NFL Football Best Bets: Week 6 (2021)

Ryan’s Season Totals

Best Bets: Best Bets: 12-2, Up 1123%

We went 2-1 last week, suffering our first “true loss”, as our first one came down to luck/variance, we can fairly admit we got the Justin Herbert “Interception Prop” wrong last week. A strong play/system we had been using throughout the young season has been profitable, but we did not see his dominant performance coming. Nonetheless, we were still profitable, and plan to continue our 5 straight profitable weeks into Sunday.

Best Bet #1: Chargers/Ravens OVER 51.5 at -120

Admittedly, based on when you’re reading this, it’s possible it’s too late, and all opening line value has drained. Believe it or not, this line opened, only a week ago at 49.5, and since has been crushed by sharps, settling in at the key number most smart bettors won’t cross. And although this play comes with the asterisk of, lets call it “retro-chasing”, I think there may still be value, as long as you can still get 51.5 or lower at around -125 or lower. NOTE: some books currently have this still at 50.5-51.5, so it may be wise to shop around.

The reasoning behind this play is very much grounded in the objective. Right off the jump, according to our models, these two teams collectively have the best aggregate offenses relative to the defenses they will face of any matchup this week. If you look at the PFF unit grades, it shapes out like this:

PFF RankOpposing DEF PFF Rank

Given these macro elements, and how accurate the QBs have been (Lamar Jackson has the 8th highest CPOE and Justin Herbert with the 12th highest), it seems like a sound play.

Couple that with how often these teams use analytics to get the most “juice out of the orange” on 4th down/2 point conversion decisions, and there is value here.

Bet: Chargers/Ravens OVER 51.5 (buy the half point -120)

Best Bet #2: Teddy Bridgewater OVER .5 Interceptions (+135)

Although we like the Broncos in this game (LINK), by our models, Teddy seems like he’s due to throw a pick. And with a price like that, there is much less risk here than our previous “Interception prop bet” picks. Given the +135 price tag on this currently, you would only need about a 43% chance of hitting to break even. We believe that is more than enough to merit a play on Bridewater throwing at least one pick this game.

Much of the reasoning has to do with his QB Archetype. For as much as a conservative, “game manager-type” our perception leads us to believe he is, take a look at his current makeup in 2021:

Time to Throw Rank5th longest TTT
ADOT Rank8th farthest 
Aggressiveness Rank14th most aggressive
Expected Completion Rank11th lowest
+/- Completion Rank4th most accurate

What this tells me is that he is “managing games” by sheer accuracy. And although you can consider that variable relatively stable, all other indicators point to “aggressiveness/turnover likelihood”. Think of it this way, imagine a QB with the same makeup, yet average accuracy, he’d likely throw 3 picks next game!

You take that, along with the fact the Raiders currently have the 2nd highest rated Pass Coverage grade by PFF, and its a recipe for an interception.

Bet: Teddy Bridgewater OVER .5 Interceptions (+135)

Best Bet #3: New England TOTAL team touchdowns UNDER 2.5

This is a game the Cowboys should win. In fact, based on PFF unit grading, the Cowboys outrank the Patriots in every category except tackling and special teams. However, what’s most interesting to me is how similar the two QBs have been in terms of Archetype. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Dak Presscott and Mac Jones are top 7 in how long they hold on to the ball, how short their average throw is, how well their OC’s scheme their targets open and even completion percentage over expectation. As a matter of fact, they are within 3 ranking spots of each other in 4 of the 5 critical factors that makeup a QB’s archetype. The only difference in the two QBs (disregarding performance a minute, and focusing on “makeup”) is how aggressive Presscott (7th most) has been vs. Jones (29th most).

Between the likely overall outcome and the likely loss of OT Trent Brown for the Pats, who according to the SIS On/Off Report generates a loss of .12 EPA/play when OFF the field, will likely be too much for the team. Particularly given the strength of the Patriots pass pro is heavily weighted to the outside (ranked 3rd in OL Pressure Rate on the outside, while only 14th in the interior).

Bet: New England TOTAL team touchdowns UNDER 2.5

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