NFL 2011 – Week 11 Picks

I am square in the middle of the worst football season ever. I am sure you don’t need examples, given that I am 25 games behind a contestant that makes their picks by flipping a coin! And if that isn’t bad enough, I am trailing my two daughters one who after ten weeks still does not understand the point spread and the other who failed the state driving permit test.

And it hasn’t been any better in my three fantasy football leagues. To date I have endured five losses by less than 5 points, played the high scoring team of the week four times and I have recorded an 0-3 record three times. By comparison, in the five years I have been in these leagues I may have had a 0-3 weekly record once. And don’t get me started on my roster, which is full of under-achievers and injuries, the kind that end up on a roster with an owner who is having a worst season ever!

Oh, and let’s throw my $20,000 dollar survivor pool where I lost on the Pats/Giants game. In that game the loss required an acrobatic, athletic catch in double coverage by a tight end better known for his slothfulness. And only in a season from hell, would I have something invested in a team that is forced into using Sergio Brown at a critical stage of the game, who promptly delivered the “I have no idea where I am on the field or where the ball is, so I will run into the receiver and then look confused” pass interference to give the Giants a first and goal. And even then, with only a few seconds left on the clock, the Giants weren’t running the ball in that situation – yet somehow the Patriots didn’t realize the situation. The rest is history, as is my share of the 20K.

I am blaming the lockout. I commented prior to the season that the lockout would even the playing field for football enthusiasts – the mediocre to bad fantasy player would suddenly be a factor and the square better would murder the books, while the sharps would be left shaking their heads in disbelief. From what I can ascertain that has pretty much been the case this season.

I know this for a fact, I have never had a season where the words “I am finished with football” have been uttered from my mouth more than this year.

If I were to compare myself to a current NFL it would be the Eagles. You might be thinking, I would go with the Colts, a complete disaster. But that would be the case if right before the season I had a lobotomy and an orchiectomy. No the Eagles fits much better – huge expectations, with very little delivered! Now I am left to play out the string!
On to Colin Wynner’s Week 11 Picks.

 

The Super Wynner Contest Standings

Contestant

Last Week

Record

G-Dub

10-6

85-57-4 (.596)

Megan Wynner

10-6

73-69-4 (.514)

Juana Wynner

8-8

68-74-4 (.479)

Colin Wynner

5-11

60-82-4 (.425)

Las Vegas Hilton Super Contest Week 11 Recap

  • Picks: Falcons (Loss), Jets (Loss), Packers(Win), Chiefs (Loss), Jaguars (Win)
  • The 2-3 week actually moved me up 5 spots in the overall standings; at this rate I merely need the NFL to add 74 weeks to the 2011 season.

LVHSC: 2-3, 21-27-2 (Tied for 424th)

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.

The “Thursday Looming” look ahead game theory:

My crack research team came up with this little nugget – teams that play a Thursday night game in the following are just 1-3 ATS this season and 23-29 since 2008. That is 55.7% percent or to me, in this miserable season, that’s like the “gold” standard.

With Thanksgiving looming, there are six games on the slate that match the “Thursday” criteria. Now not all of these teams will fail to cover, but the historical trend tells us that at least three, and probably four, will fail to cover. So, all I have to do is cherry-pick the 2-3 winners. Stop laughing!

Carolina @ Detroit (7.0) – I have a feeling we’re about two weeks away from answering the question “remember when Cam Newton was covering every spread?” with “Yeah, that was fun!” Detroit cannot afford to be looking ahead after that abysmal performance against the Bears last week.
Pick: Detroit -7.0

Buffalo @ Miami (-2.0) – Have you seen the Pizza Hut fantasy football commercial? You know the one with two fantasy dweebs and Reggie Bush. I really want to know how Pizza Hut settled on Reggie Bush. It had to be money, right? The cheap execs at Pizza Hut balked at the huge dollars an Adrian Peterson or Aaron Rogers would command, so they settled for a guy they could get to do it for a month of free pizzas.

As for the game, I am mildly surprised that the Dolphins are favored in this game, but as I have stated numerous times the Dolphins are the best 2-7 team in the league and really should be 5-4. The odds-makers know this. The Bills, on the other hand are a mess. Let’s touch on what I think is the bigger problem for the Bills – Ryan Fitzpatrick, who doesn’t have a plus arm to begin with, but throw in the fact that he looks like he has dead arm and defenses are packing the line to stop Fred Jackson without fear of the long ball. I hope the Bills saved the receipt.
Pick: Miami -2.0

Arizona @ San Francisco (-9.5) – The Cardinals defied 100% odds last week and beat the Eagles, thus foiling the chance that this game would be the division clincher for the 49ers. See how bad my year has been, even getting behind an obvious charge causes a seismic shift in the NFL – all four NFC West teams winning last week.

The 49ers are due for a stinker and with the “Harbaugh Bowl” due up on Thanksgiving, you have to like the chances of that stinker coming in this game against the Cardinals. The Cardinals will play hard and they discovered this new receiver – Larry Fitzgerald – man, is he good, I wonder where he has been all season.
Pick: Arizona +9.5

Tampa Bay @ Green Bay (-14.0) – It really felt like the Vikings played the Packers tough last week. Then I looked up and it was 45-7! Has there ever been a 45-7 game that seemed close? My goodness betting against the Packers takes major balls, but I there are several things working in the Bucs favor this week – first off, the Packers are playing on a short week; next, you have the Packers Thursday match-up with a division rival; finally, the Bucs looked like crap last week, yet the line is only 14 points. At some point the books have to stop giving away money and put a Packers line above 20. Until then, I will gamble with them that the Packers cannot continue to cover two touchdown spreads.
Pick: Tampa Bay +14.0

Dallas (-7.0) @ Washington – Believe me, I know, the Redskins suck, so even the thought of picking them in this game gives me the shakes. However, I would hope that the Redskins show up with their best effort in quite some time, given that this the classic Cowboys and Indians game.

At the end of the day, I say this is simply too many points to give the home team in a division game. If we blindly played home team underdogs of seven or more points since 1989 we would be 34 games over .500, which is like “football guru” land to me.

Plus, there was a little too much “Winston Wolfing” going on with the Cowboys this week.
Pick: Washington +7.0

Cincinnati @ Baltimore (-7.0) – I really wish the Ravens could somehow find a way to play the Steelers eight times a year. The reason, well, so far this year they have beaten the Steelers twice and the following week lost outright as a six point road favorite. That is exactly the type of “system” that can be profitable, like 16-0 profitable. The sad part for the Ravens is that despite sweeping the Steelers, their meltdown in the following game keeps the Steelers in the NFC North race and if they fail to win the North it’s back on the road for the playoffs.

I am not sure I trust them to cover a touchdown against a team like the Bengals, who match-up nicely with them.
Pick: Cincinnati +7.0

Seattle @ St. Louis (-3.0) – I still do not understand why the Rams are winning games! Look, this team is in dire need of a talent infusion. And since they already have a boatload of money in their franchise quarterback, they have no need for Andrew Luck, but they certainly could use the number one pick to hold another team hostage for draft picks and current viable players. That’s what this franchise needs to turn it around. But, I guess they figured the Colts have a strangle hold on the number one overall pick and they might as well continue playing hard, since a fair portion of them would be out of work if the scenario about came to fruition.

I think the Seahawks are the play here based solely on the unit matchups – Seattle can stop the run, the Rams best offensive weapon is Steven Jackson; on the flip side the Seahawks would prefer to pound Marshawn Lynch and the Rams struggle to stop the run; and when in doubt the Seahawks can have Tavaris Jackson throw it up to Sidney Rice against an over-matched corner.

Yup, the above is exactly why I am taking the Rams. . .
Pick: St. Louis -3.0

Tennessee @ Atlanta (-6.5) – Let’s talk about Falcons OT decision to go for the first down at their own 30. I loved the decision but hated the play call. Let’s go through the reasons why it was a great decision to go for it – a. standard logic tells us that most coaches will run the ball into the line when they perceive they’re in field goal range, which would mean a 45+ yard field goal for that Saints, not exactly a gimmie; b. giving the ball back to the Saints at any point on the field probably means they will mount a drive to win the game. The Falcons defense was running borrowed time as it was with consecutive stops; and c. fourth down and four inches? Should be a no brainer quarterback sneak for an easy first down, absent of a fumbled snap.

But the play call was as bad as it gets. I was watching the game from my living room with my dog, and my dog told me before the play that they better not hand the ball off to Michael Turner. Now if my dog knows that is a bad play call, then it certainly was! The Saints were not going to let Turner get the first down, period! The box was loaded every Saints player, hell I even think I saw DC Greg Williams somewhere in the middle of that mess. Therefore, the Falcons had only two choices – 1. The quarterback sneak or 2. Play action, bootleg roll-out, giving the quarterback pass-run option. And too many things can go wrong with option #2, so the obvious call was a quarterback sneak. It didn’t happen and now the Falcons are fighting for a wild-card instead of a division championship.

This Tennessee team perplexes me, I am like 1-8 picking their games, but I finally think I have it down. It’s all about Hasselbeck – good Hasselbeck, they cover easily, bad Hasselbeck, they get covered easily.

I am banking on good Hasselbeck and a Saints game hangover for the Falcons.

Juana Wynner’s Week 11 Picks

Kansas City @ New England (-15.0)
– Winning by 15 points is a lot for even the world’s best football team. I think that Kansas City will easily win with 15 points added to their score.
Pick: Kansas City +15.0
Arizona @ San Francisco (-9.5)
– The Cardinals have won 3 games so far. All the rest of the games though they have kept the score within 10 points.
Pick: Arizona +9.5
Seattle @ St. Louis (-3.0)
– The Rams are like the Tigers in the movie Kicking and Screaming. They don’t work hard enough to actually win a game and they jack-off at practice.
Pick: Seattle +3.0
Cincinnati @ Baltimore (-7.0) – A Bengal could easily, without a doubt, take down a raven with his eyes closed, but if not take them down they would give many injuries to them.
Pick: Cincinnati +7.0
Tennessee @ Atlanta (-6.5)
– I would rather live in Atlanta, Georgia rather than Tennessee. Their climates are relatively the same but Georgia borders the Atlantic Ocean and I’ve always wanted to live by the ocean.
Pick: Atlanta -6.5
The rest:
Miami -1.5, Washington +7.0, Minnesota -1.5, Cleveland PK, Carolina +7.0, Tampa Bay +14.0, San Diego +3.5, Philadelphia +5.0

Pick: Tennessee +6.5

Jacksonville @ Cleveland (PK) – Last Sunday, as Cleveland lined up to kick the game winning field goal, I recollected my prediction on the Browns/Rams game was that “I wasn’t worried about the Rams winning the game, but I was marginally worried that the Browns would win by 1 or 2 points”. With the way my season has gone, I mused at if the Browns were favored by 1 point and I picked them, they would find a way to win by .5. I am resisting the temptation to predict a tie here, though that is how I can see this turning out. Plus, I think I have finally learned my lesson on the Browns and my fondness of the Jaguars is well documented.
Pick: Jacksonville

Oakland @ Minnesota (-1.5) – Over the past few months I have noticed a growing and disturbing trend – pubic hairs on the urinals in men’s restrooms! I am dead serious, every visit to a public restroom over the past couple of months has included a “bitter beer” face when I step up to the urinal, peer down and see a mound of pubs on the urinal. The big question I am trying to figure out is how a pubic hair can get on a urinal? Without getting into graphic detail, think about guys – doesn’t the said pub have to be placed there? Is it some sort “marking my territory”? You know, like dude A walks in, pees and notices a pubic hair-free urinal, so he decides to mark the urinal with his curly black man-ness. But then dude B, comes in and sees dude A’s pub, and decides that just cannot happen, so he drops two sandy brown strands over the top. And so on and so on. That has to be it, because last week I walked into a public urinal and I would have sworn that Big Foot just finished manscaping his man-region.

Yeah, that has nothing to do with the game, but I had to get that off my chest. I like this Oakland team, I like them a lot! But this is one of those “show-me” games – you know the ones where I need to really see if team A is for real and the ones where I usually fall on the wrong side of the “show-me” side. Well, I think the Raiders are going to show the world that they need to be taken seriously!
Pick: Oakland +1.5

San Diego @ Chicago (-3.5) – Here is how you will know when to stop fading Colin – when I nail a game like this. Why? Well, when I am truly “on”, I have the ability to sniff out trap games and avoid them. This seems like an obvious trap, given that the Bears have looked very impressive over the last two weeks and the Chargers, well, are coached by the most incompetent head coach in the history of the NFL. Also, the Bears will chew the Chargers battered offensive line up and spit them out. Yet, this line is merely 3.5.

This is the “barometer” game – because there is no way the Bears don’t cover this game.
Pick: Chicago -3.5

Megan Wynner’s Week 11 Picks

Colin’s Comment: I gave Megan the week off from the normal “Team A’s colors are better than Team B’s and I think they will out-play them”, because she had a rough Saturday of soccer. Her team played dreadful against a team they have beaten in the past, while one of her sisters had a header goal that led to a tie against the 11th ranked team in the state. Her other sister had the game winning goal against a previously un-beaten team. She’s like the Pittsburgh Pirates to her sisters the Steelers and Penguins!

Picks:
Cincinnati (+7.0), Dallas (-7.0), Miami (-2.0), Tennessee (+6.5), Minnesota (-1.5), Jacksonville (PK), Carolina (+7.0), Green Bay (-14.0), Seattle (+3.0), Arizona (+9.5), Chicago (-3.5), Philadelphia (+6.0), Kansas City (+15.0)

 
Philadelphia @NY Giants (-5.0) – Fun fact for you – Michael Vick and Jeremy Maclin are declared out and the line drops from 6.5 to 5.0! You know what I agree with the line movement because with Vince Young (Ugh!) at the helm, the Eagles will be forced to play a smarter game. A smarter game means giving the ball to their best player – Shady McCoy and playing defense.

And I trust Eli Manning at home about as much as Megan Calvet, or any woman for that matter, should trust that Don Draper will be faithful to her.
Pick: Philadelphia +5.0

Kansas City @ New England (-15.0) – Tyler Palko gets the start for the Kansas City . . . You had me at Tyler Palko!
Pick: New England -15.0

Colin Wynner calls the reverse winners! Good Luck to all!

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