UPDATE 2/21/2021: The model is adding Bengals v Ravens OVER 47
Denver Broncos v Cleveland Browns (-2, 42.5)
Browns 23.38 – Broncos 19.86
The model’s raw expected spread (RES) makes the Browns a -3.79 favorite on a neutral field. I would expect the simulations to show a five-plus point Browns’ victory, but the injuries have the model pumping the brakes, making them a 3.52 point favorite.
The Browns have to have this game, but whatever is wrong with Baker’s shoulder, it got worse on Sunday with that hit. Also, he is holding the ball way too long. Way too long. He seems to have regressed. He is trying too hard. UPDATE: As I wrote this he was declared out and the line dropped to -2. I love it. Baker was part of the problem.
The Raiders defense gave Bridgewater fits last weekend. The Browns defense is far superior. For me, this is a Browns or nothing side, and, it is the Browns.
The model is taking the Browns -2.
Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens (-6.5, 47)
Bengals 23.29 – Ravens 28.12
The model’s raw expected spread (RES) makes the Ravens -5.98 on a neutral field. The line at Ravens -6.5 seems shallow, as I would expect the line to be -7. The model’s simulations say the line is almost spot-on as it has the Ravens winning by just under 5 points.
I have been wrong on the Raven every single time I have bet on them or against them this season. (Enough to make me stay away). But I am going to get involved in this game. I am shocked this line is not 7.5 so I am going to wait for it to get there, then take the Bengals +7.5. If it does not get there, I will be content to be a viewer only.
The model is taking the Bengals if the line hits 7.5
Atlanta Falcons v Miami Dolphins (2.5, 47.5)
Falcons 27.08 – Dolphins 22.34
The raw expected spread (RES) makes the Falcons -1.13 on a neutral field. The simulations make the Falcons a 4.74 point favorite.
The Falcons, and Matt Ryan in particular, appear to have found their offense under Arthur Smith. Pitts has taken himself out of the running for OROY, he is also starting to show the amazing talent we all saw in college.
(It would be a great idea to tease the Dolphins if you can find a partner, more on that later)
The model is a taking the Falcons -2.5.
New York Jets v New England Patriots (-7, 42.5)
Jets 9.86 – Patriots 20.74
The (RES) makes the Patriots -4.94 on a neutral field. So they are getting just over 2 points for HFA. That is in the ballpark of expectation. The simulations have the Patriots winning by 10.84
I know I already proved that Belichick is an average coach, but he helped my argument again last Sunday. He got the ball with 90 seconds left in the second quarter, and he killed the possession by kneeling on it. It was an incomprehensible decision. The value of deferring to the second half for the ball is premised on the hope that you get back to back positions – to close the first half and open the second. He did, and he kneeled. Ridiculous. So it is hard to trust him in this spot. Also, the Patriots have played to the level of their competition this season.
I am really tempted to back the Patriots here, but I will not. I have futures that will be enhanced both with a Patriot win and a Jet loss. I am good sitting this one out.
The model is not taking a position in this game.
Kansas City Chiefs v Tennessee Titans (5.5, 57.5)
Chiefs 34.36 – Titans 28.47
The model’s raw expected spread makes the Chiefs -4.48 on a neutral field. With the game in Tennessee, we would expect the spread to be around -3. The Chiefs, despite not covering recently, are still getting a bump. The model’s simulations tend to agree as it makes the Chiefs a 5.89 favorite.
Reports of the Chiefs’ demise are greatly exaggerated. It is turnovers – 14 of them to be precise. It is that simple. I have said many times on this site, that turnovers, like raisins in your box of cereal, come in bunches and streaks. This is that streak for the Chiefs. And they are still scoring 30+ points a game. The second the turnovers regress, this team is going to score 40. I am betting that it is this weekend.
The model is taking the Chiefs Over 16.5 in First Half; Chiefs 30.5 points.