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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 01/06/2020 at 11:33 AM

For the first time since 1991 all four wild card games were one-score results for a highly competitive start to the NFL Playoffs. Three of four road teams won and the one road team that did not win had the most productive offensive performance of the weekend in one of two overtime games of the weekend. It was incredible how several franchises lived up to their recent postseason narratives as Buffalo and Minnesota teams that have routinely had playoff collapses both blew big fourth quarter leads. A Saints team that ended its season with a controversial no-call last year in the NFC Championship found a way to end its season in controversy again with the rules it forced to enact not being applied. An Eagles team that has won four playoff games the past two seasons with a backup quarterback had to again play with a backup quarterback.
 
As is the case every week, turnovers decide football games. The Saints committed a record-low 8 turnovers over 16 regular season games but had two in its playoff loss. Potentially Tom Brady’s final throw in the NFL wound up being an interception returned for a touchdown.
 
This week’s games are equally alluring and with Brady absent from the divisional round for the first time in 10 years, the AFC field offers an incredible group of young quarterbacks. MVPs this year and last year will host games while it is easy to envision Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson facing off several more times in the playoffs in the next decade as two of the AFC’s star quarterbacks, who along with Lamar Jackson will fill the soon to be left void of Brady, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger as the faces of perennial AFC contenders.
 
One has to marvel at how incredibly well things have shaken out for the two #2 seeds in the playoffs. Kansas City was extremely unlikely to have a shot at that position but got the incredible upset from Miami in Week 17 as a 17-point underdog. The Packers somehow rallied to beat Detroit for a second time this season without ever leading in either game, earning the #2 spot among three 13-3 NFC squads. Not only did those teams get last week off rather than facing two very dangerous #6 seeds, they watched both of those #6 sees eliminate formidable #3 seeds that they were expected to have to face this week. Houston and Seattle are now far more appealing draws for Kansas City and Green Bay respectively. Despite much bigger spreads in the divisional round it won’t be a shock if there is another upset or two.
 
In a season filled with officiating controversy, the short-term storylines will be focused on a few big calls. Buffalo would have had a very makeable field goal try to win the game if not for a questionable blindside block call. The Texans also were at least a full second late to snap the ball on the critical 3rd-and-18 conversion on the game-winning drive. The Saints have a valid gripe for offensive pass interference on the game’s final play though the contact was nowhere near the standard needed to change a call on review that was inconsistently set this season. Not even taking a minute to look at the play was insulting to the process and spirit of the new rules however. The most impactful play of the weekend was certainly Jadeveon Clowney’s spearing hit that ended the day for Carson Wentz and put 40-year-old Josh McCown in charge of the Eagles. The Eagles were competitive in a one-score loss, ultimately getting inside the 30 five different drives but scoring no touchdowns. The no-call was certainly hard to swallow given that Seattle’s first touchdown was handed to them with a borderline late hit call on Russell Wilson. Best of Luck and on to this week’s slate…

FULL STORY

NEW BLOG UPDATE

By Joe Nelson
Posted 12/30/2019 at 01:31 PM

The Fiesta Bowl College Football Playoff Semifinal certainly lived up to its billing as a tense contest with big momentum swings and the outcome in doubt in the final minutes. Clemson and Trevor Lawrence continue to impress with big plays in big moments but the performance will rightly be overshadowed by the officiating controversy. For only a few fleeting moments in the second half did Clemson look like the superior team and the Tigers wound up being out-gained by 99 yards by Ohio State. Ultimately a few huge calls went in favor of Clemson at the right times. The Tigers are a deserving championship participant and are a serious threat to upset LSU even if the semifinal win was a result of what will go down as one of the most infamous decisions in college football history.
 
Those clamoring for expansion of the College Football Playoffs should be careful what they wish for. In six years of the playoff format nine of twelve semifinal games have been decided by double-digits and only two outcomes were still in doubt in the final minutes. Despite the hype and build-up, the semifinals have not provided competitive entertaining football for the most part. Three of five championship games have been excellent games however. Expanding to eight teams would only provide more blowouts. A case could be made to get to six for the top two teams to get a bye to the final four, but adding another round of games to the crowded and taxing December schedule isn’t likely to be a preferred outcome on many fronts. Already there is consistent attrition in December from the staffs and rosters and high-end NFL prospects are going to be even less willing to withstand three games against elite competition late in the season. Only six of the first 21 bowl games were decided by seven or fewer points as the whole system could use an overhaul but that won’t happen in the current financial picture.
 
The NFL Playoff field is set and it is a great one, particularly on the NFC side. Minnesota rates as a top 6 team in most power ratings yet is the #6 seed in the NFC, arguably one of the top #6 seeds in recent memory. They draw a Saints team that certainly grades as one of the better #3 seeds in recent memory as well. Four of the past five #6 seeds that won 10 or more games were wild card winners. All four wild card games grade as fairly even matchups as it could be a very interesting weekend. Kansas City and Green Bay both grade as among the weakest #2 seeds in recent years but the advantage of being in that #2 position keeps both right in the mix for a Super Bowl run even if either could be dogged in division games. 
 
Tennessee finished 9-7 for a fourth straight season but this year’s team right now grades much stronger than the overall season numbers with a huge boost to the offense since Ryan Tannehill took over. The Titans are thrilled to be in the playoffs but  likely stunned to be playing Saturday night in New England, where they lost 35-14 in their last playoff game after upsetting the Chiefs in the wild card round two years ago in the only playoff season for the franchise over the previous 10 years.
 
Baltimore is as overwhelming of a favorite as there has been in many recent seasons and in the 12 statistical measures we like to rate ahead of the playoffs, Baltimore is the best of the 12 teams in six of those. The #2 Chiefs are the best in none of those and are actually the worst among the 12 playoff teams in four different measures. New England, like New Orleans, remains one of the most dangerous #3 seeds despite the Week 17 failure. The Patriots have been to 11 Super Bowls but the only trip out of a wild card slot came in 1985-86, well before the current group led by Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Best of Luck and on to this week’s slate…

FULL STORY

JOE NELSON HEADLINES
Nelson: NCAA Basketball March Madness Contender Concerns for the Tournament
Nelson: Clemson vs. Ohio State
Nelson: Gasparilla Bowl Preview
Nelson: Hawaii Bowl Preview
Nelson: Close Calls - Week 15
MORE J. NELSON HEADLINES
ACCOLADES AND DOCUMENTED RECORDS
2019 MLB Underdog Leader: +2,427
2018-2019 NBA Guaranteed Leader: +1,862
2018-2019 NCAA BK Record: 56%, +1,941
19-2 NCAA BK Guaranteed Run: 12/21/18 -1/21/19
14-0 NBA Guaranteed Run: 12/8/18 -12/22/18
2018 MLB #3 Totals Leader: +1,076
2017-2018 NBA Member Leader: +493
2017-2018 NBA Overall Money: +1,053
2017-2018 NCAA BK #2 Percent Leader: 57%
2017-2018 NCAA BK Overall Money: +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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