As far as the models are concerned, most of the early games today are going to be close ones won by the home team. This can only mean one thing: every game will be a blow-out victory for the away squads. Place your bets now!
As I write this right now, there’s a lack of betting numbers for the Cleveland-Washington game. I assume it’s because of the uncertainty about RGIII playing, even though I can go to ESPN and see that a ‘source’ says he’s out. I guess ESPN is unreliable now? At any rate, there is a spread listed so I picked the moneyline from the last game with the same spread and I made up the total because there’s no way the models could look any better because of it. I imagine that if Griffin were playing the number would be higher; it would be interesting to know what the gambling world thinks he’s ‘worth’ in points. Presumably he would not only increase Washington’s points but he would decrease Cleveland’s a bit thanks to worse field position and the like.
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If every game goes as Luigi predicts, here are how the playoff races would stand at the end of the weekend according to the ESPN playoff machine: in the AFC, Houston would maintain a one-game lead for the one seed over the Patriots as well as wrap up their division title. Baltimore would be the 3 seed over the Broncos thanks to their head-to-head win today. The Colts would be the 5 seed by a game over the Bengals, who would have a game over the Steelers heading into their match-up next week. The Browns, Chargers, Jets, and Dolphins would all be 6-8 and technically alive since they could finish 8-8 and the Steelers and Bengals could as well (except for the Chargers and Jets, who play each other next week). However, given their match-ups going forward and the fact that they’re a game or two behind either AFC North squad, it’s pretty unlikely they’ll make it. Similarly, a Ravens win pretty much gives them the division.
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In the NFC, the Falcons would wrap up the one seed and two seed San Fran would barely hang on to their division lead over 5 seed Seattle. Green Bay would lose to Chicago but still keep the division lead and the 3 seed while Dallas would jump to the 4 spot and division lead in the East. Chicago would round out the playoffs at 6. The Giants, Redskins, Rams, and Vikings would be alive but if Chicago and Seattle get to 9-5 they’re basically competing for one spot; the Rams and Vikings in particular would need a lot of help. The Giants and Redskins have a better chance because the East title is very much up for grabs.
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Let’s wrap up with Bill Simmons as always. I’ll take this opportunity to knock his statistical/sports reasoning for two reasons (I’m sure there are more) from this week’s picks article. First, he prefers Tom Brady to Aaron Rodgers because Rodgers has had a few games where he had to keep his eye on the rush instead of his receivers. Maybe Brady is actually the better objective quarterback this year; I don’t know. But isn’t that argument more about the Patriots and Packers offensive lines? I wonder who he would want if either guy could have, say, the Eagles o-line in front of him for one game. Also, he lists someone’s touchdown to interception ratio as +54. 54 is not a ratio, unless he means Matt Hasselbeck has thrown 54 touchdowns for every one interception.
Remember to enjoy the games today, because Monday night’s game is a stinker.
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