Oct. 13 – Week 5 Review

October 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Week 4 was an unusual week for me. Overall I went 9-5 on the picks, which at first glance seems good, but the 5 losers were 5 of my top 6 confidence picks. Interestingly, on the over/unders, I went 8-6, but 7-1 on the top 8 confidence in that category. So go figure that out, Sherlock. I’m now 39-34 on the season, a discouraging 7-10 in the top 4, and 3-2 on best bets. Here are quick reviews of the Week 5 games:

Julius Peppers - courtesy Stephen Dunn/Getty Images North America

14) Chicago at Carolina (Line : CHI – 2.5, O/U : 35.5) The model has the Bears winning by 2.57, so this contest is awful close to the line. Jay Cutler should be back, and the Bears should get well against a offensively challenged Carolina team in a defensive struggle: Bears 18 Panthers 15. Actual Score: Bears 23 Panthers 6 How do you know you are a really bad football team? When the opposing QB looks lost, throws 4 picks, and you still lose by 17. Welcome to the 2010 Panthers. The Bears can thank Julius Peppers’ revenge game for this win, and are just happy to survive the week without Jay Cutler. Awin on both ends in this one.

13) Green Bay at Washington (Line : GBP – 2.5, O/U : 44) Another game here that is close to the line – the model has the Pack winning by 2.15 – A contest of two teams without their running backs, so McNabb and Rodgers should air it out here: Packers 23 Redskins 21. Actual Score: Redskins 16 Packers 13 This was a really rough loss for Green Bay. Not only do they essentially fall 1.5 games behind the division leading Bears, but they may also lose Aaron Rodgers to a concussion for next week’s jaunt against Miami. On the other side, it looks like Washington will be a contender all year – something they haven’t seen for a while in DC. Mark a win on the line, and a loss on the over/under.

12) Atlanta at Cleveland (Line : ATL – 3, O/U : 40.5) The Browns continue to look like an improved team every week. They will try to take a second straight game at home with Jake Delhomme returning to the helm. The Falcons will try to make it 4 straight – the model says they do: Falcons 24 Browns 19. Actual Score: Falcons 20 Browns 10 Very quietly, the Falcons have put themselves way ahead of the Saints in the NFC South. Michael Turner had a very impressive outing in this one. The Browns went through 2 QBs in the loss, and now look to Colt McCoy next week against the Steelers. A winning pick, and an over/under loss.

11) Tampa Bay at Cincinnati (Line : CIN – 6.5, O/U : 38) The Bucs come off their bye week and visit a Bengal team that finally found their passing game last week. Look for that trend to continue this week, but the Tampa defense should keep it tight: Bengals 24 Buccaneers 19. Actual Score: Buccaneers 24 Bengals 21 The surprising Bucs moved to 3-1 with this last second FG win against the Cats. Mike Williams and Ernest Graham led Tampa to the road win, while one has to wonder if Cincy will look to this game when they are fighting for a wild card in December. A win on both ends here.

10)  N.Y. Giants at Houston (Line : HOU – 3, O/U : 47.5) New York was impressive on defense against Chicago, but still needs to make more strides on offense to outscore the Texans. Will they be able to stop the Houston running game? The model likes a close one: Giants 22 Texans 21. Actual Score: Giants 34 Texans 10 It looks like after a big start against the Colts, the Texans passing game has completely fallen apart. If it weren’t for the emergence of Arian Foster, this team could really be in trouble. The Giants scored a big road win here, and will try to keep up the big scoring for a third straight week when they host Detroit. Wins on both the line and the over/under in this game.

9) Minnesota at N.Y. Jets (Line : NYJ – 4, O/U : 39) Against most teams the addition of Randy Moss would open up the field for Adrian Peterson – but this is the Jets, and with Darrelle Revis returning, he should lock up Moss by himself. The pick is the Jets continue to roll: Jets 25 Vikings 17. Actual Score: Jets 29 Vikings 20 Another frustrating loss for this Vikings fan. Another game, another Favre pick to lose it. The Jets were very impressive on defensive, and were able to do what few teams can on offense – run on Minnesota. The Dallas/Minnesota matchup next week might as well be a playoff game – the loser goes to 1-4.  Wins on both ends here.

8 ) Tennessee at Dallas  (Line : DAL – 6.5, O/U : 41.5) Tennessee will look to recover after a surprising loss to Denver, but will have a tough task against a Cowboy team coming off a bye. The Titans play well on the road though, and the prediction is they keep this one close: Cowboys 19 Titans 17. Actual Score: Titans 34 Cowboys 27 An 0-2 start at home cannot make Jerry Jones very pleased. The Boys have to turn to Felix Jones on the ground – Marion Barber is a shell of his former self. What happened to the vaunted Dallas D? It almost seems Demarcus Ware has gone into hiding. The Titans have now beaten both the Giants and Cowboys on the road – an impressive feat. A winning prediction, but an over/under loss.

7) Jacksonville at Buffalo (Line : Pickem, O/U : 41) If there will be a letdown for the Jags after their big win over Indy, this will be a big letdown. Buffalo will look to Ryan Fitzpatrick to take advantage of a porous Jag D. The pick is Jacksonville: Jaguars 29 Bills 22. Actual Score: Jaguars 36 Bills 26 The Bills are slowly getting better on the offensive side of the ball – Fred Jackson gives them a little more versatility, and Ryan Fitzpatrick has looked much better than Edwards – but defensively they still have ways to go. This gives the Jags two nice wins in a row, putting them at 3-2 heading into a big clash with rival Tennessee on Monday night. Wins on the line and the over/under here.

6) New Orleans at Arizona (Line : NOR – 6.5, O/U : 45) Is Max Hall the answer? Arizona hopes so, but they have other problems – they have given up a ton of rushing yards, and with the prospect of Pierre Thomas returning, the model likes the Saints: Saints 30 Cardinals 15. Actual Score: Cardinals 30 Saints 20 Looks like Max Hall will be getting another start. The Cards won with good defense and a solid, yet unspectacular debut by Hall. The Saints are now one loss away from tying their total from last year. They hope to have Pierre Thomas back for their game with division foe Tampa Bay. Losses on both ends in this one.

5) Kansas City at Indianapolis (Line : IND – 8, O/U : 45) The Chiefs have a tough assignment off the bye week – defending their perfect record at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts have yet to establish the run, but will they need to? The model likes a close contest: Chiefs 21 Colts 20. Actual Score: Colts 19 Chiefs 9 Kansas City kept this contest close for most of the game, trading field goals with the Colts until the very end. The KC defense was impressive, not allowing Peyton to hit big strikes down the field. It may be their first tally in the loss column, but Chiefs fans should be encouraged by the effort. Pre-season predictions for this team look to be way off. A loss on the line, but an over/under win.

4) Denver at Baltimore (Line : BAL – 7, O/U : 38.5) The Broncos look for a second straight big win on the road. The 3-1 Ravens will try to be more impressive at home, but their weak secondary will be put to the test against the Denver passing attack. The pick is an upset: Broncos 20 Ravens 18. Actual Score: Ravens 31 Broncos 17 Denver was unable to make it two road wins in a row, as they were never really in this game at all. Credit has to be given to Baltimore’s secondary – they lost Ed Reed and Dominique Foxworth, yet they are rated number one against the pass – and they bottled up the league’s number one passing team in this one. Denver will need to do better against the run, especially next week against the Jets. Losses on both ends here.

3) San Diego at Oakland (Line : SDC – 6, O/U : 45) In two games on the road, the Chargers have lost to teams that should be inferior (Seattle and KC). In two games at home, they have won convincingly (Arixona and Jacksonville). Which team will show up in Oakland? The good one: Chargers 31 Raiders 16. Actual Score: Raiders 35 Chargers 27 Well that makes two straight years Oakland has killed survivor pool players. Last year it was a big win against a surging Philly team, and this year they break an age-long streak losing to the Bolts. Special teams killed San Diego here – 9 points for Oakland due to blocked kicks would have had the Chargers in the win column. They have now lost 3 road games to KC, Oakland, and Seattle. Ouch. A loss on the pick, and an over/under win.

2) St. Louis at Detroit (Line : DET – 3, O/U : 42.5) The line in this one is most likely based on a nice performance by the Lions last week – but, as you’ve already read, I’m big on the Rams D, and so is the model. Take the Rams here: Rams 28 Lions 19. Actual Score: Lions 44 Rams 6 The honeymoon is over – the one between myself and the Rams D that is. Detroit exploded for a ton of points – primarily through the passing game. St. Louis could not get anything going on offense – Bradford struggled, and Steven Jackson was a non-factor. A loss on the pick, and an over/under win.

1) Philadelphia at San Francisco  (Line : SFO – 3.5, O/U : 38)Kevin Kolb gets the start, and he needs to do better than he did in Week 1, or last week. The Niners just need to do better, period. Their first home game was close – will they get win #1 here? The prediction is no: Eagles 24 49ers 12. Actual Score: Eagles 27 49ers 24 Kevin Kolb looked sharp, and the Eagles edged the hapless Niners. Alex Smith was inconsistent yet again, and Mike Singletary pointed it out in the national spotlight. He will get another start, but if the Niners cant beat neighbor Oakland at home, I’d say the bell tolls for Smith – and Singletary. A winning best bet, and a loss on the line.

Hockey Update : Through 35 games, the model is basically even. I’ve been doing poorly on the lines, but well on the over/unders. Overall I’m up about 15 units without the vig, and down 5 units with it. Hopefully it will improve as this season’s sample increases.

I’ll have Week 6 up shortly.

Categories: NFL, NHL

Oct. 7 – It’s the most wonderful time….

October 7, 2010 Leave a comment

What is it? That’s right, its opening day. Opening day in any sport makes me feel so renewed – and it also means its time to fire up another program. So, since today is opening day in the NHL, I’ll post the model’s hockey picks below. The hockey picks work a little different than the NFL picks – they are based on the odds to win represented by the money line, and the difference between that percentage, and the percentage I have a team winning. Like the NFL, early season games are based on last year, and have a lesser confidence level in general. So here are today’s 5 games, and the percentage difference (highest = more confidence) :

1)  Montreal (+140) over Toronto – Under 5.5 (-105)  (PCT: 10.82%, O/U PCT: 0.05%)

2)  Philadelphia (+150) over Pittsburgh – Under 6 (-110)  (PCT: 10.80%, O/U PCT: 0.40%)

3)  Chicago (-110) over Colorado – Over 5.5 (+110)  (PCT: 7.60%, O/U PCT: 13.78%)

4)  Carolina (+105) over Minnesota – Over 5.5 (-110)  (PCT: 6.03%, O/U PCT: 1.62%)

5)  Edmonton (+100) over Calgary – Over 5.5 (-110)  (PCT: 4.55%, O/U PCT: 2.91%)

I won’t be posting NHL picks every day, but I’ll keep you in the loop how the model is doing overall.

Categories: NHL

Oct. 6 – Week 5 Picks

October 6, 2010 1 comment

Without further ado, the Week 5 picks:

14) Chicago at Carolina (Line : CHI – 2.5, O/U : 35.5) The model has the Bears winning by 2.57, so this contest is awful close to the line. Jay Cutler should be back, and the Bears should get well against a offensively challenged Carolina team in a defensive struggle: Bears 18 Panthers 15.

13) Green Bay at Washington (Line : GBP – 2.5, O/U : 44) Another game here that is close to the line – the model has the Pack winning by 2.15 – A contest of two teams without their running backs, so McNabb and Rodgers should air it out here: Packers 23 Redskins 21.

12) Atlanta at Cleveland (Line : ATL – 3, O/U : 40.5) The Browns continue to look like an improved team every week. They will try to take a second straight game at home with Jake Delhomme returning to the helm. The Falcons will try to make it 4 straight – the model says they do: Falcons 24 Browns 19.

11) Tampa Bay at Cincinnati (Line : CIN – 6.5, O/U : 38) The Bucs come off their bye week and visit a Bengal team that finally found their passing game last week. Look for that trend to continue this week, but the Tampa defense should keep it tight: Bengals 24 Buccaneers 19.

10)  N.Y. Giants at Houston (Line : HOU – 3, O/U : 47.5) New York was impressive on defense against Chicago, but still needs to make more strides on offense to outscore the Texans. Will they be able to stop the Houston running game? The model likes a close one: Giants 22 Texans 21.

9) Minnesota at N.Y. Jets (Line : NYJ – 4, O/U : 39) Against most teams the addition of Randy Moss would open up the field for Adrian Peterson – but this is the Jets, and with Darrelle Revis returning, he should lock up Moss by himself. The pick is the Jets continue to roll: Jets 25 Vikings 17.

8 ) Tennessee at Dallas  (Line : DAL – 6.5, O/U : 41.5) Tennessee will look to recover after a surprising loss to Denver, but will have a tough task against a Cowboy team coming off a bye. The Titans play well on the road though, and the prediction is they keep this one close: Cowboys 19 Titans 17.

7) Jacksonville at Buffalo (Line : Pickem, O/U : 41) If there will be a letdown for the Jags after their big win over Indy, this will be a big letdown. Buffalo will look to Ryan Fitzpatrick to take advantage of a porous Jag D. The pick is Jacksonville: Jaguars 29 Bills 22.

6) New Orleans at Arizona (Line : NOR – 6.5, O/U : 45) Is Max Hall the answer? Arizona hopes so, but they have other problems – they have given up a ton of rushing yards, and with the prospect of Pierre Thomas returning, the model likes the Saints: Saints 30 Cardinals 15.

5) Kansas City at Indianapolis (Line : IND – 8, O/U : 45) The Chiefs have a tough assignment off the bye week – defending their perfect record at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts have yet to establish the run, but will they need to? The model likes a close contest: Chiefs 21 Colts 20.

4) Denver at Baltimore (Line : BAL – 7, O/U : 38.5) The Broncos look for a second straight big win on the road. The 3-1 Ravens will try to be more impressive at home, but their weak secondary will be put to the test against the Denver passing attack. The pick is an upset: Broncos 20 Ravens 18.

3) San Diego at Oakland (Line : SDC – 6, O/U : 45) In two games on the road, the Chargers have lost to teams that should be inferior (Seattle and KC). In two games at home, they have won convincingly (Arixona and Jacksonville). Which team will show up in Oakland? The good one: Chargers 31 Raiders 16.

2) St. Louis at Detroit (Line : DET – 3, O/U : 42.5) The line in this one is most likely based on a nice performance by the Lions last week – but, as you’ve already read, I’m big on the Rams D, and so is the model. Take the Rams here: Rams 28 Lions 19.

1) Philadelphia at San Francisco  (Line : SFO – 3.5, O/U : 38)Kevin Kolb gets the start, and he needs to do better than he did in Week 1, or last week. The Niners just need to do better, period. Their first home game was close – will they get win #1 here? The prediction is no: Eagles 24 49ers 12.

Thoughts on these picks? Let me know.

Categories: NFL

Oct. 5 – Week 4 Review

October 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Well if Week 3 was a good week for the picks, Week 4 was a pretty bad one. Overall the model went 6-8 on this week’s games, it went 1-3 on the top 4, and lost the best bet. For the season I’m barely over .500 overall (30-29), just under 50% for the top 4, and have won half of the best bets.. Here are quick reviews of the Week 4 games:

14) Detroit at Green Bay (Line : GBP – 14.5, O/U : 45.5) The Lions didn’t look the same without Stafford and a healthy Jahvid Best. Green Bay looks to rebound after losing a game that the numbers indicated they should have won. .The prediction is the Pack by 13, just short of the line : Packers 29 Lions 16. Actual Score: Packers 28 Lions 26 The Lions are a pretty good 0-4 team. They have played the Eagles and Packers within a field goal. I would expect a win real soon. The Packers have to be concerned about their supposedly strong D, although sometimes it seems they can pass down the field at will. A win on both ends in this one.

13) New England at Miami (Line : NEP – 1, O/U : 46) After holding their first two opponents to 10 points each, the Dolphins gave up a bunch to the Jets. A second straight loss to a division foe would hurt. The Pats will look to shore up their D after giving up 30 to Buffalo in a win. The line is close, and so is the prediction: Patriots 25 Dolphins 23. Actual Score: Patriots 41 Dolphins 14 The Pats scored all kinds of ways, grabbing a share of the AFC East lead with the Jets. They also did it without Randy Moss’ help – will he return to Minny? Chad Henne cant throw a bunch of picks if this team will go places, – 2 straight losses to the Jets and Pats AT HOME will hurt. Wins on both ends here.

12) Carolina at New Orleans (Line : NOR – 13.5, O/U : 44.5) The Saints picked up a new kicker this week, and will look to avoid a second straight division loss at home. Carolina is just looking for any positive signs in any facet of the game. The model likes a big Saints win, but is short of a cover: Saints 28 Panthers 17. Actual Score: Saints 16 Panthers 14 It took a last second field goal by the ageless John Carney to give the Saints a win here. I still think Carolina is the worst team in the league – one of their TDs was on a blown coverage – but the D played well. It’s safe to say that the N.O offense has lost their groove. A winning prediction, but an over/under loss.

11) Denver at Tennessee (Line : TEN – 6.5, O/U : 42) The Titans come off a nice win on the road against the Giants, but will continue to look for improvement in their passing game, as CJ did most of the work last week. On the flip side, the Broncos will look for more from the running game – they’ve been gaining most of their yards through the air. The pick is a Titans win and cover: Titans 25 Broncos 16. Actual Score: Broncos 26 Titans 20 Another big game from Kyle Orton, and the Broncos pulled an upset here. The Titans are still looking for that second weapon, and Vince Young has not filled the bill. If you took Jabar Gaffney or Brandon Lloyd in your fantasy league, you’re sitting pretty. Losses on both ends here.

Terrell Owens - courtesy AP/Ron Schwane

10) Cincinnati at Cleveland (Line : CIN – 3, O/U : 37.5) Cleveland will continue to rely on Seneca Wallace and Peyton Hillis in search of their first win. Cincy will look to win the battle of the orange with an improved performance from Carson Palmer. Take the Bengals here: Bengals 21 Browns 15. Actual Score: Browns 23 Bengals 20 Peyton Hillis is making believers out of many after another solid performance in this game. It should be interesting to see how this team does with Jake Delhomme back at the helm next week. The Bengals finally got their passing game going – thanks to a monster game from T.O., but fell just short. It was their first division loss in over a year. Another loss for both the line and the over/under.

9)  Seattle at St. Louis (Line : SEA – 1, O/U : 38.5) The Seahawks come off a nice win at home against the Chargers to face the 1-2 Rams, but look closer – The Hawks only scored 13 on offense last week, are not a good road team, and the Rams have played good D. The pick here is St. Louis: Rams 23 Seahawks 20. Actual Score: Rams 20 Seahawks 3 I have been touting the Rams D for several weeks now, and they came to play again in this one. Steven Jackson looked good despite being slightly injured, and Bradford is playing well for a rookie. The Seahawks continue to play Jekyll and Hyde when at home and on the road. They hope Marshawn Lynch will complement Justin Forsett nicely. Awin (a Seattle game!) on the line, and an over/under loss.

 8 ) Arizona at San Diego (Line : SDC – 8, O/U : 46) This looks like a classic let-down game for Arizona – they escaped a narrow in against the Raiders, and now travel to San Diego, where the Chargers are looking to rebound off a tough loss at home, where they usually play well. Chargers big : Chargers 31 Cardinals 17. Actual Score: Chargers 41 Cardinals 10 The Cards may now be 2-2, but this team looks woeful – they cannot stop the run at all (last in the league), and they cany pass the ball on offense. Larry Fitzgerald must be languishing. San Diego rebounded as expected, and pulled back to the .500 mark. Wins on both ends here.

7) Houston at Oakland (Line : HOU – 3, O/U : 43.5) Two teams who suffered disappointing losses last week square off in this matchup. The Texans look to revive their passing game, while the Raiders will attempt to win their second home game behind Darren McFadden. The model likes Oakland: Raiders 25 Texans 22. Actual Score: Texans 31 Raiders 24 Gary Kubiak surprised many fantasy owners by starting Derrick Ward over Arian Foster, but both played well in the end. Houston managed a win to go 3-1, despite not having Andre Johnson. Oakland couldn’t rebound after last week’s heartbreaker – and now the possible loss of Darren McFadden to injury could really sting. A loss on the pick, but an over/under win.

6) Washington at Philadelphia (Line : PHI – 6, O/U : 43) What kind of ovation will Donavan get at the Link in McNabb Bowl I? More importantly, the Eagles look to keep their lead in the NFC East against a division rival. The Redskins try to rebound off of a tough loss in St. Louis. The pick here is Philly: Eagles 30 Redskins 15. Actual Score: Redskins 17 Eagles 12 This game was painful for Philly in so many ways – 1) Losing the game 2) Losing a very effective Michael Vick 3) Seeing Kevin Kolb struggle as he did 4) Losing to their old QB. Washington gains a big win on the road in the division, and is tied with both Philly and the Giants. Losses on the prediction and the over/under.

5) Baltimore at Pittsburgh (Line : PIT – 1, O/U : 34) Many analysts like Baltimore here, but I don’t get it – the Ravens have shown they are vulnerable to the pass, and the Steelers have hit the big pass to Mike Wallace several times despite the iffy QB situation. Two tough defenses, but the math favors Pittsburgh : Steelers 23 Ravens 12. Actual Score: Ravens 17 Steelers 14 Baltimore stunned the Pittsburgh faithful with a last minute drive to steal this game. I was surprised watching that last drive that Dick LeBeau sent Troy Polamalu on the blitz several times, instead of keeping him in coverage where he is more effective, especially when the Ravens had no choice but to pass. Still, the Steelers go 3-1 without Roethlisberger, and now regain his services – which will be a big boon to their spirits and success. Losses on both ends here.

4) San Francisco at Atlanta (Line : ATL – 7, O/U : 42) This is an interesting matchup – a desperate 49er club visits Atlanta, who has looked like gangbusters the past couple of weeks – including a big win in New Orleans. A reversal of fortune? Perhaps, but the model doesn’t think so: Falcons 33 49ers 14. Actual Score: Falcons 16 49ers 14 San Francisco was staked to an early 14-0 lead after a blocked kick for a score, but then the offense just disappeared. Atlanta struggled on offense for most of the day, but still managed to kick a late field goal for the win. The Niners are now 0-4, but are only 2 games behind in the division – lucky to be in the NFC West. They will try to earn their first win next week hosting a Vick-less Eagle team. A third straight game with losses on both predictions.

3) N.Y. Jets at Buffalo (Line : NYJ – 5.5, O/U : 37) The Bills were able to surprise the Jets once in this matchup last year – the question is can they do it again? Buffalo looked like a new team in their loss to New England under Ryan Fitzpatrick’s leadership, but the pick here is the Jets defense will stifle them: Jets 32 Bills 14. Actual Score: Jets 38 Bills 14 A truly dominant performance by the Jetropolitans in Buffalo. L.T. looks rejuvenated, and Mark Sanchez continues to impress. Buffalo needs to get C.J. Spiller more involved – maybe they will be forced to now that they have traded Lynch to Seattle for draft picks. Wins on the line and the over/under in this game.

2) Indianapolis at Jacksonville (Line : IND – 7.5, O/U : 46) This line looked low when I first saw it, and it still does – The Colts have regained their swagger after their Week 1 loss to Houston, and Jacksonville has not done anything right since their Week 1 win. Expect the trends to continue: Colts 33 Jaguars 11. Actual Score: Jaguars 31 Colts 28 This game really surprised me – not so much that the Colts gave up points – they can do that at times – but with how potent the Jaguar offense was. MJD had a good game, and David Garrard also looked good, a stark contrast from the previous 2 weeks. The loss drops Indy to 2-2, still behind Houston, who beat them already. A loss on the line and the over/under.

1) Chicago at N.Y. Giants (Line : NYG – 4, O/U : 44) The Giants will try to avoid losing a second straight at home to a streaking Chicago team. New York will have to defend the pass well, as Mike Martz has the Bears in many empty backfield, 5 WR sets. Eli Manning played well in between the 20’s last week, but just couldn’t punch the ball in. The model likes the Bears in an upset : Bears 27 Giants 14. Actual Score: Giants 17 Bears 3 The Sunday night contest was lost by the Chicago offensive line – 9 sacks in the first half, and 10 overall for the Giants line. Jay Cutler – the Bears biggest offensive weapon, was knocked out, and the fat lady had sung. The Bears came in with the top ranked run defense, and held their ground, but with no offense to back them up, it didn’t matter. A loss on the line, and an over/under win.

I’ll do my best to have some of the Week 5 predictions up tomorrow.

Categories: NFL

Oct. 2 – Week 4 Picks

October 2, 2010 2 comments

Sorry I was unable to post Wednesday but it was a rough work day. Here are the Week 4 picks:

14) Detroit at Green Bay (Line : GBP – 14.5, O/U : 45.5) The Lions didn’t look the same without Stafford and a healthy Jahvid Best. Green Bay looks to rebound after losing a game that the numbers indicated they should have won. .The prediction is the Pack by 13, just short of the line : Packers 29 Lions 16.

13) New England at Miami (Line : NEP – 1, O/U : 46) After holding their first two opponents to 10 points each, the Dolphins gave up a bunch to the Jets. A second straight loss to a division foe would hurt. The Pats will look to shore up their D after giving up 30 to Buffalo in a win. The line is close, and so is the prediction: Patriots 25 Dolphins 23.

12) Carolina at New Orleans (Line : NOR – 13.5, O/U : 44.5) The Saints picked up a new kicker this week, and will look to avoid a second straight division loss at home. Carolina is just looking for any positive signs in any facet of the game. The model likes a big Saints win, but is short of a cover: Saints 28 Panthers 17.

11) Denver at Tennessee (Line : TEN – 6.5, O/U : 42) The Titans come off a nice win on the road against the Giants, but will continue to look for improvement in their passing game, as CJ did most of the work last week. On the flip side, the Broncos will look for more from the running game – they’ve been gaining most of their yards through the air. The pick is a Titans win and cover: Titans 25 Broncos 16.

Peyton Hillis - courtesy zimbio.com

10) Cincinnati at Cleveland (Line : CIN – 3, O/U : 37.5) Cleveland will continue to rely on Seneca Wallace and Peyton Hillis in search of their first win. Cincy will look to win the battle of the orange with an improved performance from Carson Palmer. Take the Bengals here: Bengals 21 Browns 15.

9)  Seattle at St. Louis (Line : SEA – 1, O/U : 38.5) The Seahawks come off a nice win at home against the Chargers to face the 1-2 Rams, but look closer – The Hawks only scored 13 on offense last week, are not a good road team, and the Rams have played good D. The pick here is St. Louis: Rams 23 Seahawks 20.

8 ) Arizona at San Diego (Line : SDC – 8, O/U : 46) This looks like a classic let-down game for Arizona – they escaped a narrow in against the Raiders, and now travel to San Diego, where the Chargers are looking to rebound off a tough loss at home, where they usually play well. Chargers big : Chargers 31 Cardinals 17.

7) Houston at Oakland (Line : HOU – 3, O/U : 43.5) Two teams who suffered disappointing losses last week square off in this matchup. The Texans look to revive their passing game, while the Raiders will attempt to win their second home game behind Darren McFadden. The model likes Oakland: Raiders 25 Texans 22.

6) Washington at Philadelphia (Line : PHI – 6, O/U : 43) What kind of ovation will Donavan get at the Link in McNabb Bowl I? More importantly, the Eagles look to keep their lead in the NFC East against a division rival. The Redskins try to rebound off of a tough loss in St. Louis. The pick here is Philly: Eagles 30 Redskins 15.

5) Baltimore at Pittsburgh (Line : PIT – 1, O/U : 34) Many analysts like Baltimore here, but I don’t get it – the Ravens have shown they are vulnerable to the pass, and the Steelers have hit the big pass to Mike Wallace several times despite the iffy QB situation. Two tough defenses, but the math favors Pittsburgh : Steelers 23 Ravens 12.

4) San Francisco at Atlanta (Line : ATL – 7, O/U : 42) This is an interesting matchup – a desperate 49er club visits Atlanta, who has looked like gangbusters the past couple of weeks – including a big win in New Orleans. A reversal of fortune? Perhaps, but the model doesn’t think so: Falcons 33 49ers 14.

 3) N.Y. Jets at Buffalo (Line : NYJ – 5.5, O/U : 37) The Bills were able to surprise the Jets once in this matchup last year – the question is can they do it again? Buffalo looked like a new team in their loss to New England under Ryan Fitzpatrick’s leadership, but the pick here is the Jets defense will stifle them: Jets 32 Bills 14.

2) Indianapolis at Jacksonville (Line : IND – 7.5, O/U : 46) This line looked low when I first saw it, and it still does – The Colts have regained their swagger after their Week 1 loss to Houston, and Jacksonville has not done anything right since their Week 1 win. Expect the trends to continue: Colts 33 Jaguars 11.

1) Chicago at N.Y. Giants (Line : NYG – 4, O/U : 44) The Giants will try to avoid losing a second straight at home to a streaking Chicago team. New York will have to defend the pass well, as Mike Martz has the Bears in many empty backfield, 5 WR sets. Eli Manning played well in between the 20’s last week, but just couldn’t punch the ball in. The model likes the Bears in an upset : Bears 27 Giants 14.

Good luck with your picks tomorrow!

Categories: NFL

Sept. 28 – Monday Night

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Here’s a quick review of Monday Night’s result:

16) Green Bay at Chicago (Line : GBP – 3, O/U : 46) The prediction has the Packers winning by 2.8, only .2 off of the line. Two 2-0 teams square off in a big divisional battle. The Bears will try to show that the hot start is not a fluke, while a Green Bay win would put them in prime position in the division. The pick is the Packers don’t cover the 3: Packers 28 Bears 26. Actual Score: Bears 20 Packers 17 Based on the yardage numbers this should have been a runaway for Green Bay, but a host of penalties and a key turnover sealed the deal for Chicago. Jay Cutler did not look very good, but hit some key passes. Devin Hester looked like the guy from 3 years ago that had teams kicking the ball out of bounds. The Packer O-Line had a rough game, with a lot of holding calls and false starts.  A winning pick here, and a loss on the over/under.

That caps off an 11-5 week – not too bad. I’ll have the Week 4 picks up tomorrow.

Categories: NFL

Sept. 27 – Week 3 Results – Upsets Galore

September 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Another NFL Sunday, and another improved week on the picks. Overall the model went 10-5 on this week’s games, it went 2-2 on the top 4, and won the best bet. For the season I’m now just over .500 overall (23-21), at 56% for the top 4, and have won 2 out of 3 best bets. It was another rough over/under week, at 5-10. Here are quick reviews of the Week 3 games:

15) Cincinnati at Carolina (Line : CIN – 3, O/U : 38.5) The Panthers have looked pretty awful the first 2 weeks, and now Jimmy Claussen will get his shot to bring their offense back to life. The Bengals scored a nice win last week, but they need to be able to punch the ball in, and not settle for FGs. The prediction is a Bengals cover: Bengals 23 Panthers 19. Actual Score: Bengals 20 Panthers 7 Welcome to the NFL Jimmy. It looks like the Panthers may be one of, if not the worst team in football this year. The running game is probably their only saving grace. Cincy wasn’t very impressive either – Carson Palmer did not look sharp – but they will take the win on the road. A win on the line, and a loss on the over/under.

14) Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay (Line : PIT – 2.5, O/U : 33) Most of what you need to know about this game can be derived from the over/under line. The Steelers have allowed a total of 20 points in their first 2 games. The Bucs have allowed 28. The model likes a defensive struggle, with the Steelers not covering the 2.5. : Steelers 17 Buccaneers 16. Actual Score: Steelers 38 Buccaneers 13 It didn’t take the Bucs long to realize this was not the Panthers or Browns they were playing. Both Mike Wallace and Mendenhall had huge days, and the Steelers are one Ravens game away from going 4-0 without their QB. A loss for the model here, but a slim over/under win.

 13) Washington at St. Louis (Line : WAS – 3.5, O/U : 38) The Redskins will go on the road this year for the first time, after a heartbreaking loss last week to Houston. The offense will need to continue the air assault – St. Louis’ stingy D has allowed 16 and 17 points in their first 2. The pick here is the Skins don’t cover: Redskins 17 Rams 16. Actual Score: Rams 30 Redskins 16 It only took until Week 3 this year for the Rams to post their first win, and this one was well deserved. The offense played well, despite an injury to Steven Jackson, and the Spags D still has not allowed 20 points in a game yet. This loss hurts the Skins, who had a chance to share the lead in a muddled NFC East. A win on the prediction, and an over/under loss.

12) Indianapolis at Denver (Line : IND – 5.5, O/U : 48) One has to wonder which Colt team will show up in Denver – the road team that couldn’t muster much in Houston, or the home team that walloped the Giants? Denver will look to Moreno to take advantage of the Colts run defense. Go with a close game here: Colts 26 Broncos 23. Actual Score: Colts 27 Broncos 13 The Colts have recovered nicely from the Week 1 loss to Houston with 2 big wins. This one was the Peyton-Collie show, Manning staying away from Champ Bailey and Reggie Wayne and using Austin Collie, who racked up 171 receiving yards. The loss of Moreno hurt Denver, who couldn’t run the ball at all. A loss on both ends in this one.

11) Philadelphia at Jacksonville (Line : PHI – 3.5, O/U : 44) Well, the QB controversy came to an end, and Michael Vick will be leading the Eagles in northern Florida. He will have to throw the ball against a suspect Jaguar secondary. Garrard cannot throw 4 picks against a swarming Philly defense like he did last week if Jacksonville is to have any chance here. The pick is the Eagles to cover: Eagles 33 Jaguars 25. Actual Score: Eagles 28 Jaguars 3 Philadelphia took care of business against a Jaguar team that is looking worse week after week. Michael Vick made Andy Reid look good by throwing 3 TDs, and finding DeSean Jackson all day long. MJD rushed for 88, but Garrard only managed 105 yards in a game that was never in doubt. A win on the line, and an over/under loss.

10) Oakland at Arizona (Line : ARZ – 4, O/U : 39.5) Bruce Gradkowski came to the Raiders rescue last week, taking over for Jason Campbell and securing a win against the Rams. Will he be needed again this week? Derek Anderson hasn’t proven anything for the struggling Cards. Look for the Oakland running game to carry the load here, in a mild upset: Raiders 24 Cardinals 23. Actual Score: Cardinals 24 Raiders 23 What’s the old line from Willy Wonka? – “Strike that – reverse it.” Reverse the teams here and it’s a pretty good prediction. A made chip-shot FG by Janikowski at the end of the game and the Raiders take this one, but it was still a nice showing by Oakland – Darren McFadden has shown he’s an every down back. Arizona escapes with a win and a somewhat deceiving 2-1 record. A win on both ends, with an over/under bingo.

Adrian Peterson - courtesy vikingsgab.com

9) Detroit at Minnesota (Line : MIN – 11, O/U : 42)The line here is surprising – the Vikes are favored by 11, yet they have scored 19 points the whole season. The Lions have played each of their first 2 games close – heck, they probably should have won one of them. The model agrees here, and likes a Minnesota win, but not a cover: Vikings 23 Lions 18. Actual Score: Vikings 24 Lions 10 This game came down to the fact that the Vikings were able to stop Jahvid Best, but the Lions could not stop Adrian Peterson. The QB play cancelled each other out because they were both pretty bad. Shaun Hill threw two goal line INTs, while Brett Favre just cannot seem to find a groove with his receivers minus Sidney Rice. A loss here, but an over/under win.

8 ) N.Y. Jets at Miami (Line : MIA – 2, O/U : 34.5) Another game here with a very low over/under. The Jets proved they can open up their offense last week. Miami, on the other hand, scored just one TD on offense last week. It should be a good defensive struggle Sunday night, and the prediction is a Jets win on the road: Jets 18 Dolphins 14 Actual Score: Jets 31 Dolphins 23 In what surprisingly turned into a shootout, the Jets proved that they can score in bunches when they need to. Dustin Keller had another big game, and the Jets now have beaten both division rivals in consecutive weeks, which may end up being big in the long run. The Miami D that gave up 2 TDs all season gave up 4 in this one. A win on the prediction, but an over/under loss.

7) San Francisco at Kansas City (Line : SFO – 2.5, O/U : 36.5) The 49ers came on with a late charge last week, and look like they are finally getting into gear. However, they entire hostile territory this week – into Arrowhead where a confident Chiefs team will look to score the upset. KC will have to build on the one TD they’ve scored on offense so far this season. The model likes the home team: Chiefs 19 49ers 14. Actual Score: Chiefs 31 49ers 10 If the first 2 KC wins were products of defense and special teams, this win was a very nice offensive effort. Matt Cassel threw 3 TD passes, and Jamaal Charles ran for 97. On the flip side, Mike Singletary has to be wondering where the “team on the cusp” from last year is. Teams starting 0-3 make the post-season 3% of the time. An upset win for the model, and an over/under loss.

6) Tennessee at N.Y. Giants (Line : NYG – 3, O/U : 42.5) Both teams in this matchup are looking to rebound after tough losses last week. The Titans were stymied by the Pittsburgh defense – but CJ should find it easier in New Jersey. The Giants will need Eli to be on his game against a weak secondary. The prediction here is a Titans upset: Titans 28 Giants 24. Actual Score: Titans 29 Giants 10 Now this was a game that was truly an enigma, although it does stress the importance of turnovers. The Giants did not punt the entire game. The Giants gained almost 500 yards total. Yet the Giants totaled 10 points. Penalties also hurt, and the Titans took advantage. Another upset win here, and another over/under loss.

5) Atlanta at New Orleans (Line : NOR – 4, O/U : 50) This should be a very interesting matchup of division opponents. Both the Saints offense and defense have not yet played up to the level of last year’s Super Bowl team. The Falcons seem to be charging ahead full steam, rushing for over 200 yards last week. The pick here is the Saints get their first loss: Falcons 21 Saints 17 Actual Score: Falcons 27 Saints 24 Garrett Hartley now knows the ups and downs in the life of a FG kicker – last year he booted the big kick that sent the Saints to the big game – now he may be cut after missing a chippy to win this one. More importantly, the Saints looked like the offense returned to last year’s form, with Brees hitting a couple of big bombs to Lance Moore. However, the defense struggled to stop Atlanta’s rushing game, and Matt Ryan found Tony Gonzalez 8 times. A third straight upset win, and yet another over/under loss.

4) Buffalo at New England (Line : NEP – 14, O/U : 42.5): The Patriots were handed a big blow this week with the loss of Kevin Faulk for the year. Still, they should not have a hard time with an awful Bills squad. Buffalo gives the reins over to Ryan Fitzpatrick in an attempt to cure their offensive ills. The model likes the Pats, but not by 14: Patriots 22 Bills 16 Actual Score: Patriots 38 Bills 30 I think it’s safe to say Ryan Fitzpatrick has the QB job for Buffalo, as they scored almost double the points they managed in Weeks 1 and 2 combined. C.J. Spiller had a good game both rushing and returning. However, it seemed whenever the Bills would strike the Pats knew just how to answer. Bill Belichick is probably stewing about the defense, but the Pats will take this one. A win on the line, and an over/under loss.

3) Dallas at Houston (Line : HOU – 3, O/U : 47.5) America’s Team will have their hands full trying to avoid an 0-3 start. Their offense will need to produce against a Houston team that can pour on the points. Matt Schaub just missed the 500 yard mark last week, and will look to move the Texans to 3-0. The prediction here is Houston – big: Texans 27 Cowboys 15. Actual Score: Cowboys 27 Texans 13 It was a do-or-die game for Dallas very early in the season, and the Cowboys showed up this time around. Tony Romo was accurate, hitting 23 of 30, and 2 of those went to the reborn Roy Williams for TDs. Arian Foster had another good game, but the Texans could not punch the ball in at key parts of the game. A loss on the line, and an over/under win.

2) San Diego at Seattle (Line : SDC – 5.5, O/U : 44)The Chargers woke up in a big way against the Jags last week, scoring 38 and forcing 6 turnovers on their way to a lopsided win. Seattle is an excellent  home team, and already surprised the Niners with a good showing there. The model likes the Chargers to continue their winning ways with a convincing win : Chargers 31 Seahawks 15 Actual Score: Seahawks 27 Chargers 20 Is it too early to give up on ever getting any Seahawk games right? The Seattle team which is the bane of all logic won in this matchup on the back – and the legs – of Leon Washington, who ran back two kicks for TDs. San Diego racked up almost twice as many yards on offense as Seattle, but ultimately 5 turnovers sealed their fate, and a 1-2 start. A loss on the pick, and an over/under win.

1) Cleveland at Baltimore (Line : BAL – 10.5, O/U : 37.5) This is a second game with a very interesting line – the Ravens have scored a total of 20 points the whole season, yet they are favored by over 10. The Browns will look to avoid an 0-3 start, and will try to victimize Joe Flacco, who threw 4 INTs last week. The model likes a big upset here- I’m not sure about that, but I think a no-cover is reasonable. Then again, last week I said the same thing on the Best Bet, and look what happened: Browns 21 Ravens 12 Actual Score: Ravens 24 Browns 17 The Ravens did a nice job coming back against an inspired Browns team starting both a backup QB and a backup RB. At one point, Cleveland was up 17-14, but Joe Flacco seemed to be able to find Anquan Boldin all day – he scored all 3 Baltimore touchdowns – and the Ravens pulled away.  A best bet win for the model, and a loss on the over/under.

Comments or thoughts on the picks? Let me know.

Categories: NFL
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