Confidence: Week 14 NFL Gambling Preview

Confidence is an NFL gambling preview, using statistics, matchup analysis and other metrics to create predictions readers can use at their discretion.

Teams to Tease in Order of “Confidence”

There is one game I love this week: Green Bay hosting Atlanta. I like three others: St. Louis on the road against Washington, Chipadelphia at home facing Seattle, and Detroit hosting Tampa Bay at Ford Field.

Green Bay vs Atlanta -12 (-6)

There are a few good reasons Green Bay has to give 12 points, and they all have to do with the venue. The Packers are one of the NFL’s best teams at home, owning the 2nd-best home offensive DVOA at 35.3% and 7th-best home defensive DVOA at -11.9%. In contrast, the Falcons struggle away from the Georgia Dome, with the NFL’s worst road defensive DVOA at 22.1% and 13th-best road offensive DVOA at 1.5%.

Green Bay has the advantage in both the passing [quote align=’left’]Eddie-Lacy-Alabama-Crimson-Tide-001[/quote] and running games when they have the ball. Aaron Rodgers leads the Packer air attack with an NFL-best offensive passing DVOA of 49.5% and will have ease throwing all day against Atlanta’s pass defense, the league’s 2nd-worst unit by DVOA (25.4%). Eddie Lacy (left) and the 9th-best rushing attack by DVOA (1.2%) are set to roll against the Falcons’ 2nd-worst rushing defense (3.2% DVOA).

The Falcons had two of their three worst passing DVOA games on the road against Cincinnati (-23.5%) and Baltimore (-29.8%). Green Bay should have similar success against Atlanta because they profile similarly to the Bengals and the Ravens: The Packers have a 14th-ranked defensive passing DVOA at 3.7%, which is between Cincinnati’s (-1.5%) and Baltimore’s (10.2%).

Adding insult to injury is the weather forecast. Matty Ice is going to be just that on Monday night with snow possible and temperatures forecast in the low 20’s.

The Call: This is a high “Confidence” pick. Take Green Bay -12, and tease them too, -6.

Smaller Plays

Detroit vs. Tampa Bay -10 (-4)

What I like: Detroit features the league’s best defense according to DVOA (-18.9%) and the best overall home defensive DVOA (-28.5%). Detroit’s defense is strong across the board with a league-leading defensive rushing DVOA (-34.1%) and the 3rd-best defensive passing DVOA (-9.7%). The Lions’ defense is primed to tear into Tampa Bay’s woefully anemic offense; the Buccaneers boast the 4th-worst offensive passing DVOA (-17.4%) and the 4th-worst offensive rushing DVOA (-20.4%). Tampa Bay also has problems on the other side of the ball with only the 21st-best defensive passing DVOA at 14.9%.

What I don’t like: Detroit’s offense has been consistently mediocre. The Lions have the 6th-most stable offense with only a 4.2% DVOA variability. The problem is that their offense has been middling with their total offensive DVOA a mere -6.0%. For all the talent Detroit has with their receiving corps, their offensive passing DVOA is only 19th-best at 8.4%.

The Call: Take Detroit -10, and tease them too, -4.

Philadelphia vs Seattle -1 (+5)

What I like: The Eagles have a strong and balanced defense. Philadelphia’s overall defensive DVOA ranks 8th overall at -8.6%. Breaking this down, they sport the 8th-best defensive passing DVOA (-1.5%) and the 8th-best defensive rushing DVOA (-17.6%). Philadelphia dominates the special teams DVOA matchup with an NFL-leading 8.8% against Seattle’s 18th-best rating of -0.9%. The Seahawks play significantly worse on defense away from home, carrying only the 13th-best road total defensive DVOA at 0.0%. The Eagles’ fast pace will give the Seahawks’ thin defensive line and secondary fits, just as San Diego did to Seattle in Week 2.

[quote align=’right’]New-York-Jets-Mark-Sanchez-Butt-Fumble-002[/quote]


What I don’t like: Relying on Mark “Butt Fumble” Sanchez (right) against a tricky defense makes for a precarious position. If the Sanchize turns the ball over more than twice, he could snatch defeat from the beak of victory.


The Call: Tease Philadelphia +5

St. Louis at Washington -2 (+4)

What I like: Once again, here come Jeff Fisher and the second half Rams. St. Louis has regained their pass rush and have given strong defensive performances in four of their past five games. Since a 34-7 loss to Kansas City in Week 8, the Rams have compiled an average defensive passing DVOA of -20.7% ‒ which leads the NFL ‒ and a 4th-best defensive rushing DVOA of -22.3%. The Rams should be able to shut down Washington’s offense, which enters the weekend with the 23rd-best offensive passing DVOA (0.5%) and 17th-best offensive rushing DVOA (-7.2%). Washington also has the NFL’s worst defensive passing DVOA, a pathetic 27.8%.

What I don’t like: Washington’s 10th-best defensive rushing DVOA (-16.6%) compares favorably to the Rams’ 11th-best offensive rushing DVOA (-2.1%).

The Call: Tease St. Louis +4

Closing Thoughts:

While it hasn’t been easy this year, it certainly has been enjoyable. Let’s finish the season on a hot streak.

The Week 14 NFL Gambling Preview Plays:

  • Green Bay -6 and Detroit -4
    • Risking 1.5 units to win 1.365.
  • Green Bay -12
    • Risking 1 unit to win .91
  • Detroit -10
    • Risking 0.5 unit to win .455
  • St. Louis +4 and Philadelphia +5
    • Risking 1 unit to win 0.91.
  • Total Risk: 4 Units
  • Total Potential Reward: 3.64 Units

John Limberakis is Inside The Pylon‘s gambling analyst, using statistics and trends to break down the betting lines, and finding the winning edge to wager with confidence.

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