MEL's Free NFL Betting Tips

handicapping info to beat the NFL point spreads

The last time I lost more than a dime on an NFL game was 3 years ago when the L.A. Rams were in the Superbowl against New England. I bet the Rams who had an offensive meltdown and were held to 3 points!!! I may still bet the Rams this year, though. My spreadsheet has the Rams -7.5. (By the way, my numbers had the Rams as #1 for the regular season, with the Bills #2) Neither of these teams run the ball well, and both teams defend the run well, so I'm expecting a pass heavy game. Cinci ranks 31st in protecting their QB this year, while the Rams rank #4. In sacking their opponents QB the Rams are #6 and Cinci is #13. Both teams have good QB's and receivers, but I'd give the defensive backs for the Rams an edge. Rams WR Cooper Kupp is a legitimate player of the year candidate and I might take him in some prop bets. (Mel C 2/6/22)

I have a spreadsheet which evaluates basic offensive and defensive performance for the season. These numbers do not factor in special teams, injuries or red zone performance. My basic spreadsheet numbers produce the following spreads; Tennessee -1.5 vs Cinci, GB -5 vs SF, TB vs L.A. Rams as a pick'em, and BUFF -2.5 at K.C. I have a gut feeling that Josh Allen can perform at a high level here, and I expect to be on the Buffalo side.

Looking at SPECIAL TEAMS RANKINGS. KC and Cinci are top 10, but the highest ranking for the six remaining teams is #21.

I'd like to give you a link for NET RED ZONE RANKINGS, but oddly there is no site that provides it, so here's where the remaining teams rank in Net Red Zone Efficiency:
TENN #2, BUFF #3, TB #4, SF #5, L.A. Rams #9, K.C. #14, CINCI #17, GB #26

As for injuries that may be impactful, TB may be downgraded being without Godwin, Brown and Fournette. (Mel C 1/20/22)

Going into Wild Card Weekend I like to look at the win quality of the playoff teams. Of the 14 playoff teams there were 3 teams that had fewer than 4 wins vs teams who finished the season with a winning record. Philadelphia only had 1, Pittsburgh only 2, while New England had 3. The first playoff game was the last for those 3 teams, with all of them losing by 16 points or more. The only other team with fewer than 5 wins vs winning teams were the L.A. Rams with 4. Tennessee and Green Bay had the most wins vs winning teams, with 8. (Mel C 1/16/22)

The NFL MVP award is a real mess. Associated Press has been giving their award since 1957, although they claim it started in 1961, due to confusion over who had actually won three prior awards!!! In 2009 AP admitted to some of the errors, like listing Gino Marchetti as the 1958 winner for years when it had actually been Jim Brown. AP also was inconsistent on the award title, going from Most Outstanding Player, to Player Of The Year, to MVP. MVP was an obvious blunder since pro football has a most valuable position, creating an absurd bias. The last time a defensive player won MVP was Lawrence Taylor in 1986. The last time a running back won was Adrian Peterson in 2012. The last time a receiver won was never! Randy Moss' 23 TD season didn't win it and neither did Jerry Rice's 22 TD season. It's been the QB of the year award for the past 8 years straight. Please change the award's title back to Player Of The Year. You'd think the voters would understand the concept of the award, but semantics have gotten in the way. There are deserving players this year on both sides of the ball, even including a wide receiver! Please don't give it to a QB for the 9th straight time. Also, please don't reward a player who lied about being vaccinated. Imagine a day when the award could be decided by AI, not AP. (Mel C 1/5/22)

What ever happened to the road dog gravy train? In the last 4 weeks road dogs have been 16-21 ATS. In the first 4 weeks they were an awesome 24-12. The second block of 4 games produced an 19-16 record, and the third 4 game block had road dogs cash at an impressive 21-13. I mention this because I expected this scenario before the season started and I expect to see it again early next season. (Mel C 12/31/21)

If you follow the links on this page you may be aware that Professor MJ went 7-1 on his week #15 NFL picks, but what's more remarkable is his NBA prop bets. At this point he has given out 12 consecutive winning NBA prop bets on his daily YouTube feed and this remarkable streak is still alive!

Last week I mentioned the Urban Meyer firing, and then stumbled across a great article about it on The Ringer written by Rodger Sherman and I certainly recommend you reading it which you can do by clicking here (Mel C 12/24/21)

NFL coaches being hired out of college ball are uncommon, and most who get hired don't last long. (John Harbaugh being the obvious exception.) Coaching college sports is insanely lucrative and "coaching" is far less important to a coach's success than the ability to convince elite high school athletes to become "students" at their university. These are powerful mega-institutions and the people who run them probably care more about the institution's prestige than about education. I suspect that if tuitions go up the university president may be in line for a raise. Have you ever heard of one being fired due to rising tuition costs? I mention this because Urban Meyer has been fired by Jacksonville 13 games after gifting him with a 5 year deal. He's done a horrible job, but who knows if he was good at his previous level, or his success was based on recruiting. 40 years ago college coaches made less than 200K a year, plus what they could get from the shoe companies, etc. It was a good system, but as you know, those things don't last. I can name at least one major university where every graduate has had more than $1,000 of their tuition money go to a head coach, and that's not even considered scandalous, much less criminal. NFL head coaching jobs pay an average of 6.7 million dollars a year and are mainly available from teams that are bottom feeders. The Chargers were the only team to win more than 5 games last year that hired a new head coach in the offseason. Here's a list of all the teams who currently have first year head coaches, or had one 24 hours ago, showing the team's record before and after. (Mel C 12/16/21)

2020 TEAM 2021
5-11 DETROIT 1-11-1
4-12 HOUSTON 2-11
2-14 NY JETS 3-10
4-12 ATLANTA 6-7
7-9 L.A. CHARGERS 8-5
7-9 LAS VEGAS 3-5

NFL computer picks, insightful analysis and tons more resources.
Excellent free NFL picks, analysis, and sportsbook reviews.
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CBS Sportsline
Free NFL expert picks, and write-ups from various writers.
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Game write-ups and free NFL picks from the editors.
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The most complete and definitive NFL power ratings and stats available.
Sonny Moore
Sonny's offered quality power ratings since computers first came along.
Excellent NFL offensive and defensive stats based power ratings and win projections.
Their abundant articles usually make for some interesting reading.
ESPN Scoreboard
My current choice for live scoreboard.
NFL News
News, depth charts, next-gen stats, podcasts, etc.
SB Nation
Articles and a complete news page for every team.
USA Today
USA Today offers breaking news and expert opinions.
Lists the current NFL point spreads from top sportsbooks.
ESPN Injury info
ESPN lists NFL injury reports based on independent sources.
Sports Illustrated
News and articles, stats and MMQB.
NFL Schedule
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Westgate Contest
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Real GM
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Player stats by position, rosters, depth charts, sortable rankings and more.
Vegas Insider
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Write-ups and betting advice from their staff on every NFL game.
Sports Chat Place
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Fantasy Pros
Fantasy info and articles by the ton.
Fantasy Football Today
A wide range of excellent fantasy info.
Action Network
Good fantasy info in addition to free picks, articles and podcasts.
The Ringer
A wide variety of analysis from a staff of writers.
Sharp Football Analysis
Insightful articles on NFL betting strategy.
Doc's Sports
Lots of free picks, power ratings and articles.
Football Outsiders
Much of their college and pro coverage requires payment. Their DVOA numbers are less than legit.
An active forum aimed at beating the NFL point spreads.
Professor MJ
A PHD in stats doesn't mean clobbering the books, but this PHD does.
Move the Line
Excellent weekly podcast hosted by Connor Allen and Ryan Noonan.
NFL Bite
Links to all NFL live streams and NFL Red Zone.
Giffed Up
Giffed Up's You Tube picks have done well.
NFL Record Book
Q: Most TD's in a quarter?
A: 4 by Don Hutson.
NFL Weather
A convenient format with weather reports for every game.
Pro Football Reference
Historical NFL statistical data in a searchable format.
Adam Schefter
Doug Fitz
John Clayton
Jason La Canfora
Charles Robinson
Vinnie Iyer

This site began as Mel's Free NFL Picks in 1994. It is the longest running NFL handicapping website. It offered my free NFL picks, as well as publishing the first statistically based NFL power ratings. The picks managed to generate a profit over a 14 year period. Since then I've switched to providing links to NFL handicapping info that I use. I hope these NFL handicapping links help you to win on your pro football betting.

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