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Editor's Note: Steve Rieder has accumulated a 207-172-1 record, +13.16 units over the course of the 2021 & 2022 NFL seasons. Get access to his full record, pick by pick, on our NFL bets tracker spreadsheet
Twitter touts, sharps, and betting observers have no doubt been sucked into the Closing Line Value debate. In the short term, whether it’s from luck, skill or variance, winning is important. I’d rather have a winning weekend than all the CLV in the world. However, In the long run, getting consistent closing line value is a greater indicator of future success. This season, we have continually found CLV on a vast majority of our plays, most of which have overcome the inherent vig that foils 95% of sports bettors. This week was no different. In fact, all 5 of our losses this week all came from plays that we had CLV. The two side wagers that won were market price at post. The complete opposite of what should have happened. So many of this year’s losses have been with CLV in our pocket and with tremendous negative variance. This eventually happens when betting into the most efficient market of American sports. I’m disappointed in our results the last couple of weeks, but I’m not dejected. Our process continues to find closing line value, which I’m convinced will eventually translate to wins.
WEEK 7 Record: 2-6 (-8.9 units)
SEASON Record: 29-35 (-12.13 units)
CAR Team Total U14.5 (LOSS)
There are no words. The Carolina Team Total closed Under 11.5 (-140). The Panthers scored touchdowns on 17, 20, and 27 yards. I’d play this again without hesitation, but Carolina was the much better team. They averaged 2 more yards per play than TB. The Bucs have been known as one of the best rush defenses in the last few seasons. They gave up 181 rushing yards to D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard. The Panthers took their fire sale personally. On the other hand, the Bucs have much more problems than just Tom Brady and the offense. This is a team that will be in free fall in my power ratings.
IND +3 (LOSS)
Down by 9 with under 4 minutes left, the Colts were driving and completed a big first down into Titans territory before Michael Pittman fumbled our hopes, dreams, and chances of covering. It’s tough to complain too much about the result considering it would have been a backdoor cover, but the Colts turned it over 3 times, yet still narrowly outyardaged the Titans. Of all our bad beats today, this is the one I don’t know if I can complain too much about.
CLE/BAL O45.5 (LOSS)
With the ball on the Cleveland 24, well within chip shot range for the best kicker in the game (Justin Tucker), Justin Hill busts one up the middle for the first down. But before being tackled at the Cleveland 17, he fumbles the ball into the waiting arms of the Baltimore defender. But with 3 minutes left, the Browns were able to drive down into game-tying field goal range. They had to settle for a 56 yarder, but with a controversial false start, they attempted a 61 yarder that went wide left. The Browns had 6 yards per play and were only able to put up 20 points. This was another heartbreaker.
GB/WAS U42.5 (LOSS)
It’s never good for an under when there is a pick 6. But we still had ample opportunity to cover. Aaron Rodgers is no longer good enough to beat the Commanders, but he was good enough to drive 75 yards to score a TD in the final few minutes. This was unfortunate, but I’m not sure we can define this as a bad beat. The were 24 points scored in the first half, but that interception returned for a touchdown happens so infrequently that it still stings.
NYG +3 (WIN)
The numbers and my power ratings said to take the Jaguars, but there is something about this Giants team that simply can’t be quantified by the statistics. They were down, once again, in the 4th quarter before scoring 10 unanswered points to secure the victory. The Giants again lost the ypp by a substantial margin and Daniel Jones passing yards look pedestrian. Yet neither of these facts truly encapsulate how good the Giants are. New York is 6-1, the stats say they aren’t nearly as good as their record suggests, and yet I think the Giants are undervalued in the marketplace.
KC -1.5 (WIN)
After this line moved to KC -3, it was steamed back to KC -1 at post. Although there were still -1.5 available, this is only time this week where we took the worst of the number. With that said, there is no doubt KC was the right side from the jump even though San Fran’s entire injury report seemed to get healthy simultaneously. They even traded and utilized Christian McCaffrey, which gave me some pause about the play. However, KC was firing on all cylinders and the 49ers simply don’t have enough at the QB position to play from behind or when their run game is ineffective. KC is very much cemented as the number two team in my power ratings.
MIA -6.5 (LOSS)
The Dolphins go up 13-0 within the first 13 minutes of the game. They unfortunately were only able to score a field goal the rest of the way. If you told me pregame that the Steelers would only score 10 points, that Tua looked healthy and threw for 261 yards, that the Dolphins ran for over 100 and were +3 in turnover margin, I would have already been walking to the bank. Somehow, we tear another ticket this week in which the stats and the eye test says we should have one. It’s been a frustrating go of things lately, but we beat the closing line and had a team that performed much better than their opponent.
NE -1.5/MIA -1
After the Dolphins win and cover, I thought the Patriots would be a layup. Bill Bellichick against a one dimensional quarterback with a dearth of playmakers at his disposal? The bettors agreed as this line shot up to 9 at some spots (although that may have been more about teaser protection). Mac Jones started, but the Patriots didn’t. After going down 10-0, Bailey Zappe was inserted back into the game and New England regained their groove and the lead, 14-10. All was right in the world, until it wasn’t. The Chicago Bears, led by Justin Fields, coached by Matt Eberflus, outschemed the greatest coach of all time and outplayed a Patriots consistently. The Bears went on a 23-0 run to end the game, which burned our last ticket and mercifully ended a very painful week of betting.
BONUS PROP: Gus Edwards TD +340
My betting week was absolutely horrendous, but I came out of player prop retirement to give this one out as a free play. It certainly doesn’t make up for the losses, but hopefully brought some solace and put some money in our pocket.
By Steve Rieder
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