NFL 2023 - FOOTBALL IS BACK BABEEEEEE!!!!
Welcome back to my twice weekly NFL blog where I handicap every NFL contest Against The Spread, (ATS)... Over/Unders predicted on weekly Specials Picks...
Here’s a brief look into how I approach analyzing each game, culled from various posts in my 15 years of trying to beat the Boys in Vegas:
Our handicapping methodology utilizes 10-15 stats we believe reveal any given teams strengths/weaknesses at that moment in time and relative to their earlier performances and Vegas’ respect for a given teams prospects. Teams, coaches, and players fluctuate in performance as games, months, and seasons unfold.
Handicappers have to evaluate the evolution of a given team or match up as time passes.
Here are our main criteria:
· Match Up Stats
· RZ Offense/Defense
· YPP/YPG Margins and Differentials
· Pass Rush Win %
· Pass Blocking Win %
· Turnover Margins
· Scoring Defense
· Sack % O/D
· Running game Performance
· Pass Win rate
· QB Rating and Performance Graph
· HC and Staff
· Trends and general stat profiles
· What your eyes see…
Criteria is not ranked in importance deliberately, because some may be more meaningful in one match up than in another. For example, Kenny Pickett’s experience will be judged as an advantage over a Brock Purdy in Week One and a significant disadvantage come playoff time against a Mahomes, Allen, or Burrow.
Every game is its own organism.
This week, the Eagles are a consensus bet to destroy New England but it doesn’t mean they will. Teams with new coordinators like NE, usually endure a period of adjustment.
Handicappers must consider Belichick probably has very little stolen signals from New Eagles Defensive Coordinator, Sean Desai, given his brief time as a DC.
****Yes, we always assume Belichick has hard drive of stolen signals; the man is a serial Cheater.****
We will stick with our Four Specials:
GAME OF THE WEEK
LOCK OF THE WEEK
OVER/UNDER OF THE WEEK
This year, we will call every Steelers game ATS, including TOTAL, Be warned: don’t value that pick as you might the Big Four--I am a die-hard Steelers fan--I always strive for objectivity, but...
The tallies of those Five Picks and the O/U for each game will comprise my Premium Picks.
The break even point percentage wise for handicappers, my entire slate and my Specials is 52.4%--but any respectable handicapper wants to get at or above 55%
Here are my final tallies from last year:
NFL 2022 – TALLY SHEET
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND = 1 – 1
WEEKLY OVERALL = 142 – 136 - 7 = .511
0/U = 1 – 1 O/U CUMULATIVE 66 – 64 – 1 = .508
SPECIALS 2 – 1 SPECIALS CUMULATIVE 45 – 36 – 1 = .555
GAME OF THE WEEK 11 – 9*
LOCK OF THE WEEK 8 – 12 – 1
UPSET SPECIAL 15 – 5
O/U OF THE WEEK 11 - 10
PREMIUM PICKS CUMULATIVE 111 – 100 – 2 .526
As you can see, our “cume” for our Specials was above 55% and Premium Picks was above the 52.4 % “Mendoza Line.”
We’ll call it a decent year’s handicapping.
Onto NFL 2023...
PLAYOFF TEAMS FROM THE AFC...DIVISION WINNERS...
PLAYOFF TEAMS FROM THE NFC...DIVISION WINNERS...
TNF, Sept. 7
Lions (+4.5, ML +250, o/u 54) @ Chiefs (-320), 7:15 p.m. NBC
This is supposed to be a coming out party for a Detroit franchise that has exactly one playoff win since 1957, hasn’t been in the playoffs in 33 years and is still recovering from the Matt Patricia era--another Belichick disciple who didn’t belong in the non-cheating coaches’ fraternity.
I was loving Dan Campbell’s future as an NFL head coach before he signed in Detroit. The man is all in; he leaves nothing on the field and his team--after starting 2022 1-6 and finishing 9-8--is starting to reflect his blue-collar/no bull personality.
This baby, though, is a tough one. Chiefs HC, Andy Reid, is 8-1 in KC openers, 15-8 overall and 9-3 at home. His Chiefs field the league’s best offense with the best QB, and with another deep playoff run, can claim the coveted mantle of “Dynasty.”
Week 1 and Week 18 are the toughest to handicap, so we’re not going to over analyze this one Without Chris Jones, who’s holding out for more money, the Arrowhead defense will be gettable, and Lions fans hope Jared Goff’s new found efficiency last year has stuck with him over the off season.
With three of the top 34 picks in the 2023 draft-- RB Jahmyr Gibbs, LB, Jack Campbell, and TE, Sam Porta--poised to make immediate impact, the Lions have the talent to beat anyone.
They might have a great year--but it won’t begin until next week.
We’re staying with the Chiefs, at home to open the 2023 campaign. If the Lions are as good as the hype, they have to prove it. We don’t think they will this week.
We’re taking the Under