NFL Week 12 Picks

It feels to me like the season should be winding down and we should be getting a good sense of who’s going to the playoffs and all that.  But, aside from Carolina and Pittsburgh, everyone actually still has six games to play.  We still have nearly half the season to go.  The models all started the week with a correct pick though, which is nice.  Here’s how the rest of the schedule looks.

New England and Detroit seems like a big game in terms of playoff implications, but 538 at least doesn’t think so.  Their model has the game only swinging the Patriots’ chances by 5% (they’re a virtual lock) and the Lions’ by 16%.  If the Lions win they’ll be at around 90% to make the playoffs, but according to the projections they’ll still be at about 75% with a loss.  By my peek at their schedule, I think it’s reasonable to expect the Lions to win their home games against Tampa and Minnesota and to at least split their home and away with the Bears.  Week 17 against the Packers will depend a bit on who’s playing for what.  So even if Detroit drops their game this weekend, 10-6 seems likely.  Then it becomes a question of what position they would be in.  The Packers have a pretty easy road ahead and could actually end up 13-3 if Lambeau treats them like it used to when the Patriots visit.  So the Lions are probably looking at a wild card spot, in which case they’ll likely be fighting with San Fran, Seattle, and Philly/Dallas.  That doesn’t seem obviously like a 75% proposition to me, but I’ll take it if it happens.

home away Over/Under Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
Oakland KC 42.5 43.73 45.09 43.7
Atlanta Cleveland 47.5 46.32 46.01 46.04
Philly Tennessee 48.5 46.25 45.42 45.96
NE Detroit 47.5 45.6 46.58 45.44
Minnesota GB 48.5 47.3 45.08 46.75
Indy Jacksonville 50.5 46.49 45.25 46.12
Houston Cincy 43.5 45.37 45.58 45.49
Buffalo Jets 41.5 42.68 43.4 42.87
Chicago TB 46 45.24 44.06 44.71
Seattle Arizona 41 45.93 44.75 45.77
SD StL 43.5 43.64 44.61 43.64
Denver Miami 47.5 47.48 45.23 46.66
SF Washington 44.5 43.86 44.68 44.04
Giants Dallas 47.5 46.78 46.77 46.18
NO Baltimore 50 47.65 45.67 47.12

Thanks to the ridiculous amounts of snow in New York, there will be two games in Detroit this weekend.  The Bills will host the Jets at Ford Field on Monday.  The model doesn’t know that Buffalo won’t actually be at home, so you should adjust those numbers a bit.  The current line is only two points down from the SuperContest number, so Luigi and Yoshi 2 would probably still back the Bills.  Yoshi 1 isn’t so sure.

home away Spread Odds Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
Oakland KC 7 -105 -4.19 -5.36 -3.21
Atlanta Cleveland -3 -115 1.76 0.21 1.92
Philly Tennessee -11 -110 8.52 4.65 6.99
NE Detroit -7 -110 7.07 3.33 6.16
Minnesota GB 8 -110 -3.98 -5.72 -3.13
Indy Jacksonville -13.5 -115 10.01 9.71 8.92
Houston Cincy -1.5 -110 3.5 2.43 3.39
Buffalo Jets -2.5 -115 7.12 2.42 6.35
Chicago TB -5.5 -110 2.7 3.36 2.99
Seattle Arizona -7 -110 3.09 -0.46 2.72
SD StL -5 -110 6.75 4.86 6.47
Denver Miami -7 -105 5.3 4.39 5.04
SF Washington -9 -105 4.04 0.46 3.78
Giants Dallas 4 -110 -2.61 -1.07 -1.65
NO Baltimore -3 -115 0.37 1.22 0.96

Seattle-Arizona is another big game.  Seattle is favored by a touchdown despite being three games behind the Cardinals in the standings; looking at common opponents, Arizona is better by two games: Seattle beat the Broncos while the Cardinals lost, but the Cardinals beat the Chargers, Cowboys, and Rams.  The Seahawks are certainly rounding into something more like the form they were expected to be in, and the Cardinals are probably not as good as their 9-1 record, but giving Arizona a full touchdown seems overly generous.

home away Over/Under Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
Oakland KC 42.5 43.73 45.09 43.7
Atlanta Cleveland 47.5 46.32 46.01 46.04
Philly Tennessee 48.5 46.25 45.42 45.96
NE Detroit 47.5 45.6 46.58 45.44
Minnesota GB 48.5 47.3 45.08 46.75
Indy Jacksonville 50.5 46.49 45.25 46.12
Houston Cincy 43.5 45.37 45.58 45.49
Buffalo Jets 41.5 42.68 43.4 42.87
Chicago TB 46 45.24 44.06 44.71
Seattle Arizona 41 45.93 44.75 45.77
SD StL 43.5 43.64 44.61 43.64
Denver Miami 47.5 47.48 45.23 46.66
SF Washington 44.5 43.86 44.68 44.04
Giants Dallas 47.5 46.78 46.77 46.18
NO Baltimore 50 47.65 45.67 47.12

As usual, we have Bill Simmons’ picks.  He is stomping me this season, so maybe I can catch up a bit this week.  It looks like I’ll be relying on Jacksonville, Washington, the Giants, and the Chargers.

home away Simmons Spread Simmons Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
Oakland KC 7.5 Oakland Oakland Oakland Oakland
Atlanta Cleveland -3 Cleveland Cleveland Cleveland Cleveland
Philly Tennessee -11 Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee
NE Detroit -7 NE NE Detroit Detroit
Minnesota GB 10 Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota
Indy Jacksonville -14 Indy Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville
Houston Cincy -1.5 Houston Houston Houston Houston
Buffalo Jets -3 Buffalo Buffalo Jets Buffalo
Chicago TB -6 TB TB TB TB
Seattle Arizona -7 Arizona Arizona Arizona Arizona
SD StL -4.5 StL SD SD SD
Denver Miami -7 Miami Miami Miami Miami
SF Washington -9.5 SF Washington Washington Washington
Giants Dallas 3.5 Dallas Giants Giants Giants
NO Baltimore -3 Baltimore Baltimore Baltimore Baltimore

Luigi’s SuperContest picks are Minnesota +9.5, Washington +9.5, Jacksonville +14, Arizona +6.5, and Baltimore +3.5.  Yoshi 1 is going with Tennessee +11, Arizona, Washington, Minnesota, and Detroit +7 just over Jacksonville.  Yoshi 2 is going with Minnesota, Washington, Jacksonville, Tennessee, and Oakland +7, so he has a win in the bag.  We’ll see how they go.

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