I have some major grad school assigments due so we will keep this short and sweet. Last week was not a good one: 2-3. Overall, we are 33-26-1. Still profitable. Definitely we will want to finish strong. Holiday shopping season is here so we need more money!
Here are our Big Five Picks with the lines provided by Westgate and our model's predicted point spread in parentheses.
Miami -4.5 (-6.39)
Houston -5.5 (-7.26)
Minnesota +5 (+1.71)
Seattle -9.5 (-12.50)
LA Chargers +3.5 (-4.55)
Buffalo sucks. Plain and simple. Miami has struggled lately but this game is in South Florida, not Orchard Park. Keep in mind that the Dolphins played 3 of their last 4 games on the road with each of those road opponents against stiff competiton. The Dolphins are 4-1 at home and the Bills are 2-4 on the road. Dolphins should win this game by a TD.
Cleveland looks better this year. In fact, they have won just as many games this year than the last three years combined and the Browns are just a medicore 4-6-1 so far this season. Crazy! Still, the Houston Texans are clicking on all cylinders with a healthy JJ Watt terrorizing opposing offenses. The Texans are somewhat flying underneath the radar since most NFL pundits are touting the Chiefs and Patriots as the teams to beat in the NFC. A fully heatlhy Texans team should have no problem covering the spread against Cleveland and this game is at home. One more point to make: former POTUS George HW Bush passed away yesterday in Houston where he spent most of his post political life. The Texans will be plenty motivated to win this game for #41.
It's always tough to beat against the Patriots in Foxboro but our model doesn't like New England winning big and the Vikings are in the playoff hunt. Minnesota has the talent on both offense and defense to keep pace with Tom Brady and company. This should be a close game so expect Brady to get his team in field goal range for a last second heart breaker for the Purple People Eaters.
Richard Sherman will return to the place where he made a name for himself. The Legion of Boom is no longer there but that is not necessary to beat the hapless 49ers. The 49ers are poised to get the top pick in the draft and they are pretty much in full tank mode. The Seahawks own the 49ers and this looks like a 24-10 type of victory for Russell Wilson who has yet to lose to the 49ers at home in his illustrious career. By the way Wilson is 10-2 lifetime against the 49ers and has an average margin of victory of 17.17 points per game against the 49ers in Seattle.
We end with a great matchup in Pittsburgh with the LA Chargers coming to town. This could be a wild card or divisional game in Janaury. In fact, it could even be a conference championship. Both of these teams are uber talented and are due for a Super Bowl berth. Our model likes the Chargers to actually win this game by 3 - 4 points so we will gladly take 3.5 points. Chargers can lose by a field goal and we still cover. No Melvin Gordon hurts but Joey Bosa is back. We really like the Chargers pass rush and they should be able to apply enough pressure to Big Ben. If you examime the 4 games the Steelers either lost or tied, 3 of those teams rank in the top 10 in defensive DVOA based on Football Outsiders metrics. Chargers are also in that top 10 list and we all know to never underestimate a good defense like we saw on Thursday Night Football when the Dallas Cowboys slowed down the New Orleans Saints offensive machine. The Chargers can do the same against Pittsburgh and outright win this game.
OK, there you have it! Parlay the morning games, press your winnings with another parlay on the afternoon games, and then press against on the Chargers money line! If you start with $100 and we go 5-0, you will end up with about $1,450! Good luck!