Recommended Bet: Two Team Tease Pittsburgh (-2) and Carolina (+8)

 

by Brady

This bet is a bit different than our usual spread bets, so a bit of an explanation. A tease consists of betting two different lines. You add 6 points to both sides, but you have to win both bets. A “wong” tease is when the favorite is between 7.5 and 8.5 points, or the underdog is between 1.5 and 2.5 points. All result in crossing the crucial 3 and 7 point threshold, making the tease more advantageous. For example, this week Pittsburgh is -8. The tease spread brings them down to -2, which crosses both 7 and 3. As luck would have it, the model’s two favorite bets are both within the wong tease range. For more in depth analysis, read Dom’s blog here.

Since the bet consists of two games, I’ll break down both in a single blog post. Allow me to tease your wong.

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Cleveland @ Pittsburgh
Vegas: PIT -8
DomModel: PIT -9.876
Recommendation: PIT -8

Key injuries:
Cleveland Browns:
-WR Rashard Higgins (knee) left his week 5 game and did not return. He was INACTIVE weeks 6 and 7. He is not expected to play week 8. He did not practice on Wednesday (10/24).
-TE David Njoku (knee) was limited in practice on Wednesday (10/24). This is the first time he’s been on the injury report, so it’s worth monitoring.
-LB Joe Schobert (hamstring) was injured week 6 and did not return. He was INACTIVE week 7. He did not practice on Wednesday (10/24).
-CB Terrance Mitchell broke his forearm week 4 and has been placed on IR.
-CB EJ Gaines (concession) was INACTIVE week 7, and is unlikely to play week 8. He did not practice on Wednesday (10/24).
-FS/CB Damarious Randall (groin/ankle) did not practice on Wednesday (10/24).

Pittsburgh Steelers: (week 7 bye)
-RB Le’Veon Bell remains absent with a case of the bad agent.
-RT Marcus Gilbert (knee) did not practice on Wednesday (10/24).
-S Morgan Burnett (groin) was INACTIVE weeks 5 and 6. He was limited in practice on Wednesday (10/24).

Breakdown:
When Cleveland has the ball:
Cleveland’s offense has been a bit of a mess this season. Since taking over the starting QB job, Baker Mayfield is completing less than 60% of his passes, is averaging less than 7 yards per attempt, and has almost as many interceptions (5) as touchdowns (4).

Through the air, Mayfield has consistently peppered Jarvis Landry with targets. Behind Landry is TE David Njoku, who popped up on the injury report with a knee issue. I’m guessing that he’ll be fine, but it’s worth noting because I have no idea where the knee issue came from. At minimum, it’s something to monitor. Outside of Landry and Njoku, the Browns don’t have many good options.

Last week, the Browns traded their primary ball carrier (Carlos Hyde) so they could feature rookie Nick Chubb. Chubb is putting up efficiency numbers that are so stupid I’m not even going to bother listing them.

At the end of the day, the talent is there. But the Browns haven’t figured out yet — they rank 30th in Football Outsider’s offensive DAVE rankings.

Pittsburgh’s defense:
The Steelers defense leads a lot to be desired. The biggest thing they have going for them is their health – I truly appreciate any teams that don’t have many players on their injury report. This is really just all about me and making my life easier.

Their pass rush is lead by Bud Depree and TJ Watt, who are both solid players. Their corners, however, make their pass defense a lot weaker. Joe Haden hasn’t been productive since 2014, and Artie Burns has a very appropriate last name. Sean Davis anchors the defense at safety, but he can’t cover for everybody (cover pun intended).

Against the run, the Steelers rank 15th and give up 4.2 yards per carry. Yeah ok whatever, that’s fine.

TL;DR Conclusion: All in all, the Browns have struggled too much offensively to be a force in any matchup.

When Pittsburgh has the ball:
Surprise, surprise, the Steelers defense is #good at football. Their offensive line crushes souls. Big Ben is still a top tier QB. Antonio Brown figured out this receiver thing a long time ago, and JuJu is an outstanding complementary piece. He’s also the man. He legit bought $120 worth of lottery tickets to pay for Le’Veon Bell’s salary.

Whatever, Bell comes back, or he doesn’t. It’s 2018 and running backs don’t matter. Plus, that James Connor guy is pretty good.

Cleveland’s defense:
Trust me, this is a really good defense! I’m not even kidding. Football Outsider’s has them as the number 1 defense in the league. They have struggled at times against the run, but their pass defense has been incredible. The problem is they are really banged up in the secondary. They lost CB Terrance Mitchel week 4 (broken forearm), then lost CB EJ Gaines (concussion). Mitchell is on IR, and Gaines isn’t practicing. To make up for the lack of CB depth, they moved safety Damarious Randall to corner. And then.. yeah, Randall is hurt now too.

TL:DR Conclusion: This is a solid matchup, but it’s tough to wonder how long Cleveland can keep up this elite play on defense with so many injuries. The Browns do have a solid pass rush, but the Steelers offensive line is up for the task.

Wait, I’m not done! We got another game here. Let’s go..

Baltimore @ Carolina
Vegas: CAR +2
DomModel: CAR +1.408
Recommendation: CAR +2

Key injuries:
Baltimore Ravens:
-RB Kenneth Dixon has been placed on IR after injuring his knee week 1.
-LG Alex Lewis (back) was injured week 6 and did not return. He did not practice all week and was INACTIVE week 7. He was limited in practice on Wednesday (10/24).
-G/C Bradley Bozeman (calf) did not practice on Wednesday (10/24). Bozeman is Lewis’s backup.
-RT James Hurst (back) was INACTIVE week 7. He did not practice on Wednesday (10/24).
-CB Marlon Humphrey (thigh) was INACTIVE week 7. He did not practice on Wednesday (10/24).

Carolina Panthers:
-WR Torrey Smith (knee) was injured week 7. He should be ok, but we will monitor. He did not practice on Wednesday (10/24).
-RT Daryl Williams (knee) has been placed on IR.
-DE Mario Addison (back) was injured week 7 and did not return. He did not practice on Wednesday (10/24).

Breakdown:
When Baltimore has the ball:
The Ravens offense has put together a decent season so far. We all know about Joe Flacco and how he isn’t elite at all. To make up for that, the Ravens revamped Flacoo’s weapons — bringing in John Brown, Michael Crabtree, and Willie Snead. Brown is enjoying a fine season, and Crabtree and Snead have filled in behind him nicely. It’s lead to a solid passing attack.

The problem with Ravens is their offensive line, in particular their run blocking. To make matters worse, the injuries are piling up: LG Alex Lewis was inactive last week, and his backup (Bradley Bozeman) isn’t practicing either. RT James Hurst is also banged up this week. Since he was inactive last week and isn’t practicing now, Hurst probably isn’t ready to return.

Carolina’s defense:
Carolina’s defense is a wonderful dichotomy: they play really well against the run and have a shitty pass defense. Let’s start with the latter: they don’t have a single strong point in their seccondary and a virtually non existent pass rush. So yeah, that’s bad.

Their run defense features all world LB Luke Kuechly, ED Julius Peppers, DT Kawann Short, and LB Julius Peppers. There’s a ton of talent up front. Run at these guys at your own will.

TL;DR Conclusion: This will be an interesting matchup. Baltimore has been better against the pass, and worse running the ball. Meanwhile, Carolina has struggled against the pass but plays very well against the run. Strength vs shit, shit vs strength.

When Carolina has the ball:
Would you believe me if I said this offense kinda fucks? I’d hope so, because you’re still somehow reading this.  Cam Newton is playing decent enough, and he’s got sneaky good weapons, especially now that TE Greg Olsen is healthy. The combination of Devin Funchess and rookie DJ Moore is better than most would have expected, and running back Christian McCaffrey is essentially another receiver.

Baltimore defense:
The bad news for the Panthers is the Ravens defense also fucks, per usual. Their pass rush doesn’t do much, save for Za’Darius Smith, but they cover really well. The combination of  Jimmy Smith, Brandon Carr, and Marlon Humphrey is one of the better corner trios in the league. Combined with a solid front 7 that has played well against the run, this is one of the better defenses in the league.

TL:DR Conclusion: This should be a fun game and is a solid matchup, but we’re certainly confident to have Carolina with 8 points at home in the tease. Part of what the model really likes about the Panthers is their play by play consistency. They haven’t really had any outlier solid or bad games. Let’s do it.

Ok, we got through it guys. I promise, that’s finally it for now.

Bitches.

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