Gambling guide

Play action or Pass Week 14: All dogs go to heaven

Tom Brady and the Pats are the week's biggest favorites. Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

Ben McA-who?

Sometimes, people are granted positions in life which they are not qualified for. Let's look at McAdoo's resume in the last ten years; He served as a tight ends coach in Green Bay from 2006-2011. For the next two years, he had the simplest position in football as quarterback coach for Aaron Rodgers, which is basically making sure he has a helmet on. Then his stint in New York started, where he was OC for two years, cruising as a middle tier offense ending 15th and 19th overall in DVOA those two seasons. Oddly, he was promoted to head coach where again, his offense was inept, ranking #22 overall in his first year as head coach. So you ask yourself, how did the Giants go 11-5 last year and make the playoffs?

Enter Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

In 2016 the Giants defense was fierce under DC Spagnuolo. According to football outsiders, they were No.  2 in weighted DVOA. So why has this team fallen off so bad this year going from fourth vs. the pass down to 23rd, and second vs. the run to No. 24? Motivation and you have to assume that McAdoo lost the locker room weeks back. The Giants have made it clear that Spagnuolo, will be in consideration for the coaching vacancy. So with four games left in the season, three of which are division foes, could the team be extra motivated to put on good performances if this is the coach they want? When asked how he felt about his audition, Interm Coach Spagnuolo said, “ I'm not focused at all on that, and I would say this to everybody, and I mean this sincerely, I leave that in God's hands, I'll be where he wants me to be, and right now he wants me to be here for this game, and that's how I'll function. And that's as honest as I can get.”

Eli Manning, on the other hand, has to be highly motivated, he's being handed back the keys after being benched by the former head coach. “I'm happy that [Spagnuolo] went with that decision and he has faith in me, we can go win this football game with me as the quarterback,”  Manning said.

Not to give merit to Spagnuolo as a great head coach, he holds a 10-38 record in his three years with the Rams. The hope, Spagnuolo said, is “to unite, restore and find a way to win football games. When I mean, restore, you know, restore Giant pride. It's hard to be real prideful when you don't win a lot of football games.”�

All dogs go to heaven and this week we like the underdogs

Week 14 brings us a tricky card. Only one game this weekend carries a spread greater than 6 points (Patriots-11). Eight games hold a line of 4 points and under with two of the contest have no spread at all. Week 14 serves us a menu of competitive games, so let's eat a W, Who wants to eat a W (in my Jameis Winston voice)?

Most bet team

Chargers 91%

Patriots 87%

Titans 86%

Raiders 86%

49ers 82%

Play, action or pass went 8-2 last week, and we are  30-23-4 in 2017.

Plays

Eagles+3 (Buy to 3 if at 2-2.5)

Sunday night, in a primetime matchup, the world got to see Carson Wentz be human and come back down to earth. The 24-10 final score doesn't tell much of what happened Sunday night. The Eagles, moved the ball all night, just failed to convert those yards into scores, with one of the drives ending in a turnover at the one-yard line. This game is said to be the "Game of the Week," but I see the Eagles clearly being the better team, giving no credit to the role as an underdog. Yes, the game is being played in the Colesium, where the Rams have been excellent vs. the number 4-2 ATS, but the Eagles have been no slouch as visitors either, also holding a 4-2 record. Where this game will be won is in the trenches, and that's where the Eagles hold an advantage. If the Rams have one weakness, it's stopping the run. They rank 26th overall and give up an average of 4.7 yards per rush. That certainly won't bode well going up against a three-headed backfield that ranks 3rd in the league in rushing while averaging 143.3 yards a game. Philadelphia will establish the run early and often, opening the door for the play action deep ball. Give me the Eagles with the better quarterback, coming off an underwhelming performance on the national stage.

Giants +4.5

We spoke about the added motivation in the New York Locker room, and that will be the difference this week. Since 2015, Dallas is 14-20 ATS in conference games. Before the firing of Ben McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese, Dallas was listed as a 6.5 point road favorite. Since the announcement, the line has been punished by sharps everywhere showing that indeed motivation might have been a factor for the Giants squad. When the opening line moves against the Cowboys, they own a horrible 17-32 ATS record since 2003. The Giants will keep this close with Angry Eli at the helm. Look for this game to go down to the last possession.

Action

Cardinals +4 (buy .5 if 3.5)

Chiefs/Raiders over 48

Jaguars-2.5

Teasers 7 point

Eagles+9.5/ Oak-KC over 41

Teaser 10 point

Patriots-1/Eagles+12.5/Steelers+5

Patriots-1/Eagles+12.5/Oak-KC over 38

Pass

Patriots-11

The Patriots are clearly the better team, and they can name the score in this matchup. That in itself, is why I have to pass. The Patriots are currently on a four-game road trip. The worse part about this is the last two legs of the road trip have them in two primetime spots. Next week, the Patriots travel to Pittsburgh to play in what many say will decide the AFC and the road to the Super Bowl. New England will come out fast and get this game to where they are comfortable, using as least energy as possible, with one eye on the Steelers. They very well could be up by three scores, but with the team thinking about next week, the back door will be wide open for Miami.

For any questions or comments reach me at @JerryBoKnowz on twitter.

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF O'BRIEN'S COACHING

Not my job: Texans no match for the Ravens

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Texans fell to the Ravens 33-16 in a game they had a shot at winning. Most of you reading this will probably think I'm crazy for saying that. I assure you, I meant what I said. One of the reasons they didn't was because Bill O'Brien made a few questionable decisions that cost this team.

The first was the 4th & 1 decision. Deciding to go for it was bad enough. They were down 3-0 near the end of the first quarter with the ball on their own 34-yard line. This is not a situation that calls for a gamble or statement play. The play call itself was okay I guess: a play action bootleg with two short options. It was read and played perfectly by the Ravens defense. Deshaun Watson had nowhere to go with the ball and had to throw it at Darren Fells' back before getting sacked. That led to a quick Ravens touchdown and an early 10-0 deficit. I seriously think he has PTSD after that playoff loss to the Chiefs when it comes to fourth down calls. Bumbling Bill strikes again!

When they got the ball back, they scored a touchdown thanks to more play action passes and pre-snap motion. It was as if Bumbling Bill realized his offensive line was outmatched by the front seven they're opposing. Sure Watson is mobile and looks like a magician escaping sacks, but misdirection helps throw the defense off and keeps Watson from breaking into 177,000,000 pieces. Oh, and the quick reads were a good idea as well. Too bad Bumbling Bill went away from that and opted for longer developing routes. Or will he blame it on Timid Tim Kelly? Or was Waiting Watson holding onto the ball too long? I blame all three.

Also, can we stop starting drives with the predictable run, run, pass combo please? First down should be play action rollout with Watson having the ability to choose to run if it's there. More run/pass/option plays need to be called as well. Incorporate more things that we saw when Watson was on his way to winning rookie of the year before his knee was sacrificed for the Astros.

Credit where it's due: the end of the first half to get a field goal with a minute and change left was good to see. Typically, these situations tend to make Bumbling Bill come out. I liked the quick slant to Cobb with no timeouts. They were able to spike the ball and get the field goal up.

The game was still within reach at 23-13 in the beginning of the fourth quarter. On a 4th & 1, they gave up a 30 yard touchdown run on a direct snap to Mark Ingram. I saw gaps on both sides of the defensive line pre-snap. Sure enough, Ingram got a lead block from the Ravens human plough of a fullback and that effectively put the nail in the coffin at 30-13. I know the tendency is to quarterback sneak or run up the middle, but don't leave gaps along the defensive line trying to stack the middle. First time defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver will take the L on this one.

Overall, I'll give O'Brien and his coaching staff a C- this game. Mistakes were made that could've cost them a legit shot at winning, but the Keke Coutee fumble return for a touchdown wasn't their fault. The play calling menu was brought to us this week by Craft Pita via the "What's Eric Eating" podcast. Tune in next week for another "Not my job!"

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