Break Up the Lions!

That’s the text I got on Sunday after the Lions beat the Chiefs in ridiculous fashion, 48-3.  The Lions are honestly making me uncomfortable; I prefer my team to be the underdog and take some of the pressure of high expectations away.  To that end, I’ll be a killjoy and note that the Lions are only 25th in the league at rushing efficiency and 23rd at rushing defense.  They also have yet to be sacked, which is unlikely to continue, and they’ve recovered all of their own fumbles, which is also unlikely to continue.  So the Lions will be pretty highly rated, and perhaps overly so, until those things even out.  And if their passing offense and defense drop off, it will be hard for them to pick up the slack by running.  But as it stands, the Lions are the top team in my still-probably-too-early power rankings, ahead of even the Patriots (the top five rounds out with Houston, Buffalo, and Green Bay). 

The Luigi model thought the Lions would win and win big, but how did it do overall?  Here are all the predictions.  Luigi continued his iffy run with the over/under, going 5-10-1 (the Giants and Rams hit 44 on the dot).  It was looking for a lot of overs, but they didn’t materialize.  In terms of picking the right winner, Luigi was 10-6.  But when you combine that with the pay odds for the teams winning, and that there were 5 games that had no moneyline on Bodog when I checked, Luigi only went 4-7.  Last year the model was profitable because it came through on underdogs; that didn’t happen this week.  But since victories by underdogs are, by definition, somewhat rare, the model should catch up in future weeks.

More people are probably interested in the spread.  I got my lines from Bodog Saturday morning and Luigi went 9-6-1 against them (Dallas’ comeback win in overtime was the push).  I usually would stay away from games where the prediction is within a point of the line, in which case I would have skipped Tennessee-Baltimore and Giants-Rams.  Both of those turned out correct, so if you take those away Luigi was 7-6-1.  Bill Simmons gets his lines from someplace else, and on Friday at the latest (when he posted his picks), but this week they didn’t make a difference in the results.  In games we agreed on, we both missed on Buffalo despite their last-minute comeback, got Detroit, Tennessee, and Cleveland, and missed Minnesota and Chicago.  We also got Cincinnati, Houston, and the Giants while missing on Philly.  So that’s 6-4 in those games.  We disagreed on Jets-Jaguars and Pittsburgh-Seattle, which Bill got right, Dallas-San Fran, which was a push, and Washington-Arizona, Green Bay-Carolina, and San Diego-Patriots, each of which I got right.  So I went 3-2-1 in those games while Bill went 2-3-1.  So I total up to the 9-6-1 mentioned earlier while Bill went 8-7-1.  That reverses how we did in week 1, so we’re now tied at 17-13-2.  Later in the week I’ll take a look at how things might pan out next weekend.

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