Thursday, October 04, 2012

NFL week five selections

Like Liverpool in the Premier League, this column is inching its way towards Against The Spread (ATS) respectability. We’re all the way up to the heady heights of 44.4% ATS for this young season. For the uninitiated, a 50% success rate on the season ATS is respectable, and 55% is decent. 60% means you are cashing in big time, and 65% or higher means your average bookie is going to start limiting your bets and possibly following you and going through your garbage. 70% and up, and Hollywood starts making movies about you. The Finest Four, where we attempt to select the best NFL ATS picks of the week, is relatively profitable at 9-7 on this season to date, or, for the nerds amongst you, 56.25%. Our overall aim for the season? 60% overall ATS and hopefully around 70% for the Finest Four.

This isn’t an episode of The Big Bang Theory so, enough with the science!  Zona, The Eagles,  The Chargers and The Panthers all appeal for a variety of contextual reasoning’s this coming week five. Remember, Arizona kick off tonight Thursday, so don’t miss out on that.

Right! On to the week five action. Good luck out there, and enjoy the games.

Season to date
  • Last week against the spread: 7-8
  • Overall record against the spread: 28-35-2
  • Finest Four against the spread last week: 2-2
  • Finest Four against the spread overall: 9-7
  • Winning percentage: 44.4%
  • The finest four percentage: 56.25%

The finest four. 
Four picks to boost your bankroll


The Game: Arizona Cardinals at St Louis Rams
Current line: Arizona -1
The Science: First things first, when was the last time you saw a 4-0 team facing only a minus one to cover a middle of the road team like the Rams? Last week St Louis huffed and puffed and worked hard to beat a decent NFL defence in Seattle, winning relatively easily in the end but definitely expending plenty of effort in doing so. This week, they face a defence that makes the Seattle D look like a really bad High School team’s D. This Zona D is seriously legitimate. They are ball hawks, and opportunistic to the extreme. Arizona have one of the best records in the NFL dating back to last season, and could very well be 5-0 by the time week 5 comes to a close. The Rams did well to beat Seattle, however, this week they face a much tougher task. On top of that, this column contends that the Rams are taking on a potential team of destiny, as everything appears to be going the Cards way this season. Put it this way, after week 5, the Cards won’t be as low as -1 much, if at all.
The Score: Arizona 26 St Louis 20
The Pick: Arizona -1

The Game: Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers
Current line: Carolina -3
The Science: Seattle should never be confused as NFL Road Warriors. At home their brand of tough defence and opportunistic offense performs well in front of the raucous ‘Hawks fans, however, when out on the road, they lose to teams like the Rams. The Panthers, like the ‘Hawks, take full advantage normally of their home field advantage. Cam Newton and his posse should be able to take care of business on their home turf, where they normally have no trouble approaching and or breaking the 30 points barrier. Seattle will no doubt give it a good shot, but their rookie QB will make mistakes on the road, down the stretch, and the Panthers will take care of business. Just remember you heard it here first!
The Score: Seattle 23 Carolina 32
The Pick: Carolina -3

The Game: San Diego Chargers at New Orleans Saints
Current line: New Orleans -3.5
The Science: Wager you a bucket of spicy chicken wings this line will not be -3.5 come kick off. How often can you get 3.5 points attached to a team that is 3-1 and playing well, going up against a 0-4 squad that is only a few more bad breaks from falling apart? The Saints played their corrupt little hearts out last week and still ended up losing to the Packers. There is a sense that no matter how many points the Saints score, their defence is going to just give them right back to the opposition. The Chargers are playing decent football in ’12, and right now that would appear to be enough not only to stay within 3.5 points of the Saints, but also probably to beat them.
The Score: San Diego 30 New Orleans 28
The Pick: San Diego +3.5

The Game: Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers
Current line: Pittsburgh -3.5
The Science: The Eagles have the tools to give the Steelers a run for their money, even on the road. Their front seven can get Big Ben on the run and Vick and the offense can get points on the board against this seemingly medium level talent Steelers D, by their own lofty standards. The Eagles have the potential to win this one, but with that half point on top of the three handicap you also inoculate yourself against a close Pittsburgh win. Take the points and watch a hopefully tight encounter stay close to the finish.
The Score: Philadelphia 26 Pittsburgh 23
The Pick: Philadelphia +3.5

The rest. 
Definitely. Probably. Maybe.

  • Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs  +6   26-23
  • Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals -3.5   17-30
  • Cleveland Browns at New York Giants  -8.5  19-30
  • Green Bay Packers at Indianapolis Colts +7 27-23
  • Atlanta Falcons -3 at Washington Redskins   30-26
  • Chicago Bears -6 at Jacksonville Jaguars     28-17
  • Tennessee Titans +5.5 at Minnesota Vikings  20-23
  • Denver Broncos at New England Patriots -6.5  24-38
  • Buffalo Bills +10 at San Francisco 49ers   20-26
  • Houston Texans at New York Jets +9 24-17


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Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

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