The picks I've given out over the first two rounds of the playoffs have not performed great, with the 2-2 outing in last week's Divisional Round bringing us to 3-5 in total.
With that said, I'm utilizing a new technique for the first time ever in this Championship Weekend.
I've been working on an extensive spreadsheet model in Excel to use multiple variables to predict outcomes of NFL games. While my regular season performances over the last couple seasons are pretty erratic, the model has performed really well once we get to the postseason.
Last postseason, the records this model produced were 7-4 on the money line, 7-6 against the spread, and 10-3 for the point total. And if you take out the Wildcard Round, it was 6-1 ATS from the Divisional Round and beyond.
While the games from Wildcard Weekend did not disappoint, my betting performance sure did. I gave out four picks across those six games, and only one of them hit. I would have gone 0-for-4 if the Jaguars had not mounted a miraculous comeback to cover 2.5 against the Chargers.
Most teams decided to score a lot of points last weekend, which I did not expect. Additionally, my faith in a Bills cover came crashing down with each brutal mistake they made against a thin Miami team.
However, I'm back with a vengeance today to give you four picks that are sure to hit in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Keep reading if you want free money.
Jacksonville Jaguars +8.5 at Kansas City Chiefs
It's been nearly a week since the Georgia Bulldogs dismantled the TCU Horned Frogs in this year's National Championship game, and we now have to suffer through the seven or so months of misery until college football returns in late August.
The 2022 BSSR SEC Betting Challenge was a little different this season, as we retired the challenge following the penultimate week of the regular season after our hearts were crushed by Tennessee's massive upset loss at South Carolina. I wrote an article to explain our decision to conclude prematurely where I showed the final scoreboard and declared myself the winner by default, but it turned into a soliloquy on the suffering that Tennessee athletics have induced upon my life. That article can be read here if you missed it:
After taking a few weeks to recover from my sorrow, I began the process of analyzing our collective performance in the bets we gave out for the 2022 SEC football season. I've conducted this analysis in each of our first two season doing the challenge, but I dug a little bit deeper this year to discover some more interesting data points which I will be sharing below.
Playoff football is here and I'm excited to take my regular season betting momentum into the postseason after going 5-2 with the Lock of the Week hitting yet again to close out Week 18.
I made my full predictions for this year's playoff outcomes, including my Super Bowl contenders and winner, on the "NFL" section of this site, which can be viewed here:
Before we get into my favorite picks for the opening round of the playoffs, I wanted to give a brief recap of my betting performance for the 2022 regular season.
I finished the year with a record of 69-49, which means we hit at a 58.5 percent clip. In betting percentages, that's quite a bit higher than the 52.4 percent break-even point, meaning that if you tailed all my picks this season, you would have made a decent amount of profit.
The real money was in my weekly Locks, which lived up to their reputation by finishing 13-5, a 72.2 percent win percentage. There were only 18 of those bets I gave out (one per week), but that would have been a nice profit stream for you as well if you had just placed money on those every week.
Despite my now 64-47 record on the yaer, it feels like I'm limping into the final week of the regular season. I suppose it's a good sign when a 3-4 week, which has been our worst weekly performance all year, feels so demoralizing. But like the several teams in the NFL vying for playoff spots or better seeds, it's imperative to finish strong.
The good news is the Lock of the Week is 12-5 this year. With how poor my bets (and especially the weekly Locks) fared last season, I have to be encouraged by my improved performance for this 2022-23 slate of picks.
In next week's article, I'll give a brief recap of my betting performance from this season before giving out a few picks for Wildcard Weekend, which is arguably the best weekend on the NFL's schedule. Until then, let's finish the regular season strong by going 7-0.
Last week's 4-3 performance was the most frustrating winning betting week I've had this year. Here's the breakdown of the games we lost:
Vikings -4.0 vs. Giants: The Vikings were up eight on the Giants with three minutes, only to give up a touchdown before kicking a game-winning field goal to win 27-24.
Falcons +6.5 at Ravens: The Falcons were losing the whole game but had a chance to score a touchdown to cut the deficit to a field goal in the closing minutes. They failed to convert in the red zone and instead kicked a field goal of their own to make the score 17-9, which is how the game ended. I didn't get to watch this game but I read that there were several questionable calls made against Atlanta, including a holding call that brought back a Cordarrelle Patterson TD run.
Packers at Dolphins Over 50.0: These teams combined for 33 points in the first half and 40 points through three quarters. Unfortunately, Tua Tagovailoa got concussed at the end of the first half and threw an interception on three straight drives in the fourth quarter. That, combined with a Packers offense that stalled consistently in the second half, led to a final score of only 26-20. (Meaning Miami went totally scoreless in the second half.)
Watching Monday night's game between the Rams and Packers made me want to scream.
We entered Monday with a respectable 4-2 betting record for the week. A win would take us to a solid 5-2 weekly performance while a loss would make for a positive but still disappointing 4-3. I told you to bet the over 39.5, and as the Packers entered the fourth quarter with a 24-12 lead and the ball in Ram territory, all we needed was one more touchdown (or two field goals) to win. Naturally, the Packers' offense stalled twice in plus territory (including a lost fumble in the red zone) before going on a nearly nine minute drive which stopped inches from the goal line to kneel out the clock in the closing minute of the game.
As infuriating as that single bad beat was, I take a bit of solace in the fact that the Lock of the Week got back on track to improve to 10-5 on the year. Our season record of 57-40 is nothing to be ashamed of, but I'm hoping that as winter storms bring frigid conditions to games all over the eastern part of the country, Santa will leave us a red hot 7-0 betting week under the Christmas tree to stay warm on this holiday weekend.
Minnesota Vikings -4.0 vs. New York Giants
We only achieved a 3-2 record last week with the picks given in my shortened article. But I'm back with seven plays for a crucial Week 15 as fantasy playoffs begin and teams start their final pushes for a playoff spot. Our season record is 53-37, though the Lock of the Week failed last week to put it at 9-5 for the year. This Sunday, I'm looking to repeat the success of two weeks ago when I went 6-1. Let's get to it.
Detroit Lions +2.0 at New York Jets
Boom! The week off from betting was a success, as last week's picks were on fire, finishing at a 6-1 record. That's just what we needed to bounce back after a few lackluster betting performances. We're sitting at an impressive 50-35 record on the season with a 9-4 Lock of the Week.
I've been super busy this week as I've been in the process of moving, so I'm going to keep this one a bit shorter than usual. I'll have only five picks to give out in Week 14, but that just increases our chances of pulling off an undefeated week. So get your parlays and your popcorn ready for what will be a fun Sunday of pro football.
I didn't give out any picks in Week 12. I was still broken after my college team, the Tennessee Volunteers, blew the easiest path they'll ever have to the College Football Playoff by getting trounced by then unranked South Carolina. I've already vented about that abysmal performance and the torture of being a Tennessee fan, which you can read here:
Now, after a week off to regroup, I'm ready to go undefeated in Week 13 after back-to-back 3-4 outings. We're still 44-34 overall with the Lock of the Week hitting at a 75 percent rate. So let's go make some money in this critical Week 13 of the NFL.
Philadelphia Eagles -4.5 vs. Tennessee Titans