Week 10 Best Bets - Sides
November 8, 2018
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Week 10 NFL Best Bets – Sides
Totals | Teasers
My 4-0 ATS run with these best bet pieces came to a screeching halt last week as the New York Jets couldn't overcome a disastrous day by QB Sam Darnold (4 INT's) and a very sloppy field Miami to keep that game within a FG. Had we seen just a little bit more ball security from Darnold, who knows what the 7-point loss might have actually turned into for New York, but all you can do is stomach the loss and move onto the next week.
Despite the loss last week, I'm coming back with a play involving a team from the AFC East again as this division continues to be run by Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the Patriots. That probably won't change until one (or both) end up retiring – and who knows how long it will be until that happens – but with three of the four AFC East teams out on the road this week, there is at least one of them that deserves to be bet against in my eyes.
Odds per - Bookmaker.eu
Best Bet: Tennessee Titans +6.5
It is those New England Patriots that I'm betting against this week as they go out on the road for a non-division battle with the Titans. This is a rematch of a Divisional round playoff game a year ago when the Patriots did what was expected of them as rested two-TD playoff home favorites, beating Tennessee 35-14 en route to yet another Super Bowl appearance. The playoff revenge factor is something that should be considered here in favor of the Titans, but by no means should it be the lone basis for this play.
New England has looked impressive in recent weeks as they've won six straight games after starting 1-2 SU, and have gone 5-1 ATS in the process. That lone ATS defeat came by the 'hook' in their epic SNF showdown with Kansas City, so stepping in front of this Patriots train is not something you want to do lightly right now. However, four of those six wins did come at home, and the other two – at Buffalo and at Chicago – weren't exactly stellar performances. Beating Buffalo these days is like a parent beating their 6-year old child in backyard hoops, and the Chicago win was aided by two special teams TD's for New England and they still nearly let a last play Hail Mary attempt tie the game.
When you go even further back and look at New England's performances on the road, you'll see it's where their two outright defeats have come. There was the 11-point defeat in Jacksonville – who like Tennessee this week, was a home underdog with playoff revenge – and the 16-point beating taken in Detroit against former New England DC Matt Patricia's new squad. Titans HC Mike Vrabel may have never coached in New England, but he spent the majority of his playing career there, so there are some comparisons to be made there as well.
So while the 2018 Patriots might look like the Patriots we've all seen be AFC Champions nearly every year for the past decade, and a 6-game winning streak is what many will hang their hat on with backing New England this week, their home/road splits in 2018 have been drastically different. And if you ask me, this spread is priced more like if New England was at home, rather than out on the road.
New England averages a full yard per play less on offense on the road (5.2) compared to at home (6.2) and their defense gives up a a half-yard more per play (6) on the road compared to at home (5.5). Those defensive numbers include the fact that the best offensive team they've played at home has been the Kansas City Chiefs, while the best offensive team they've faced on the road would have to be the Chicago Bears. There aren't too many people out there that would say the Chiefs and Bears offenses are all that equal, so it goes to show you just how much of a disparity there has been for the Patriots this year depending on their location.
On the flip side, Tennessee's last effort at home was an ugly 21-0 loss to Baltimore, but they've since responded with a chance to win against the Chargers over in London, and a solid 14-point victory over the Cowboys in Dallas last week on MNF. Defensively this Titans team is legit once again, and with their offense generally being a run-heavy, ball-control attack, it's not like they have to change their identity much to come up with the typical gameplan to beat New England with long drives and keeping Brady and company on the sidelines. It was what helped them establish a 7-0 first quarter lead against the Pats in the playoffs last year before the wheels fell off for Tennessee in the 2nd quarter, and it's a strategy I believe we will see the Titans employ, and employ well for the full 60 minutes this week at home.
Finally, you've also got to take a peek at the betting percentages on this game offered up at VegasInsider.com and as of this writing it shows 80%+ of the action already on the Patriots. That was too be expected with this run New England is on and just how well they've done ATS-wise in the Belichick era, but this line briefly opened up at -7 before seeing the juice bounce around at -6.5 currently. You'd think that those -7's would show up again with 80%+ of the action going that way, but that hasn't been the case. That suggests to me that oddsmakers know they put a hefty “Patriots tax” on this line from the outset, placing inherent value on the Titans already.
With Tennessee on a 5-1 ATS run at home and a 10-3 ATS run against opponents with a winning record, I'll gladly scoop up those extra few points of value here (buying it up to +7 is always an option as well), and back the home dog to keep this game within a FG at worst.
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