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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.

1 Pick mlb Daily Picks, Tuesday September 16

By Joe Nelson
Posted 09/15/2014 at 04:07 PM

The poor results for the Big Ten have virtually assured that the conference will be left out of the initial four-team playoff at the end of the season. Only Nebraska and Penn State are undefeated and neither of those teams has been thoroughly impressive as the Huskers nearly lost to McNeese State and Penn State has played three close games. Penn State will be favored to get to 5-0 and they do get both Ohio State and Michigan State at home but don’t expect the Lions to have a storybook season even with the postseason ban recently lifted. Nebraska has a big home test with Miami this week and will play at Michigan State in early October as a perfect run in Lincoln seems pretty unlikely.

The Big Ten is 1-10 S/U and ATS vs. the other major conference teams this season (ACC, Big XII, Pac-12, SEC, + Notre Dame). While the conference deserves credit for playing the most non-conference games vs. other major conference foes, the consistent losing has taken a huge toll on the reputation of the conference. The only win also came from newcomer Rutgers over Washington State, hardly a groundbreaking victory. In total the Big Ten will play 17 games vs. major conference foes (including Notre Dame & BYU) in non-conference games, far more than any other conference. The SEC will collectively only play 11 such games but they have gone 4-1 so far with Tennessee’s loss to Oklahoma last week as the only blemish. The Pac-12 and Big XII play nine-game conference seasons leaving less room for non-conference games but even so the Pac-12 (with two fewer teams) will play more quality non-conference games than the SEC and the Big XII (with four fewer teams) will play just as many.

Through two weeks (with Monday night still pending), the team with the best record and best point differential is the Houston Texans, a team with a new coach and quarterback coming off a 2-14 season. Turnovers have been the difference, as Houston is +5 in turnovers through two weeks after being the worst in the NFL last season at -19. Houston has been out-gained in both wins this season so it may not be a sustainable pace. Five teams are yet to turn the ball over this season, a group of teams that are collectively 7-3 and featuring four teams that were 2013 division winners that combined to go 49-15 last season, and the Cleveland Browns who have played two very competitive games this season. The Patriots have seven turnovers for its defense already this season in a 1-1 start, masking some serious issues for the normally impressive offense as the Patriots have the third worst yards per play offense in the NFL so far this season, ahead of only the Giants and Jaguars. The four teams yet to produce a turnover on defense are a combined 1-6 heading into Monday night. Best of Luck and on to this week’s slate…



By Joe Nelson
Posted 09/01/2014 at 11:55 AM

While even the most casual football fan knows that the polls are fairly meaningless, especially early in the season, there still is often value going against some of the top teams in the polls. Of the seven teams in the top nine in the opening AP poll that played a FBS foe in the opening week only two covered and both were pretty lucky to do so as both Ohio State and Auburn snuck out late covers despite being in tight games most of the way. Florida State, Alabama, Oklahoma, UCLA, and South Carolina all lost against the number in the opening weekend with South Carolina taking the worst loss with a lopsided outright defeat. Don’t be surprised if the Gamecocks still have a better season than Texas A&M despite the clear overreactions after one game as the SEC West looks much tougher than the East. Florida State and Alabama are still serious national title contenders despite getting tested seriously in week 1 and falling well short of big favorite spreads as well.
One thing that appears to be clear when looking at the NFL from a year-to-year basis is that it is very tough for any particular division to maintain its place on top for consecutive seasons. While ultimately how strong a division is does not matter in any team’s long term goals and there is not a great way to rank the divisions collectively. Coming out of a tough division does seem to be a prerequisite for winning the Super Bowl however.
Last season the NFC West was objectively and subjectively the toughest division with 42 wins between the four teams, the most wins for a division since the 2007 when the AFC South also hit that mark. In 2012 Baltimore was far from the most impressive regular season team but the AFC North was a strong division with three teams with at least eight wins. It was a year in which seven of the eight divisions featured between 31 and 35 combined wins with no clear top division.
Going back to 2006, in six of the last eight seasons the Super Bowl champion has come out of a division with at least three of the teams finishing 8-8 or better and in five of the eight seasons there has been at least two 10-win teams in the division that produced the Super Bowl champion. Going back to 2005, all eight divisions have produced at least a tie for the best collective record for a division in at least one season, as there are clear cycles of rising and falling for every division.
The NFC West was the worst division in the NFL for three straight years from 2008 to 2010 but it was the best last season. After two years at the bottom in 2011 and 2012 the AFC West made a nice comeback last season as the AFC South was the least successful division. That could again be the case in 2014 but don’t expect the South to stay at the bottom much longer than that. Not since 2003 and 2004 as a division reigned as the top division in the NFL in terms of collective record for consecutive seasons, which the AFC East did narrowly those two seasons. History says there will be a decline for the NFC West this season.  
Over the last five seasons, all four divisions in the NFC have claimed a Super Bowl title and since 2004, spanning just 10 seasons, seven of the eight divisions in the NFL have a Super Bowl title. The only division without a title in that span is the AFC West but Denver represented the division in the game last season. 20 consecutive Super Bowl losers have failed to return to the Super Bowl the next season however, a daunting figure for a Broncos team with the clock ticking for their QB.  Best of Luck and on to this week’s slate…


Nelson: 4th Quarter Covers - Week 3
Nelson: Houston at BYU
Nelson: Arizona at Texas-San Antonio
Nelson: 4th Quarter Covers - Week 1
Nelson: Texas A&M at South Carolina
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 Guarantee Leader: +722
2012 MLB Guarantee Leader: +2,480
2012 #2 MLB Totals Leader: +1,208
2011-2012 NBA #2 Money Leader: +1,219
2011-2012 NBA #3 Percentage 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 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: 08/16/2014 to 09/16/2014
Pick Type: All Picks
Record: 5-9-0 ( 35.7% , -500)
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Start Date: End Date:
09/15/2014 at 04:07 PM
Between the Lines - Sep. 15

09/01/2014 at 11:55 AM
Between the Lines - Sep. 1

08/29/2014 at 06:25 PM
4th Quarter Covers - College Football Thursday

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