NFL Week 9 – When Everyone Took a Break

After a steady stream of only missing one or maybe two games due to byes, this week there are only 13 games out of a possible 16.  It even includes the Lions, which will maybe give them a chance to get healthy.  Despite the relatively small number of games, there are some interesting lines as there are four teams favored by double digits (or nearly so, depending on where you look) and five home underdogs (one of which already lost and failed to cover: the Panthers on Thursday).  At least in the recent past, home and big underdogs have been good for covers, so let’s see if that pans out this week.

The game that most people will be looking forward to is the Pats and Broncos.  New England is a 3 point underdog at home.  Assuming I counted correctly from Bill Barnwell’s review of the Brady-Manning series, the favorite has a cover record of 6-8-1 so far, so maybe that’s a slight nod to New England (for absolutely no good reason, since the teams have changed maybe just a little bit over the past 13 years).  As a side note to that article, I found the boxing scoring to be pretty stupid.  As in actual boxing (or at least MMA, which I’ve seen more of), there’s a reluctance to give scores other than 10-9, and so things look close in the end.  Barnwell ends up with Brady ahead of Manning 143-141, with only one game given a 10-8 score (in favor of Peyton).  But then you get to the QB summary stats at the end and see that while Brady has thrown fewer times, probably because his team has often been winning, he has the better completion percentage, yards per attempt, TD%, interception%, and rating.  How do you win every category but only come ahead two rounds on the scorecard?  Foolishness.  Anyway, Luigi and Yoshi 2 actually have the Pats as tiny favorites while Yoshi 1 thinks the line is right.  I would stay away and just enjoy the game.

home away Home Line Away Line Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
Carolina NO 130 -150 0.405 0.412 0.45
Cleveland TB -290 240 0.77 0.915 0.741
Dallas Arizona -160 140 0.639 0.591 0.613
Houston Philly 105 -125 0.53 0.518 0.549
KC Jets -450 355 0.793 0.918 0.747
Cincy Jacksonville -500 405 0.728 0.518 0.708
Miami SD -130 110 0.48 0.408 0.5
Minnesota Washington -110 -110 0.465 0.515 0.499
SF StL -450 375 0.701 0.826 0.672
NE Denver 140 -165 0.515 0.491 0.519
Seattle Oakland -1350 900 0.738 0.912 0.706
Pittsburgh Baltimore 110 -130 0.455 0.518 0.5
Giants Indy 145 -170 0.449 0.203 0.472

Your high-scoring games this week look to be Panthers-Saints (didn’t come through), Pats-Broncos, and Giants-Colts.  Aside from one playoff game, the Brady-Manning match-ups have only scored less than 40 total points once and have broken 70 a couple times.  I don’t see why it would stop this week.

home away Over/Under Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
Carolina NO 49 50.67 45.31 49.01
Cleveland TB 43 46.36 44.73 45.2
Dallas Arizona 44.5 46.86 45.15 46.37
Houston Philly 48.5 47.94 44.84 46.74
KC Jets 42.5 43.06 44.77 43.06
Cincy Jacksonville 43.5 44.85 45.19 44.84
Miami SD 45 46.71 45.43 46.35
Minnesota Washington 43.5 44.12 45.11 44.28
SF StL 43.5 46.62 44.41 45.85
NE Denver 53 51.57 45.04 49.66
Seattle Oakland 43 43.56 44.64 43.73
Pittsburgh Baltimore 47.5 48.55 45.22 47.85
Giants Indy 50.5 49.94 45.43 48.44

One critical game already happened this week, with the Saints giving their playoff odds a good boost with the win over Carolina.  But even more important is the Eagles-Texans game, as the Eagles are a key part of the NFC death race and Houston is in the clump of a suddenly impressive number of good-to-mediocre AFC teams.  An Eagles win is bad for virtually every other team in the NFC while a Texans win is bad for most of the AFC.

home away Spread Odds Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
Carolina NO 3 -115 -2.6 -3.89 -1.53
Cleveland TB -6.5 -110 9.21 5.69 8.68
Dallas Arizona -3 -110 4.71 2.35 4.21
Houston Philly 1.5 -110 1.2 -0.41 1.93
KC Jets -9.5 -105 9.99 5.75 9.04
Cincy Jacksonville -10 -110 8.09 3.86 7.5
Miami SD -2 -110 -0.36 -2.19 0.12
Minnesota Washington 0 -110 -0.44 -0.91 0.07
SF StL -10 -100 7.23 4.07 6.46
NE Denver 3 -110 1.01 -2.73 1.19
Seattle Oakland -14 -110 8.54 6.54 7.64
Pittsburgh Baltimore 2 -110 -0.73 -4 0.28
Giants Indy 3 -105 -1.16 -2.74 -0.57

Bill Simmons threw his picks into a little sidebar on an article with a title so clickbait-y that he had to admit to it upfront.  I won’t give them any more time than he did.

home away Simmons Spread Simmons Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
Carolina NO 3.5 Carolina Carolina NO Carolina
Cleveland TB -7 Cleveland Cleveland TB Cleveland
Dallas Arizona -3 Arizona Dallas Arizona Dallas
Houston Philly 2 Philly Houston Houston Houston
KC Jets -10 KC Jets Jets Jets
Cincy Jacksonville -10.5 Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville
Miami SD -1.5 SD SD SD SD
Minnesota Washington -1 Washington Washington Washington Washington
SF StL -10 StL StL StL StL
NE Denver 3.5 NE NE NE NE
Seattle Oakland -14.5 Seattle Oakland Oakland Oakland
Pittsburgh Baltimore 1.5 Baltimore Pittsburgh Baltimore Pittsburgh
Giants Indy 3.5 Indy Giants Giants Giants

Finally we’re to the SuperContest.  There aren’t a lot of big disagreements for Luigi this week, but he’s going with Oakland +15, Pats +3, Houston +2, Washington +2.5, and Jacksonville +11.  Rams +10 and Cleveland -6.5 aren’t far behind.  Yoshi 2 is in fact switching in the Rams and going with Oakland, St. Louis, the Pats, Houston, and Jacksonville.  Yoshi 1 is going with Oakland, Jacksonville, San Diego +1.5, St. Louis, and Washington.  So there’s some consensus this week, but it so happens that five of the teams picked here (Oakland, Houston, San Diego, Jacksonville, and St. Louis) are the only games the models agree on (according to the SBR lines).  Something like 4-1 or 4-2 would be pretty good.

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