2012 NFL – Week 09 Predictions, “Finally above the Mendoza Line” Edition

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com. The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week.
The “Super Contest” picks:

Seattle (-4.5) over Minnesota – It must be awesome to be a Vikings fan in 2012. Take a look at the image below:

The optimism axis is on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being, “Yeah, we are so effing winning the Super Bowl!” and 1 being, “Oh-Fer-Geez, we suck, eh!” Realistically, the Vikings optimism was a façade to begin with, as they have followed a distinct pattern of being a pretender which includes beating several bad teams with a single quality win just to throw off the pundits. Their defense was dominated poor offensive teams and Christian Ponder was getting a healthy amount of “fantasy” love. Opponents took note, made adjustments, and circled the game as a red letter game. Now the Vikings look lost.

The question is – will the completed season graph for the Vikings look like a roller coaster or a “Oh ya, ya know my teers locked up and went over the cliff.” Check the remaining schedule – Chicago twice, Green Bay twice, Houston, St, Louis and Detroit. Maybe two wins, maybe.

Pittsburgh (+3.0) over NY Giants – I have Hakeem Nicks on one of my fantasy teams this and I also happen to have a white Hakeem Nicks jersey. Needing a huge week out of Nicks last week, I decided to throw the #88 jersey to attempt to bring some good karma to Mr. Nicks. Plus, I enjoy wearing NFL jerseys as normal garb, the reactions always assume and entertain me. This particular day was no different as I was at the bank when one of the teller, er I mean banking specialist, asks me, “It’s that an Akeem Nicks jersey?” I turned to him with an incredulous smile, like, you’re kidding, correct, but I could tell he was serious. So, I wanted to mess with him, with something like, “No, it’s a Stevie Nicks jersey. I’m a huge Fleetwood Mac fan and this 88 jersey symbolizes their best year, 1988” or “Actually, it’s a Carl Nicks jersey, yeah, he lost 175 pounds, improved his 40 time to 4.58, got traded to NY and now plays receiver for the Giants.”

And why was he asking? “He better show up this weekend, I have him on my fantasy team.” And now you know that he is number 88, buddy. You can file that under #ThingsYouWouldntKnowBecuaseYourPrintedDraftListDoesntHavePlayerNumbers or “Reason #758 why I won’t play fantasy football in 2013.”

In terms of the game, do you trust the Giants as a favorite at home? Me neither.

Dallas (+4.0) over Atlanta – I could have done without Rob Ryan guaranteeing a victory after I made this pick. However, I will stick with it for three reasons – 1. Dallas rarely gets blown out, regardless of the situation; 2. Atlanta has been begging to lose for over a month now; and 3. I agree with Rob Ryan – I am guaranteeing a Cowboy victory as well.

Indianapolis (+2.5) over Miami – Wow, I guess beating the Jets gets you into “we can now give points on the road” territory. I feel like Indianapolis matches up really, really well with the Dolphins.

Oakland (-1.5) over Tampa Bay – This is a statement game for the 2012 Raiders, a statement in terms of are we for real or pretenders. They could not ask for anything more from the schedule makers, getting the Bucs at home after a long, long flight. The Bucs simply are not good on the west coast, 2-6 SU/ATS since 2003.

The “Rest of the Winners” picks:

Houston (-10.5) over Buffalo – The Texans have been a double digit favorite four times in the last two seasons. They are 3-0-1 in those four games. Plus, Buffalo isn’t exactly a “keep it close” type of team. Look for the Texans defense to suffocate the Bills, force at least three turnovers and use the aggression that the Bills will likely have on defense (because of the Mario Williams chatter this week) against them with mis-direction plays and more bootlegs than a Mississippian during prohibition. Of all the games this weekend, this one is likely the largest margin of victory, something like 34-7.

Jacksonville (+3.5) over Detroit – According to Blaine Gabbert the Jaguars are “quite happy with their quarterback.” Sweet, that is little like you the readers being happy with me as your college football totals consultant. It might not be that bad, but come on, Gabbert isn’t exactly lighting it up for the Jags. Still, the Jags have plenty of fight in them and if they Lions didn’t make the playoffs last year, there is no way they’re giving points on the road. The pre-season line for this game was 4.5; Jacksonville is at least what we thought they would be, but Detroit is significantly worse than expected, way, way more than a single point.

Philadelphia (+3.0) over New Orleans – Here we go:

  • I get the feeling that the Saints bounty players aren’t going to stop bitching about the NFL presiding “judge” until the NFL agree to let their mothers rule.
  • Speaking the bounty players, do you think about now Saints fans are actually hoping Vilma’s suspension is upheld? He has been horrible.
  • I have to give Andy Reid credit by sticking with Vick, in spite of the intense pressure to make the switch. He realized that if he goes with Foles against the Saints, he wouldn’t know what he had because of the suck that is the Saints defense.
  • Some national pundits believe the winner of this game will make the playoffs this year. Uh, ok. That’s not going to happen. Though I will grant you the loser of this game definitely will not make the playoffs

Carolina (+3.0) over Washington – This game feels like something will happen early where the score will get off a traditional track. And because I feel like the game will be a one or two point game.

Green Bay (-10.0) over Arizona – Remember when the Cardinals were 4-0? Yeah, that was fun! Now at 4-4, with the world against them this is where you would expect the unexpected from this team similar to what we witness in their week two win over the Pats. Here are three reasons why that is not going to happen – 1. The defense fueled much of that victory over the Patriots. The current state of the Cardinals defense is not close to that team, they’re tired and they lack faith that the offense can do anything; 2. The Packers had a close call last week that should wake them up to the reality that on any given Sunday. . .; and 3. The NFC underdogs that were sporting a 34-4 record through week 6, is now just 39-14-1 or 5-10-1 over the last two weeks. There are six NFC underdogs this week, I fully expect no better than 3-3 and I already three games I like better – Carolina, Dallas and Philly. It’s a numbers game.

Denver (-5.0) over Cincinnati – I hate laying 5 points here, but this Bengals team has given me no choice. I wanted to believe that Marvin Lewis would be successful this season despite the terabyte of data telling he would not. I’ve backed them too many times this season, only to see them crap the bed. Never again!

Baltimore (-3.5) over Cleveland – The sucker bet of the week, and yes I am biting. Here is the deal the Ravens crawled to their bye week after playing that brutal stretch of four games in 22 days. Now what we saw out of the Ravens prior to the bye is what is driving this line, not the relative strength of the two teams. I fully expect a rested Ravens team to maul the Browns.

Tennessee (+4.0) over Chicago – The Bears are another NFC team that has been begging to lose for the last couple of weeks.

Last week against the Panthers, Jay Cutler had just 84 yards passing through three quarters. 84! How could the Panthers anemic secondary limit Cutler to such a paltry total?

Good luck this week. And rememberColin Wynner call the winners!

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