ASA’s NFL predictions AFC West – Sept 2018

ASA’s NFL Oakland Raiders Win Bet – 2018

Oakland Raiders – 2017 record (6-10) – ATS Record (5-9-2) – Over/Under Record (5-11)

  • Yards Per Game Differential -26 / Yards Per Play Differential -0.2
  • Point Differential -72 (10th in the AFC / 25th in the NFL)
  • Turnover Differential -14 (29th in the NFL) 

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2018 ASA prediction – Play UNDER 8.5 Wins for Oakland Raiders 

This is a tough call for us but we’ll lean ever so slightly to the UNDER.  We look for Oakland to finish 8-8 which would keep them under this number by a half game.  We anticipate new head coach Jon Gruden will be an upgrade but it may take a year to get this team acclimated to his ways.  Gruden came in and cleaned house signing 30ish free agents and got rid of a number of contributors.  Even Gruden in his own words said, “We are a long way off but we’ve laid a solid foundation,” leading us to believe this will be a learning and rebuilding type year.  QB Derek Carr had a career year in 2016 but came back to earth last season.  The potent offense everyone expected last season was simply not there as the Raiders were held to 17 points or less in 9 of their 16 games.  The defense hasn’t finished above 20th in total defense in any of the last 5 seasons so we don’t see a big improvement there.  After winning 12 games two years ago, this team came into last season overrated as they were actually outgained in 2016 and beat only ONE playoff team during the regular season.  We took Oakland UNDER 10 wins last year and cashed easily.  While we do see an upward trend over the next few years for this team, in 2018 we think they finish 3rd in the division and an 8-8 or worse record is expected.

Against The Spread Numbers

  • The Raiders are a terrible 19-39-1 ATS the last 60 times they’ve been tabbed a favorite.
  • Oakland has THE WORST spread record at home since the start of the 2003. Just 41-74-2 ATS covering only 35% of their home tilts.
  • AFC West rivals Oakland & San Diego have gone UNDER the total in 17 of their last 25 meetings

ASA’s NFL Kansas City Chiefs Win Total – 2018

Kansas City Chiefs – 2017 record (10-6) – ATS Record (10-6) – Over/Under Record (8-8)

  • Yards Per Game Differential +5 / Yards Per Play Differential +0.5
  • Point Differential +76 (6th in the AFC / 10th in the NFL)
  • Turnover Differential +15 (2nd in the NFL)

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2018 ASA prediction – Play UNDER 7.5 Wins for the KC Chiefs 

The Chiefs were fortunate to win the AFC West and get to the playoffs last year.  They only outgained their opponents by an average of 5 YPG but benefitted from a huge turnover margin (2nd in the NFL).  Their defense simply wasn’t very good ranking 28th in the NFL in YPG allowed and 26th in YPP allowed.  We don’t look for any improvement on that side of the ball as the Chiefs enter this season without two of their top defensive players from last year as CB Marcus Peters and LB Derrick Johnson have moved on.  It was the offense that outscored teams and led them to 10 wins.  That offense will look drastically different this year with new QB Patrick Mahomes taking over the starting spot from Alex Smith who moved on to Washington.  Smith had a fantastic season and we don’t expect raw Patrick Mahomes, whose thrown only 35 passes in his career, to duplicate that.  He might be good down the road but will need some seasoning this year.  KC scored 24 or more points in 12 of their 16 regular season games last year and topped 28 points in half of their games.  Another poor showing on defense and a step back offensively means this team will struggle at times this year.  Can this team outscore teams this year again with a high powered offense?  Our opinion is no.  We don’t see the Chiefs getting to .500 so we grab the UNDER.

Against The Spread Numbers

  • KC is 48-24-2 to the UNDER in home games since 2009. That’s the highest percentage of UNDERS for a home team in the NFL during that stretch.
  • Since 2007, the Chiefs have the BEST spread record on the road in the NFL with a 54-37 ATS mark.
  • Since 2005, when facing the AFC West, KC has gone 45-30-3 UNDER the total. That’s 60% UNDERS in Division play for the Chiefs.

ASA’s NFL Denver Broncos Win Bet – 2018

Denver Broncos – 2017 record (5-11) – ATS Record (4-11-1) – Over/Under Record (8-8)

  • Yards Per Game Differential +34 / Yards Per Play Differential -0.1
  • Point Differential -93 (12th in the AFC / 27th in the NFL)
  • Turnover Differential -17 (31st in the NFL) 

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2018 ASA prediction – Play OVER 7.5 Wins for the Denver Broncos 

As the old saying goes, offense wins games and defense wins championships.  Not in the Denver Broncos case.  They have a very good defense (1st in the NFL in YPG allowed) but their offense stunk.  That combination put up only 5 wins last season, Denver’s lowest since the 2010 season.  Last year the Broncos faced the toughest strength of schedule in the NFL with their opponents combining for 40 games over .500 the previous season.  This year their strength of schedule is ranked 25th in the NFL with their opponents winning percentage only at 47% last season.  The defense will again be one of the top units in the NFL and the addition of DE Bradley Chubb, the top pass rusher in the draft, will keep them elite on that side of the ball.  The QB position had to be addressed in the off-season and Denver added Case Keenum from the Vikings.  Keenum took Minnesota to the NFC Championship game last year and had a career year.  While we don’t expect him to duplicate his numbers or success from last year, Keenum is a big upgrade from what this team was working with.  He has a solid WR corps but the offensive line could be an issue as they allowed 3.2 sacks per game last year (30th in the NFL).  This organization is used to winning.  Before last season they had finished at or above .500 every year since 2010.  They won the AFC West 5 of the last 7 years.  We expect a bounce back year in Denver and an 8-8 record and 2nd place finish should be doable.

Against The Spread Numbers

  • Broncos have faced AFC West rival San Diego 77 times since 1980. They two have put up 44 UNDERS and just 32 OVERS (1 push) during that span
  • Going back to 2006, this team is only 26-46-4 ATS (35%) as a home chalk, the 4th worst mark in the NFL during that time
  • Since 2003, the Broncos own the NFL’s 3rd best OVER percentage behind only New England and Green Bay. Since ’03 Denver is 135-115-4 (54%) to the OVER.

ASA’s NFL LA Chargers Win Bet – 2018

Los Angeles Chargers – 2017 Record (9-7) – ATS Record (8-7-1) – Over/Under Record (4-12)

  • Yards Per Game Differential +48 / Yards Per Play Differential +0.6
  • Point Differential +83 (5th in the AFC / 9th in the NFL)
  • Turnover Differential +12 (3rd in the NFL) 

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2018 ASA prediction – Play OVER 9.5 Wins for the LA Chargers 

We like the Chargers to win the AFC West this year and they’ll need at least 10 wins to accomplish that.  We expect this team to have a chip on their shoulder as they missed the playoffs last year finishing 2nd in the division (behind the Chiefs) and they lost the wild card tie breaker to the Titans and Bills.  They were 9-7 last year despite losing their first 4 games of the season and 4 of their 7 losses were by a field goal or less.  The Chargers are the most stable team in the AFC West right now as the Chiefs will be going with an inexperienced QB (Patrick Mahomes), the Raiders have a new coach (Jon Gruden) and are off a poor season, and the Broncos had just 5 wins last year.  The Bolts have one of the better, yet unsung, QB’s in the NFL with Phillip Rivers who threw for over 4,500 yards yet was only picked off 10 times, his lowest number since 2009.  The offensive line was solid in pass protection and if they can improve their run blocking to give RB Melvin Gordon some more room, this offense will be very good.  The defense puts pressure on opposing QB’s with possibly the top DE combination in the AFC (Joey Bosa & Melvin Ingram).  They were in the top 6 in the NFL in both sacks per game and sack percentage last year.  Just in case you didn’t notice, this defense led the NFL in PPG allowed at just 17.  The schedule sets up nicely as the non-AFC West QB’s the Chargers will face include AJ McCarron, Tyrod Taylor, Sam Bradford, Marcus Mariota, Joe Flacco, and Andy Dalton.  Not a list that will strike fear in many defenses for sure.  We’ll call 10-6 at worst for the Chargers this year.

Against The Spread Numbers

  • The Chargers have been a fantastic road underdog dating all the way back to 1980. Their ATS record since then in the road dog role is 120-87-6 (58% over 37 seasons!)
  • However, you are probably better off staying away from them as a road favorite where they are just 16-23-1 ATS (41%) since 2006
  • The Chargers have lost 8 straight games vs KC (2-6 ATS)

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