by Chris Alan
My Apologies to Chris. I was away and did not have access to the web until I'd returned this morning.
Another week, another Pick of the Week loss. The way the Cowboys were playing early I was expecting another underdog win, but alas they found yet another way to beat themselves. There’s a very interesting article by Brian Burke, the founder of advancednflstats.com, regarding the dire position the Chargers are in despite their impressive offensive stats. This week I’m going to work the right side of my brain to see if I can figure out any insight into the dismal Cowboys.
But enough of the loser talk, the pundants who get paid for their opinions don’t let being wrong again and again and again stop them, and neither shall I. Time to crack open a beer, pull out the dictionary, and write down my opinions about the upcoming games. Now on to this weeks conjecture:
Pick of the Week: Baltimore Ravens -13.5 hosting Buffalo Bills
This is a huge spread, and in general I shy away from huge spreads, but the pickings are slim this week. Or maybe I’m just telling myself that because my soul desperately needs a win for my Pick of the Week this time around. The Ravens disappointed me greatly last week with their overtly conservative play calling, I felt strongly enough about this to yell at the inanimate television during both of their punts on 4th and inches. Only reason to hold on to the Ravens at this point would be to play them week 12 when they host Tampa Bay. Baltimore will get it done this week, I guarantee it, this time. Confidence level: 4.5 out of 5.
Safe Pick: New Orleans Saints -13.5 hosting Cleveland Browns
Yep, same spread total as my Pick of the Week. Personally I don’t think the spread should be this high, but I can’t imagine the Saints losing this game. Confidence level: 4 out of 5.
Spread Pick: San Francisco 49ers -3.5 at Carolina Panthers
As I mentioned last week, at this point in the season you can pick a team to lose as much as a team to win. I’m picking Carolina to have the number one draft pick next year. Congratulations guys! Confidence level: 3.5 out of 5.
Underdog Pick: Philadelphia Eagles +3.5 at Tennessee Titans
I used the aforementioned article by Brian to help me with this pick. My first underdog pick was Jacksonville, but his article only gives them a 14% chance of winning. My next pick was Washington, but Chicago will be playing desperate, and at home. His stats give the Eagles a 45% chance of winning, which is the highest underdog non-division winning percentage there is. Important Conflict of Interest: The Eagles are my favorite team. As such, I really try not to pick them, because I feel in my heart they should win every game, by 30 points. Confidence level: 2.5 out of 5.
Lots of close match ups here. My gut informs me that home teams are given 3 points by the spread guys, as a numerical home field advantage. There are 5 games this week with a 3.5 point spread with the home team being the favorite, Atlanta, Tennessee, Chicago, Tampa Bay and Dallas. That tells me those games are all statistically close on a neutral field and the home team is given a slight nod. Roughly 40% of away teams win, so look for the underdog to win 2 out of those 5 games. Go Eagles!
On the flip side, two away teams have a 3.5 point advantage, the Steelers and 49ers. I like both of them to win, though I think the 49ers have a better chance, even though Brian does not.
Interestingly, Brian gives the Giants a 53% chance of beating the Cowboys despite them being underdogs, which I agree with, based on nothing scientific.
Record: Pick of the Week: 0-2 with -11 spread total (Texans, Bears)
Safe Pick: 2-0 with -18 spread total
Spread Pick: 2-0 with -5 spread total
Underdog Pick: 1-1 with +4 spread total
Monday, October 25, 2010
by Chris Alan