2012 NFL Predictions – Week 02, “I suck at this” edition

After a brutal week one, I came back strong with the Bears on Thursday night. Oh wait, the Bears didn’t cover? Really?  And you say, Cutler looked like a little bitch out there by not only sucking donkey scrotum, but he also pulled a total bitch move by blaming his offensive line, coaches, receivers, defense, clubhouse attendants, God (for his diabetes), equipment managers, uh, I think you get the point. And how the hell do you give up a 4th and 26 fake field goal for a touchdown?

Argh! Seventeen games in to the 2012 season, I am sitting at a welfareesque 6-11. I was this was a singing competition, like X-Factor, Simon Cowell would tell me, “Colin, seriously you should never sing again. You’re just not good at it.” Or translated, while there is a ton of entertainment in reading Colin’s selections, that’s not the point, if Colin isn’t calling winners, then Colin is out of business. It’s that simple. Excluding a nice 7-4 playoff run last year, Colin has been pretty miserable with all picks over the last 13 months. These next couple of weeks will determine whether Colin sent out to stud (actually, what do they do with horses that suck in the first place, oh yeah, the glue factory. Let’s hear it Animal Rights Activists) or whether he is allowed to continue racing.

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 “SuperContest” picks:

Dallas (-3.0) @ Seattle – The pre-season line on this game was Seattle -1.5. So, we have a 4.5 point movement because of the Cowboys impressive win and the Seahawks surprising loss in Arizona. My big question is what would this line be if the Giants VictorCruz hadn’t dropped a bushel full of balls and if Doug Baldwin or Braylon Edwards hang onto a ball in the end zone. I think we the answer – Seattle -1.5. I am still on the “Seahawks are winning the NFC West” bandwagon.

Picks: Seattle +3.0

Cleveland @ Cincinnati (-7.0) – This game is the opposite of the Dallas/Seattle, as the pre-season line was 7 and the actual line is 7, despite the obvious differences in these two teams performances in week one. Cleveland took the Eagles to the wire and if L. J. Fort doesn’t drop a ball that hit him square in the hands, the Browns upset the Eagles. Meanwhile, a day later the Bengals get hammered by the suddenly Super Bowl bound, Ravens. So, following the logic above shouldn’t this line be closer to Bengals -4.5?

Now, I might be in the minority, but I came away from the Bengals/Ravens thinking it was much closer than 31 points. I would have like to see that game played out if the Bengals had a competent head coach. You know the kind of coach that has the balls to go for a 4th and 1 on opponent’s one yard line. Oh, that Marvin Lewis, so in over his head, yet this is his 10th year as the head man in Cincinnati. The reasons go to for it in that situation have been statistically proven but there is also the situation, which would can throw in a very subjective category we will call “common sense”. So, let’s look closer at the situation – the Bengals were down by seven, but had momentum. Kicking a field goal there stops the momentum because you still need a touchdown. Plus, by kicking a field goal there, you send a message to your team that you don’t trust the offense or the defense; the Ravens offense had not seen the field for roughly an hour of real-time, would you rather have their first play on the field from their own 30 or their own 1?

Marvin opted for the field goal, the Ravens promptly marched the length of the field for a touchdown, effectively ending the game.

So, it wasn’t that bad of an effort for the Bengals and the odds-makers know all about Marvin Lewis, so that is already built into the line.

This looks like a rebound, whoop-some-ass game for the Bengals

Picks: Cincinnati -7.0

NY Jets @ Pittsburgh (-5.0) – No Revis, an overly impressive opening week win and a desperate Steelers team. Add it up . . .

Picks: Pittsburgh -5.0

Kansas City @ Buffalo (-3.0) – Both these teams were extremely disappointing in week one. For the Chiefs they simply ran into a buzzsaw with the Falcons, but they also were without key defensive players, Hali and Flowers. They get those guys back this week. The Bills just look bad. Much like the Chiefs, the Bills problems last week are due to missing key players, namely their quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Seriously, if you have seen Ryan Fitzpatrick, please contact the Bills. Actually, I think Ryan Fitzpatrick is pretty much what everyone but the Bills thought he was – a serviceable backup. Unfortunately for the Bills they’re stuck Fitz, at least in the foreseeable future.

Oh, and don’t forget this is a payback game for last year’s season opening 41-7 drubbing the Bills gave the Chiefs in Arrowhead.

Picks: Kansas City +3.0

Washington (-3.5) @ St. Louis – There is way, way too much hype on this Redskins team. The pre-season line was a pick’em in this game and the Rams looked impressive in their loss to the Lions last week, so this is a 3.5 point movement all on the RG III hype.

Picks: St. Louis +3.5

The “Contrarian Hype” picks:

Detroit +7.0, Miami +2.5 and Philadelphia +2.5

The “I just flipped a coin” picks:

Minnesota -3.0, Carolina +2.5, New England -13.5, Atlanta -3.5, Tennessee +6.5, Houston -7.0

Last Week: 6-10-0

This Week: 0-1-0

2012 Season Record: 6-11-0

2012 SuperContest Record: 2-3 (Tied for 279th place)

Colin Wynner calls the winners, picks games, a skill that virtually everyone possesses. Good Luck to all, but mostly to me!


NFL 2012 – Week #1 Predictions

Football is back. My over/under on weeks before I utter the words, “I hate this league” has settled at 2.5. I am leaning toward the under.

Here are week one picks. Remember, the NFL is my specialty.

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 “SuperContest” picks:

Seattle (-2.5) @ Arizona – I find it ironic that immediately after Marshawn Lynch gets a huge contract, he is all of sudden down with “back spasms” so bad that it might prevent him from playing in the opener. Wasn’t that the whole issue with Lynch to begin with? It’s like Marshawn plays in “beast” mode when he needs a contract but once he has a deal he plays in “bitch” mode. Nevertheless, this game won’t be close, as this Cardinals team is complete garbage.

Picks: Seattle -2.5

Atlanta (-2.5) @ Kansas City – Remember last year the week one matchup between the Faclons and Besrs in Chicago? Well, the “sharps” were all over the Falcons in that, so much that the line moved from Bears -1.0 for Falcons -3.0. Well, those crazy “sharps” are back at – all over the Falcons again this year in the opener, in arguable a more difficult place to play, Arrowhead. In five weeks, we will look a back on this game with amazement that Falcons were favored. And that’s more because the Chiefs will be that impressive.

Picks: Kansas City +2.5

Carolina (-2.5) @ Tampa Bay – Have you noticed the pattern here? My first three games are all road favorites of exactly -2.5. In these cases, history tells us that one of those will cover, Seattle, and two will not. . .

Side note – enough is enough, it’s time to stop laughing at the “NFL is my specialty” comment above, focus man, focus!

Picks: Tampa Bay +2.5

Buffalo @ NY Jets (-3.0) – The Bills are getting a little too much love here. Yeah, I like them to win 10 games this season but this line and line movement is disrespectful to the Jets, who were 5 point favorites when the week one lines were released back in August. Look the Jets can still play great defense and they have a secret weapon, the Bills are clueless about the Jets “wildcat” package. This might be is the lock of the week!

Picks: NY Jets -3.0

San Diego @ Oakland (-1.0) – What is there to like about the Charger this season? They look like a mess to me. Their quarterback, Phillip Rivers, was forced to play the final pre-season game because he looked so pathetic in the first three pre-season games. The defense is weak, their receivers are a collection of #2’s (and no I don’t mean turds, though that fits) and their coach is over-matched is just about every game. It seems like they’re depending on an oft-injured Antonio Gates to stay healthy and be the Gates of 2007. That’s pretty risky.

Plus, this Oakland team is for real on offense, at home and hungry!


Pick: Oakland -1.0

The “how many Rams does it take to change a flat tire? Just one, unless it’s a blowout, then they all show up.” picks

Indianapolis @ Chicago (-10.0) – The Bears play the Packers week two on a Thursday night. In other words, they have a short week coming up against their arch-rival and primary competition in the NFC North. Now, I really believe the Bears can go into Lambeau and come away with a win. They’d have the entire offseason to prepare for this game, you have to think they will come up with a few new wrinkles to make Aaron Rodgers uncomfortable, plus the Packers are coming off a physical game with the 49ers on a short week, as well.

You see how I did that? I completely discounted this week’s game against the Colts. Don’t think the Bears aren’t doing the exact same thing.

Pick: Indianapolis +10.0

Philadelphia (-9.5) @ Cleveland – Poor Cleveland! I cannot imagine growing up in a city where perpetual losing is a way of life. There are 9.5 point underdogs, at home on week one! And if you gave the bookies the chance to re-post this line immediately after the final gun, they would post a 13.5. Yeah, it’s going to be that bad.

Pick: Philadelphia -9.5

Washington @ New Orleans (-8.0) – Buyer beware – I hate the Saints, so I cannot make logical decisions with regard to their games. However, even with that I fully expect to hit at least 8 of their games correctly this season. I think New Orleans got their big victory on Friday when some liberal judge ruled in the favor of the Saints players in the bounty-gate case. Therefore, this game is meaningless to them – like “They (Saints) won because Smith and Vilma were able to play.”

Pick: Washington +8.0

Miami @ Houston (-12.5) – I will let you in on a little secret, I bet the Texans at -7.5 way back at the beginning of August. I know what you’re thinking, “where the eff was that inside information, Colin?” There are some things I just have to keep to myself. Look if this game isn’t a 34-7 blowout by the Texans, I will chop off lefty, self stitch my sack and send the teste to the “Center for Research on Abnormally Large Body Parts”. Fair enough?

Pick: Houston -12.5

St. Louis @ Detroit (-8.5) – Am I crazy to think that the Rams actually have a chance in this game? I enter the follow exhibits as to why – 1. The Lions are one dimensional and despite the reality that the Rams have no one that can keep Calvin Johnson from going all “Flipper Anderson v the Saints, circa 1989” on them, I think they find a way to exploit the Lions inability to run the ball; 2. We don’t really know what we have with Sam Bradford, right? I mean this guy was the number one overall pick. He has two years under his belt, meaning the game has to be slowing down for him. He has a coach that wants to and will be able to protect him. Why can’t this guy lead the Rams to an upset?; 3. The lack of a Lions running game means the Rams front four, which believe it or not is a strength, can pin their ears back and attack Stafford; 4, The lions best defender, Ndomakong Suh, is mourning the reality that his mentor and butt buddy, Bo Pelini, is on his out at Nebraska. Don’t get me started!; and 5. Jeff Fisher > Jim Schwartz; remember Schwartz worked under Fisher for quite some time in Tennessee, now it’s time for Obi-Wan to leave Anakin legless in a smoldering pile of lava.

Uh, on second thought, yeah, I am crazy, the Rams have no shot!

Pick: Detroit -8.5

Cincinnati @ Baltimore (-7.0) – I’m down on both teams this season, however, seven points seems a bit too much for a couple of good defensive teams with spotty offenses. Give me the points on Monday night!

Pick: Cincinnati +7.0

The “Toss-up” picks:

New England (-5.5) @ Tennessee – I cannot wait to see Chris Johnson this season, who somehow despite killing a majority of the fantasy teams last season was still highly regarded this season to be taken in the top 10 in most fantasy drafts. My hatred of him is well documented, so it is difficult for me to be objective, but I watched him in the pre-season and I see nothing different from last year. He doesn’t want to get hit, period! He plays a position where one gets hit and hit often, so there is a huge conflict and unless he can find huge chunks of yardage around the end without getting touched he is going to be useless.

As for this game, something tells me the Pats aren’t going to be the Pats for a few weeks.

Pick: Tennessee +5.5

San Francisco @ Green Bay (-5.0) – This will be the first in a series of “payback” games for the 49ers. What’s a 49er “payback” game? A game where the 49ers lose because of either a combination of or one of the following: a. bad turnover; b. missed assignment that leads to a big play; c. a key dropped pass; d. a bad call that goes against the them; e. missed field goal in a big spot; or f. A boneheaded coaching decision that when called out in the post-game causes Harbaugh to blow a gasket and attack the reporter leading to a suspension. Too much went right for that team last season, to not have it turn against them this year.

That aside the 49ers will keep this game close.

Pick: San Francisco +5.0

Jacksonville @ Minnesota (-3.5) – I wish DirecTV would provide subscribers to the NFL Sunday Ticket a count of TV’s tuned to each game. My guess is, if you excluded Minnesota fans and the handful of Jaguars fans, this game might never top out at more than 100. This game won’t be make DirecTV’s “game mix” channel. And even the “Red Zone” channel will likely delay any scoring in this game for maybe a quarter or so – like, “OK, it’s halftime now in Minnesota, but we want to take you back to early first quarter action to show you this score by the Vikings. . . ”

For the pick – it’s simple – the Vikings have some promise, the Jags are garbage.

Pick: Minnesota -3.5

Pittsburgh @ Denver (-1.5) – Dumbest line of the week! Why? Well, the 2011 season ended for the Steelers right there in Denver. Anyone remember what the line was in that game? Steelers by 7.5! So, essentially with everything else being the same, you’re telling me that a 35-year old quarterback, coming off one year layoff due to major neck surgery is worth 9 points? Did I mention that Manning has a fused neck? And one blind-side, whiplash hit could easily un-fuse his neck. I will take the value on Pittsburgh.

Pick: Pittsburgh +1.5

2012 Season Record: 1-0-0

Colin Wynner calls the winners! Good Luck to all!

2012 NFL Season Predictions

The long awaited 2012 NFL season predictions, with one game already in, Colin is pushing the deadline, but no worries fearless fans you can still get down on some of the juicer season wins and future bets.

I follow the “NFL Season Prediction Rules to live by” found here.

Step 1:

Determine the teams with the potential to fall into a +/- 4 victories category. (Greyed cells indicate a team cannot fall into that bucket)

Team

Div

2011 WINS

Plus 4

Minus 4

Team

Div

2011 WINS

Plus 4

Minus 4

Bills AFCE

6

    Bears NFCN

8

   
Dolphins AFCE

6

    Cowboys NFCE

8

   
Jets AFCE

8

    Eagles NFCE

8

   
Patriots AFCE

13

    Giants NFCE

9

   
Bengals AFCN

9

    Lions NFCN

10

   
Browns AFCN

4

    Packers NFCN

15

   
Ravens AFCN

12

    Redskins NFCE

5

   
Steelers AFCN

12

    Vikings NFCN

3

   
Colts AFCS

2

    Buccaneers NFCS

4

   
Jaguars AFCS

5

    Falcons NFCS

10

   
Texans AFCS

10

    Panthers NFCS

6

   
Titans AFCS

9

    Saints NFCS

13

   
Broncos AFCW

8

    49ers NFCW

13

   
Chargers AFCW

8

    Cardinals NFCW

8

   
Chiefs AFCW

7

    Rams NFCW

2

   
Raiders AFCW

8

    Seahawks NFCW

7

   

The above thins the available teams from 64 options to a more reasonable 42. Using the above, we can see that they are eight teams that finished 8-8 last year, so based on that I am going to estimate the number of overall +/- 4 teams will be slightly lower than normal years. The reason, it’s pretty hard to go 4-12 and 12-4, those records seem like the lower and upper boundaries that are difficult to achieve. Now in a year where 6 of those 8 teams were either 7-9 or 9-7, it’s a bit more reasonable to expect 11-5 or 5-11. So, I am settling on 11 teams in this group. And here they are, in order of confidence:

  1. Buffalo – 10-6, up 4 wins; the hype machine is on over-load and I don’t trust their QB, especially late in the year. But the division is easier (NYJ likely down, Dolphins likely horrible), the schedule is easier (NFC West and AFC South) and the defense added a pro bowler in Mario Williams, so you have to figure that the Bills are candidates to post 10 wins and earn a playoff berth.
  2. Indianapolis – 6-10 up 4 wins; Things could not have gone worse last year for the Colts. And just when you thought they were going to screw the entire season by winning their last three, thus avoiding the number 1 overall, they rallied to a resounding defeat in week 17, giving them the rights to Andrew Luck. Imagine the renewed energy Reggie Wayne will have this season; he has to be so thankful to have a moderately competent quarterback that he might put up numbers like it was 2007 again. That should be enough to get the Colts four additional wins.
  3. San Francisco – 8-8, down 5 wins; this is purely based on facts. Fact 1 – the 49ers Pythagorean formula of expected wins last season was a little of 12, so they outperformed their expect by a game. But upon closer examination of their schedule we see they caught the Buccaneers at the beginning of the “mailing it in” tour in a 48-3 win and they also got the Steelers, 20-3, with a very gimpy Big Ben. Normalized those two games and it brings us down to 11 wins. Fact 2 – the 49ers had three ridiculously lucky wins last season, the Eagles, Lions and 2nd Seahawks games. Fact 3 – perhaps the biggest reason I see this taking a step back is the turnover margin from a year ago. Not only the 49ers protect the ball giving up just 10 turnovers, they forced 38 turnovers, for a mind-blowing +28. How much is a turnover worth in points? Well, it obviously varies based upon where the turnover occurs, but in general, turnovers are worth around 4 points. Meaning that if the 49ers post a very nice +12 turnover margin this season, they will lose roughly 64 net points, which translates, in Pythagorean terms, to about 3 wins. Good enough for me!
  4. Kansas City – 11-5, up 4 wins; The Chiefs lost their 2nd best receiver, best defensive player and best offensive player in a three week span, starting with the pre-season finale and ending with the second regular season game. And despite the fact they hated Todd Haley about as much as Red Sox players hate Bobby Valentine and you have to wonder how the Chiefs managed to win 7 games last season. Well, they’re extremely young and talented, that’s how. And as much grief as I have given Romeo Crennel over the years, “clueless, stares at the play-sheet like it’s a menu, deer in the headlights, his dog ate the card listing the times a coach should go for two, etc.”, the last time a former Browns head coach was given a second chance it worked out fairly well. The point? We simply don’t know about Romeo, because all we have to go on is his failure in Cleveland. The moral of the story? Nobody can be held responsible for failing in Cleveland!
  5. Tampa Bay – 8-8, up 4 wins; Honestly, I had to hold back in picking them to win the division with 11 wins. New coach, new Josh Freeman, new receivers, renewed receivers and a focus that generally translates into a positive upswing. The downside? The schedule is rough (NFC East and AFC West), the division is rough, even if the Saints fall back and there are still a ton of questions on defense. But this team won 10 games two years ago. They are closer to that team, than the poster boys for “mailing it in” like last year.
  6. Minnesota – 7-9, up 4 wins; since 1989 they have been 24 teams that won 3 games in a season, the next year 10 of those teams won seven or more games. Yeah, 42% success rate is a recipe to end up on welfare, but consider this subset of three win teams since 2000 – seven of nine have won seven or more games the next year. And one of teams that failed was the Rams, so really it’s like 7/8. Plus, the Vikings started 0-4 last year by a combined 19 points, with each game being decided by a touchdown or less. They also had an excruciating loss to the Broncos, where one of their DBs got red-carded early in the game, forcing the Vikings to play a man down. That had to be the reason they forgot to cover D. Thomas for almost the entire second half, right? So, flip a play or two in those first four, give then the Broncos game and turn one more close loss into a win and viola – a seven win team.
  7. Green Bay – 11-5, down 4 wins; Easy call here. Even coach Mike McCarthy admitted halfway through the 2011 season that the Packers were four plays away from being 4-4 last year, as opposed to 8-0. Let’s add that the Packers have now experienced both ends of capricious nature of the NFL playoffs – in 2010 barely made it in, ran the table; in 2011 dominated the regular season, laid an egg in the playoff opener. Based on their experience last season, my guess is the Pack realize home field advantage is slightly over-rated in the playoffs, and therefore, they will have a few of those games where they’re lackadaisical and flat out bored.
  8. New Orleans – 8-8, down 5 wins; I know my personal bias is getting in the way of making a logical decision on the Saints, but screw it, I hate this Saints team with the white hot intensity of a googol suns. Why? Well, for starters, I am not fond of their, now estranged, head coach Sean Payton. He strikes me as a sissy version of Jim Harbaugh, translation, he invokes the same “I want to plant one right on your kisser” feelings except without the fear that he might fight back. I hate the way the Saints ran up the scores at the end of last season and kept their starters in far too long, just to make sure Brees broke Marino’s passing records. In a similar situation back in 09 with little or nothing to play for, the Saints rested their starters in the final regular season game, last year the Saints kept Brees in virtually the entire game despite the facts that – 1. The 49ers were cruising against the Rams, thus rendering the Saints game meaningless; and 2. The Saints has a comfortable lead late in the game. But they left Brees in to throw, throw, and throw some more. Add in the bounty-gate crap, the reality that the Saints are coached by Gomer Pyle, with Sean Payton out for the year and it feels a lot like it is about to come around on this team. I won’t be a bit surprised if in successive weeks a blitzing safety drives Brees throwing shoulder into the Superdome turf so hard that when Brees gets up it appears as though his arm is attached to his shoulder by a single, thin line of dental floss, then the following Jimmy Graham goes down with an ACL tear and finally Darren Sproles blows out his achilles in week three. “The New Orleans Saints are on the clock. . .”
  9. Chicago – 12-4, up 4 wins; This is where it gets tough. Man, I really wish the Bears didn’t rise up last January 1st, by knocking off the Vikings, thus securing a .500 record. This would have been much more palatable to select the Bears at 11-5, but the “Rules” are the rules and I have to play by them. Look the Bears were 7-3 last season, headed for the playoffs when injuries Forte and Cutler derailed their season. Their defense will be good enough, it always is. But they have significantly upgraded their offense by adding two new toys for Cutler in WR Brandon Marshall and WR Alshon Jeffrey. Plus, I think they sweep the Packers this season. They get them in week two, on a short week and after the Packers play a physical game against the 49ers, the Bears meanwhile have a glorified scrimmage against the Colts in week one. That week two game is the difference in the division!
  10. Detroit – 6-10, down 4 wins; Zero, and I mean zero, running game means that Matthew Stafford and company will have to throw, throw and throw. So what, right? We all know that the NFL has become a passing league, but such a reliance on the passing means the quarterback is vulnerable to injury, as are the receivers. The defense is nothing to get excited about. And the division figures to be better with Chicago and Minnesota improved. And with all that, I still can only slot then in my 10th confidence spot because overall they have more talent than a 6 win team and they also get the worst divisions in each conference as their opponents (NFC West and AFC South). But call it a “Tampa Bay 2011” hunch, I this team catches the wrong end of some breaks early, which leads to the proverbial “circling of the drain” late.
  11. Washington – 9-7 up 4 wins; I love me some of RG III. Isn’t RG III a freakishly great nickname? I mean that just rolls off the tongue, it so natural, hell I wanted to draft him way too high in fantasy just to announce his name. And, yeah, RG III is a rookie, but come on he is certainly better than the bag of diarrhea the ‘Skins were throwing out there last year. I figure they get off to a hot start (4-2) and then play .500 the rest of the way, sneak into the playoffs as the #6 seed and then we all retire after betting against them in the Wildcard round.

Determine 2011 playoff teams that will not return, in order of confidence:

  1. Denver – It doesn’t get much easier than going opposite of the “hype” pick in any given season. Let’s also add the Broncos should’ve been, at best, 6-10 last season and you have the makings for gross under-achievement. Did I mention that the Broncos schedule is brutal the first two months? Odds are 50/50 that Peyton Manning makes it out of that stretch with his neck still fused.
  2. Cincinnati – One very good reason – the Bengals have made the playoffs five times in the last 24 years, the year after they failed to make the playoffs. Head Marvin Lewis has been around for three of those five seasons, meaning Marvin isn’t the perpetual disappointment just when expectations reach anything above the “just don’t embarrass yourself” level.
  3. San Francisco – See above. And throw in this – isn’t Jim Harbaugh due for some bad karma? Think about the piles of crap this guy has left for someone else to clean – whether it’s blatantly running up the score or going all “crazy handshake” on another coach or simply his arrogant approach to his profession. At some point this has to come around, my guess is the stars are aligning for it to come around in a big way this year.
  4. Detroit – See above. And I am much more confident the Lions miss the playoffs than I am that they win 6 or less. So you got that going for you.
  5. New Orleans – See above, but one more thing about the Saints. Their backup quarterback is a known booger eater, yep that’s right Chase Daniel eats boogers. I ask you, football fans, would you trust a team that is one injury away from having a booger eating, butt-plug taking first team snaps at QB? Me neither!
  6. New York Giants – It’s amazing that this team has triumphantly hoisted the Lombardi twice in the past 4 seasons when you consider that they were two plays away from not making the playoffs in either year. The schedule is brutal, the division is brutal and, most importantly, this team won’t be hungry this year. In addition, I get the sense they think they can turn it on whenever they want. This year, as opposed to last year, Romo completes that easy pitch and catch to Miles Austin and viola, the Giants are missing from the 2012 playoffs.

That means the six new teams to the post-season party in 2012 will be: Buffalo, Kansas City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington.

In summary, I followed the “rules” to the letter on selecting six new playoff teams. I limited the +/- 4 games teams to eleven based on the number of returning 8-8 teams. I selected the Kansas City Chiefs as my “worst to first” team for 2012. And finally, I used 145 as my total of home team wins.

Without further ado, here are Colin’s official 2012 NFL Standings complete with record, division/conference/Super Bowl odds, season win total:

2012 AFC Predictions

AFC East
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 NewEngland 14 2 (500) 250 700 12.0 100 (120)
2 Buffalo 10 6 600 2,000 5,000 7.5 (200) 170
3 NY Jets 8 8 550 2,000 2,000 8.5 150 (180)
4 Miami 4 12 3,000 5,000 5,000 6.5 120 (140)
AFC North
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 Pittsburgh 11 5 100 600 1,200 10.0 (145) 125
2 Baltimore 9 7 125 700 1,200 10.0 145 (170)
3 Cincinnati 7 9 450 2,300 4,000 8.0 150 (180)
4 Cleveland 4 12 2,500 5,000 10,000 5.0 100 (120)
AFC South
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 Houston 10 6 (600) 500 1,200 10.0 (170) 145
2 Tennessee 7 9 500 2,500 5,000 7.5 115 (135)
3 Indianapolis 6 10 1,200 4,500 4,000 5.5 (110) (110)
4 Jacksonville 3 13 1,200 5,000 10,000 6.5 100 (120)
AFC West
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 Kansas City 11 5 350 2,000 5,000 8.0 140 (160)
2 Oakland 8 8 450 2,000 5,000 7.5 130 (150)
3 San Diego 7 9 200 1,200 1,500 9.0 140 (160)
4 Denver 6 10 125 450 1,000 8.5 (170) 145

A couple interesting notes on the AFC futures

  • The Colts are 45-1 to win the AFC but 40-1 to win the Super Bowl. I think that is a strong indicator that the book has received too many SB bets on the Colts.
  • There is zero value on the AFC West champion – 4.5-1 on the Raiders. The book is clueless when it comes to this division, so they simply bury the odds so they can’t get burnt. That’s easy to do on future bets where you don’t have to offer the opposite side. Think about it if I had to lay -145 that the Broncos won’t win the West, I would drain a retirement account to make that bet.
  • I love the Bills over 7.5 but not at that -200 number way too heavy.

AFC Future Bets:

  • Kansas City Over 8.0 wins – 2.0 units at +140
  • Jacksonville Under 6.5 wins – 3.0 units at -120
  • Miami Under 6.5 wins – 2.0 units at -140
  • New England to win AFC East – 5.0 units at -500

AFC Playoff predictions:

Wildcard RoundBaltimore over Kansas City and Houston over Buffalo

Divisional RoundNew England over Baltimore and Houston over Pittsburgh

AFC ChampionshipNew England over Houston

2012 NFC Predictions

NFC East
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 Philadelphia 10 6 120 600 1,200 10.0 115 (135)
2 Washington 9 7 1,000 4,000 10,000 6.0 (150) 130
3 NY Giants 8 8 180 700 2,000 9.0 (125) 105
4 Dallas 7 9 200 1,200 2,000 8.5 (185) 155
NFC North
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 Chicago 12 4 250 700 3,000 9.5 100 (120)
2 Green Bay 11 5 (230) 300 500 11.5 (110) (110)
3 Minnesota 7 9 2,500 5,000 10,000 6.0 100 (120)
4 Detroit 6 10 450 1,200 2,000 9.0 100 (120)
NFC South
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 Atlanta 10 6 140 1,200 2,000 9.0 (140) 120
2 New Orleans 8 8 120 1,000 600 9.5 (120) 100
3 Tampa Bay 8 8 1000 5,000 10,000 6.0 (130) 110
4 Carolina 7 9 350 2,000 5,000 7.5 (140) 120
NFC West
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 Seattle 10 6 200 1,800 6,000 7.5 (160) 140
2 San Francisco 8 8 (240) 400 2,000 9.5 (160) 140
3 Arizona 6 10 1,200 5,000 3,000 6.5 100 (120)
4 St. Louis 4 12 1,000 5,000 10,000 6.0 (110) (110)

Interesting notes on the NFC futures

  • The Saints are 6-1 to win the Super Bowl, which is a total joke; again books wouldn’t post crap numbers like this if they had to take it on the other side. Give me -1000 on the Saints not to win the Super Bowl and I will put those pricks out of business.
  • I am shocked that the Cardinals are actually the least likely team to win the NFC West; also shocked that I can’t get better than 2-1 on the Seahawks to win the division. At 5-1, I would hammer them, but 2-1 feels a little bit like I would be better waiting for a couple key games and playing a normal money line bet.
  • The 49ers are sitting at 9.5 wins after opening at 10.5, proving that sometimes, especially when you know what to expect from a team, you have to play it early.
  • The best value on the board in terms of division winner is Tampa Bay, who could very well sneak in and surprise in the South.

NFC Future Bets:

  • Seattle Over 7.5 wins – 3.0 units at -160
  • Detroit Under 9.0 wins – 2.0 units at -120
  • Washington Over 6.0 wins – 3.0 units at -150
  • Chicago Over 9.5 wins – 3.0 units at even
  • Chicago to WIN Super Bowl – .5 unit at +3000

NFC Playoff predictions:

Wildcard Round Philadelphia over Washington and Green Bay over Atlanta

Divisional Round Philadelphia over Seattle and Green Bay over Chicago

NFC ChampionshipGreen Bay over Philadelphia

And Colin Wynner calls the Super Bowl XLVII winner: Green Bay over New England

Enjoy the season!

Colin’s NFL Season Prediction Rules!

In 2011, I mentioned the idea that the NFL is that it is a league is entirely predictable, despite the incessant claims that “you just can’t figure this league out”. In fact, the contrary is true. Yep, by simply using history as our guide we see that the NFL is entirely, almost eerily, predictable. And with that I unveil Colin’s official “NFL Season Prediction Rules” to help guide you in making season predictions as well as help you hammer out some profitable season win totals.

NFL 2003 - 2016

The first step is looking at history in the following areas – overall home wins, playoff turnover from year-to-year and number of teams that experience either the euphoric feeling of 4+ additional wins or the day after a bender feeling of 4+ losses. The table to the right lists regular season home team wins, new playoff teams and teams with +/- 4 wins dating back to the 2003 season. I use the 2003 season because that is one year after the NFL re-aligned the divisions to the current format. This is also when the NFL was fully transformed from a league where defense and running the ball were staples of success to “you have to be able to throw the football to win”. And I throw out the first season of the NFL re-alignment due expansion and new division match-ups for numerous teams.

Based on the data above we can be fairly certain of a few things for any NFL season – 1. The home teams will win somewhere between 140-152 games; and will more often will fall in the 143-147 range; 2. We will have at least 6 new playoff teams each year; and 3. There will be at least 10 teams that have a difference of wins from 2010 of four or more. I can also add one more nugget – at least one team will go from last to first in their division. That has happened at least once every year since 2002.

The data tells is that the NFL is certainly predictable, however, therein lies the problem, while being predictable at this summary level, the NFL is capriciously un-predictable at the detail level. Yup, that’s the problem we know 6 new teams will make the playoffs from year to year, however, I cannot make a wager that there will be “six new playoff teams”. We actually have to figure out the specific teams and make the wagers accordingly! Fortunately for all of us, I am giving out the exact steps to predicting where each team will fall.

Steps for NFL season predictions:

  • Determine the teams that have the potential to fall into +/- 4 categories. For starters, we can obviously throw out any record that would cause a team to go over 16 wins or under 0 wins; Next the likelihood of a 0/1/15/16 win team is about 1 in every three seasons, so unless that is due, we can throw those records out as well. Finally, a 14 win team happens about once a year, as does a 2 win team. Therefore, I have to take into consideration all previous season’s 10 and 6 win teams make either the leap to 14 or fall off the map to 2. Even with that concession, the list is dramatically reduced.
  • Group the teams into categories where they most likely will fall, either +4 or -4 wins. This is much harder than it sounds but using Bill Barnwell’s2012 well written piece on “new school stats“, we can begin to see where teams might go south and what teams are looking up. I also incorporate the new schedule, how fragile is a team, both mentally and physically and pre-season hype. Of course, this is also where personal opinion plays a huge part as well.
  • Download the complete NFL schedule into Excel or a database system. Start with the teams that you feel will most likely end up with +/- 4 wins. Run through their schedule, giving a win or a loss to each game. Remember at this step that it is very easy to take wins for granted, yet each year we see places where teams trip up. Keep in mind “look ahead” situations, non-conference games that overall mean less in the standings, games before a bye, third road game in a row, west traveling east and vice-versa and occasionally you just have to assign a loss because a team is due for one.
  • Apply wins and losses to the remaining teams, remembering that those teams have to fit within the parameters of already set teams from the above steps.
  • Final sweep to make sure I have followed the rules and fix teams that are seem slightly “off”. We call this step “Colin’s personal touch”. Yup, this is where the whole thing goes up in smoke!
  • Once you’ve made it through the entire schedule and you have your full complement of +/- 4 teams, check the standings to make sure you have six new playoff teams and at least one “worst to first” team. If not, it’s back to the drawing board with determining wins and losses for the +/- 4 teams.
  • Updated 2014: Normalize home wins to somewhere between 148 and 154 wins; there is a little bit of flexibility here, but not much. A tip here, is if you have division teams splitting, split them so both road teams win. You’d be surprised how often that happens.
  • Update for 2016: Home wins in 2015 dipped to the lowest total since 2006 at 138.  In 2007, the total bounced back to 147 and I expect 2016 the total home wins to be back in the target range of 143-148 (9 out of last 13 seasons).  I am going to make a slight adjustment to the number of new playoff teams.  From 2003-2010, the average new playoff teams averaged 7; conversely, from 2012-2015, the average is 4.5; with 2011 being 6.  I believe the dip is due to a couple of things – 1. the practice restrictions in place recently give the more well run franchises a significant advantage (Seahawks, Pats, Packers, Steelers); and 2. the current batch of hall of fame quarterbacks (Brady, Roethlisberger, Rodgers).