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.
We were hoping to carry some momentum into Week 9, and begin to build the Trifecta column’s way back to break even and a winning season.
So far, this has been a two steps forward, three steps back season. The Eagles were the pick of the week last week, as the game was never in doubt from the opening drive, as QB Nick Foles did his best Peyton Manning imitation, lighting up the Raiders for seven TDs thought the air.
The Cowboys and Ravens both disappointed, with Dallas winning the game straight up but failing to cover for only the second time this season,
The Ravens lost to the Browns outright in what we called a must-win game for the defending Super Bowl champs.
The Ravens and Falcons both are continuing to let down believers, with only the Falcons having legitimate injuries as an excuse.
The Chiefs won again straight up (9-0) and ATS (6-3), and the Saints lost straight up and ATS to the “your’e hot then you’re cold” J-E-T-S.
That outcome left the Jets, 49ers and Chiefs as the only teams with six wins ATS and the Cowboys as the only seven-win ATS team.
The top two NFL teams in going over the total through Week 9 are the Broncos, a perfect 8-0 covering the over, and surprisingly, the St. Louis Rams with 7 overs covered.
As we outline each week, the key to long-term success is a disciplined system. We will stick to the system outlined below and work our way back, hoping for a couple of winning weeks back to back before the halfway point of the season. If we can get to a break even or slightly better record by week 9, the Trifecta will be poised to make you money from week 10 through the playoffs, when the data and information on teams makes it easier to pinpoint mismatches.
The Trifecta system is outlined below.
On to the picks:
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) vs. Buffalo Bills
Pick: Steelers -3 for 100 Units
The Steelers are coming off the worst defensive performance in their storied history, giving up the most points ever by a Steelers’ defense, (55) and total yards (610), to the Patriots.
The Bills have been better ATS in 2013, with a 5-4 record, but have struggled to cover on the road. The Steelers have been dismal, straight up and ATS, but there is no better remedy than the Bills and a rookie QB at home for the Steelers, and they will take out their 2013 frustrations on the Bills in this one.
Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers (Over-Under 47)
Pick: Under 47 for 100 Units
At the start of the season, very few would have predicted that this high-profile game would feature Seneca Wallace and Nick Foles at quarterback.
The Eagles are coming off a 49 point win and as discussed above, Foles threw seven TDss. The Packers are not only without Rodgers but also receiver Randall Cobb and TE Jermichael Finley, and WR James Jones is still battling a leg injury.
Clay Matthews, Green Bay’s leader, returns this week, shoring up the Packers defense. The Packers have an emerging running game, with rookie Eddie Lacy and the suddenly explosive James Starks, and the Eagles will need to get LeSean McCoy involved more on offense.
Eight of the last nine meetings, and the past five in a row, between these teams stayed under, and it will stay just below the 47 total again this week.
Indianapolis Colts (-9.5) vs. St. Louis Rams
Pick: Colts -9.5 for 100 Units
The ATS stats certainly bode better for the Rams, with the Colts posting a terrible 3-11 ATS record in Indy in November since 2007 and, last week, they had to come from behind to beat the Texans by three points.
In order for the Colts to cover -9.5, they are going to have to get an early lead and force the Rams to pass. The Colts have covered five of their last six, and eight of their last 10 at home.
Expect a strong game from Andrew Luck, and at least one big mistake by the Rams, leading to a Colts defensive TD. If the Colts are to be Super Bowl contenders this season, they need to beat a team like the Rams convincingly.
Trifecta Week 9 record: 1 -2
Trifecta Season record: 9-16-2
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.