Gambling recap

Week 7 off to a hot start: Unlike the Atlanta offense

Zeke Elliot and the Cowboys had a big day. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Week 7 went somewhat back to normality as the favorites finally decided to show up.

My Play action or pass went 4-1-1 in week 7:

Buffalo-3 PUSH

Denver-1 LOSS

Cowboys Team Total Over 26.5 WIN

Seahawks/ Giants under 40.5 WIN

Rams-3 WIN

Teaser of the week(1-0): Tennesee-1 /Seattle Pick WIN

Pass: Packers+4.5

We felt, this was an overreaction but decided to pass because of so much unknown on both sides of the ball for the Packers.

Week 7 from the cashier's window:

Most bet teams

80% Titans

77% Panthers

73% Cowboys

72% Jags

72% Saints

Favorites went 9-4-2 ATS

In a week which broke the trend of 2017, the favorites dominated going 12-3 straight up.

Biggest Favorite to cover: Cowboys -6.5

In a game, that many touts predicted the 49ers to keep it close in, the Cowboys had something else to say about it. This game turned quickly, from a 49ers first-quarter punt return fumble, setting up Ezekiel Elliott for his first score of the day. Dallas never looked back as Elliott ran for 147 yards on 26 carries with two touchdowns and also caught a screen pass that broke for a 72-yard breathtaking score. Dak Prescott also had a great day, tallying four scores while getting Dez Bryant and Jason Witten involved. Coming off a bye, this was a much-needed win for a Dallas team that plays Washington, Kansas City, Atlanta and the Eagles in its next four games.

Honorable mention: Eagles -5.5

Carson Wentz continues to shine and show growth. Can he be one of the next guys to be the face of the NFL?

Biggest Underdogs to Win Outright Bears-Raiders: +3 (+130)

"Money" Mitch Trubisky and the Chicago Bears strike again or did he? In a game where he went 4-7 with 107 yards, can we credit him for this upset? Let's talk about 4th round Alabama Rookie Eddie Jackson and a story about not "giving up." A year to the day October 22, 2016, Jackson broke his leg, in what would be his last game with the Crimson Tide. One year later, on the anniversary of that tragic injury, he scored two 75 plus yard touchdowns, to become the first NFL defensive player to do so. Never give up!

The Raiders (+3), stunned the Chiefs in the closing moments of the Thursday night thriller to knock the Chiefs to 5-2 giving them their second loss in a row. Just a few weeks ago, the public was raving about how Kansas City was in a league of their own? Are they hands down still the best team now? The loss of Eric Berry cannot be discounted, as Marcus Peters getting torched has become a weekly trend leaving the secondary in doubt. Big test this week for the Chiefs as they receive the struggling Broncos, in a Monday night AFC West showdown.

Totals

The Over/ Under was 7-8 in Week 7. The lowest total on the board and perhaps the worse bad beat coming in the Baltimore game where the Ravens scored a meaningless touchdown as time expired to push the total over 37.5. (24-16.)

The "Over" is now 13-10 in primetime games with a winning percentage of 56.6%. An outstanding number for bettors,  chasers and action junkies going into those primetime games. This figure surpasses the mark for 2016 (52%) and 2015 (41.7%.)

DIRTY Birds

Just how significant is the dropoff from the spectacular offense last year to the 2017 Falcons? In 2016, the Falcons had a point differential of +136, this year's Atlanta team -4. So, who does the dramatic decline fall on? Other than last year, Matt Ryan is the same player he has been throughout his career with an 89.3 passer rating, averaging 7.8 yards per pass. Going up vs. a defense that had allowed 300 plus passing yards to every quarterback they faced this year, Ryan turned in a less than stellar performance going  23-33 for 233 yards and a touchdown. A late-game score that should be credited as half an interception, if it wasn't for Julio Jones being a grown man and snatching it away from the Patriot defensive back. This ugly performance came vs. a team’s defense that allowed 23 first downs and 408 yards to the New York Jets. The Atlanta offense has fallen off in pretty much every offensive category since the change at OC from Kyle Shanahan to Steve Sarkisian. The Falcons were in the red zone on four occasions and came out with 0 points. They have only managed to score 7 points in the last six quarters.

Points Per Game .   2016   33.8

                                   2017   21.3

 

Yards Per Game     2016   416

                                   2017   378

 

Yards Per Play         2016   6.7

                                    2017   6.2

Was last year a fluke for a team that was 18-30 the three previous seasons?

Is international travel a factor?

Yes, we know both teams have to deal with it, but the question is how? This week’s edition of overseas NFL brought us the Cardinals vs. the Rams. The way these two arrived was utterly different. The Cardinals, a team who hadn't played overseas since 2005, chose to travel early. Veteran running back Adrian Peterson, advised the group that they should leave early, as it was his second time making the trip overseas in 3 weeks and he believed that was the factor a few weeks back when his team beat a tired Miami squad that arrived late, 20-0. On the other hand, a group that hadn't traveled since 2005 and with some players on the rosters first trip ever to London, you have to think that some site seeing and a few other things non-football would cross the mind on this so-called business trip. The Rams instead opted to stay in Jacksonville at their temporary headquarters after beating the Jaguars. The team relaxed for a week on a five-star resort featuring a golf course and shorefront rooms that overlooked Ponte Vedra Beach. The Rams flew out later in the week and are quoted saying, "This was the blueprint on how the travel week should be done, it gave us a chance to bond without returning home." The result: a dismantling of the Cardinals 33-0.  

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

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5 questions on the John Wall trade

The Rockets made a big move. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets point guard carousel continued to spin Wednesday night, as the Woj bomb-iest of Houston-related Woj bombs erupted in the Space City:

For the third year in a row, the Rockets will begin the season with a new point guard, in an attempt to finally find someone that can play alongside James Harden. Let's take a look at how the Rockets got to this point, and what it means moving forward.

What led to the trade?

Russell Westbrook simply wanted out. Westbrook is the type of player that needs to be the number one ball handler and that simply wasn't ever going to happen on a James Harden led team. Other reports cited Westbrook's frustration with the lack of accountability and casual atmosphere within the locker room. Ultimately if anyone was going to be moved between Harden and Westbrook, it was always going to be Westbrook.

Why John Wall?

This one is another fairly straightforward answer: they both have relatively similar contracts. Each is making an absurdly overpriced $40 million this season, and both were disgruntled with their current team. Rockets General Manager Rafael Stone and Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard tossed the idea around a few weeks ago, but couldn't find a deal they liked. It was reported that discussions resumed Wednesday afternoon and within a few hours the deal was done in an almost one-for-one swap.

How does Wall fit?

This is a little more complicated because it's not exactly known what head coach Stephen Silas' game plan is. It's also difficult to predict whether or not Harden will still be on the roster when the season starts. But let's assume that Harden takes the court for the Rockets and that Silas' system resembles something similar to what we've seen in Houston for the past few years. In that case, Wall would be a slight upgrade to Westbrook. Westbrook is more athletic than Wall, but when healthy Wall was no slouch. In addition he's a much better defensive player and has much better court vision than Westbrook. Westbrook's assists were usually a bailout after attacking the lane with his head down, while Wall is more likely to set up a teammate.

This isn't to say that Wall doesn't need the ball though. He's fairly ball dominant, but not nearly as much as Westbrook. Harden proved last season that he's capable of effectively playing off the ball if necessary, so it seems like a better fit from a distribution rate alone. If they can find that sweet spot like they did with Chris Paul and stagger the lineups so that each star gets their own time to create, there's potential for an improved Rockets team more reminiscent of their 2018 run than the past two years.

What are the best and worst case scenarios?

The worst case is that the Rockets were sold a lemon. Wall has potential to be an upgrade, but comes with huge risk. He last took the court in 2018, where he was sidelined with a knee injury. He subsequently ruptured his Achilles in an accident at his home while recovering from the knee injury, forcing Wall off the court for almost two years. It's possible an extremely unfortunate Wall reinjures something and completely derails the machinations of the trade. Even if he's recovered fully, it will take time to get him up to game speed which could frustrate Harden on a team that can't afford a slow start in their stacked conference. Harden has managed to cultivate drama with just about every co-star he's played with, so there's no reason to assume this attempt would go any better. If things turn sour, Harden could be out the door even quicker than expected.

The best case scenario is that Wall arrives ready to play team basketball and resembles the better part of his pre-injury form. Wall and Harden buy into Silas' new system, space the floor, and take turns carving up the lane with dribble drives and kick outs to players who can actually hit from distance. This version of the Rockets could potentially be a 3-seed in this year's Western Conference.

Who won the trade?

At the moment the Rockets. Not only did they remove at least one of their locker room distractions, but they also gain a first round pick. If Wall can stay healthy and Silas can keep both stars happy, this team should be a lot more fun to watch than last season's clunker.

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