Friday, December 09, 2011

NFL picks: Week fourteen: Keeping your head above water (or, .500)


I can honestly say not much scares me. More out of stubborn stupidity than anything, but, the list is short enough. Sharks, mushy vegetables like cabbage, oversleeping for work and the guys who set the NFL lines in Vegas. That last one terrifies me. They know everything. They are all powerful. They probably know what you are eating, right now, and they can tell you what time the end of the world is. How am I so confident? The NFL picks league I am in has (literally) millions of players in it. The average score is 76, which works out as exactly 50% on the season. That means that the average person picking NFL games gets half right, half wrong. Vegas would love if we got 100% wrong but that’s not possible, and 50% is just as scary. From a betting perspective that’s exactly what they want. And that scares me. How on earth are they so accurate?!

For those of you wondering, I am currently sitting on 91 points in that league, so, like everything in life, I find myself ever so slightly above average. I am considering that as my eventual epitaph ‘Ever so slightly above average’.

Onwards and upwards.

Previous weeks
Running total - 94-89 ATS
Week by week links at foot of column

Essential NFL pick links



The categories
  • Picks we love category
  • Picks we don’t love, but, we certainly like, as it were, category
  • Picks we are making but are not wildly enthused about

Cheat- list for ‘’Picks we love category’’
Houston +3.5, New Orleans -3.5, New York -8.5, Philadelphia +3.5, Buffalo +6.5, San Francisco -3.5, Chicago +3.5

Picks we don’t love, but, we certainly like, as it were, category
Atlanta Falcons (7-5) at Carolina Panthers (4-8) +2.5
Matt Ryan chose a poor week to have his first stinker in a while last week. His two picks probably cost the Falcons a very winnable game against Houston. Ryan and his Falcons will be eager to get back in the game. You can reasonably assume that Cam Newton won’t be allowed run riot like last weekend.
The score: Atlanta 24 Carolina 20
The pick: Atlanta -2.5

Picks we love category
Houston Texans (9-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (7-5) -3.5
Okay so, everyone saw The Bungles slip into that old Bungelesque routine against the Steelers last weekend, right? We were all witnesses, no? meanwhile, everyone duly noted the Texans, minus a QB to speak of, cool the formerly hot-handed Falcons? Both of those events were fully witnessed by all and sundry, no? Well, assuming we weren’t dreaming those two games, how on earth is this line sitting at The Bungles giving up points? This should be at least Houston -1.5, or at very least a ‘scratch’. Whatever, grab the points and watch the Texans beat a team that hasn’t beaten a decent side all year.
The Score: Houston 28 Cincinnati 24
The pick: Houston +3.5

Picks we don’t love, but, we certainly like, as it were, category
Minnesota Vikings (2-10) at Detroit Lions (7-5) -7.5
Normally you might charge into this line with abandon, however the Lions have given you pause for thought lately, haven’t they? They are banged up, and not facing adversity as well as one might have hoped. This is no slight on their marvelous early season, few teams would be able to handle the injuries and indeed suspensions the Lions have been plagued with. However, the Lions didn’t morph into a bad team overnight. They have been losing to good sides lately (A lot of teams will lose to the Packers and Saints). They can still chuck it with the best of them, and Kevin Smith is providing a good alternative to the Stafford\Megatron route. Tread carefully, but the Lions can win by 10.
The score: Minnesota 20 Detroit 30
The pick: Detroit -7.5

Picks we love category
New Orleans Saints (9-3) at Tennessee Titans (7-5) +3.5
Seriously? No fooling around? We can back the Saints -3.5 against a wildly unpredictable Tennessee? Is it December 25th already?
The score: New Orleans 35 Tennessee 24
The pick: New Orleans -3.5

Picks we are making but are not wildly enthused about
Indianapolis Colts (0-12) at Baltimore Ravens (9-3) -16.5
The Colts showed enough last week to suggest they can ‘hang’ within 17 points against a Jeckyl and Hyde Ravens. Take the points and hang on for dear life.
The score: Indianapolis 20 Baltimore 33
The pick: Indianapolis +16.5

Picks we love category
Kansas City Chiefs (5-7) at New York Jets (7-5) -8.5
Did the entire Kansas organization walk under a ladder or something? The Jets are firing on all cylinders at precisely the right time. Look how much easier it is for them to perform with less limelight and lower expectations. Maybe their loud-mouth coach will take note and act accordingly in future. Maybe I will win the lottery tonight. Neither are likely to happen.
The score: Kansas 17 New York 30
The pick: New York -8.5

Picks we love category
Philadelphia Eagles (4-8) at Miami Dolphins (4-8) -3.5
Imagine just before the NFL season started, imagine someone said to you, in Week 15 you can back the Eagles against Miami with 3.5 points. How hard would your jaw have hit the ground? Well, it’s happening!
The score: Philadelphia 24 Miami 21
The pick: Philadelphia +3.5

Picks we don’t love, but, we certainly like, as it were, category
New England Patriots (9-3) at Washington Redskins (4-8) +7.5
The win over the Colts last weekend is almost being treated like a loss by the Boston media. Too close for comfort. The win was probably also treated like a loss by the Patriots, who apparently trained in pads more than usual this last week. The Redskins are in for a rebound-trashing.
The score: New England 38 Washington 20
The pick: New England -7.5

Picks we are making but are not wildly enthused about
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-8) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-9) +1.5
Maurice Jones Drew can pretty much beat Tampa on his own, particularly if Freeman doesn’t play for the latter.
The score: Tampa 17 Jacksonville 20
The pick: Jacksonville +1.5

Picks we love category
Chicago Bears (7-5) at Denver Broncos (7-5) -3.5
One thing that has come to the surface during the Bears mini slump, is that their defence, previously feared around the league, cannot carry the team without Cutler. Where are all the Cutler-haters now? He is clearly a huge part of the Bears success. Meanwhile, Tebow, what else can you say? Tebow has, to date, beaten a team with (at the time) no wins (Miami), lost emphatically to the Lions, beaten the Raiders in Palmer’s first game, beaten the Cassel-less Chiefs, beaten the short-week Jets, beaten the huge disappointing Chargers and the rookie QB led Vikings. This week, the run ends, the Chicago D has been licking its lips all week for a pop at Tebow.
The score: Chicago 20 Denver 17
The pick: Chicago +3.5

Picks we love category
San Francisco 49ers (10-2) at Arizona Cardinals (5-7) +3.5
The 49ers are not going to turn into a late season pumpkin. Harbaugh won’t let them. This line is way too low.
The score: San Francisco 23 Arizona 17
The pick: San Francisco -3.5

Picks we love category
Buffalo Bills (5-7) at San Diego Chargers (5-7) -6.5
This line is not correct at all. Buffalo are bursting to break out of their slump. The pieces are there, they just need a couple of momentum swings and they will be back on track. The Chargers are there for the taking.
The score: Buffalo 35 San Diego 30 (Yes, I know! A wild one)
The pick: Buffalo +6.5

Picks we don’t love, but, we certainly like, as it were, category
Oakland Raiders (7-5) at Green Bay Packers (12-0) -11.5
Oakland are not the team to break up the Packers unbeaten run
The score: Oakland 20 Green Bay 33
The pick: Green Bay -11.5

Picks we don’t love, but, we certainly like, as it were, category
New York Giants (6-6) at Dallas Cowboys (7-5) -3.5
The Giants had the wind knocked out of them last week. They did everything they could and still lost to the Packers. Big letdown awaits them in Dallas.
The score: New York 23 Dallas 28
The pick: Dallas -3.5

Picks we are making but are not wildly enthused about
St. Louis Rams (2-10) at Seattle Seahawks (5-7) -6.5
Guffaw. Just, guffaw.
The score: St Louis 9 Seattle 10
The pick: St Louis +6.5



Previous weeks
Week one - 11-4Week two - 12-4
Week three - 6-10
Week four - 10-6
Week five - 7-6
Week six - 4-9
Week seven 6-7
Week eight - 7-6
Week nine - 5-9
Week ten - 7-7
Week eleven - 6-7
Week twelve - 8-7
Week thirteen -5-10



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