Saturday, October 8, 2011

NFL 2011 - Betting Lines - Picks To Win, Versus the Spread and the Over/Under: Week 5

Leave it to the NFL to have what turned out to be an odd week.  No sport has greater parity than football.  I somehow managed to have 3 strikeouts out of the only 4 teams I lost on the head-to-head picks yet I had two trifectas out of the only 3 over/under picks I got right. I couldn't have tried to get 13 over/under picks wrong and done it successfully, yet somehow I managed to do it actually trying to guess the over/under correctly.  Nonetheless, I was pleased to finish a game over .500 in the spread to bring me a hair from even on the season and double digit wins on head-to-head picks is always the expectation, to which I finished a couple of games over as well.  Here is how I fared in Week 4 and my overall 2011 record to date:

Winner: 12-4   :-D
Winner w/ Spread: 9-7   :-)
Over/Under: 3-13   :-(
Trifecta: 2
Strikeouts: 3
Perfect Team Score Predictions: 1 (San Diego)
Perfect Game Score Predictions: 0

*2011 Overall Record*
Winner: 43-21 (.672)
Winner w/ Spread: 30-31-3 (.492)
Over/Under: 30-32-2 (.484)
Trifecta: 10

Strikeouts: 4
Perfect Team Score Predictions: 6   [Week 1]: Atlanta, St. Louis, Detroit [Week 2]: Arizona, Tampa Bay, Minnesota [Week 4]: San Diego
Perfect Game Score Predictions: 2   [Week 1]:Atlanta @ St. Louis  [Week 2]: Tampa Bay @ Minnesota

NOTE: The team with a negative number in parenthesis "(-3)" next to their name is the favorite to win the matchup and the number represents how many points the favorite has to score more than the underdog to count as a winning bet.  The over/under for the game is represented by a number in parenthesis with the letters o and u "(o/u 46)".  The number represents the amount of points you are wagering whether or not the two team's combined score will be in excess of or short of.  Official betting lines courtesy of

Here are the picks and analysis for NFL game wagers: Week 5...

Kansas City @ Indianapolis(-2.5)  (o/u 38.5)

Savant Spread Pick: Kansas City to win ~ 22-14
Over/Under Pick: Under

Result: Kansas City 28  Indianapolis 24 / Total Score 52 /
Winner: +  Spread: +  O/U: -

Kansas City finally came alive last week and produced some offense.  Matt Cassel and Dwayne Bowe are finally on the same page and they seem to be much improved after a woeful first quarter of the season.  The Colts may have put up a couple of touchdowns against the Bucs, but the points are deceiving because both touchdowns came on short passing plays that turned into long scores.  They did little to move the ball all game long.  The story won't be much different with Curtis Painter still at the helm this week against a KC defense that isn't as bad as they've looked early.


Arizona @ Minnesota(-3)  (o/u 45.5)

Savant Spread Pick: Arizona to win ~ 24-21
Over/Under Pick: Under

Result: Arizona 10  Minnesota 34 / Total Score 44 /
Winner: -  Spread: -  O/U: +

Arizona had a handle on the Giants last week and fell apart in the end to give the game up, but that's the Giants and this is the 0-4 Vikings.  Minnesota really showed how bad they are in their loss to previously winless Kansas City last week.  McNabb looks worse than even I imagned he would and I was one of the few that were being somewhat optimistic about him coming in with the Vikins in 2012.  They still have the beast, Adrian Peterson, but he can only do so much by himself and he doesn't play defense.  Kevin Kolb is starting to get on target with Laryy Fitzgerald and Beanie Wells showed signs of dominance last week in the running game.  It will be just enough to get by the Vikings in Minnesota.


Buffalo vs. Philadelphia(-3)  (o/u 50)

Savant Spread Pick: Philadelphia to win ~ 31-24
Over/Under Pick: Over

Result: Buffalo 31  New Orleans 24 / Total Score 55 /
Winner: -  Spread: -  O/U: +

Buffalo came back to earth a bit after a let down versus the mediocre Bengals a week removed from beating the mighty Patriots.  Between Buffalo's downtrend and the desperation the Eagles will be playing in hopes to keep their NFC East division title hopes alive, they will have the extra edge needed to make a few more plays.  We all know what Michael Vick and his bunch of weapons can do on offense and the Bills defense has been overlooked by the success of the offense.  They have gotten the team in to big holes and the offense can't always bail them out.  This should be a shootout.

Oakland @ Houston(-6)  (o/u 48.5)

Savant Spread Pick: Oakland with the points; Houston to win ~ 31-27
Over/Under Pick: Over

Result: Oakland 25  Houston 20 / Total Score 45 /
Winner: -  Spread: +  O/U: -

Oakland had a surprisingly poor performance on offense last week at home against a Patriots team that has been getting torched by average NFL offenses, which was especially surprising with Darren McFadden and the NFL's top rushing offense.  Oakland is proving again that it struggles with teams outside of the division.  I think this trend continues again in Houston.  Houston did lose all-world WR Andre Johnson to a hamstring injury and won't play for two weeks, but WR2 Jacoby Jobes will be able to fill in well enough for the Raiders to respect the pass and give Arian Foster those cut-back lanes he loves to use when he breaks long touchdown runs.McFadden will get his yards, but Houston will outscore them.

Carolina vs. New Orleans(-6.5)  (o/u 51.5)

Savant Spread Pick: New Orleans and the points to win ~ 41-23
Over/Under Pick: Over

Result: Carolina 27  New Orleans 30 / Total Score 57 /
Winner: +  Spread: -  O/U: +

Carolina proved it can move the ball on a good defense when they came up a bit short against the Bears.  They're undoing was on special teams when they allowed two huge run-backs by Devin Hester.New Orleans continues to click like the well oiled machine we remember of the past few years.  Darren Sproles is looking like the free agent pickup of the year for this team, not just filling in for the departed Reggie Bush, but actually outperforming him on offense and in the return game.  New Orleans took care of the Jags by 13 in the road, but it was a game they were clearly going through the motions after they secured a win and they could have poured it on heavier in the end.  Cam Newton has been sensational thus far into the season and I expect at least a 300 yard effort from him, but it won't be nearly enough to compensate for that New Orleans offense that will rev it up against a weak Carolina D.


Cincinnati @ Jacksonville(-2)  (o/u 37)

Savant Spread Pick: Jacksonville and the points to win ~ 20-17
Over/Under Pick: Under

Result: Cincinnati 30  Jacksonville 20 / Total Score 33 /
Winner: -  Spread: -  O/U: -


Cincinnati looked above average in a surprise win over the Bills, but the performance was more about a Buffalo letdown than it was about the Bengals coming out ahead.  The Bengals rode a home crowd to victory against Buffalo, but have to travel to Jacksonville this week.  The Jags' Blaine Gabbert is showing early signs of being an NFL level QB and they have the always dangerous Maurice Jones-Drew to carry much of the load.  The Jags have a much under-rated defense that can hold down Cedric Benson and the rush offense of the Bengals enough to keep them out of the end-zone most of the game.

Tennessee @ Pittsburgh(-3)  (o/u 39.5)

Savant Spread Pick: Tennessee with the points; Pittsburgh to win ~ 21-20
Over/Under Pick: Over

Result: Tennessee 17  Pittsburgh 38 / Total Score 55 /
Winner: +  Spread: -  O/U: +

There are a lot of signs that would point to Tennessee having the upper-hand in this game between James Harrison's injury helping Chris Johnson and that O-line produce a 100 yard day and Big Ben's sprained foot slowing him down or even Rashard Mendenhall's hamstring that may keep him out.  Ignore them all.  The Steelers will find a way to win this game, likely from a couple of Mike Wallace homeruns balls and a breakout run by the, faster than Mendenhall, RB Isaac Redman.  The Steelers will feed off of a frenzied home crowd and find a way to squeak out the win at home.

Seattle @ New York(N)(-9.5)  (o/u 43.5)

Savant Spread Pick: New York and the points to win ~ 28-12
Over/Under Pick: Under

Result: Seattle 36  New York 25 / Total Score 61 /
Winner: -  Spread: -  O/U: -


Seattle has been an absolute travesty since the first day of the season when they got blown out by San Francisco and shutout the next week by Pittsburgh.  New York has picked up the pace from what was looking like a bad start to 2011.  They had a nice comeback win against the Rams last week.  Surprise WR Victor Cruz has stepped into the spotlight for the injured Domenick Hixon, who is now on IR.  Bad teams on the west coast are especially bad when they have to travel to the east coast to play a good east coast team.  This game is the surest of any this week.

Tampa Bay @ San Francisco(-3)  (o/u 41.5)

Savant Spread Pick: San Francisco and the points to win ~ 24-20
Over/Under Pick: Over

Result: Tampa Bay 3  San Francisco 48 / Total Score 51 /
Winner: +  Spread: +  O/U: +


San Francisco had one of the beswt comebacks of the season last week against the heavily favored Eagles and Tampa had an ugly win over a pretty bad Colts team on Monday night football.  The 49ers run defense has been one of the best in the NFL and should keep LeGarrett Blount and the Bucs running game in check most of the game.  They'll have to beat the 49ers with Josh Freeman and the passing game.  The Bucs showed on Monday night that their secondary is susceptible to the big play and they don't have much of an answer for San Francisco TE Vernon Davis either.  Bucs are coming off of a short week after playing on Monday and have to travel a long way to San Francisco.

New York(A) @ New England(-8.5)  (o/u 49)

Savant Spread Pick: New York with the points; New England to win ~ 31-24
Over/Under Pick: Over

Result: New York(A) 21  New England 30 / Total Score 51 /
Winner: +  Spread: -  O/U: +

New England made a defensive statement last week when they mostly shut down the league's leading rushing attack from the Oakland Raiders.  The Jets were an atrocity last week against the Ravens.  They couldn't do anything against that defense.  New England's defense is much more pourous than the stout D of Baltimore, but no defense can seem to hold down Tom Brady and the Pats offense.  Sanchez and the Jets offense will have a nice day, but the Pats have a big day on offense every week.  The 8.5 point spread is generous.  There's no question that this game will play out closer than that.

Denver vs. San Diego(-4)  (o/u 45.5)

Savant Spread Pick: San Diego and the points to win ~ 31-24
Over/Under Pick: Over

Result: Denver 24  San Diego 29 / Total Score 33 /
Winner: +  Spread: +  O/U: +


The Chargers are far too talented to continue to be held down the way they have been this season.  They have been winning games, but not by the margins they have been expecting against some inferior teams.  They have had a hard time covering the spread, but I think they do it this week against a Denver team that is beyond the worst teams they have faced this year.  Denver usually plays tough at home, but San Diego is just too good, especially with the emergence of Ryan Mathews and a healthy Malcom Floyd and Vincent Jackson.  Denver will only win 3 or 4 games this year and this is just not one of them.

Atlanta vs. Green Bay(-6)  (o/u 53)

Savant Spread Pick: Green Bay and the points to win ~ 37-27
Over/Under Pick: Over

Result: Atlanta 14  Green Bay 25 / Total Score 39 /
Winner: +  Spread: +  O/U: -

No team is hotter than Green bay coming off of their 49 point shalacking of the Broncos at home.  The offense is clicking in every way.  They managed to put up those 49 points without even using arguably their greatest offensive weapon in Jermichael Finley.  Atlanta has been playing on a level lower than most expected.  Nothing about them is a glaring weakness but they are simply not making plays when they need them the most.  Michael Turner still looks like the same beast of a RB we've always known, but Matt Ryan hasn't been that sharp, Julio Jones hasn't had the impact most expected after the Falcons traded up to draft him this year and Roddy White very uncharacteristically leads the NFL in dropped balls.  In addition, the Falcons defense has been less than outstanding which is a real problem when facing the offensive juggernaut, Packers.  Atlanta hardly ever loses at home, but this will be an exception.

Chicago @ Detroit(-5)  (o/u 47.5)

Savant Spread Pick: Detroit and the points to win ~ 31-17  
Over/Under Pick: Over

Result: Chicago 13  Detroit 24 / Total Score 37 /
Winner: +  Spread: +  O/U: -

This is the first time a Monday Night Football game has been played in Detroit in recent memory and the fans will be as much of a factor as any crowd can be in an NFL game.  The energy the Lions will be playing with and the motivation they will have in this game to prove to the NFL that they are a team to be reckoned with.  Add that to their dangerous offense with Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford and the best defensive line in football to stop the Bears' only weapon, RB Matt Forte.  Jay Cutler will be sacked at least 5 times in this game with their terrible offensive line and the stout D of thr Lions.  Look for rookie DT Nick Fairley, who has not yet played because of a foot injury, to make an impact in his first NFL start on Monday.

I hope this guide proved to be helpful!  Look out for my NFL picks each and every week!

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