Ugh ... last week was awful. So much randomness. When only 2 out of the 12 Sunday games hit the over and DeShone Kizer from Cleveland is one of the better QBs, you know something is off. We went 1-3-1 but we are determined to go 5-0 this week!
Here are our numbers for this season thus far.
Super Five: 1 - 3 - 1
Against the Spread (all games): 6 - 9
Straight Up: 9 - 6
Over/Under: 10 - 4 - 1
The team this year is me, my brother Hatim, and our friend Kevin. I perform the statistical analysis while Hatim and Kevin provide a more intuitive perspective. We will also look at line movement as that can sway our decisions.
Here are our Super Five Picks for Week 2.
New England -6.5
LA Rams -2.5
Here are explanations for our selections.
Baltimore's defense was back to business last week with shutting out Cincinnati. And this was in Cincinnati! Now the Ravens are at home and get the bad news Browns. During the Joe Flacco/John Harbaugh era which started in 2008, the Ravens are 8-1 at home against the Browns with an average margin of victory of 11.67 points. The GE model has Baltimore winning by 12.20 points. With a spread of 8 points and a strong defense, we will gladly give up the points by rolling with the Ravens. PREDICTION: Baltimore 27 - Cleveland 15
OK, New England screwed over a lot of people during Week 1. When it seemed they were going to run away with an impressive victory in their home opener, KC woke up and pretty much dominated the Patriots. Well here we have the Pats in the Big Easy. The Saints simply don't play defense. Maybe they did a little bit during their Super Bowl run in 2009 but the last time the Saints could be considered a true defensive team was during the Jim Mora years in the 80's and 90's. With the Patriots playing on Thursday in Week 1 and the Saints on Monday, that is 4 extra days of preparation for Bill Belichick who is arguably one of the greatest coaches in NFL history. Give him that much time to prepare and you are pretty much toast. In fact the last four times the Patriots played a Sunday game after a Thursday game, the Patriots average margin of victory has been 21.5 points. The GE model has the Patriots winning by 6.97 points. The Patriots are too good to lose two in a row, especially with more time to prepare, and they should light up the scoreboard in the Super Dome. PREDICTION: New England 31 - New Orleans 24
The last two picks were chalk. Guess what?! Let's take more chalk! Here we have the Raiders as a 14 point favor at home. The Raiders have historically screwed over the Elmashni brothers. In fact, in high school (1993 to be exact) I nearly had a perfect week making picks but it was the Denver - Raiders on Monday Night Football that prevented that from happening. I had the Broncos winning at Mile High but the LA Raiders won it on a last second field goal. There have other heartbreaks with the Raiders when it comes to prognostication with them and the GE model doesn't have them covering so why take them here. Well the Jets are horrible and they are even worse on the road (may I add that they have to travel cross country). In fact, one could speculate how they would do against a team of college all stars. Of course the pros win but it's always fun to match up the worst NFL team with the best college players. The Jets really have nothing and until they prove otherwise, just bet against them or in this case JUST WIN BABY! PREDICTION: Oakland 34 - NY Jets 14
The LA Rams were the only ones who treated us well last week so we would be remiss to not go with them again. They are a favored again and this time they get the Redskins. While the 'Skins are not as bad as the Colts, there is one intriguing factor to consider: the strapping young lad calling the shots for the Rams. That is correct, 31 year old Sean McVay will make his impact felt in a big way. He had served in several capacities for Washington, most recently as offensive coordinator for the last three years. We like the "Jon Gruden" effect here by taking the teacher over the pupil. Not many will be able to coach up a defense against a solid QB like Kirk Cousins but we think McVay can do it, especially with the talent he has on defense. Oh ... defensive lineman Aaron Donald is back and is very motivated to earn a big contract. The GE model will be thrown out the window for this game since it doesn't like the Rams but our gut tells us that these Rams are ready to realize their fullest potential. PREDICTION: LA Rams 23 - Washington 16
Finally, we will hope that Monday Night Football will be the game that cements a 5 - 0 week for us. Also, this is the one dog we are taking. The Lions proved the naysayers wrong by having their way with the Cardinals in Detroit. The Lions travel to the Big Apple to take on the New York Football Giants. The Giants really showed us nothing last week and it's clear that no OBJ is a big deal. Even if he plays, he won't be terribly effective, especially with Darius Slay covering him. The Lions offense is solid and while the Giants have a good pass rush, the Giants corners are nothing special. Matt Stafford is a seasoned veteran who can win on a national stage. This game will be close and we will predict the Giants to win but not by much. Just enough to cover considering that the GE model has the Giants winning by just 2.64 points. PREDICTION: NY Giants 23 - Detroit 20
There you go! Our Super Five Picks! 5-0! We can feel it!
Here are predictions for the remaining games. Teams covering the spread are in asterisks and the over/under point total predictions are in parentheses. Road teams are listed first and home teams second.
*Buffalo 17 - Carolina 23 (UNDER)
Arizona 23 - *Indianapolis 24 (OVER)
*Tennessee 24 - Jacksonville 21 (OVER)
*Philadelphia 21 - Kansas City 24 (UNDER)
*Minnesota 20 - Pittsburgh 23 (UNDER)
Chicago 16 - *Tampa Bay 30 (OVER)
Miami 20 - *LA Chargers 25 (UNDER)
Dallas 20 - *Denver 26 (OVER)
San Francisco 13 - *Seattle 30 (OVER)
Green Bay 21 - *Atlanta 27 (UNDER)
Good luck and we will make money this weekend!