Friday, November 13, 2009

NFL Pick 5 -- Week 10

Disclaimer: For those of you here to see the follow-up from yesterday's Actual Poker Post(TM), sorry but you will have to wait until Monday. That was not my intent but it's just the way things have to be for me today. On Monday I promise I will recap the action from Thursday's post and will get to the conclusion of the hand. As always thanks for everyone's thoughts and comments.

So, Week 10 of the NFL is already upon us, with the Thursday night games starting last night with one of the worst football games in recent memory, pitting the four-losses-in-a-row 49ers against the 1-3-in-their-last-four Chicago Bears in a game that did not disappoint those looking to see two inept teams banging heads until one was declared the winner. In the end, San Francisco, who was flat out unable to do anything on offense at home against the lackluster Bears defense, took advantage of one of Jay Cutler five interceptions (at least two of them in the red zone, including one on the 49ers' 1-yard line) to score the only touchdown of the day on their way to an overpowering 10-6 win in front of the home town fans. Fortunately, my read on the Bears' ineptitude on offense away from their home field was just enough to get a cover for the 49ers -3 points and bring us to 1-0 to start the Week 10 season. This is a nice start after last week's 2-3 performance, which brings my overall record so far this season to 26-15 counting last night's win with the Niners. Here's to some more winners this week, where a couple of games really stand out to me as having lines that are just off enough to create some good value for bettors. Here's the Week 10 picks, once again in no particular order:

1. San Francisco 49ers -3 vs. the Chicago Bears. Winner!

2. Detroit Lions +16.5 at Minnesota Vikings. Obviously, the Vikings are a far better team than the shitful Lions, about that there is no debate and no doubt. But are they two touchdowns and a field goal better? I just don't see it. This is the biggest line I've seen on an NFL game so far this season, at a time when most of the huge lines have been coming down a few points over the past few weeks of games when even the best of teams have been unable to cover the spread over the past few weekends. And the thing is, as good as Minnesota has been on both offense and defense this year, they just aren't going out and winning their games by 17 points. Yes, Detroit is horrible, but so are Cleveland and St. Louis, and so was Detroit the first time these teams met back in Week 2, and in only one of those games did the Vikes win by more than 16 points (38-10 over the Rams in Week 5). What's more, the Vikings have actually played better outside of the dome this year than inside, with their three home games so far coming in as wins of 3, 7 and 2 points, albeit against mostly better teams than the Lions. And lastly, the Lions seem to play the Vikings and Brett Favre fairly well over recent history, including causing Favre to have his worst performance of the year in Week 2 with just 155 yards in the air. In 2008 when these two teams met in Minnesota, the Vikings won by just two points, and the teams split their matchups in 2007 as well. And the word is that Favre is injured, so much so that he might not play the whole game, and if he does that he will be affected by the injury to some extent. All of this leads me to think that there is significant value on the Lions + 16.5 points this Sunday afternoon in Minnesota.

3. Kansas City Chiefs +2 at the Oakland Raiders. Wait, the Raiders are actually favored in a game this year? What an insult to Kansas City and first-year coach Todd Haley, especially given that the Raiders are averaging a smart 5.5 points per game over their last six outings. JaMarcus Russell is so far beyond being an NFL quarterback that awards are given in honor of his badness. Six of their eight opponents have scored at least 23 points against the Raiders this season, including their most recent home game which was a 38-0 shellacking by the New York Jets. Oakland actually won at KC earlier this year -- a 3-point victory, 13-10 -- but both of the Raiders' wins this year came when they themselves scored just 13 points, a strong offensive output for them given their performance this season. The Chiefs have at least shown they can score a little bit, breaking 20 points three times this season including twice on the road, and in their only other game against the NFL's shitpile teams (other than the game against the Raiders in Week 2), the Chiefs nabbed their first win of the season against the Redskins in Week 6. All this is a long way of saying that I think the Chiefs are likely to win this game outright and avoid being swept on the season by the lowly Raiders, and getting 2 points to boot against an awful Oakland team is just too much to pass up here.

4. Green Bay Packers +3 vs. the Dallas Cowboys. Here's another game where I can't believe the underdog is getting the points it is getting to cover. Green Bay, an absolutely desperate team at 4-4 at this point in the season, coming off their worst loss of the year so far last week at winless Tampa Bay, returns home on Sunday afternoon to face the hot Dallas Cowboys who are fresh off their huge win at division rival Philadelphia last Sunday night. So it's a bit of a short week for Dallas, they are likely facing a letdown game in between matchups against their two biggest division rivals in Philly and Washington, and we all know the troubles the Cowboys have had in general winning big road games in the second half of the season, which we are now officially in to. And let's not forget how horrible the coaching staff is in Dallas as well. Four wins in a row is more than enough for this Cowboys squad, and I think Green Bay has a good chance of winning this game outright at home in a matchup that they absolutely, positively have to win. Oh, and the Pack is actually getting three points as well? Definite value on the Packers here.

5. Denver Broncos -3.5 at Washington Redskins. I wrote earlier this week about how Denver has been exposed a bit over the past two games, at least as not being nearly as good as their 6-0 record indicated a few weeks back. That said, even though I've been at the top of the "not as good as their record" bandwagon with the Broncos all season, this line just seems wrong to me. The Redskins have played the worst schedule in NFL history so far in 2009, including games against the Rams, the Lions, the Buccaneers, the Panthers and the Chiefs, and yet still the team is only 2-6 in its first eight games, beating the Rams by two and the Bucs by three. Although the Redskins' defense has played reasonably well this year, their last two games have seen them give up 27 points in a loss to the Eagles, followed by 31 in another loss at Atlanta last weekend. In fact, the Redskins have held four of the shitpiler teams they've played to under 20 points, but their three reasonable opponents this season have scored 23 (NYG), 27 and 31 points, and there is no reason to expect Denver not to follow suit, albeit probably to a lesser degree. Denver's defense is basically the best in the NFL, however, and they're facing a totally hapless Skins offense that has averaged just over 14 points per game this year and has failed to break 17 points even one time in eight games this year, mostly against the worst competition the NFL has to offer. Denver should bounce back and beat a truly terrible Washington team this weekend, and although I wish the line were under 3, I'll still give the 3.5 and expect to win a close one here on Sunday afternoon.

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Blogger jjok said...

go cowboys!

2:30 AM  
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