ASA’s NFL Monday Morning Musings – Week 1

As we look at the NFL games from this past weekend we can’t help but notice a few stats that stand out and make us go hmmm. We want to share some of those insights with you each week following the games.

  • The Unders were 10-3 on the week
  • Underdogs 7-6 ATS
  • Teams that won the T.O. battle 8-0 ATS
  • Dogs of 6+ points were 4-1 ATS

Favorite stat of the Week: The NY Mets and Yankees combined scored more runs/points than the Jets and Giants combined on Sunday!

Chiefs vs Patriots – Straight up dog winner with KC and Over the total of 47.5 points. Nobody would’ve predicted the Chiefs Alex Smith having a QB ratings of 91.8 to Pats Tom Brady’s 34.3. KC was 23rd in the NFL a season ago in passing yards per game at 229.8 while the Patriots were 4th at 284.4PYPG. The Chiefs outgained the Patriots by 166 total yards.

Jets vs Bills – As a favorite the Bills win and cover with the Under cashing easy. We knew the Jets would be bad offensively this season and it sure showed in Week #1. Against a Bills D that was 27th in defensive efficiency last year, the Jets managed just 38 yards rushing and 176 passing. New York’s defense wasn’t much better allowing 408 total yards to a Bills offense that was slightly better than average a year ago. New York allowed less than 99 yards rushing in 2016 but gave up 190 to Buffalo in the opener.

Falcons vs Bears – The Bears cover and almost win outright as a 7-point pooch. The Falcons need a pair of 4th quarter TD’s and a goal line stand late in the game to get a win but the Bears got the cash. Previous Super Bowl losers are now 2-13 ATS in their opening games the following season. Bears (16th rushing yards  per game in NFL in 2016)  nearly rush-double the Falcons (5th in RYPG 2016) with 125 rushing yards to Atlanta’s 64. Falcon’s find new receiving threat with TE Hooper – 2 catches 128yds TD.

Jaguars vs Texans – Jacksonville’s defense leads way to win and cover as 6-point underdog. Much is being made of the Giants poor offensive line play, but what about a Texans O-line that allowed 10 sacks to the Jags. Jacksonville had just 33 sacks all season in 2016.  Texans with +4 first downs and near even time of possession but 4 turnovers by the Texans to the Jaguars 0. Houston only 203 total yards of offense which is 109 less than they averaged in 2016 (29th in NFL).

Eagles vs Redskins – Eagles and Under in this sloppy NFC East showdown. A combined 6 turnovers in this game made it hard to watch, unless you had a wager on it of course. Eagles QB Wentz had an INT returned for a TD but Redskins QB Cousins fumbled twice and was picked off at the goal line. Combined the two teams rushed for just 122 yards and their QB’s had 36 of them. Philly now 3-8 ATS their last 11 as a road favorite.

Cardinals vs Lions – The Lions get the cash as a 2-point home dog and the game soars Over the total. Arizona has now gone Over the total in 12 of their last 16 games they’ve been a road favorite. Detroit QB Matt Stafford (29-41, 292 yds, 4 TD’s 1 INT) rallied the Lions in the4th quarter for a come from behind win, a feat he accomplished 8 times in 2016.  Detroit’s rookie WR Kenny Golladay was the recipient of 2 of those 4th quarter TD’s. Cardinal’s QB Palmer considered retiring in the offseason, maybe he should of. He was picked off 3 times, 1 for a TD. The Lions were last in the league in defensive efficiency ratings a year ago, but held Cards RB David Johnson to just 91 total yards. Johnson lead the league last year with 2,118 yards from scrimmage.

Raiders vs Titans – The Raiders are now on a 5-game winning streak when playing on the East coast after beating the Titans as a small chalk Sunday. Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch looked good in his return with 76 yards on 18 carries. Statistically, the Raiders had a slight edge in total yards but everything else was pretty even.

Ravens vs Bengals – The Ravens blanked the Bengals 20-0 as a +2.5-point underdog and Under bettors were rewarded with an easy cover. Baltimore rush-doubled the Bengals with 157 rushing yards to the Bengals 77. Historically, teams that can more than double their opponents rushing yards and are an underdog cover at an UNBELIEVABLE rate. Ravens QB Joe Flacco (9-17, 121yds, 1 TD, 1 INT) didn’t play all preseason and was questionable here and he was much better than Bengals QB Andy Dalton (16-31, 170yds, 0 TD) who threw 4 INT’s. Ravens D in preseason and 1 regular season game has allowed just 32-points.

Steelers vs Browns – Pittsburgh was one of the most heavily bet teams on the card Sunday but couldn’t get the money as a 10-point favorite. As a road favorite of 7+ points the Steelers are now just 8-24 ATS dating back to 1980. Pittsburgh was 8th in the NFL in rushing yards per game in 2016 and have RB Bell on their roster who is one of the best backs in the game, but they managed just 35 yards rushing against the Browns. What’s significant there is that the Browns were 30th in the NFL in stopping the run a year ago after allowing nearly 143 yards rushing per game. Steelers WR Brown was targeted 11 times, made 11 catches for 182 yards. Pittsburgh rookie LB T.J. Watt has 2 sacks and INT. Steelers 31-4 L35 vs Browns.

Colts vs Rams – Are the Colts the worst team in the NFL this season? Rams get a huge home win and cover as a -3.5-point chalk. The Rams 2nd year QB Jared Goff goes 21 of 29 for 306 yards and a TD. Goff was 0-7 SU as a starter last year and didn’t pass for over 240 yards in a single game. Rams receiver Cooper Kupp had a breakout game with 4 catches for 76 yards and a TD. What does it say about the Colts D that allowed 373 total yards of offense to a Rams team that was last in the NFL in offensive efficiency ratings in 2016. Colts had just 225 yards of total offense and we’re not sure Andrew Luck can save them.

Seahawks vs Packers – Two huge calls against the Seahawks could’ve drastically changed the outcome of this Packers win and cover. Seattle managed just three field goals offensively against a Packers D that allowed an average of 25.1PPG a season ago. Hawks QB Wilson was held to 14 of 27 passing for 158 yards. The Packers held decisive edges in total yardage (370-225) and first downs (26-12). Green Bay held the ball for 39 minutes. Packers now 43-25-2 ATS as a home favorite with Aaron Rodgers as QB.

Panthers vs 49ers – Rookie RB Christian McCaffrey makes a solid debut with 92 all-purpose yards in a comfortable Panther 23-3 win. That cover by the Panthers makes the 49ers just 11-27-1 ATS  their last 39 games overall. New coach Kyle Shanahan (former OC at Atlanta) doesn’t have the weapon he had while in Atlanta. The Niners managed just 51 yards rushing and 166 passing and 3 points against Carolina.

Giants vs Cowboys – Is the Eli Manning era over in New York? The Giants managed just 2 first downs in the first half against Dallas and Manning couldn’t get the ball out fast enough against the Dallas D. The Cowboys ran 47 offensive plays in the first half alone (league average 64 per game in 2016) and were wearing out the Giants defense. Dallas ended with 393 total yards to just 233 for New York, had a 9 minute time of possession edge and 9 more first downs.

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