Kansas City (-7) @ Baltimore
In 2013 and 2014, it was a published trend that opponents fared terribly in the game after playing the Seahawks. That trend played out against the spread as well, where opponents covered only around 30% of the time the week after playing the Hawks.
In 2015 that trend is muddled a bit. Teams in the week after playing Seattle have a record of 6-6 ATS, but are 9-3 coming in over the posted total. However, if you separate the teams with a winning record from those with a losing record through Week 14, those teams with a losing record are 1-5 ATS after playing Seattle. In other words, crappy teams continue to suck after playing the Hawks.
Ok, now forget all that because of small sample sizes and all that. Kansas City hasn’t beat Baltimore since 2004, a trend that surely will be reversed on Sunday. At 8-5, Kansas City is tied with Pittsburgh and the New York Jets for two of the remaining wild card spots in the AFC. I’ve been on the Chiefs since Week 11’s Strategy Addict, predicting that they would win out after getting back to 5-5.
Kansas City was ranked 5th in weighted DVOA at that point, and since then they have risen all the way to #2, just behind Seattle. Baltimore is ranked 22nd in weighted DVOA.
Baltimore TE Crockett Gillmore didn’t play last week due to injury, and won’t be playing this week against the Chiefs either. If Gillmore is placed on the IR after this week, it would be the 19th player on the IR for the Ravens this year. That would be bad enough if two of those players weren’t your franchise QB and RB. As we saw last week, depth is a huge problem for the Ravens and Baltimore will have a hard time keeping this one close against a Chiefs team desperate for a win.
Betting System: Game After the LOB
Carolina @ New York Giants (+5)
The Panthers embarrassed the Falcons 38-0 last week, and have to win just one more game to guarantee that a trip to the Super Bowl goes through Carolina in the NFC. Fortunately for them, the last time they faced the Giants, they also won 38-0. In Week 16 though, they get to play the Falcons one more time – then on to Tampa Bay, who they beat 37-23 in Week 4.
This is your typical psychological letdown play, and for it to work, we need to wait until just before kickoff to place our wager. The early line movement, if you believe it, has been on the 6-7 New York Giants. That’s definitely the sharp side to take the motivated home dog with everything to play for. Near kickoff the rest of the betting public will get involved, and hopefully move this line up to +6 or more.
Carolina isn’t perfect ATS this year either, going 10-3. Two of the losses ATS came against New Orleans and Indianapolis as 5-point favorites, with Carolina winning each game by a field gull. The other one also being against New Orleans as they won by 5 points as a ten-point favorite. Even though Carolina is undefeated, they have only been a double digit favorite in that game against New Orleans. Last week they were an 8.5-point favorite against Atlanta. The rest of the season they have been a 7-point favorite or less, and an underdog against Seattle and Green Bay.
Here’s how this plays out: The Giants come in with their hair on fire and put some points up on Carolina early, then Carolina makes some halftime adjustments and we get to see some good "Eli face", then the game is decided by 3-points and we cash at the window. The Giants season is on the line here, so we could have a desparation back-door cover situation as well.
Betting System: Letdown + Home Dog
Green Bay (-3) @ Oakland
You’ll have to act fast if you want this line at -3, because it looks like -3.5 is going to be the choice available to most.
Some may be surprised at this line, but Oakland has been playing been playing better than their record, and somehow snuck out of Denver with a win last week. In fact, the line is actually already skewed farther than it should be, with Green Bay 10th in weighted DVOA and Oakland 12th.
This is a homecoming for Aaron Rodgers, who went to Cal Berkeley and who I am sure will have plenty of friends and family in the seats at O.Co. The last time Rodgers met Oakland was in 2011 at home, and he was up 31-0 at halftime. So, good feelings there.
The time before that was definitely bad feelings, as it was the infamous ‘game the day after Brett Favre’s dad died’. Green Bay obliterated the Raiders in that game 38-7. The time before that, back to good feelings as Green Bay won 41-7.
In fact, the last time that Oakland beat Green Bay was on September 13th, 1987, and in none of the contests since that time has Green Bay won by less than 4 points.
So, I mean it could happen. It just probably won’t.
Betting System: History Repeats Itself
Odds and trends provided by sportsbookreview.com.
As always, do your due diligence and be aware that lines are made to get action at 50% on each side and are not a 50/50 proposition. Good luck!