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PB: What a Bettor Better Know - NFL Wild Cards

PB: What a Bettor Better Know - NFL Wild Cards
David Malinsky
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JBone_Texas

Dave, loved the column today.

A few thoughts, start with the Seahawks.

RE: Seahawks

The question I bring up about Seattle turning the corner isn't necessarily one of effectiveness, but style. During the regular season they had a FB in the formation on 10.5% of all snaps, against Detroit it went all the way to 46.5%. That is a major fundamental change in offensive structure, which also reflected in the SPS charts. Now there remain a lot of questions - is this the way they really wanted to play all along, but could not until they were sure that Rawls was at full health? Or was this a one-time package in terms of the Lions (unlikely, because the Detroit rush defense had been far more stout than the past defense over the course of the season)?
What it does is change the way that all statistics get viewed, much like the point about the Pittsburgh defense, and the Harrison/Dupree In or Out notions. I know it can get frustrating when data-bases have to be shifted, and a whole set of games have weighting dropped, but let's consider tempo:

Seahawks SPS/Rank

2013          29.1  #29

2014          29.4  #31

2015          29.1  #28

2016          27.5  #14

vs. DET      31.0  #32

After consistently rating near the bottom of the league, without a consistent ground game the Seahawks quickened the pace, and moved slightly above league average. But last Saturday it was Reece on the field a lot, a lot of power runs, and look at the change in pace.

So which Seahawks offense do we move into the handicap now, the regular-season numbers, or what we saw last week? That is just one of many components involved in this week's game, but it is one that I want to get my arms around quickly before developing the other notions.

David Malinsky
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benjy

Money has come in on Indiana, where they are now favored by 2 on the road vs. Maryland tonight.  This will only be the Hoosiers second game outside of the state of Indiana and its second road game of the season.  For many key Indiana contributors, this will be their first major road test of the season in a hostile environment.  The Terps were able to bounce back from the debacle against Nebraska by grabbing their first true road win of the season at Michigan.  Getting points with the home team in this spot seems attractive.  What do you see in this matchup?

This one graded out so close to pick'em on my stuff that there would be a small chime to either side at +2, but a +3 needed before fully reaching into the pocket.

JBone_Texas
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Dave, thanks I understand what your saying there.  Note though, FB Reece is listed as questionable this week with a foot injury.

JBone_Texas
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RE:  Pittsburgh

I'll keep this one much shorter.  I tend to agree with your thoughts on the Pittsburgh D.  If you have followed them through the season you will see that Football Outsiders agrees as well with the DL ranking around #9-11 (they got knocked down to #14 at the very end but don't think that was warranted due to them sitting players) and their Defensive Efficiency (weight towards the more recent games) as high as #7 overall.

The flip side in the matchup this week is KC sitting at #32 for the DL, but a decent #14 ranking for DE.  I tend to believe more of the #32 DL ranking but I do wonder how that changes with a healthy Justin Houston.  KC has the 3rd lowest sack rate of any of the playoff teams at 5.0%, only Oak and Mia were lower.  First I guess is the question of is he really healthy?  I saw a news bit saying he might only play on passing downs and/or be on a snap count.  Second, am I wrong in saying this won't matter all that much in this matchup?  The defense isn't very good against the run and in the game at Pitt Bell ripped this defense for 8.0 ypc, and that was with a healthy LB Derrick Johnson playing.  Houston missed that game but not sure he really boosts the run D that much when healthy.

This KC team continues to baffle me though.  Am I missing something here with them on offense?  The run game really isn't that good this year but they seem to have overcome that with the emergence of Tyreek Hill at WR and TE Kelce.  Can teams not game plan to at least shut down Kelce or do I need to start thinking of him as the second coming of Gronk?  And is it too much wishful thinking for the Pitt coaching staff to go into this game with the idea of never punting or kicking off to Tyreek Hill?  Take a 35 yard punt out of bounds any day over him possibly running back another punt for a TD.

David Malinsky
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Just for fun, for college hoops junkies, there was a turnover every 37.5 seconds in the first half of Baylor/West Virginia. Let that float around in your basketball consciousness...

sharpNBAbets
Joined: 10/25/2016
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Washington Wizards put on a show of their own in the 1st half in the turnover department with 13.

Chicago shot 78% from 3 in the 1st half and still wound up losing the game by 2. With all the greatness Wall has the guy is completely careless with the basketball and at times seems uninterested.

David Malinsky
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sharpNBAbets

Washington Wizards put on a show of their own in the 1st half in the turnover department with 13.

Chicago shot 78% from 3 in the 1st half and still wound up losing the game by 2. With all the greatness Wall has the guy is completely careless with the basketball and at times seems uninterested.

There is going to be a take on Wall and the Wizards in the Wednesday edition, though it comes from a different direction, with something rather alarming coming from the +/- of that particular box score, and it does relate to why the Wizards are struggling to get above .500.

Wizards +/- vs. Chicago

Wall in             40:10      +24

Wall Out            7:50       -22

Washington's lack of depth has naturally been a problem all season, but that is one of the more frightening single-game tallies I have charted in a long time.

quackerbkr
Joined: 09/04/2013
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For those handicapping the Cavs/Blazers game tonight, snow hit in Portland late last night and according to ESPN the Blazers were diverted to Seattle flying back home last night while the Cavs were apparently able to land in Portland this morning.  Blazers are apparently supposed to bus down from Seattle this morning (normally about a 2.5 hour drive) but chains are now required across the Portland area (relatively uncommon) and there are several hour delays on the area freeways so not sure yet how that will impact their plans to get down here and obviously may have some effect on their preparation for tonight's game.

David Malinsky
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quackerbkr

For those handicapping the Cavs/Blazers game tonight, snow hit in Portland late last night and according to ESPN the Blazers were diverted to Seattle flying back home last night while the Cavs were apparently able to land in Portland this morning.  Blazers are apparently supposed to bus down from Seattle this morning (normally about a 2.5 hour drive) but chains are now required across the Portland area (relatively uncommon) and there are several hour delays on the area freeways so not sure yet how that will impact their plans to get down here and obviously may have some effect on their preparation for tonight's game.

Thank you for that because it really can matter, as will be noted in the Wednesday edition. So far no one has dared to throw up a price (I am expected to see around Cleveland -4.5 and 220 or so), but this was already going to be a difficult enough transition for the Trail Blazers - now a bad defense has to figure out a way to guard all of those Cavalier 3-point threat without even having a shoot-around to walk through the designs.

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