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Play, action or pass recap: What we learned in Week 17

Marcus Mariota and the Titans slipped into the playoffs. Andy Lyons/Getty Images

As we discussed last week, you shouldn't look too much into the results of some of the games in Week 17, but the final weekend does give us a chance to sharpen our power rankings on teams advancing to the postseason. What did we learn from some of last week's performances?

FALCONS 22 PANTHERS 10

In a game that had implications for both teams, Cam Newton came up short in an abysmal performance. Many are saying that Cam looked unconcerned during the contest, but I see it the opposite. Cam was entirely into the game, and you can see that on his Quarterback runs and his reactions after them. What affected him was the inability of his wide receivers to create separation in addition to the horrible performance from Greg Olsen. On numerous plays, the two seemed to be on different beats with Olsen running completely different routes and dropping multiple passes. The Panthers have run an unconventional offense the entire year with a playbook that doesn't require a true #1 wide receiver. While it did work the first time around, when playing divisional foes in the yearly rematch, the Panthers only averaged 17.7 points and 260.7 yards a game. Are the adjustments from their opponents in their second meetings a mold of how to stop the unorthodox attack of the Panthers? If so, what does it say when a team sees the scheme for the third time this year? The Saints held Carolina to an average of 17 points in their two encounters this season.

BUCCANEERS 31 SAINTS 24

In a "need" game for the Saints, they failed to win outright as a 7 point road favorite. New Orleans was very fortunate the Panthers lost to the Falcons. Otherwise, they wouldn't be playing at home this weekend. The Saints managed to lose the game with a +2 turnover margin. When you look at the boxscore, and the final stats for the Saints offensive stars Alvin Kamara (9/44/1) and Mark Ingram (13/35), you see modest numbers compared to what we have been accustomed to the entire season. The reason behind these low totals has to be accredited to Tampa Bay's ability to convert on third down where they were 12 for 14, ultimately keeping the ball away from the Saints offense.

TITANS 15 JAGUARS 10

Doug Marrone's decision to play Blake Bortles and the rest of the starters has to be the worst coaching decision of the season. Bortles limped off in the second quarter after a low hit but surprisingly was put back into a meaningless game. Many would use the "gaining postseason momentum" theory, and if that's the case, then the Jaguars achieved the contrary. Bortles finished with a 33.7 QB rating while going 15-34, with a shameful 158 yards and two picks. On the Titans side, we saw what we have been watching all year, a putrid offense that only netted 232 total yards. Tennesse will be a team we look to take advantage of in the playoffs.

BENGALS 31 RAVENS 27

The Bengals looked like the inspired team as  Baltimore had five drops in the first half. The Ravens failed to hold the late lead, and Andy Dalton's late-game heroics punched a ticket for Buffalo's first postseason since appearance since 1999.

VIKINGS 23 BEARS 10

The Vikings finished 6-2 ATS at home while finishing +7.9 in ATS +/- in those contest.

CARDINALS 26 SEAHAWKS 24

Arizona's defense played inspired for Bruce Arian's farewell, allowing Seattle only 13 first downs in a must-win game for the Seahawks.

CHARGERS 30 RAIDERS 10

Not much to be said, the Raiders are the Raiders.

Inside The numbers

Based on the odds of -110 (11/10) for a straight football wager, a handicapper needs to be right 52.38% to break even. If you can manage to exceed that figure, you have beat the book, something many fail to do over a large sample size.

For example, If you make ten wagers to win $100 (risking $110 to win $100) and win 6 out of 10, you won $600. Take out the losses at -110 odds you subtract -$440. So you profited $160.

Let's say you make the same wagers and spilt, five wins and five losses. Now you won $500, but you lost $550 after the -110 odds. Going even ultimately cost you a -$50 result. The one game difference holds a value of +/- $210.

The smallest of percents are critical to your final net gain and losses.

Play Action or Pass went 3-5 in Week 17 bringing the final regular season number to 48-38-2 (55.81%)

Patriots -15    WIN
Raiders+8     LOSS
Packers+7     LOSS
Redskins -3     LOSS
Panthers+4    LOSS
49ers Moneyline   WIn
Teasers 7 point
Panthers+11/ Patriots-8  LOSS
Teasers 10 point
Patriots-5/Vikings-1/Saints-Bucs over 40  WIN

Favorites finished 2017 with a 132-110-9 ATS record.
Home Teams 126-116-9 ATS
Over/ Under 118-133-5 ATS
72 of 110 underdogs won their games outright this season 65%

Best teams ATS in 2017

Vikings    11-5
Patriots   11-6
Chiefs     10-6
Eagles     10-6
Bills      9-6-1
Jets       9-6-1

Final Regular Season Power Rankings
Patriots
Steelers
Vikings
Saints
Rams

Super Bowl Odds
New England Patriots    +210
Minnesota Vikings    +375
Pittsburgh Steelers    +525
New Orleans Saints    +750
Los Angeles Rams    +900
Philadelphia Eagles    +1200
Kansas City Chiefs    +1800
Jacksonville Jaguars    +2200
Carolina Panthers    +2500
Atlanta Falcons    +2500
Tennessee Titans    +7500
Buffalo Bills    +7500

For any question or comments reach me at @JerryBoKnowz on twitter
 

 




 

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Houston's winning streak is up to nine

Astros secure series over Orioles as winning streak continues

Zack Greinke provided another long outing for his team on Tuesday. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images.

After continuing their recent dominance with a lopsided win over this Orioles team on Monday in the rain-plagued opener, the Astros eyed number nine in a row if they could do it again on Tuesday. Though not as one-sided, the Astros would get the victory to secure the series win.

Final Score: Astros 3, Orioles 1

Astros' Record: 45-28, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Zack Greinke (8-2)

Losing Pitcher: Jorge Lopez (2-9)

A tame start for Houston's offense

After a scoreless first inning on both sides, Myles Straw started the scoring with two outs in the top of the second, sneaking a ball off and over the left-field wall just out of the grasp of Austin Hays for a solo homer to put Houston ahead 1-0. After Baltimore tied the game in the third, the game remained gridlocked 1-1 until the top of the seventh, when Chase McCormick would reach on a one-out infield single then raced around to score on a Myles Straw RBI single, putting Houston back in front 2-1.

Greinke pitches into the eighth

Over that span, Zack Greinke was getting efficient innings against Baltimore's lineup. He allowed that trying run in the third, which came after a one-out walk moved to third on a single, then scored on a sac fly. That was one of his few moments with runners in scoring position, as he erased a single in the first, a single in the fourth, and a double in the seventh to maintain the new 2-1 lead.

The Astros loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the eighth but came away with only one run of insurance on a McCormick sac fly, making it 3-1 as Greinke returned to the mound to continue working. He allowed a leadoff single then retired the next batter before Dusty Baker would come out to get him as the left-handed portion of the lineup was due up and a better match for Brooks Raley, who had been warming. Greinke's final line: 7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 91 P.

Astros make it nine in a row

Raley completed the eighth for Greinke with two strikeouts to strand the inherited runner. With it still a two-run game in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Pressly entered for the save. He erased a two-out single to finish things off, giving Houston their ninth win in a row and securing the series with a chance at the sweep in the finale.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game set will be another 6:05 PM Central start time on Wednesday. Thomas Eshelman (0-0, 1.93 ERA) will be on the mound for Baltimore to face the Astros, while Jose Urquidy (5-3, 3.65 ERA) will start for Houston.

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