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The whole point of the SIC score and Field View analysis is to try and identify unseen health advantages, like where for the second week in a row, the Saints had the lowest offense health score of the season for any team and were easily blown out by the Bills and held to six points.
If we can identify one of these mismatches a week where we are on the dominant side and avoid the wrong side on the remaining analysis, we would be happy and that is how we rode to last year’s +20 season wins against the spread.
SIC Score is our proprietary numerical injury grading system that incorporates the health of every NFL team and individual players to give sports bettors, DFS players and fantasy owners an edge each week during the season. While it purposely doesn’t take into account coaching, schemes or matchups, SIC Scores give an accurate assessment of team/player overall health heading into a game.
Here are the first three games where we see an advantage this Sunday followed by the later games.
NEW ENGLAND -7 vs TENNESSEE
I know it seems crazy to lay seven points against the club with the best record in the AFC with a squad that starts a rookie quarterback, but this is what the team health indicates with a large 27.7 SIC score advantage for the Patriots. The Titans are without their top three offensive weapons in Derrick Henry, Julio Jones and now A.J. Brown all on injured reserve.
Plus Tennessee is missing several key linebackers and defenders. New England is relatively healthy but has its usual double digit questionables who should all play. The Patriot defense is the healthy difference this year with the return of key COVID opt outs and the addition of Matthew Judon. Laying a touchdown seems like a lot but that is where the health advantage. Picking against the Titans last week lead to an outright Texans win and Tennessee is worse off this week by injury.
HOUSTON -2.5 vs N.Y. JETS
Last week we saw the Texans’ health advantage as a 10-point underdog and they won. This week they are the slight home favorite to a struggling Jets team and should put together their first win streak of the season. Zach Wilson returns and should be functional coming off PCL sprain but the rookie is likely to be rusty while missing his RB1, WR1, TE and LT to injury. Defensively, the Jets have dealt with defensive injuries all season.
CAROLINA @ MIAMI under 41.5
Both defenses are healthy and in the 90s for their defensive SIC score. Cam Newton is still familiarizing himself with the Panthers offense, which is missing three out of five original O-line starters. Meanwhile, Tua Tagovailoa is missing his two top pass catchers as he further recovers from his finger fracture on his throwing hand. Even with a health Christian McCaffrey, it seems unlikely that both teams can top 20 points in this game given the injury picture.
Here are the later games (including a bonus game)
L.A. CHARGERS -2.5 @ DENVER
The Denver linebacker corps is getting help with Bradley Chubb activated to return off IR but they are still weak at the position and still missing 60% of the starting offensive line. The Chargers’ offensive weapons are all healthy and defensively have mostly gotten through their COVID issues. As one can see by the SIC scores, the visitors are the healthier squad by a wide margin.
CLEVELAND +3.5 @ BALTIMORE
The Browns are emerging late season as one of the healthier squads as they return Kareem Hunt and Jack Conklin offensively, and field a fairly healthy defense, The Ravens remain mired in injuries on both sides of the ball but they do return Lamar Jackson from illness this week. This could set up to be a Sunday night statement game for Cleveland as they are road dogs in this divisional matchup heading into their bye, before playing Baltimore again the following week.
MINNESOTA @ SAN FRANCISCO over 49 (bonus)
The Vikings’ entire starting defensive line will be missing, which sets up the 49ers to put up points in their run-first offense. Both offenses are healthier than the defenses and could lead to a shoot out here, as the total has been rising.
All of the FanDuel lines quoted here are as of article submission on Saturday night. Take advantage of earlier analysis posted at www.profootballdoc.com to get the better numbers earlier week. Good luck to all.