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Joe Nelson - About Me

Joe Nelson has been a regular on the Vegas Insider leader board since 2006. Well known for producing the Nelly’s Sportsline Green Sheet football newsletter, Nelson provides his very best picks to Vegas Insider clients.
The 2013-14 football season was especially profitable for Nelson, finishing as the Vegas Insider win percentage leader in BOTH the NFL and college football at 60%, finishing as the money leader in the NFL and #2 in money earned in college football amongst the deep and excellent field of handicappers at Vegas Insider. Few handicappers have ever been able to put together such strong finishes in both disciplines in the same season.
Nelson has also produced strong seasons in basketball and baseball in addition to the success in football as a long list of documented top finishes on Vegas Insider indicates. Nelson was also the champion of the prestigious Wise Guys Football Contest in 2011, besting a field of 72 national handicappers and then went on to finish 2nd in the same contest in 2012 for impressive back-to-back finishes.
With a statistics background and years of experience working with several established handicappers as well as over a decade as a professional handicapper, Nelson provides a unique approach with traditional methods as well as innovative strategies. Nelson’s handicapping focuses on team situations, schedule analysis, and line evaluation as well as following a variety of statistical indicators that are incorporated into the process.
You can find regular blog posts and articles for insight and commentary throughout the year and be sure to consider getting on board for a successful season.

3 Pick nfl Sunday Picks, Sunday January 21

By Joe Nelson
Posted 01/15/2018 at 04:53 PM

The last time Doug Marrone faced the Patriots as a head coach his Bills won 17-9 at New England late in the 2014 season. It was a meaningless Week 17 game for the Patriots with Jimmy Garoppolo playing much of the game. In 2015 Marrone was on the Jacksonville staff for the 51-17 win for the Patriots in the last meeting between these teams. The one head coach that has had the upper hand on Bill Belichick is with the Jaguars organization as former Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is an executive vice president with the team. Coughlin beat Belichick in a pair of Super Bowls but also lost to the Patriots as the Jaguars head coach in the 1997-1998 AFC Championship (Bill Parcells). Coughlin led the Jaguars to a playoff win over the Patriots (Pete Carroll) in the 1998-99 wild card round as well though both of those games were pre-Belichick/Brady. These teams met 10 years ago in the playoffs as well with New England winning 31-20 in the divisional round on the way to the Super Bowl XLII loss to the Giants, ending the perfect season.
The notion that it takes an elite quarterback to win a Super Bowl will be tested this season as Tom Brady stands alone as the proven signal-caller among the quartet of Blake Bortles, Nick Foles, and Case Keenum. Bortles had some success in mixed fourth season while Foles is obviously an injury replacement but does have plenty of wins on his resume as a former starter. Keenum has had a pro-bowl caliber season statistically in the most unexpected breakout season. One of the former Rams teammates Foles or Keenum will be starting in the Super Bowl as the Eagles or Vikings will have to advance despite a miserable NFC Championship track record for both franchises.
The Vikings have lost the last five NFC Championships they have been a part of with the most recent result the heartbreaking overtime loss to the Saints in the 2009-10 season, a game the Vikings had a massive yardage edge in but had five turnovers including the infamous Brett Favre interception. The Eagles have lost four of their last five NFC Championship games, only advancing to the Super Bowl in the 2004-05 season. Philadelphia, like Minnesota and Jacksonville, has never won the Super Bowl while the Patriots will look to tie Pittsburgh with a sixth title.
The Patriots are an outlier in a negative way in this final four grouping however as Minnesota, Jacksonville, and Philadelphia all rate among the league’s top four total defenses with New England 29th. All four teams finished in the league’s top 5 in scoring defense however. New England allowed 457 yards per game in the first four weeks of the season and 336 yards per game in the final 12 games as New England’s defense certainly has looked the part of late.
A pair of late January outdoor games in the Northeast seems to suggest some potential weather concerns but the early week forecasts in Foxborough and Philadelphia are balmy with kickoff temperatures in upper 40s with clear conditions and limited wind for this time of year.
The past three NFC Championship home underdogs have all been +3½-point home underdogs with all three games being single-score results with the road favorites winning and covering in the two most recent instances (San Francisco 28-24 in ’12-13, Green Bay 21-14 in ’10-11) while Arizona bested the Eagles as a home underdog 32-25 in ’08-09, the last championship appearance for Philadelphia. Since Jacksonville (-7) lost to the Titans 33-14 in the 1999-2000 AFC Championship, favorites of 7 or more in the AFC title game are on a 3-5 ATS run with three outright upsets, most recently with the Ravens (+8) winning 28-13 at New England in the 2012-13 AFC Championship. Best of Luck and on to this week’s slate…



By Joe Nelson
Posted 01/08/2018 at 04:31 PM

Favorites were dominant in the NFL regular season going 133-111-9 including 96-58-8 since October 22. It was fitting that in the wild card games all four underdogs covered including a pair of outright upsets Saturday. Road favorites were nearly even ATS on the regular season with the Eagles the first #1 seed to be a home underdog in the divisional round and only the third home underdog in the divisional round since 1997 with two of the three home underdogs winning outright in that run, all in NFC games. We mentioned last week a strong recent history for the ‘under’ in the wild card games and three of four games last week stayed ‘under’. Even with a lot of cold weather games the divisional round track record is much more even on totals in recent years.
The weather is definitely worth monitoring this week as wind and rain look likely Saturday in Philadelphia and New England even with warmer temperatures than would normally be expected this time of year. The Sunday game in Pittsburgh is expected to possibly be in the single-digits for cold conditions typical of a playoff game in Pittsburgh. Three of the four remaining NFC teams are indoor teams but the Eagles are still the top seed and would host the NFC Championship with a win this week over Atlanta.
Teams coming off a big playoff upset were a very poor performer the next week out in the 1980s and 1990s going 4-12 ATS with only two S/U wins from 1980 to 1999. Since 2000 however teams winning S/U as an underdog of 7 or more points have gone 10-5-1 ATS with nine S/U wins in the next playoff game as the Titans have some hope as a massive underdog this week. Double-digit underdogs in the playoffs are 1-7 S/U and ATS since the 2010-11 playoffs but 11-9-1 ATS since 1999-00. If Tennessee wins outright it will be the biggest playoff upset since the Patriots were +14 in the 20-17 Super Bowl XXXVI win over the Rams. Surprisingly the Patriots have only been a double-digit favorite in the playoffs five other times going 4-1 S/U and 2-3 ATS with the lone S/U loss against the Giants in Super Bowl XLII as a 12½-point favorite.
Jacksonville was just the sixth team to win a playoff game with 10 or fewer points since 1980, none of the previous five teams to do so won the next postseason game with a 1-4 ATS mark for those squads. Inversely however teams that hold foes to 3 or fewer points in a playoff win have gone 19-17 ATS in the next game going back to 1980 including a 6-2 ATS run since 2004. The ‘over’ has also been the clear winner the next week out historically for those teams delivering dominant defensive performances in playoff wins with a 22/14 run.
Teams winning in the playoffs despite allowing 25 or more points have struggled with a 14-28 S/U and a 16-26 ATS mark the next week out as the Saints are to be faded this week by the historical numbers. The numbers are far worse if that team is favored however of which the Saints are not this week in Minneapolis. Both Sunday games this week are regular season rematches with Minnesota winning 29-19 in Week 1 at home and Jacksonville winning 30-9 in Week 5 in Pittsburgh, a five interception game for Ben Roethlisberger.
While traditional QB Rating doesn’t support them all, the seven remaining qualified quarterbacks were all top 13 Total QBR players this season. In a very small sample Nick Foles checks in with a 27.9 QBR which would place him only barely ahead of Trevor Siemian among qualified players (and behind the likes of DeShone Kizer, and Mitchell Trubisky) though in fairness Foles did play well in the one meaningful game he was in. Best of Luck and on to this week’s slate…


Nelson: Close Calls - Week 17
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Nelson: Close Calls - Week 16
Nelson: Hawaii Bowl Preview
Nelson: Close Calls - Week 15
2017 MLB #3 Totals Leader: +682
2015-2016 NCAA BK #3 Money Leader: +1,709
2015-2016 NCAA BK #3 Percent Leader: 56%
2014 MLB #3 Favorites Leader: +1,100
2013-2014 NBA #3 Totals Leader: +993
2013-2014 NFL Money Leader: +1,340
2013-2014 NFL Percent Leader: 60%
2013-2014 NFL Guaranteed Leader: +805
2013-2014 NCAA FB Percent Leader: 60%
2013-2014 NCAA FB #2 Money Leader: +1,446
2013-2014 NCAA FB #3 Member Leader: +940
2012-2013 NFL #2 Member Leader: +200
2012-2013 NCAA FB Guaranteed Leader: +722
2012 MLB Guaranteed Leader: +2,480
2012 #2 MLB Totals Leader: +1,208
2011-2012 NBA #2 Money Leader: +1,219
2011-2012 NBA #3 Percent Leader: 55%
2011-2012 NBA #3 Member Leader: +711
2011 MLB #3 Underdog Leader: +1,607
2011 MLB #2 Member Leader: +1,789
2008-2009 NCAA BK Guaranteed Leader: +1,250
2007-2008 NCAA BK Member Leader: +1,450
2008 MLB #2 Guaranteed Leader: +2,236
2007-2008 NFL #3 Money Leader: +1,470
2006-2007 NCAA FB Member Leader
2006-2007 NBA #3 Percent Leader: 54%
2006 MLB #2 Member Leader: +1,238
2006 MLB #3 Money Leader: +214

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Joe Nelson's NFL Picks
Period: 12/20/2017 to 01/20/2018
Pick Type: All Picks
Record: 9-5-0 ( 64.3% , +338)
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Start Date: End Date:
01/15/2018 at 04:53 PM
Between the Lines - Jan. 15

01/08/2018 at 04:31 PM
Between the Lines - Jan. 8

01/02/2018 at 04:18 PM
Between the Lines - Jan. 2

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