Week 15 Recap: Sneaking in the Backdoor

Welcome to the recap blog, where we’ll take a look at the results from our previous weeks bets, as well as keep a running season total of our win loss record. Week to week results aren’t important, but I always liked the idea of tracking our bets to see how the season is going as well as providing full transparency to our readers.

This was a bit of a crazy week. As most know, we believe closing lines are sharper than opening lines. As such, we try to make our bets as early as possible (typically Tuesday night). This often creates difficult decisions where we need to make calls on how likely certain players are going to play. On Tuesday, I felt that Alex Smith, Drew Brees, and Matt Stafford would all play, but I also wasn’t close to 100% certain on any of them. This naturally factors into the power rankings, which we feed into the model. When the model spit out Saints and Football Team bets, all I could do is trust the numbers and fire it up. Unfortunately, I ended up being wrong on Smith and we were left holding Dwayne Haskins tickets. Then we found out that Saints standout WR Michael Thomas (ankle) was heading to IR, and Giants QB Daniel Jones (hamstring) was unlikely to play. On top of all that, we had an in game injury to Raiders QB Derek Carr (groin). But don’t fear, the backdoor was there to salvage things.

The “backdoor” is often mostly referred to as a joke in sports betting. First of all, there’s the obvious sex jokes that I personally cannot resist.

It’s viewed as this luck box, garbage time way of winning. You made a shit bet, but you snuck in the back door and got lucky. Congrats, idiot. But this narrative fails to realize that this is exactly why betting dogs can be smart. Almost always, your interests align with the underdog team — you want them to keep trying to score when they’re down, and they do. That doesn’t happen with favorites — how many times have you bet on a team -3 only to see them take a knee at their opponents 5 yard line when they could have kicked a chip shot field goal? Or have a player purposely take a knee when they could have scored an easy touchdown? We don’t do any adjustments to make our model favor dogs, but dammit, I will not apologize for those wins.

LA Chargers @ Las Vegas
Recommended Wager: LV -3.5
Strength: 2.35
Sizing: 1 unit

Things didn’t start out particularly well for us, with Raiders QB Derek Carr suffering a significant injury to his fuck muscle. To his credit, backup Marcus Mariota came in and played well — he went 17/28 (60.7%), good for 8.1 yards per attempt with a TD and a pick. He was also insanely efficient as a runner, gaining 88 yards on 9 runs (9.8 yards per attempt). The problem for us was on the other side — I’ve mentioned before Herbert is capable of insane games when he’s at his best, and that was Thursday. He completed 68.8% of his passes and gained 9.8 yards per attempt, threw for two TDs, and also snuck in the game winning TD in OT.

Final score: LA Chargers 30, Las Vegas 27
Result: Lost 1 unit

Carolina @ Green Bay
Recommended Wager: CAR +8.5
Strength: 2.54
Sizing: 1 unit

Onto Saturday Night, and our first backdoor cover game. Things looked ugly for our Panthers early, the Packers were up 21-3 at the half after Aaron Jones had taken a casual stroll in the end zone. But half time adjustments were coming! In the second half, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers passing offense was totally inept — averaging just 1.0 yard per attempt. Meanwhile, the Panthers offense put up 10 second half points to put them down 11. With 2:04 to go, they kicked a field goal to cut it within 8, and thus, the back door was entered.

Final score: Green Bay 24, Carolina 16
Result: Won 1 unit

Seattle @ Washington
Recommended Wager: WAS +5.5
Strength: 4.37
Sizing: 2 units

As mentioned above, we were wrong on our projection for who would play QB. Holding a ticket for 2 units on Dwayne Haskins vs Russell Wilson is not a fun place to be in. The line ended up closing at 6.5, but we were naturally at the line from Tuesday, which was 5.5. But remember, this was a backdoor week.

Haskins played like Haskins — he ended up gaining just 5.4 yards per attempt and threw a pair of picks, but the Football Team has a legit defense. They held Russ Wilson in check — he himself gained a pitiful 4.5 yards per attempt. Still, the Seahawks were up 20-3 going into the fourth. The Football Team turned it on in the 4th, outscoring Seattle 12-0, and the back door was entered yet again.

Final score: Seattle 20, Washington 15
Result: Won 2 units

Chicago @ Minnesota
Recommended Wager: CHI +3.0
Strength: 2.71
Sizing: 1 unit

How about them Bears! Chicago jumped out to a 20-10 lead at the half, and turned things over to their running game. In total, Chicago ran the ball 42 goddamn times, good for 199 yards (4.7 yards per attempt) and two scores. Kirk Cousins had a decent enough game passing the ball, but it’s hard to come from behind when the other guys are running the ball effectively. The Vikings were almost able to come back, but our 3 point spread was never really in doubt.

Final score: Chicago 33, Minnesota 27
Result: Won 1 unit

Kansas City @ New Orleans
Recommended Wager: NO +3.0
Strength: 3.51
Sizing: 1 unit

From a betting perspective, I was happy that we did get the Drew Brees news correct, but the Michael Thomas injury was unfortunate. The game had some good back and forth action, with the Saints taking a 15-14 lead at the half. But then Pat Mahomes was Pat Mahomes, and the Chiefs started to pull away. The Saints did end up getting a touchdown with about 2 minutes to go, which preserved the push.

Final score: Kansas City 32, New Orleans 29
Result: Push

Cleveland @ NY Giants
Recommended Wager: NYG +4.0
Strength: 2.91
Sizing: 1 unit

They flexed this shit game to SNF? Really?

Anyway, as mentioned above, I was surprised by the Daniel Jones news. I felt up until about Thursday that he had a shot at playing since he was limited in practice, but no such luck. Anyway, the game sucked. We were losing money and I went to sleep midway through the 4th. If you’re ever wondering about variance in the NFL, this same Colt McCoy lead team beat the Seahawks.

Final score: Cleveland 20, NY Giants 6
Result: Lost 1 unit

YTD Record: 40-31-2 (56%)
Week 15: Sneaking in the Backdoor (3-2-1, won 2 units)
Week 14: The Big Bets Take It (4-3, won 4 units)
Week 13: We Took A Hike (0-0)
Week 12: Mayhem Prevails (6-2, won 7 units)
Week 11: The 4PM Slate Was Mean (2-2, won 0 units)
Week 10: Thank You, Steelers (4-2-1, won 3 units)
Week 9: The Swongs Are Real (3-4, lost 2 units)
Week 8: Damn You, Jared Goff (1-2)
Week 7: Back in Black (5-1)
Week 6: Even Steven (2-2)
Week 5: Saved by Monday Night Overtime (2-2)
Week 4: We’re in the Red (1-3)
Week 3: Bullshit DPI Calls and a Big L for Us (2-4)
Week 2: The Favorites Deliver (2-1)
Week 1: A Win, Despite Carson Wentz’s best efforts (3-1)

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