New Orleans @ Denver
Recommended Wager: NO -6.0
Sizing: 2 units
Spread watching: Yeah, this bad boy is now at NO -15. Broncos backup QB Jeff Driskel tested positive for COVID-19, and ALL Broncos QBs (Drew Lock, Brett Rypien, and Black Bortles) were deemed close contacts, and declared ineligible to play. Denver literally won’t have a QB on their active roster.
Game breakdown: Obviously, you can’t get the Saints anymore, so I hope you took our advice and bet them on Tuesday. We need to make significant adjustments for the Broncos, who naturally would be power ranked at dead last without a QB. Their efficiency statistics need significant adjustments as well, but it’s tough to know exactly how to adjust them. We have quite literally zero data on teams playing without a QB. For fuck sake, the Broncos wanted to start their god damn coach under center this week. That said, we did re-run the model after attempting to make adjustments and came out with a spread of 14. We don’t see any edge on the new spread, and I’m not sure how confident we would be even if we did find one.
Kansas City @ Tampa Bay
Recommended Wager: TB +3.5
Sizing: 3 units
Spread watching: This line is sticking at 3.5.
Quick breakdown: I hate betting against Pat Mahomes as much as the next guy, but Tampa getting 3.5 points at home is hard to ignore.
Tampa will be without starting CB Jamel Dean (concussion), but they still have one of the best defenses in football — ranking 2nd in DVOA and 3rd in EPA/play. The Chiefs will get back at Sammy Watkins (hamstring), but are still without RT Mitchell Schwartz (back), which leaves a hole along the line. I’m not arguing that the Bucs will be able to stop the Chiefs — nobody can, but they’re one of the better bets to contain them.
On the other side of the ball, recency bias and the fact that Tom Brady has had bad games on prime time will skew people’s views of the Bucs offense. Brady is still 5th in the NFL in PFF grades – he’s had tough games as of late, but his overall body of work this season (which is far more important) has been excellent. Meanwhile, he has an above average offensive line and plenty of weapons against a mediocre Chiefs defense (14th in EPA/play and DVOA).
Chicago @ Green Bay
Recommended Wager: CHI +8.5
Sizing: 1 unit
Spread watching: This line is sticking at 8.5
Quick breakdown: After an injury to Nick Foles, the Bears are going back to Mitch Trubisky. We didn’t know who the starting QB of the Bears was going to be, but it honestly didn’t matter since all of thier options basically equally suck. Vegas felt the same, as there wasn’t a single book that waited to see which QB would play before posting a line for this game. The Bears have one of the worst offenses in football (29th in DVOA, 30th in EPA/play), but the Packers don’t have a great defense either (18th in DVOA, 17th in EPA/play. On the other side, the Packers have one of the best offenses in football (2nd in both DVOA and EPA/play). That Aaron Rodgers/DeVante Adams combo is pretty good, I guess. The Bears defense, however, is no slouch – they’re 4th in DVOA and 6th in EPA/play. For us to cover, they’ll need to figure out a way to slow down the Packers offense, because Mitch isn’t doing it by himself.