NFL 2012 – Playoff Predictions, “Wildcard Weekend” Edition

Despite a losing record, Colin somehow managed to sneak into the playoffs and is ready for a “Giants-esque” type of run. The Giants of 2007/2011, not the Giants of 2012.  The goal is always the same – 11-0!  Let’s be honest though, an 11-0 romp through the playoffs would be less about my knowledge and almost entirely a function luck.  Look at this week’s lines, they’re tight, offering very little value on any team this weekend.  In situations like that, one should pass, but since I pick every game, every week here, I don’t know the meaning of pass.  But to help reflect my overall feelings about a game, I will give my confidence on each game; I will use the a  “tout trick” and give you a “stars” scale, like “my 100* Game of the Universe”, except I will keep it to 1 to 5 stars, with 5 stars representing a solid play and one star meaning John Anthony just flipped a coin to determine the winner.

Bottom line – I can’t get to 11-0, without a 4-0 start.  Let’s get it started with WILDCARD WEEKEND!

Here is the back of the Colin Wynner, Handicapper player card:

Career Playoff Record (1995-2011): 100-82-5
Wildcard Round: 37-30-1
Divisional Round: 36-30-2
Championship Round: 19-15

Super Bowl: 8-7-2

Playoff Best: 7-3-1 (2001)

Please note that these picks are made based on several years of experience in handicapping the playoff games, in fact I have developed a list of playoff rules to live by that you can read here.

Note: I use the Las Vegas Hilton Lines from vegasinsider.com.

Cincinnati @ Houston (-4.5)

Public Perception: Houston is limping into the playoffs by losing three of their last four games, including the dismantling at the hands of the Patriots four weeks.  Plus, the Texans let the #1 overall seed out of their grasp and are now forced to play Wildcard Weekend.

The Bengals, meanwhile, made playoffs with strong 7-1 2nd half of the season.  It’s a no brainer, right?  The Bengals will march into Houston and lay down the smack.

Teenage girl logic:  OMG, have you seen a Bengal shred a Zebra for their dinner.  Savages, which makes me think the Bengals will shred the Texans the same way.  But what is with the women Bengal having to do all the hunting for the man?  That makes me sick to think about that poor lady having to go on a murdering spree just to keep her family fed, while that deadbeat lays around doing nothing.  No way I can back a team named for such a chauvinistic species.

Trending: Playoff teams playing at home with a losing streak of more than two are 7-3 ATS since 2002.

If the gang from Scooby-Doo captured the 2012 Bengals and unmasked them, they would be: The 1995 Detroit Lions, who finished 7-0 to make the playoffs and were unceremoniously bounced by the Eagles in Philadelphia.

If the gang from Scooby-Doo captured the 2012 Texans and unmasked them, they would be: The 2006 Indianapolis Colts, who limped to the finish line after a 10-1 start had Colts fans talking about home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  The Colts found themselves in the same position as the Texans, having to play on Wildcard weekend.  The Colts survived the injury riddled Chiefs which catapulted them to the Super Bowl title, albeit probably the weakest champ in the history of the NFL.

The Bengals will cover if: They play smart football.  Look after watching this team the last month, they are a dumb team, led by a shaky head coach who seems to lack the ability to reel these guys in.  Whether it’s a bad turnover, a stupid, meaningless penalty or the butchering of clock, the Bengals cannot afford to make mistakes if they have designs on delivery Marvin Lewis a playoff victory.

The Texans will cover if: They show up with the past month in the past.  Or simply if the 10-1 Texans teams shows up.  They need a big play early to get the crowd fully engaged;  the longer they keep the Bengals in the game, the more likely the crowd will begin to expect “bad things” to happen.

Colin Wynner, calls the winner: Here is what I wrote about the Texans prior to the playoff matchup with the Bengals in 2011:

“Initially I loved the Bengals. But that was solely based on the Texans finish to the season; you know the way they lost to the Panthers (somewhat acceptable), Colts (totally unacceptable) and Titans (totally indifferent). But then I thought about the following – a. the Bengals struggled with the hopeless Rams, needed a wide-open receiver to fall down to beat the Cardinals and lost a must-win game at home against the Ravens. And based sheer incompetence of the other teams fighting for a playoff spot the Bengals backed into the playoffs. That’s not exactly a stellar finish to the season; b. The Texans remind me of the 2008 Cardinals, a team that went to the Super Bowl despite losing two of their last three games by a combined 69 points.”

Evoking the “remember history” playoff rule,  I pretty much feel the same way this season.  The late season swoon is more a product of circumstance of the schedule as opposed to exposing this team as a fraud.  The Patriots loss was acceptable, though I will admit the manner in which they lost was really, really bad.  Still that’s what the Pats do, pile it on and embarrass teams.  The Vikings loss came a week after clinching the division, when the Vikings were in full on desperation mode.  The Colts loss in week 17 was Colts coach Chuck Pagano’s first game back from cancer treatment, I think the Colts were slightly motivated. Yeah, they lost three of four but it is fairly easy to see that those were somewhat “acceptable” loses.  Now they “clean the slate” and start over.

Flipping to the Bengals, who exactly did they beat in their 7-1 stretch?  Their best win was probably over the Steelers in Pittsburgh, a game where the Steelers handed the Bengals a pick-6 along with a bad decision to go for the win with less than a minute left in game, rather than head to overtime.  The rest of the wins – Giants (who didn’t beat them this year), Chiefs, Chargers, Raiders, Eagles and Ravens (week 17, when the Ravens rested their starters).  Not exactly running through the heart of the 1927 Yankees lineup, more like the 2004 Arizona Diamondbacks.

Bottom line – if this game were played a month ago, the Texans would be 7 point favorites, 2.5 points is too much of an adjustment considering the facts detailed above.  Houston 27 Cincinnati 17 (3 Stars)

Minnesota @ Green Bay (-7.5)


Public Perception: This will be third meeting in six weeks between these NFC North division rivals, and despite the almost weekly universal public backing of the Packers, it appears as though the Vikings are getting the majority of the early public action.  It might be as simple as the public has fallen in love with Adrian Peterson and the 7.5 feels like stealing money.

Teenage girl logic: When I was a little girl the Packers played in the Super Bowl and my parents drug me to this party where there was a ton of food but nothing good to eat.  Anyway, the highlight of my day was this Packer fan who brought his cheesehead with him to support the Packers.  My parents asked him if I could play with it and when he handed it to me, I was mesmerized by it.  It was very bright orangish/yellowish  color, I tried to pull off a piece because I was hungry.  Hey, I was a toddler, it’s what I did – eat and destroy things !  Well, it created quite a stir with this jack-off Packer fan who went nuts and ripped it out of my hands.  And he scolded me to boot.  Well guess what, Mr. Packer CheeseHead Freak, now I have the power and your beloved team is going to lose this week to my favorite player, Adrian Peterson.  #Packers = #EpicFail

Trending: Playoff teams playing at home laying 7.5 points are just 1-3 ATS since 2003.  Home teams in the third meeting of the season are just 5-9 ATS since 2001.

If the gang from Scooby-Doo captured the 2012 Vikings and unmasked them, they would be: The 2002 NY Giants.  Both teams were left for dead after falling to 6-6 in week 12, both won out to make the playoffs, both were shaky at quarterback (Kerry Collins), both rely heavily on their running game (Tiki Barber), neither had a premier receiver (Amani Toomer) and both lost a key offensive cog in the middle of the year (Ike Hilliard/Percy Harvin).  The 2002 Giants out-played the 49ers in the Wildcard game that year, but botched a snap on the game winning field goal attempt that cost them game.  This was despite the fact that an eligible receiver was literally tackled when releasing on the “FIRE” play.  I think the refs were confused because the eligible receiver had a number like 68 or something, therefore they thought – 1. He was ineligible; 2. he would have caught maybe one out of a hundred passes in practice, so it really did not matter; and 3. the defender was merely playing the ball.  Either way I expect the Vikings to play this game extremely close.

If the gang from Scooby-Doo captured the 2012 Packers and unmasked them, they would be: The 2006 New England Patriots.  The ’06 Pats were maybe the worst Pats team in the Belichick/Brady era, but they came within a Troy Brown dropped pass of playing in the Super Bowl against an over-matched Bears team.  This Packers team is the worst since Aaron Rodgers first season as the starting quarterback.  The defense is average at best, the offense had no real threat of the running game, the receivers are banged up and somewhat ineffective and the offensive line is a liability.  Yet, if they get hot, they could wind up in the Super Bowl.

The Packers will cover if: They render Christian Ponder completely ineffective.  We know the Packers will score some points; we also know that Peterson will get his share of yards, but if Ponder plays like he did in the Vikings first visit to Lambeau, the Packers are easy ATS winners.

The Vikings will cover if: Christian Ponder plays like he did in the season finale against the Packers.

Colin Wynner, calls the winner: I like the Vikings to possibly steal this game.  And yeah, I realize that picking the Vikings violates the “never back a shaky quarterback on the road” rule.  However, let’s be honest, for this game the rule can easily be modified to “never back a shaky quarterback on the road unless over half of the offensive plays involve handing off to Adrian Peterson.”  Plus, it’s a night game, it’s Green Bay, it’s at night – any inclement weather will be an advantage for the team that has Adrian Peterson.

Bottom line – I think the Vikings can win this game (“Don’t pick the dog unless you think they can win”), but I feel very confident that if they don’t they will be within the number.  Green Bay 27 Minnesota 21 (3 Stars)

Indianapolis @ Baltimore (-7.5)

Public Perception: The Ravens certainly haven’t won bettors over this season, in fact most likely the public jumped off them right about the time they hammered the Giants, I know I did (%^$&).  Regardless, my general feeling is that the public (a). loves Andrew Luck , Chuck Pagano and this Colts Cinderella story; and (b). believes seven points is too many for the Ravens to lay against virtually anyone.

Teenage girl logic: The Colts quarterback, Andrew Luck, looks a little bit like a descendent of sasquatch, but it’s kind of hot!  His jaw line seems a little too large to be completely human and the neck beard is downright creepy.  Nevertheless, I would totally go out on a date with him.  And I totally see him winning this game.

Trending: Small sample size be damned, but the Colts are 0-2 ATS this season when facing a winning team on the road.

If the gang from Scooby-Doo captured the 2012 Colts and unmasked them, they would be: The 2011 Cincinnati Bengals.  The Bengals came from nowhere last season to make the playoffs with a rookie quarterback and young group of receivers.  They were the media darling upset pick last year during wildcard weekend, yet they shrunk in the  bright  lights of the playoffs.  That’s the 2012 Colts story.

If the gang from Scooby-Doo captured the 2012 Ravens and unmasked them, they would be: The 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers.  I am not going as far as suggesting that the Ravens will run the table and win the Super Bowl, but a guy like Ray Lewis retiring can spark some serious emotion; enough emotion that when coupled with a break or two that can carry a team to the title.  Think back to that Steelers team with the beloved, spiritual leader, Jerome Bettis set to retire, they went on an amazing run that featured huge breaks. They would not have been beaten by the Bengals, if Kimo doesn’t launch himself into Carson Palmer’s knee. They caught two huge breaks against the Colts the following week when Nick Harper ran into the Ben Roethlisberger tackle and then that idiot kicker missed a relative easy field goal at the end of the game.  You just never know we might see the Ravens, probably the worst team of the Ravens during the Harbaugh era, in the Super Bowl.

The Colts will cover if: They jump out to an early lead.  The Colts are built to play from ahead, and though they have had several amazing comebacks this season, most of those came against mentally weak teams like the Lions, Dolphins and Titans.  When the Colts stepped up the competition on the road, they were over-matched and out of the game early.  That cannot happen against the Ravens.

The Ravens will cover if: They utilize their best offensive player, Ray Rice.  For whatever reason the Ravens were hell bent the season on allowing Joe Flacco to throw the ball all over the place, even when it was apparent he was off his game or when the game situation dictated doing otherwise.  This team is built to pick their spots to throw..  Run to setup the pass, play defense and feed off the crowd.  Easy cover if they keep it simple.

Colin Wynner, calls the winner: I don’t believe the Colts can win this game outright, therefore, I would have to ignore the “don’t back an underdog unless you believe they can win the game outright” rule to play and hope that they keep it close or get a backdoor cover at the end of the game.  No thanks!

Bottom line – The Ravens get a huge emotional lift from the return of Ray Lewis, not to mention the emotion they will have knowing this is Lewis’ final season and possibly his final game at home, therefore, there is no way they want him to go out a loser with a disappointing loss at home.  Plus, when the Colts have ventured out against playoff caliber competition, they have been destroyed this season.  Finally, Andrew Luck has been un-impressive over the final month of the season, completing under 50% of pass attempts.  Baltimore 31 Indianapolis 10 (4 Stars)

Seattle (-3.0) @ Washington

Public Perception: The public appears to be slightly favoring the Redskins, which makes sense based on them being a home team underdog.  The public will over-value that fact without giving any thought to the matchup of the two teams.

Teenage girl logic: Wait a second, isn’t Seattle in Washington, how can they be playing Washington?  Does Washington have two teams, one in Seattle and one somewhere else in Washington?  Maybe one is a college team?  If so, then I think they will win because a pro team can beat a college team any day.

Trending: Road favorites in the wildcard round of the playoffs are 5-4-1 ATS.  Not sure that adds a lot of value, other than to dismiss the notion that home underdogs are some golden play.

If the gang from Scooby-Doo captured the 2012 Seahawks and unmasked them, they would be: The 2008 Baltimore Ravens.  The 2008 went on the road as a wildcard team, beating back-to-back division champs on their way to the AFC championship game.  The similarities between the two teams – rookie quarterback, stifling defense, a pounding running game and above average special teams.  Though I can see this Seattle team finishing the season by hoisting the Lombardi.

If the gang from Scooby-Doo captured the 2012 Redskins and unmasked them, they would be: The 2000 Philadelphia Eagles.  Remember nobody gave the Eagles any chance to beat the favored Tampa Bay Buccaneers in that 2000 wildcard game.  It certainly would not shock me if the Redskins won this game.

The Seahawks will cover if: Russell Wilson doesn’t revert to early season Russell Wilson.  As good as Wilson has been, he is still a rookie making a playoff start on the road in a hostile environment  that will likely be ratcheted up ten notches due to the drought of home playoff games for the Redskins.  Trust me, this place will be rocking given the Redskins fans are football crazed with 10 years pent-up frustration and it’s the late Sunday game.  Not that there is ever much productivity in Washington, but don’t expect any on Monday.  The Seahawks need to reduce that crowd to on the verge of passed out drunks early in that game or it’s going to be a long day for them.

The Redskins will cover if: Robert Griffin III is running less like Peter Griffin and  more like the RG III we have grown to love this season.  It was apparent last week that RG III’s leg  was hurting, even though he was able to out-run most of the defenders even with that defective limb.  If he is back close to mid-season, “take off from 76 yards” RG III, he is capable of putting this Redskins team on his back, neutralizing that Seahawks defense and leading the Redskins to an upset.

Colin Wynner, calls the winner: The Seahawks have been the best team in the NFL over the last month.  In terms of “true” power point differential, this is the biggest mis-match of the weekend at 6 points differential (subtracting out the 3 points for home field on the home favorites and adding three to Seattle).

Bottom line – RG III scares me to death, but Seattle isn’t going to let Alfred Morris run for two bills against them, therefore, the game will be on Griffin’s shoulders and I simply don’t see that knee improving that much this week.  Again, he is still faster than most of the NFL, but with the discomfort in the leg, he isn’t as willing to take off running, which enhances Seattle’s dominate defensive advantage. Seattle 23 Washington 14 (2 Stars)

Good luck and enjoy the playoffs!

NFL 2012 – Week 15, “Russell Wilson for ROY” Edition

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com.

The “Super Contest” Picks

Houston (-8.0) over Indianapolis – I cannot believe that Andrew Luck is the favorite to win the 2012 NFL Rookie of the Year. It’s not all that close either, as my good friends at sportsbook.com have Andrew Luck at -200. What has Luck done to deserve to that heavy of a favorite? Let’s take a look the these two quarterbacks:

 

Rating

TDs

Ints

Yards

QB 1

74.5

18

18

3,792

QB 2

104.2

18

4

2,902

 

Not close, right? It’s all QB2, aka RGIII, who is currently at +140 to the honor. RGII, could in fact be teh league MVP if he were to lead the Redskins into the playoffs as the NFC East division champs. Clearly, he has had a better season than Luck, but you say, it is about success of the team and wins. Fair enough, let’s assume that the Skins fall short of the playoffs, therefore let’s take a look at these two quarterbacks:

 

Rating

Wins

QBR (EPSN)

QB 1

74.5

9

67.4

QB 2

94.9

8

64.8

 

This is a much closer, but if I told you QB2 was available at 6-1, would you bother with laying -200? BTW, Russell Wilson is QB2. Wilson also leads Luck in touchdowns (20-18) and interceptions (9-18). The Seahawks, like the Colts, are most likely headed to the playoffs, so why isn’t there more buzz about Wilson? And if New England loses this weekend in New England (better than a coin flip chance), the Seahawks control their own destiny for the NFC West. Wouldn’t that make Wilson a shoe-in winner? Damn, I just talked myself into the 6-1 bet on Wilson!

Of course, three weeks from now I will be bemoaned the fact that the ROY award is that it is more like a gymnastics competition than a 100 meter dash. Damn that French judge!

As for this game, look no further than the Colts results on the road against quality competition – 41-21 loss at Chicago and a 59-24 dismantling in New England. Throw in three more facts – 1. The Colts have fallen behind in each of their last three games, needed to, one case miraculously, rally, to win; 2. The Texans are coming off a humbling loss to the Patriots, with a division title up for grabs this week, expect max effort from them; and 3. Outside of late game heroics, Andrew Luck has been very mediocre over the last month. I am not sure the Colts bring anything else to the table that would scare me off laying the big number.

The Colts are staring down a Texas sized ass-whooping.

Jacksonville (+7.0) over Miami – I have a theory that bad teams should cannot be trusted to cover touchdown or more spread. You know, it’s one of my many quirks. Even though, I am violating my “never take the Jags” again rule and the Jaguars have essentially screwed me this year by not coming clean on MJD, I simply am lured by the points and the Dolphins home record.

Seattle (-5.5) over Buffalo – Speaking of trusting teams, I am not sure we can trust Pete Carroll on the road the week before him and his old buddy Jim Harbaugh get together. Pete is known for lack of detail the week before big games. But this technically isn’t a road game since it’s in Toronto. Moreover, I really, really trust Russell Wilson and that Seahawks defense. And now that I have Russ as ROY, why not go all-in.

Pittsburgh (-2.0) over Dallas – I cannot see Mike Tomlin allowing the Steelers to play consecutive miserable games. Think about the last time the Steelers were in this position, two weeks ago in Baltimore after a wretched performance in Cleveland. We all know how that turned, well at least those of us who lost in their five figure survivor pool because of those scumbag Ravens.

Plus, the Cowboys are banged up, and coming off that emotional win over the Bengals leads me to believe their fate will be similar to the Chiefs last week who were in a similar spot.

Green Bay (-3.0) over Chicago – The Bears are on fumes, the Packers look re-fueled and ready to establish themselves as the team to beat in the NFC. Yup, it’s two teams headed in opposite directions, and the Packers will slap the Bears around to clinch the NFC North division.

The Rest:

Atlanta (-1.0), New Orleans (-3.5), Cleveland (PK), Baltimore (+3.0), Detroit (-6.5), San Diego (-3.0), Kansas City (+3.0), San Francisco (+4.5), NY Jets (+2.0)

 

NFL 2012 – Week 14, “Yay Fantasy” edition

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com.

The “Super Contest” Picks

Buffalo (-3.0) over St. Louis – I love the 2012 Rams! I love that in a year where my favorite teams have crapped the bed across the board, the Rams have provided me with a loss-less year against the hated, rot-in-hell 49ers. To quote Jesse Pinkman, “1-0-1, bitch!”

Everything comes with a price though, right? It sure does and the price of the Rams taking care of their divisional rivals (4-0-1 in division play) is that they barely show up to play non-divisional opponents and against the non-conference games, fuhgeddaboudit! However, it’s a smart move by Jeff Fisher, who probably realized about hour two of taking over the job that the Rams were talent depleted and had little to no chance of completely turning this thing around this year. So Fisher did the next best thing in year one, take care of the division. Every division game has become the Rams “Super Bowl” this season. And this in a markedly improved division.

You can pencil this in for next year – the Rams will be in the playoffs with at least nine wins. And Chris Givens will be a top 10 WR in fantasy football. Yay fantasy.

But as for this game, it’s the week after the Rams sold out in the five quarter performance against the 49ers. We’ve been here before, three weeks ago after a knockdown, drag out five quarter fight against the 49ers the clearly superior Rams came home to play the over-matched Jets. The result, Jets 27-13. Look for a similar result this weekend in Buffalo.

Cleveland (-6.5) over Kansas City – Get this – the Browns have been a 6.5 point favorite or more in just 21 games since 1989. Since 2003 they have been in this situation just four times. Four! But, guess what, I don’t care this Browns team is a young, feisty version of those once great Baltimore Ravens teams that could D-UP and run the ball. You have to love the Browns defense this week in a sneaky play that might make the difference in the fantasy playoffs. Yay fantasy.

Let’s also not forget that the Chiefs had a tremendous tragedy last week and while they were emotional prepared to play against the Panthers, it feels a little bit like this week the weight of the tragedy will hit them and with the, on the road this has the makings of a mail in game for them.

And I have mention the Bob Costas commentary on “guns arrrrre bad” last Sunday night. Essentially Costas took to the stage to tell America that in the wake of this tragedy we need stricter gun control laws. I agree that guns, in general, can have a net effect that is largely undesirable, especially when the gun is easily accessible in the heat of the moment. But when I heard that Javon Belcher shot his girlfriend nine times, I think that goes past the “I lost my mind and pulled the trigger” area and falls straight into “he was going to kill her even if he had to strangle the life out of her with his bare hands” It’s pretty simple, dude was deeply disturbed and, in this case the absence of a gun, would have meant the results would have involved a knife, rope and sturdy beam. This is a very sad tale indeed.

Still, I don’t watch Sunday night football to hear political agendas and my guess neither do you. Save it Costas!

Chicago (-3.0) over Minnesota – Vikings QB Christian Ponder got engaged this past week. Oh, that’s sweet! Let’s hope his bride to be isn’t marrying him for because he is the quarterback of the Vikings. I am thinking that is about to end very soon as he is horrible.

I have to admit this line feels very much like a trap to me. First off, outside of AP, the Vikings have zero offense. Zero! When Percy Harvin went down with an injury apparently the Vikings lost the ability to throw the ball. Now there offense is “hope AP breaks a long TD run” or “hope we can ride AP into the red zone for a field goal.” Moreover, the Bears defense even minus Urlacher is tough, so how exactly are the Vikings going to be in this game.

Throw in the reality that their rookie kicker is in the tank and quite literally, the Vikings only offense is AP. I don’t think that will be enough for the Vikings to win the game but several billion fantasy owners will be rejoicing when AP has the “no effing way” game for them – 200 combined yards and 2 TDs. Yay fantasy.

Cincinnati (-3.0) over Dallas – Just three weeks remain until I am officially fatnasy foorball free. I cannot wait. A game like this one is a big part of why I have grown to hate fantasy. Ask any fantasy player about who they like in this game and the likely answer will be the Cowboys, because they are playing “really good football right now.” Um, ok, so two weeks ago the Redskins strolled into Cowboys stadium and laid the smack down on the Cowboys, but in the process of trying to rally back, Romo and Bryant put up huge fantasy numbers.

Last week the Cowboys barely pulled one out against, quite possibly, the worst team in the NFL, but again Romo and Bryant put up huge fantasy numbers. Translation – the Cowboys suck, but the fantasy disease has infected so much that a majority of people actually think the Boys are playing well just based on fantasy numbers. Ugh!

In terms of this game, here is how it will go – after a pick-6 the Bengals take a 34-10 lead heading into the 4th quarter, DUH-DUH-DUH-TA-DA, here comes “Super Fantasy Man” and his sidekick, “Super Fantasy Boy” to save the day for some poor fantasy chump, who is the process of negotiating with themselves about “just give me one touchdown to Dez.” Done. Cowboys rally comes up short, but Romo and Bryant once again are positional high scorers for the week, and the fantasy community praises the “really playing great football” Cowboys. Yay fantasy!

Detroit (+7.0) over Green Bay – This game is the classic matchup of “the moveable object versus the resistible force.” The Lions are having trouble finishing a dump, while the Packers consistently leave the backdoor open in hopes that no one wanders in to steal their brand new Panasonic VT30 65 inch 3D TV.

It’s hard to make a case that the Packers cover this spread considering they will be without their two best defenders Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson, their best running back (Starks) and one of their top receivers (Nelson).

The case for the Lions is much more palatable – (a). after getting called out by an anonymous teammate this week, Suh will likely play his best game of the year in hopes that said teammate will apologize so Suh can stomp him; (b). The Lions are getting seven points, remember they can’t finish, but they can keep it close; and (c). It’s Calvin Johnson and it’s Sunday night, just imagine the number fantasy games that will flip when Calvin catches that garbage time TD that also happens to cover the spread for the Lions. Yay, fantasy!

The “Rest of the Picks” Picks

Philadelphia (+7.5) over Tampa Bay – This Eagles team has something going with Foles and Bryce Brown. Ten years from now Bryce Brown’s finish to the season will be known as the 2012 version of Maurice Jones-Drew’s 2006 season. Yay fantasy.

Baltimore (+2.5) over Washington – That was truly a gutless performance by the Ravens last week, but out of something bad comes, hopefully, something good and maybe the Ravens will begin utilizing their best player – Ray Rice. Just in time for the fantasy playoffs. Yay fantasy.

Carolina (+3.5) over Atlanta – It’ great to see Cam Newton finally piling up fantasy points like his rookie season. He’s also piling up the losses but who cares fantasy shmuck thinks Cam is “playing great football.” Yay fantasy.

NY Jets (-3.0) over Jacksonville – I have it on good authority that there “is no way the Jets lose this game.” Plus, I they’re my fantasy defense, so I have to pick them. Yay fantasy.

Tennessee (+5.0) over Indianapolis – It’s just time for the Colts, their number is up. Look you can’t be 8-4 ATS, have a soft number this week (should be 6+) and expect them to cover, plus Andrew Luck is hitting the rookie wall. Too bad for those trusting him as their only fantasy quarterback in the fantasy playoffs. Yay fantasy.

San Diego (+8.0) over Pittsburgh – I know Roethlisberger is back this week, but after watching Charlie Batch crying after beating the Ravens last week it makes me think this team will be spent and be lucky to survive the abysmal Chargers this week. Look, I get it Charlie, the Ravens cost me an entry in a 24K survivor pool, I was crying as well, but at the end of the day it was just one game you cannot bawl like an newborn who just became disconnected from the mama boob. Oh, and don’t even think of starting Roethlisberger this weekend. Yay fantasy.

San Francisco (-11.0) over Miami – Seriously, this the 49ers “flex their muscles” game. One of these weeks I am going to be right on them. Oh, by the way Colin, catchy name, Kaepernick should be in all fantasy starting lineups this week. Yay fantasy.

Arizona (+10) over Seattle – John Skelton is back and no, he shouldn’t be anywhere near a fantasy starting lineup this week. Yay fantasy.

NY Giants (-4.5) over New Orleans – I am closing out the picks with the two games that will likely impact the most fantasy matchups this weekend. This game is a late afternoon Sunday game with probably at least ten fantasy starters – Manning, Brees, Graham, Colston, Moore, Sproles, Cruz, Tynes, Bennett and Bradshaw. I am sure a few fantasy games will swing on the outcome of this game, which probably means it will end up being a 17-10 dud with Henry Hynoski scoring both touchdowns on short runs for the Giants and the Saints getting a defensive touchdown. Hey wait, I forgot to list Hakeem Nicks. No, actually it is a purposeful omission as Nicks is nicked up again. Seriously fantasy freaks, when will you learn that you cannot trust that guy to stay healthy? Yay fantasy.

New England (-3.5) over Houston – Statement game for the Patriots. No way I see them losing this game, so I merely have to hope that they really want to whack the Texans to send a strong pre-playoff message to them.

As for the fantasy starters, several leagues will come down to the wire to see which team advance in the playoffs on the backs of the following: Brady, Schuab (should be starting), Ridley, Foster, Welker, Hernandez, A. Johnson, O. Daniels, Lloyd, Graham, Gostkowski, Pats D, Texans D, Walter, Vereen and Tate. Yup, I can see now – Ben Tate stealing the show on Monday night, throwing up a nice little 80 and 2 TDs in a 17 point loss and swinging all of a handful of games to a guy who hasn’t changed his lineup in over two months. Yay fantasy.

Best of luck this week.

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).

2011 NFL – Divisional Playoff Picks, Saturday Edition

New Orleans (-3.5) @ San Francisco

Interesting Sub-Plot: Jim Harbaugh thinks Sean Payton sucks at running up the score! Remember when super-coach was the head-man for the Stanford Cardinal? Harbaugh made quite a name for himself by “running it up” on several opponents. So much so that I believe he should be considered the master of “rubbing salt in the wound”, for example, he went for two up by 32 against USC late in the game, in Los Angeles no less (of course most of the “LA” crowd was already on to something bigger and better). Harbaugh had no excuse in that game other than the “EFF YOU, Petey, I would have still been throwing if we were up 100!” So you can see why Harbaugh laughs at the passive, aggressive Payton. Who began running up the score in week 12 against the Giants with seemingly no “eff-U” moments, but he had several excuses – 1. “We wanted Drew to get the record”; 2. We wanted Jimmy Graham to get the record; 3. “We were scared of Quarterback X or Team X and their ability to score”; and 4. “We wanted to screw the f*%$ face Colin Wynner, who consistently picked against us.” It’s safe to assume that if the 49ers are up 55-3, I will be rooting for an 80 yard touchdown pass from Smith to Vernon Davis as time expires.

Teenage girl logic:
Train’s song Save Me, San Francisco is one of my favorite songs, so I’ll say I’ve been high, I’ve been low, I’ve been yes and I’ve been oh hell no! Won’t you save me San Francisco! Who-Hoo! Plus, the Saints play in New Orleans and though I never been there, I hear that girls show their boobs on Bourbon Street for a beaded necklace!?! Seriously? I mean if I show my tatas to some old fart, he better give me something better than a beaded necklace. I could purchase that for .50! Yeah, New Orleans sucks!

Gambling Over-Thought: In week 10 the 49ers were favored by 3.5 over the Giants at home; in week 12 the Saints were favored by 7.5 over the Giants at home. Those two comparative spreads yield us a four point true ranking difference between these two teams, meaning that this game should have a point spread of Saints by one. Yet the number is 3.5! Or 2.5 points of value on the 49ers.

Popular Trend: The Saints are 0-4 ATS and SU on the road in the playoffs. Of course, that includes one game that was coached by Jim Mora Sr, who owns an 0-6 career playoff record (side note: I cannot wait to bet against Junior’s UCLA Bruins in their next bowl game, in fact even Junior’s presence on the sideline in the San Francisco Bowl was enough to get the cover for the Fighting Illini). Still, they have never won a road playoff game!

The Saints will cover if: Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles win their match-ups against NaVarro Bowman and Patrick Willis. It’s pretty simple – Graham and Sproles have been going nuts over the past few weeks but they haven’t faced a duo like Bowman and Willis. If those win are successful, the Saints will have their way with the 49ers.

The 49ers will cover if: Alex Smith plays like Alex Smith the quarterback and not Alex Smith the Tight End. The Saints defense is below average at best and Jim Harbuagh undoubtedly will put Smith in position to make plays, the question is – can he make them? The 49ers playoff lives depend on Smith making plays in the passing game. We know the 49ers will be able to run the ball.

Colin Wynner, Handicapper! Calls the winner: Top play of the week, the 49ers, straight-up! Look I promised myself not to let my hatred for Sean Payton’s “Vote for Brees for MVP” campaign to end the season influence my picks in the playoffs, but I can’t help it, I hate that bastard, in fact during their week 17 game against the Panthers I told my buddy, “if I ever see Sean Payton, we’re dropping gloves” (Some quick odds on that fight: Colin -255 to end fight in less than 30 seconds by knockout, +10000 Payton lands a lucky punch that staggers Colin enough for Payton to run away, -1200 Colin beats Payton like a Florida A&M drum major during hazing).

But, believe it or not, this isn’t a biased pick or based on my white hot hatred of Saints. Nope, this is a logic/feel pick, you see, I have good friend is who a huge 49ers fan who tipped me off to something this week. Most weeks when I ask him about the 49ers, he kind of sheepishly shrugs and tells me, “Yeah, it was a good win, but we can’t win in the playoffs with Alex Smith as our quarterback.” So this week, I figured he would be more fidgety than Luther from 48 Hrs, but he was surprisingly clam. I wrote it off thinking he probably thought the Saints were a terrible match-up for the 49ers and they were guaranteed losers, but I asked him anyway, “Hey, how you feeling about this week?” “Great! We got it!”, he replied. “Really? I mean not a doubt in your mind?” I asked. “None at all. Easy win.”, he emphatically responded. That nailed it for me – a reasonable guy with his finger on the pulse of his team is like having insider telling me a company is about to go belly-up because of a significant lawsuit, allowing me to short the piss out of the stock. Hey, you know what, don’t tell the SEC, but you can use this information as well!

San Francisco 24 New Orleans 20

Denver @ New England (-13.5)

Interesting Sub-Plot: Uh, say hello to Captain Obvious! CO tells us that the most interesting sub-plot is the fact that the Patriots brought Josh McDaniels back this week. Part of me feels like he wants to stick it to the Broncos badly, but there is a also a part that thinks he wouldn’t mind seeing a close game where his picks, Tebow and Demaryius Thomas, do well. Yeah, that doesn’t make sense, does it – he definitiely wants to stick it to Elway and Company.

Teenage girl logic:
Tom Brady is sooooo hot! I mean Tebow is hot too, but Tebow is a guy you want to marry, while Brady, well Brady, is the guy I want to meet on Spring Break after a few too many drinks, where I can let my inhibitions run wild. Yeah, he’s hot like that! Oh my, I hope my dad isn’t reading this!

Gambling Over-Thought: I get not over-reacting to games scores and fluctuating outcomes each week. But how is it possible that the Saints can move two points in favor of them based on “running up the score”, yet this game is basically where it should be? Remember when these teams played in week 15 in Denver, the Pats favored by 7, which equates to 13 in Foxboro (3 point standard home field). But we forget that in week 15, “Tebow-Mania” was in full-force, which the betting market was adjusting for because of the Broncos bettors. The Pats won that game by 18 points and the Broncos proceeded to lay back-to-back eggs in weeks 16 and 17. And that they beat a shell of the Steelers last week, so how is it that we have not seen an adjustment that would move this number closer to 15 or 16?

I will tell you why the books want no part of the two touchdown action on Tebow. Plus, they realize that they will get plenty of Tebow action at 13.5, so give up the value to the chalk side and make it easier for themselves.

Popular Trend: Did you know the Patriots have lost their last six playoff games against the spread? The great Belichick? No Way, right? Can you say “due”? I bet you can!

The Broncos will cover if: Jesus descends on the field and plays quarterback. Imagine the scene, especially in Boston, where the mere mention of Jesus makes hair of the backs of the intellectuals stand straight, when all of a sudden Jesus throws an 80 yard pass that hovers 30 feet above the end zone as Demeryius Thomas long jumps an unheard of 100 feet to make the catch in the right corner of the end zone. Or, Jesus as a 160 lb defensive repeatedly sacks Brady because he knows exactly when the snap of the ball will occur.

Of course, at the end of the day, Jesus being Jesus will lay down in this game thus giving the Patriots the win (and cover). In short, I give the Broncos no chance to win this game!

The Patriots will cover if: Tom Brady makes it to the stadium, dresses and takes every snap. Look the difference at quarterback between what the Broncos faced last week (that so-called version of Ben Roethlisberger) and this week is like the difference between the McRib and a full slab of baby backs at Famous Dave’s. Both items have “rib” in their title, but that’s where the similarities end.

Colin Wynner, Handicapper! Calls the winner: I was on the Patriots the second Dereryius Thomas crossed the goal-line with the winning touchdown in overtime, but then the following happen to further solidify my pick – 1. The Broncos have 0% chance of winning this game, and that’s not a rounded down .49% number or something, that’s 0.00000000% chance in this game and though the spread is prohibitive, I cannot in good conscience take the Broncos knowing that they have zero chance to win #playoffrules; 2. I heard former Broncos linebacker Tom Jackson on the radio talking himself into the Broncos having a chance to win. His logic – “you know last time the game was decided in the last six minutes of the second quarter, take that away and the game would have been different” (really, Thomas? My guess is you could take six minutes away from most every game and come out with a different result); and this barely coherent statement “I figure the Patriots will get seven possessions (7? Is there a prop bet on that? Hello, early retirement! Do not worry, even if I was retired, I will still write the weekly NFL picks column), the Broncos need to stop them twice, in the remaining five scoring drives, they cannot all be touchdowns, two must be field goals, which would give the Patriots, uh, let’s see, uh, twenty, uh, twenty-seven or so points. The Broncos only need to score 30 to win.” Now that was funny!; and 3. The public betting is on Denver pretty heavily.

New England 38 Denver 13

I am holding off on the Sunday picks until Saturday after the games because Sunday’s picks are dependent on the Saturday games. For example, had I done this last week, I would have switched from Pittsburgh to Denver, based on Detroit failing to cover. Don’t ask me to explain – just trust me it has nothing to do with how is better, it has everything to do with the cyclical nature of the NFL.

Good luck this weekend!

NFL 2011 Week 16 Picks, Christmas Edition

Week 15 was one of the first times this season where I was able to watch the early games from start to finish. Why, you ask? Well, believe it or not I have a real job, which requires me to be on-call once every four months or so. On-call weekends are effectively “house arrest”, but who am I to complain when I can use that as the excuse to watch nine hours of football, while hoping not to get paged with a problem that would divert my attention.

Depending on the situation it is not uncommon to receive a dozen or pages titled, “JOB XXX FINISHED NOT OK” with additional details on the actual problem. I thought about what it would be like if this blog actually was paying the bills. I figured that I would essentially be on-call 24×7. I would receive similar pages titled “GAME XXX FINISHED NOT OK”, with details like “Hey F***Face, nice call on the Texans last night. Thanks to you, my daughter and I have cancelled our trip to Harvard and will be visiting the local community college this weekend. I feel like dunking you in a vat of sulfuric acid, allowing your outer skin to burn off exposing your flesh. And oh no, I would be far from finished with you. Next I would wash off the acid, roll you in sugar, strap you down and release a billion, yes a billion, fire ants! I am done with you.”  Maybe it’s a good thing that this blog hasn’t exploded!

And for the record, I agree with the above – only switch me with T.J. Yates, Gary Kubiak and the rest of the Texans who clearly had no desire to (a). Earn a bye in the playoffs; (b). snap the 0-fer Indianapolis streak; and (c). resemble a playoff team in any way, shape or form. The playoffs cannot get here fast enough for me to bet against them in the playoff opener. I hope the NFL makes them the early Saturday game on wildcard weekend, that way the playoff experience for them will last roughly three hours, after which they will return to the under-achieving, mediocre bunch of losers that we all know and love year after year.

T.J. Yates reminds me little of a soft Jim Everett (early 90s quarterback for the Rams, google: Jim Everett and Phantom Sack) because dude has very little courage in the pocket.  At least three times last night, he tucked and ducked with mild pressure.  And the Texans are going to the playoffs with him as their starter or Jeff Garcia or Jake Delhomme.  Cha ching!  But let’s keep it quiet, we don’t want the odds makers to figure out that the Texans are going to get killed or they will suck the value out of the line.  

Before I get to the  week 16 picks, I thought I would share running log documenting my thoughts for the early games last week, enjoy:

11:04 AM – Rams out in throwbacks – now they just need to throwback to ’99 Warner, Holt and Bruce to give them a chance. Based on the first three plays of the game – the Rams are easy winners today – they look fired up to end this season on a positive note. And they have the original beast Steven Jackson.

11:05 AM – Two early turnovers for Minnesota and Carolina– both teams are touchdown underdogs – both need to score a quick easy touchdown, which would be a good sign for the cover.

11:07 AM – Can we please get Joe Webb in the game – Ponder is horrible! remember that great field position for the Vikings? It ends with a single yard gained and disappointing field goal. Field goals for the underdog is finding out your gas gauge is broken halfway between gas stations 100 miles apart. You know it’s not going to be enough – especially against the Saints!

11:09 AM – Touchdown, Panthers! I loved them today, you know because it just felt like the spot where the Texans would be flat and the fact the Panthers never quit coming at you.

11:10 AM – Ahh, that’s the Rams I know and love – drive stalls at mid-field.

11:11 AM – Kansas City is on the 1, opening drive of the game. Is this the day? Quick question for you aspiring coaches out there, leaving aside the fact that going for the touchdown on 4th and goal from the 1 is always the correct decision, let’s focus on the other variables – huge underdog at home, virtually nothing to play for, interim coach with nothing to lose and you won’t win this game with field goals – given those, you absolutely go for this, right? Not Romeo Crennell, he kicks the field goal.

11:13 AM – The Redskins are in the red zone looking to go up early on the Giants; while the Bears Johnny Knox does his best Marion Barber impersonation by fumbling deep in Bears territory, oh wow, he also did his best Gumby impersonation, dude’s spine was curved backward like the letter C. I am not sure this Bears team wants to make the playoffs. Field Goal for Washington, 3-0.

11:15 AM – The Bengals look like crap on their first possession, but they get bailed out by a rougher the passer call. Then the Bengals hit s deep pass to Aj Green, forget about this game – easy money, if you’re on the Bengals! Wow, Green just made two great catches in the end zone but both were out of bounds – that dude is the real deal!

11:19 AM – Mid way through most of the early games and the touchdown to field goal ratio looks like Ryan Leaf career TD-to-INT ratio – 1 to 4.

11:21 AM – Hakeem Nicks just dropped a sure touchdown, that won’t make Nicks fantasy owners very happy. I can’t tell you how great it is to not have anything on the line fantasy wise this week. I don’t have to worry about the Bengals covering the spread but needing AJ Green to not score. Fantasy clouds so much that it is nice to not have to worry about it for a weekend.

11:24 AM – The Bears hold the Seahawks to a field goal after the Hawks had a first and goal at the one, no Skittles for you Marshawn!

11:25 AM – I see the Vikings haven’t shored up that secondary problem of letting WR run free down the field – Brees to Meachem for a long Saints TD. You know because daring a quarterback to throw deep to a wide open receiver works really well in Pop Warner but not so much in the NFL.

Megan Wynner’s Week 16 Picks

Oakland @ Kansas City (-2.5) – I think that Kansas City will win because they have won many games this season.
Pick: Kansas +2.5
Denver @ Buffalo (-2.5) – I think that the Buffalo Bills will win because they have done well in this season so far. Also, I think that buffalo are stronger than broncos so they can destroy Denver!

Pick: Buffalo-2.5

Miami @ New England (-9.5) – I think that the Miami Dolphins will win because I like dolphins. Also because they have done better than New England this season!

Pick: Miami -9.5

Atlanta @ New Orleans (-7.0) – I think that the New Orleans Saints will win because they have a strong team!

Pick: New Orleans -7.0

Jacksonville @ Tennessee (-7.5) – I think that the Jacksonville Jaguars will win because they have done much better than Tennessee this season! So basically the Tennessee Titans will be destroyed!

Pick: Jacksonville +7.5

Colin’s Comment: And you thought the Bucs had mailed in the season! I am always a little skeptical when Megan has the exact same games as Juana. Something stinks in Wynner-ville!

The rest:

Cincinnati -4.5, Cleveland +13.0, N.Y. Jets -3, Washington -7, Carolina +8, Pittsburgh -12.5, Detroit -2.0, Seattle +1.0, Dallas -1.5, Chicago +12

11:28 AM – The Bears commit a personal foul on the successful field goal attempt, the Hawks take the points off the board and now Marshawn is feeding his gold grill with a handful of Skittles. I think most Bears fans would consider it a net gain if Janikowski kicked them in the balls but they got to call this season done right now!

11:31 AM – A penalty nullifies that previous Saints touchdown, for roughly six minutes real time – 7-3, Saints – Brees to Lance Moore.

11:32 AM – Bizzarro day in the NFL – Colts lead Titans, Packers look like absolute crap and are down 3-0. Right now this Packers team couldn’t beat a high school team. If the Chiefs beat the Pack, I am going to claim at least a little bit of it after boldly predicting the Raiders would beat them last week. Many of the same reasons apply – out of conference, lack of focus, wanting to lose a game so they can rest players – especially with the injury to Jennings last week – now 6-0 Chiefs. The thing is the Pack is one play away from leading a game they have no business leading.

11:36 AM – No teams in the Red Zone right now, so here is something I need from DirecTV’s Sunday ticket – they have the GameMix channel which displays up to seven games along with the Red Zone channel in eight equal grids for the early games. However, the late games usually have less than five games do DTV will split the screen four ways, thus making the grid big enough to actually watch without going blind. My idea is for DTV to give the viewer the ability to control the split screen anyway they want and place any game in the empty grids. For example, I could make a primary grid of half the screen and four mini grids in the other half. Then I could switch out the games as I see fit. Come on DirecTV, make it happen!

11:38 AM – Oh wow, the Bears just recovered a fumble for a touchdown – 7-7! The play itself was one of the better examples of lack of field awareness I have ever seen. It featured captain oblivious, Tavaris Jackson, sitting in his end zone surveying the field like he had his red “don’t touch me” jersey on, then BAM, sack-fumble bye-bye lead!

11:40 AM – Watching Rodgers today is like watching paint dry – wow, buddy you have no idea the wrath coming your way from the fantasy community, you’re killing a million fantasy geeks today Aaron!

11:42 AM – Wow, what a surprise Eli Manning and the Giants struggling at home – down 10-0, though I don’t think Moss got two feet in bounds! Let’s see if Coughlin challenges! Nope good catch! Let’s see if Coughlin challenges!!

11:45 AM – 14-0 Panthers over Texans, I guess clinching a playoff berth made their season – bye weeks in the playoffs are over-rated anyway!

11:46 AM – I’ve watched about three Packer pass plays in the Packers/Chiefs game and two of them have featured Jermichael Finley drops – he has been horrible lately!

11:47 AM – CJ Spiller sighting in the Bills/Dolphins game – I would love to see Spiller come out with 200-3TD type of game and the eight fantasy owners who are playing against him can whine all off season. While I can openly admit I am a fantasy whiner, I delight hearing other people whine about their fantasy teams – I know that’s mean, very mean.

11:49 AM – The Packers have dropped eight passes in a little over a quarter – Finley the leader with three, though one of them would have been a great catch but count me among the people who believe that if you make millions to play a game and you’re considered the best in the world, you should make tough catches look routine. The play to Finley would have been made by Joe Blow in a Sunday morning pick-up game one out of five times, therefore a freak like Finley should make that catch every time!

11:52 AM – Man, Kyle Orton is taking it to the Packers, he must still harbor some of that Chicago Bearian hatred for the Pack! And Jimmhy Graham with a touchdown that puts the Saints up by .5.

11:53 AM – This first half is shaping up to be the mother lode of second half bets on alleged better teams needing to only win the game to cover a 2nd half – Texans, Packers and Giants.

11:59 AM –When did the Vikings sign Hank Baskett? The Saints try a surprise on-side. Joe Webb is in the game, Joe Webb is in the game! Finally, we can salvage a cover for the Vikings now. Oh, and the Redskins now lead the Giants 17-0. Toby Gerhart scores a touchdown to bring the Vikings within a point. Cue the Adrian Peterson fantasy owners whining about his fantasy performance today.

12:04 PM – I see Romeo Crennell hasn’t changed much – now he goes for a fourth and goal at the 1, up 6-0, when a field goal would give you a two score lead! Look I hate the call to kick the field goal, but if you have already established that you’re a pussy, why change now? Predictably, they don’t convert, just watch the Packers will lead this game 7-6 at half.

12:10 PM – I played the Bengals primarily because the Rams are so wretched. I should have thought about how bad the Bengals have been over the past month.

12:13 PM – Nice job, Pierre – Garcon fumbles at the Colts 40, the Titans will now go into halftime with the lead.

12:15 PM – The Panthers go up 21-0 on the Brockel TD run. Brockel? Dammit, I was going to pick that guy up and play him this week. Cue the fantasy queer complaining about Brockel getting a touchdown and not Cam Newton.

12:20 PM – 6-3 Rams at half – it’s the throwbacks.

12:22 PM – 6-0 Chiefs at halftime – it could be 21-0, but then that wouldn’t be the Chiefs, would it. This game is meaningless to the Packers and they’re playing like it.

12:36 PM – Back after my halftime. I made a couple adjustments that really hurt me in the first half, most notably I will not use the “Q” word when referring to fantasy owners. Packers first play of the second half looks like they got lit up at halftime by McCarthy. T-Minus five minutes until the Packers lead 7-6.

12:39 PM – Uh, check that last comment, now it’s more like I need to McCarthy get off his knees because he’s blowing the game! McCarthy is re-writing the book on “how to lose but make it look like we are trying, so we can get valuable rest and avoid any injuries”. The Packers are already giving a half-ass effort while the Chiefs, at least defensively, are gambling to win. Facing a third and one, why not play-action and go deep? I mean when Kuhn is lined up in the backfield it was obvious what they are going to do. Even Rodgers was disgusted with that play call. Wow, there is very little doubt in my mind that McCarthy feels like a loss here is a benefit to his team.

12:42 PM – Eli Manning is worthless today! A pick to start the second half.

12:44 PM – Really bad play calling by the Redskins bails out Eli – maybe the Redskins hate the Cowboys more than the Giants! Three straight runs and a field goal after the pick!

12:51 PM – So, it was 15 minutes until the Pack took the lead 7-6. Remember that bit about the Pack losing today, yeah you can’t forget about that. Rodgers to Driver. And that erases Brett Favre’s green Bay TD pass record. Oh don’t worry Favre you still hold the interception record.

12:53 PM – Uh no, Saints score, 2 yard touchdown to John Gilmore, who was one of three Saints wide open in the end zone. Wasn’t Leslie Frazier a defensive coach?

12:54 PM – The Colts take the lead over the Titans – you know what the Colts and the Chiefs should be playing each other today, as should the Titans and Packers. At least we could avoid the Titans and Packers game!

12:56 PM – Brandon Marshall with a 65 yard touchdown in the snow. Man, the Bills started out like a slightly above average Wonderlic and have now fallen into the Vince Young territory. This Dolphins team might one of the top teams in the AFC, sadly will not get to see them in the post-season because of three ridiculous losses.

12:58 PM – Ugh, I see the Bears have caught Vikingitis, as they fail to cover Ben Obanmananobi-wan. First and goal at the two. Anyone want to bet that Marshawn Lynch gets the touchdown here. Isn’t it funny how certain teams are so predictable inside the 10, like the Saints never run inside the 10 on first down. I am not sure if that is because Payton thinks it is more efficient to pass or if he owns Brees in a dynasty league. Yep, Marshawn in the end zone. You know what Marshawn Lynch is like the poster child for NFL Fantasy Football 2011. No one thought this guy would do much, and if they claim they did they’re a damn liar, but now he is dominating the last few weeks and might make the All-Fitzgerald fantasy team.

1:01 PM – Kyle Orton just stood in the pocket for seemingly an eternity on third down no less and finally found an open receiver for a first down. The tackle responsible for blocking Matthews should mock him by doing his dance every time he completely stifles him like he just did.

1:03 PM – Hey, there is something you don’t see everyday a Marion Barber rush without a fumble.

1:04 PM – Seattle 21-14 after Caleb Hanie throws the ball right to the belly of Red Bryant, a 900 pound defensive linemen, who scampers into the end zone. Yeah, the playoffs are not in the cards for the Bears this season.

1:06 PM – Fitzpatrick just overthrew Steve Johnson, who was 10 yards behind the defense, by 10 yards. After the play Fitzpatrick stuck up his middle finger and mouthed the words, “FU Colin Wynner! How do you like that arm?” Seconds later Drew Brees under throws a wide open Robert Meachem. In fairness to Drew he had to think that the invisible man was deep for the Vikings, because I am sure he could not believe that Meachem was that open. Honest mistake, but watch some film Drew, it happens to the Vikings every week at least a dozen times.

1:09 PM – I think we have a little Favre thing going on in Tennessee with Hasselbeck. He just threw a pick-6 to give the Colts an 11 point lead, but somehow he won’t come even though Locker has been impressive. I have always thought that Hasselbeck was a selfish prick, now I think it’s confirmed.

1:11 PM – Chiefs go up 9-7, Saints go up 35-13, as the Vikings match their covering incompetence with equally incompetent tackling while Lance Moore scoots 40 yards for a touchdown. Lance Moore = Marshawn Lynch.

1:15 PM – Underdogs are ruling the day – eight games, seven dogs covering. Including three outright winners of spreads over 6 – Washington, Carolina, Kansas City and Indianapolis.

1:19 PM – Redskins go up 23-3. I am wondering how Eli plays next week when the Giants travel to New York to play the Jets.

1:22 PM – For the first time in 20 games the Packers are trailing heading into the 4th quarter. Wow that is impressive. And the team they choose to trail is – the Chiefs. That’s like a girl saving her virginity through the captain of the football team in high school, then losing it to some band geek first year in college. Horrible!

1:28 PM – You know what else pisses me off? The fact that the Saints can be such an effective screen team – like shouldn’t that be a point of emphasis for the opposing defensive coordinator. I am sure it is, but being an NFL head coach is like being a baby-sitter since most of those defensive players are ignorant Neanderthals.

1:31 PM – Ok, now there is no doubt at all that McCarthy wants to lose this game. The Chiefs just completed a pass to the two yard line, but at the end of the play the receiver fumbled the ball out of the end zone, which should be a safety. Somehow the officials missed the play, yeah I know, what a surprise. Anyway McCarthy with a full complement of challenges and timeouts doesn’t challenge a game changing play. He wants to lose. And now I am off on a rant – look I don’t really care if the Packers win or lose, in fact I picked the Chiefs so I would prefer they cover. But quoting the cook from Vision Quest, “you only get a few chances at greatness”. You know what, most people can’t tell you who won the 2002 Super Bowl, because it wasn’t memorable, but those same people can tell you that the 1972 Dolphins went undefeated! When you have the chance, you owe to yourself to go for it. If you don’t, well then God help you, because the football gods will not be happy. Today is the day, I know for sure that the 2011 Packers will not win the Super Bowl! Well, unless they come back to win this game and actually do “go for it”.

1:35 PM – The Giants are threaten to pull with 13 points of the Redskins. Being a Giants fan must be like living with a alcoholic, sober they’re great, but when drinking they can get a little mean.

1:36 PM – The Colts are up 20-6, can we please see Jake Locker. I will repeat the same thing for the Colts, when you have a chance do to something memorable, you do it.

1:38 PM – It might just be me, but I seem to remember Reggie Bush riding the bench early in the year for the Dolphins. Right? I mean if that little girl, Daniel Thomas, didn’t have to nurse that tender nipple (hamstring) for roughly five weeks does the Reggie Bush era ever happen? The guy is killing it right now, but beware next fantsy qu, uh, dude.

1:41 PM – Nice job, Pierre! Thomas that is – touchdown for him as the Saints go up 42-13. I said that game is over. Meanwhile the Bengals go up 20-6 over the Rams. Please, Rams, hire Jeff Fisher and draft Justin Blackmon!

1:43 PM – I really think that Joe Webb covers that spread for the Vikings, but Ponder sucks! Yeah, that didn’t make sense but Ponder sucks. Pretty much, Ponder sucks!

1:45 PM – Did Solomon Wilcotts just say the Bills need three scores to catch the Dolphins? Yep, he sure did. I guess the ability to solve simple math problems isn’t a requirement to work as a color guy for CBS. Solomon, it’s 23-7 Miami, which is difference of 16 points. Now if Buffalo can get 8 points per touchdown and successfully two point conversion, how many scores do they need?

1:48 PM – Let’s catch up on some scores – Seattle 31 Chicago 14, bye-bye Bears! Kansas City is now up 19-7, I guarantee the Packers come right back and score a touchdown to make it close. McCarthy has to try and make it look good. Doom on you McCarthy!

1:50 PM – I just noticed the Texans are back in the game against Carolinal, 20-13 now! And the Titans score a touchdown – Nate Washington from, yeah, Jake Locker. Eff U Tennessee letting that jackass Hasselbeck stay in the game long enough to lose to the Colts. Enjoy the playoffs from home, losers.

1:53 PM – Maybe Solomon is clairvoyant and he knew that the Bills would score and miss the two point conversion because that is exactly what happened and now the Bills will, as it turns out, need three scores.

1:57 PM – Surest sign that apocalypse will be here today – Reggie Bush has over 200 yards rushing today. And sure enough the Packers drive down to score a touchdown – 19-14 with the two minute warning and all three timeouts left.

1:59 PM – Toby Gerhart pours salt in the AP owners wound as he scores his second touchdown of the day. But the Saints cover easily – loss for me.

2:02 PM – The Packers can kick deep, which is the smart move by a coach that wants to win, but a coach that wants to lose will onside here. Yep, onside attempt and it fails. Good luck trying to repeat effing McCarthy. The best future bet available right now is the AFC +4.5 in the Super Bowl, because that is solely based on the Packers being the representative in the Super Bowl. So, we know that the Packers are not winning the Super Bowl this season, so if they win the NFC, it’s a cover for the AFC regardless of the actual SB spread. But let’s say they lose in the NFC playoffs – well, the Patriots would be a slight favorite over the Saints and a fairly substantial favorite over the 49ers, which opens up a huge middle opp.

2:05 PM – Game over – Packers lose the Super Bowl. Seriously Green Bay get together a lynch mob and beat the piss out of McCarthy tonight!

2:07 PM – Holy crap, the Seahawks are up 38-14 over the Bears.

2:15 PM – Early gams over – here are some highlights:

  • The four team money line parlay of Chiefs, Panthers, Redskins and Colts had to pay some astronomical odds.
  • Guys who better watch out for crazed fantasy quee, uh guy, Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Hakeem Nicks and Caleb Hanie.
  • Houston is one and done in the playoffs, they are now looking at the Jets in the first round, which is a terrible match-up for them.
  • Seattle might sneak into the playoffs, which would give the much maligned NFC West two playoff teams.

I went 2-0 in the Super Contest – Bengals and Panthers winning. Pats, Jets and Cardinals can make it a perfect day.

Here are the Super Wynner standings after week 15:

The Super Wynner Contest Standings Week 15
Contestant Last Week Record
G-Dub 9-5-2 124-93-7 (.569)
Juana Wynner 8-6-2 114-103-7 (.525)
Colin Wynner 7-7-2 107-110-7 (.493)
Megan Wynner 5-9-2 105-112-7 (.484)

Much thanks to Ken Whisenhunt and the Jets for costing me two games in the Super Contest.

LVHSC: 3-2, 33-39-3 (Tied for 408th)

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.

Oakland @ Kansas City (-2.5) – My buddy Randy, who is a huge Raider fan, has been telling for weeks that the Raiders will crush the Chiefs in this spot. He is the biggest, and quite possibly the most knowledgeable, Raider fan I know so I am inclined to trust him here. But you know what I don’t think the Raiders have the horses here, it’s just not going to happen for them this year.

G-Dub’s Week 16 Picks

Denver, Detroit, Kansas City, Arizona, Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Tennessee,
NY Giants, Minnesota, St. Louis, New England,
Dallas, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta

Pick: Kansas City -2.5

Denver (-2.5) @ Buffalo – Look this Bills team is dead. Couple that with the fact the nasty Buffalo weather isn’t going to affect Tebow’s accuracy one bit but it will have a major impact on the candy-ass armed Ryan Fitzpatrick and this game won’t be close.

Pick: Denver -2.5

Jacksonville @ Tennessee (-7.5) – Yeah, I trust a hobbling, worn out, candy-ass armed Matt Hasselbeck to cover a 7.5 point spread. Plus, I think Blaine Gabbert will play a great game this weekend, since ESPN analyst Tim Hasselbeck essentially called Gabbert a pussy this week.

Pick: Jacksonville +7.5

Arizona @ Cincinnati (-4.5) – This is the “it’s just the spot” game of the week. The Cardinals have played back-to-back-to-back emotional games – two in overtime, therefore, it’s just the spot for them to lose and lose big.

Pick: Cincinnati -4.5

Miami @ New England (-9.5) – So, I was watching the replay of the Pats game and on the touchdown pass to Ocho-Cinco the Denver safety sold out for the flat route to Welker, even though Welker was covered. My theory is that during film study the defensive coaches told the Broncos defense that “when 85 is in the game they don’t throw to him, but use him as a decoy for the flat route to Welker”. The safety seeing 85 in the game remembered what coach told him and jumped the flat. Now the funny part of that is just two years ago Ocho Cinco was a premeire receiver now he is simply known as 85, which I guess was hi goal all along.

Pick: Miami +9.5

Cleveland @ Baltimore (-13.0) – You know what – “F*** the F***ing Harbaugh brothers! F*** ’em all! I’ll bury those cockroaches.” Thanks as always to Tony Montana. Give me the feisty Browns.

Juana Wynner’s Week 16 Picks

Oakland @ Kansas City (-2.5) – Kansas City has a pretty strong offensive line. They can hold people off and then have their running back run the ball or complete a pass. They are not good under intense pressure though. This is just like Ozzy in the last challenge of Survivor. He was under pressure to win the challenge to get immunity and he totally choked. This is how I feel Kansas City will be when they play this week.
Oakland +2.5
Denver @ Buffalo (-2.5) – The Bills do not have a strong team at all. They have a few decent players who can run the ball but nothing compared to other teams. This team is like the Savaii tribe on survivor. They had one person on the tribe, Coach, who led the whole team. He would win the challenges for his team and control them. If he didn’t like something it wasn’t going to happen. This is exactly how the Bills are; they only have a few players who can make something happen.

Denver -2.5

Miami @ New England (-9.5) – Tom Brady is ranked #1 in the NFL. He is a very strong quarterback who starts a lot of the plays and gets the ball up field. Coach, in survivor, was just like him. He would make his team successful because of what he would do. He was always coming up with a strategy and leading his teams to victories.

New England -9.5

Atlanta @ New Orleans (-7.0) – The Falcons have Mike Smith as their head coach. He’s not bad but he’s not the brightest tool in the shed. When the Falcons played the Saints he totally cost them all of their chances of winning. When they were on their own 29 yard-line with inches to go he told them to go for it. They lost by a field goal. This coach is like Cochran from survivor. He made a choice to switch over to the Savaii tribe and then he got voted off a few days later. Stupid decisions like that cost him his whole game.

New Orleans -7.0

Jacksonville @ Tennessee (-7.5) – Starter Chris Johnson is not a very good player. He has very little yards this season and I’m pretty sure that he won’t put up any more in this game. Chris is just like Rick in Survivior. Rick did nothing the whole game and he still made it to the final 5. Chris Johnson still puts up some numbers but nothing like other running backs.

Jacksonville +7.5

The rest:

Cincinnati -4.5, Cleveland +13.0, N.Y. Jets -3, Washington -7, Tampa Bay +8, Pittsburgh -12.5, Detroit -2.5, San Francisco -1, Dallas -1.5, Chicago +12

Pick: Cleveland +13.0

NY Giants @ NY Jets (-3.0) – My favorite fact about this game is that it is technically a road game for Eli, so maybe, just maybe he will overcome those Meadowlands demons. Though I doubt it because this seems par for the course for the Jets – back into the playoffs, get a gift-wrapped matchup in the first round, play a great game against a rival and lose in the AFC Championship game. Goodness, I hate reruns!

Pick: NY Jets -3.0

Minnesota @ Washington (-7.0) – No Joe Webb, no chance!

Pick: Washington -7.0

Tampa Bay @ Carolina (-8.0) – I don’t want to do this, but I simply cannot allow myself to be fooled by the Raheem Morris Bucs any longer. But I have to admit those eight points are very tempting, until it’s 21-0 at the end of the first quarter. At that point I am pulling an Albert Brooks in Lost in America with my book, “Uh, listen as a marketing ploy, just give me my money back!”

Pick: Carolina -8.0

St. Louis @ Pittsburgh (-12.5) – No Ben, no problem! Listen this Rams team has a chance at the number one overall pick, which can bring in the type of haul that the talent depleted Rams need to turn that franchise around. Trust me, they won’t take any chances in this game that Kellen Clemens catches fire late, they will mail this thing early and often. You get the picture!

Pick: Pittsburgh -12.5

San Diego @ Detroit (-2.0) – This season’s wild card round is setting up to be one of the most lucrative weekends of Colin’s young life. I cannot wait to bet against teams like the Texans and Lions. Yeah. I think they suck!

Pick: San Diego +2.0

San Francisco (-1.0) @ Seattle – Frisco is coming off a Monday night physical battle with the Steelers, the Seahawks are coming off practice against the Bears. Plus, this Seahawk team is secretly pretty good! Bonus: Marshawn Lynch scores a rushing TD this weekend.

Pick: Seattle +1.0

Philadelphia @ Dallas (-1.5) – Factors working against the Cowboys include, 1. It’s December; 2, Sammy Morris, who wasbn;t good enough to be part of the 15-head monster in New England, is now the starting running back; and 3. Jerry Jones is scared of the Eagles. Screw that, the Cowboys find a way!

Pick: Dallas -1.5

Chicago @ Green Bay (-12.0) – I am taking the Bears for one reason and one reason only – the fact that the 49ers are going to lose on Saturday which means the Packers will have home field wrapped up. And that means that the McCarthy led Packers will pack it in. I cannot wait to bet against the Packers in the playoffs.

Pick: Chicago +12.0

Atlanta @ New Orleans (-7.0) – I would love to see the Falcons go into New Orleans and smack the Saints around, but my guess is it won’t happen. Yeah, the Saints are the play here and I will give you the lock of the century – New Orleans second half! Take them no matter, the Falcons are exceptionall early in games, but once Matt Ryan has to make adjustments they go to hell.

Pick: New Orleans -7.0

Colin Wynner calls the winners! Good Luck to all! And Happy Holidays to all!

NFL 2011 – Week Five Picks

“Super Wynner Contest” Week 4 Recap

  • G-Dub has been quite vocal around the Wynner’s mansion this weekend, taunting all three of the other competitors with weak statements like “I’ m heads and tails above you three.” And he wants me to change his name to Flip Wynner. He’s been unbearable!
  • Yeah, I get it, I have been horrible this season and I am being soundly defeated by random luck. My defense, it takes a few weeks for power rankings to be fully effective. Yeah, that’s it.
  • The good news – I passed Juana and Megan, who are circling the drain worse than A-Rod’s “True Yankee” status.

Contestant

Last Week

Record

G-Dub

10-6

34-27-3 (.555)

Colin Wynner

6-10

29-32-3 (.477)

Juana Wynner

4-12

28-33-3 (.461)

Megan Wynner

7-9

26-35-3 (.430)

 

SuperContest Week 4 Recap

  • Picks: Lions, Vikings, Texans, Cardinals and Jets
  • A quick log of the early games – Lions, Texans and Vikings
    • Great start! All three of my teams get the ball to begin the game, any chance I can be up by a combined 21-0 in about 10 minutes? Maybe not, Houston fumbles the kickoff fortunately the Texans get back on top of it to regain possession; unfortunately a penalty moves them to inside their own 10 to start the opening drive; I am about to text a buddy to let him know the Texans are not covering today.
    • Oh man, I nailed this Texans game, the Steelers are not good at all – 18 play, 11 minute drive for the Texans to go up 7-0, the rout is on!
    • Minnesota leads 7-3, but Detroit is getting crushed, if not for a goal-line stand the Lions would be down 14-0; the Cowboys are trying to one-up the Eagles in the inefficient plays inside the opponents 10 category
    • End of the first quarter in Houston Texans have the ball back and lead 7-0, not worrying about that game at all.
    • Halftime in Houston – 10-0, but it should be much worse, the Texans block a field goal at the end of the half and return it for a touchdown, but some d-bag blocks a Steelers player in the back, behind the play no less, and it gets called back. This game feels so “Texans” to me, you know the kind of game they totally dominate yet find a way to lose.
    • More fun at halftime – Dallas crushing Detroit 20-3, proving that injuries to an opponent can be offset by bringing your “D” game; Minnesota is also flaking on me – down 9-7 at half; I text a buddy to whine about going 0-3 in the early games
    • The Steelers take the opening kickoff, burn 8 minutes and move into cover range; knew it.
    • So, much for the Lions coming back in the second half; now 27-3 in a game that I have written off as a loss.
    • The good news Minesota pulls into a 10-9, uh, now down 12-10; that was fast. Yup, next stop 0-3. Demoralizing! I knew I should have pulled the “REVERSE EM”, where before I send my picks, I reverse all of them.
    • More bad news in Houston, somehow the Steelers have now tied the game at 10-10, here comes the Texans 13-10 win. Good for them, bad for me (-3.5).
    • Detroit can do no right on offense, but their defense picks up a touchdown, which gives me a twinge of hope in that game, just 17 points to tie with about 21 minutes to play.
    • Houston comes right back down the field on that over-rated, old Steeler defense; capped off with a 40 yard TD run by my new favorite player, Arian Foster. They just need to keep the Steelers out of the end zone for the cover. I decide this will be a win.
    • You know what – I might go 3-0, Detroit just returned another interception for a touchdown, now a 10 point game with plenty of time remaining. Hopefully the Lions offense will wake up and start producing
    • Remember that 3-0 thought – what was I thinking, Minnesota is now down 22-10, that’s a loss and Detroit is down 30-17, still a chance but slim
    • Houston wins in a game that ends well before the other two, so I am batting a 1.000 right now; sweet!
    • Megatron makes the Detroit game a lot more interesting as he catches a TD to bring them with 6 points
    • I wish I was getting more than 1 point in the Detroit game, I can see them taking a 31-30 lead, but eventually losing 33-31
    • Now it’s getting crazy, Romo just threw another interception setting the Lions up in Dallas territory trailing 30-27 and the Vikings are down 22-17 but driving

    • Chiefs D-line “Wait, is it the 4th quarter? Protect your balls!”

      Megatron again – Detroit 34-30! One of the luckier covers, if they hang on, I’ve ever had.

    • More good news, I flip to Minnesota and they have a first down at the KC 41 with 2 minutes left. The bad news Donovan McNabb is the quarterback, but they might have enough time to run the ball with AP and Harvin for the winning score.
    • Pretty typical McNabb, two consecutive passes knocked down by the Chiefs defensive line, well I guess if you consider getting hit in the facemask knocking the ball down. 3rd down features the signature McNabb bounce pass. I forgot how bad this guy is at leading a team late in a game; I seriously would have called a draw play to AP on 4th and 10. If it didn’t work, when asked about it in the post-game press-conference I would have defended it with “Did you see the previous three plays? Based on that data, I thought we had better chance running the football.” McNabb’s 4th down pass would have been complete if somehow the Vikings could sneak the NFL Films sound guy onto the field, yeah, the pass air-mailed the intended receiver. 1-1!
    • If I am playing against Jason Witten in fantasy, I am going punt my dog like Baxter in Anchorman. Detroit is allowing the Cowboys to waltz down the field without contesting the middle of the field.
    • Whew, huge sack by the Lions; and on 4 and 20 Romo throws a short pass to Felix Jones for 8 yards!?! The funny thing about the play – Romo runs up to the line like he is going to spike the ball! He is going to get crucified in Dallas this week! 2-1
    • I felt great about going to 2-1, as though the worm was turning for me. I absolutely love the Cardinals this afternoon and I think getting 3.5 points with the Jets is money – 4-1 right around the corner.
  • So, the Cardinals go up 10 late in the fourth, but then they forget to play defense. That’s a little like getting hit with a bag of piss on a cold day – at first you think, “Wow, that’s warm, feels great!” Shortly after, you realize it was piss, now you’re colder than ever and covered in frozen piss.
  • There was a good reason the Jets went from 3.5 to 6 points before kickoff – they suck! I guess the “sharps” knew that the Jets would give up three defensive touchdowns! Damn, why can’t I predict things like that! 2-3 YUCK!
  • I have to keep chopping wood, but I need a 14-6 four week run to catapult me back into the top 100 and give me a chance!

LHSC: 2-3, 8-10-2 (Tied for 320th)

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.

 

NFC Worst – “The Quest for 6 Wins”

 

Tampa Bay @ San Francisco (-3.0)

Arizona @ Minnesota (-2.5)

Seattle @ NY Giants (-9.5)

Bye Week (-3.0) @ St. Louis

 

It must have been a full moon last Sunday, because all four NFC Worst teams had a chance to win. Fortunately, only one of the teams was able to disappoint. Unfortunately, it was the one team we couldn’t afford to pull off a victory.

 

Really, 49ers, really? Help me understand what the 49ers are thinking – we have a chance to make history here, and they go win an seemingly unwinnable game in Philadelphia. Even Jim Harbaugh couldn’t believe it, on the sideline after the win he looked like Chick Gandell from Chicago Black Sox after getting the game winning hit in game three and pissing off the gamblers, like “Uh, yeah, I am so excited we won!” But inside he is thinking, “How the hell am I going to win anything of significance with Alex Smith? I need Andrew Luck!”

 

Not all is lost, however, the damage the 49ers have done can easily be undone, they still only have two non-division wins – they’re allowed three. No worries they will get back on track this week, with Josh Freeman, the original king of cover.

 

The Seahawks dug themselves a nice 27-7 hole, but then they did the unthinkable – started to rally. Listen Hawk players, Pete Carroll is a marshmallow; you don’t have to win to have him open his palace for a post-game “kegger.” I don’t need the Hawks attempting a 61 yard field goal to win the game, it’s just too close. In fact with the 49ers exceeding expectations, I need the rest of the NFC West to save what little effort, energy, imaginative play-calling they have for the 49ers.

 

I really thought the Cardinals would notch a win against the Giants, as evidence by my SuperContest pick on them, but at the end of the game the defense realized history was at stake and that was by far more important than a silly $750,000 contest. If in 13 weeks we’re talking about the 6-10 49ers as division champs, we will look back on the Cardinals defense collapse against the Giants as the reason we have the historic 6 win division winner.

 

By far the most clutch team in the division is the Rams. What bad can you say about the Rams? When the chips are down, this team finds ways to lose, and for that members of the “6-10” club are grateful

 

The game against the Skins almost fell their way, but they took care of business when it counted most. Well done! I especially like that they shown some signs of life at the end of the game. Heading into the bye week that will give them something to build on, which won’t help them until week nine, which is exactly when we need this team to start playing like a slightly above mediocre NFL team.

 

Major concerns going forward:

 

  1. Clearly right now the biggest concern is that somehow, some way the 49ers are going to get to seven wins. We need this season to mirror the 2009 when the 49ers started 3-1 and finished 6-10.

 

For this week, we have an above average chance to post a 0-4; and yes, I am predicting a Rams loss to bye-week:

 

Seattle travels to New York to face the Giants. It seems like it never ends well for the West Coast teams traveling East. This will be no exception, although Eli Manning is about six times better on the road than at home.

 

It’s a lot of points to lay, but finish this sentence – “The Giants go up 14-0, the Seahawks respond . . .” Well, if you’re like me, you answer “by packing it in”. Seriously, 9.5 is a lot of points, but its Tavaris Jackson, on the road, in a hostile environment filled with frustrated Yankee fans. It won’t end well for the Seahawks.

 

Pick: NY Giants -9.5

 

Josh Freeman and the Tampa Bay Road Warriors hit the Bay Area this week to face a team that just won their equivalent of the Super Bowl. How do I know? I talked a friend of mine who is a huge 49er fan and he had a n ear-to-ear grin and he was wearing a “Week four Champs” t-shirt. Yeah, I think the 49ers will have a bit of a hangover this week. It’s back down to earth this week for the 49ers.

 

Pick: Tampa Bay +3.0

 

The Cardinals and Vikings feature a match-up of former Eagle quarterbacks Kevin Kolb and Donovan McNabb. Remember Kolb was McNabb’s understudy for his first couple of seasons in the NFL. And based on Kolb first handful of starts, Donovan really rubbed off on him.

 

Kolb has been very McNabbian-like with the game on the line this season. In Week three, Kolb threw a terrible interception agasint Seattle, to end the Cardinals best drive of the fourth quarter. Last week, Kolb couldn’t get the job done late either, as evidenced by the following Exhibits, A – needing a first down, Kolb rushes a throw off his back foot to Early Doucet; B – the final drive features a 2nd and short, the play-call is a screen pass, which Kolb eats and takes a sack as opposed to dumping the ball at the intended receivers feet, instead of 3rd and short, the Cardinals now face 3rd and 10; C – One play later, facing a 4th and three, Kolb again rushes a throw off his back foot to a heavily cover Larry Fitzgerald – ball game!

 

Therefore, my prediction is the team leading at the end of the third quarter wins this game.

 

Pick: Minnesota -2.5

 

Kansas City @ Indianapolis (-2.0) – Painter-to-Garcon is going to make Colts fans completely forget about Manning-to-Harrison. Uh, well maybe not, but is it a coincidence that Painter has an above average game on Monday and all of a sudden Peyton is talking about coming back in December. I think not!

Can Chiefs coach Todd Haley get along with anyone? As the offensive coordinator of the Cardinals, Haley got into it with several players, most notably during the NFC Championship, with Anquan Boldin. Haley also ran off Charlie Weis in the off-season. The latest incident was with his quarterback, Matt Cassel. The guy seems like an egotistical prick who can’t coach – that’s a highly unusual pair of traits for an NFL head coach, most just can’t coach!

Pick: Indianapolis -2.0

Juana Wynner’s Week Five Picks

Kansas City @ Indianapolis (-2.0)
– My dad always says the word “chief” or calls us “chief.”

Pick: Kansas City +2.0

Arizona @ Minnesota (-2.5)
– I love Arizona but I’m going to have to go with the Vikings on this one. Go #28!

Pick: Minnesota -2.5

Philadelphia @ Buffalo (-3.0)
– On the Bold and the Beautiful this week Bill Spencer got exactly what he wanted when his son got engaged to someone else. I think that the Bill S will get what they want to.

Pick: Buffalo +3.0

Oakland @ Houston (-5.5)
– My cousin lives in Texas and the Texans have been playing good football so far.

Pick: Houston -5.5

New Orleans @ Carolina (-6.5)
– New Orleans suffered through such rough times and they came back stronger from it. They have what it takes to win this one.

Pick: New Orleans -6.5

The Rest:

Cincinnati +2.0, Pittsburgh -3.5, Seattle +9.5, Tampa Bay +3.0, New England -8.0, San Diego -4.0, Atlanta +6.0, Chicago +5.0


 

 

Philadelphia (-3.0) @ Buffalo – Mike Vick declared “The Dream Team” thing dead this week. No, no, no, it’s not that easy, Mike. This requires more than public admission, you have to go perform an exorcism style ritual to get truly kill this thing off. Luckily I have the ritual for Philly – (a) Lose three of your first four games CHECK; (b) Socks, bars of soap, Vince Young – figure it out; (c) Cover an Eagle helmet in the blood of a baby eagle which every player must touch it with both hands prior to kickoff; Look you want out of this, you might have to risk going to jail and being further ostracized by PETA; (d) Andy Reid must get a tattoo of Rocky on the left butt check. We won’t need visual proof of this, your word is fine; and (e) Score a touchdown when presented with a 1st and goal inside five. There you go, Mike.

Surprisingly “e” will be the toughest challenge for the Eagles. What I don’t understand is why they can’t get Vick on the outside with some sort of run/pass option on the goal-line? I guess it’s all in Andy Reid’s master plan, like the way he calls timeouts with 2:02 left in the game. Does he realize that by calling a timeout so close to the two minute warning he provides the opposing coach free pass to call any play in his playbook? Honestly, a two year old could figure this out, why can’t Reid?

That aside there is no way the Eagles lose this game.

Pick: Philadelphia -3.0

Oakland @ Houston (-5.5) – Mr. Obvious will now tell you that the Texans are not the same team without Andre Johnson. And while we can all agree that is true, it will really have an impact this week against the Raiders. You see the Raiders are a very physical football and without Andre, the Raiders will be able to free up a safety to help in run support against the Texans best offensive weapon, Arian Foster. Mark it down the Texans will struggle to score points this week.

 

Pick: Oakland +5.5

 

New Orleans (-6.5) @ Carolina – Cam Newton has been a sports investor’s worst nightmare so far this season. He’s lead the Panthers to three straight covers, after opening the season with a push. He is destroying betting staples, like bet against a rookie on the road and don’t lay points with a rookie quarterback in any circumstance.

 

But despite the covering-hype, the public still can’t bring themselves to trust the rook, as 68% of the action is on the Saints. Even a “sharp” guy like me is siding with the 68% this week; my reasons – 1. The Saints cannot close out opponents by running the football; therefore, they will need to roll up as many points as possible, which, hopefully, will this put game out of cover reach for even the great Cam Covers; and 2. The Saints defense, while not great, will aggressively come after Newton with an array of blitzes which, I believe, will Newton into a typical rookie like performance for the first time this season.

 

Pick: New Orleans -6.5

 

Cincinnati @ Jacksonville (-2.0) – Why are the Jags favored in this game? Cincinnati’s defense is much better and their offense is at least as good; both have rookie quarterbacks, though Dalton has been far better than Gabbert. Moreover, the running games are similar, as are the special teams. This game should be no worse than a pick’em for the Bengals. But who am I to argue, I will take the free points.

 

Pick: Cincinnati +2.0

 

Megan Wynner’s Week Five Picks

New Orleans (-6.5) @ Carolina- I think that New Orleans will win because they have been doing well! In addition, they have awesome uniforms!

Pick: New Orleans +6.5

Chicago @ Detroit (-5) – I think that the Detroit Lions will win because they are a strong team. Therefore, they probably will the beat the Chicago Bears.

Pick: Detroit +5

Arizona @ Minnesota (-2.5) – 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 motto.

Pick: Arizona +2.5

Seattle @ N.Y. Giants (-9.5) – I think that the Seattle Seahawks will win because they have a cool motto! Also they have cool colors!

Pick: Seattle +9.5

Oakland @ Houston (-5.5) – I think that the Houston Texans will win because I think they can outplay the Raiders. I also like their team colors!

Pick: Houston +5.5

Green Bay (-6) @ Atlanta – I think the Green Bay Packers will win because they won the super bowl this past year. Therefore, the Packers will be able to outplay the Falcons!

Pick: Green Bay +6

San Diego (-4) @ Denver- I think that the San Diego Chargers will win because they have awesome team colors! I also think that they can outplay and communicate more than Denver!

Pick: San Diego +4

The Rest:

Indianapolis +2, Buffalo +3.0, Jacksonville +2, Pittsburgh -3.5, San Francisco -3.0, New England -8.0


 

 

Tennessee @ Pittsburgh (-3.5) – Shhh, nobody who matters has it figured out yet, but this Pittsburgh team is atrocious. Here is a list of things the Steelers cannot do: a. run the football; b. protect their quarterback; c. defend the run; d. defend the pass; and e. scare anyone physically. Other than that they’re great. Not even Mike Tomlin’s rah-rah act is getting through. They might be lucky to win six games.

 

And the Titans are the team this year that is the benefactor of the “catching teams at the right time” schedule, like the Chiefs last year. Translation, I can’t wait to bet against them in the playoffs.

 

Pick: Tennessee +3.5

 

NY Jets @ New England (-8.0) – This is way too many points. The Jets will keep it close and have an outside chance at winning outright. Believe me we’ve seen stranger things happen in the NFL than the Jets winning in New England.

 

Pick: NY Jets +8.0

 

San Diego (-4.0) @ Denver – I am not sure I trust the Broncos to keep this game close, but I will admit that the Chargers are nowhere near the same team without Antonio Gates. Plus, Kyle Orton needs a great game to save his job. How can you go against the following: Norv Turner on the opposite sideline, not having to face Antonio Gates and Kyle Orton with his back against the wall? The answer – you can’t!

 

Pick: Denver +4.0

 

Green Bay (-5.5) @ Atlanta – During my preparation for the NFL season wins prediction, I noted this game as a Falcon win based on the payback factor from the 2010 playoffs. And though I felt like the Falcons would under-achieve and the Packers were, well, the Packers, I recalled the Cardinals and Panthers 2008 playoff game, where the Cardinals went to Charlotte and throttled the Panthers much like the Packers pasted the Falcons last year. The next season the Panthers were a mess when they strolled into Phoenix for what seemed to be an easy win for the home town RedBirds. It didn’t quite work out like that, as the Panthers, clearly motivated by the way the previous season ended, crushed the Cardinals. And that was with Pickomottomus, Jake Delhomme at quarterback.

 

Pick: Atlanta +5.5

 

Chicago @ Detroit (-5.0) – Here is an interesting prop bet – Ndamukong Suh personal fouls -.5 over Jay Cutler broken ribs. A word of warning Jay, expect to hear a lot of this on Sunday, “Jay, look out!”

 

Still, the hype on Detroit is out of control; the odds on the Lions to win the Super Bowl have gone from 80-1 to 10-1. I agree that the Lions are good, but that is a severe over-reaction, they’re not that good.

 

Plus we have a trend in this – I had to dig deep into the database for this trend – home teams that have trailed in their previous two games by 16 or more points at halftime but won the game outright are 0-1 ATS since 1990. That is as of Tuesday morning!

 

Pick: Chicago +5.0

 

Colin Wynner calls (48% of) the winners!

 

Good Luck to all!