For those of you who weren't agonizing over my selections from week 1, I was 11-3 against the spread going into Monday night's apparent Pats-Bills and Chargers-Raiders no-brainers, so am a little peeved to finish 11-5, but still know that is damn good, and also know that I dominated Football Outsiders (FO), beating them by 5 games. And if you didn't think I'd get competitive in this picking contest I created, then you don't know me very well.
I also noticed that FO's top-5 picks against the spread all were losers, which is a bad omen for their system (and anyone using it for illegal gambling), but think that their metrics will gradually improve each week. FO's picks are based on their preseason predictions from metrics, so as real games accumulate in the 2009 season, the system will be basing its picks more on actual occurrences rather than preseason predictions. This is exactly the same for any other person, but I like to the believe that the FO system is stronger than an irrational human being once it has some data.
I think I will use an excel sheet to track week-by-week and overall season after to watch for trends, but here is all you need to know about week 1:
DCLS 11-5 (68.8%)
Sports Guy: 11-5 (68.8%)
Random monkey throwing shit at a dartboard: 8-8 (50%)
Football Outsiders: 6-10 (37.5%)
The FO week 2 picks features only 5 favorites, but 10 road teams, and 8 road underdogs.....intriguing. As before, the FO picks are listed in order of confidence, and I have bolded a team wherever I differ (home teams in CAPS).
- Seattle +1.5 over SAN FRANCISCO - Seattle should be the class of the division this season.
- St. Louis +10 over WASHINGTON - Not on our home opener, especially after last year and last week. For what it's worth, the Skins are the #5 pick straight-up, so FO just thinks this line is too high.
- Cincinnati +9 over GREEN BAY - The FO system will continue to hate the Pack until after 3 games, when preseason projections are removedso I think the FO writers
- New England -4 over NEW YORK JETS - The Jets D looked great, and the Pats overall weren't so Tom Brady sexy, but I still think that Pat offense is about to explode. The Pats are FO's #1 pick straight-up.
- Indianapolis -3.5 over MIAMI - Still not a Miami believer.
- DETROIT +10 over Minnesota - Stafford might one up Orlovsky and pee his pants while running from Jared Allen and co.
- JACKSONVILLE -3 over Arizona - I am getting a little nervous about the Cards, but Hayward out for the Jags makes me feel a little better.
- Cleveland +3 over DENVER - Still not sure why some people (ehem Sports Guy) like Denver as a sleeper and last week did nothing to dispel that notion. Their D is not good, and who knows how close Orton is to 100%
- Tampa Bay +5 over BUFFALO - I don't think that was the real Bills last week, just some 1 game fluke, but do think Tampa is only marginally better.
- Carolina +6 over ATLANTA - Let's see, the QB with about 35 turnovers in his last 2 games who is is melting down more than the bad Terminator at the end of T2, or the hottest young QB in the game? Seems easy, but this is an overreaction to week 1.
- New York Giants +3 over DALLAS - I think the Giants are a head above the Boys and this game will show the gulf in class.
- CHICAGO +3 over Pittsburgh - I need to see more from Cutler and co. before taking them over an elite team, and the loss of Urlacher has somehow slipped under the radar but can't be overlooked.
- Houston +7 over TENNESSEE - I am a bit nervous about this one, but still think the Titans are about a 9 win team, and Houston about 8 wins, so will take the points here.
- PHILADELPHIA pick 'em over New Orleans - McNabb is doubtful as of this posting, so the Saints are a no-brainer if he's out, and still the pick with him not 100%. The Iggles winning without McNabb wouldn't shock me though.
- KANSAS CITY -3 over Oakland - Worst game of the season? Not even worth these electronic words I'm typing right now.
- SAN DIEGO -3 over Baltimore - What a game. I think I might be suckered by the optimistic FO projections for the Chargers and doing a great job of blacking-out that almost disaster against the Raiders.
(Image courtesy of cache.daylife.com)