NFL Football Best Bets: Week 13 (2021)

Ryan’s Season Totals

Assigned Games: 15-15-1 

Best Bets: 22-12, Up 1198%

Another week, another winning set. Not only did we go 2-1, but we ended up 140% given an outright win from an underdog we selected (god bless the “I told you it was the coach and not us” play).

Best Bet #1: Zach Wilson OVER Passing Yards

This line hasn’t been released yet, but will likely be in the 170-180 range. As long as that is the case, and if it (likely) comes as a Plus moneyline, we really like this play.

The bet really comes down to the general style of play from the Eagles defense, and how well that fits what Wilson thrives in. Beyond the fact that the Jets still have a marginal advantage on offense vs. the Eagles defense by PFF Grades, this comes down to some tactical splits.

According to the SIS Datahub, Zach Wilson has the highest difference in production between MFO and MFC defenses (producing 23.7% more percentage success rate points when he sees MFO). MFO, is a 2-deep safety set, where the deep middle of the field is “open”, vs “closed”, which is when there is a single S deep. The Eagles happen to run the MOST MFO defenses in the NFL at 49% of the time.

In addition to this, the Eagles also play to Wilson’s strengths when it comes to blitzing. According to Pro Football Reference, the Eagles blitz the QB at the 5th lowest rate in the league. This is pretty important, as Wilson has displayed a 26.8% success rate when blitzed, yet a far more respectable 43.7% success rate when NOT blitzed (highest net difference in the league).

Take this along with a solid weather report, and likely negative game script for a 7 point underdog QB, you have a recipe for some serious yards.

Bet: Zach Wilson OVER Passing Yards

Best Bet #2: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs OVER 47.5 (-110)

Similar to the previous play, this is rooted in some strong tactical splits pointing to a lot of points being scored.

Despite the market already raising it a point, we love the OVER here. There are 3 reasons for this.

First, according to PFF this matchup contains the 5th highest net combined Offense vs Defense grades (this usually means points):

Denver Broncos78.27671.864.678.18064.164.763.155.766.960.380.115.2
Kansas City Chiefs78.677.869.672.973.17287.560.844.37164.869.791.113.1

Second, also from PFF, this game matches up the two best net combined pass protection units, with both OLs boasting a double-digit advantage over the pass-rushing units of their opponents.

PFF Grade RankingsOFF Pass ProDef Pass RushNet OFF Pass Rush Advantage
Kansas City628+22

And finally, according to SIS, both QBs have a higher positive play rate WHEN blitzed, and both are playing defense that blitz at a top 10 rate. All of this is not to mention the weather will be unseasonably warm in Kansas City this Sunday.

Bet : Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs OVER 47.5 (-110)

Best Bet #3: Las Vegas Raiders – 2.5 (-110) over Washington Football Team

The “Derek Carr Raiders” have been a tough team to back as there has been (at least) a perception of inconsistency, and a feeling of “Which Derek Carr will we get today”. However, I think Carr has really settled in after the departure of Head Coach Jon Gruden.

Yet, this play comes down to a few variables our model picks up on, pointing in a strong Raiders Play direction.

On paper, these teams seem to be very close to each other. In fact in both PFF rankings and Football Outsiders DVOA, have the teams ranked back-to-back in both rankings. And this may very well be true, but there are other variables pulling our model in this direction.

To start, believe it or not, the loss of Darren Waller may not be as bad as it seems. As a matter of fact, according to the SIS ON OFF Report (that measures the change in EPA per play when a player is on vs off the field), the Raiders may actually be better off, as Waller’s presence on the field actually led to a -.14 EPA/play, vs. when OFF the field. This may seem odd at first, but given how much Carr would lock in on Waller this season, his absence may lead to a more balanced/unpredictable offense.

Second, according to SIS, Carr posts a 46.6% success rate when NOT blitzed, but a 52.1% success rate WHEN blitzed. And given that Washington blitzes at the 4th highest rate in the league (surprising given their DL), he may have a better than expected environment.

Finally, and probably most importantly, we feel there is a strong home field advantage at play in this game. Beyond the long distance travel, and general “away team disadvantages”, Adrian Hill’s staff has been selected for this game. Currently, he is calling an NFL high, 5.5 % points LESS penalties on Home Teams.

Add it all up, at a good number -2.5, and we have the recipe for a solid play.

Bet: Las Vegas Raiders – 2.5 (-110) over Washington Football Team

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