Defense Not Dead in NFL
Kelso's Advanced Sports Betting: Defense Not Dead in NFL
With all the talk in studios this past week about how easy it is to move the football and score in today's NFL, you'd have thought that defense was dead. Every game was going to end 38-35. Quarterbacks were going to be on record setting paces. Defensive players all over the league were going to be faking injuries every play just so they could catch a breather.
There will certainly be some games like that every week. We have some great quarterbacks in the league right now. And, the rules do favor offenses more than defenses if you have PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS on offense. The problem is:
Not all 32 teams have elite talent on offense
Some DEFENSES are loaded with PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS!
A lot of how you see the league right now is based on the games you're watching on TV. If you spent Sunday afternoon watching San Diego upset Philadelphia in a matchup that saw both teams top 500 yards...and then you followed that up watching Denver's second offensive explosion of the season in their rout of the NY Giants...then it's easy to imagine everything looking like Arena Football.
But, if you watched New England edge the NY Jets 13-10 last Thursday, then were in the parts of the country that saw Baltimore beat Cleveland 14-6, or Oakland beat Jacksonville 19-9, it's an entirely different story. I'm sure most of you watched San Francisco and Seattle struggle to move the ball Sunday Night. Colin Kaepernick had no idea what to do for the Niners. Russell Wilson had a horrible game for the Seahawks, but his team kept scoring cheap points off turnovers.
Months of marketing hype about Kaepernick and Wilson, and THESE were their passing lines:
Combined, that's 21-47-4-215. Fantasy Football owners were furious!
Those of you studying in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping need to see what's really happening on the field. It's only easier to score for NFL teams who know what they're doing...when they're matched up against mediocre or worse defenses. Not every game is Chargers/Eagles. Not every quarterback is Peyton Manning.
And, don't forget about the role weather can play. We had some rain in that Sunday Night game in Seattle. Tom Brady struggled in wet conditions last Thursday against the Jets. Drew Brees struggled in wet conditions in Tampa Bay. You'll sometimes hear announcers say that rain "helps" an offense because receivers know where they're going and defenders have to react with bad footing. It's impossible to have studied rain games for decades and draw that conclusion. You think rain was helping Drew Brees when the high powered Saints could only score 16 points against Tampa Bay?!
Analytical handicappers should be looking at these collections of characteristics before every game to evaluate likely offensive performance...
BEST SCORING SCENARIOS
Top Dozen Quarterbacks
Healthy Offensive Lines
Multiple Receiving Threats
Facing Mediocre or Worse Defenses
Indoors, or outdoors in good weather with low wind
WORST SCORING SCENARIOS
Bottom Dozen Quarterbacks
Injuries on the Offensive Line
Only One Real Receiving Threat (or none)
Facing Top Dozen Defenses
Outdoors in cold or wet weather or on a poor playing surface
If you're looking to step out on a favorite you think is in position to win a blowout...be sure you have most or all of the elements in that first group working for you. If you DON'T, then it's probably not really a blowout scenario. If you're looking to back an underdog in a value spot, be sure you don't have that second group working against you. Your dog won't be so dangerous if they can't even put 10 points on the board.
We're dealing right now with a situation of extremes in the NFL. The best offenses truly can do almost anything they want against overmatched defenses. But, the worst offenses can't do anything against the best defenses! And, even some truly elite offenses struggle when matched up against the very best. Think of what Kaepernick did in Week One at home against Green Bay, before looking like a green kid just out of college Sunday in Seattle.
What's great for sports handicappers and bettors is the fact that Vegas oddsmakers can't possibly put the right numbers on games involving extremes. They want parity. They want consistency. They want toss-ups where the money splits out fairly evenly (though this doesn't happen nearly as much as people think). There will be plenty of nailbiter finishes this year because there are hunks of evenly matched teams. But, certain convergences will create either great team side or total bets that grade out as almost certain double digit covers.
Do your best to find those games! If you need help, you can always purchase my top plays right here at this very website with your major credit card. More details are available from my representatives at the office. Call 1-800-755-2255.
Oh, don't forget to check out daily baseball so you can build your bankrolls for the biggest football plays every weekend. There isn't time to talk about baseball this month here in my "College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping. Please check the summer archives if you're new to this website. I will try to discuss playoff and World Series strategies on these pages in October.
Back with you again later this week for more football. The Dean of Sports Handicapping in Las Vegas has plenty of coursework ahead!
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