Bad beats and Week 7 picks

0 Comments 📁 Slider 🕔18.October 2014
Bad beats and Week 7 picks

Bad beats are both an unavoidable and inevitable element of the grind of betting. Most bettors are readily able to recall an instance when money was taken out of their pocket – be it by bad referees, shanked kicks or a hail mary – because frustration is generally more enduring than satisfaction. One benefit of NFL betting is the “book” tends to be followed. Teams don’t typically run up the score and the actions of players in established scenarios can usually be predicted.

That wasn’t the case last week, though, when not one, but three game-sealing interceptions (by the Broncos, Cardinals and 49ers) were unnecessarily returned for touchdowns in the waning seconds when the defenders should have given themselves up (something they almost always do). Instead, a Jets cover turned into a Broncos cover, a Washington cover flipped to an Arizona cover and the Niners game swung to the over. Bad beats reigned supreme.

Those outcomes were far more the outlier than the rule, however, and a silver lining is one bettor’s bad beat is another’s improbable backdoor cover. Everyone has been on either side, and for better or worse, the beats have a knack for evening out in the long run. Onto the Week 7 picks.

Colts (-3) vs. Bengals

Blindly betting the Colts at home in the Andrew Luck era has proven to be a very profitable strategy, as Indy is 14-6 ATS at Lucas Oil Stadium since 2012. The only thing that has thwarted the Colts from a 3-0 ATS mark to begin this season was a second-half meltdown in Week 2 vs. the Eagles, when they blew a 14-point lead. As dominant as Indy has been at home, this is as much a situational play against Cincy as it is a play on the Colts. The Bengals are simply in a bad spot. They’re banged up, as A.J. Green remains sidelined with a toe injury and linebacker Rey Maualuga will be out for the near future after injuring his hamstring last week. Their defense has been lit up over the last two games, allowing a combined 936 yards and 80 points to the Patriots and Panthers, which is not the way to be trending heading into a matchup with the NFL’s highest scoring offense. And they’re coming off a grueling 37-37 tie with Carolina that required five full quarters, while the Colts have enjoyed the equivalent of a mini bye after a Thursday night game to begin Week 6. Lay the favorite.

Giants (+6.5) at Cowboys

It’s difficult to look as bad as the Giants did last Sunday night in Philadelphia or as good as the Cowboys in Seattle. Consequently, the combination of those performances has yielded solid line value on the underdog here. Historically, the Cowboys have also been a negative-expectation wager at home – particularly as favorites, a scenario in which they’re 0-4 ATS over their last four. While any divisional game is big for both teams, there’s no doubt the Giants have more at stake, as they’re set to begin a brutal stretch (Indy, at Seattle, San Francisco) after their bye and, at 3-3, are already two games behind both Philly and Dallas in the NFC East. The Cowboys, on the other hand, are riding high after such an impressive win and are known for letdowns in spots similar to this one. Not to be overlooked is Eli Manning always seems to have some of his bigger games in Dallas, with a pair of 400-yard performances over his last three trips to AT&T Stadium, a venue in which the Giants are 4-1 straight up since 2009. There’s also an emotional factor at play for the Giants, who will no doubt be playing for Victor Cruz after the star wideout was lost for the season to a torn patellar tendon vs. the Eagles.

Chiefs at Chargers – over 44.5

After these AFC West rivals played to totals of 79 and 51 in their two meetings last year, and given that both have put up their fair share of points so far this season – San Diego is averaging 27.3 points per game; Kansas City 23.8 – this number appears to be asking for action on the over. The matchups between each team’s respective offense and defense looks to favor some scoring as well. The Chiefs love to run the ball, ranking fourth in the league in rushing offense and seventh at 4.7 yards per carry. The Chargers’ D is allowing an identical 4.7 yards per rush, sixth-worst in the league. The Bolts’ offense, meanwhile, is tops in the NFL at 8.6 yards per completion, while KC’s defense is allowing 10.9 yards per pass. With both offenses expected to have success moving the ball, red zone productivity will be key. Neither defense has distinguished itself in that regard, with the Chiefs allowing touchdowns on 53.3 percent of their opponents’ red zone opportunities (middle of the pack) and the Chargers an eye-popping 80 percent, dead last in the NFL. Conversely, KC has converted over 70 percent of its red zone chances into touchdowns, the fourth-best rate in the league. And only Andrew Luck has tossed more touchdowns than Philip Rivers’ 15. This is shaping up as a tightly contested divisional game played in at least the mid-20s.

Last week: 2-2
Overall: 6-12-2

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