Play action or Pass week 15: Home sweet home

Play action or Pass week 15: Home sweet home
Tom Brady and the Patriots play in the game of the week. Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

Home field is an enormous advantage for many reasons. Travel can take a toll, physically and mentally.

Physically, travel can affect you in the amount of rest you are allowed. When on the road, on most occasions teams tend to lose a day of practice. Whether you were on the road and had to travel back home, or if you have to change your practice schedule to accommodate your travel plans for the upcoming game. Regardless, it takes precious time away that is needed for the body to recover from the violent environment these players go through. Just how does it relate to on-field performances.

Since 2000, in the NFL, a team playing at home wins 57% of the time. The figure leaps to 64% in the postseason.  Much has to do with that during the regular season the schedule is divided evenly between home and away games, during the Playoffs, the better-seeded team hosts the contest giving true value to the home field advantage.

In the gambling world, most venues carry a 3-point home field advantage. However, that's been a routine standard, and in some stadiums, I believe there has to be some kind of adjustment. For example, this year the L.A Chargers play at the Stub Hub Center where the attendance has been abysmal. When dissecting the numbers, the Chargers rank dead last in attendance, with the gap being so bad we don't even have a figure to measure against. The Stub Hub Center capacity sits at 27,000. After some investigating, the highest attendance happened in Week 7 vs. division Rival Denver(25.899), which many say was a home game for the Broncos. So with that mindset, can you justify the model, that so many gamblers practice using home as a 3 point advantage.?

The New England Patriots are 117-21-0 at home since 2003. Breathtaking some would say when you win 84.8% of your home games. Let's go further, in playoff games they are 22-9-0 (71%) in Foxboro. The Patriots play in Gillette Stadium, where they have sold out every home game dating back to the 1994 season, while the team was still at Foxboro Stadium.

Are home fields actually worth an equal 3 points?

Sleeping with one eye open

Patriots vs. Steelers 3:25 pm central

In week 14, we saw the classic look-a-head situations.  Neither team was able to cover their respective spread. Both teams had less than stellar performances with the Patriots failing to win all together. But, what's in question is, was it a must situation for New England as it was Pittsburgh? Although, New England failed to win, with a victory this week they even up record wise and take the head to head tiebreaker. Again, was last week really a must win knowing they could win one of the next two contest and still be in the same predicament. Tom Brady attempted 43 passes last week, something he hasn't done since week 10 and only three times all year. Ben Roethlisberger, 66 pass attempt by far his season high. So why did these teams play like this, so out of character? Looking ahead...

Most Bet Teams

Cowboys 89%

Cardinals 85%

Jaguars 70%

Bills 67%

Seahwaks 65%


Chiefs PK

In week 3, these teams faced off in a moment that they were both headed in different directions. Kansas City was able to win the game 24-10 to continue their 5-0 undefeated start, but six losses in seven games allowed the division to catch up bringing us to Saturday's matchup. The Chiefs opened as 1-point home favorites, bread quickly came in on the road team and jumped the wall to Chiefs +2, before fading back a bit to a PK. A big advantage for Kansas City will be on the ground where their opponent is ranked 32nd in yards per carry allowed and 26th in overall rush DVOA. The Chiefs are tied for second in yards per rush and Kareem Hunt's performance last week with a season-high 28 touches, is a good sign coming into this weeks match-up. Since 2010, Kansas City has only been a home dog three times, going 2-1 in those contest. Fade the public perception, take the home team.



Patriots/Steelers over 53.5

49'ers PK

Teasers 7 point

Vikings-3/ Eagles-.5

Teaser 10 point

Vikings PK/ Saints-6/ Jaguars-1 (2X)

Patriots-Steelers over 43.5/Vikings PK/Saints-6 (2X)


Panthers -2.5

I lean on Carolina to get the job done here. The books are loving the attention Aaron Rodgers is getting, and the public is eating it up. The line is indicating Rodgers is 100%. Even if he feels he is completely healthy, timing has to be perfected, and game speed is always something you have to catch up to. Ill, Pass, but this spread indicates everything is normal, when that is yet to be seen.

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


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Astros defeat the A's, 6-3. Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Jake Meyers hit a three-run homer to highlight Houston's six-run fourth inning that backed Justin Verlander's winning start, and the Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 6-3 on Friday night.

Verlander (3-2) struck out nine over six innings to increase hit total to 3,377, passing Hall of Famer Greg Maddux (3,371) for 10th on the career strikeouts list. He gave up two runs — one earned — on eight hits and didn't walk a batter for a second straight start and seventh time this year.

After another milestone to add to a long list of them, Verlander wasn't sure exactly how to feel.

“I feel like I should be more excited but I feel like I’m a little more introspective and reflective,” Verlander said. “A lot of sacrifices you make in this game, a lot of time away from the family, but I love it, so it’s pretty amazing. I don’t know if as a 21- or 22-year-old kid in professional baseball if I’d thought I’d be in the top-10 in anything. This sport’s been around for so long. Hard to put into words, but a lot of thoughts, a lot of thoughts went through my mind.”

When his teammates celebrated him once the special outing had ended, Verlander allowed himself to ponder the meaning.

Verlander remembers his first strikeout and he recalls one against Hall of Fame slugger Frank Thomas here at the Coliseum — and the pitcher wears No. 35 because of Thomas.

“I have a lot of great memories here,” he said.

A's manager Mark Kotsay, a former Oakland outfielder, has been witness to some of those.

“He’s just tough. He’s a Hall of Fame pitcher. He knows his game plan and he executes it really well," Kotsay said. "He doesn’t make a ton of mistakes.”

Yordan Alvarez added an RBI double and Josh Hader finished the 2-hour, 31-minute game with his seventh save for the Astros, who began a seven-game road trip.

After right-hander Ross Stripling (1-9) retired the first nine Houston hitters in order, Jose Altuve singled to start the fourth for the first of four straight hits that included Alex Bregman's two-run single.

The A's drew an announced crowd of 9,676 for the series opener after winning two of three against Colorado following an eight-game losing streak.

Miguel Andujar came off the injured list and immediately hit an RBI single in the first off Verlander and finished with three hits in his A's and season debut — including another run-scoring single in the seventh.

Andjuar's RBI marked the first time the A's have scored first in 18 games — ending the longest streak in franchise history. Batting cleanup, he also singled in the third.

Astros left fielder Chas McCormick robbed Max Schuemann of an extra-base hit when he crashed into the wall to make a great catch ending the eighth.

“That was a big play at the moment,” manager Joe Espada said.


Astros: RHP José Urquidy was pulled from his rehab start with Triple-A Sugar Land because of right forearm discomfort. He has been on the injured list with inflammation in his pitching shoulder. ... 1B José Abreu is scheduled to rejoin the club Monday in Seattle after playing at least two games with Triple-A Sugar Land as he works to regain his hitting rhythm.

Athletics: Andujar had been sidelined all season after having meniscus surgery on his right knee. He was claimed off waivers from the Pirates on Nov. 6. Oakland created roster room by optioning INF Brett Harris to Triple-A Las Vegas.


RHP Spencer Arrighetti (2-4, 7.16 ERA) pitches for the Astros in the middle game opposite A's LHP JP Sears (3-3, 4.31).

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