After Thursday’s “who drafts first?” game, I thought we were done with playoff-irrelevant games. Unfortunately, that isn’t quite true. We still have Miami-Minnesota, Oakland-Buffalo, and Rams-Giants on the docket. Yes, I know there are some convoluted ways that Buffalo or Miami could make it, but they aren’t going to. Still, 12 out of 16 games having some manner of playoff implication is pretty good. I’m just going to spend the day crossing my fingers that Jimmy Clausen doesn’t decide to have his breakout game.
There are two games on Saturday, which is part of why this is going up a little early. The Eagles go to Washington to try to keep their playoff hopes alive, which they probably will since they’re touchdown favorites despite being on the road. The models think the game will be closer, but I bet Philly takes it comfortably. More interestingly, San Fran and San Diego play for not much of a good reason. San Diego is technically hanging around, but they have two road games left against decent teams. They can make it with even one win, but they don’t have much of a margin of error.
|home||away||Over/Under||Luigi||Yoshi 1||Yoshi 2|
Somewhat sadly given the importance of the games, a fair number are predicted to be one-sided. According to SBR, 9 games have a favorite of 7 points or more. The leader on that front is Green Bay, favored by as much as 13 some places even though they’re on the road. Granted, Tampa Bay is terrible and it’s unlikely the Packers offense is that bad two weeks in a row. Next up is New England despite traveling to the Jets. This game doesn’t even get a “throw out the records when these two meet”. You can throw out the records. The Pats will win.
|home||away||Home Line||Away Line||Luigi||Yoshi 1||Yoshi 2|
Going back to a theme earlier in the year, home underdogs were supposed to be the way to go for covers this season. This week there are a decent number, with half the games having a home dog. Perhaps unfortunately, only two of those eight have anything to play for: Arizona and Cincinnati. So this may not be the week where you see a bunch of covers turn up.
|home||away||Spread||Odds||Luigi||Yoshi 1||Yoshi 2|
Bill Simmons’ picks are here. We’re really just playing out the string on this one – Bill has me pretty soundly beat this year. Thursday’s game didn’t help. We’ll see how the playoffs go.
|home||away||Simmons Spread||Simmons||Luigi||Yoshi 1||Yoshi 2|
Luigi’s SuperContest picks are Arizona +8, Tampa +10.5, Houston +5.5, Washington +7.5, and Chicago +6.5. I’m not a big fan of picks relying on third string QBs, but the model doesn’t know any better. Yoshi 1 is going with Atlanta +6.5, Washington, Minnesota +6.5, Houston, and the Giants +4.5. Yoshi 2 is going with Arizona, Tampa, Washington, Houston, and Chicago (Luigi’s picks).