Pages

Friday, October 01, 2010

NFL Week 4 Picks: Throwing My Crazy Hat Back in the Ring...


So, here we go.  After a less than stellar start to my 2010 campaign, the road to redemption begins today.  Right here, and right now.  Like Jesus Jones, except without all the crappy music and the weird 80's hats.  Although as I'm typing this I haven't completely selected all the images I plan on using for this week's post, so I guess I should keep the "weird hats" comment on hold...

But the possibility of shady headgear aside, this week is all about getting back to basics.  Back to picking games based more on trends and statistical facts, and less on "eye test" results and what may or may not benefit my fantasy team and/or the New England Patriots.  It's a battle of the mind and the heart that I fight every week, but in order to restore order, I have to start letting my brain win out more often than not.  That means feeding it the right information and letting it do it's thing.  It also means continuing to follow the trends that have brought me success, even if they've been less than successful so far here in 2010.  All things that are obviously easier said than done, but things that I know if I continue to focus on, will bring me right back to the top of my game.  And if I'm at the top of my game, everyone benefits.  That, and I get to consistently hear about how prolific I am at picking games.  Which, I'm not afraid to say, is always a welcomed addition to my often under inflated ego...

So, before you start wondering if I really do think I have an under inflated ego, and hopefully before you start searching Google Images for bizarre hats, it's time to take a look at this week's picks.

Week 4 Picks



Houston Texans (-3) @ Oakland Raiders

The Texans burned me as a 3 point favorite as my LOCK OF THE WEEK last week against the in state rival Cowboys, but this week's opponent shouldn't provide nearly as many potential stumbling blocks...

For starters, while at first glance the Texans may appear to be a high powered passing attack, it's their rushing game that I feel gives them a distinct advantage against the Raiders.  Not only are the Texans averaging more than 140 yards a game on the ground, but they're going up against an Oakland defense that's giving up more than 130 per.  That ability to run should inevitably open up the pass, and I think we all know what Matt Schaub can do in situations like that...

And while the history between these two teams is limited due to the fact the Texans are an expansion franchise, what history there is says the Texans are the logical choice.  Not only are they 4-1 all time against the Raiders and 2-0 in Oakland, but more importantly they are 3-1-1 against the spread.  And the fact that they're two wins in Oakland (2009 + 2004) have come by an average of 18 points isn't exactly hurting their cause, either...

Houston bounces back after a tough loss to Dallas, and they roll in Oakland 27-13...
  

Green Bay Packers (-14.5) vs Detroit Lions

Now I know what you're thinkin'.  I couldn't even get two picks in without reverting back to my old tendencies.  Namely, picking games based on what's good for my fantasy team...

Well, my clever friend.  While I admire your investigative nature, I'm going to have to burst your bubble.  Despite it's "pink hat" look, this pick too is all about the numbers.  And except for the fact that they're coming off a Monday Night game (you usually ALWAYS want to pick against teams on a "short week"), virtually every other numerical indicator is pointing towards a Green Bay romp.  They're 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 against the Lions, and flat out haven't lost to MoTown Trash Can Burners since a 17-3 defeat in 2005.   Need more?  Still worried about that hefty spread?  Well this should cure your ills.  In their last 6 tilts, not only have the Packers gone 6-0, but they've won each game by an average of 18.8 points per...

Add in the fact that Detroit could very well be without it's "offense" in rookie Jahvid Best, and you've got all the reason need to take the Packers in a big way this week.  I say, 35-3...  


Washington Redskins (+6) @ Philadelphia Eagles

OK.  IF you've gotten this far and you're still not thoroughly convinced that I've gone back to basics and turned a blind eye to emotion, then this pick should go a long way towards making you a believer.  Could be that this will serve as this week's example of looking too far into the numbers, but if anything the pick should serve as a good motivator towards keeping me on track...

What I mean is, for those who don't regularly follow Rooch Nation, is that I would never think in a million years that I would be picking this game.  Let alone this particular side of it.  I've never liked the Redskins, I don't like taking what I deem "lesser" road teams in conference games, and I have long DESPISED virtually any and everything that's ever come out of the city of Philadelphia.  Save perhaps for a few lovely ladies I met up at Syracuse and a certain TV show that's frequently on FX.  Although ya know what?  I haven't heard from those ladies in a long time, and that show has been pretty crappy this season.  So yeah.  That cheese steak sucks, that fake boxer statue is pathetic, and pretty much the whole city should just be absorbed into Jersey so it will be easier for all the haters like me to lump you all in one dirty, smelly, stereotypically loserish bunch...

But it's not my hatred for Philly that's driving this pick, because like I said before, I think the Skins are the lesser team.  Nope, it's the numbers.  And more importantly, it's what I've read into the numbers...

Washington's not only 4-1 in their last 5 against the spread @ Philly, but they're 4-2 in their last 10 against the Eagles when labeled the underdog, and 4-2 in their last 6 match ups overall.  So they got all that workin' in their favor...

Statistically, and game flow wise, I like Washington to keep this one close mainly because of Donovan McNabb's familiarity with the Philly defense and the fact that even this meager Redskin rushing attack should be able to gain some significant yardage against an unexpectedly suspect Eagles run defense.  Think about it.  Despite having played 2 games so far this year where they've run up huge leads and forced their opposition to pass, the Eagles have still given up nearly 130 yards per game on the ground.  So like Schaub above, a decent running game should give McNabb the time needs to make some good throws and put some points up on the board.  Not enough points to win, mind you, but enough to keep this close and earn the Skins the shady back door cover...

Vick-a-delphia 24 Washington 20        


Indianapolis Colts (-7) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (SURVIVOR PICK)

Four picks in, but we've finally arrived at this week's LOCK OF THE WEEK.  And while I'd love to continue wowing you with facts and figures, this one's mostly about the Colts being good and the Jaguars being bad.  Indy's rush defense is bad, don't get me wrong, and could lead to the Jags jumping out to a quick lead.  But i figure if the Jags ran for 4.3 yards per carry and 140 yards overall and still lost 28-3 at home to Philadelphia, then they're probably in for a similar result this week against the pass happy Colts...

Oh, and just for good measure.  Indy is 3-1-1 against the spread in their last 5 trips to Jacksonville.  So they've got that goin' for 'em, as if they needed it...

Indy 31 Jacksonville 10 


St. Louis Rams (+1) vs Seattle Seahawks

My first thought when I saw this game on the docket was, this is freakin' perfect.  I like how the Rams have been playing lately, I know the Seahawks are legendarily crappy on the road.  This one, was gonna be easy...

Well, in the words of that crazy hat wearing (see?!) midget that does college football analysis for ESPN, "Not so fast my friend!"  A closer look at the numbers tells you that, while Seattle has been one of the worst road teams in the NFL over the past 5 years, they've had no such trouble winning in St. Louis.  How little trouble, you ask?  Well how about 5-0 in their last 5 visits while going 4-1 against the spread?  Yeah, not exactly encouraging...

But no matter, my loyal minions.  While this week was all about getting back to basics, it doesn't mean it's all about being a complete lemming and a slave to the nerd stats.  I'm taking the Rams, because not only are they 3-0 this year against the #, but they're playing with a positive energy right now that makes coming into their building tougher than their 1-2 mark may suggest...

The health of RB Steven Jackson concerns me, but with or without an effective stud tailback, I'm taking the Rams to win this one going away in the 4th quarter 23-13.  Move over, Nelly.  Sam Bradford is now officially the talk of the town...Oh wait.  You say you moved over like 5 years ago?  Well fair enough.  Tell Albert Pujols to move over, then.  It's all the same to me...  




Atlanta Falcons (-7.5) vs San Fransisco 49ers

Things are bad in San Fransisco, and they're only going to get worse with their trip to the Dirty South.  And to be honest, I was really close to taking the Niners for a sneaky road cover based on the "nobody is picking them" strategy, but a good look at the numbers and I was able to reign myself in...

San Fran has lost it's two road games this year by an average of 23 points, and those were to Seattle and Kansas City.  This week they play a Falcon team that's not only brimming with confidence after a big win against division rival New Orleans, but a team that's just in general had a good start to their season.  Their opening week loss against Pittsburgh is looking better and better as each week passes, and to say their offense is working efficiently would be drastic understatement.  This is yet another example of where a good running game should open things up for a dangerous passer, and make for a long afternoon for the opposing defense...

Mike Singeltary, you've been put on notice.  And I don't think any amount of trouser dropping can save you now.  Atlanta 31 San Fransisco 17...


Now, as usual, here is my take on the rest of this week's match ups.  These games got the same attention that the Top Picks received, it was just at the end of the day I wasn't as confident in my selection as I was with those above.  There are a trio of road dogs that you might find interesting though, so I suggest you give them a good once over before you put the pen to that office pool...

Buffalo Bills (+5.5) vs New York Jets

Cleveland Browns (+3) vs Cincinnati Bengals

Tennessee Titans (-6.5) vs Denver Broncos

Pittsburgh Steelers (-1) vs Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers (+14) @ New Orleans Saints

San Diego Chargers (-8) vs Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears (+4) @ New York Giants



Monday Night



Miami Dolphins (+1) vs New England Patriots

I hate to say it, but in a week full of playing the trends, this may have logistically been the easiest pick I had to make.  And here's why:

FACT: The Patriots are 1-7 in their last 8 road games

FACT: The Dolphins are 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 against the Patriots

FACT: Despite their 3-2 record in their last 5 visits, the Patriots notoriously struggle @ Miami

And as if those trends weren't daunting enough, the Patriots inability to protect the middle of the field on defense also doesn't bode well in this match up. Not only does Miami like to work the middle of the field to initiate their Wildcat, but with Brandon Marshall stretching the field, it should make the middle wide open for players like WR Devon Bess and TE Anthony Fasano to run wild and keep the Patriots defense on their heels for most of the game...

Listen, I'd love to sit here and tell you that I like the Patriots in this game, but there's just too much common sense telling me they aren't the smart pick.  As I'm sure what will eventually become a trend all unto itself, I like the Pats offense to score enough points to win this thing, but against this particular opponent, I don't like the chances of their defense making those points stand up...

Hey, prove me wrong, Patriots.  Lord knows I'd love it see it.  But for now, I'm putting my money in a place where I'm most likely to get it back...with interest...

Miami 30 New England 27    


Last Week: 6-11-0 (Top Picks: 3-5-0)

Overall: 14-19-0 (.424)

2010 Top Picks: 10-12-1 (.457) 

Lock of the Week: 3-2-0



Now as opposed to my NFL issues, I've had no such trouble this year on the college side of the gridiron.  I usually chalk up my success in this arena to having no real emotional attachment, but with fans like that, it's hard not to get on board with the Oklahoma Sooners in this weekend's Red River Shootout with the Texas Longhorns.  And since this pic is a repeat of weeks past, and I don't like to show even a hint of bias when it comes to these things, I figure giving a few out of work "ladies of the night" their chance to represent the rivalry is only the fair thing to do...

Oh and did I insinuate those girls might be hookers?  My bad.  I'm sure the Big XII just has a new fellatio major that I'm not aware of.  In which case these fine ladies would probably be professors...with tenure like you read about!

Enjoy...

NCAA Top 25 Picks
(7) Florida (+8) @ (1) Alabama

(4) Oregon (-7) vs (9) Stanford

(8) Oklahoma (-3.5) vs (21) Texas

(24) Michigan St. (+2.5) vs (11) Wisconsin

(12) LSU (-16) vs Tennessee

Clemson (+3.5) vs (16) Miami

(17) Iowa (-7) vs (22) Penn St.

Washington (+10) @ (18) USC

(19) Michigan (-10) @ Indiana

(23) NC State (+4) vs Virginia Tech


Last Week: 7-4-1

Overall: 25-18-2 (.578)


And there you have it friends.  I'm back on track, and my focus is there to be used for both your egotistical and financial gain.  But before I leave you this week, there's one more important announcement I feel it necessary to pass on...


In keeping with throwing my hat in the ring, I'm pleased to inform you that yours truly has finally been called up to THE SHOW.  That's right, I'm taking to the BIG CHAIR this weekend and being given an opportunity I've waited for nearly all of my adult life.  This Sunday, between 7 and 9 pm, while you're winding down from another hectic week of NFL action, and gearing up to see if this is the week you actually get a sneak peak up Faith Hill's skirt, I'll be taking to the mic, guest hosting Scott Cordischi on Sports on 630 WPRO and 99.7 FM here in Providence.  I'll be living the dream, talking sports and taking phone calls.  Your phone calls, ideally.  So set your radios or get your computer ready to stream, because you're going to want to be there when this franchise takes yet another step out of infancy, and starts it's journey to the top.  That's right, I just referred to myself as a franchise...

So get the phone numbers 401-438-WPRO & 1-888-321-WPRO down in your mobile device, and make sure to be there from 7-9 pm.  It's gonna be a celebration, bitches!  And I'd love to hear from as many of you as possible...

But until we meet over those vaunted airwaves, here's to all of you having a good weekend, and hopefully winning much more than you lose.  I know, it's a odd concept, but something tells me it's going to feel really good...

Be good, friends...


Teddy Wiliams...
Rollo_Soze...
100...

0 comments:

Post a Comment