Who Let the Dogs Out

Smart punters know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em, they know when to walk away and…you get the idea…anyway, last week had “danger” written all over it, hence I didn’t post any recommendations (also, I was drunk for 3 days).  We are back on the horse this week though, and my tips will follow shortly.  Before we get there, given we are 8 weeks into the season, I thought it was worth taking a look at some punting stats on the season to date, and in particular how the Underdogs are performing.  All of this is largely irrelevant statistically because it is such a small sample size, but I spent the better part of a day working out how to do charts in excel, so deal with it.  Let’s get right to it.  All lines as per www.footballlocks.com as usual.

The Littlest Hobo

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A nice easy one to start us off.  Percentage of wins each week at the line to the Fav (red) and Underdog (blue).  As you can see, the Dogs were red hot in week one, but Vegas and the Favs reasserted themselves steadily until week 5 when Underdog punters got destroyed.  We’ve since reverted to a roughly 50/50 win ratio, which is what you would expect.  Not sure there is much to be taken from this, other than if you took our advice and backed the underdogs early, you would have had plenty of money to lose come week 5…

Over The Top

Sticking with the simple theme, here’s the over/under results for the year to date.

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Overs (in red) with a slight edge.  Interestingly, I have the impression that the lines have been pretty woeful from Vegas, and that seems to be supported by the data.  I’m no statistical expert, so I probably haven’t found the best way to express this, but here is the average of how many points off the actual score the over/under lines have been week to week (blue line) as well as the standard deviation (what ever that is);

chart3

What does this tell us?  Not much unfortunately, other than if you pick the right way to go, you are unlikely to be sweating too much on the result.  This is further supported by the fact that, of the 106 games played so far this year, only 9 have finished with a result within a point (or less) of the Vegas over/under line.

Home is where the heart is

Home teams had a rough start to the year (which lines up with the strength of the underdogs in week 1) but they have since reasserted their dominance (other than week 6, where only the Browns, Cardinals, Eagles and Titans managed home wins).  The lesson here is, if you are backing a team head to head, make sure they are at home.

Chart4

Stay tuned for next week when when I will be doing a team by team breakdown of who is the most reliable to back at the line (hint – it’s not the Raiders, Jets, Jags or Titans).

Shirt

Gargy’s Week 8 NFL Best Bets

Howdy punters I just spent 48 with none other than Shirty and what an experience! The most obnoxious drunk you have ever met, but lots of fun to get on the drink with, plus we found plenty of winners, so its time to turn our attention to week 8 in the NFL

I feel there are a few locks this week and the first one is the early game being played in London where the Lions will smash up the Falcons. The Lions are $1.50 had to head and that is a gift. The Lions have really good defence this year, (actually ranked #1) I think Megatron wont play so Stafford has one less weapon to chuck to, but still has a great receivers available. The Falcons are a mess, their O line is horrible and I think Matt Ryan will have a very uncomfortable night. Back the Lions- they win.

The Packers vs Saints is a great game and I cannot believe the Packers are outsiders, there is a heap of money for the Saints, the Packers opened up $2.05 and they out to $2.17, the Sainst are into $1.67 which is horrible. The Saints are lucky that the NFC South stinks, the saints are 2 and 4 but only 1 win behind the Panthers (who are very hot and cold). Therefore given how bad the NFC South is I am not saying this is do or die for the saints, if they slip to 2 and 5 its far from ideal but not season ending, because they can smash up the Falcons and Bucs and beat the Panthers and could make the play offs with a record of 7 and 9. The over/under is 55 points which is high, but if the saints can turn it on it could get there- personally leave the points out and simply take the Packers with a small start. +3.5 @$1.61

This week I will multi the above 2 bets for a juicy collect of $245.

Lassie Come Home

 

The Dogs edged the favs this week 8-7, after looking like they were going to run away with the weekend going into the Cowboys v Giants game.  The Unders enjoyed a similar numerical advantage, while the over/under lines were generally pretty terrible (there were only 2 games that the line was correct to within a field goal).

The big winners this week were the Home teams, particularly at the Head to Head, with a ridiculous 13 of 15 games going the way of the home side.  Home teams at the line were also somewhat lucrative, going 9-6 for a 60% win rate.

Stay tuned next week for a break down of the season at the nominal half way mark so we can track back and see how the dogs are doing overall.  Expect a chart.  Or two.

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Bets will either be very early or very late this week as Gargy and I head off on our annual end of season Punters club trip, where I will be doing plenty of gambling, but will be incapable of keyboard based communication.

Shirt.

Shirty’s Weekly Winners – TNF Week 7

I have a dilemma, punting friends.  I expect this week’s Thursday night football game to be a replica of recent form, and be a blow out.  The resurgent Patriots host the Jets and Tom Brady has just put two great games together – I see no reason he won’t add a third.  Some say he’s back, other’s say he never left – either way, I am not going to bet against him.  Thursday nights have tended towards blow outs all year, with the better team comprehensively beating their opponents, the exception being last weeks Texans v Colts game, which was less a blow out and more a TD fest.   But the Jets are no Texans.

I have no doubt that the Patriots can and will score points.  My dilemma is, where are the Jets points coming from?  Smith is back in at QB and while he threw a couple of TD passes last week against he Broncos, they were never realistically in that game.  Their offensive totals this season have been 19, 24, 19, 17, 0, 17 for an average of 16.  Last week they managed 17 points despite only managing to run the ball for 31 yards on 15 carries (!!)  This from a team that, even after that dismal performance, is averaging 120 yards on the ground per game.  Complicating matters is that former Jet superstar corner, Darrelle Revis will be lining up for the Patriots, and while he has had a quiet start to the year, he was back to his very best last week against the Bills.

Thankfully, Centrebet has helped us out a little bit with the over/under line by simply adding the Pats average points for the year (27) to the Jets average points for the year (16), to come up with a line of 43.5.  As Gargy would say LAZY BOOKIES.   The Pats average points is down after they took a little while to ease into the season – since they have got their mojo back they have put 43 points on the Bengals and 37 on the Bills.  Oh, and the Jets lost their best corner to an achilles injury when rushing a field goal.  The points are coming people.  The 10 points that the Pats are giving away is a little on the high side, but I have faith that they will pummel a struggling Jets team and may reach the 44 points without any help from the men in green.

$100 on Patriots -10/Total Score over 43.5 @ 3.90 to return $390

Shirt.

Hayne Plane airborne…with nowhere to land

I tell you what, I’d love to be the author of an Aussie blog about the NFL right now, what with the interest created by the Jarryd Hayne experiment.  It’s a great chance to really boost your relevance and readership…

Well, it just so happens I am! Which happens to gives me a platform to express my opinion on Hayne’s decision (as unread and uninformed as that opinion may be).  I caught up with my partner in crime, Gargamel, earlier today, and while he may add his own thoughts in detail in another post, it’s fair to say we share the same general view – the chips are stacked against Hayne ever playing a snap in the NFL.  I thought it might help if I addressed some of the burning questions out there (as determined by me, who wrote the questions);

Who is this Jarryd Hayne anyway?

For our US readers who may not be familiar with the Hayne Plane, here is some of the things he can do on a Rugby League field;

Pretty impressive hey.

Who is he going to play for in the NFL?

Ah, well.  Here’s the thing.  He hasn’t signed with anyone.  He visited Seattle once (big deal, I’ve been twice, and my brother use to live there) and Pete Carroll apparently knows who he is, which is a positive (and, to be fair, I don’t think Pete knows who I am), although Pete hasn’t actually met him, and my guess is, he probably hasn’t really watched him on tape, what with being busy coaching an NFL team in the middle of a season and all that.  It’s actually pretty amazing that he found time to even mention it in a press conference, which brings me to my next question…

Is this just a publicity stunt?

My guess is no, at least not from Jarryd.  He is apparently a huge NFL fan, feels he has achieved everything he set out to in the NRL (presumably he didn’t set out to win a premiership), and seems like the sort of guy who is always looking to challenge himself.  And this is just about the biggest challenge I could imagine for a professional footballer, short quitting to chase that elusive dream of becoming a Chess Grand Master.

The NFL itself, on the other hand, may be a different story.  This could be a great opportunity to grab a bit of interest in a country with a sports mad populace, which may in turn give the game a leg up in the massive Asian market.  Does this mean he will get a contract?  Of course not, but it will probably ensure he gets a bit of attention for novelty value.*

What’s he going to do then?

Good question.  The Seahawks seem like a logical landing place for him – West Coast, he’s toured the facilities, fellow Aussie Jessie “The Monster” Williams is on the roster there.  My guess is he might train a bit with college side the Washington Huskies, and hang around the Seahawks a bit, and hope that he can land a spot on their practice squad, playing effectively for nothing, as the year goes on.  He would then represent a very raw development prospect.

So, he’ll make it in the NFL!?

I didn’t say that!  The Practice Squad is limited in size, and places on the roster, practice or otherwise, are highly coveted.  Just getting a spot on any practice squad (even Jacksonville’s) would be a  massive achievement.  And herein lies his biggest challenge – the NFL is a highly technical, highly specialised game, with an abundance of talent drawn from a massive pool.  The guys going into the NFL generally do so after a lifetime of playing the game, with most (actually, these days it may as well be “all”) having played 3-4 years of College football first.  Make no mistake, this is not like switching codes – this is a completely different ball game with many times more players after the same job.

But heaps of Aussies have played in the NFL!

Yeah, but almost all of them were punters (not pelicans).  And these days they tend to go through the college system.  And even then they struggle to get a game.

Ok, so assuming he does get a contract somewhere, what position will he play?

Good question.  Let’s break it down;

Quarterback – Duh
Punter/Kicker – No.  He can kick, but no.
Anywhere on Defense – Too technical, too specialised and too dependent on being able to read the game on the fly.  He probably has the build, speed and tackling skills to be a free safety, but my guess is the name “Jarryd Hayne” would quickly become synonymous with “Blown Coverage”
Tight End – Nope.  Too technical, too specialised, too much blocking (which is a very specific skill), too many routes to learn.  And he’s probably too small. And it would be a waste of his best skills, being his footwork and ability to read broken play.  There’s probably more.
Wide Receiver - Probably not.  See above re routes.  He can certainly catch a ball on the run from an awkward position, but I think this would be a waste of his natural talent to beat a tackler while carrying the ball.  I also think he would get lost and blow up routes more often than not.
Running Back – Maybe.  If he is going to get regular snaps at any position, it would have to be at running back wouldn’t it?  And not a bust up the middle carrying seven tacklers within him Marshawn Lynch type of running back, but someone who you give the ball to in space and let him use his feet.  Darren Sproles-ish.
Special Teams – Yep.  This is his go, and where he would see the most game time for mine – if you watch his highlights, he is at his best when running in broken play, beating players one on one.  When you add the fact he is getting help from blockers, he could be real weapon on the kick and punt returns.  The problem is, very few teams have room on their game day roster for a guy who does nothing but return kicks.  Also, can he do it with pads on.

Why do you have to be so negative, man?

Listen voice in my head, I am not being negative, I am being realistic.  I wish the guy well – I admire his chutzpah, and his willingness to give up big money to chase a dream.  I just think it will be a tough slog.  But he is a (relatively) young, talented guy, and if after two years he hasn’t got where he wants to be, the Eels will welcome him home with open arms.

We here at Pelican Punting wish him all the best, and if he makes it, make no mistake, we will be his biggest fans.

Shirty.

* I was at Stadium Australia in 1999 for the only NFL exhibition match ever played in Australia – it was part of the brief America Bowl concept which the NFL quietly let die in 2005.  There were two Aussie players that day – the great Darren Bennett, arguably our most successful NFL export, who was the punter for the Chargers, and former AFL Player, Jon Ballantyne who played his gridiron with the Scottish Claymores**, and signed a one day contract with the Broncos.  I know this, because my mates and I went out with Jon Ballantyne masks (ok, we photocopied a picture of his face and stuck it on the end of a ruler) intending to cheer madly for him all day.   He made exactly three punts all day, and all three of those during the half time break.  Sigh.  We cheered though.  Man, did we cheer.

** The Scottish Claymores, incidentally, are the only sporting team I can think of that are named after a weapon, given the unfortunate demise of the Canberra Cannons.  Feel free to correct me in the comments…

Snoop Doggy Daaaawwwg

The Dogs are struggling people.  They looked on track to at least even up the ledger in week 6, until the Eagles and 9ers put the nail in their coffin.

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A more respectable performance than last week (helped along by the Patriots/Bills being a pick game.  Can you see that happening again this year for the Pats against a team of the Bills quality??) but still below 50%.  Lovers of the home team (our friend The Maggot being a massive proponent) were even more hammered this week, with the away teams dominating at the line and the head to head – a stat that could have been even uglier had the Panthers managed to seal the win over the stuttering Bengals.  Big scores were also the order of the day, as we saw 10 of 16 matches go Over.

The Thursday Night game once again looked to be a one sided affair, until the Texans fought back to almost tip the Colts. Still big scores though, which could be seen to support the suggestion that the Thurs back up is particularly tough on the defence. Speaking of Tipping, there is a big score coming in the Pats v Jets game on Thursday night, and it ain’t coming from the Jets… Get on the Patriots minus whatever (I think the line is currently 9.5.  It should probably be 15).

The rest of our tips for the week will hit the boards shortly – stay tuned.

Shirt

How Much is that Doggy in the Window – Week 5 Dog’s and Fav’s

 

Bit late with this one, so wanted to squeeze it in before Week 6 wraps up

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It’s fair to say Week 5 was not a great week for dog betters, with a measly 30% of dogs getting home according to the Vegas lines from footballlocks.com.  Home betters had a much better time of it with the Home side taking out 8 games at the line and a whopping 11 of the 15 games head to head.   Unders betters also had a slight edge this week with stingy defences and incompetent offences combining to keep scores down.

What will week 6 bring for the Dogs?  Spoiler Alert – they need the Rams to cover to get to 50% .  Stay tuned.  The suspense is killing me…

Shirt

Gargy’s MNF Selection- Week 6

I cannot wait to read Shirt week 6 wrap up where the home teams were hammered and managed only 4 win or so wins and where the dogs covered approximately just under 50% of matches for week 6. But we are onto Monday Night Football and my question of the week? Is this the Rams biggest game of the year? I believe it is because look at their upcoming 6 matches-

Home to Seattle

At Kansas

At 49ers

At Arizona

Home to Denver

At San Diego..Wow by my books that is at least 5 losses, with maybe a win at Kansas, but could very well be 6 losses coming up, therefore I feel they will lift in this week edition of MNF but ultimately fall short.

The over under line is 43.5 AND THE BOOKIES ARE SO LAZY, the Niners are allowing an average of 22 PPG, the Rams are averaging scoring 21 points per game and I believe it will go over and whilst I think it will be a close match the niners cover the 3.5 points.

I am in a bit of a slump, but we are plonking $100 on -3.5/Overs at $3.86. Hop on board..

Shirty’s Weekly Winners – Week 6

Sorry sports fans – pressed for time this week, hence the Dog Update has been delayed (spoiler alert – the dogs did terribly last week, but the home sides dominated) and I am a bit late in getting my weekly tips out.  On the plus side, those who followed me in last week should have plenty to spend this week.  So let’s find a few more winners;

Packers -2.5 (@ Miami) at 1.87.  The Dolphins got the job done in London against the Raiders before enjoying a week off last week, but I suspect they were flattered somewhat by playing, well, the Raiders.  And they enjoy no real home field advantage – in fact, they are generally better away from home.  The Pack meanwhile have had a synthetic bye this week with a light workout against the Vikings followed by a 10 day break.  Think they are specials here.  And speaking of the Raiders;

Chargers half/full time (@ Oakland) at 1.65.  The line is at an awkward -7.5 here and while I think the Chargers will notch up an easy win they do have a mounting injury toll in important positions like centre and running back.  I think they take a lead into half time and hold it but it won’t be quite the blow out win they enjoyed last week against the Jets.

Giants +2.5 / Over 50.5 (@ Philly) at 3.85.  This one’s a bit controversial, but I really like the Giants in this and settled on the bet when the Eagles official twitter account started trash talking Eli during the week, highlighting his interception record and then posting a cartoon with him being scared of Eagles.  Wow.  I think the Eagles have been flattered by the quality of their opponents in the first few weeks, and I’m backing the Giants to continue their resurgence and get the result in a shoot out.

$50 Packers -2.5 into Chargers half/full time – $154.30

$50 on Giants +2.5/Over 50.5 – $192.50

Happy punting.

Shirt

The year of the over-reaction

The year of the over-reaction.

My learned friend Shirty is calling 2014 the year of the dawg, however I am calling 2014 the year of the over-reaction. I know the NFL is lovely nice and compact season, but I cant think of another sport where everyone, including the analysts, bookies and myself flip flop on a weekly basis, want some examples? Ok here goes-

Week 5- why on earth would I back against Brady and Bellicheck, why ? I wasn’t alone, so the Pats got off to a slow start to the year and everyone including myself loaded up on the undefeated Bengals in week 5, the reason cited were- Brady isn’t going all that well, their O line is garbage, undefeated Bengals with great pass rush etc. etc. ridiculous!! The Pats aren’t a great team, but they are still a 9-10 win team, the Afc East is a shit division- damn it! Massive over-reaction.

The Atlanta Falcons- they don’t get a week, they get an entire section. At the start of the year I thought they were an ordinary team, Matt Ryan is a great QB, he has a nice set of receivers to chuck the ball to, but their defence is average… They come out straight out the gate and beat the saints in week 1, and most people (including myself) thought that the Saints would go real deep this year- so week 2 given the fact the Falcons beat the Saints in week 1, we load up on the Falcons +5.5 vs the Bengals and they do absolutely nothing. Week 3 its Thursday night Football and they smash the Bucs and then head into week 4 against the Vikings who have QB questions, still missing the NFL’s best running back and they get smoked by the Vikings, week 5 they get beaten again away from home to the Giants- who to be fair are improving- however the Falcons are going into the “do not bet bucket” for 2014. They will lose more than they win- but may pop up and screw your multi’s, if you have to include bet against them when they are away as they do play better at home.

The Saints- Hands up who has managed to catch the Saints 3/5 times at the line? I am calling bullshit!! Here is the tale of the tape- Week 1 – vs Falcons, started favourites by 3 and lost, week 2 5 point favourite vs Browns and lost, Week 3, -9.5 favourite and covered vs Vikings at home, week 4 again started favourites by 3 and got smoked by 21 points away vs Dallas, week 5 this time at home -11 favourites vs the Bucs who are dreadful and they won in OT. Jimmy Graham is now injured, their big name safety signing Jarius Bryd is done for the year (but was playing like a busted anyway), I had them going deep- I cant see them making the playoffs.
The final team is killing punters in 2014 is the bills. In week 1 and 2 on the road the Bills started as Dawgs and won outright both games, and very few people tipped against them, instead taking the Bears and Dolphins, so week 3 at home to the Chargers they somehow start 2.5 points favourites, everyone flip flops and hops on the Bills bandwagon only to see them get beaten. Week 4 was an avoid game because they were away to the Texans and lost and so away in week 5 to the Lions (who were at home and 3 and 1 for the season) the Bills starts with a 4.5 points start and what do they do? They win outright of course.

What was the biggest play in week 5? How about Dez Bryant going up and getting this ball and then kicking a game winning FG

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In summary what is the point of this article? Stick with your pick. If you back a team and they go down in a week at home, don’t be shy to double down on them