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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.

5 Pick NCAA Basketball Daily Picks, Saturday January 21
1 Pick nba Daily Picks, Saturday January 21
2 Pick nfl Sunday Picks, Sunday January 22

By Joe Nelson
Posted 01/16/2017 at 03:27 PM

In a regular season that featured some less than stellar moments for NFL Kickers including the Week 12 fiasco with 12 extra-points missed, kickers stepped up in a big way in the divisional round of the playoffs. Kickers combined to go 21-21 in field goals last week including some lengthy kicks and pressure-packed kicks. Mason Crosby only hit two field goals last week but they were from 56 and 51 in the final two minutes of the wild NFC win over Dallas for the Packers. For the Steelers Chris Boswell didn’t kick from farther than 45 yards but his 6-for-6 performance was a playoff record and Pittsburgh needed all six of those kicks to hold on against the Chiefs Sunday night.
After double-digit margin finishes on Saturday, the two Sunday games were remarkably entertaining and competitive games. Green Bay and Dallas wound up separated by just 15 yards in a game with over 800 yards and the wild fourth quarter finish will be possibly the most memorable playoff finish of the season, particularly if the Packers can continue their great late season run. The Chiefs/Steelers matchup fit the profile of both teams with the Steelers posting big production but not always cashing in while the Chiefs managed to hang around despite poor yardage numbers.
While to say the penalties were outcome-deciding would be going too far both Sunday games did have somewhat controversial calls in critical spots late in the games. The pass interference call on Dallas on Green Bay’s first go-ahead field goal drive was certainly a penalty by the rule of the law but certainly the type of contact that is typical in a multitude of plays throughout a game. That the pass had no chance to be caught and wound up being intercepted certainly deepened the blow on the Dallas side. The holding call on the Chiefs successful two-point conversion attempt was also far from egregious and wouldn’t have impacted the play. Both were correct calls but in a year where waning fan support and viewership has been an important topic it is easy to understand the fan frustration of the timing of these calls when dozens of similar calls don’t get made in every single game. Both certainly felt like calls that most would prefer not to see and usually don’t get made in the final minute of a one-possession basketball game. The subjective penalties will continue to be an issue the league may need to get a better handle on in the coming years, though controversy isn’t a bad ratings driver.
Dallas fans also can cry foul for the very unusual substitution foul they were hit with early in the game, wiping out a 22-yard gain and at least a field goal try on a drive that helped the Packers build their early lead. It’s in the rule book but the question deserves to be raised on why that violation is a 15-yard penalty and why it isn’t flagged pre-snap. Deliberately playing a down with 12 players is only a 5-yard foul, yet that substitution mistake is enforced the same as the most serious penalties in the game.
The NFL has a dream final four as far as high profile quarterbacks with the four remaining leaders with seven Super Bowl titles combined and 27 pro bowl appearances. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers both have two MVPs and it seems very possible that this year’s MVP will go to one of the four remaining quarterbacks, with a strong case to be made for Matt Ryan, the lone remaining quarterback without a title. Ryan and Rodgers will face off this week with an opening total of 60, matching the previous high for a NFL playoff game. That was the 2011-12 home win for the Saints 45-28 over the Lions in the wild card round. The Week 8 game between Ryan and Rodgers was wildly entertaining with a 33-32 win for the Falcons and seven combined touchdowns for the quarterbacks. Green Bay covered at +3 with the total only at 51. The Packers memorably won at the Georgia Dome 48-21 on their Super Bowl XLV run in January of 2011 when the Falcons were the #1 seed in the NFC. Four Atlanta turnovers were the big factor in a game Atlanta actually led 14-7 early with a kickoff return touchdown before Green Bay scored three touchdowns in the final seven minutes of the first half. Best of Luck and on to this week’s slate…



By Joe Nelson
Posted 01/09/2017 at 04:50 PM

All four home favorites won and covered in the NFL wild card round last weekend a year after all four home teams lost in the wild card weekend though Minnesota and Cincinnati did cover last season in narrow home defeats. The last time the four hosts all won and covered was in the 2011-12 wild card playoff round with three home favorites winning along with the Tim Tebow-led home underdog win for the Broncos over the Steelers. That season the Giants wound up upsetting the Patriots in the Super Bowl for the second time in five seasons. That matchup was a realistic possibility this season but the Giants fell out of the running last week.  
Last season all four divisional round hosts won S/U though going 2-1-1 ATS for most and those hosts went 3-1 S/U but 1-3 ATS each of the two seasons prior to that as this is the round where the spreads tend to be higher and underdogs often perform better with the favorites going just 18-31-1 ATS going back to the 2003-04 season. Only twice in that span has there been a home underdog which Kansas City nearly was this week, opening at +1 at some outlets but sitting as a slight favorite by Monday afternoon. The past three years in this round of the playoffs 10 of the 12 games have featured a spread of 5½ or higher as while this year’s four-game set features the highest playoff spread in almost 22 years it also features the three other games with numbers currently below 5 for much lower numbers than are usually present. While -4 for Dallas feels low for a #1 seed, Carolina in this round closed as just -2½-point favorite as the NFC’s top seed and four years ago Atlanta was -3 as the NFC’s top seed, with Seattle the opponent in both of those matchups. This round of the playoffs has also been surprisingly higher scoring of late with the ‘over’ 16-8 the past six seasons combined.
All four divisional matchups this week featured a regular season meeting between the teams, though all four games were first half games Week 6 or earlier. The spreads don’t make a lot of sense by comparison but the context is quite different for some of the matchups most notably New England closing at just -1 hosting Houston in Week 3 and now -15½ or higher this weekend. Houston dominated against a mid-round draft pick rookie quarterback last week but in the regular season meeting 3rd round draft pick Jacoby Brissett played a strong game to lead the Patriots to a shutout over the Texans in a matchup of 2-0 squads on Sunday night. Last week the result of the regular season meeting was turned around in two of three instances with wins by Houston, Pittsburgh, avenging regular season losses though Green Bay again won. All four regular season meetings had turnover margins of 2 or greater favoring the victor.
The Texans are truly a bizarre outlier to be among the NFL’s final eight teams. In scoring differential the teams ranking 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7 are among the eight remaining teams while Houston ranked 26th this season. Last season’s final eight teams featured league scoring differential rankings of 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, & 11. The previous season’s final eight teams featured scoring differential rankings of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, & 22 – with the outlier that year the 7-8-1 Carolina Panthers who won a lousy division with a negative scoring margin. Like Houston did last week the 2014-15 Panthers got a playoff win in a big part due to facing a quarterback with very limited experience thrown into action due to multiple quarterback injuries as Ryan Lindley led the wild card Arizona Cardinals. Carolina would lose 31-17 the next week at Seattle though the game was much more competitive than the final score that saw the Seahawks barely cover as a -13½-point favorite as the Panthers actually out-gained Seattle 362-348 but couldn’t overcome three turnovers including a late 90-yard interception return TD. Houston’s moneyline price this week is around +900 and Houston’s odds to win the Super Bowl are still upwards of 80-to-1 despite the team being in the final eight. In Week 1 Houston was as low as 16-to-1 to win the Super Bowl and even after last week’s victory the price really didn’t move very much. Best of Luck and on to this week’s slate…


Nelson: Big Ten Snapshot
Nelson: 4th Quarter Covers - Bowls
Nelson: Close Calls - Week 17
Nelson: Close Calls - Week 16
Nelson: Close Calls - Week 15
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: 12/21/2016 to 01/21/2017
Pick Type: All Picks
Record: 11-12-0 ( 47.8% , -206)
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Start Date: End Date:
01/16/2017 at 03:27 PM
Between the Lines - Jan. 16

01/09/2017 at 04:50 PM
Between the Lines - Jan. 9

01/02/2017 at 04:45 PM
Between the Lines - Jan. 2

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