15 Games in the NFL 2020 Season You Do Not Want To Miss!

Earth-based Humanoid “Brent Musburger” Bets on This Week’s Championship Games

2020-21 NFL Computer Predictions and Rankings NFL Forecasting Sports Betting Team News  musburger humanoid games earth championship brent based  January 17, 2020 03:06 PM by Brent Musburger:
Championship Sunday last year produced an anomaly. Both road teams won.

Before those overtime victories by New England and the Los Angeles Rams, home teams had won 10 titles in a row. I am calling for a return to the norm this year but for only one of our new champions to cover the spread.

Tennessee (O/U 53) at Kansas City (–7)

3:05 p.m. EST Sunday (CBS)

For underdog lovers, the Titans are the flavor of the playoffs. I cashed tickets backing them against the Patriots and then last week against the AFC’s No. 1 seed, the Baltimore Ravens. I’m tempted, because the Saturday divisional playoff winners are 5-1 ATS on Championship Sunday the last three years. The Titans fit that description.

Patrick Mahomes has convinced me otherwise. Broadcasting from the Raiders’ radio booth the last two years, I have watched Mahomes demonstrate why he’s the NFL’s No. 1 quarterback. In dominating K.C.’s four victories, Mahomes threw for 1,194 yards and 11 touchdowns to seven receivers. The Chiefs outscored the Raiders in those four games 143-55.

Titans backers love to point out that they beat the Chiefs in Week 10 in Nashville and that when championship games are rematches, the winners of the first games are 6-1 over the last five years. Strong stuff. But in that wild 35-32 loss, Mahomes threw for 446 yards and three touchdowns.

Mahomes is the real deal, and I believe he would have played in the Super Bowl a year ago had the Patriots not won the overtime coin flip and scored a touchdown, ending the game before the Chiefs got a fair chance. (Yes, I hate the overtime rule.)

Derrick Henry has been fabulous for Tennessee, and I’m predicting he’ll rush for 150 yards. Ryan Tannehill is the comeback quarterback of the year. Mike Vrabel is the AFC coach of the year. But Mahomes and the Chiefs will rule the day.

Chiefs 34, Titans 24. Give the 7.

Green Bay (O/U 46) at San Francisco (–7½)

6:40 p.m. EST Sunday (FOX)

Another rematch. But for this game, the first meeting was far more convincing.

The 49ers embarrassed the Packers 37-8 on the Sunday night of Week 12. For this title game, I’m listening to the rematch stat in championship games, the one that strongly points toward the first game’s winner repeating that earlier triumph.

The 49ers proved an easy cover last week against a Minnesota team on short rest. I did sweat out the Packers’ win over Seattle because Russell Wilson never exits quietly.

One big edge for the Packers: quarterback. Aaron Rodgers is a future Hall of Famer. Jimmy Garoppolo remains a work in progress.

Rodgers’s primary target is Davante Adams, who has 35 receptions for 472 yards in the Packers’ last four games. But in that earlier meeting against the 49ers, Richard Sherman held him to 43 yards.

As Jimmy the Greek would have said, this rematch features an intangible. Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur’s brother, Mike, is a member of Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers staff. If brothers think alike, did Mike’s input help the 49ers stomp the Packers earlier?

Whether Rodgers has forgiven his boyhood favorite NFL team, the 49ers, for selecting Alex Smith as their quarterback instead of him in the 2005 draft, I have no idea. But like Don Corleone in the “Godfather” classic, I can imagine Rodgers saying, “Revenge is a dish that tastes best when it is cold.” (Editor’s note: That is the quote. He did not use the word “served.”)

Perhaps cold enough after 15 years, and Rodgers is the reason I’m not giving 7½.

Packers hang tough, lose by a field goal, 27-24. San Francisco and Kansas City head to the Super Bowl.

 


What the Pros Know about Betting on Wildcard Games. Especially Today’s

2020-21 NFL Computer Predictions and Rankings NFL Forecasting Sports Betting  wildcard today games especially betting about  By Josh Appelbaum  (VSiN.com)

January 4, 2020 12:04 AM

Welcome to Wild-Card Weekend. After starting out with 32 teams we are now down to 12. The NFL Playoffs and the quest for the Lombardi Trophy are officially upon us.

Betting on the NFL playoffs is much different than betting on the regular season. The teams are much better. The stakes are much higher. But most importantly for bettors, betting against the public increases because there are fewer games to bet on and each one is incredibly heavily bet. The market is flooded with recreational money, more so than any other time of year. As a result, savvy bettors willing to back unpopular teams see an increase in contrarian value due to public bias and shaded or inflated lines.

The betting public is biased toward favorites. Average Joes want to back the “better” team, especially this time of year. This provides more value to bet on underdogs. Since 2003, playoff underdogs have gone 95-76 ATS (55.6%) according to Bet Labs Sports. Regular season dogs are 50.5% ATS. So we see a 5.1% increase in the cover rate for playoff dogs versus regular season dogs.

Dogs that see line movement in their favor (think sharp action pushing a dog from plus 6 to plus 5.5) are even betting, going 36-12 ATS (75%) since 2003.

Experience also matters in the playoffs. Teams who made the playoffs the previous season have gone 99-85 ATS (53.8%) since 2003. If they are facing an inexperienced team who missed the playoffs the previous year they improve to 48-34 ATS (58.5%).

Also, unders have great value in the wild-card round. The public is biased toward overs, which creates more value to take advantage of inflated unders. wild-card unders have gone 40-24 (62.5%) since 2003.

Let’s discuss where the sharp money is flowing for today’s games.

4:35 p.m. ET: Buffalo Bills (10-6, 5th seed) at Houston Texans (10-6, 4th seed)

Public bettors are having a hard time picking this game. Both teams have identical 10-6 records so how can you not take the team getting points? Buffalo is 6-2 on the road this season (including 6-1-1 ATS) and also enjoys a plus 55 point differential. Houston is 5-3 at home but just 2-6 ATS. The Texans are -7 in point differential. However, Average Joes also love backing favorites, home teams and star quarterbacks–especially when they’re laying short spreads. Deshaun Watson and company fit the bill.

Spread bets are split down the middle with a slight lean to the Texans, yet we’ve seen this line fall from Texans -3 to -2.5. In a vacuum, a line shouldn’t move at all aside from a slight juice adjustment if the tickets are even. This half-point drop signals sharp action on the Bills with wiseguys grabbing Buffalo at the key number of plus 3. The Bills went 9-6-1 ATS during the regular season while Houston was 7-8-1 ATS. The Bills have value as a playoff dog (55.6% ATS since 2003) and a playoff dog with a line move in their favor (75% ATS).

The total opened at 41.5– the lowest of any Wild Card Weekend Game. Pro money has pounded the over, driving the line up to 43.5. Both teams have been profitable to the under this season (BUF 12-4, HOU 9-7) and Tony Corrente, the lead ref, has historically favored unders as well (56.5%). However, playoff overs in domes or closed roof stadiums have gone 29-13 (69%) since 2003.

8:15 p.m. ET: Tennessee Titans (9-7, 6th seed) at New England Patriots (12-4, 3rd seed)

This wild-card showdown kicks off in primetime Saturday night and features the love ’em or hate ’em Patriots, meaning it will be incredibly heavily bet. The Titans started the season 2-4 with Marcus Mariota, but then went 7-3 after making the switch to Ryan Tannehill. Tennessee played meaningful games down the stretch, defeating the Texans in Week 17 to secure the final playoff spot. Meanwhile, the Patriots looked very un-Patriot in the second half of the season. New England went 2-3 in their final five games, including a shocking loss to Miami in Week 17 as a 17-point favorite, which forced them to play on wild-card weekend instead of securing a first-round bye. Tom Brady finished with his worst QB rating (88.0) since 2013. Rumors are swirling that this could be Brady’s last game with the Pats.

The Patriots opened as 5.5-point home favorites. Early sharp money pounced on the Titans getting the points, which dropped the line down to 4.5. But then we saw wiseguys buy low on New England at a deflated -4.5, driving the number back up to -5 where it rests now. The Titans have value as a playoff road dog with a line move in their favor. Also, Brady and Belichick are 27-10 straight up (73%) in the playoffs since 2003 but just 19-18 ATS (52.4%). However, the Patriots look vulnerable and the media narrative all week is pounding the idea that the dynasty is coming to an end. This is usually when New England is at it’s best- when they’re underestimated and counted out. This is also a revenge game for the Pats, who lost to the Titans 34-10 in Week 11 last season.

The total has ticked up slightly from 43.5 to 44.5. Weather could play a big role here. The forecast calls for mid-30s, rain, 10 MPH winds and possibly some snow. John Hussey, the head official, historically favors home teams (55.4% ATS) and unders (56%). The Pats went 9-7 to the under this season but Tennessee went 10-6 to the over. Wild Card Weekend unders are 40-24 (62%) since 2003.


WATCH: Are these the 5 Greatest NFL Games of All Time?

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WATCH: Joe Montana’s Ten Most Awesome Games Ever

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PODCAST: Issues in Predicting College and NFL Football Games

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On this episode of The Football Analytics Show, Bob Stoll, founder of Dr. Bob Sports and true analytics pioneer, joins Ed Feng for a wide ranging conversation. Bob has been using analytics in his handicapping for 30 years.
Among other topics, we discuss the following:
  • How Bob first started running numbers on the NFL, and how different it was back then
  • The definition of a tout, and why Bob chooses to show his long term record
  • How Bob makes player adjustments for his college football model
  • The machine learning method he is applying to the NFL
  • Whether linebackers or defensive backs are more important to the defense
To listen on iTunes, click here: