I’m a total degenerate. I used to love sports, now I just love making money from sports. If you’re like me, The 33rd Team has you covered. Our staff of football experts including current and former executives and coaches offers insight you won’t find anywhere else. While I’m no expert, I do know how to connect the dots between those insights and turning a profit. Each week, I’ll be taking some highlights from the site, and translating them into actionable steps you can use to win your DFS contests, and cash some bets.
Big Play Index (Ben Elsner)
This is a great starting point for DFS tournaments. We need chunk plays to post the kind of scores that can win you a million dollars. This isn’t as actionable for cash games (my favorite), but still could be considered — we like our cash lineups to have a ceiling too.
DFS: This one is probably pretty obvious, but load up on Ezekiel Elliot for DFS contests. He’s somewhat cheaper on both DraftKings and FanDuel than the other top running backs (Kamara, Ekeler, etc.) but his/the Cowboys explosiveness gives him just as high of a ceiling. The Cowboys are running the ball a lot as it is, but as 10-point favorites their rate should be even higher this week.
Gambling: There’s not a lot of value left on the Cowboys spread (-10.) However, Elliot’s rushing yards prop is a fairly reasonable 74.5 on DraftKings and BetMGM, so look to bet the over.
We can also extrapolate that teams who rank lower in wins than they do in big plays are in line for some positive regression. Whereas teams that have been successful with a negative big play differential will do the opposite. By that logic, there’s a couple of matchups that stand out:
ATL (+6.5): The Falcons have a better big play differential than their opponent (New Orleans) despite less overall success. It’s a bit muddier this week, with Trevor Siemian in at qb for the saints and Calvin Ridley missing for the Falcons. Still, given the Saints negative big play differential they’ll need to play mistake free football to cover that spread. That’s a much harder task with a backup quarterback.
KC (-7): Green Bay was overrated according to the big play index already, and are now without Aaron Rodgers while taking on the Cheifs, who’ve underperformed based on BPI. Much of the Cheifs struggles have been to turnovers and general sloppiness (dead last in our Discipline Index .) I’m of the belief that turnovers are largely random (how many interceptions are because of weird bounces?) and should regress to the mean. Or in the case of interceptions, that quarterbacks mean. Look for the Chiefs explosive offense to take over here
The Evolution of Running Quarterbacks (Paul Domowitch)
DFS: We should know this already, but rushing quarterbacks are immensely valuable. a rushing yard is worth 2.5 times what a passing yard is, and a rushing touchdown is worth 1.5 passing scores. It’s very hard to reach a tournament-winning ceiling (or have a solid cash-game floor) with pure pocket passers. This week, Lamar Jackson is the standout Quarterback play on DraftKings. He’s almost $1,000 cheaper on DraftKings than Josh Allen, and has way more rushing equity.
Back to the Bench: Week 8 CPM and the Success of Spot Starters (Peter Engler)
While not directly applicable to anything week nine, this piece does a wonderful job of highlighting how rare performances like Mike White’s in Week 8 were. Being an NFL quarterback is one of the hardest jobs in sports, and it’s doubly hard when you were expected to be a backup. There’s a variety of backup QBs in this week (Jordan Love in Green Bay, Trevor Siemian in New Orleans.) A few other starters have the potential to miss the game (Sam Darnold for Carolina, Kyler Murray in Arizona.) We’re likely to be profitable by simply betting against every back up.
Of course, lines adjust to that as well (the Chiefs went from one to seven point favorites with Rodgers inactive.) That means our edges are in betting on games where the situation is unclear. That leaves us with Patriots (-3.5) and Panthers (-3) as likely values, as well as unders in those games