WEEK FIVE NFL PICKS and "Game of the Week"

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    WEEK FIVE NFL PICKS and "Game of the Week"

    Good luck with your rush job, Tex.

    This week, the NFL’s premier teams all beat up on somebody wimpy.  San Francisco gets the title because the Jets were as high as #11 last week, so kicking the Jets up and down the field all day means more than kicking poor Buffalo flat.  Houston’s kicking of Tennessee earned Houston even fewer honors because home games are supposed to be easier than road games.

    1   sf   14.7   (last wk. 4)

    2   ne   14.2   (last wk. 1)

    3   hou   13.3   (last wk. 3)

    4   gb   12.0   (last wk. 5)

    5   atl   11.7   (last wk. 2)

    6   sd   10.5   (last wk. 9)

    7   no   10.2   (last wk. 12)

    8   cin   10.1   (last wk. 13)

    9   bal   10.1   (last wk. 7)

    10   chi   9.3   (last wk. 20)

    11   min   9.1   (last wk. 15)

    12   den   8.9   (last wk. 16)

    13   nyg   8.9   (last wk. 6)

    14   pit   8.2   (last wk. 14)

    15   sea   7.9   (last wk. 10)

    16   car   7.7   (last wk. 23)

    17   dal   7.4   (last wk. 8)

    18   nyj   7.1   (last wk. 11)

    19   det   6.5   (last wk. 17)

    20   az   6.3   (last wk. 22)

    21   phi   6.2   (last wk. 29)

    22   cle   6.0   (last wk. 28)

    23   mia   5.9   (last wk. 24)

    24   jac   5.8   (last wk. 18)

    25   ten   5.7   (last wk. 26)

    26   was   5.7   (last wk. 30)

    27   buf   5.6   (last wk. 19)

    28   tb   5.1   (last wk. 25)

    29   kc   4.8   (last wk. 21)

    30   ind   4.3   (last wk. 31)

    31   oak   3.6   (last wk. 27)

    32   stl   3.4   (last wk. 32)


    My own week 5 point spreads:

    visitor / home / my points / the gambling public's opinion / difference

    az   stl    0.0   -1.5   1.5

    atl   was    -5.5   -3.0   -2.5

    bal   kc    -1.0   -5.0   4.0

    mia   cin    8.0   4.0   4.0

    cle   nyg    5.5   9.0   -3.5

    gb   ind    -3.6   -7.0   3.4

    phi   pit    4.9   3.5   1.4

    chi   jac    0.9   -5.5   6.4

    sea   car    4.9   3.0   1.9

    ten   min    9.2   5.5   3.7

    buf   sf    19.5   9.5   10.0

    den   ne    10.7   7.0   3.7

    sd   no    5.9   3.5   2.4

    hou   nyj    -4.9   -7.5   2.6

    Last week’s game of the week was a push for me, Philadelphia by exactly 2.  So, I’m still 2-1 on games of the week.  I’m down to 8-8 overall.

    This week’s game of the week is San Francisco to crush Buffalo.  If the Jets crushed Buffalo and if San Francisco recently crushed the Jets like a balloon on the freeway, what would you expect San Francisco to do, at home, against a Buffalo team exhausted from flying across the country?  Bonus:  for some reason, teams that were just demolished by New England have tended to underperform badly the next week.  It’s an odd phenomenon but it’s consistent.  My guess is that New England delivers more bumps and bruises than other teams, because they draft heavier players as a rule.

    Other picks:

    I’ll take the nicely leaning Chicago-Jacksonville game.  Jacksonville is a home underdog, always a plus, just possibly because the mob loves to throw home underdog games. The crowd doesn't think twice if the ref makes a bad call for the home team.

    When John Elway brought Peyton Manning to Denver, he probably didn’t expect a guy with a degraded arm, a quarterback who throws long passes into the dirt or at his receivers’ shoetops.  Manning also makes occasional bad decisions.  He’s still good, but he’s not great in 2012.  My numbers say New England by 10.7 points, somewhat greater than the official 7 point spread but not tremendous.  Add to this difference the certainty that Dan Koppen will be starting for the Broncos at center.  Koppen proved unable to stop any member of the Patriots defensive line in practices, and so BB let him go after giving Koppen every chance to stay with the team.  Now Koppen has to stop the Patriots defensive line from pass-rushing the immobile Peyton Manning up the middle.  Koppen took over in the second quarter last week, so the impact of Denver’s loss couldn’t be fully reflected in my last week’s numbers.  Next, my statistics can’t see that Denver’s former head coach, who still knows most of the players well, is the Patriots’ offensive coordinator.  The unusual advantage of getting the other team’s head coach on your side really didn’t work well for Denver in the playoffs, as a 45-10 score indicated, and 80% of Denver’s starters are back on the field this year also.  So, I’m going with the Patriots as a pick.


    A leaner, not really a pick but it’s the best of the leftovers:

    Cleveland is a leaner.  The Giants could still win but I don’t think they’ll slaughter Cleveland.  No one has really slaughtered Cleveland all year.  Cleveland stood 18 yards away from a tie game with Baltimore on the last play this past Sunday.  For a team with no talent whatsoever, Cleveland plays consistently every single week.   Mike Holmgren knows his stuff.

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    I'll go Pats here too, Peyton is playing well but he's throwing up some ducks too, I see at least two pick of NE this week.

    BTW What is with the font issues on this forum?

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    Re: WEEK FIVE NFL PICKS and your rankings are terrible

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    Re: WEEK FIVE NFL PICKS and my rankings

    In response to SCH81's comment:

    If you want rankings based on wins and losses, go read the standings. 

    If you want subjective rankings based on gut feelings, that's not me.  My ranking numbers are based on margins of victory (at the point when average fans are all heading for the exits, because I want to exclude tickytack last second scores), with allowances for measurables such as home field advantage and bye weeks. 

    Coming soon, two new game-day measurables:  trap games and travel distances.

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    In response to sod11's comment:

    Could you explain why you have the Jets at 4.9,and what chance do you give for them keeping it close and why.Its just I have money on Tebow starting by game 6 and have bet on the Jets to cover a few games and just they look bad.And now injuries.

    The -4.9 means that my numbers favor the visitor, Houston, by 4.9 points, not the Jets. 

    The numbers on the Jets make them out to be a 7-9 team.  They have lost pretty badly to a good team and to a great team.  Getting pulverized by a great team is never good, but it's not a disaster.  They have also beaten a 2-2 team and a 1-3 team, both of whom are somewhat better than the true bunnies of the NFL.

    My stats are somewhat blind to recent injuries.  The Jets have had to replace Revis Island with Mini-Me Wilson, and that can never be good.  The team still has a pretty good defense if you don't count the glaring hole at cornerback.  With Santonio Holmes out, the Sanchize will have to throw to his invisible receiver, Mr. Pootywinkle.  So, I'll accept an argument that the Jets really are 7.5 point underdogs, and I'll entertain arguments of worse than that.  I really don't want to defend the Jets' honor at this point.

    The Jets might fight for their honor at a home game against a potential AFC playoff rival, which would be an optimistic strategy on Rex Ryan's part.   Seattle recently squeaked through to the playoffs with an 8-8 record, and the Jets had a squeaky chance last year.  I suppose that a squeaky chance is better than waving the white flag today and getting fired at the end of the season.

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    My point spreads v2.0 is officially in beta release.  It covers trap games and coast-to-coast travel penalties.  Here are the updated numbers.

    I'€™m going to keep the Cleveland game out of my official picks, for better or for worse, but it would have been a pick if v2.0 was up and running earlier this week.  2.0 counts trap games.  The Giants are playing the 49ers next week.  The Jints don'€™t care about rinkydink Cleveland, but hanging a loss on a playoff rival, and a head to head tiebreaker on top of that, is a golden opportunity.  So, the Giants lose 3.4 points in the Cleveland trap game.  It’s just a tiny fraction of a trap game for Cleveland too, except Cleveland’s hopes of making the playoffs are quite puny.  Their motto is, just get some wins this year to save the coach’s job.

    San Francisco didn'€™t get much of a trap game penalty because San Francisco doesn'€™t know if they'€™re facing Philly, or the Giants, or somebody else in the playoffs.  By the way, Buffalo now gets an additional coast-to-coast travel penalty. 

    I'€™m still fine-tuning the travel penalties table.  Nobody likes an away game, but Buffalo has a harder than normal flight to San Francisco, while Philadelphia has a relatively easier than normal trip to Pittsburgh.  These penalties are further adjustments to my general home cooking ranking, where Baltimore has a notorious stadium where they work the refs but Philly is notorious as a road team.

    Here are this week'€™s revised numbers:

    Visitor / home /my points / Vegas / difference

    // long distance or dome travel points adjustment / the visitor’s trap game penalty / the home team’s trap game penalty

    az   stl    -0.6   -1.5   0.9     -0.6   0.0   0.0  (I'm still going to see large random variations.  Saint Louis won this game by 14 points.)

    atl   was    -6.6   -3.0   -3.6     -1.1   0.0   0.0

    bal   kc    -2.1   -5.0   2.9     0.9   0.0   0.0

    mia   cin    6.5   4.0   2.5     -1.1   0.0   0.4

    cle   nyg    -0.7   9.0   -9.7     -1.1   0.3   3.4  Cleveland also got a 10 day layover from a Thursday night game.  It helps!

    gb   ind    -2.0   -7.0   5.0     -1.5   0.0   0.0

    phi   pit    6.6   3.5   3.1     -1.2   0.0   0.1

    chi   jac    2.6   -5.5   8.1     0.7   0.0   0.0  Chicago gets a small penalty for a short week.

    sea   car    6.7   3.0   3.7     1.8   0.0   0.0

    ten   min    7.9   5.5   2.4     -1.3   0.1   0.1

    buf   sf    20.1   9.5   10.6     1.7   0.0   1.1

    den   ne    12.9   7.0   5.9     2.1   0.0   0.0  Denver also has an injury bug.

    sd   no    6.7   3.5   3.2     1.1   0.0   0.3

    hou   nyj    -4.3   -7.5   3.2     0.5   0.0   0.0