Friday, November 13, 2009

Week 10 Picks: I Suck Almost as Much as the Skins

4-9 followed by 3-10 last week means my handicapping season has fallen off of a cliff. I have been under .500 once in about 15 years, so this is relatively uncharted territory for me. Compounding this with the Skins having their worst season in my lifetime, has made for the worst football season in my life, awesome. I am all kinds of confused, as the Football Outsiders sytem has the same miserable record as I.

So I think it's time to change things up a bit. I pick the Skins every week, but this week, no more. Football Outsiders gives us a 5% chance of beating the Broncos at home, which apparently is the same % chance that the Corvallis Pride would have of beating the Saints. Yet, we are only 3.5 point underdogs!?! What a joke. The Skins clearly quit last week, and the Broncos are needing to rebound from 2 losses. My only hope is thatl JC will be fired-up to play against the team that wanted Kyle Orton over him. On the downside, my picks are almost identical to FO's this week, so maybe the more things change, the more they stay the same.

On to the picks, FO's 'locks of the week' are now 2-4 with only 1 'lock' this week, their 'reasonable' picks are 16-19, and their 'stay away' picks are 43-44. The top 3 picks this week are all considered locks. You should also note that FO has started including the % chance of a team winning straight-up, which I have included throughout this article.

The standings (with pushes excluded):
Sports Guy: 8-5 last week, 76-52 overall (59.4%)
Random monkey throwing shit at a dartboard: 64-64 overall (50.0%)
DCLS: 3-10 last week, 61-67 overall (47.7%)
Football Outsiders: 6-7 last week, 61-67 overall (47.7%)

As usual, the FO picks are listed in order of confidence, and I have bolded a team wherever I differ (home teams in CAPS).
  1. Philadelphia +3 over SAN DIEGO - I still believe in the Iggles despite last week, and I'm not buying the Chargers being much better than 8-8 at this point. And yes, I can say "I still believe in the Iggles" without vomiting this year because the Skins are down for the count.

  2. Buffalo +7 over TENNESSEE - I don't trust VY, but the Titans don't suck. I don't think the FO system has accounted fully for the QB change and the Titans not being an 0-6 team anymore and has the Bills with an 84% chance of winning. The Bills only sucked slightly less than the Titans those first 6 games.

  3. Baltimore -11 over CLEVELAND - Brady Quinn will be substantial improvement over Derek Anderson in the long flowing hair department, and a decent-sized improvement in the QB effectiveness one. That said, the Ravens will be all over the Browns and probably learn all kinds of things about Brady Quinn's luscious locks.

  4. Seattle +9 over ARIZONA - My only pick against the FO grain. Seattle stinks and the Cards are back to being dangerous. FO only has the Cards with a 62% chance of winning, which I don't understand.

  5. Denver -3.5 over WASHINGTON - That's right, time for a stand. I don't have much else to say, so here's what the Sports Guy wrote, "Back on track for the Broncos, back off the tracks for the Redskins. Poor DC never gets enough credit in the Most Depressed Sports Cities discussion. The past 18 years featured exactly one finals trip by a DC team: the Caps in 1998. And they got demolished. You know it's been a lean stretch when DC's single biggest sports highlights this decade were (A) Kornheiser and Wilbon getting their own ESPN show, and (B) male college students in the DC area pounding their headboards after sex in honor of Alex Ovechkin."

  6. MIAMI -10 over Tampa Bay - Nice to see Vegas and the general public have not been suckered by Josh Freeman winning last week. If you were the Bucs, and you had your biggest win in the absurd sherbert uniforms, why not stick with them for awhile? In a year where they won't sell a lot of jerseys, why not try something different?

  7. New Orleans -14 over ST. LOUIS - How is this line not 20?!? Is Vegas accounting for the Saints putting in their backups after halftime? This line can't be high enough. The Rams should try some crazy schemes or something to at least have a chance.

  8. Atlanta -2 over CAROLINA - Atlanta is good and Carolina is not, so not sure why this line is so low.

  9. New England +3 over INDIANAPOLIS - FO has the Pats with a 51% chance of winning. The Pats are FO's #1 ranked team, and the Colts are the #4 team. This game has to come down to a FG.

  10. Kansas City +2 over OAKLAND - I am pretty sure the Chiefs are better, but anything is in play here. Gus Johnson is calling this game, so that's something. This is the type of game where the NFL should experiment with rule changes like no fair catches. Come on, if there were no fair catches in this game, wouldn't you at least consider watching?

  11. Cincinnati +7 over PITTSBURGH - The Steelers were great in the 2nd half last week and might be rounding into peak form. I still like the points in what should be a defensive struggle.

  12. Jacksonville +7 over NEW YORK JETS - No faith in Sanchez, especially giving 7 against a team not from Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland, Washington, KC, Oakland, Cleveland, or Tampa.

  13. MINNESOTA -17 over Detroit - Another game where the line can't be high enough. Imagine if this was on Thanksgiving. Possibly a big day for AD, with the Vikes taking a huge early lead and running from about mid-2nd quarter onward.

  14. SAN FRANCISCO -3.5 over Chicago - Bears suck and are the worst of these 2 teams. Yes, I did pick this before the game, but did not post because I'm an idiot and forgot about doing picks a day early. I love watching Cutler suck, for sticking a knife into all those idiots who clamored for the Skins to pick him up in the offseason.

  15. GREEN BAY +3 over Dallas - I still am not on the Dallas bandwagon, but as Sports Guy points out, the Pack is 6-11 in their last 17 games, with those wins over Detroit (twice), Chicago (twice), Cleveland, and St. Louis, wow. FO gives Dallas a 63% chance of winning. A Dallas win here might also make them more complacent and ripe for the picking when the Skins play them in week 11.
To recap, I suck at picking games this year, and so does FO. I feel pretty good about this week's games, but I clearly cannot be trusted to make such a statement at this point. I do, however, feel very confident in saying that the Skins line is awful to the point that I am picking against the Skins for the 2nd or 3rd time in about 15 years, which sums up this season on the handicapping and Redskin front.

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