by Walter Football
We are partnering with Walter Football this season who puts out insightful football analysis and wanted to show how these insights can be applied to winning theSCOREX:NFL FREE contest for $5k or your own league that you set up with your friends or coworkers.
Here are Walt’s Buys and Sells (from Walter’s Overrated/Underrated)
Note: the dollar change is from Week 4 to Week 5.
The Cowboys just beat the Jaguars 40-7. It was a dominating win, but Jacksonville simply didn’t show up to play. The team sleepwalked throughout the afternoon, believing it could win by just walking into the stadium. Dallas played with way more emotion and took advantage of the Jaguars’ lethargy.
That was the Cowboys’ best win of the season, as their other victories were against the awful Giants and the Lions, a two-point game at home that could’ve gone either way.
I’m not a believer in Dallas, especially if Sean Lee continues to miss action. The offensive line still has some glaring holes, while Dak Prescott has no viable weapons at his disposal, save for Cole Beasley, who took advantage of a good matchup (Jacksonville was missing its slow corner, D.J. Hayden.)
Los Angeles Rams ($28.08 +$0.58)
The Rams looked unstoppable against the Vikings on a recent Thursday night. When that happened, I wrote, “Be wary of teams that appear that way on national TV. They can often disappoint afterward because they’re way overvalued. Remember the Eagles from numerous years ago with their controversial quarterback when they couldn’t be stopped against the Redskins? That’s what the Rams’ win over Minnesota felt like.”
As it turns out, the Rams haven’t covered the spread since beating Minnesota. They’ve beaten six teams that are a combined 14-21-1. Because looking at numbers is lazy, let’s analyze the wins:
– Rams beat the Raiders after trailing at halftime. Oakland’s only win thus far came via horrible officiating versus a rookie quarterback making his first start.
– Rams shut out the Cardinals, who were nearly blanked at home the week before versus the Redskins.
– Rams beat the Chargers by 12. The same Chargers who nearly lost to C.J. Beathard.
– Rams defeated the Vikings by seven. Minnesota tied the Packers and a hobbled Aaron Rodgers and then was blown out by Buffalo. Plus, some poor officiating buried the Vikings.
– Rams snuck out a win against a pedestrian Seattle team, as Los Angeles couldn’t stop the run.
– Rams beat the Broncos by three, although they were up by more before some garbage scores. Case Keenum was horrible until the Rams went into a prevent, and Denver stinks overall.
I understand that the Rams seem unstoppable, but that’s precisely what makes them overrated.
Minnesota Vikings ($22.98 +$1.46)
I’ve been down on the Vikings the whole summer, betting a prop on them to not make the playoffs this year at +240. They looked bad heading into the Philadelphia game, but while they won, it wasn’t a very convincing victory. The Eagles made so many countless errors, yet despite this, Philadelphia was still in position to win in the fourth quarter – until, at least, Alshon Jeffery dropped a pass that would’ve converted a third-and-20.
The Vikings struggle in many areas. They have trouble covering downfield against receivers that Xavier Rhodes isn’t blanketing. They can’t cover the middle of the field because their linebackers struggle against the pass. They can’t block because their offensive line sucks. The cherry on top is Everson Griffen’s condition, which is hurting the pass rush. And now, Mike Hughes is out for the year, while Andrew Sendejo is dealing with an injury.
The Steelers are back to overrated territory after winning in Cincinnati. Pittsburgh needed a blown non-call on an offensive pass interference to do it; not to mention several drops by the Bengals in the opening half. Despite those drops, the Bengals still had a 21-20 lead with a minute remaining.
The reason Pittsburgh is overrated is because its defense isn’t very good. The team has major problems at linebacker and in the secondary. Recall that just two weeks ago, the Steelers couldn’t stop Joe Flacco from moving up and down the field against them in Pittsburgh. Before that, Ryan Fitzpatrick shredded them in the second half. Things have not been fixed; rather, the Steelers got lucky in their latest victory.
San Angeles Chargers ($20.51 +$1.16)
The Chargers only lost to the Rams and Chiefs. The Chargers only lost to the Chiefs and Rams. Hey, the Chargers only lost to the Rams and Chiefs. The Chargers only lost to the Chiefs and Rams. Have you paid attention? The Chargers only lost to the Rams and Chiefs. The Chargers only lost to the Chiefs and Rams. Hey, guess what? The Chargers only lost to the Rams and Chiefs. The Chargers only lost to the Chiefs and Rams. Have you heard the news? The Chargers only lost to the Rams and Chiefs. The Chargers only lost to the Chiefs and Rams. Did you hear? The Chargers only lost to the Rams and Chiefs. The Chargers only lost to the Chiefs and Rams. You’ll never guess who only lost to the Rams and Chiefs: The Chargers only lost to the Rams and Chiefs. The Chargers only lost to the Chiefs and Rams. Rams Chiefs. Chiefs Rams. Rams Chiefs. Chiefs Rams. Rams Rams Rams. Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs. Rams Chiefs Rams Chiefs Rams Chiefs Rams. Chiefs Rams Chiefs Rams Chiefs Rams Chiefs. Rams Rams. Chiefs Chiefs.
Sorry, I thought I was a member of the national media for a second. Yes. The Chargers only lost to the Rams and Chiefs. This is true. So what? They got blown out in both games. They barely beat C.J. Beathard at home. Their other three wins are against the Bills, who suck, the Raiders, who suck, and the Browns, who saw Baker Mayfield get hurt in the first quarter.
The Chargers can’t defend the middle of the field, and their pass rush isn’t very good. I don’t trust their offensive line either, and they have a shaky coaching staff. They have reached obscene levels of overrated, and I can’t wait to make money betting against them.
Carolina Panthers ($17.63 -$1.35)
The Panthers lost to the Redskins, but they were in a bad spot. They were coming off a last-second victory and looking ahead to their matchup against the Eagles, while the Redskins were motivated to redeem themselves following the Monday night blowout. Despite this, Carolina outplayed Washington as a whole – the Panthers outgained the Redskins by 1.6 yards per play – but lost because D.J. Moore fumbled twice in the opening half.
I like the Panthers, especially with Greg Olsen back. Cam Newton has multiple potent weapons at his disposal now, and Carolina’s front seven is terrific. The secondary isn’t good, but should be better going forward with Eric Reid.
The Bears are 3-2 right now, but they could easily be 5-0. They lost to the Packers amid an amazing Aaron Rodgers comeback, but don’t forget that they had a double-digit lead prior to Rodgers suffering an injury. At Miami, they blew another double-digit lead because of some bad mistakes and then wilted in the 100-degree heat and humidity. The Bears have been the better team on the field in each of their five games thus far.
Tennessee Titans ($15.16 -$2.01)
The Titans got some flak for losing to the Bills, and they’ll get even more flak for the 21-0 home loss to the Ravens in which Marcus Mariota was sacked 11 times. That’s all everyone will discuss on TV this week when talking about Tennessee. Eleven sacks.
Granted, 11 sacks is obscene, but there was a reason for it. Taylor Lewan, one of the top left tackles in the NFL, was not healthy. I expect him to play better next week, as he should be healthier. I also don’t think Tennessee was particularly focused with a trip to London coming up. The Titans should be much better next week.
Washington Redskins ($16.74 +$1.02)
The Redskins beat the Panthers, but it doesn’t sound like members of the media were impressed. There’s been a ton of criticism of Alex Smith, who struggled against the Panthers, but I don’t think that’s very fair. Smith was missing his top two targets, Jamison Crowder and Chris Thompson, and he was playing a tough Carolina defense. Smith will be better once Crowder and Thompson return – presumably next week – while the defense should continue to play very well.
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