WEEK 10 NFL PICKS, and "Game of the Week"

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    WEEK 10 NFL PICKS, and "Game of the Week"

         Last week was a weird week in the NFL. What was up went down, and what was down was up. As for the Patriots, though the losses to Cincinnati and, especially, the Jets, were disappointing, the Boys in Blue have somehow made it to the oasis of their bye week, with a 7-2 record. With all the injuries that this club has endured, that's quite a feat. But, the biggest tests for this team lie ahead, with games at Carolina, against the Horseface at home, and against the vengeance seeking Houston Texans, in Houston. That said, let's move on to the teams that are playing, with the "Game of the Week" being:

    1.) (5-3) Carolina Panthers (+6.5) @ (6-2) San Francisco 49ers: Carolina has one four straight games, and has averaged over 30 points per game in so doing. But, the quality of their competition, Minnesota, St. Louis, Tampa, and Atlanta, has been lacking. This will be a measuring stick game for them in the NFC...as they suddenly find themselves just a game behind the dinged up New Orleans Saints for the division lead in the NFC South. Not to be out done, the 49ers have won five straight games against inferior competition (St. Louis, Arizona, Tennessee, Houston, and Jacksonville), and have also averaged over 30 points per game, in so doing. In what should be an exciting, very physical game: PICK: Panthers;

    2.) (3-5) Washington Redskins @ (1-7) Minnesota Vikings: The Redskins were lucky to escape the San Diego Chargers with an OT win last week, while the Vikings lost in Dallas, despite outplaying the Cowboys for 58 out of 60 minutes. Who knows what to expect from these two teams: PICK: Redskins;

    3.) (0-8) Jacksonville Jaguars (+13) @ (4-4)  Tennessee Titans: Are the Jaguars so bad that you should spot them 13 points against a mediocre team like the Tennessee Titans? Yes: PICK: Titans;

    4.) (4-5) Philadelphia Eagles (+9) @ (5-3) Green Bay Packers: Without Aaron Rodgers at the helm (shoulder injury), the Packers look ripe for the picking. Would you like your chances with Seneca Wallace as your QB? PICK: Eagles;

    5.) (3-6) Buffalo Bills (+3) @ (2-6) Pittsburgh Steelers: There surely are some frustrated fans in Buffalo, after seeing the Bills give away an upset win over the Chiefs last week. But, in Pittsburgh, their fans are not frustrated, their angry...after the Steelers' 4th quarter collapse last Sunday in New England. But fans' feelings don't decide games...players do. I have to believe that we'll see a better defensive effort from the Steelers this week: PICK: Steelers;

    6.) (3-5) Oakland Raiders (+7.5) @ (2-6) NY Giants: The Raiders Jacksonvillesque performance last week, in which they allowed seven (7) TD passes by the immortal Nick Foles, had to be troubling. The Giants have been troubled all year. In yet another "who knows what to expect" type game: PICK: Giants;

    7.) (3-6) St. Louis Rams (+10) @ (6-2) Indianapolis Colts: It's obvious that QB Kullen Clemens should not be playing in this league. Though the Colts have some injury issues, they still have Andrew Luck. But, a ten point spread?: PICK: Rams;

    8.) (8-1) Seattle Seahawks (+6.5) @ (2-6) Atlanta Falcons: The Seahawks had a major let-down last week at home, against the lowly Tampa ay Buccaneers...and it almost cost them that game. But, the Falcons have a let-down every Sunday: PICK: Seahawks;

    9.) (6-3) Cincinnati Bengals @ (3-5) Baltimore Ravens (+1.5): These are two teams currently headed in opposite directions. If the Ravens are to have any chance whatsoever in saving their seasion, they must win this game. But, I said something similar to that last weekend, when the Buzzards were scheduled to play the Browns in Cleveland, and failed to get the job done. The Bengals have to be upset with themselves for giving away the Miami game last Thursday night, and need to get back on track: PICK: Bengals;

    10.) (5-3) Detroit Lions @ (5-3) Chicago Bears (+2.5): This game drew strong consideration for "Game of the Week" honors. Bears' back-up QB Josh McCown has done a surprisingly good job in relief of Jay Cutler. But, the Lions are coming off their bye week, and beat the Bears easily, earlier in the season. Still, this is the type of game that the Lions have traditionally failed to show up for. In a battle for first place in the NFC North: PICK: Lions;

    11.) (2-6) Houston Texans (+3) @ (4-4) Arizona Cardinals: Incredibly bad things continue to haunt the Texans...Halloween or no Halloween. Though the Cards aren't that good, they should be good enough to get this one: PICK: Cardinals;

    12.) (7-1) Denver Broncos @ (4-4) San Diego Chargers (+7): The Chargers have played pretty well this season, and could pull the upset. Still, you have to like the Horsefaces, coming off their bye week: PICK: Broncos;

    13.) (5-4) Dallas Cowboys (+7) @ (6-2) New Orleans Saints: Though the Cowboys seem to play better when they face the better teams, they looked awful last week in barely beating the Vikings. The Saints have to be angry after losing to the Clown Car Jets...but may be without Darren Sproles: PICK: Cowboys; 

    14.) (4-4) Miami Dolphins @ (0-8) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2.5): The Miami team has huge OL issues, and, apparently, team unity issues. The Bucs gave the Seahawks all they could handle last week. But, the spread is only 2.5 points: PICK: Dolphins.  

         BEST BETS: Seahawks, Eagles.

         Have a great day, my friends!           

  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat. Show TexasPat's posts

    Re: WEEK 10 NFL PICKS, and

         For those of you who think that I've been too critical of the Pats' OL for allowing hits on Tom Brady, here's some food for thought: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/11/05/2222570/

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    Re: WEEK 10 NFL PICKS, and

    Pretty logical well thought out reasons for your picks.  Don't see any major upsets in the match ups this week, but ya know any given Sunday. (or Monday-or darn it all Thursday- not a fan of Thursday games)

    Like that this is the Patriots bye week. And I don't think you've been too critical of the OL. Too may hold your breath moments when TB goes down. This year injuries have felled more key players than I can recall ever. Never a good thing when the QB goes down, and we've already has a year w/out TB due to his knee injury. So whatever can be done to shore up his protection- should be done and then some during this bye.

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    Re: WEEK 10 NFL PICKS, and

    In response to TexasPat's comment:

         For those of you who think that I've been too critical of the Pats' OL for allowing hits on Tom Brady, here's some food for thought: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/11/05/2222570/

    Tex, when I saw that tackle in replay, I thought the defender was a bit too "exhuberant" shoving Rodgers to the ground and then pancaking him.  IMHO, there seemed to be intent to injure the way that tackle happened.

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    Re: WEEK 10 NFL PICKS, and

    My all-numeric week 10 power ratings, point spreads and game of the week:

    My system doesn’t account that well for quarterbacks going down.  My numbers have Green Bay by two touchdowns next week, but I’m yanking that result.  If the QB goes down in the first quarter, the numbers somewhat catch the drop but not really.  If he goes down in the fourth quarter then my numbers are blind to such a problem.

    Neither do my numbers properly register good people returning to the lineup.  I’d add at least a couple of points to the next Patriots game, based on Gronk’s outstanding performance, based on Amendola’s performance, based on Dobson’s maturing, based on Tom Brady’s apparent recovery.  These guys are almost certainly going to take the field in two weeks.  A Patriots power-up for November and December fits the classic Bill Belichick m.o. to a tee. 

    The Pats also get their natural 3.5-point bonus for a bye week in two weeks.  They get all the time they want for preparation against an unknown NFC team, and in addition they heal up, practice and perform better on the field.  Soap needs a little introduction to the Patriots’ love of switching defensive line positions, as opposed to him just lining up in the vanilla zero position and pushing the center one yard backwards. 

    The rest of the NFL’s champions all have sagged in my ratings.  Denver, still with a 13-3 rating, may or may not sag more with their unhappy loss of a head coach.  All of the NFL’s bottom dwellers have turned into also-rans, teams able to put up half a fight on any given Sunday with one notable exception at the bottom of the barrel.  

    My own power rankings:

    1   den   13.3   (last wk. 1)

    2   sf   12.7   (last wk. 4)

    3   gb   12.4   (last wk. 3)

    4   car   12.1   (last wk. 5)

    5   sea   11.7   (last wk. 2)

    6   kc   10.6   (last wk. 11)

    7   no   10.6   (last wk. 8)

    8   ind   10.5   (last wk. 6)

    9   dal   10.4   (last wk. 7)

    10   cin   10.2   (last wk. 9)

    11   det   10.0   (last wk. 10)

    12   ne   9.6   (last wk. 13)

    13   oak   8.7   (last wk. 17)

    14   ten   8.3   (last wk. 16)

    15   az   8.2   (last wk. 14)

    16   sd   7.9   (last wk. 12)

    17   cle   7.7   (last wk. 18)

    18   bal   7.4   (last wk. 15)

    19   chi   7.3   (last wk. 25)

    20   mia   6.9   (last wk. 22)

    21   hou   6.9   (last wk. 20)

    22   was   6.5   (last wk. 24)

    23   buf   6.2   (last wk. 19)

    24   nyj   6.0   (last wk. 29)

    25   atl   5.6   (last wk. 26)

    26   stl   5.3   (last wk. 21)

    27   nyg   5.1   (last wk. 28)

    28   pit   4.8   (last wk. 27)

    29   min   4.7   (last wk. 30)

    30   tb   4.4   (last wk. 31)

    31   phi   4.1   (last wk. 23)

    32   jac   -0.1   (last wk. 32)

    Where do I get my Vegas point spreads?  I use http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/odds  When I see that “-110” number for each team, I take the points as accurate.  When I see -120 or worse for one team and Even or a plus sign for the other team, I compensate to get a true point spread. 

    By the way, fresh research from the University of Beating Vegas Like a Drum reports that of a sample of about 80% of all games in 2012, 20 games were decided by 2 points, by 1 point or ended in a tie, while 30 games were decided by exactly 3 points.  3 points is a natural magnet for final scores.  There also seems to be a weak signal that, whenever one team is favored by 2.5 points or even by 2 points, the smart money’s on the favored team getting 3 points or more because almost nobody ever (wins by 2 points, by 1 point, gets a tie, loses by 1 point or loses by 2 points).  Most Vegas gamblers don’t care, but you should if you’re the gambler.

    My own point spreads

    Visitor / Home / My own points / Vegas’s Opinion / Difference

    was   min    1.6   -2   3.6

    cin   bal    -2.0   -1.5   -0.5

    buf   pit    1.9   3.5   -1.6

    oak   nyg    1.4   7.5   -6.1

    stl   ind    10.7   9.5   1.2

    jac   ten    12.5   13   -0.5

    phi   gb    14.6   2   12.6  (Texas Pat found a spread of 9 points.  ???)

    det   chi    -3.9   -2.5   -1.4

    sea   atl    -0.5   -6   5.5

    car   sf    12.0   6   6.0

    den   sd    -6.6   -7   0.4

    hou   az    8.9   2   6.9

    dal   no    4.1   7   -2.9

    mia   tb    -7.7   -2.5   -5.2

    Last week I had no calls at all.  It sometimes happens.  So, I’m still 7-1 on the year for games of the week. Let's put something back on the line.

    Houston has the big established rep.  They sure don’t have the QB.  Arizona’s in a tough division where it gets beat up by some of the NFL’s best teams.  I give Arizona an extra 3.5 points for a bye week.  They can accomplish a huge amount of healing and player replacement in two weeks, so maybe it’s for the best.  Sometimes you’re only as good as your last game, but Arizona got ahead of Atlanta 27-6 with 8 minutes to go in the game.  Maybe Arizona doesn’t need a tune-up after all.  Sure it was only Atlanta, but whenever a team crushes somebody, it’s a statement.

    Houston, on the other hand, is a train wreck.  There’s Arien Foster’s Hammy and Ben Tate’s four broken ribs, both running backs.  The coach is gone and so Houston is sort of on autopilot.  No question, Arizona is my week 10 Game of the Week.

    hou   az    8.9   2   6.9

    Other Picks

    Oakland:  in good shape, trying its best, scraping the entire state of Pennsylvania off of its shoes from the past two games.  Giants:  a legend in its fans’ minds, not at all living up to that hype.  This pick would have been more dramatic but the Jints had a bye week, so they’ll at least have a good chance to win the game.

    oak   nyg    1.4   7.5   -6.1

    Miami had a long week since Thursday and that helps a bit.  I can’t hold the New England game against them that much, and then they squeaked out a win.  As road trips go, this one isn’t that far.  Tampa Bay was dysfunctional when playing Carolina but they saved up their pennies to play Seattle.  I somehow expect them to be exhausted this Sunday.  I’ll promote this to a pick.

    mia   tb    -7.7   -2.5   -5.2


    I’m demoting this borderline pick to a leaner because Carolina is so hot, and because I dislike big spreads.  This game could be a tie-breaker for the NFC #5 seed at least.  In Frisco’s favor, they had a bye week. 

    car   sf    12.0   6   6.0

    First, both Seattle and Atlanta are home tigers and relative road wimps.  Not that Atlanta inspires any confidence these days, so it won’t get promoted to a pick, but they would absolutely love to knock off the #1 NFC team.  It would make their otherwise miserable season.  This leaner is driven by Seattle coming up with two near-embarrassments in a row, first a slouch effort against St. Louis, then an even worse slouch at home against Tampa Bay.  What on earth is wrong with Seattle these days?

    sea   atl    -0.5   -6   5.5


    Sorry, no Aaron Rogers.  My psychic isn’t returning my phone calls this week.

    phi   gb    14.6   2   12.6


    bonus calls

    For week 11, Carolina is numerically favored by 2.6 points over New England.  This is more probably a pick-em because New England has gone hot now.

    For week 12, Denver is numerically favored by 1.2 points over New England.  I have to pull points off of Denver for the loss of their coach, and I also have to add points to New England.