Wildcard Recap: All Hail The Wong

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This week was a bit different, since we recommended a wong teaser – the logic behind that is explained here. The recap is used to track progress on how our bets are doing throughout the season. Since it’s virtually impossible to count things like moneylines and teasers into a record, we count these bets exclusively against the spread. We won the 3 team tease, but each will be judged as individual spread bets. Let’s get into it:

Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans
HOU -1.5
DomModel: HOU +2.828
Recommendation: IND +1.5

We effectively took the Colts twice – once as a straight up bet and as a part of the 3 team tease. If you took Indy, no matter what your bet was, you did well.

The game was never really in doubt. Andrew Luck and the Colts offense cruised to a touchdown on their first drive. For the rest of the half, Luck was stellar, making big time throws all over the field while never putting the ball in harms way. Meanwhile, the Texans offensive line left Desean Watson out to dry – who put responded with a series of bad throws and was never able to get anything going. That was a theme throughout the game.

For the second half, the Colts entered clock killing mode, where RB Marlon Mack had a ton of success on the ground. The Texans never could figure anything out offensively, and the Colts rolled.

Final score: Indianapolis 21, Houston 7

Seattle Seahawks @ Dallas Cowboys
: DAL -1.5
DomModel: DAL +0.29
Recommendation: SEA +1.5 (teased to 7.5)

Seattle can look no further than the coaching staff in this one. The Cowboys have the 5th ranked run defense and 16th ranked pass defense per DVOA. The Seahawks have Russell Wilson — maybe you’ve heard of him — at QB. Despite this obvious fact, the Seahawks were insistent on running Chris Carson up the middle on early downs. Carson averaged 1.5 yards per carry on 13 carries. Not good.

In the first half, the Seahawks called pass on 8 offensive plays and run on 8 plays on 1st and 2nd down. Passes resulted in 12.1 yards per attempt, where runs averaged 2 yards per attempt. Pretty good sign of how you might approach the rest of the game, right?

Nah, in the 3rd quarter the Seahawks ran 11 times on early downs and called pass on just 2. I’ve seen on twitter that running was a part of their “identity,” and the Seahawks were right to run, since that’s what got them there. That’s all well and good, assuming your identity is to lose football games and make vacation plans.

Even still, things were relatively close until the 4th quarter. Dallas ended up scoring twice in that quarter, and was able to control the clock via the running game. Zeke ended up with 26 carries for 137 yards (5.3 average). Seattle simply had no answer for him on defense, and they stuck with inefficient play calling on offense.

The hawks still somehow only lost by 2 (Dallas isn’t very good), so we missed the spread by half a point, but easily covered the teased spread.

Final score: Dallas 24, Seattle 22

Los Angeles Chargers @ Baltimore Ravens
Vegas: BAL -2.5
Model: BAL +0.59
Recommendation: LAC +2.5 (teased to 8.5)

This was the second game that was won easily, and luckily the model was on the correct side of it. Lamar Jackson is a different beast at QB. Since he started in week 11, he averaged 17 rush attempts per game. For comparison, Michael Vick never had 17 rush attempts in any game in his entire career.

If there was ever an epitome for how modern football works, this game was it. Lamar Jackson is the flashy new toy – the style of offensive that he brings to the Ravens is truly unique. The problem is he can’t throw for shit. Meanwhile, the Chargers have one of the more efficient offenses in the game and are lead by a pro bowl caliber QB. And we’re surprised who won?

It was so bad for the Ravens passing attack that they only managed 17 yards in the first half. The Ravens also fumbled 4 times — 3 by Jackson himself — giving the Chargers solid field position on the 2 they recovered. The Chargers didn’t get much going on offense, but were able to grind out 4 field goals in the first half and jump out to a 12-0 lead. Though the Ravens finally were able to get somewhat of a passing attack going in the 4th quarter, they were simply too late.

Final score: Los Angeles 23, Baltimore 17

YTD Results: 30-26-1 (54%)
Week 1: 1-2-1
Week 2: 2-2
Week 3: 3-0
Week 4: 1-1
Week 5: 0-3
Week 6: 2-1
Week 7: 1-2
Week 8: 2-1
Week 9: 3-2
Week 10: 1-2
Week 11: 3-0
Week 12: 2-1
Week 13: 2-1
Week 14: 1-3 
Week 15: 0-2
Week 16: 2-1 
Week 17: 2-1
Wildcard Round: 2-1

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