Week 2 is in the books. We officially went 2-2, so we’re just paying the bookie vigs which is always fun. Let’s break it down.
Carolina +6 over Atlanta:
Remember Atlanta’s red zone problems? Yeah, that didn’t last. The Falcons ran 11 plays from the red zone while gaining 5 first downs and scoring 4 TD’s. Atlanta also was able to control the clock on the ground – they ran a combined 32 times for 5.3 yards per carry. The Panthers hung in there, but failed to convert on some key third downs.
Final score: Atlanta 31, Carolina 24. We miss covering by a single point. Shit.
Tennessee +2 over Houston
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t happy with this bet at all. Dom and I discussed this at length on Wednesday, but the line was only available at the Golden Nugget because of the uncertainty with Marcus Mariota’s elbow. I was extremely dismissive of Mariota’s injury since HC Mike Vrabel had said he would be fine, but this was a mistake by me. Clearly Vegas was telling us to ignore the coachspeak. Either way, we decided to hold off on officially recommending it until we got a legit Vegas consensus.
On Thursday, that’s exactly what we got. What we missed was the fact that the New England game had moved to a pick em, which meant that the model actually preferred New England. Tennessee was also without their two pro bowl tackles and had lost Delanie Walker for the year. New England was far healthier. We probably should have recommended New England, but we went with Tennessee instead.
As the week moved on, it was clear that Vrabel was bullshitting and Marioa’s injury was very real. That pushed the line to 3.5. This wasn’t a fun process.
So how did the Titans win a game without their starting QB? A fake punt that resulted in a touchdown, some fumble luck after a Corey Davis fumble went out of bounds, and generally safe offense that didn’t make many mistakes. Also, the Titans passed rush showed up against the Texans offensive line. As a reminder, the Texans offensive line is garbage. A win is a win, right?
Final score: Tennessee 20, Houston 17. Score one for the good guys.
Dallas -3 over NY Football Giants
Oh baby, I loved this bet. More important, so did the model. We went into Sunday Night Football 1-1 and feeling great. This game was decided in the trenches. The Cowboys dominated the Giants offensive and defensive lines that lead them to be able to control the clock and wear down the Giants. This was a satisfying win.
Oh, and I’d be doing this blog a disservice if I didn’t include this gif.
Thanks for the money, bitch.
Final Score: Dallas 20, Giants 14
Seattle +3.5 over Chicago
We took this one with some confidence Wednesday, but unfortunately a lot can happen between when we made the bet and when this game kicked off Monday night. The model loved the bet, and I thought Chicago’s defense was a little overrated and Russell Wilson was still by far the best player in this game at the most important position. Then on Friday, my phone started blowing up with notifications about LB KJ Wright (knee), LB Bobby Wagner (groin), CB Shaquil Griffin (thigh), G D.J Fluker (hamstring), and CB Trequille Flowers (hamstring) all being either doubtful or out for Monday. The line ended up pushing to 4.
In the end, the Seahawks offensive line continued to struggle as Wilson dealt with pressure all day. Seattle never really got anything going on offense, which made it difficult to keep it within cover territory. Monday night woes, indeed.
Final score: Chicago 24, Seattle 17
Why we skipped Pittsburgh
You may have noticed that the model liked Pittsburgh -4 over the Chiefs, but we didn’t bet it. This was really done for two folds:
1) The pre-season projections that the model is using assumes Le’Veon Bell will play, so we wanted to make an adjustment there. Ben was also dealing with an elbow problem, and G David DeCastro was ruled out. There was a lot of stuff that the model wasn’t accounting for that likely destroyed our edge on the book.
2) 4 is a tough line. There’s very little push equity there.
I’m happy with the decision to skip this bet, and the result worked out too.
That’s it for now, bitches. See you week 3.