NOTE: Each week of the season FootballNation.com founder and Cold, Hard Football Facts partner Andrew Miller will look at the three games he is personally playing each week, using the disciplined system he has followed over years of analytics research as both an entrepreneur and football fan. Read more about Miller below.
After a bumpy start to the season, the Trifecta is making its move, finally notching our first 3-0 week of the season in week 11.
We are 10-5 since Week 7. While a better start would have helped the ultimate goal of a winning season, we learn more each week about the NFL teams, information that allows for more accurate handicapping as the season progresses.
Week 11 was mostly relaxing, as the Seahawks pounded the Vikings, a game that never seemed to be in doubt, and the Raiders vs. Texans handily covered the over.
The Ravens vs. Bears game took overtime to get over the total of 42, which reinforces that sometimes lady luck is needed when betting NFL football. Remember, this is not easy. Parity is rampant in the NFL, the odds makers are proficient at their job, and a winning percentage of 56 percent or more is required to win.
Week 11 is in the rear view mirror and six teams continue to consistently cover the over.
It is no surprise that the Broncos are tied for the league lead with an 8-2 over/under record, but that may be challenged Sunday night as the weather in Foxboro is expected to be absolutely frigid, with wind chill temperatures hovering around zero degrees.
Can you guess the other 8-2 over/under team without Googling it? The Rams have also gone over in eight of 10 games.
The other four teams that have covered the over at least seven times are the Bears, Texans, Vikings, and Titans.
Other than the Broncos and Bears, these are teams that often play from behind and throw frequently, giving up defensive touchdowns, or have explosive playmakers such as Adrian Peterson and Tavon Austin.
As we outline each week, the key to long-term success is a disciplined system. We will stick to the system outlined below, and are now within earshot of a position to make you money from week the rest of the way through the playoffs, when the data and information on teams makes it easier to pinpoint mismatches.
On to the Picks:
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (Over/Under 43.5)
Pick: Over 43.5 for 100 Units
As noted above, the Texans sport a 7-3 over/under record and are a perfect 5-0 at home, while the Jaguars are 4-1 on the road vs. the over/under.
We expect Case Keenum back at QB for the Texans this week and the guy can outright throw the deep ball. The Jaguars have covered the over 6 of the last 7 times when they have been double digit dogs.
The weather forecast in Houston calls for rain, which likely means the roof of Reliant stadium will be closed, providing ideal conditions for a higher scoring game.
The Jaguars always are a risk, especially against a Houston defense that is still one of the league’s best, but we still like this one to go over.
Chicago Bears at St. Louis Rams (Over/Under 45.5)
Pick: Over 45.5 for 100 Units
As noted above, the Rams and Bears games have been going over, as these teams are a combined 15-5 over/under on the season.
The Rams have two young, emerging big-play guys in WR Tavon Austin and RB Zac Stacy, and a defense that can force mistakes fast.
The Bears offense continues to score, with Matt Forte looking like one of the better sleeper fantasy football picks of the season, and WR’s Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, and TE Marcellus Bennett all scoring deep and often.
Seven of the last nine Bears-Rams meetings have gone under, but seven of the last eight Rams home games in the dome have gone over, as have nine of the last 13 Bears road games.
The Bears cannot stop anyone on defense and big plays will abound in this game.
Denver Broncos at New England Patriots (Over/Under 53.5)
Pick: Under 53.5 for 100 Units
Yes folks, it is downright risky betting against Peyton Manning and Tom Brady to score points.
The Patriots defense, if healthy with all their big name stars like Wilfork and Mayo, may have been able to contain the Broncos but those stars are lost for the season and shutdown CB Aquib Talib is questionable and will not be at 100 percent even if he does suit up. The Patriots offense is healthy and starting to click.
So why the under? It is going to be freezing in Foxboro Sunday night, with winds gusting to 30 mph and wind chills near 0 degrees.
Field goals will be tough to come by as will a deep passing game. I expect a heavy dose of short passes to slot receivers Welker and Amendola, and more rushing attempts than normal.
Manning has always struggled in bad weather games vs. the Patriots. With a high over/under of 53.5, a shorter yardage passing game and a missed FG could make the difference.
The Trifecta will not be under a warm blanket watching this one by a fire, opting instead opting to freeze at Gillette. But the game will be under the 53.5.
Trifecta Week 11 record: 3-0
Trifecta Season record: 14-17-2
The Trifecta System:
We will refer to units bet for each game. A unit can differ for each of you but the key is to stick to the system. You will notice this system is very consistent: we play the same amount of units per each of the three games, avoiding the temptation of stepping it up until playing with house money.
If we step it up and end up back at point zero, we will start the system all over again. It is essential to stick to your system: so many people get on a losing streak and try to make it all up in one game, only to dig deeper in a hole.
Deep holes are, of course, tough to come out of. Be smart. Be sensible. Have fun. Why three picks? Betting on football is hard. For those who are very good, we have just a slight edge and margin over Vegas. The most successful football bettors play one or three games each week.
My system of three: you need to bat 66 percent (2/3) to win, where with one pick you need to bat 100 percent to win; with four picks, 75 percent.
Yes, the math gets more favorable the more games you play, so if you play all 16 games in a 16-game week, and you go 9-7, you will have only needed to succeed at 57 percent which is easier than 66 percent. However, there are never or rarely nine clear-cut advantages to identify out there every week. So while the percentage you need to win is higher, the odds of doing so with more or every game decreases.
The picks in this Trifecta column are not necessarily the same as those of the official CHFF "Real and Spectacular" Picks based upon our Quality Stats. Our goal is to provide you as much information as possible to make educated picks based upon a variety of stats, methods and strategies.
Andrew Miller is the founder of Football Nation.com and an entrepreneur focusing on analytics-driven online businesses. The Wall Street veteran worked for Michael Milken’s Drexel Burnham, and was a senior vice president at Bear Stearns and Smith Barney. Miller then founded CreditCards.com and InsuranceQuotes.com, both sites that used analytics to drive leads in the respective industries. Both businesses were successfully sold within 3 years of their inception. Miller gathered a team of experts who live and breathe football, including Cold, Hard Football Facts, and in 2011 they founded FootballNation.com. He is now all football, all the time: playing high stakes fantasy football and betting on games, using deep analysis through CHFF Insider, trends research, and years of intuition.