Game Flowbotics: Week 7 Picks Against the Spread

Oct 21, 2021
Game Flowbotics: Week 7 Picks Against the Spread

Week 7 is here, and it’s brought us a slew of bye weeks, injuries and bad matchups. Yay? While slates like this can be frustrating as we struggle to find angles we like, I appreciate being asked tough questions. For example, under what circumstances should we be willing to lay more than two touchdowns? The Rams (-14.5, hosting the Lions) and Cardinals (-17.5, hosting the Texans) are both testing those waters. The Buccaneers are almost there, too (-12.5, hosting the Bears). Even if we don’t stake anything tangible when answering these questions, running through the thought exercises and tracking how our hypothetical picks would have fared helps inform our process.

In the end, getting reps in on tough slates should make similarly tough future weeks a little easier, and it should make the easy weeks even more straightforward. On that note, I recommend joining a weekly against the spread pool. Force yourself to pick every game every week, and it will strengthen your ability to zero in on selective best bets. My involvement in picks pools leads me to check the Game Flowbotics page for every matchup. Looking through the spreadsheet’s collection of efficiency and pace data from Football Outsiders, I’ll sometimes back myself into a bet I hadn’t originally considered. There’s value in first-instinct reads of the weekly against the spread and over/under lines, but diving deep into the stats can help you find diamonds in the rough.

Accountability

I went 6-3 with my picks last week for a gain of 3.25 units. Year to date, my record is 29-25-1 and I’m finally back in the black, up 1.95 units. Forgive me for tooting my own horn, but the strong showing I posted in Week 6 was largely on the back of sound analysis, so let’s focus on where I could have done better...

My first miss was in the Rams-Giants matchup. I picked the spread correctly, expecting a big win for L.A., but didn’t account enough for their ability to generate turnovers and push the game total over 47.5 all by themselves. Assuming, as I did, that the Rams’ defense would annihilate Daniel Jones (or Mike Glennon) and company, the sharper bet would have been to go under on the Giants’ team total, rather than picking the under on the game total.

My next failure was backing Houston (+9.5). The line movement on their matchup at Indianapolis tells you everything you need to know. The line closed at +11.5, and the Colts routed the Texans. In last week’s article, I admitted it was a “hold your nose” type of pick. So why make it? Justifying my sketchy selection by only risking half a unit was just plain loose. Going forward, I’ll try to avoid getting cute in that way again, especially with bad teams like Houston.

My final foible was banking on home-field advantage with Denver (-3). In my defense, I acknowledged in the article I viewed the matchup as more of a stay-away after Jon Gruden’s resignation, but I had already made the pick in our Discord, so I wrote it up anyway. I can only hope that you dear readers checked the written analysis before piggybacking off my Broncos pick.

Week 7 Game Flowbotics

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