LSU is still alive in that race as winning out will put them in Atlanta. While that seems like a long shot, the games with Mississippi and Alabama are at home and this is a very talented squad that has losses by two points to a top 10 team and essentially by a second with a botched finish wiping away a late go-ahead score last week. LSU seemed to want to fire Miles all last season and instead didn’t, only to do it with odd timing ahead of homecoming in the middle of a critical run of SEC games. Ed Orgeron got a lot out of USC after Lane Kiffin was fired in the middle of the 2013 season but his task may be more difficult in this circumstance. Orgeron was miffed to not get the head coaching job with the Trojans after that run yet he steps into the same situation here with virtually no chance to keep the position next season.
 
Speaking of USC, the Trojans are 1-3 but keep in mind the losses are to three undefeated teams away from home. This is a squad that has the potential to get on a late season run as they should be favored in the next five games before a big November. The Pac-12 has four unbeaten teams remaining after all four had narrow escapes last week. Washington and Stanford face off this week while Utah and Arizona State will be underdogs this week on the road as there may only be one unbeaten standing for the conference after October 1. For a league that was upset to be left out of the College Football Playoff last season, the challenge to get a team in this season will be steep. It appears that the ACC, SEC, and B1G champions will earn spots in most scenarios and there will be some attractive runner-ups possible in those conferences as well. Houston is a team that the Pac-12 will need to root against in AAC play as the Cougars will be a threat to steal a spot as their schedule will have enough weight with a game with Louisville ahead and a win over Oklahoma already in the books. Notre Dame could also be a spoiler for the Pac-12 as well as they will host Stanford in two weeks and in a lost season for the Irish they’ll be able to get up for that game.
 
There are only five undefeated teams left in the NFL through three weeks and the AFC leaders are not big surprises with perennial playoff squads in New England, Baltimore, and Denver, although the quarterbacks getting the job done for the Patriots and Broncos is a bit surprising. In the NFC Minnesota and Philadelphia are huge surprises to be the last teams standing with Carson Wentz looking like a breakout rookie star and the Vikings giving Sam Bradford’s career new life. At +65 the Eagles have by far the best point differential in the league and they are the only team assured to be unbeaten after Week 4 as they are on an early bye week.
 
Rookie quarterbacks have started eight games already this season with a combined record of 6-2 and not far removed from going 8-0 with the losses coming by Dak Prescott in Week 1 by a point vs. the Giants and last week’s loss for Cody Kessler in overtime with a missed late field goal in regulation that would have won for the Browns. The 2015 NFL quarterback draft class only produced eight wins all last season but that class has five wins this season with Trevor Siemian looking on pace to pass both Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota in short order.
 
The jury is mostly still out on the 2014 draft class which has a combined 3-4 record in games started this season with Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo accounting for the Ws while Teddy Bridgewater is out for the year and Blake Bortles is still winless this season. The 2013 draft class incredibly didn’t have a single quarterback starting last week as the shelf life can be short at the premier position and as good as this year’s rookie crop looks the 2013 class doesn’t have any quarterback that appears likely to have a highly successful career at this point. Best of Luck and on to this week’s slate.

FULL STORY

NEW BLOG UPDATE

By Joe Nelson
Posted 09/19/2016 at 03:00 PM

In a season where two rookie quarterbacks started in the opening week, two more will be starting in Week 3 as Jacoby Brissett and Cody Kessler are both projected starters this week despite entering the season expecting to be 3rd-string quarterbacks. Yet to see the field is still the #1 pick in the draft even as the Rams have yet to score a touchdown in eight quarters however. Brissett and Kessler are in far different situations as Brissett, the NC State 3rd round pick is leading a 2-0 team. Kessler was also a 3rd round pick but he inherits a 0-2 Browns squad and a team with little hope of climbing into the AFC North or AFC wild card pictures.
 
Brissett’s task this week is great as the Patriots are on a short week hosting Houston in possibly Week 3’s only matchup of 2-0 teams (unless Philadelphia wins Monday). For the Patriots this is a short term situation as though the team will need to sign another quarterback this week, Tom Brady will be back in Week 5, just in time to face a Browns squad that will also be looking to acquire another quarterback with the need for the long haul as it seems unlikely that Robert Griffin or Josh McCown will be back at any point this season as the tough breaks continue for the franchise. It is just two weeks into the season but #1 in Total QBR is the recently injured Jimmy Garoppolo and don’t be surprised if Brissett comes in and has success in the Patriots system.
 
In terms of QB rating Matt Ryan tops the list followed by Sam Bradford after just one game with Garoppolo fourth. It isn’t a surprise to see Case Keenum, Jameis Winston, and Trevor Siemian as the bottom three in QB rating at this point but just barely ahead of those young players are superstars Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson as heading into Monday, Rodgers has the third fewest passing yards of two start quarterbacks this season, just ahead of Keenum and Tyrod Taylor.
 
The Texans weren’t too impressive in winning the AFC South last season at just 9-7 with an ugly playoff performance. Houston might not be that much better this season but the Texans are close to being in a commanding position in the division and if they are able to take advantage of the fortunate circumstances for this week’s game with the Patriots they could emerge as a top seed threat in the AFC. Jacksonville and Indianapolis both have tough home games this week before the teams will meet in London in Week 4 and don’t rule out some major changes if one of those teams is sitting at 0-4, particularly in the case of the Colts with short-fused owner Jim Irsay in charge.
 
While the NFL is designed to be an offensive league, having the best offense isn’t translating to wins so far as none of the top 11 teams in yards per play offense this season have made it to 2-0 and three of the top six yards per play offenses so far this season are 0-2 with the Redskins, Saints, and Browns. Two weeks is too small of sample to draw any conclusions but it is also is clear that defense matters more with four of the league’s top eight yards per play defenses sitting at 2-0 and none of the top 14 defensive teams are 0-2. There are some surprises at the bottom of the defensive rankings on a per play basis however as 2-0 Pittsburgh ranks 24th, and 2-0 New England ranks 30th.
 
Several prominent college playoff contenders seem to already be out of the running with Notre Dame and Oklahoma both suffering second losses on the season. There is still a path for Florida State but the 63-20 loss to Louisville will be hard to overlook. A popular sleeper Iowa also probably can’t recover from a loss to FCS North Dakota State, even though the Bison would likely be favored over the vast majority of FBS teams. Mississippi, USC, and Auburn also took second defeats as potential fringe contenders. The conference in the most trouble appears to be the Big XII with no teams in the AP Top 15 at the moment and only two teams without a loss remaining three weeks into the season. Those teams are playing this week with Oklahoma State visiting Baylor as the Big XII looks in danger of being the odd conference out as the College Football Playoff picture starts to emerge. Best of Luck and on to this week’s slate…

FULL STORY

JOE NELSON HEADLINES
Nelson: UConn at Houston
Nelson: Close Calls - Week 3
Nelson: 4th Quarter Covers - Week 4
Nelson: Clemson at Georgia Tech
Nelson: Close Calls - Week 2
MORE J. NELSON HEADLINES
ACCOLADES AND DOCUMENTED RECORDS
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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Period: 08/27/2016 to 09/27/2016
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Record: 9-11-0 ( 45.0% , -310)
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