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Author Topic: Finny's week 6 pix:  (Read 344 times)
Finnegans Wake
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« on: Oct 13, 2011 at 19:31 »

Rams (+15) at Packers:  On paper, this is a total blowout: best team in the NFL hosts the worst team.  And it's a total blowout in reality, too.  Poor Sam Bradford had a nice rookie season but now understands that the NFL is sort of like surfing in a cesspool, when you're the QB of a bad team.  Sometimes you catch a wave of shitwater and ride it, and sometimes the wave of shitwater capsizes you and you're sputtering around with fecal swill in your mouth wondering why surfing was ever your sport.  Packers 42-13.

Jaguars (+12.5) at Steelers:
Steelers famously play to the level of their opponent.  To wit: crappy against the Colts, superbly against the Titans.  But then they also blew out a crappy Seahawks squad, the week after being humiliated by the Ravens.  So what's their psychology?  They're fucking double digit faves, what do you think?  Steelers are playing better, but they'll be all complacent and shit until the second half and turn in a win too close for comfort.  Ha, just kidding.  Remember how Tomlin was all pissy with the Jax reporters about the 2008 playoffs?  He doesn't want to talk about that game, but that shit is chewing a brother up inside.  He wants to not only stomp the Jaguars, he wants to be the exclamation point on the Jack Del Rio firing.  Jacksonville used to be good; their defense will show up for a half, but not the second one.  Steelers 34-16.

Eagles (-1) at Redskins:
Does anyone want to, you know, win this fucking division?  Three former powerhouses (Eagles, Giants, Cowboys) all playing erratic as shit.  Especially the Eagles.  I know, this is a "must win" game, but guess what?  The time for "must win" was like a week or two ago.  Redskins are plodding along with boring consistency and Rex Grossman still ain't foolin' me, but the big story this week will be What the motherfuck happened to the motherfucking Eagles?  Which probably means the Eagles win because the NFCE is all out to skullfuck my expectations, but Redskins, at home, after a bye?  Is that better than Eagles pride?  Yes.  Redskins 27, Eagles 25.

49ers (+5.5) at Lions:
Niners are the Sexy Team O' The Week, case you didn't notice.  Harbaugh (not that one, his brother) is getting talked up for COY, for the blowout of a middlin' TB team, for amping this team up to play like... well, the Lions team when Jim Schwartz first arrived.  Can the Lions really stay unbeaten?  Football Outsiders loves San Fran and smells an upset.  Detroit had to claw out of serous deficits against Minnie and Dallas to stay perfect.  Smells close, but the Lions are rolling.  Niners for the spread.  Lions 31-27.

Panthers (+5) at Falcons:
Falcons are in some spinning, out-of-control shit right now, and I can't say why exactly.  They have a chance against teams with bad defenses, so, Carolina, check.  But Carolina has a sneaky nasty streak on offense, thanks to Cam Newton, so here's the deal:  two teams, roughly equivalent talent, bet the desperate home team to win.  But bet the potent upstart to cover, baby.  Love this spread.  Falcons 27-24.

Colts (+7) at Bengals:
Colts have lost in most scrappy fashion all games except the opener against Houston.  Bengals are running decently, playing decent defense, and Ginger Dalton is a perfectly decent rookie QB.  They epitomize middle of the pack.  Colts would love a win, but Bengals should TCOB.  Seven points?  Dunno.  I want to be Curtis Painter for Halloween.  Bengals 24-21.  

Bills (+3) at Giants:
Bills D has racked up 4 INTs in each of the last 2 games.  Bills have played well before and then promptly folded like the proverbial house of tards, but this team seems a tad... zesty?  Eli went from being Peyton back to his pure cupstacker idiocy in a hurry.  OK, desperate team, at home... should favor the Giants, right?  I dunno, something doesn't feel right about the NFCE this year.  And something feels right about the Bills.  Bills 31-28.

Texans (+7) at Ravens:
Bad draw for the Texans: Ravens, at home, off the bye, sans Mario Williams for the year, and Andre Johnson for now?  Ugh.  Ravens 31-13.

Browns (+5.5) at Raiders:
 Most analysts have the Raiders in letdown mode after the whole Win One for the Corpse game.  But the Raiders have legit motivation to challenge SD, and should rush for 100+, and the Browns look to be without 2nd year CB Joe Haden.  Oakland's a team on the come.  Raiders 27-17.

Cowboys (+7.5) at Patriots:
Romo has shit his pants on the way to the bathroom every day this week.  Still, off a bye, with Miles Austin healthy, and Megatron wannabe Dez healthy, that soggy Pats D might not hold a 7.5 spread.  Dare I say... I smell... upset?  Cowboys 38-35.

Saints (­-4.5) at Buccaneers:
Bucs lose Gerald McCoy, which is like the Lions losing Suh.  Bucs at home, a game back of NO, but not desperate enough to pull the upset.  Saints pace this game with offense.  Saints 31-17.

Vikings (+3.5) at Bears:
Bears OL is shit.  Lovie Smith is trying to figure out who can play safety.  Bears mojo moving down, Vikings mojo moving up.  Still, Donovan McNabb sucks dead man assbeards.  Vikings 21-20.

Dolphins (+9) at Jets:
Jets exhausted after loss to Pats.  Fins suck, sure, but are really no worse a team in terms of measurables than, say, the Chargers.  Spread is way, way, way too big.  Jets 27-21.
« Last Edit: Oct 14, 2011 at 06:56 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

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aj_law
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 14, 2011 at 11:12 »

Findude, if you don't mind, I'm just going to post my picks for my handicapping league here instead of starting a separate thread.  I like your summaries and usually I end up posting in your threads anyway.

Plus, with the way I've been picking so far this year, people probably won't bother to check out my picks otherwise.   Cool

Last week was another dud.  My system for looking for value in underdogs is really taking a beating this year.  Usually, I end up around even to up a little, but this season is really bucking that trend.  If you look to see how teams are ATS so far this year, you'll see confirmation of that.  The teams that have the best records have a lot of the best ATS records.  I think Carolina is the only losing team with a winning ATS number.  So, having said that, I'm going to shift my approach a little and try to ride the wave.

Overall = 13-21-2
Last Week = 2-4

Rams @ Packers (-14.5) - Not a big fan of laying two touchdowns and change, but the Pack is that good and the Rams are that bad.  Factor in a shitty dome team going to Lambeau and you'd expect a long day for the Rams.  Granted, there's always the risk of a letdown against a winless team coming off a bye; especially following a short week, hard fought, intra-divisional game, but I just don't think St. Louis has it in them.  I expect it to be close early on with GB pulling away late.

Eagles (-1) @ Redskins - I've ridden the Skins to a few wins this year, despite the Grossman~effect.  And, even with them coming off a bye, at home, I like the Eagles in this matchup.  Sooner or later, that talent on Philly is going to put it together.  With a 2-4 record, the playoffs aren't totally out of sight, but going 1-5 would all but seal their fate.  Must win is an understatement.  The Redskin defense should do a pretty good job of containing Vick and that offense, but a few big plays late lock it up for the Eagles against their hated divisional foe.

Panthers (+4) @ Falcons - Panthers are another team that I've ridden on multiple occasions this year.  Unlike the Skins though, I'm sticking with a team that's done well for me.  Yeah, Falcons are tough at home and Ryan's record there is stupid good, but they're a little banged up (no JJ) and the team is in a bit of disarray.  Factor in the divisional consequences of this one and you've got the makings of a 3 point win for somebody.  That said, I'll take Carolina and the points and hold my breath.

Colts (+7) @ Bengals - Other than their opener, the Colts have been in every game this year so I think their 0-5 record is a little deceiving.  They've got a lot of veteran talent and Painter is getting more and more comfortable with the offense (shoulda started Garcon last week...ugh).  Anyway, I've got a problem with a rookie QB led team giving 7 points...to anybody.  Yeah, Dalton has definitely exceeded expectations and he's making people forget about the Carson Daly drama, but he's still a rook.  I think this game ends up being closer than the spread indicates as Cincy and Lewis take a 0-5 team for granted.

Browns @ Raiders (-5.5) - Raiders are one of the best ground games in the league and Cleveland is one of the worst at stopping it.  Yeah, it's another game where I'm picking against the team coming off a bye, but Cleveland is just crap right now.  Factor in traveling to the West Coast and facing a very dangerous Raider team that's pretty balanced on both sides of the ball and you end up with a mini blowout.  Raiders might even hit the 200 YD mark on the ground.  If I were ranking my picks, this one would likely be my #1.

Cowboys @ Patriots (-7) - It's pretty simple.  The Pats are a prime example of what I explained in my opening.  I've picked against them four times this year and they've covered three of those four.  I've learned my lesson.  Taking them until they force me to change that approach.  Plus, teams just don't go into Gillette and win in a shootout.  You've gotta be able to force them into making mistakes and I don't see the Cowboy defense being able to do that.  No mistakes equals big win for the Pastries.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 14, 2011 at 12:26 »

Can't say I strongly disagree with the idea that the Eagles could pull the win, certainly have more high-level skill talent.  Had a players-only meeting this week, FWIW.  So I can see them coming out and jumping all over the Skins.  Still, they've neded to right the ship for weeks, and for weeks they've just shat the bed.  Didn't they want it enough before?  They're a sloppy team, with Vick making bad decisions, the OL a trainwreck, and the middle of their defense is a fucking abomination.  Luis Castillo is not long for that DC job.  Skins at home, off a bye?  I think they'll be ready, but we'll see.

Inconsistency has also plagued the Boys, but I just don't think they have the same extent of personnel issues.  It's all about turnovers, but I think this team sets up very similarly to how the Bills did against the Pats.  Pats can't stop shit, so their MO is to just keep the Golden Girl scoring points.  Fine, until you rattle her, and Rob Ryan's going to hatch something there.  Just a feeling with this one; at the very least, the Cowboys make it interesting.

I hate the fucking NFCE this year though. 
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 14, 2011 at 15:55 »

OK, the weekly rankings.  As opposed to the AJ Law Method of ranking (who's best, right here, right now), I do throw some other considerations into the mix.  How teams did last year becomes less important the farther you get into the season, but since teams have a tendency to revert towards their mean, good teams pull out of slumps and overrated teams fall back to earth.  I also keep one eye looking towards the post-season, since even a mediocre team from a shitty division (e.g., Seahawks, NFCW last year) can get a seed and have a chance at the big prize.  Do you rate a mediocre playoff team higher than a pretty good non-playoff team, or not?  And remember, those shitty Seahawks upset the Saints.  If I think a team is likely to win its division, that might be worth a spot or two (e.g., Washington this year).

Tier 1 - The Elite Teams

1. Green Bay.  Really hard to find a hole in the armor.  Solid in all three phases, and even when they stumble, as they did getting in an early hole against Atlanta, they can work their way out.  Healthier than the team that won the Super Bowl last year.

Tier 2 - Looking Good So Far, But...

2. New England. The offense is, again, amazing.  But the defense is, again, miserable.  They haven’t been held under 30 points all year, but as the Bills showed, they can lose a shoot-out.  Still, no one really looks forward to a shootout with the Golden Girl.

3. New Orleans.  Sort of the same model as New England, with similar PF-PA.  Jacksonville was the only team to hold the Saints under 30, but the Saints also have multiple weapons and can throw points on the board in bunches.

4. Baltimore. Look, I’m not sold on Baltimore’s offense, which works in fits and starts.  I still think their secondary shouldn’t be as effective as it apparently is.  But the defense overall is probably playing the best of anyone out there right now, so consider the Ravens the anti-Patriots.  They are just killing it on takeaways and the transition game.

5. Detroit. Lions went 6-10 last year but played well enough for me to take notice: 5 of those 10 losses were by 3 points or less, meaning that team could easily have gone 11-5.  This year’s model has twice dug itself out of 20-point deficits, both a red flag and feat of merit.  Let’s check the Lions PF-PA against the Saints: 157-125 for the Saints, comparable to the Patriots and Bills, but 159-89 for the Lions.  That DL isn’t allowing much room to run, and Calvin Johnson commands double teams.

6. Buffalo. OK, everyone’s waiting for the Bills to revert to… well, the Bills.  But they’ve got a 164-119 PF-PA, and the Patriots have 165-119.  That’s striking.  The Bills have been opportunistic on defense, reminiscent of that Saints defense their SB year, and hell, they beat the Patriots.  Shouldn’t have lost to Cinci, but one hiccup hasn’t convinced me the Bills are folding.  I like the Lions and Bills, but I want to see a bit more of them before they move up any higher.

Tier 3 – Moving in the Right Direction?[/u]

7. Pittsburgh.  The win over the Titans showed improved OL play, and the defense seemed to look like the Steelers of last year, finally.  If the secondary keeps playing well, the OL doesn’t frazzle, and the DL keeps improving, the Steelers could definitely make waves.  The offense needs to keep shouldering the load, because earlier this season it was insipid.

8. San Francisco.  Don’t look now, but the Niners are way the fuck out ahead in their division, their defense is playing a thumping good game, and the much-maligned offense, featuring tiny-pawed Alex Smith, is actually, well, creditable.  Jim Harbaugh, coming in as a rookie HC in a CBA-shortened year, has really done some magic.  The Niners-Lions showdown will tell us a lot.

9. Oakland.  Oakland is 3-2, behind the 4-1 Chargers and ahead of the rest of the AFCW slop, but they’ve shown some real noteworthy stuff.  They lost a close one to the Bills and a not so close one to the Pats, but also beat the Jets and the Texans.  The running game is huge, Jason Campbell is playing better, and the defense didn’t fall apart when Nnamdi left.  Raiders are playing spirited ball.

10. Houston.  OK, Texans lost a shootout to the Saints, and dropped one to the Raiders with Andre Johnson out and Mario Williams lost for the year.  So why do they rank 10th?  I still think the Texans, 3-2 and tied for the division lead with the Titans, will rebound and win the division.  With Johnson in the lineup, this team is a shade off the most potent offenses in the league, and the defense under Wade Phillips is much improved.  Still need to tighten run defense.

11. New York Jets.  Jets haven’t played well this year at all.  The running game can’t run, putting the pressure on Sanchez, who doesn’t have rapport with his receivers and seems to have regressed.  The defense can’t stop the run, and all in all, this looks nothing like the Rex Ryan teams of 2009 and 2010.  There’s too much talent here for the Jets not to turn it around.  They seem to be going through some of the Steelers identity issues, and need a solid signature win to point them in the right direction.

12. Tennessee.  Titans are tied for the division lead, but have they gotten there by soft SOS?  Why can’t Chris Johnson seem to get back on track?  Has losing Kenny Britt made the passing game too one-dimensional?  Titans seem to be a fundamentally solid team that could claw back into things or start to drift.  The next few weeks will be a big test of first-year HC Mike Munchak.  Adding Brandon Lloyd would be a huge boost.

Tier 4 – Decent Teams, Serious Flaws[/u]

13. San Diego.  Their offense has been hurt by Antonio Gates’s injury, but I still think the Chargers are, and have been for several years, vastly over-rated.  They’re a mediocre team in a bad division with a good QB and a some good skill players.  But they don’t ever seem up to challenging the big dogs, and I think Oakland has a real shot at winning the division.  More talent than the Raiders, but less heart.

14. New York Giants.  Went from chumps to contenders… back to chumps.  Thunderously chump-like loss to the abysmal Seahawks, at home no less, throws any evaluation of the Giants into a tailspin.  Still have a decent shot at winning the division, but Eli’s inconsistencies, a weak secondary, and injuries (Tuck, Jacobs) make the G-Men seem rather ordinary.

15. Washington. Shanny just has these guys chugging along, nothing too flashy, but they’re winning.  The big test is against a desperate 1-4 Eagles team.  Win that, you drive a spike through the Eagles’ chances of the playoffs.  Lose, and it’s anyone’s guess who wins this division.

16. Cincinnati. Speaking of chugging along and not too flashy…  Cinci is the team I thought the Browns would be this season.  Dalton has been stable, the running game and defense are capable, and AJ Green is starting to flourish.  Like the Redskins, not the most talented team but they’re tied with the Steelers at 3-2 just behind the Ravens at 3-1.

17. Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay was sort of in that steady but not flashy group with the Skins and Bengals until they got fucking thrashed.  Pass defense is a real issue, and where is Mike Williams?

18. Atlanta. Number one seed last year, 2-3 and floppin’ around like a noodled catfish just shaken off Bubba’s arm.  Tons of talent here, so why are they under-performing?  Like the Jets, I think the Falcons will improve, but they’ve been awfully soggy this year.  What gives?

19. Dallas.  Romo’s fucked these guys up.  Seriously, the defense is playing pretty well, and they have all the weapons on offense, but turnovers, turnovers, turnovers.  Can we get 4 quarters out of Dez?  With Dez and Austin both healthy, Cowboys could start making some waves.  If Romo doesn’t, ya know, Romo it.  Big “if.”

Tier 5 – Cruddy, but with Scant Glints of Hope… for Next Year?[/u]
20. Minnesota.

21. Chicago.
22. Carolina.
23. Philadelphia.
24. Kansas City.
25. Cleveland.
26. Seattle.

Tier 6 – Men’s Toilet, Denny’s Bathroom

27. Indianapolis.
28. Miami.
29. Denver.
30. Jacksonville.
31. Arizona.
32. St. Louis.
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