NFL 2011 – Week Three Picks

“Super Wynner Contest” Week 2 Recap
The “pro” commented after this week, “Slow and steady wins the race”. Clearly, Juana, came crashing down to Earth this week, with an expected 5-9-2 finish. Though she still has a, albeit soon to be short lived, one game lead over Colin. Meanwhile, Megan is headed for a September only the Red Sox would envy (4-10-2, four games back).
The big surprise is G-Dub, who with a 10-4-2 week vaults into first place, one game ahead of Juana, two in front of Colin. G-Dub using a unique system of complete randomness is making the “pro” look bad. The “pro” bets that this is a fluke and will not continue.

Contestant Last Week Record
G-Dub 10-4-2 17-12-3 (.578)
Juana Wynner 5-9-2 16-13-3 (.547)
Colin Wynner 8-6-2 15-14-3 (.516)
Megan Wynner 4-10-2 12-17-3 (.422)

 SuperContest Week 2 Recap

  • I fell for the biggest sucker bets in the history of sucker bets on the Ravens. I ignored the “road ends, cliff ahead” warning sign and forged ahead anyway. I most likely would have replaced that game with New Orleans or Atlanta, so we can officially call that game a bad loss. That one game might come back to bite me down the road.
  • As of about 8AM last Sunday morning, I didn’t like any of my picks in the Contest, but I figured at worst I’d be 2-3. Little did I know, Washington would find a way to dominate statistically and win the game, but fail to cover the spread. Doesn’t happen very often with a spread under 4 points.
  • I suppose you can throw the single point I received into a “bad tie” and “lucky push” categories. Either way I should’ve come out with a single point. The Bills miracle comeback netted me a .5 point, while the Cowboys should’ve had the cover with an overtime touchdown if Jesse Holley simply continues running and doesn’t have to showboat at the three. Come on, Jesse act you’ve been there before! Problem is he hasn’t and probably never will again, just remember, Jesse, the local grocery store always need night stockers.
  • The most disappointing game of the five was the Chargers. The Mike Tolbert fumble was the dagger, as it appeared as though the Chargers were going to take the lead, but Tolbert fumbles and the Pats score a few plays later – bye, bye cover! How does Tolbert fumble? You’d think that the ball would snuggle nicely in his pillowy mid-section and be impenetrable.

LHSC: 0-3-2, 3-5-2 (Tied for 327th)
It’s still early, but I cannot afford another 1 point week! But I am back on the horse for week three.
Note: I use the Las Vegas Hilton Lines from vegasinsider.com. The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week.
NY Giants @ Philadelphia (-7.5) – After their victory over the Rams last week, Giants quarterback Eli Manning was asked about the injuries at receiver and how newly acquired receiver Brandon Stokley would fit in, his response, “Brandon has a small package. . .” Whoa, easy big fella, isn’t there some type of locker etiquette that players should not talk about other players, uh, junk! Man, Eli just ruined Brandon’s chances with the hoards of groupies waiting to give up their self-respect in exchange for five minutes with someone famous and a trip to the “treasure chest” (the alleged box filled with expensive jewelry that a professional athlete allows a women to grab from after he “knows” her).

 As for the game, did you see the mediocre Ram’s receivers abusing the Giants secondary? Imagine what the Eagles above-average group of receivers will do to the Giants patchwork secondary.

 The biggest weakness for the Eagles is the defending the tight end, which is too bad for the Giants since they let their tight end go in the off-season.

 Pick: Philadelphia -7.5

 NFC Worst – “The Quest for 6 Wins”

 Arizona (-3.5) @ Seattle
San Francisco @ Cincinnati (-2.5)
Baltimore (-4.0) @ St. Louis

First off, major props go out to both the 49ers and Cardinals; that is exactly the kind of effort we need to get this 6-10 thing done. Both teams found themselves in tough spot, leading late in the fourth quarter, but in true NFC West fashion both found ways to come through in the end with expected losses.

 The 49ers came from 14 points ahead to lose in overtime, despite receiving the kickoff in overtime. Well done, 49ers, keep up the good work this week in Cincinnati.

 The Cardinals also found themselves in a precarious situation, leading in the 4th quarter despite being significantly out-played. Things look bleak when you are the beneficiary of a red zone turnover (at least a 3 point turn around), two red zone stops (8 points), a blocked field goal (3 points) and busted coverage long touchdown (7 points). Those type of random happenings in a game almost always lead to victory, but fortunately Chansi Stuckey rose to the occasion and fumbled away the Cardinals chance at victory. Thanks for keeping the dream alive, Chansi.

 By far the most impressive NFC West team this season has been the Rams. Despite having two very winnable games on schedule, the Rams have been creatively doing their part to realize the “6-10” dream. Whether it’s a key dropped pass that leads loss of possession or giving up a 70+ yard defensive touchdown that is a minimum 10 point turnaround, the Rams have this down pat. My only concern with them is will they be able to take care of their three NFC West games they actually need to win. They have become so adept at finding ways to lose you have to wonder if they can win a game.

 The Seahawks were in the best shape last week, facing a solid team after a humiliating loss on the opposite side of the country. They merely needed to show up and participate. And they came through like troopers, never threatening the Steelers.

 Major concerns going forward:

 

  1. Potential coaching changes in St. Louis and Seattle. The Rams are headed for 0-7, if Spags gets canned and they hand the reins to McDaniels he might infuse some energy, when coupled with the easier schedule could lead to the unthinkable 7 or 8 wins down the stretch.
  2. Seattle’s ability to protect their home field against division opponents. It starts this week with a monster game against the Cardinals. They have to come through or the Cardinals pose a serious threat to the 6 win barrier
  3. The 49ers and the “Suck for Luck” theory. Harbaugh wants Andrew Luck badly and with a hefty 5 year contract, he can survive a 1-15 season if it means getting Andrew Luck. We need the Colts to win a few games, to give Harbaugh some cushion and incentive to beat his division opponents at home.
  4. The good fortune that seems to be falling the Cardinals way. This needs to stop immediately or you can kiss the 6 win division champ dream goodbye.

 For this week:

 49ers are catching 2.5 points in Cincinnati, which tells me that the odds-makers have finally figured out that the 49ers are not a team that deserves respect. If we use the standard 3 points for home field advantage, essentially the odds-makers are telling us that Denver would be a 1 point underdog in San Francisco (Denver 5.5 over Cincinnati last week in Denver, 2.5 true value over Cincinnati, San Francisco .5 true value over Cincinnati based on this week’s line, Denver 2 points true value over San Francisco). I’d say that is a good sign that the odds-makers have finally got it when it comes to the 49ers.

 Pick: Cincinnati -2.5

 Good news for Ray Rice fans expect to see the slow Ram linebackers running behind Rice, with him just beyond their out-stretched arms all game long. And if you have the Ravens defense, look for a defensive touchdown right about the time the Rams seem ready to seize control of the game. Stop me if you’ve heard this before – the Rams keep it close, but find a way to lose.

 Pick: St. Louis +4.0

 That leaves the big game in the NFC West, the Seahawks and Cardinals. The Seahawks have what the Cardinals want, the NFC West Banner. Can they hold onto it, with angry bunch of birds circling above? Tune into Fox this Sunday to find out. This will be the least watched game in history.

 Why are the Cardinals giving the Seahawks 3.5 points in Seattle? Well, for starters the Seahawks offense is terrible. True, but they played in San Francisco, had a chance to win but failed when the 49ers unleashed their secret weapon, Ted Ginn. Then they had the worst assignment in football – playing in Pittsburgh the week after the Steelers were embarrassed by their rivals. Sure, the offense is bad, but those weren’t the most favorable situations for any offense.

 I guess it must be impressive start by the Cardinals (1-0-1 ATS). Yeah, the Cardinals look great despite giving up 466 yards a game to a rookie making his first start and Rex Grossman led teams. I am thinking that the Cardinals defense might just be the cure for what ails the Seahawks offense.

 Let’s go 12th Man, we need you to step up huge this week, the 6 win division champ depends on it.

 Pick: Seattle +3.5

 
 New England (-7.0) @ Buffalo – Friday, September 23, 2011 is the 10-year anniversary of the game where then Pats quarterback Drew Bledsoe was replaced by Tom Brady. Here is a link to a clip of the play. What strikes me about the play is that Bledsoe, who isn’t a small guy, actually dips his shoulder as if to initiate contact but at the last second pulls up a bit. Then he gets lit up by Mo Lewis. For fun let’s flashback to that exact minute in time with two Jets fans, Vinny and Joey:
Vinny: “Yo, bro, if we get a stop here on 3rd and 10, we’re looking good to get our first win”
[Bledsoe rolls out and begins to run]
Joey: “Get that prick, hit him, hit him. Yeah, take that you bitch! Oh, dude Mo crushed that punk”
Vinny: “I know bro, that was da best hit I’ve ever seen. Oh, dude, that little bitch is spitting up blood. Who is their backup?”
Joey: “Some queer named Brady, he sucks. Jets, Jets, Jets!”

 And that’s how it all started. I wonder is Mo Lewis the most reviled former Jet, after all if it wasn’t for him, the world might never know Tom Brady, well except for those who frequent the Shaw’s grocery store in Southie, where Brady would undoubtedly be working as a night stock-boy. Nobody slings the loaf of bread like Tom!
As for the game, the Bills are a dangerous as underdogs of a touchdown or more simply because they keep coming at their opponent. Couple that with the Patriots unstoppable offense and we have the makings of an old-time Jets/Dolphins 51-45 type of shootout.
Pick: Buffalo +7.0

Juana Wynner’s Week Three Picks

Houston @ New Orleans (-4.0) – I think that Houston will win just because my cousin lives in Houston, Texas so they have to win for him.
Pick: Houston +4.0
Kansas City @ San Diego (-14.5) – I don’t think that San Diego can win by 15 points so therefore Kansas wont loose by 14 points!
Pick: Kansas City +14.5
Pittsburgh @ Indianapolis (-10.5) – I think that the Steelers are on a roll and will win this one by at least 11. Indianapolis isn’t that good anyways.
Pick: Pittsburgh -10.5
Arizona (-3.5) @ Seattle – Arizona is my team. I have to route for them even if the suck sometimes. You have to stick by your team when they are losing as well as winning.
Pick: Arizona -3.0
New York Jets (-3.5) @ Oakland – I hate the Jets so much! I don’t even know why I just do! Maybe its because I only watch the games that they lose but the Jets have nothing on Oakland.
Pick: Oakland +3.5

 The Rest:
Cincinnati -2.5, Buffalo +7.0, Philadelphia -7.5, Cleveland -2.5, Denver +7.0, Minnesota +3.5, Carolina -3.5, St. Louis +4.0, Atlanta +2.5, Green Bay -3.5, Washington +6.5

 

Houston @ New Orleans (-4.0) – We’re going to find out a lot about the Texans this week. Like is this team for real, is the defense capable of shutting down a legitimate offense, will the city of Houston burst into flames and burn to the ground if the Texans go three games over .500 (never happened in franchise history) and why is Houston known as “Clutch City”? It seems like outside of that mini-two year run of the Rockets, Houston should be known as anything but “Clutch City”. And even that run was fueled by massive chokes – 1993-94 Charles Barkley (who sustained the rarest of rare injuries in the history of sports; he came out of halftime of game three and was all of a sudden hurt; oh and he missed a bushel full of free throws to ice an elimination game), the 93-95 Suns (blew 2-0 road and 3-1 leads in back-to-back years), 93-94 John Starks (shot something like 3-200 in potential clinching game) and 93-94 Nick “The Brick” (aptly named for missing four straight game clinching free throws in the Finals) Anderson. Outside of those gift titles the city has won nothing, unless you consider a WNBA title something.
Let’s face it beating Indianapolis and Miami is routine, winning in New Orleans is big time. It feels like after years of being the poster child for the pre-season hype machine, the Texans are flying under the radar this season, despite this being their most complete team during the Kubiak era. They finally have a competent defensive coordinator (Phillips terrible head coach, great defensive coordinator) that understands how to utilize the talent they have on defense; the offense is loaded with talent, included a top 5 receiver (Andre Johnson) and top 10 running back (Arian Foster), who has yet to make an impact; Kubiak is at the top of his game so far this season with his play calling; and their division is weak.
Pick: Houston +4

 Miami@ Cleveland (-2.5) – I am still on board with this Cleveland team being better than expected. And I am definitely on board with this Miami team being a complete joke. The argument for the Dolphins this week is weak – “the Dolphins are better road team than home team.” Fair enough, maybe the Dolphins have a certain comfort away from South Beach, but I say the players know Sparno is a lame duck and they are mailing in this season.

 Pick: Cleveland -2.5

Megan Wynner’s Week Three Picks

New England (-7.0) @ Buffalo – I think that the Buffalo Bills will win because I like their team colors. In addition, I think that they outplay the other team. Therefore, that might affect the score of the game.
Pick: Buffalo +7
Detroit (-3.5) @ Minnesota – I think that the Detroit Lions will win because I like their colors. I also think that lions are strong. Therefore, they might outplay the other team.
Pick: Detroit -3.5
N.Y. Jets (-3.5) @ Oakland – I think that the N.Y. Jets will win because I like their team colors. I also like their mascot. Therefore, I think that they can beat the raiders by communicating more.
Pick: N.Y. Jets -3.5
Arizona (-3.5) @ Seattle – I think that Arizona Cardinals will win because they are my states team! Also they made it to the super bowl in 2008. I also like their team colors.
Pick: Arizona -3.5
Pittsburgh (-10.5) @ Indianapolis – I think that the Pittsburgh Steelers will win because they won the super bowl in 2008. I also like their team colors! In addition, I think they will be able to outplay the Indianapolis Colts.
Pick: Pittsburgh -10.5
Green Bay (-4.0) @ Chicago – I think the Green Bay Packers will win because they won the super bowl this past year. Therefore, the Packers will be able to out play the Bears! I also the Packers team colors and their uniforms are cool.
Pick: Green Bay -4.0
Miami @ Cleveland (2.5) – I think that the Miami Dolphins will win because I like their colors. I also think that they can outplay and communicate more than Cleveland! Lastly they have cool uniforms.
Pick: Miami +2.5
The rest:
Cincinnati -2.5, New Orleans -4, Philadelphia -8.5, Tennessee -6.5, Carolina -3.5, San Diego -14.5, Baltimore -4, Tampa Bay -2.5, Dallas -6.5

 Colin’s note: Let’s see, we have two teams picked because they’re in the Super Bowl three years ago; She likes the Bills because of their team colors, which are virtually the same as the Patriots, but they will out-play the Patriots which might affect the score. Do ya think? You have to cut her some slack – she’s coming off being out-scored in Soccer by 15 goals in the last 4 games. Let me guess the other team out-play you and that affected the score!

 

 

Denver @ Tennessee (-6.5) – There is one team every year that I pick wrong every stinkin’ week. This year it’s the Titans. Last year it was the Bears; I tried everything I could, from changing at the last minute to flipping a coin to attempting to go against them every week (I did not successfully hold to that), change the fortunes but to no avail.

 I think the 6.5 points is too high for a team that won by forfeit last week (Ravens did not show), but on the other hand . . .

 Pick: Denver +6.5, Tennessee -6.5

 Detroit (-3.5) @ Minnesota – I am dubbing this the “Winston Wolf” game of the week. And that’s fully because the Lions, their fan base and several members of the media need to chill a bit on the Lions. And, yes, I realize that Donovan McNabb throws more bounce passes a game than Chris Paul, but I believe that this Vikings team will rally, mainly because the Vikings consider this Lions team their little brother. We all know how hard it is for little brother to get over on big brother!
Other fun facts about this game – a. the line seems way inflated, based on the Lions beat down of the Chiefs. The Lions were expected to win, I wouldn’t read much into the margin of victory especially after Jamaal Charles went down; b. The Vikings had a lead in San Diego and against Tampa Bay, they couldn’t close, but I will take my chances of them covering 3.5 if they have a late lead against the Lions; c. the Vikings have a shutdown corner in Antoine Winfield (Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams) to handle MegaTron; d. Adrian Peterson is a beast, I think he is still pissed about that fantasy guy who drafted Ray Rice over him; and e. This is McNabb’s last chance to keep his job, lose here and it’s Ponder-time.
Pick: Minnesota +3.5

 Jacksonville @ Carolina (-3.5) – Cam Newton is now officially must-see TV! I find that when the Panthers are on, I can’t take my eyes off the tube a little like Brandon can’t take his eyes off Mikayla’s ass on Survivor South Pacific. Poor Brandon, he clearly had no idea how the producers of Survivor would cut the miles of film footage they shoot, but one thing is for sure they cut to make him look like the biggest hypocrite in the world! Mrs. Brandon is not assumed, how’s the couch treating you Brandon? And why does this guy passionately want Mikayla gone? Is he afraid that she is going to get frisky with him? Honestly, bro, if you can’t control your lust and you’re a man of God, doing a little praying and challenge yourself to keep your eyes off her tatas! Geesh!

 Despite the upgrade at quarterback this week for the Jaguars, I cannot see them slowing down the rook and this high powered Panther attack. Read that line again – high powered Panther attack! Wow, I love the NFL.

 Pick: Carolina -3.5

 Kansas City @ San Diego (-14.5) – I have to believe I am not the only person in the world that believes the Chiefs can actually win this game. Here’s the recipe:

 

  • Norv Turner treats this week like spring break, figuring that the Chargers merely need to show up to win. He doesn’t prepare, therefore the team isn’t prepared and he certainly isn’t telling the players that they need to bring they’re “A” game.
  • The Chiefs are still professional football players, right? Sure they’re missing three top players, but would this team struggle against USC? No, they would kill USC. They and the Chargers still put their pants on one leg at a time, unless of course someone else holds the pants and they jump into them.
  • The Chargers are banged up; all the more reason to believe Norv won’t bother with the trouble to get a backup ready to play.
  • It’s September, therefore it’s impossible for the Chargers to be above .500.

 Throw the above in a bowl, mix it up,and bake for 20 mintues. Violas, Chiefs cover easy and destroy roughly 90% of the remaining participants in survivor pools.

 Pick: Kansas City +14.5

 NY Jets (-3.0) @ Oakland – This Oakland team might be better than we think. They came within an eyelash of a 2-0 road start. And last week was no ordinary road game as the Raiders were on a short week traveling a cross country to play an early game. That’s like 3.1 on the degree of difficulty chart or 3.5 somersaults in pike position from a 3 meter diving board!

 Additionally, news this week came out about the Jets last visit to Oakland and Mark Sanchez downing a hot dog on the bench at the end of the 38-0 rout of the Raiders in 2009. In the clip, the color guy, Dan Dierdorf comments on how Sanchez, in between bites, was trying to “hide a hot dog”. Why couldn’t this game have been called by a color guy with a sense of humor, like Boomer Esiason? Now Boomer certainly wouldn’t have let the opportunity pass to comment, “Greg, I can’t believe it but Sanchez is trying to hide the wiener on the sideline, in the middle of the game!” and later, “I have seen a lot in my days, but I have never seen a player try to play hide the wiener, albeit unsuccessfully, in front of millions.”

 The Raiders defenders after a sack will undoubtedly mention something to Sanchez like , “You like hot dogs, I got a foot-long for you, right here!”

 They’re plenty of reasons to like the Raiders in this game – 1. My buddy Randy, who is the biggest Raider fan I know (but not one of the freaks that wears face pant and S&M attire to the Raiders game) calls this the biggest game since the 2002 Super Bowl; 2. We can apply the same logic to Jets traveling across country as we did to the Raiders last week; 3. The Jets play the Ravens and Patriots in the next two weeks setting up the possible look-ahead situation; and 4. More from Randy, “Campbell played his best game as a Raider last week”, “Denarius Moore is the real deal”, “The Raiders can run the ball and stop the Jets from running, that’s key” and “I like what they’re doing on special teams with Taiwan Jones on kickoff returns and Moore on punt returns; it’s very likely we will see a special teams touchdown.”

 Pick: Oakland +3.0

 Atlanta @ Tampa Bay (-2.5) – There are a couple conflicting key indicators in this game (thanks to Pregame.Com and their SportsbookSpy tool for this information), 1. The spread (line or side) money is heavy in the favor of Atlanta at 88%, yet the line has moved from Atlanta -1 to Tampa Bay -2.5; and 2. The total number of bets is low in comparison to other games, with ~15K bets in Atlanta/Tampa, compared with almost 30K in the Detroit/Minnesota game. This doesn’t pass the smell test, why has the number moved from Atlanta to Tampa when action is on Atlanta? The only explanation is “wise-guy” money moved the line, the public is hammering the Falcons and the books are comfortable letting this game play it’s course (in other words – taking the public behind the woodshed). I am good with that as well.

 The above is great justification for a Tampa pick, but in all honesty the Bucs are the play regardless of those indicators. The hype on Atlanta is just that, hype! And in the NFL it talks several weeks before the public knocks a team from the pre-season hype pedestal, the Falcons bought a few more weeks with that sham of a cover last week. Don’t get me wrong the Falcons are a solid team capable of winning any game, but they have the look of a 9-7 team. Nine win teams shouldn’t command the type of point spread respect that the Falcons are currently receiving,

 Pick: Tampa Bay -2.5

 Green Bay (-4) @ Chicago – We’ve been here before with the Bears, back in week one against the Falcons, they received very little respect at home, when they plowed Atlanta. Now it’s the Packers, and rightfully so the Packers are getting love, but the Packers are the defending Super Bowl champs, meaning they get bet heavily by the public in virtually every game, this game is no exception (86% of the action). Plus, I remember week three last year between these two teams, the Bears, underdogs at home, beat the Packers in an ugly, ugly game for the Packers.

 Sure, the Packers covered and won straight-up in the 2010 NFC Championship against the Bears, but let’s remember that was against some guy named Caleb and featured an easy defensive touchdown for the Packers. Obviously those facts helped immensely in terms of the cover. The fact remains that even the Packers looked unstoppable in that game the Bears had several possessions where they could have driven for a covering score which would have instantly made Caleb Haine the most famous Caleb in history.

 Gimmie, da Bears!

 Pick: Chicago +4

 Pittsburgh (-10.5) @ Indianapolis – This game is going to lead NBC to demanding they get to start flexing games out as early as week two. Thanks, Colts!

 I was all set to take the Colts in this game, you know using similar logic as I used with the Chiefs – essentially the Colts are “due” and can’t be as bad as they have been, etc. Then I heard this quote from Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, “I am still chewing on last week. That’s just the nature of this thing. It’s not going to be just one performance to take that stench off of us.” By last week, Tomlin is referring to the Ravens game in week one, the one performance is last week against the Seahawks and alleged stink that is going to require another exorcism, involves the Colts as the sacrifice. Yikes, Colts, yikes!

 Pick: Pittsburgh -10.5

 Washington @ Dallas (-6.5) – Let’s run down the Cowboys injuries this week – Dez Bryant, probably out with a bruised thigh; Miles Austin out with a shredded hamstring; Felix Jones, might play but has a separated shoulder; Witten has bruised ribs, but will likely play; and Romo broken ribs, punctured lung, will play, allegedly. That is some serious fire-power on the bench this week, so I ask whom besides his butt-buddy (Witten) will be Romo’s targets in this game. The answer – Kevin Ogletree and Jessie Holley! Yikes! Not looking good for the Cowboys this week, especially considering they cannot run the football (or at least they can’t with Felix Jones).

 Give me the Indians!
    
Pick: Washington +6.5

 
 Book it! Colin Wynner calls the week three winners!

 Good Luck to all!

 
 

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