Jason’s 2018-19 NFL picks record: 8-13 ATS, 0-2 ML (minus-2.90 units), 4-8 Totals
January 6, 4:40 p.m. EST (NBC)
Soldier Field, Chicago
Thank goodness that’s all over with. As you can see by those nasty numbers above, this has been a brutal run of regular-season NFL picks here at the ranch. We’re not losing sleep over it, though. That’s the regular season for you; profit margins are slim until you get to the playoffs, when the betting public starts pouring into the marketplace – and pour they do, in larger waves with each passing round.
First up, we’ve got the Wild Card round, and as usual, there’s tons of value to be had on the NFL odds board. And we’ve got a familiar team in our sights: the Philadelphia Eagles, defending Super Bowl champions. They’re a solid choice for Sunday’s road game (4:40 p.m. ET, NBC) against the Chicago Bears, and they’re the best value pick to win Super Bowl LIII.
What Year Is It?!
Unless this is your first NFL betting rodeo, you probably remember how the Eagles shocked the world last year by winning their first Super Bowl – with Nick Foles at quarterback instead of Carson Wentz. And here we are again. Philadelphia swept their last three games SU and ATS to steal the No. 6 seed in the NFC after Foles replaced the injured Wentz in Week 15.
We can’t guarantee that history will repeat itself, but the betting value is definitely with the Eagles. They’re 5.5-point road dogs for Sunday’s Wild Card Game; FiveThirtyEight project the defending champs at +3, leaving tons of potential profit margin for our classic “fade the public’ pick. As for Super Bowl LIII, Bovada have the Eagles in last place (!) on their futures market at +3500. FiveThirtyEight peg Philly’s title chances at four percent, which works out to +2400 using the delightful SBR Odds Converter. That’s without any hold percentage factored in.
Nick Foles, Super Bowl MVP
To be fair, this Eagles team isn’t quite as potent as last year’s 13-3 squad. Their defense has slipped from plus-2.5 DSRS to plus-1.8, according to the Simple Rating System numbers at Pro Football Reference. And their running game, which was already meh last year, turned to dust when RB Jay Ajayi tore his left ACL in Week 5. They’re a long shot for a reason.
We’re just saying that the Eagles are worth the investment. Foles (69.5 QBR) only made five starts this year, but he went 4-1 SU and ATS, and outperformed the likes of Tom Brady (68.8 QBR), Jared Goff (65.4 QBR), and yes, Carson Wentz (64.9 QBR).
Bet accordingly, and to keep you inspired, here’s a list of all six Wild Card teams who went on to win the Super Bowl:
- Oakland Raiders: Super Bowl XV (27-10 over Philadelphia, +3)
- Denver Broncos: Super Bowl XXXII (31-24 over Green Bay, +11)
- Baltimore Ravens: Super Bowl XXXV (34-7 over N.Y. Giants, –3)
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Super Bowl XL (21-10 over Seattle, –4)
- New York Giants: Super Bowl XLII (17-14 over New England, +12)
- Green Bay Packers: Super Bowl XLV (31-25 over Pittsburgh, –3)