Sunday, September 27, 2009


NFL Week Three Picks

A lousy 2-3 week lowers my record to 6-5 for the season. Time to pull it back together.

New York Giants at Tampa Bay under 46.5 points: There are weather concerns here, as well as the feeling that the Bucs won't be able to do a thing against the Giants defense. I think the Giants will win, but I don't like the spread, so I'll take the under.

Seattle +3 vs. Chicago: The injury to Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck has made them a home underdog. The backup, Seneca Wallace, is better than most suspect. The last visit by the Bears was not in the lifetime of most of their players, and Seattle is a notoriously tough place to play.

Carolina at Dallas under 48 points: This total has been rising all week. I am simply making a contrarian play here, as the public is so often wrong.

San Diego -4.5 vs. Miami, and:

Arizona -2.5 vs. Indianapolis: Both of these plays are for the same reason, so I'll discuss them together. Teams that play on Monday night and then have a road game the next week generally don't fare well. I am going to play against both of them and see what happens.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


NFL Week Two Picks

Last week is a perfect example of how things can turn on a dime. A late touchdown by the Packers made me 4-2 for the week instead of 3-3.

I need a moment, here, for some housekeeping. One of the challenges of doing this blog is to make picks against lines that are available. That is, you can make picks against the early-week lines late in the week and have a sizable edge...but you're lying. This season, I'm using to survey lines available in Las Vegas sports books. I am trying to make my methodology as rigorous as possible, so that the results will be meaningful.

Having said all that, sometimes one book will have a "rogue" line totally different from everyone else. Professionals punish those lines, and so will I. In fact, all of today's picks are against rogue lines.

New York Jets +8 vs. New England: The Jets are getting three points elsewhere, so eight is a gift. I think the Pats will prevail, but not by that much.

Green Bay -6.5 vs. Cincinnati: This game is at nine points in many places. I am fortunate to find a line that moves through seven, which is naturally an important number. The Bengals were lucky to beat a poor team last week at home, and are traveling to a team that played poorly last week, but is much better.

Atlanta -3 vs. Carolina: The Panthers are probably not as bad as they looked last week, but they are not in the Falcons' weight class. They are in Atlanta's division, though, which means they get to lose to them twice.

Washington -7 vs. St. Louis: Only a degenerate gambler could care about this game. I care that the line is ten points most places...and that's about it.

Jacksonville -3 vs. Arizona: The Jaguars are better than most people think, and should produce in their home opener against a Cardinals team that never plays well in early East Coast games. The Cards are also working diligently to prove the "Super Bowl loser sucks the next season" theory.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


NFL Week One Picks

Welcome to another season of barely educated guesses about NFL pointspreads. Last year's 62.4% win rate was a mark a professional would be proud of. However, even pros cannot maintain that pace indefinitely. I don't know how far I will slide, but past experience has taught me the value of a fast start. Here's a six-pack to open:

Minnesota -3 at Cleveland: The Browns are bad. The Vikings are not. Next....

Jacksonville +7.5 vs. Indianapolis: The Colts have a new head coach and no Marvin Harrison, though Peyton Manning has been retained as offensive coordinator. There will be a bit of an adjustment, and the Jags always play well against them. I'll take them at this price.

Green Bay -3.5 vs. Chicago: The biggest personnel move of the offseason may not have been a player. The Packers brought in Dom Capers as their defensive coordinator, and early returns have been impressive.

Cincinnati -4 vs. Denver: The Broncos might be truly awful this year, and the Bengals, though not world-beaters, look to be improved. I also want the over 42 points total.

Baltimore -9 vs. Kansas City: A combination of a rogue line (this game is -13 some places) and injury to the Chiefs' starting QB make this a play. This thing will get ugly by halftime.

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