2021 NFL Week Seven Projections and Analysis (Part II)

2021 NFL Week Seven Projections and Analysis (Part II)

Indianapolis Colts v San Francisco 49ers (-4.5, 44)

Colts 22.15 – 49ers 20.87

The model’s raw expected score (RES) is San Francisco -3.94. With that, we would expect a spread of 49ers -5.5. The preseason line made the number -4.5. The look-ahead line was San Francisco -5.5. The model’s simulations see an upset. It has the Colts winning by 1.29. 

San Francisco is coming off of a bye week, the Colts had a short week and have to travel across the country. Although baked into the line, this is a demonstrably better situational edge for the 49ers. 

Still, I am backing the Colts in this spot. The main reason I am backing the simulations comes down to coaching and quarterback play. The first category may seem anathema, but I do not believe this is the coaching mismatch that others see. Shanahan is an elite offensive mind, no question, but he also seems to need near-elite quarterback play to succeed and has a history of getting in his own way. Frank Reich seems to consistently get the most out of the talent he has at his disposal. 

This brings us to the quarterbacks. It is important to remember that Wentz was on the scrap heap. Left for dead, not just a subpar NFL quarterback, but an unplayable one. Reich revitalized his career. Wentz is never going to be a world-beater – he had his one anomalous season. But he can be a quality starter. In fact, he has proven to be just that this season.  

  • The model ranks Wentz as the 15th best quarterback this season
  • The model ranks Garrapollo as the 23rd best quarterback

The number at 4.5 is too good to pass. 

The model is taking the Colts +4.5

Carolina Panthers v New York Giants (3, 43)

Panthers 22.53 – Giants 21.36 

The raw expected spread (RES) makes the line Panthers -2.97. The simulations see a 1.17 point victory for the Panthers.

The model has zero value anywhere in this game. 

The model is not taking a position in this game. 

Washington v Green Bay Packers (-8, 48.5)

Washington 19.94 – Packers 27.93

The raw expected spread (RES) makes the Packers -6.53 on a neutral field. I would expect the spread to be -8. The model’s simulations agree and make the Packers -7.99 favorites. 

Another game that I want nothing to do with on the available lines. If you got Washington +10, pat yourself on the back, and then sweat out the final five minutes when a backdoor score is in play. 

There is an opportunity to tease this game now. Tease the Packers down to 2, and pair them with the Dolphins teased up to 8.5. 

The model is teasing the Packers down to -2, and the Dolphins up to +8.5. 

Detroit Lions v Los Angeles Rams (-16.5, 50.5)

Lions 16.57 – Rams 33.27

The raw expected spread (RES) makes the Rams a 14.35 favorite. If you add two points for HFA the number is spot on. The model’s simulations make the Rams a 16.70 favorite. Again spot-on the number. 

IF McVey wants to embarrass Goff, this could get ugly. I do not think that is in McVey’s nature. I believe he will let off the gas. I am not going to touch this game, but if you have the Rams left in a survivor pool, not a bad play. 

The model is not taking a position in this game. 

Philadelphia Eagles v Las Vegas Raiders (-3, 49)

Eagles 19.93 – Raiders 25.26

The model’s raw expected spread (RES) makes the Raiders a 3.08 favorite. So the spread appears a little light. The model’s simulations make the line Raiders -5.32. This is more in line with what the RES would expect. 

The model leans heavily to the Raiders in this spot. I am still hesitant to pull the trigger because the model also indicates that Gruden raised the offensive play of the raiders by about 5%. It seemed appropriate that they would rally last week, and play a quality performance against the Broncos. At some point, the absence of Gruden will rear its head, and Philadelphia is a bizarrely resilient team. 

I am off this game for now. Check back before kickoff to see if I have taken a Raider’s position. 

Chicago Bears v Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-12, 47)

Bears 20.03 – Buccaneers 30.58

The model’s raw expected spread (RES) makes the Buccaneers -8.58 point favorites on a neutral field. The simulations make the Buccaneers a 10.55 point favorite. 

I am not interested in this game. 

The model is not taking a position in this game. 

Houston Texans v Arizona Cardinals (-18.5, 47)

Texans 16.22 – Cardinals 31.29

The raw expected spread (RES) makes the cardinals -13.74 on a neutral field. The model’s simulations have the Cardinals prevailing by 15.07 points. 

I want no part of these numbers. If you are tempted to lay the massive points, I would urge you to consider the over. Or, if you want another option, I would explore the derivative market and look for the Cardinals’ first half and total numbers.  

I am going to get involved in this game on the player prop side. 

The model is taking Murray Over 2.5 touchdowns at plus 135. And Cardinals Over 16.5 First Half Points.

New Orleans Saints v Seattle Seahawks (-4.5, 43.5)

Saints 26.17 – Seahawks 19.16

The model’s raw expected spread (RES) makes the Saints -3.82. When I adjust for the loss of Willson, the RES jumps to Saints -8.85. When we adjust for Seattle’s impressive HFA, we would expect a line of Falcons -5.5. The simulations have the Saints winning by 7.01 points. 

The numbers alone make this an autoplay for me. In addition, I think the Saints have a better coach, better quarterback, and better defense. 

The model is taking the Saints -4.5

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