CLEVELAND, Ohio – This week, the top five NFL teams in my ratings are staying pretty steady. Later in the season that’s to be expected, because ratings aren’t going to change as much from week to week as we get more data points on these teams.
But my top five right now are the Niners, Ravens, Cowboys, Chiefs and the Bills up to No. 5. No huge surprises there, generally speaking. These teams may jockey a position or two, but I wouldn’t expect a huge rating swing for anyone the rest of the way.
At my bottom five, I’ve got the Patriots at 28, Cardinals, Panthers, Commanders, and the Giants still holding down the bottom spot. There are some numbers out there that would indicate maybe the Panthers are the worst team, but in my index, I’ve still got the Giants holding down the bottom spot.
When we look at Browns vs. Rams, it’s kind of an interesting matchup based on where the Browns are, of course, and the Rams still fighting for playoff positioning. On DraftKings, the Rams are favored by 3 1/2 and a total of 40.
I project this as basically a pick ‘em. Technically, I would favor the Browns by about a half point here and situationally, I cannot believe how bad the Browns looked last week against the Broncos.
But I will say in looking at the data, the Broncos actually are kind of surging here late in the season. Their defense, although it’s really lowly rated in my numbers because their season-long numbers are terrible, the last few weeks, they’ve actually been much improved, obviously, as the Browns found out last week.
Another thing to note here on this game, I project a total at 42.5, which I think is a little higher than what oddsmakers have, which has been kind of a common theme. It is probably just the disconnect between oddsmakers still being really low on the Browns as far as scoring since the Deshaun Watson injury, and I’m still, again, just relying on what they’ve actually done on the field. So I’m still projecting an over here. Their numbers are reflective of him not playing, in my opinion.
I actually am going to go with the Browns +3.5 as my No. 1 bet.
And while my numbers do project it to go over, the angle I’m going to play on is that I’m going to play the Browns first-half team total over 7.5.
My favorite bet, this is a team that I’m kicking myself for not betting on Thanksgiving, and that’s the Packers.
That’s a team that my numbers have been relatively high on compared to the market for most of the season. But I feel like at least early in the season, every time I pulled the trigger on them, they let me down and I lost on them. So I kind of wrote them off a little bit.
And then last week on Thanksgiving, my numbers loved them to cover against the Lions. I didn’t play it, and the Lions I don’t think could have played worse in that game.
The Packers play the Chiefs at home in primetime Sunday night. I’m going to take the Packers plus-6 against the Chiefs at home. I think that’s too many points at home. I project it at Chiefs -2, so we’re getting through that key number of three there.
I’m staying away from the Bengals, again. Their data is muddied with hurt-but-playing Joe Burrow, healthy Joe Burrow, and not playing Joe Burrow. I don’t trust them or the data on them, so they’re my stay-away team again this week.
My bets for this week:
- Browns +3.5
- Browns First Half Team Total Over 7.5
- Packers plus-6 vs. Chiefs.
T Shoe’s 2023 season so far
Browns bets: 11-8-1
NFL Best Bets: 5-6-1
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About Tyler Shoemaker
Tyler Shoemaker started betting on sports in 2017, trying hit 10-team parlays every college football Saturday. His hobby quickly turned into a competitive obsession once he learned some betting fundamentals – including the unlikelihood of ever hitting a 10-team parlay.
The idea of his T Shoe Index (TSI) was planted. Tyler has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, neither of which is in anything stats or data-related, so he started with a pen and notebook and math. In 2018, those notebooks eventually turned into spreadsheets that he manually populated, which led to his first opportunity to become the unofficial sports betting expert of cleveland.com’s “Buckeye Talk” podcast..
Last season, he cashed 60% (24-16) of his best bets. He hit on 80% (8-2) of his Ohio State bets and was profitable 38% (5-8) on his touchdown-or-more money line upset picks.
This season, he will share his insights in a weekly post, “Betting the Browns.”
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