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Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under - O/U
NFL Week 11 Betting Angles
Suggesting to back the teams off a SU loss against those off a SU win probably couldn't have gone any worse in Week 10. Only the earliest of bettors in the week got their with a win or maybe a push on the Arizona XP kneel down, and Jacksonville of all teams was the only winner of the entire bunch.
And there was never much of a sweat in that Jags game. But the L.A. Chargers, Cleveland, Denver, San Francisco, and Chicago failed to get there in the end, although it's not hard to argue that the 49ers and Bears were right there, and Cleveland, well we all know how that finished.
Fading the NFL team before a TNF appearance continues to work out rather well with the Seahawks going down and Arizona needing that final play to scratch out a SU win.
It might be time to shelve those pre-TNF fades for the rest of the year though, as theoretically you'd have to be willing to fade all six franchises playing on Thanksgiving next week, and the following week sees two of those six (Dallas and Baltimore) play on TNF again, but on a full week of rest.
Bringing it back for the final few TNF games of the year is always an option, but so much will be on the line in all likelihood then that expecting a team to “tank” when they aren't already expected to do so is tougher to trust then a TNF game in the middle of the year.
Hopefully we continue to find something that's usable as minor support for some, or even just a way to eliminate games of interest on the board. It's something that was discovered last week, but with all three applicable teams on bye week, it had to be shelved for another week. And it's got to do with everyone's favorite stat – points per game – and how following the conventional wisdom of backing strong recent form and fading poor recent form hasn't exactly worked.
Points per game can be a helpful number to look at, but when you sort them by best and worst over each team's last three weeks you come up with some interesting results since the start of Week 6.
Who's Hot and Not
Since the start of Week 6, the NFL team with the most points per game over their past three games are 0-4 ATS that week
Since the start of Week 6, the NFL team (not named NY Jets) with the fewest points per game over their past three games are 4-0 ATS (6-2 ATS overall including Jets results)
Let's start with unwrapping that angle first.
Points per game is a readily available number for every team and can often be sorted by home/away, certain situations (vs division etc), but the ones that can be sorted by week/date is where this comes in. Obviously keeping a running tally works too, but sorting those Points per game numbers get sorted by the last three games on a date after Week 5 and prior to Week 6 is all that effectively means.
For example, going into Week 6's action (Oct 14th-19th), the Cleveland Browns were running hot, averaging 38.3 points per game. Tops in the NFL over the past three games. What did Cleveland do in Week 6? Get blown out 38-7 by Pittsburgh.
The worst team in points per game that week? The New York Jets at 15/game, and right in front of them was Washington at 15.7/game. Washington got that backdoor cover against the Giants that week, while the Jets were blown out 24-0 in Miami.
There are the numbers for the start of this run, and since then we've had the following:
Most Points per Game (PPG) over their last three going into Week 7:
Tennessee at 38.3/game
Tennessee lost 27-24 as a -1 home favorite vs Pittsburgh
Fewest PPG over their last three going into Week 7:
NYJ at 12.7/game and Washington at 15.3/game
New York covered +9.5 at home vs Buffalo (18-10 loss)
Washington beat Dallas 25-3
Most PPG in last three going into Week 8:
Tennessee at 36/game
Tennessee lost 31-20 as -7 road favorites vs Cincinnati
Fewest PPG in last three going into Week 8:
NYJ at 6.7/game and New England at 9.3/game
New York lost 35-9 at +20 vs KC
New England covered +4 in a 24-21 loss to Buffalo
Most PPG in last three going into Week 9:
Tampa Bay at 36/game
Tampa Bay lost 38-3 as home favorites to New Orleans on SNF
Fewest PPG in last three going into Week 9:
NYJ at 6.3/game and Dallas at 7.3/game
New York lost 30-27 on MNF vs New England, covering +9.5
Dallas covered +14 vs Pittsburgh
Most PPG in last three going into Week 10:
Kansas City at 37/game
Fewest PPG in last three going into Week 10:
Dallas at 10.3/game and NYJ at 15.3/game
Who could you follow in Week 11?
Which brings us to this Week 11 as those numbers haven't changed with Kansas City, Dallas, and the New York Jets all coming off their bye weeks. But the suggestions of fading KC and playing on Dallas and the New York Jets are highly intriguing no matter how you look at it.
Let's start with fading the Chiefs, who get another crack at the Raiders after Las Vegas upset them 40-32 as +11 road dogs about a month ago. Revenge angles and battle for first place narratives all want nothing to do with fading KC in this game, and it is tough to step in front of a team that are 14-3-1 ATS in their last 17 games overall.
But the number has dipped from an open of -7 on KC to -6.5 for the Chiefs now, and it's not like oddsmakers don't understand the revenge approach will be one many will lean on.
At some level it's taken into account, at least as much as it can be. So early Raiders support is out there and wouldn't it be something if the Raiders swept the season series against the defending champs, go to the playoffs and still finish behind that same Chiefs team. Crazier things have happened in this league.
Which leads into the Jets/Chargers game quite nicely since the winless Jets are getting more than a TD against a Chargers team that has a PhD in how to lose close games. Trusting the Chargers is agonizing tough for any bettor, let alone trusting them to win by a margin.
The fact that the discussion about this game in Survivor pools lingers around nobody can really handle putting their Survivor pool on the line with the Chargers makes me really like this Jets side initially. What other -7 or greater favorite against the Jets has anyone even considered that for this year?
But it would be full Chargers to just go out and comfortably win a game they are expected to win comfortably. Quarterback Justin Herbert looks like the real deal, and a 2-7 SU record should really be a hell of a lot better than it is. Eventually those results are too soul crushing to care much anymore about the rest of the year. Have the Chargers hit that stage?
Tough to imagine an extra week of prep time being bad for a team, but who knows what kind of hair-brained ideas the Jets staff could have concocted with all that extra time. But a winless team off a bye is already a spot where I'll lean towards taking the points as it is. Even if it does mean holding a tickets on the Jets – they have been 2-2 ATS in this run.
Which leaves Dallas and the +8 or so points they are currently getting at Minnesota. This starts a three-game homestand for the Vikings, all against teams they will be expected to beat – Dallas, Carolina, and Jacksonville. If the Vikings take care of business in those games it will be quite the turnaround for this team, and one I personally would have no problem seeing.
But I also see the potential for this to be a very bad spot for the Vikings as well this week, given that it may be the start of a homestand, but it's also coming off of three straight division games that were all wins for Minnesota. Hard not to have some sort of deep exhale after a stretch like that to effectively save their season, and now that the Vikings are the ones getting all the pats on the back, facing a bad team they are expected to beat up on isn't the most favorable betting scenario.
It means there is upside in Dallas as well this week, and if QB Andy Dalton and whatever he's got left is back ready to go, maybe this Cowboys team is a good team to buy on the cheap as well.
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