Thursday, October 25, 2012

NFL Week 8 picks

We’re almost there!! After a slow start to the season, our NFL picks are inching, crawling inexorably towards a 50% success rate against the spread. Last week’s 7-5-1 (7 wins, 5 losses and a push, or a draw to your Europeans!) edged the overall season statistics to 49%. Regular readers will know that our target is in the 60-65% region, so there is some work to do, but progress is being made. Of course naturally 100% is the target, however being realistic, 60% success ATS would be a tasty target to aim for. If you nudge 70% ATS, people start asking you how you are cheating.

A really important part of gambling is analysing what went wrong. We made a couple of mistakes last week, in picking against Green Bay and Pittsburgh, in both cases St Louis and Cincinnati respectively were simply poor teams compared to their conquerors. Sometimes you can overthink things, keep it simple, stupid! In both those games the simple answer was ‘Pick the better team’.

As Al Pacino once famously said, it is a game of inches, and if we had chosen say one of those correctly, and if Detroit had just scored a half a point extra amongst their seeming thousand trips into the Bears redzone on Monday night, our score would have been 9-4 on the week, otherwise known as, Kaching. However, it is all a learning process, onwards and upwards we soar into week eight.

Season to date
  • Last week against the spread: 7-5-1 
  • Overall record against the spread: 50-52-3 
  • Finest Four against the spread last week: 2-2 
  • Finest Four against the spread overall: 14-14 
  • Winning percentage: 49% 
  • The finest four percentage: 50%  

The finest four.  
Four picks to boost your bankroll

The Game: Miami Dolphins At New York Jets
Current line: New York Jets -1
The Science: This AFC East showdown is building up very nicely! John Terry would blush at the pre-match verbal sparring that’s going on between the two clubs. Reggie Bush is taunting Rex Ryan and basically all Jets players, while the latter are licking their lips in anticipation at the chance to attack Bush’s balky knees this coming Sunday. Interesting that, you would imagine most teams would be very careful about predicting they are going to physically harm opposition players, after what happened to the not so saintly Saints. However, this is the Jets, this is a Rex Ryan team, and their bombast is perhaps their strongest point. As we said at the start, keep it simple, stupid! The Jets, at home, badly needing the win to stay in contention against a Miami team that is questionable on the road, and the bookies are only taking one point off you.
The Score: Miami 20 New York 24

The Pick: New York -1 The Game: New Orleans Saints At Denver Broncos
Current line: Denver Broncos -6
The Science: Woah there, bucking Broncos. Watch this line decrease before Sunday, as everyone comes to their senses. The Saints have lost a few games this season, sure, however lately they are showing signs of gelling as a squad, and they have certainly not had any problems scoring points. At most this should be a -3, maybe. Even then, that nagging doubt otherwise known as Drew Brees would be stuck in the back of your mind. The test of backing a road-dog is asking, can they actually win, without the points? Well, can’t you see Brees, Sproles, Colston and the rest pulling out a wild 36-34 result here?
The Score: New Orleans 36 Denver 34
The Pick: New Orleans +6

The Game: Tampa Bay Buccaneers At Minnesota Vikings
Current line: Minnesota Vikings -6.5
The Science: Tampa are showing a lot of heart in what so far has been a, results wise, down season. They have never given up and were only thwarted last week by a dubious call in their comeback attempts against the Saints. Josh Freeman and his wideouts, Jackson and Williams in particular, have the tools to give the Vikings problems. The way this season has gone for both teams, you can see Tampa coming close, but the Vikings pulling it out at the end. Should be closer than a touchdown, however.
The Score: Tampa 24 Minnesota 27
The Pick: Tampa +6.5

The Game: New England Patriots At St Louis Rams
Current line: New England Patriots -7
The Science: This game would be -12.5 or thereabouts bar a couple of reasons. First, the Jets played the Patriots close, real close, last weekend, eventually succumbing in overtime. Secondly, the game is in London, baby. Therefore the bookies have set -7 as a kind of a ‘we aren’t entirely sure, but this feels about right’ line. Well, we know New England has no problem winning (big) in London, they have done it before. We also know that the Jets gave the Patriots their all. The Jets biggest games of the season are their showdowns against the Patriots, much as for years Manchester City’s big games were against their ‘bigger brother’, United. The Patriots still weathered the storm. To date we have seen flashes (as evidenced by that stunning second half against the Bills). Eventually the whole New England project is going to click consistently, and when it does, don’t you want to be along for the ride?
The Score: New England 35 Tampa 20
The Pick: New England -7  

The rest.  
Definitely. Probably. Maybe.

Jacksonville Jaguars At Green Bay Packers -15 (17-38)

Carolina Panthers At Chicago Bears -7.5 (19-30)

Seattle Seahawks At Detroit Lions -2.5 (20-24)
Washington Redskins +5 At Pittsburgh Steelers (30-27)
Atlanta Falcons +2.5 At Philadelphia Eagles (28-24)
San Diego Chargers -3 At Cleveland Brown (24-17)
Indianapolis Colts +3.5 At Tennessee Titans (26-20)
Oakland Raiders +2 At Kansas City Chiefs  (30-20)
New York Giants -1 At Dallas Cowboys (35-30)
San Francisco 49ers At Arizona Cardinals +6.5 (20-23)

 
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