NFL Week 5 Picks

Once again, the Thursday night pick didn’t go so well.  Christian Ponder being on a football field didn’t help (everyone loses when that happens), but this was a case of the Packers playing like they were supposed to all year even though they haven’t all year.  The Vikings being kind of terrible isn’t all that surprising, but Green Bay’s next few weeks will be informative.  If they’re actually good, then they should look pretty good playing Miami and Carolina the next two weeks and put on a good show in New Orleans before heading into the bye at maybe 5-3 if not 6-2.  If they’re more like the team we saw play Seattle and Detroit, they might still get there at 5-3 but could be 4-4 and everyone will be a little unsettled.  But those are predictions for future days; let’s look at the rest of week 5 first.

The closest game this week according to the spread is Patriots-Bengals, where the Pats were favored by a point earlier in the week (at least according to the Barnwell article linked below), which has now swung to Cincy -1 or a pick ’em.  I imagine this is optimism that the Patriots will turn things around in a big televised game.  But it seems to ignore that the Bengals are 3-0 and have looked pretty good getting there.  The win over Tennessee doesn’t look too impressive anymore, but they won by a lot.  Baltimore has been surprisingly solid, and that was a road win for the Bengals.  And Atlanta has been hit-or-miss, but the Bengals were in charge the whole way even when losing A.J. Green.  And the Bengals are coming off a bye.  I don’t see why this game should be close.

home away Home Line Away Line Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
GB Minnesota -410 330 0.511 0.528 0.537
Carolina Chicago -140 120 0.547 0.547 0.563
Tennessee Cleveland -130 110 0.331 0.399 0.368
Philly StL -275 225 0.729 0.547 0.695
Giants Atlanta -210 175 0.485 0.538 0.496
NO TB -525 405 0.738 0.547 0.731
Dallas Houston -290 245 0.623 0.547 0.611
Detroit Buffalo -280 255 0.621 0.551 0.615
Indy Baltimore -170 150 0.505 0.542 0.518
Jacksonville Pittsburgh 230 -275 0.287 0.452 0.347
Denver Arizona -370 305 0.565 0.547 0.558
SF KC -225 185 0.512 0.546 0.52
SD Jets -310 255 0.765 0.692 0.743
NE Cincy 115 -135 0.254 0.529 0.299
Washington Seattle 265 -325 0.444 0.547 0.471

Looking at the spread, one place the models have typically found some success (or at least a tendency to pick that way) is to look for home underdogs.  This week the only games that fit that bill are Jacksonville and Washington (and the Pats depending on the number you like).  I honestly don’t feel great backing either of those teams, so I’m happy that at least Luigi finds the Jaguars +6 to be about right and so would stay away from it.  I have no faith in Washington keeping their game within a touchdown.

home away Spread Odds Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
GB Minnesota -8 -110 -0.14 0.86 0.67
Carolina Chicago -3 110 2.56 4.45 2.89
Tennessee Cleveland -1.5 -110 -3.45 1.41 -3.11
Philly StL -6.5 -110 6.9 8.14 6.27
Giants Atlanta -4 -110 -0.45 4.96 -0.06
NO TB -10 -115 8.54 4.22 8.44
Dallas Houston -6.5 -110 4.84 2.92 4.3
Detroit Buffalo -6.5 -110 4.1 3.14 3.97
Indy Baltimore -3 -120 1.1 5.07 1.38
Jacksonville Pittsburgh 6 -105 -6.03 -0.98 -4.68
Denver Arizona -7.5 -110 2.18 -1.31 2.03
SF KC -5 -110 1.41 5.97 1.5
SD Jets -7 110 10 12.89 9.33
NE Cincy 0 -110 -7.67 -2.46 -6.79
Washington Seattle 7 -110 0.28 3.84 0.56

Our exciting/high-scoring games of the week are Giants-Falcons and Colts-Ravens according to Luigi.  The over/unders agree.  I think I should get the Indy game locally, at least.

home away Over/Under Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
GB Minnesota 47.5 46.44 44.4 46.09
Carolina Chicago 46.5 46.65 46.54 45.8
Tennessee Cleveland 44 47.19 46.37 46.52
Philly StL 47.5 47.37 46.87 45.96
Giants Atlanta 50 51.27 44.52 49.35
NO TB 48 47.61 44.59 46.51
Dallas Houston 47 46.15 44.19 46.09
Detroit Buffalo 43.5 42.53 43.69 43.25
Indy Baltimore 49 50.66 46.54 49.2
Jacksonville Pittsburgh 47.5 46.95 45.42 45.59
Denver Arizona 48 46.66 45.08 46.33
SF KC 44 44.77 45.48 44.56
SD Jets 44 44.96 44.93 44.64
NE Cincy 46 45.55 41.42 45.77
Washington Seattle 45.5 48.8 44.27 47.6

Barnwell is still in for Simmons and still not listing any Thursday night predictions, so I gave him the freebie.  It’s what the models get for backing Ponder.

home away Simmons Spread Simmons Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
GB Minnesota -9 GB Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota
Carolina Chicago -2.5 Chicago Carolina Carolina Carolina
Tennessee Cleveland -2 Cleveland Cleveland Cleveland Cleveland
Philly StL -7 Philly StL Philly StL
Giants Atlanta -4 Atlanta Atlanta Giants Atlanta
NO TB -10 NO TB TB TB
Dallas Houston -6 Houston Houston Houston Houston
Detroit Buffalo -7 Detroit Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo
Indy Baltimore -3.5 Indy Baltimore Indy Baltimore
Jacksonville Pittsburgh 6 Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Jacksonville Jacksonville
Denver Arizona -7.5 Denver Arizona Arizona Arizona
SF KC -6 SF KC KC KC
SD Jets -6.5 Jets SD SD SD
NE Cincy -1 NE Cincy Cincy Cincy
Washington Seattle 7 Seattle Washington Washington Washington

Finally we have some SuperContest picks.  Sadly, the Vikings are in there.  But that means the picks can still go 4-1!  Luigi is taking Vikings +9, Washington +7, Cincy-1, Cleveland +1.5, and Arizona +7 (narrowly over KC +6 and Atlanta +4).  The story is the same for Yoshi 2.  Yoshi 1 is going with Washington, Minnesota, Arizona, Tampa +10, and Jacksonville +6 (narrowly over Chargers -6.5).

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