NFL 2011 Week 13 Picks

In general my picks are making me feel like I am running in cement with my picks – not getting far and on the verge of the cement setting with me ankle deep. Time is running out, only 80 games remain on the season. For me to have any realistic chance of winning the Wynner contest, I need to go at least 53-27, which would put me 11 games over .500 for the season. That is certainly good enough to take down the other Wynner’s, who won’t be over .500. But my main concern is that G-Dub has defied odds to amass a remarkable 25 games over .500. That is perplexing considering that he weights every game with an equal chance. I might have to launch an investigation into G-Dub’s possible use of performance enhancing drugs.

 

Las Vegas Hilton Super Contest Week 12 Recap

  • Picks: Panthers (Win), Bears (Push), Giants (Loss), Steelers (Loss), Cowboys (Loss)
  • Without a doubt this was the worst week of the season! There was some good news though, I got back 1.5 points of the 9.5 worth of bad beats on two reverse bad beats – Carolina, whose defense really is that bad and Chicago, who somehow managed a push. Take those away and I would have taken the collar or golden sombrero.
  • The Cowboys and Steelers were like watching paint dry and neither seemed destined to cover the spread from the onset of the game. That always makes it painful, kind of like having a fantasy team out of contention. Not that I would know about that or anything.
  • That leaves the Giants. The Giants were my top play last week except I overlooked one major detail– the Saints are like 85-1 ATS at home, in primetime (actually 17-15 since 1989 but 7-3 in the Sean Payton era). Simply put it was a bad call. In hindsight I would have removed that game for the Texans.

LVHSC: 1-3-1, 25-32-3 (Tied for 430th)

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:

 

Teams that play a Thursday night game in the following week are just 4-7-1 ATS this season or 62.5% or “Wow, 62.5%. Anyone who achieves that rate is a genius.” Sure it’s a small sample size, but it’s 100% of the available plays and it is enough for me to hang my sterling 45.7% winning percentage on.

 

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh (-7.0)

Baltimore (-6.5) @ Cleveland

 

I would have preferred to not have both games be division battles as that actually bucks the trend slightly (13-11 ATS since 2009), but I have to play the hand dealt to me. My gut tells me with the conflicting trends that the “Thursday looming” goes 1-1 this week, so with that in mind I have to come up with a single winner. Here is the logic to determine that winner:

 

  • Pittsburgh was a three point favorite in Cincinnati two weeks ago – translating to a 9 point favorite in Pittsburgh. Two points of value on Pittsburgh, me like.
  • The Super Wynner Contest Standings Week 12

    Contestant 

    Last Week 

    Record 

    G-Dub 

    8-8

    98-73-5 (.571)

    Juana Wynner

    12-4

    87-84-5 (.509)

    Megan Wynner

    5-11

    84-87-5 (.491)

    Colin Wynner

    8-8

    78-93-5 (.457)

  • The sandwich game for the Steelers was the Chiefs or a glorified pillow fight. The sandie for the Bengals was the Browns. Sure the Browns suck, but it was more like a fight against a younger brother, who is woefully over-matched on most days but on this day landed a couple lucky punches and turned it into a reasonably competitive fight. Again, advantage Pittsburgh.
  • The Ravens are coming off back-to-back physical games against the Bengals and 49ers. We’ve seen the Ravens twice this season coming off emotional wins lay an egg. My feeling is the game against the 49ers will leave the Ravens closer to a post-Steelers performance than not. Advantage Cleveland.
  • Uh, this is the Browns Super Bowl and Josh Cribbs is sick of losing. Advantage Cleveland, but memo to Josh, you might want to avoid signing a long term deal in C-Land because it’s not going to get any better.
  • While God may not hate Cleveland (though Clevelanders would disagree), the NFL schedule maker certainly does as the Browns play the Ravens or Steelers four times in their last five games. Translation – the Browns have no choice but to show up with their best effort of the year. Advantage Cleveland
  • Lastly, I need a win in one of fantasy leagues to make the playoffs and the team I am playing is starting Colt McCoy against me. I know, I know but stop laughing and read on. Cue the four touchdowns, 300+ yard game from Colt! Huge advantage Cleveland.

Picks: Pittsburgh -7.0, Cleveland +6.5

 

The “all good things must come to an end” theory:

 

Denver @ Minnesota (-1.5)

Oakland @ Miami (-3.0)

 

The Broncos and the Dolphins both have ATS streaks of 4+ games. Since 2005, teams riding a streak of 4 or more ATS are 75-75-3. Perfectly symmetrical, which means I fully expect that strong trend to continue this weekend with one of those teams covering and one not based on the following logic:

 

  • Look, I think Tim Tebow is a great guy; he definitely walks the walk in terms of his faith, so I fully respect him. But let’s be honest this run by the Broncos has been more fueled by external factors rather than the play of the defense or quarterback. Let’s look closer at those factors:
    • Week 9 the Broncos played the Raiders with Carson Palmer starting his first game, in that game the Raiders inexplicably threw the ball 35 times. Well, it seemed inexplicably at the time, but upon further review they needed to get Palmer acclimated to the offense, so they lost the battle to win the war – they felt like they could beat the Broncos with a out of character game plan.
    • Week 10 the Broncos played the Chiefs. Enough said, right? The Chiefs are challenged offensively, defensively and on the coaching staff.
    • Week 11 they caught the Jets after the Patriots loss on a short week in Denver.
    • Week 12 they played against a team coached by Norv Turner, again enough said!
  • Plus, isn’t it about time for Tebow to experience “he who wants to finish first, must be last. . .“?
  • No Von Miller is a gigantic deal for the Broncos. And even if he plays, he will be nowhere near as effective.
  • This is a tough spot for the Raiders, traveling across the country to play a team that is well rested.
  • I mention it every week but the Dolphins are a good team, much better than their record indicates.
  • It’s a been good week for Miami – the Marlins signed a free agent closer, which is huge for that fan base because they Marlins actually signed a big name free agent, translating – they finally have money to spend; and the Heat are back and the favorites to win the NBA title. Why not cap it with a victory by the Dolphins at home, no less?

 

Picks: Minnesota -1.5, Miami -3.0

 


The “backup quarterback in their 2nd start” theory:

 

Atlanta (-2.5) @ Houston

Kansas City @ Chicago (-7.0)

 

I mentioned this above but I believe when a team is faced with playing a backup quarterback due to injury, they will follow a pattern of acclimating the new quarterback to the offense that first start. Then they will return to a normal game-plan the following week. I mean what other reason could there be for the Bears game-plan last week, right?

 

So with that being the case, I can see the Bears returning to the physical, punishing running game this week against the Chiefs. Oh and it helps that the Bears are playing the Chiefs and the Chiefs are starting Tyler Palko, who is his second start covered the spread last week. I guess if you consider covering the spread “playing like crap”, while your opponent craps their pants.

 

I can see the Bears getting two touchdowns via special teams or defense. Conservatively let’s assume the Bears can post 13 offensive points that means the Chiefs have to score 20 points to push. Uh, that’s not going to happen.

 

So, Atlanta is good enough to give Houston points in Houston? I don’t care if Dave Ragone is the starter in Houston, they still play great defense and run the ball effectively. Therefore, they shouldn’t be getting points at home. And I will let you in on a little secret T.J. Yates is going to be better than expected.

 

I will admit that one of my “investing” rules is to check the backup quarterback, if the first name Billy Joe or the last name McCown or Delhomme, you might want to think twice about your investment. Well, I am one fluke injury to Yates away from seeing the human interception machine, Jake Delhomme, taking the field to lead the Texans. Oh, the horror!

 

Picks: Houston +2.5, Chicago -7.0

 

The “double digit road underdog” theory:

 

Indianapolis @ New England (-20.0)

St. Louis @ San Francisco (-13.5)

 

Since 2006 double digit road underdogs are 88-89-2 ATS or 50%. We have two of those spreads this weekend, and since I expect the trend to continue I am tasked with figuring out one road team that will cover the spread.

 

  • The Patriots are more likely to pull an “Uncle Milty” in this game by pulling only what they need to win.
  • I realize that the Colts/Pats are rivals and Belichick is prone to running up the score on his good friends, but to me Belichick can humiliate the Colts more by coming out with a conservative approach, almost as if to tell the Colts “we feel sorry for you”.

Juana Wynner’s Week 13 Picks

Tennessee @ Buffalo (-2.0) – I don’t like Buffalo. I have no idea what the heck a Bill is. Why would you name a team that; it is so dumb.

Pick: Tennessee +2.0

Kansas City @ Chicago (-7.0) – Chicago has been doing pretty good in all of their games. I don’t think that they can win by 7 or more though.

Pick: Kansas City +7.0

Oakland @ Miami (-3) – I love Dolphins. I’ve always wanted to go to California or Hawaii and go swimming with them.

Pick: Miami -3.0

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh (-7.0) – The Steelers are a very good football team. They win most of their games and they give a good fight every game.

Pick: Pittsburgh -7.0

Baltimore @ Cleveland (-6.5) – I don’t think that Cleveland or Baltimore is any good. At least Baltimore has a reasonable team name.

Pick: Baltimore -6.5

The Rest:

NY Jets -3.0, Atlanta -2.5, Carolina +2.0, Detroit +9.0, Denver +1.5, San Francisco -13.5, Dallas -4.5, NY Giants +6.0, Indianapolis +20, San Diego -3

  • I trust Orlovsky to post garbage, covering touchdowns more than Painter. Oh, and I heard there was an alleged Reggie Wayne sighting last week.
  • The Rams are historically bad this season. If they fall behind 14-0, do you feel comfortable that they can come back and cover? Me neither.
  • This is still a rivalry. And with Harbaugh coaching the 49ers, there strong possibility that the 49ers will run up the score just because they can. That will lead to a great mid-field exchange after the game between Spags and Jimbo. Actually, that might be the only reason to watch this game.

 

Picks: Indianapolis +20.0, San Francisco -13.5

 

The “history will prevail” theory:

 

Green Bay (-6.0) @ NY Giants

Dallas (-4.5) @ Arizona

 

Historical facts surrounding these games:

 

  • The Giants have ended the last two perfect season bids that were in double digits – Denver (at 11) and New England (at 18). The Packers are 11-0 just in case you didn’t know.
  • The Giants have looked ridiculous on Monday. But did you know that the Giants were facing a similar situation in 2009, coming off an embarrassing loss to the Broncos 26-6, the Giants were underdogs at home to the Cowboys. The G-Men beat the Cowboys 31-24.
  • Since 2001, these teams have alternated wins and losses – the last team to win, yup, the Packers last season in a game that essentially ended the Giants season.
  • In the past two years the Cardinals have beaten Cowboys in Phoenix. UOP is secretly a tough place to play for visitors, and even though the stadium will be at least half filled with Cowboys fans it’s still been a nightmare for them.
  • The Cowboys lead the NFL in a very important stat – “wins without covering”, with four. They have seven wins, so 57% of the time the Cowboys fail to cover if they win. I like it!
  • It feels like the Cowboys are due for stinker here. This is a road game is sandwiched between Thanksgiving and a home date with the Giants. Talk from ‘Boys fans this week was all about “if the Packers beat the Giants, next week is for the division”. As if winning in Arizona is a foregone conclusion.

 

Picks: NY Giants +6.0, Arizona +4.5

The “we’re champs of September” theory:

 

Tennessee @ Buffalo (-2.0)

Detroit @ New Orleans (-9.0)

 

Ah, back at the end of September, Lions fans were taunting Bills fans about their potential Super Bowl matchup. What a difference two months make, both teams are in the middle of epic collapses and my prediction would be neither will make the post-season.

 

Tennessee gets the pick by default, but the Saints, well the Saints look good, like “if you can’t pressure Brees, you can’t stop them” good.

 

Picks: Tennessee +2.0, New Orleans -9.0

 

The “when in doubt, check who G-Dub picked” theory:

 

NY Jets (-3.0) @ Washington

Carolina @ Tampa Bay (-2.0)

 

Yeah, these are the two games where I am essentially flipping a coin. However, I will use some logic courtesy of the transitive property:

 

Washington beat the Giants by 14, the Giants beat the Patriots by 4 and the Patriots beat the Jets by 21, therefore the Redskins will beat the Jets 49-10.

 

Megan Wynner’s Week 13 Picks

Carolina @ Tampa Bay (-2.0) – I think that Carolina will win because they have been doing good so far.

Pick: Carolina +2.5

Detroit @ New Orleans (-9.0) – I think that the Detroit Lions will win because I like lions!

Pick: Detroit +9.0

Dallas (-4.5) @ Arizona– I think that the Arizona Cardinals will win because they are my states team!

Pick: Arizona -4.5

Green Bay (-6.0) @ N.Y. Giants
– I think that the Green Bay Packers will win because they won the super bowl last year!

Pick: Green Bay -6.0

San Diego (-3.0) @ Jacksonville– I think that the Jacksonville Jaguars will win because jaguars are strong! And chargers aren’t!

Pick: Jacksonville +3.0

The Rest:

Buffalo +2.0, Chicago +7.0, Miami -3.0, Pittsburgh -7.0, Baltimore -6.5, N.Y. Jets -3.0, Atlanta -2.5, Denver +1.5, San Francisco -13.5, Indianapolis +20

Carolina beat the Redskins by 13, Washington beat the Seahawks by 6, Seattle beat the Ravens by 5, Baltimore beat the 49ers by 10 and San Francisco beat the Buccaneers by 45, therefore the Panthers will beat the Buccaneers 81-2.

 


Picks: Washington +3.0, Carolina +2.0

 

And finally the “Kentucky Fired Coaches” bowl:

 

San Diego (-3.0) @ Jacksonville – Jack Del Rio became the first coach fired this week, but on the heels of that firing comes the report that Norv Turner will be fired at season’s end. When asked about the report, Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers commented, “Finally! I mean do you think my worst season ever is because I suck or because I want this guy out of here? FYI, it’s the latter.” When told that the Chargers could win out, win the division and host a playoff game, Rivers responded, “That’s not going to happen, I guarantee it.” He then ran toward the tunnel waving his hand with his index finger extended!

 

Pick: Jacksonville +3.0
Colin Wynner calls the winners! Good Luck to all!

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