This featured column will have me, Mike Dyce, analyzing the weekends games, the lines and over/under, and picking out what seem to be the best plays of the week. I’ll bring you my personal opinion on the games I choose and explain why I think it’s the right play.
In addition to my opinion though, my friends at ProComputerGambler.com will share their analysis of the games I choose. What they do over at PCG is incredible. PCG takes trends and statistics to simulate millions of intricate details about the game and anything for that matter to come up with a projection.. How many days will Chad Johnson’s next Marriage last? How many people will get knocked out this year by a Lambeau Leap? Or even how many gallons of toilet water are used this year by America while waiting for reviews on scoring plays?
But all we’re asking “The Computer” to do is predict the score on the field to compare with my personal opinion. So far this preseason PCG is 9-4-1 and in the 2011 NFL season they had a record of 113-87-5, pretty impressive. They’ve set the bar high and we’ll see how my “human” opinion matches up.
Although this isn’t a competition between me and PCG, but an effort to give you the reader a leg up on friendly (and not so friendly) wagers amongst your friends, in Vegas or to get an advantage in your office pool.
Now preseason games are particularly hard to bet because of many factors.
- Starters don’t play
- Starters and coaches lack motivation
- Players are mostly unknowns trying to make the team
So this makes the whole task of predicting these games a little trickier. But I wanted to get this feature up in the preseason to try and prepare for the NFL Season and Week 1’s games as well as introduce you to the feature.
For this week I chose the Panthers/Jets game.
Sunday night’s highlighted match up features Cam Newton, his million dollar smile and the Carolina Panthers at The New Meadowlands Stadium facing off against the GQ model Mark Sanchez and the wunderkind Tim Tebow. Let’s see if Fireman Ed can keep the J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets! chant going and hold of the Tebow chants.
Sunday’s Game is an 8:00 PM EST Start on NBC
Carolina Panthers @ NY Jets -2.5 O/U 41
Now in NFL Preseason week 3, things change a little. Most NFL fans know that this is the closest thing to a “real” game there is in the pre-season. Coaches typically are motivated to play their best players considerably longer than in the other 3 preseason contests.
For this game PCG and “the computer” notice a few trends.
Rex Ryan is 4-2 in Preseason after week 2. (2-1 in Week 3 and 2-1 in Week 4)
Ron Rivera is 0-2 after Week 2 (0-1 in Week 3 and 0-1 in Week 4).
Particularly when combining this trend:
- Take teams coming off of games where they score 3 points or less and didn’t cover (Jets lost 26-3 vs NYG).
- This situation improved to ~70% ATS if the opponent is off of a close win less that 1 TD (Panthers won 23-17 vs Miami).
It’s about a comfort zone, and clearly, with all the troubles and controversy surrounding the Jets QB’s, scoring 3 points is unacceptable. Not to mention scoring 6 the week before. Evaluating your kicker is great, but after 3 weeks when he’s the only one who can score, that’s generally a problem.
Since 1995, the Carolina Panthers are only 14-33 (-21.3 units) during preseason non-conference games. It’s long term trend, but whether it’s the travel or the lack of motivation historically versus teams they don’t see often, The Panthers, at least while their previous 3 head coaches (Capers, Seifert, Fox) were running the ship, didn’t take these games very seriously.
All this said, you can expect the Jets to win. The game is at home, they’re looking to get something going offensively and I think you can expect to see them be more aggressive. What I think is the key here is depth. Carolina didn’t have a great defense last year and I think you can expect Tebow to win the match up of second teams, I mean their first string defense was 24th and 25th against the pass and run.
The line itself has been jumping around between -1 and -3, and the better you can get the number the more helpful it will be. It’s a standard 1 unit bet for PCG, because ultimately it’s a pre-season game, and there are MANY more situations in the future that will offer value. We’ll just keep it simple for the long haul.
The Computer Predicts:
1 Unit -110 New York Jets -2.5 ($11 to return $21)
“ATS” – “Against the Spread” – To win, the team that “covers” the spread is the team that beats the imaginary “head start” given to the stronger team.
Eg. The Cowboys are a 7 point favorite against the Redskins – If you bet the Cowboys, they must win by MORE than 7 points, if you bet the Redskins, they must Win outright, OR Lose by LESS than 7 points. If the Cowboys win by 7, all bets are returned, and is known as a “Push”
“Fading” = Betting against
“ROI” – Return on Investment – Given in Percentage
“SU” – Straight Up Winner
“Total” – In an “Over/Under” or “Total” Bet – you pick whether or not the combined score of BOTH teams are higher (Over) or lower (Under) than the line given.
“Unit” – Whatever given value one bets on average on a game. Used to show profit and loss a the end of a season. (See ROI)
“The Computer” – A powerful tool used to predict outcomes to sporting events. .
“Public” – The “general” consensus of the common folk who essentially dictate the price of the two teams once the odds are set. Note***The Pubic rarely wins.
***If you’d like to get the full stats on every team in every league, as well as the best bets of the day via email, sign up now to the Procomputergambler.com website and for NFL games tune into NFL SpinZone weekly.