After an exciting past few days while my wife and I introduced our son into the world, I am back to blogging about football! Definitely I will need to be creative in terms of how I find time to share my football prognostication!
So the past few weeks has been a bit rough. We went 2-3 again even though it seemed like we were going to be 4-1. For the season we are 22-23 which stinks and we need to do better. We are still waiting for that elusive 5-0 week and we hold out hope that it will happen soon. Maybe with fatherhood, I will now have clarity with our football picks so here they are!
- Kansas City is expected to beat Carolina by 4.46 points according to the GE model. In fact, KC has a total GE number that ranks #5 in the league whereas Carolina's total GE numbers ranks #21. Yet, the public is still infatuated with Cam Newton and company. The Panthers are at home but they are 3-5. The Chiefs are 6-2 and have proven they can win against good teams on the road like the smackdown they put against the Raiders in Oakland back in Week 6. We expect this game to be close but the Chiefs are very good at managing the clock and tempo of most of the games they are in. They have a defense that is strong enough to contain Cam Newton and a run game to wear down Carolina. With Spencer Ware and Alex Smith back as well, we find it hard to believe that the Chiefs are an underdog in this one so we will trust the data and take the Chiefs.
- Tennessee is expected to beat Green Bay by 0.07 points according to the GE model. Green Bay is a tad better with its total GE number ranking of #16 and Tennessee being #20. Still, this game should be a pick 'em since the Titans are at home. Getting 2.5 points for a decent team is too good of a value to pass up. The Titans definitely have the firepower on offense to score and Green Bay has been limited on offense with no true running back. At one point last week, the Packers were down 31-13 at home to the Colts who have an awful defense. Aaron Rodgers even expressed his disappointment with his teammates' lack of desire and energy. Will that galvanize the Packers to play a better game? Maybe and if the Packers win a close game, we are still OK since the Titans can lose by 1 or 2 points and we still cover. The HE formula likes this game too with the Titans being a home dog and the public overwhelmingly betting on the Packers. Combined the HE formula and GE model are 15-8-1 this season so we will take the Titans.
- San Diego is expected to beat Miami by 6.59 points according to the GE model. This is reflected by their total GE numbers with San Diego at #13 and Miami at #23 and of course San Diego is at home. The Chargers definitely have been a pleasant surprise this year. They are 4-5 but easily can be 7-2 (like the Raiders) or even 8-1. Philip Rivers seems to keep finding ways to will his team to victory even though he has so many injured players on his offense. One player that has kind of gone unnoticed but is a key reason for the Chargers playing so well is Derek Watt. Like his more famous older brother JJ Watt of the Houston Texans, Derek Watt is a beast and at fullback he is arguably the best person in the league at clearing the path for his running back. That is why Melvin Gordon has been able to put up such strong numbers. This is not that much different than when the Chargers had Lorenzo Neal blocking for Ladainian Tomlinson several years ago. The box score doesn't reflect Watt's contributions but if you watch any of the Chargers' games, you can't miss him. The Dolphins have been impressive lately but with cross country travel and a Chargers team clicking on all cylinders, we think this game will be tough for the Dolphins. Miami has had the luxury of playing 4 consecutive games at home. That almost never happens in the NFL so Miami should consider themselves lucky. They are a much different team on the road going 0-3 so far this season and were 3-5 on the road last year. In fact, the Dolphins lost to San Diego in San Diego last season during Week 15 by a score of 30-14. History will most likely repeat itself with the Chargers covering the -4 spread.
- Dallas is expected to beat Pittsburgh by 5.84 points according to the GE model. The Cowboys are the #1 team in terms of total GE number whereas Pittsburgh is a mediocre #18. No surprise here since Dallas is of course 7-1 and Pittsburgh is 4-4. What is surprising is that Pittsburgh is favored by 2.5 points when I figured this game would be a pick 'em. The Cowboys are riding high and Steelers have faltered lately. Pittsburgh is a better team at home but they are not unbeatable. If you think about it, the best way to defeat a team with an uber talented offense like Pittsburgh is to hog the clock by running the ball. Who does that better than anyone else? DALLAS! It's without question that the Cowboys have the best offensive line in football and it's probably the best we have seen in a decade. That line is not just good at run blocking but it's also great at pass protection. The Cowboys lead the league in fewest sacks allowed at 11. Guess which defense ranks dead last in sacking the QB? PITTSBURGH! Dallas will have its way in Pittsburgh by wearing down a subpar defense and not letting Big Ben and company get into any rhythm. I wouldn't be surprised if the Cowboys win this game by a touchdown in a ball control type of game.
- Arizona is expected to beat Santa Clara (I mean San Francisco!) by 18.54 points according to the GE model. This is reflected by their total GE numbers with Arizona at #2 and 49ers in dead last at #32. In fact, the 49ers total GE number is historically low. It's -2.49 and the lowest since the 2008 Detroit Lions that went 0-16. This 49ers team is just plain awful and will probably go 1-15 after starting the season by shutting out the Rams on Monday Night Football. Arizona should beat the 49ers silly and I wouldn't be surprised if the Cardinals are already covering the spread before halftime and don't look back. Oh, the Cardinals also had a week off to rest and are at home. No brainer here even though 13.5 points is a lot. The fact that the Cardinals are the #2 team based on the GE model and have destroyed all weak teams so far this year has us very confident in giving up nearly 2 TDs to cover.
Here are the rest of the predictions but we are not quite as confident as we are with our Big Five Bets. FYI, all point spreads are based on the lines the Westgate Casino & Sportsbook publishes on Wednesdays for the SuperContest.
BAL -9.5 (Predicted Margin of Victory is 12.61 in favor of BAL)
JAX +1.5 (Predicted Margin of Victory is 0.14 in favor of JAX)
DEN +2.5 (Prediction Margin of Victory is 2.30 in favor of NO)
LA +1.5 (Prediction Margin of Victory is 0.01 in favor of NYJ)
PHI PK (Prediction Margin of Victory is 2.68 in favor of PHI)
MIN +3 (Prediction Margin of Victory is 1.32 in favor of MIN)
TB PK (Prediction Margin of Victory is 0.04 in favor of TB)
SEA +7.5 (Prediction Margin of Victory is 6.77 in favor of NE)
CIN +2.5 (Prediction Margin of Victory is 1.19 in favor of CIN)