Friday, October 14, 2011

NFL picks: Week Six: highs and lows

Week five was all about highs and lows. We bravely went with the Lions and that opening -5.5 spread (reduced to -4 on gameday). But for a late Buffalo field goal, we would have got the score exactly correct in the Bills v Eagles game (predicted 27-24, actual, 30-24). Great picks. Then the not so great. The Falcons? Gosh, wish we could have that one back. The Giants? Boy oh boy. You know what they say though, you take the good with the bad, learn about it, and move onwards and upwards.

Like, for example, week six. Let's go.

  • Last weeks totals against the spread - 7-6
  • Running total against the spread - 46-30
See foot of posting for week by week links to previous weeks

Carolina Panthers (1-4) at Atlanta Falcons (2-3) -4.5
Oh Carolina! Have you noticed they are covering the spread every week? Impressive covers, back-door covers, all sorts of covers. But, always covering. What that means in real terms is, they are generally keeping the score close. The Falcons are a tough cookie at home, and that big loss to Green Bay shouldn’t be over-stated, the Packers are a reasonably decent footballing team. All things considered, Falcons should have just enough to eek out a much needed, late, close win, but Carolina should keep it close.
The score: Carolina 20 Atlanta 23
The Pick: Carolina +4.5

Buffalo Bills (4-1) at New York Giants (3-2) -3.5
Has everyone recovered from the shock of the Giants losing to Seattle last week, in New York? I saw on one site 99% of people picked the Giants to win straight up, 85% picked them against the 10 point spread. The Giants were big, big, bracket busters last week. The Bills, meanwhile, are still being underestimated. You know how you have to wait until the Giants start showing their true colours before you pick against them? Well, you can safely assume that time is now.
The score: Buffalo 28 NY Giants 24
The Pick: Buffalo +3.5

Indianapolis Colts (0-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-2) -6.5
It’s a trap! In classic Admiral Akbar style, this line looks like a trap. The Colts are losing however they are losing close games, and certainly not embarrassing themselves. Curtis Painter is doing much more than was expected of him, and the Colts are never throwing the proverbial towel in. Perhaps it is a little soon to anoint Andy Dalton the next Dan Marino. Too. Many. Points.
The score: Indianapolis 23 Cincinnati 26
The Pick: Indianapolis +6.5

San Francisco 49ers (4-1) at Detroit Lions (5-0) -4.5
When you get on a bandwagon, you stay on that bandwagon until you fall off. Detroit proved last week they can cover spreads like this against the Bears. They are starting to look like a runaway train. This might be their biggest test as yet, but, once again, if you are on the bandwagon, you stay on it.
The score: San Francisco 20 Detroit 28
The Pick: Detroit -4.5

St. Louis Rams (0-4) at Green Bay Packers (5-0) -14.5
At first glance 14.5 points looks like an awful large chunk of points. However, considering all the elements it looks about right. What you are left with is the question, will Green Bay squeak by the Rams or will they hammer them? The Rams main asset right now? Steven Jackson. Jackson’s usage once the Rams fall into catch-up mode? Minimal. You have to think the Packers will have their way with the winless Rams.
The score: St Louis 20 Green Bay 38
The Pick: Green Bay -14.5

Philadelphia Eagles (1-4) at Washington Redskins (3-1) -0.5
The Dream Team, eh? How’s that working out for you, Philly? Boston area fans like myself are probably in no position to sling mud, however, the Philadelphia sporting fan has to be absolutely dying a thousand deaths right now. The Eagles were a popular pick for the Superbowl and everyone basically assumed the Phillies would take The World Series. And now what? Philadelphia is left with the wreckage of two seasons. The Eagles looked like a team with too many issues to overcome last week. The Bills handled them relatively easily. There is no reason to think the misery stops here. The ‘Skins will run the ball mercilessly at the Eagles absolutely brutal run defence, and control the game and temp that way. It is kind of funny you have to admit that the Eagles spent so much money on defensive backs, and basically forgot about the line. Goodness gracious they are surely paying for it.
The score: Philadelphia 23 Washington 27
The Pick: Washington -0.5

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2) -12.5
This one could get ugly in a hurry. The Jags are struggling mightily, whilst the Steelers are very impressive at home. When the Jags fall behind here, their single greatest asset, Maurice Jones Drew, becomes a complete non factor. If this were a boxing match, it would get stopped in the second round.
The score: Jacksonville 13 Pittsburgh 41
The Pick: Pittsburgh -12.5

Cleveland Browns (2-2) at Oakland Raiders (3-2) -5.5
What in the name of Thor is this all about? Did Oakland morph into the second coming of the ’85 Bears over night? This line is ridiculous, the Raiders defense is ranked near the bottom in most NFL defensive categories, and the Browns have had an extra week off (bye week) to prepare for this. Oakland are bound to have a bit of an emotional deflation after last weekend also. Take the points and run.
The score: Cleveland 35 Oakland 33
The Pick: Cleveland +5.5

Houston Texans (3-2) at Baltimore Ravens (3-1) -7.5
Whilst it’s certainly not a good thing that Andrew Johnson is out with an injury, the Texans still have enough firepower to hang within a touchdown with the Ravens. In fact, they could almost cause an upset. Almost.
The score: Houston 27 Baltimore 30
The Pick: Houston +7.5

Dallas Cowboys (2-2) at New England Patriots (4-1) -7.5
Did you know the Patriots four wins have been by at least 9 points? Let’s face it, they should have put Buffalo away too, some sloppy play led to a surprising loss there. Dallas, meanwhile looked a tier below the Jets a couple of weeks ago. That’s not good (For Dallas) when you consider the Patriots swept aside the over rated Jets quite easily. Dallas has questions on both sides of the ball, and a QB who loves to implode at the most inopportune times. His incredible self-destruction job against Detroit a couple of weeks ago was simply shocking. The Patriots can’t claim to have the same impact defence as the Lions however, they will keep the score stretching away from Dallas to a point where Romo tries to do too much and, once again, implodes.
The score: Dallas 26 New England 38
The Pick: New England -7.5

New Orleans Saints (4-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2) +4.5
Very worrying loss for Tampa last week, short week or no short week. They didn’t gain any momentum and lost to a team that is punching way, way over its weight division at the moment. The Saints on the other hand, are cruising, and approaching a very interesting level of play. Sean Payton finally has the player he always dreamt of in Darren Sproles, who is doing everything the Saints asked Reggie Bush to do, but doing it, you know, effectively. Potentially difficult week ahead for Tampa, who may get lost in the mire over the next few weeks with complications arising from their London trip, and some bad losses.
The score: New Orleans 33 Tampa 21
The Pick: New Orleans -4.5

Minnesota Vikings (1-4) at Chicago Bears (2-3) -3.5
Chicago looked a tired, beaten team against the Lions. It is so obvious to all opponents that if you put any pressure at all on that Chicago offensive line, it will crumble. Cutler, like any QB, can’t do his job in the face of serious pressure. The Vikings can cause all sorts of problems in Chicago by pounding the rock with a fresh looking Adrian Peterson and attacking Cutler behind his porous offensive line
The score: Minnesota 27 Chicago 24
The Pick: Minnesota +3.5

Miami Dolphins (0-4) at New York Jets (2-3) -7.5
Matt Moore against the Jets defense? How is this line not double digits?
The score: Miami 13 New York Jets 31
The Pick: New York Jets -7.5

Previous weeks
Week one - 11-4
Week two - 12-4
Week three - 6-10
Week four - 10-6
Week five - 7-6


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