So this is the last week I will be able to say that there is not enough data to fully dive deep into teams. After this week I will feel pretty confident about which teams are what. I’ve also been titling my blogs differently this year, with some simple lessons any gambler should take into account for any bets. Week 2 was winning ugly and week 3 was buy low sell high. This week I am saying don’t overreact and that pertains specifically to recent results. Recency bias is something you never want to have as a gambler. It is important to remember to bet numbers in a market and not teams. All of the lessons really come into play with my picks this week, so let’s get right to it.
Eagles @ Packers -4
The Eagles are coming into Lambeau off a 2 game losing streak. The Packers on the other hand are 3-0. Looking at just the final scores you would assume that Philly has not been playing well at all. But really they have not been that bad. They had a chance to win each of their last two games late but could not pull the game out. Looking at their last game, a loss to the Lions, you would think just reading that the Eagles lost to the Lions that they are not a good team. Especially with how public the eagles have been in the past few years. But even if you dig in to the box score you can assume that the Eagles should have won this game. They out-gained the Lions but lost the turnover battle 2-0. They also allowed a touchdown on special teams as well. Despite their turnovers and special teams woes they only lost the game by 3. They were also down their top 2 wide receivers with Alshon Jeffrey and Desean Jackson not playing. They get Jeffrey back this week, albeit not 100%, he is still good to have on the field. The Eagles also boast the best offense the Packers will play this year. The NFL in 2019 is a passing league and none of the teams the Packers have faced rank in the top half of the league in passing efficiency. The Eagles rank 11th and that is without having their top 2 WRs for two weeks. These factors plus the Eagles coaching is why I like the Eagles. I know that Thursday night games usually go to the home side but Doug Pederson does a great job at getting his team prepared on a short week. Since being named head coach the Pederson led Eagles are 3-0 on Thursday night games with 2 of those wins coming on the road. So I’m on the Eagles and I’ll sprinkle a little on the moneyline.
Browns @ Ravens -7
Another game where when you look at the recent results it feels the obvious pick is the Ravens. Even the numbers on paper say the Ravens are better. However you have to take into account that 33% of the Ravens numbers came in a 59-10 win over Miami. Since then they have looked very average. They covered last week but the game was never in reach for them. Now they are playing a division opponent coming off a win in a prime time game. The Browns have actually played two straight prime time games but have not looked convincingly great in either one. This type of recency bias and public bias is why we see the Ravens being so heavily favored in this game. I love the Browns here. The Ravens defense has been torched in two straight weeks by Mahomes and Kyler Murray. The game against the Cardinals could have gone either way but the Ravens entered that game as 13 point favorites. Division games are always tougher and I feel the Browns will be coming out with something to prove on the road. The Browns have very much made it a point that they believe they will win the division and this week is the first step towards doing that. It is the first divisional opponent for either team and this will be one of the Ravens toughest tests so far this year. Especially coming off a loss in Kansas City where a game like that can take a lot of energy out of a team. If the Browns do lose it will not be by more than a touchdown. This is another game where I will sprinkle on the moneyline but Browns +7 is a lock this week.
Panthers @ Texans -4
As I stated the theme this week is to not overreact to recency bias. It was a big deal for Houston to go on the road and get a win against the Chargers. But keep in mind how atrocious the Chargers defense has been this year. They face a much tougher defense and another tough defensive line. Despite only being sacked twice last week, the Texans o-line has graded out as the 3rd worst against the pass. The Panthers defensive line has ranked fourth best against the pass and has been getting constant pressure only rushing four linemen. I know another big thing in this game is that the Panthers will be without Cam Newton. The reason Cam is important is he allows the offense to be efficient on the ground. As we saw in the first two weeks, he can’t really run this year. He was banged up all off-season with rumors saying he may take the year off. I can see that still happening especially if Kyle Allen continues to play as well as he did last week. As far as passing goes the drop off from Cam to Kyle Allen is not that far of a drop. This line has a lot of public perception and recency bias attached to it as the Texans should be maybe 2 point favorites or have this line as a pick-em. But with the line past the key number of 3 I love the Panthers here. This is another game where I can see them keeping it close or winning outright. We saw the Texans barely squeak by with a win in a defensive battle against a rookie QB just two weeks ago. This game could end up being similar but I think the Panthers offense is even better than the Jaguars, who outgained the Texans in their matchup. I’m taking the points with the Panthers here.
Redskins @ Giants -3
I will make this one quick since I am actually running out of time before this Whole Foods closes. The Redskins have not been that bad. They’re 0-3 but they haven’t played all that bad. In back to back weeks they have faced the top offense and top defense in the league. Before that they faced an Eagles team that was 100% healthy and considered a Super Bowl contender. Now they are facing a Giants team that was a made field goal away from losing their last game. The Giants pulled out the win late with their new qb Daniel Jones so all the recency bias is going towards them. Not to mention New York teams, especially the Giants, tend to be bet on heavily. In reality this game should be a pick-em. The Redskins loss on Monday night was a blessing in disguise for sharp betters. Not only is their plus money on the moneyline but the spread went all the way out to a key number at 3. I’m taking the Skins here and sprinkling a little on the moneyline also.
Browns +7 (LOCK)