Thinking Like Vegas: Week 7

By Joe Caputo

Week 6: 3-3

Overall: 17-12

Bleh.  Another eh week.  Not terrible when you look at the record, but losing your Survivor pick on a tie is one of the most painful sports outcomes that’s ever happened to me– especially because Mike Nugent was unable to hit a 36-YARD FIELD GOAL as time expired.  Safe to say it was an aggrevating Sunday for me.  With a couple of .500 weeks in a row, I decided to look into my picking trends a little more to try to get back on track here in Week 7.  Ok, let’s face it, doing what I did really didn’t help me pick much, but it’s still interesting to visualize.  I decided to chart my success picking each team’s games.  In other words, I compiled a record for each NFL team, where I get a win if I picked a game they were involved in correctly, and a loss if I pick a game they were involved in wrong.  Still don’t understand?  Example: I picked the Dolphins to cover vs. Green Bay last week.  They did.  Therefore, I got a win for the Packers and Dolphins last week.  Ok, enough talk, here were the results:

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So what does this tell me?  Well, going forward, who knows… But it tells me that through Week 7’s Thursday Night Game, I have had a pretty good understanding of the Cowboys, Dolphins, and Rams, while I have struggled figuring out Denver and Chicago.  So, before you go bet one of my picks, consult the chart first.

INDIANAPOLIS (-3) v Cincinnati

Andrew Luck is becoming almost like a second source of income for me.  I love betting him, but it’s warranted, especially here. The Bengals have struggled mightily on the road the past 2 years to cover spreads.  This line is low, considering the Bengals home/road splits.  Cincy showed major defensive weaknesses last week, and not having AJ Green hurts the offense.  The Bengals get a major downgrade from me after playing Carolina to a tie at home, since I don’t believe in the Panthers.  Meanwhile, the Colts are rolling.  Four straight wins- covering the line in each game.  They tend to play better defense at home, with a very underrated secondary, and right now, why bet against Andrew Luck?

My Pick: Colts

DETROIT (-3) v New Orleans

Ok, so what really are the Saints?  Let’s dissect the schedule.  Game 1: road loss at Atlanta.  Bad.  The Falcons have shown that they are not the team people thought they’d be.  Game 2: road loss at Cleveland.  Not terrible, not great.  I’d normally give the Saints a pass on a game like this… if they weAnthony Spencer, Drew Breesre playing good football overall.  Game 3: home win vs. Minnesota.  They better have won that game, but to be honest, it wasn’t all that convincing.  Game 4: road loss at Dallas.  Fine.  At the time it looked bad, but Dallas is legit.  Game 5: overtime home win vs. Tampa Bay.  I’m sorry, what?  How?  How are you going to ask me to trust this team at this point.  Oh, and to get to Detroit for a sec- they have the best defense in the NFL.  They can rush the passer and stop the run.  The Saints on the road vs. anyone don’t look like a good bet at this point, let alone the best defense in the league.  The only thing that worries me here is if Jimmy Graham plays and Calvin Johnson doesn’t.  But assuming that doesn’t happen, gimme Detroit.

My Pick: Lions

JACKSONVILLE (+5.5) v Cleveland

There are 2 teams in the ultimate “spot” this week.  The Jags are one of them.  The other I’ll get to later.  I just can’t do it.  I do like the Browns, but 5.5 points on the road!?  More power to you if you can lay that number.  Before you go all crazy with the Browns, let’s recall some of their bad moments this season.  Fact: they trailed by 24 in Pittsburgh.  Fact: they trailed by 25 in Tennessee.  Fact: Pittsburgh and Tennessee are terrible.  Yes, Jacksonville is also terrible, probably worse, but there’s something to be said about too much line inflation.  How much can you inflate a line until it’s too high for even a team like the Jaguars?  Also, very interesting stat: winless teams after Week 6 have covered a mind-boggling 64% of games since 1992.  Keep these things in mind before jumping all over the Brownies this week.

My Pick: Jaguars

CHICAGO (-3.5) v Miami

Seems like a stay-away to the naked eye, but for some reason I really like this game.  Miami is one of the most underrated teams in the NFL right now, with a top 5 defense.  I feel like that spells disaster for Jay Cutler.  Cutler as a home-favorite has actually been quite bad in his career (11-27 ATS to be exact).  The Dolphins turned the ball over 3 times last week and did not take it away from the Packers, yet were 6 seconds away from winning that game outright.  That’s pretty amazing and telling.  The Dolphins are a solid team, and after a nice, road, in-conference win, I don’t think the Bears will be ready for the Phins.  Also, keep in mind, the Bears have the Pats next week.

My Pick: Dolphins

OAKLAND (+3.5) v Arizona

The Raiders are one of the few teams in the NFL that I think can actually have a let-down game following a loss.  That’s exactly what I think happens here.  Last week, I predicted the Raiders would play one of their best games of the season.  I was right.  But do you really expect them to do it again?  They were in a perfect spot last week, and the way they played vs. San Diego is working hard to keep this week’s line at a manageable 3.5 points for Arizona.  No, I’m not a huge believer in the Cards, but I think the Raiders pack it in for this one.  Let’s not forget how bad they actually are.

My Pick: Cardinals

DALLAS (-6.5) v New York Giants

A Vegas pundit called this one of the greatest spots in NFL history for the Giants.  I agree.  Let’s go back to the charts!  Oh!  Is that 6-0 in Cowboys’ games I see?  I need your attention here.  This is not at all an “I don’t think the Cowboys are good” pick.  I believe in the Boys.  However, these games are ALWAYS close.  If this game were played prior to Week 6’s games, the Cowboys would have been a 3 point favorite.  A 3.5-point correction for 1 weeks worth of games!?  That’s just illogical.  Think the Cowboys can win this game, of course, but this is simply way too many points.  Give me Eli Manning off an embarrassing loss when no one believes in him.  Please.

My Pick: Giants

WACKY PARLAY

Moneylines:

Dolphins, Jags, Giants, 49ers

$5 wins you $430!

Good luck!

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Posted in Joe

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