Green Bay Packers 2019: Return to January?

Green Bay Packers 2019: Return to January?
Green Bay Packers 2019: Return to January?

Green Bay Packers Stats From 2018

Record: 6-9-1

Pythagorean Wins: 7.4

ATS: 6-10; average line -2.4

Over/Under: 8-8; average total 48.0

Close Games Record: 3-6-1

Turnover Differential: 0.0

Offense: 11th in EPA per play (+0.07);  5.8 yards per play

Defense:  22nd in EPA per play (+0.07);  5.7 yards per play

Bye, bye, Mike McCarthy!

It finally happened: Mike McCarthy got fired after a disastrous home loss against the Arizona Cardinals when the Green Bay Packers were 4-7-1. All reports indicated that Aaron Rodgers and McCarthy had a destroyed relationship. McCarthy might have been an outstanding offensive coach in early years, but he couldn’t adapt his offense while the league has been evolving. There were reports that Rodgers called many audibles because he didn’t like McCarthy’s play calls.

Aaron Rodgers didn’t play like a consistent top-five quarterback over the past four years, and that shouldn’t be a discussion. It was part McCarthy’s static scheme, part a lack of quality wide receiver play but also Rodgers himself. It didn’t help that he played with an injured knee and a tibial plateau fracture since week one last year. The combination sets up for failure.

Fun fact: despite all the struggles and Rodgers’ injury, the Packers offense were 9th in offensive expected points added per play through 16 weeks with Aaron Rodgers as the starter. They went pass-heavy on early downs, which is +EV, but they didn’t use their excellent run game enough in situations where you should use it. Often the Packers called a pass on third and short that resulted in a lousy result instead of getting an easy first down by running with the second-most efficient run game, as measured by EPA.

The defense couldn’t produce a consistent pass rush, and the young secondary played with two rookies at the cornerback positions. The Packers had some bad luck, for instance going 3-6-1 in close games. Their Pythagorean win expectation was 7.4 wins, and they could have gone 7-9 or 8-8 despite all the off-field issues.

Welcome, Matt LaFleur!

The 39-year-old Matt LaFleur will be a rookie head coach for the Cheeseheads in 2019 and also call offensive plays. As a Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay disciple, Matt LaFleur showed two faces as a first-year play-caller at Tennessee last year. First, the positive side: As Ted Nguyen has beautifully broken down for The Athletic, LaFleur showed a lot of the Shanahan/McVay principles at Tennessee last year.

Many plays have led to success in the past. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Marcus Mariota had the third-highest expected completion percentage. The staple is the outside-zone run scheme with married play-action passes. Play-action is a cheat code in this league. The Packers used play-action 20 percent of the time last year, 27th in the league. The Titans used it on 29 percent of their passes, good for 6th overall.

 

There were two reasons why LaFleur’s offense failed last year. One, he didn’t have a talented attack. Marcus Mariota was injured, and it’s still up in the air whether he gets a big contract. Secondly, his situational play-calling was one of the worst in the entire NFL. It was too run-heavy and too predictive. For instance: on 1st & 10 outside of the red zone, LaFleur called 59 percent runs, despite averaging four (!) yards per play more through the air in that situation. Their 8.6 yards per passing play on 1st & 10 ranked 9th in the NFL. In Green Bay, LaFleur will have a better offensive line and a better QB. His situational play-calling can only improve from now on.

Aaron Rodgers – Return to Greatness?

There are some certainty and some uncertainty. We know that Aaron Rodgers is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. He just hasn’t been showing that consistently over the past years. We also know that Green Bay is returning four starters from an offensive line that graded as the best pass-blocking unit in 2018, by Pro Football Focus. The next thing we know is that Matt LaFleur will install a McVay/Shanahan style offense with an outside-zone run scheme and a lot of play-action. And one priority is being unpredictable:

“We also want to create what we call an illusion of complexity. Meaning we are going to run the same concepts but how many ways can we run them? Whether it’s out of 11 personnel, 12 personnel 13 personnel. Just to maybe make it look a little more difficult to the defense.”

But there are three things we don’t know: will Aaron Rodgers be fully committed and buy into LaFleur’s offense and will their relationship work? At age 35, Rodgers doesn’t have many years left to work on his legacy. Will Matt LaFleur improve his play-calling tendencies? And will the young receivers step up and progress throughout the season? If Aaron Rodgers buys into LaFleur’s system and you can answer one of the latter two questions with “yes,” we could see the Packers offense at the top of the league. Aaron Rodgers *can* return to greatness in this setup.

Young Guys Catching Passes

We don’t need to lose too many words about the offensive line. Left tackle David Bakhtiari might be the best pass-blocking tackle in the league, Bryan Bulaga isn’t much worse either. Corey Linsley is a stud at center. The guard positions are the two question marks, but that was the case in 2018 as well. Lane Taylor should get the starting gig at left guard while second-round rookie Elgton Jenkins might battle with free-agent acquisition Billy Turner for the right guard spot.

The guard positions are not as exciting as the core of Bakhtiari, Bulaga, and Linsley. An underrated loss might be new Browns coach James Campen who has coached the Packers offensive line for over a decade. New OL coach Adam Stenavich spent the last two years with the 49ers and collected some experience in the outside-zone scheme.

Green Bay Packers Offensive Depth Chart Projection
Green Bay Packers Offensive Depth Chart Projection

Davante Adams has turned into a premium wide receiver, but many guys in the depth chart are still very young. Second-year players Marquez Valdes-Scantling (“MVS”) and EQ St. Brown occasionally flashed last year while MVS saw a lot more snaps – he had 73 targets in his rookie season. Both averaged over 15 yards per reception.

St. Brown has all the physical tools to be a quality wide receiver in the NFL. If both make a step forward, it will be significant for the Green Bay Packers. MVS and Geronimo Allison are likely to start next to Adams. J’Mon Moore and Jake Kumerov are in the rotation as well.

It’s no secret that Jimmy Graham has probably lost a small step. He’s also 32 years old. But he is coming off an 89-target season with 55 receptions for 636 yards. That 11.6 yards per reception was close from his career average of 12.2. Rookie Jace Sternberger will likely need some time to adjust to the NFL. I expect LaFleur to make full use of the running backs, especially Aaron Jones. Fullback Dan Vitale might also see his fair share of targets.

What’s in Store for the Defense?

The Green Bay Packers will feature an improved defense this year; anything else would be false to predict. The interior defensive line with Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark is top-notch. With Preston Smith, Za’Darius Smith and rookie Rashan Gary, the Packers boosted their edge rush. The Cheeseheads overpaid for the two Smiths, but it’s probably a significant improvement over last year. Gary is still raw and needs time to develop to rush the passer from the outside. Za’Darius Smith can also excel at rushing from the interior. I would expect the depth chart below on earlier downs and Za’Darius lining up inside with Gary on the outside on obvious passing downs. Kyler Fackrell had 10.5 sacks last year but was underwhelming on a play-to-play basis.

Green Bay Packers Defensive Depth Chart Projection
Green Bay Packers Defensive Depth Chart Projection

Blake Martinez has developed into a good linebacker at the pro level, and his PFF coverage grade was superb last year. Oren Burks is a second-year athletic player who needs to take the next step as soon as possible. I don’t know how the rotation at LB is going to look. DC Mike Pettine might also use three safeties a lot.

Last year’s rookie cornerbacks Josh Jackson and Jaire Alexander had solid seasons. I’m not quite sure how Pettine is going to line this group up. Jaire Alexander is naturally more of a slot guy, but he played 500 snaps on the outside last year, probably because of a lack of depth. Kevin King only played 15 games the past two seasons and at 6’3″ I would expect him to play outside with Alexander in the slot.

Rookie strong safety Darnell Savage got the ‘playmaker’ label by draft pundits. He planned to play near the line of scrimmage with excellent tackling skills and instincts. Adrian Amos comes over from Chicago and might play a hybrid role between playing centerfield and dropping down in three-safety sets with Tramon Williams checking in. Improved pass rush, slightly improved secondary – Mike Pettine has a bigger arsenal of weapons.

2019 Schedule

The Green Bay Packers have the advantage of a third-place schedule, playing against Carolina and at San Francisco (after their bye week) within the NFC instead of the Rams or New Orleans. The NFC East seems like the most comfortable division to face, with games against Eli Manning (or Daniel Jones) and Dwayne Haskins (or Case Keenum). In inter-conference matchups, Green Bay is going to face the Chiefs at Arrowhead and the Chargers on the road, too. But they also have two home games against Joe Flacco and Derek Carr. Vic Fangio might play a role in that matchup. And the home-field advantage for the Bolts is almost non-existing.

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The NFC North is not a cake-walk. There are going to be four exciting matchups against the Vikings and Bears while Aaron Rodgers and company should match up well with Detroit. According to Pinnacle win totals, the Packers will play the 19th-hardest program in the league which fits the eye test when looking at their schedule.

Green Bay Packers 2019: Return to January?

The Packers have some positive regression going for them. Aaron Rodgers is healthy, and he’s going to play in a quarterback-friendly scheme with better play designs and more play-action. The offensive line is returning four starters. Young receivers like EQ St. Brown and Marquez Valdez-Scantling could take a step forward.

Even if Matt LaFleur doesn’t improve on his play-calling tendencies at all, he will have a better quarterback to execute it. But in his second year, we should expect some improvement. The defense improved its pass rush and looked to have an improved secondary as well. The schedule isn’t a neck breaker, either. Everything points in the right direction. We need to figure out whether the Rodgers-LaFleur connection works.

If Rodgers buys into Matt LaFleur, this could be one of the best offenses in the league next year. Despite all the struggles, they went 10-10-1 with a +25 point differential in full games with AR since 2017. In my opinion, the floor with a healthy Rodgers is 8-8, and we should go from there. If the offense is clicking, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Packers march into the playoffs comfortably. But there is still some uncertainty involved. The regular-season win total sits at 9.5 with an under tendency at -148. That makes it a right 9.1. I lean towards an overplay at 9. I think this is a 9-7 team with upside – I’m certainly a bit higher on the Cheeseheads than the betting markets.

This team preview will hopefully provide you with a lot of information. But it doesn’t replace your weekly handicapping/pricing process. It’s your job to price all 32 NFL teams and situations accurately weekly. 

 

Baltimore Ravens 2019: Underrated Playoff Contender

Baltimore Ravens 2019: Underrated Playoff Contender
Baltimore Ravens 2019: Underrated Playoff Contender

The Crazy Part About the 2018 Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens have a weird season behind them. Right before their bye week, the Ravens were 4-5 and made the switch from QB Joe Flacco to then-rookie Lamar Jackson. With the latter, Baltimore went on to finish the season 6-1 with the only loss occurring in overtime at Kansas City. People might rightfully point to the ‘weak’ schedule with the likes of Oakland, Cincinnati, and Tampa Bay. They also went 3-1 in close games with Jackson. But they also beat the Chargers and were a fumble away from winning over the Chiefs at Arrowhead. The games against the Bengals and Browns were toss-ups. The range of possible outcomes probably went from 4-3 to 7-0.

This team preview will hopefully provide you with a lot of information. But it doesn’t replace your weekly handicapping/pricing process. It’s your job to price all 32 NFL teams and situations accurately weekly. 

Considering their late stretch, here’s the crazy part: the offense wasn’t good at all. And the defense – while playing well – didn’t collect many turnovers. Lamar Jackson ranked 31st in QBR, which was part himself – all scouting reports indicated that he would need time to develop as a passer. At times, his accuracy spread like a shotgun. But it was also part a horrendous receiving corps. Out of 39 passers with at least 150 dropbacks, Jackson ranked 31st in EPA/dropback (-0.04). It wasn’t good at all, but surprise: it was more efficient than fellow rookies Sam Darnold (-0.06), Josh Allen (-0.18), and Josh Rosen (-0.33). Jackson looked to be a generational talent on the ground, but he failed to get his power on the street efficiently.

The Not-So-Efficient Scrambles

RB runs barely matter, but QB runs do. Among 74 players with 50+ designed runs, Lamar Jackson ranked fourth in EPA per rush (0.13). The record season by Cam Newton sits at 0.49. However, on scrambles, which we would tend to believe makes him so dangerous, he ranked 29th out of 31 quarterbacks with at least ten attempts (0.13). Josh Allen had 0.94 EPA per scramble, Trubisky had 0.93 – absurd numbers. Every time Mitch Trubisky or Josh Allen scrambled, they added 2.6 and 2.7% in win probability. Lamar Jackson added 0.75%. Jackson can only regress positively.

If you think the Ravens should regress, you got fooled. They went 3-4 in close games, had a turnover margin of -0.2 and 10.8 Pythagorean wins. Their defense created 17 turnovers (tied-22th), but those weren’t efficient. The Ravens defense created 15.6 expected points through turnovers which ranked 31st last year and 7th-worst since 2009. They only added 6.4% of win probability per turnover – 2nd-worst in 2018. The Ravens still underperformed. It’s a high probability that Baltimore will collect more turnovers next year, which are also going to be more efficient for their win probability.

All Eyes on Greg Roman and Lamar Jackson

Baltimore has one of the best coaching staffs in the league. Greg Roman will take over play-calling duties from Marty Mornhinweg this year, and this is good for Lamar Jackson. Greg Roman spent five seasons with Colin Kaepernick and Tyrod Taylor – QBs similar to Lamar Jackson. During those five years from 2012 – 2016, Taylor and Kaepernick produced four top-10 finishes in QBR. The worst season was 58.1 by Kaepernick in 2014. Rookie seasons are tough – quarterbacks usually improve from year one to year two. But even if Lamar Jackson doesn’t improve as a passer AT ALL, he should get more efficiency out of his runs, especially his scrambles – regression.

Baltimore Ravens Projected Offensive Depth Chart
Baltimore Ravens Projected Offensive Depth Chart

The biggest flaw on the offensive side remains the wide receiving corps. Baltimore drafted WR Marquise Brown in the first round, and fellow rookie Myles Boykin was very high on Matt Waldman’s ranking. Both bring intriguing athletic skill sets to the table, but it’s hard to predict any real impact in the first year. If the Ravens get solid production – and separation – out of either one, it will help this offense tremendously. The tight end position is stacked. Second-year players Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews have a season under their belt and should increasingly take over snaps from Nick Boyle. Hurst had some injury issues, but Andrews was the better receiver coming out of college anyway. Andrews had a stat line of 34-552-3 in his first year. With the lack of quality at WR, we should expect Greg Roman to call a lot of sets with two tight ends. Running backs Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards aren’t great receivers. Rookie Justice Hill comes into the league with an elite RAS of 9.35 and could add a speedy layer to the option game.

More Option Runs for Lamar Jackson

The offensive line should rank in the middle of the pack – no player stands out as elite, but neither is anyone awful. Pro Football Focus graded them as the 14th-best pass-blocking unit and the 10th-best run-blocking unit. Right guard Marshal Yanda is a stud, the tackle tandem of Ronnie Stanley and Orlando Brown seems to be above-average going into their second year together. Left guard Alex Lewis and center Matt Skura are the two weaker spots along the line. All in all, this line shouldn’t hold Lamar Jackson back from making a step forward.

The Baltimore Ravens can’t solely rely on their run game around Lamar Jackson. Greg Roman needs to find ways to stretch defenses vertically and horizontally to create space for Jackson to throw to. Without at least a functional passing game, this offense will die a slow death. I expect Roman to install a lot more option runs and run-pass-options. Baltimore also brought “triple-option guru” Paul Johnson to training camp. I anticipate that Roman is going to present opposing defenses with many different looks, option runs, fake-handoffs and play-action to get Lamar Jackson on the move and cut the field for him.

It’s is a very conservative prediction now. Assuming neither Lamar Jackson improves one bit as a passer nor any of the young receivers has an impact, there is still little chance this offense will be worse than in 2018. Regression-wise, Jackson’s runs, especially the scrambles, should get more efficient. Scheme-wise, the Ravens have a full off-season to build an offense to Lamar Jackson’s strengths. If he improves as a passer or anyone of Marquise Brown or Myles Boykin has a decent impact, this offense will be more efficient than in 2018.

Two-Thirds of the World are Covered by Water

Earl Thomas covers the other third. As Eric Eager and George Chahrouri have pointed out, coverage is more important than pass rush. The Ravens are following this strategy. While their front seven is going to be a grab bag, this defense will likely have the best secondary in the league. Even though he’s coming off a broken leg, Earl Thomas should still be considered the best free safety in the league. He was the centerpiece of the Seahawks defense, consistently defending the deep middle and forcing opposing quarterbacks to go underneath with the football.

Next to Thomas is strong safety Tony Jefferson, who is solid in coverage. A stacked cornerback group consisting of Marlon Humphrey, Jimmy Smith, Tavon Young, and Jimmy Smith round up this great secondary on paper. But each of those players will be in an advantageous position because Earl Thomas covers more ground than everyone else. As soon as Thomas got hurt in 2016, the Seahawks defense turned from a top-10 unit into a bottom-5 unit against the pass.

Baltimore Ravens Projected Defensive Depth Chart
Baltimore Ravens Projected Defensive Depth Chart

I have no clue how this front seven is going to look from snap to snap. Defensive coordinator Don Martindale runs a “complicated scheme” (Earl Thomas) with a lot of blitzes, and he likes to dial up pressure from various angles. Remember the playoff game against the Chargers? I have never seen Philip Rivers correcting, shifting his pass protection and audibling so much in a single game. Now add Earl Thomas into the mix. The coverage will be stellar; the pass rush will be dialed up via scheme. It’s a top-10 defense on paper with upside because of their elite secondary.

The Schedule

The Ravens are expected to play a below average schedule. Based on current NFL regular season win totals at Pinnacle, the Ravens are expected to face the 16th-hardest schedule. According to 2018 EPA per dropback, their program is expected to be the 21st-hardest. A significant advantage is squaring off against the AFC East. The Ravens have seven games on their schedule against quarterbacks with less than a full season under their belt: Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Jimmy Garoppolo, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield 2x, and Kyler Murray. Their two biggest travel games will be at the west coast against the Seahawks and the Rams. After the game at Seattle, Baltimore will have a bye week. Before the Rams game, they have an extra day off, because it’s on a Monday. There are no back-to-back road games. Overall, this schedule is exceptionally fortunate. Here is a spot to circle:

Week 7 at SEA: The Ravens travel across the country to Seattle after a home game against the Bengals. The Hawks will be home after a tough early eastern game at Cleveland. This game could set up as a great spot to fade the Ravens.

The Prediction

The Baltimore Ravens are EXTREMELY underrated. After winning ten games last year, their season total for the upcoming season sits at 8.5 but is shaded towards the under. The implied total is 8.2. I disagree with the market here and would advise a play on the Over at 8.5 +115 (Pinnacle). People are very low on Lamar Jackson, and the Browns hype is for real. Also, some part of the market might only remember their ugly playoff loss at home against Los Angeles. Baltimore feels like the forgotten AFC North team that shouldn’t be worse than last year. They only have the third-best odds to win their division, which feels a bit off, too.

The Ravens are a very well-coached team on all three phases. Their offense shouldn’t be worse than last year but has some upside while they probably got the best secondary in the league. On top of that, they will play a fortunate schedule without a lot of bad spots but with some inexperienced quarterbacks. I believe this team should win nine to ten games and go back to the playoffs.

Become a member for the 2019 season and get win totals, weekly analysis and picks until the Super Bowl. Since I started this service in 2017, we beat the closing line 70.6% of the time for an average closing line value of 4.0%. The record is 136-104 (56.7%) for +27.46 units at 10.5% ROI. Find all the picks with closing line reports on the records page.

Atlanta Falcons 2019: Offensive Philosophy the Rabbit Punch?

Atlanta Falcons Team Preview 2019
Atlanta Falcons Team Preview 2019

Going into the 2018 season, the Atlanta Falcons had high hopes. Personnel-wise, they had units with top-10 potential on both sides of the ball. One group delivered: their offense ranked 6th in EPA/dropback (0.18); QB Matt Ryan ranked 9th in QBR. Finishing below .500 with these numbers is a tough pill to swallow. There are several reasons why the Falcons finished 7-9.

This team preview will hopefully provide you with a lot of information. But it doesn’t replace your weekly handicapping/pricing process. It’s your job to price all 32 NFL teams and situations accurately weekly. 

Some Late-Game Struggles

They went 4-4 in close games. While this is a decent indicator of luck in general, not all close games are equal.  In their four narrow wins, the Falcons had two-possession leads at some point during the fourth quarter in all of them. In three of their four close losses (vs. PHI, NO, CIN), Atlanta had a lead late in the fourth. But they gave those games away, with a mix of predictive play-calling, scoring too early or not getting any breaks on defense. They also struggled in the red zone at times, especially running the ball near the goal line where the run game should be extremely efficient.

After starting 4-4, they had a rough stretch, losing five straight to put their season into the trashcan. Head coach, Dan Quinn’s defense, lost some essential players like MLB Deion Jones, safeties Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen early in the season. Their coverage was terrible for the most part, and they couldn’t create enough pressure in distinct passing situations. On third and fourth downs, their defense allowed the third-highest DVOA (0.324) after NYG and OAK.

Regression-wise, the Falcons only have some little positive things going on for them. Sure, they will get the aforementioned defensive players back. But overall, their injury luck was precisely average. They had 77.9 adjusted games lost, which was 0.24 fewer than the league average. They went 4-4 in close games, had a turnover margin of +0.1 and had “just” 7.8 Pythagorean wins. Atlanta played an easy schedule on offense and an average one on defense.

Dan Quinn’s Offensive Philosophy

Before we dig into the personnel, it’s essential to address the coaching setup. Defensive-mind Dan Quinn is still the head coach and will take over play-calling responsibilities this season. Former Bucs HC Dirk Koetter, who was Atlanta’s OC from 2012 to 2014, replaced Steve Sarkisian as offensive coordinator. Ground-and-pound enthusiast Mike Mularkey will coach the tight ends, but it seems like he also has some assistant role.

Dan Quinn is a Pete Carroll disciple; he is an “establish the run” truther and believes that stopping the run on defense should be the primary goal. It’s no secret anymore that the NFL is a passing league and the run game only plays a minor role. Each offensive philosophy should follow the goal of being as efficient as possible. Running the ball for the sake of it, to stay “balanced” or to set up play-action is dumb. Even though it’s Dirk Koetter’s offense, he will make sure that he runs his unit according to Dan Quinn’s philosophy. He recently said they ‘have been adjusting to the style of football Quinn wants to see out of that unit.’ It’s not great news for Falcons fans. Dan Quinn’s offensive philosophy is highly questionable, as indicated by the following four quotes from an article in January:

  • “Having that kind of balance, Dirk and I both agree, is the best way to attack and is the best way to feature the guys on our team”
  • “The thing I think for us to get back from an identity standpoint is the amount of run attempts,”
  • “What I’d like to make sure is we can feature … the run game” to make play-action passes more effective.
  • “We’re going to work really hard at that,” he said, adding “That will be a big part of our identity, not just this year but for years to come.”

Run More, Punt More

These quotes mirror everything you do NOT want to hear from an NFL head coach. A run-first offense is a wrong approach to NFL football, especially when you have Matt Ryan and a lethal passing attack. Wanting to stay balanced is the wrong approach, too.  Before week 13 last year, coming off a 17-31 prime-time loss at New Orleans, Quinn named three areas his team has to improve: 1. Win the turnover margin, 2. Get the run game going and 3. Stop the run. Especially about the second part, Quinn said he wants balance and make the play-action go. They had a top-10 passing attack and ranked 5th in play-action yards per play – despite having a below-average run game and not being ‘balanced’ enough. The quality or the volume of the run game has nothing to do with how effective teams are at play-action. NFL teams establish the run when they leave their locker rooms.

The defense had the worst run EPA/play since 2009 (0.14), but it correlates little to win games. You always need to stop the pass or at least prevent it to a certain degree so that your offense has an advantage. If your passing attack is efficient and you also use it efficiently (two different things), you will inevitably score many points and force your opponent to stop running the ball. Prime example: the 2018 Chiefs had a brutal run defense, but where a flag away from the Super Bowl. Dan Quinn’s approach to offense increases the probability of scoring fewer points, going into more and longer third downs, and also of punting more.

A Revamped Offensive Line for the Falcons

The willingness to run the ball only for the sake of it must be matched with quality offensive line play, among others. After the retirement of the injury-riddled LG Andy Levitre and the release of RT Ryan Schraeder, the Falcons had some work to do. Thomas Dimitroff drafted guard Chris Lindstrom and tackle Kaleb McGary whom I both expect to start in week one. Former Jets-guard James Carpenter should be penciled in on the left side. There is a lot of uncertainty with this group. While James Carpenter isn’t an upgrade, the right side heavily depends on the development of the rookies.

According to the College charting of Pro Football Focus, Lindstrom ranked 1st in pass-blocking grade at his position, McGary ranked 10th. Pass blocking grade has stable predictive value translating to the pro game. However, predicting success for rookie offensive linemen is still hard to do. Especially when they are forced into more run-blocking snaps than necessary, this will inevitably lead to some longer passing downs. Center Alex Mack and LT Jake Matthews are both above average to good starters. With Carpenter and the two rookies, the range of possible outcomes for this unit is wide.

Atlanta Falcons offensive depth chart projection
Atlanta Falcons offensive depth chart projection

I don’t need to lose many words about the receiving corps. Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Mo Sanu in 11 personnel are top-notch. Atlanta’s tight end group could need an upgrade though; Austin Hooper isn’t near the top group at his position, Logan Paulsen is primarily a run-blocker. The offense is set up for success but depends on the development of both rookie offensive linemen and help via play-calling. They can be explosive and efficient on early downs and score a lot of points. But their head coach wants to be balanced. Somewhere, Mike Leach is shaking his head.

Will the Falcons Fly on Defense?

Atlanta got a lot of speed and range on defense, but this is the year they need to bring it on the EPA and DVOA boards. Grady Jarrett is a stud pass rusher from the inside who might develop into a borderline All-Pro starter next year. Next, Jack Crawford and young Deadrin Senat will share the load. The question mark remains where the full dose of pass rush should come from. Takkarist McKinley has been their best edge rusher last year and will develop further. But Vic Beasley remains inefficient, and Adrian Clayborn is a below average pass rusher over his career. Dan Quinn, who loves getting pressure with four rushers, will need to get creative with this unit. He took over play-calling duties from fired ex-DC Marquand Manuel.

The back-seven has potential. Deion Jones is one of the best coverage linebackers in the league, De’Vondre Campbell struggled in his absence last year. However, Campbell will only need to fill the role next to Jones, who will get the critical tasks in coverage. Desmond Trufant is one of the better cornerbacks in the league, but he got burned quite sometimes last year. Opposite him, second-year player Isaiah Oliver will get the starting gig. Oliver was a Brett-Kollmann-favorite coming out of college. Oliver was the fourth cornerback on the depth chart last season and only played 240 snaps, according to PFF.

Atlanta Falcons offensive depth chart projection
Atlanta Falcons offensive depth chart projection

The slot is a big question mark. Blidi Wreh-Wilson is an outside corner, Kendall Sheffield is a green rookie. My best guess is that they will try to rotate safeties Damontae Kazee, Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal around. Allen and Neal missed almost all of 2018. On paper, this defense has some intriguing coverage potential. But the pass rush should remain a weakness, and it’s not easy to predict quality production from Oliver and the slot cornerback position.

Schedule Analysis

The schedule is going to get harder for the Falcons in 2019. According to the win totals market at Pinnacle (06/11), Atlanta is projected to play the seventh-hardest schedule (0.5127) next year. Their defense is going to face the eight-strongest program in opposing EPA per pass from 2018. That has a decent predictive value year-to-year. Passing EPA per play correlates year-to-year at R^2 = 0.1994 since 2010. The NFC South is probably going to be more competitive than last year. Cam Newton seems to be back healthy and has an improved offensive line, while the Bucs got Bruce Arians and a lethal passing attack. We shouldn’t expect a significant drop-off by the Saints.

On top of that, the Falcons will face the NFC West and the AFC South who produced four playoff teams last year – even though that doesn’t mean a lot. One significant advantage for them is that they won’t play outside a dome until November 17th at Carolina. They only have three games outside, two of them in good weather (SF & TB). They only have one game on the west coast. Some interesting scheduling spots:

  • Week 6, @ ARI: The Falcons play their third road game in four weeks with LAR and SEA on deck. Depending on their result at Houston a week prior, this is a spot where Atlanta could be overvalued.
  • Week 12, vs. TB: For whatever reason, home teams with a Thursday night game on deck are a losing proposition historically. Since 2010, home favorites at -3 or higher are  44-65-3 (40.4%) against the spread. Falcons will have the Saints on deck.

2019 Prediction

Two rookies along their offensive line, a head coach who dictates an efficiency-reducing approach and one of the harder schedules – I’m not in love with the Falcons for 2019. In a tough division, a lot of things need to go right for them to grab a playoff spot. They still have Matt Ryan, a good receiving corps and are healthier on defense. However, the circumstances are more complicated than last year. Matt Ryan will probably need to overcome offensive line struggles early in the season as well as the “balanced” rushing attack.

They are priced at -148 on the Under at nine regular season wins – that’s an implied win total of 8.6 which got bet down from 8.8 since early May. This range seems about right. I expect them to compete for a wild card spot rather than a bye week late in December. In the division market at BetOnline with a 10.2% hold, the Falcons are priced at +350 (22.2% break-even). While the Saints are the favorites for a reason, the Falcons seem to be a bit underpriced.

Become a member for the 2019 season and get win totals, weekly analysis and picks until the Super Bowl. Since I started this service in 2017, we beat the closing line 70.6% of the time for an average closing line value of 4.0%. The record is 136-104 (56.7%) for +27.46 units at 10.5% ROI. Find all the picks with closing line reports on the records page.

How to Bet with Pinnacle via Asian Connect

Picture with the headline: How to Bet with Pinnacle via Asian Connect

First of all, the platform I am going to refer to doesn’t have any affiliate connections to me. Maybe they are going to contact me after reading this, but right now, there is not an affiliate deal in place. I write this for betting purposes only. In this article, I will explain how to bet with Pinnacle without actually using the original site.

Pinnacle is one of the largest off-shore bookmakers in the world. They are also known as the ‘sharpest’ book with the best odds and the lowest margins. Also, they do not ban ‘sharp’ players but instead use their money to balance their action. Getting the best of the line and saving a few cents can make a big difference in the long run.

But there’s a problem: Pinnacle prohibits bettors from several countries, such as essential markets like the United States of America or the United Kingdom. US-bettors who want to benefit from betting into spreads at -105 odds are not allowed to sign up and bet with Pinnacle. The website blocks users when they log in with an IP from the prohibited country. Withdrawing money is impossible with a residence in a prohibited country. Asian Connect prohibits US residents, too. However, residents from many countries like Germany or England are allowed to sign up.

The Middleman

The solution? Last year I was looking for ways to bet at Pinnacle. My attention shifted towards Asian Connect when I read some excellent reviews. You can bet with Pinnacle via Asian Connect. It is an Asian broker that acts as a middleman between several bookmakers and bettors. They work together with books like Matchbook, SBObet and – Pinnacle.

Screenshot of the dashboard at Asian Connect
The dashboard at Asian Connect

After signing up, you can request an account for one of the several available bookmakers and deposit money via Skrill, Neteller, Bank Wire or Bitcoin. I haven’t tried out the other books, because I only wanted to bet with Pinnacle. After depositing, Asian Connect immediately creates an ‘anonymous’ account at PS3838.com, which is some manner of a farm or daughter site of Pinnacle. Your primary account is at Asian Connect.

The design of PS3838 differentiates quite a bit from Pinnacle’s original website, but it’s the same content. Asian Connect claims that PS3838 is the same as Pinnacle. I have never experienced any deviations during the last NFL season. As soon as a line changes at Pinnacle, it shifts at PS3838, too. It feels like a duplicate of the original site.

NBA odds table at PS3838
NBA odds table at PS383

There’s just one hurdle: Pinnacle still blocks access from banned countries. That’s why Asian Connect tells you to use VPN software before logging in to PS3838. I am using Tunnel Bear. It’s a smooth software that you can also use as an app on your mobile device. The free version has enough Megabyte traffic per month to place your bets. You need to open it before logging in to PS3838. It’s worth the effort to bet into Pinnacle lines.

Last step to bet with Pinnacle: Deposit via Bitcoin

Everything worked out smoothly. The significant advantage of Asian Connect that I’ve found out is its 24/7 live chat. As soon as I experienced a problem or had a question, I used the conversation, and my problem was solved immediately. You can even use it to speed up your deposit or verification process which I found to be very useful.

I deposited via Skrill and withdrew via Bitcoin after the NFL season. According to Asian Connect, there are no deposit limits with Skrill, but the Bitcoin limit per deposit is 50 BTC. I’m not a pro sports bettor, so I can’t test out potential limits. But I had no issues in the thousands range, depositing or withdrawing. It was a smooth process for the benefit of betting with Pinnacle.

Withdrawal and Verification

When you intend to withdraw your money, you need to verify your account. I sent photos of my ID card, the last TV/Internet bill and a screenshot of Skrill via email. It’s essential that you use the same email that you use at Asian Connect. I assume that you don’t need to send a screenshot of Skril when you deposit via Bitcoin.

One day after sending those documents, I got a code via text message that I got to communicate via email. I posted the code, and after a couple of days without a response, I contacted the chat. The verification processed immediately.

Asian Connect is a fantastic way to bet with Pinnacle. I cannot guarantee you that everything works out as smoothly as it did for me. But I highly recommend Asian Connect to bet at websites that ban your country. Check it out!

Eddie Squarehead Can Help You Win More Money

Eddie Squarehead lives in Fort Worth, Texas. He works as a Key Account Manager, makes $60k per year and has a wife along with two beautiful children. He also is a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan. He hates the Eagles, thinks Eli Manning is vastly overrated and has been mocking his co-workers – who are Redskins fans – all summer long about how bad their team is and has been for the past four years. On the most recent company picnic in August he repeated several times: “Your Skins ain’t gonna win five games this year”. On Sundays he always wears his No. 8 Troy Aikman jersey, does a BBQ and watches the Cowboys games religiously while having a few good beers. Eddie also likes gambling and to bet on NFL games. Before the season started, he told his wife: “If I make some extra bucks this season, Christmas presents will be bigger as usual”.

Between the 4 PM games and Sunday Night Football, Eddie regularly watches the highlights from the day games. It’s week five of the fictional 2017 NFL season and he is watching the Dolphins getting shredded 13-38 on the road at Pittsburgh and Matt Ryan connecting to Julio on a pair of touchdowns in a big 35-10 win over the Bears.

Putting a card together the square way

The next week he puts together a betting card at a local bookie from his gambling bankroll. He bets the Cowboys at -4.5 at home against the Cards, because they are his team and he wants to see them winning. He fades the Giants at Seattle because “Eli Manning is overrated and will get hammered”. He sees the Falcons laying 3.5 points at Miami and his memories tell him how bad the Dolphins and how good the Falcons looked last week when he watched highlights before the Sunday Night Football game. He scans the remaining odds board and sees a home team with a winning record – the Panthers – laying 6.5 points against the 2-3 Redskins. Now his subconscious mind remembers him how strongly he expressed his opinion about the Redskins at work and at the company picnic during the summer. He wants his opinion to turn out as the truth and he wants the Redskins to lose. He grabs the home team at -6.5 because “the Redskins have to lose, they are bad”.

The Sunday didn’t turn out so well for Eddie Squarehead. He went 1-3, only the Giants covered their respective spread. Neither did he watch the recent games of these teams nor did he do any research on the games that would have led to an objective conclusion. He made his decisions subjectively. He bet with emotions, recency bias and general bias. He didn’t analyze the situational spot and home/road efficiency for the Falcons/Dolphins game. He hasn’t recognized that the Redskins have been playing some solid Football and are much better than he thought they would be.

Eddie also didn’t take the time to study the matchup for “his” Cowboys team, because he just wanted to put money on “his” team. The offensive line was without LT Tyron Smith and his backup Byron Bell had an unfair matchup against Arizona’s best pass rusher Chandler Jones. Eddie didn’t even think about these two lining up against each other for the major part of the game, because “our offensive line is elite”. Jones came up with the game-icing strip sack of Dak Prescott.

Continuing what does not work

For the reminder of the NFL season, Eddie would continue his thought process like this. He would bet the Cowboys every week, would look to fade the Skins and build the rest of his cards based on recent results. He wouldn’t take time to reflect on his betting habits. He would continue to think in a box. He would finish the season around 46% and lose a good part of his bankroll. Eddie would tell his friends that “it’s impossible to make money off betting on NFL games”. Eddie’s wife would be a little bit mad in late December, because the Christmas presents weren’t as big or expensive as advertised.

No wife can endure a gambling husband, unless he is a steady winner. ~Thomas Robert Dewar

Reflection is a very important skill of human beings. Too often in life we fail, because we are stuck into one way or opinion and lack the ability to reflect. It is also in our nature to make the same mistake over and over again. With a lack of reflection we don’t recognize changes and struggle to think outside the box. Naturally, we tend to stick to one opinion which leads to bias and subjective evaluation.

Don’t get me wrong – having and expressing an opinion is very valuable to me and is a big part of someone’s personality. Opinions lead to reactions and discussions. So many times I’ve read an article where the author discusses a topic or breaks something down without actually having an opinion. The result is a boring and neutral article, particularly to not get any followers turn their backs towards them. Having a (strong) opinion is good, but having the ability to put that opinion in question over time and change it based on reflection – this is even more valuable.

Reflection is a big part of sports betting

Reflection is also very important when it comes to sports betting. Recency bias and general bias is what kills your bankroll in the long run. Casual or “average” bettors tend to bet with their emotions far too often. Over the past few years I have been dealing with the same problems over and over again. But recognizing that these problems exist is the first step into the right direction. You can change your habits every day of the year, keep that in mind.

We need to bet without emotions, bias and by thinking outside the box. If you aren’t a bettor who profits consistently, ask yourself: Am I like Eddie Squarehead? Are there any parallels between the thought process of Eddie Squarehead and my own? The next time you cap games of any sports think about Eddie Squarehead and whether or not you need to make some changes on your habits. He will help you make more money in the long run.

Buy Low Sell High Strategy for NFL Handicapping

More than two years ago in December of 2015 I wrote an essay as a freelancer. The topic was “Bitcoins – currency or venture?” At the time, Bitcoin had a price of $400. I wrote about the advantages like efficiency and anonymity but also about all the risks. I realized it could be a widespread future currency but by no means I could have imagined how far it would go.

Bitcoin has been very well aware in financial and even general news over the past four months. If you bought one single Bitcoin on February 13th in 2017 and sold it on December 16th the same year, you would have made a profit of $18,339 as the price jumped from $996 to $19,343. You would have bought Bitcoin at a low price and sold it at the highest possible price. Your action would have been a prime example of the “buy low, sell high” strategy.

Technically, “buy low, sell high” is an adage out of the financial industry, specifically connected to stock investing. It is a strategy of taking advantage of the market’s perception to overreact to downside and upside trends. The goal is to take something when the price is down and ditch it when the price is high. This strategy can also be applied to sports handicapping. Each game presents different markets for different betting options, e.g. moneyline, spread or totals. To cut a possible long story short: the market sets the price on the moneyline, the spread and the total. When the season starts, each team has a certain market price or spread value. Depending on results and other circumstances such as injuries, the spread value increases or decreases and market perception shifts into either direction. As a bettor, our general goal is to identify discrepancies between the market prices and the results of our own handicapping process to find these buy low or sell high spots. We want to “buy” undervalued teams and “sell” overvalued ones, which means playing or fading them.

That sounds very easy, doesn’t it? Not so fast, my friend!

Difficulties of buy low / sell high on sports handicapping

One of the biggest aspects of investing, whether it is sports handicapping or stock investing, is psychology. We bet with emotions. Most of the people understand the pure logic behind buying something at a low price and selling it at a high price, but that’s not what our biases tell us to do. In sports handicapping we tend to fade a team that is losing and whose price (spread) is falling. When a team is playing well and winning comfortably, we want to get a piece of the cake. We don’t want to miss out on the hot team and don’t want to have anything to do with the cold team. It doesn’t “feel” right to go against a “good” team or to take a “bad” team.

“Buy low, sell high” is also extremely difficult to execute. In hindsight it is always easy to tell which price has been low or high, meaning which team was under- or overvalued at the time. But at the moment, it is highly challenging to identify buy low and sell high opportunities. Very often you will find situations in which teams trend upside or downside but they keep trending into either direction. What looks like a high spread the one week may look like a low spread a few weeks later. So bettors who tried to approach the “buy low, sell high” strategy get punished.

The key is to identify whether the shift of market perception is driven by the fundamentals of the game or solely by emotions. How to identify it? Disappointing answer: there is no recipe for it. If you want to get an advantage from that strategy consistently, meaning you win more than you lose, a lot of things need to come together. You got to put in the work. Sports betting is a job and it is hard work. Some handicappers need to spend more hours than others to be successful in the long run. You need to study teams and players to understand matchups. You need to actually watch the games to understand how games have played out and what exactly leads to certain results. You also need to build up some experience to establish situational awareness and identify patterns. If you do your homework, you will be able to identify “buy low, sell high” spots properly more often than not. It’s basically a tool that should be on your betting arsenal.

Examples from the 2017 NFL season

Amongst others, there was one game during the 2017 NFL season that stood out as one of the prime examples for a buy low sell high spot. The Denver Broncos opened the season with two home games – they won a close one against the Chargers and blew out the Cowboys 42-17 in a game they looked unstoppable in. Media praised them. In the meanwhile, the Bills won against the Jets and lost a low-scoring affair at Carolina in which they had a chance to win but rookie WR Zay Jones couldn’t haul in a touchdown pass on fourth down when he was wide open. Broncos traveled to Buffalo as -3/-3.5 favorites to play an early east coast game. My pre-season line for that game was Bills -0.5, so basically a pick’em. Yet because of two results the market set the line at Bills +3 and +3.5 at some places. It was a great opportunity to sell high on the Broncos.

Another game comes to mind: the week 11 matchup between the Rams and Vikings at Minnesota. The Rams were just coming off three straight blowout wins with the most recent being against the Giants and Texans, two teams holding a top-4 pick in this year’s draft. Well the Texans don’t hold a pick actually. The Vikings were coming off five straight wins but they were also coming off a rusty road game at Washington in which Case Keenum looked really sloppy. The Vikings weren’t getting national attention yet, but the Rams were. That led to the Vikings being favored by just two points on their field where they have a strong advantage. The line said the Rams would be favored by 1.5 or 2 points on a neutral field and it didn’t make sense at the time. It was a phenomenal buy low (Vikings) and Buy Low Sell High Strategy For NFL Handicappingsell high (Rams) situation. The Vikings won 24-7.

What other handicappers think

I wanted to know how other NFL handicappers approach the “buy low, sell high” strategy, so I asked the great guys @whale_capper and @AndyMSFW who also run the Deep Dive podcast which you absolutely got to check out. Here are three questions and their respective responses.

How much do you focus on buy low sell high spots when it comes to NFL handicapping?

Whale: I find it to be a strong indicator of line value and while it’s rarely the only reason I’ll back a side, if I can support it with other matchup advantages or situational factors then I’m in.

Andy: Buying low / selling high is one of the cornerstones of situational handicapping, but it must be combined with common sense. People that “auto bet” things, drive me nuts. Even if it is a 55% system in the long run, it could be honed into a 60% system with a little more though.

What are your keys to make successful use of that strategy?

Whale: In my opinion, the sell high is more reliable in general. Sometimes losing is contagious – see the Cleveland Browns – and as they say in the world of investing, “it’s hard to catch a falling knife”. As noted above, “buy low sell high” is most effective when it is also supported by specific match up advantages, key injury effects or situational factors like difficult travel.

Andy: I agree with whale, selling high is often more effective than buying low. A good situational spot for a team (rest/travel/injuries/general matchup) coupled with the opponent coming off of a big “statement win”, perhaps even a big win on a nationally televised game, can result in several points of line value.

What has been your favorite buy low sell high spot of the 2017 season?

Whale: My favorite buy low sell high spot was week three selling the Denver Broncos at Buffalo; Denver had been at home for a month, came off a widely watched beat-down of Dallas to go 2-0, then traveled to a hungry Buffalo team with a good defense and were significantly over-valued at -3.5 (!?!). I wasn’t on the right side but Steelers/Chiefs has been a pretty perfect example, too.

Andy: My favorite was the Eagles going down to Los Angeles in week 14. The Rams had just beaten the red hot Saints and then gone to Arizona and won by 16. The Eagles had a deceiving 24-10 loss in Seattle where they lost the turnover battle 0-2 with one being a fumble at the one yard line. I was very excited to back the Eagles at a pick’em in this spot and it paid off.

Money Management Is The Most Important Aspect Of Sports Betting

By 401kcalculator.org

One of the most important things when it comes to betting is managing your money. It doesn’t matter how many bets you place per day, week or month. You can have success by placing 10 bets per day but you can also have success by placing 10 bets per month. To each his own, every bettor is different. But every bettor has to deal with one thing if he wants to achieve long-term success: money management.

By managing your money I mean that you need to have a reasonable system in place that you follow consistently. Our success rates usually vary over time, but our system of spending money shouldn’t. Our big goal is to consistently profit money from sports betting. Grow the bankroll, withdraw money and move on with a new, bigger bankroll. The key of money management is to have a system that allows you to grow your bankroll when you are successful but limits your risk when you are not. Losing is part of what we do – we can have bad stretches over weeks or months. If you aren’t thinking long-term and just bet for the quick buck, you don’t need to care about money management and this article probably isn’t interesting for you.

We hear the word bankroll very often. A bankroll is the disposable base amount of money you are willing to spend on betting over a certain time span. To go one step further – your bankroll is also the amount of disposable money you are willing to lose over a certain time span. Don’t spend more than you can afford to lose. That amount doesn’t need to be physical, it can be virtual and you only need to have a certain percentage of your bankroll deposited into your sportsbook accounts. Of that bankroll, you calculate a reasonable amount or percentage you want to spend per bet.

If your bankroll is $1,000, you shouldn’t bet $100 per game when you are invested in 10 games per day. If your bankroll is $20,000, betting $100 per game on ten games per month might be a little bit too low and too stagnant to grow your bankroll. I guess you get my point here. On Gambling Twitter you see guys spreading out daily cards with plays ranging from 1 unit up to even multiple 10U MAX BOMB plays which might add up to 50+ units per day. Aside from the fact that probably no one can explain what distinguishes a 10-unit play from a 4- or 1-unit play, I would guess that many followers struggle to project those “systems” to their own money management strategy.

Many ways lead to Rome and there are a lot of strategies bettors use all over the world, but I’ve made the experience that two certain main strategies are very useful. I will explain them along with examples. Before we get to these, we need to talk about the term “unit”. The term unit pops up everywhere in the gambling world, but it is basically just a measurement system for tracking success. Units are something everyone can identify with and everyone can project his own betting sizes to it. If someone is up 10 units, it can be $10,000 for him but $2,500 for you.

Also units aren’t units, as crazy as it sounds. Units can be dynamic or static and bettors can re-define them again and again whenever they want or need to. It is just – a measurement system. And it is probably more reality for someone who bets for his hobby than for someone who does it professionally. Let’s dig into stategies.

Betting a certain percentage of your bankroll on each game

I will use the NFL season as the example for both strategies. Let’s say you start with a bankroll of $5,000 and you want to bet 3% as a dynamic unit of your moving bankroll on each game. You will start by betting $150 per game, or by the base amount bet, you will bet to win $150. Let’s take the latter one as the example with an average line of -110.

If you are successful, your amount per bet is going to raise per day/week. You would evaluate your profit after each week and calculate a new amount to bet on each game. The big advantages of this system are that you have a good risk management for your losses on the one side and that you are able to increase your profits off a good season or a hot run.

Imagine you bet 7 games per week during the NFL season. Even if you go 0-7, you would lose “only” 23.1% of your bankroll. The probability for it to happen is basically zero, but let’s assume you let that 0-7 week follow another 0-7 performanc. Meaning, you start the season with an ice-cold 0-14 run. You would have lost 40.86% (-$2,043) of your bankroll. However, 90% of the bettors in the world would have gone broke by either a poor money strategy and/or by chasing their losses.

After the base amount of $150 in week 1, you would bet $127 to win $115 in week 2. Your base amount going into the third week would be $89. But if you go on to a 14-0 winning streak, you profit +46.41% (+$2,321) of your bankroll and your base amount would be $220 going into the third week. So the disadvantage would be the fact that it’s tougher to get back to a certain amount off an awful run, this is the contrary aspect to the risk management. Assuming you let the 0-14 run follow a 7-0 week, you would be down -28.45% (-$1,422).

Betting with a static amount over time

Again, you set a bankroll to start the season, let’s assume you also start with $5,000 and decide to bet 3% as a static unit of your starting bankroll on each game, meaning $150 as the risk amount or the base amount on an average line of -110. We go with the base amount again, meaning $165 to win $150 on each game.

Off a 0-14 start, you would lose 46.2% (-$2,310) while your base amount stays the same, the one unit of $150. Off a hot 14-0 run, you would profit +42% (+$2,100) while sticking to your initial unit base amount of $150. With the unit-system you would lose a higher percentage of your bankroll on a losing streak, but it’s easier to get back to even. Assuming you let the 0-14 run follow a 7-0 week, you would be down -25.2% (-$1,260).

Because the static amount doesn’t increase automatically while winning, you could set yourself milestones for when to adjust your static bet amount. For instance, you could set the goal of re-calculating when you are up or down 50% (+-16.67 units) of your initial bankroll. Or at 50% on profit and 25% on losses. That’s on you. You can also use the Kelly criterion.

It’s important to have a money management system in place

The differences between these two systems are the following: With the percentage-system, you would profit more money (4.41% on the 14-0 example) on a winning streak and lose less money (5.34%) on a losing streak. It’s tougher to get back to even or a certain amount off a losing streak. As I said earlier, many ways lead to Rome. People adjust their systems, some more often than others. But the most important point is that you actually have a system in place and follow that system with patience.

Remember, sports betting is a marathon, not a sprint! People always want to make the quick buck, but you have to think long-term. You probably want to do this the next 20 years, don’t you? Work hard, never chase your picks and be happy about each profit you make.