NFL Schedule Analysis

Wrote about the four teams I have placed a preseason NFL bet on.

Here are the biggest schedule takeaway I have about each NFL team using 2020 regular season win totals to measure strength of schedule from Warren Sharp:

Cardinals: Easiest schedule from Weeks 2-5, three straight road games from Weeks 4-6, three straight home games from Weeks 7-10 with bye in Week 8, third toughest schedule from Weeks 10-17.

Falcons: Toughest schedule from Weeks 1-17, seventh easiest schedule from Weeks 1-9, toughest by far in Weeks 11-17, two outdoor road games to finish year.

Ravens: Fourth easiest schedule from Weeks 1-17, toughest schedule from Weeks 6-14, easiest finish in final three weeks, four primetime games in five between Weeks 10-14.

Bills: Fifth easiest schedule from Weeks 1-5, toughest schedule from Weeks 6-16.

Panthers: Sixth toughest schedule from Weeks 1-17, late bye in Week 13. Continue reading

NFL Divisional Round Notes

Vikings at 49ers (-7); total: 44

  • The 49ers opened as an eight-point favorite and it moved to 7.5 in less than two minutes. It went down to 6.5 before settling at 7.
  • Last week there was worry about the health of Vikings RB Dalvin Cook and WR Adam Thielen, and they both looked good.
  • I make this line 49ers -4.5, but worried about taking the Vikings because the 49ers have the clear rest advantage. San Francisco had a bye week and Minnesota is going from playing Sunday to the earliest game on Saturday.

Titans at Ravens (-9.5); total: 47

  • I have no opinion on the side, which has gone between 9 and 10 all week.
  • The under interests me because both teams strength is running the ball.
  • There is familiarity between the two teams with Titans DC Dean Pees, who was on the Ravens staff under John Harbaugh from 2010-17. That is another reason I’m looking at the under, which opened at 49.

Texans at Chiefs (-9.5); total: 51

  • Line opened Chiefs -7 and got bet up immediately.
  • These two teams played in Week 6 at Arrowhead the Chiefs closed as a 3.5-point favorite and the total was 54.5. The Texans won the game 31-24, and the numbers that popped out from the box score was Houston’s time of possession edge (39:48-20:12) and total plays advantage (83-47). Patrick Mahomes was battling an ankle injury at the time. Kansas City was also without left tackle Eric Fisher, left guard Andrew Wylie, defensive tackle Chris Jones and several other starters.
  • Since then the Chiefs have improved with Mahomes at full health and the defense has acclimated to the 4-3 scheme. So I understand the six-point adjustment and there isn’t much line value on the Texans, who struggled against the Bills last week.
  • If the line got to +10, I would be tempted to take Deshaun Watson getting double digits.
  • Right now I feel stronger about the under. I can see the Texans employing a similar game plan as the Week 6 game when they controlled the ball for almost two-thirds of the game.

Seahawks at Packers (-4); Total: 47

  • Line went up from Packers -3 to -4.
  • Both teams aren’t statistically as good as their record and I don’t want any part of betting on either team.
  • The Packers weakness has been stopping the run, but Seahawks will have trouble exploiting that without Chris Carson or Rashaad Penny. Seattle running backs Travis Homer and Marshawn Lynch combined for 19 rushing yards on 17 carries against the Eagles last week.
  • I feel like this game is all about Russell Wilson and if he can make enough plays with his arm and legs. So if I was forced to pick a side I would take Seattle and the points.

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