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5 Things: What We Learned From NFL Week 13

5 Things: What We Learned From NFL Week 13

1. Updating The Dying NFL Spread

Again, over the last four years, the NFL spread has mattered two to three times a week within the NFL

Week 13: Oakland covered as 14 point underdogs, Jets covered as 10 point underdogs.

YTD: 30 times out of 188 games (14%)

Moneyline it. Don’t take the points and reduce your break-even point. Conversely, parlays-not teasers are more profitable, despite the stigma.

Remember-When a favorite wins the game straight up, they cover the spread 85.1% of the time over the last three-plus years and when an underdog covers, they win the game 82% of the time.

2. This Is Lamar Jackson’s Team Now

Move over Joe Flacco. Just like that Somalian pirate said, Lamar is the captain now.

This game Vs. Atlanta didn’t necessarily come in with the hype it probably should have, but you saw the headlines, if Lamar Jackson won Vs. Atlanta, this was going to be his team. Joe Flacco has long been the butt of jokes amongst gamblers, specifically when the road version of Joe Flacco decided to grace us with his presence.

Enter Lamar Jackson, who’s passing game and technique still leaves much to be desired, but he has taken us back to the days of Michael Vick. The Ravens are throwing it back to the D-V-D offense (Dunn, Vick, Duckett) using their 1-2 running attack of Lamar Jackson and Gus Edwards. They followed up their 200+ yard rushing performance with 157 yards on the ground combined, while Kenneth Dixon added 37 more.

John Brown and Michael Crabtree (and their fantasy owners) may not love the move, but at 3-0 Lamar Jackson is winning football games and they simply can’t go away from what is working right now. They’ll be some growing pains, especially if they get behind, but that will present some nice live betting opportunities as well.

3. People Get Motivated When You Start Firing Their Co-Workers

Sorry to be blunt, but the fact of the matter is people start to take notice when you start firing people around you. Think about it, if you were in an office setting and they fired your supervisor, boss’ boss, and an equal co-worker, you may start thinking twice about stopping for that coffee even though you know it may make you a few minutes late.

Amplify that on the grandest stage, and you have what happens in the NFL. After the firing of Hue Jackson, Baker Mayfield and Co. looked like a completely different team. We’ve actually seen this earlier in the season as well after The Cardinals made the switch to Byron Leftwich at offensive coordinator. Not only do players and coaches get motivated, players see the uptick in touches that gamblers and fantasy players have pined for.

Jacksonville fired their play caller and offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett as well as bench quarterback Blake Bortles and won last weeks tilt against the red-hot Indianapolis Colts. Now, you can’t really attribute the win to the offense as they scored all of six points, but the defense showed up shutting out Andrew Luck.

There is yet another situation of this coming to our attention with the highest profile firing in a very long time this week.

4. Aaron Rodgers Got His Wish

When you not only fail to cover but lose outright as fourteen point home favorites, heads are probably going to roll. All season, Aaron Rodgers has (passive-aggressively) let his frustration with Mike McCarthy and the play calling come to the forefront of various media opportunities and press conferences.

Well, he got his wish this week. On the surface it doesn’t seem to get much better as Joe Philbin will be the acting head coach, but if you think Aaron Rodgers isn’t going to become the de-facto offensive coordinator for the rest of the season you’re mistaken.

Time and time again we’ve seen players react positively to change, whether it be The Cardinals, Browns, Jaguars, or in this case The Packers. If there was ever an increased incentive for a team to get on track despite what is likely a lost season, it’s this week for Aaron Rodgers and his offense.

5. The Chargers Just Grew Up In Front Of Our Eyes

I went back and forth on the last talking point for this series, I almost went with the fact that Kirk Cousins still can’t be trusted against winning teams (now 4-23) or the fact that Carolina probably just lost their season after again not being able to win on the road (1-5), or even how Philip Lindsay may be a top five NFL running back right now.

But I felt this topic of what The Chargers did on Sunday night said the most about any single team going forward this season. This was the exact situational spot that The Chargers year after year have not been able to show up in. The book had seemingly been out on The Chargers for a while now, as you can back them in low leverage situations against bad teams and Philip Rivers can usually be trusted to do his thing.

This last win against the home version of Pittsburgh though. Man, that says something. Pittsburgh was off yet another road loss, coming home, where they are one of the best teams in football (29.5 PPG) and for a while, that script had seem to take hold again as Chargers fans thought, “we’ve seen this movie already.”

The Chargers fell behind 23-7 in the first half, only to re-group to a 26-7 second half and win outright with one of their best wins of the season in comeback fashion, 33-30.

This Chargers team seemed different, after all they had only lost to Kansas City, LARM, and a tough divisional road matchup with Denver up until this point-but this win was the statement win of their season stating that they have indeed arrived. This Chargers team was a popular public pick to at least make it to the AFC Championship game and they have not disappointed their backers much like say a certain team out of San Francisco, but that’s neither here nor there.

They did this without pro-bowl running back Melvin Gordon and have done this all season without the services of Joey Bosa. The Chargers have to follow this season defining win with another one this upcoming week as fourteen point favorites against Cincinnati, in a situational spot where they have notably dropped the ball after coming up big. I like their chances.

A jack of all trades, Christian got his start in the gambling industry using a model to predict players performance in daily fantasy sports. Eventually, he used that same model to cross over into NFL handicapping, specifically the prop market and honed his craft enough to cross over from player projections into every aspect of sports Handicapping. He then made the full time move to Las Vegas to become a professional sports handicapper, utilizing his knowledge of all sports including NFL, NCAA, NBA, UFC, and MLB. He's currently the resident #DFS expert on The Sports Gambling Podcast as well as managing editor.

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