Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday Follies: NFL Picks League (Week 2)

Week 1 was not overly kind to most of us, nor was our—rather vindictive—scoring system.  One of us made some money, though.
I should note here that our scoring system mirrors real betting.  When you win, you win.  If you push, i.e. match the spread exactly, you neither win nor lose.  That’s zero points.  When you lose, however… then you lose.
Let’s review:

Chris.  Texas-based Aviation officer, mathematician, & long-suffering Raiders’ fan
 -- Chicago @ Houston (-6)
 -- Oakland (+1) @ New Orleans
 -- Lock: Cleveland @ Philadelphia (-4)
 -- Chicago 14 Houston 23.  Win = 1 pt.
 -- Oakland 35 New Orleans 34. Win = 1 pt.
 -- Cleveland 10 Philadelphia 29.  Win = 2 pts.
Total: 4 points
Chris probably should have taken this to an actual bookie.
Dan.  Engineer, writer, and occasional swim teacher living in Connecticut.
 -- Green Bay @ Jacksonville (+5.5)
 -- Tampa Bay (+3) @ Atlanta
 -- Lock: NY Giants (-1.5) @ Dallas
 -- Green Bay 27 Jacksonville 23.  Win = 1 pt.
 -- Tampa Bay 31 Atlanta 24.  Win = 1 pt.
 -- NY Giants 20 Dallas 19.  Lose = -2 pts.
Total: 0 points
This looks like a net push, but if we were counting in the vig, I’d be down .3 units.
Ben.  Computer guru and Ironman triathlete, also living in Connecticut.
 -- Pittsburgh (-3) @ Washington
 -- Lock: Cincinnati (-2.5) @ NY Jets
 -- Detroit @ Indianapolis (-3.5)
 -- Pittsburgh 38 Washington 16.  Win = 1 pt.
 -- Cincinnati 23 NY Jets 22.  Loss = -1 pt.
 -- Detroit 39 Colts 35.  Loss = -2 pts.
Total: -3 points
Week 2 Picks
Since Chris is in the lead, we’ll let him go first.
Titans (+5) @ Lions.  “Some old hometown love to the Titans this week. It's a risky pick, but I think they have it in them.”
Falcons @ Raiders (-5.5).  “Just making sure I understand the rule, declaring the Raiders my favorite team means I must pick them every week right?”  Yes.  
“After last weeks’ win on the road, I'm very positive about this game! That said, feeling very positive this early in the season is historically dangerous ground for a Raiders fan.”
Dolphins @ Patriots (-6.5).  “I was a fan of the fish when I was a kid (late 70s early 80s) mostly I liked the mascot back then. I wanted to pick them to win this week, but as it stands I not only have to pick against them, but I'm making this my lock this week.”
Saints @ Giants (-4.5).  This strikes me as an exceptionally risky pick after last week’s near-debacle in Dallas, and yet here we are.  I do not believe in the Saints’ defense—at all.  This therefore ought to be the game where Odell Beckham Jr and Victor Cruz show the true power of the Giants’ offense.
And yet, now I find myself wondering if I’m going to pick the Giants to cover every week.  That would be an obviously stupid thing to do.
Seahawks (-3.5) @ Rams.  The Rams are terrible.  In fact, every time I think about the job Jeff Fisher has done coaching this franchise, it makes me appreciate the talents of Eddie George and the late Steve McNair that much more.  McNair was truly underrated as a player.  This is my lock of the week.
Jets @ Bills (+1).[1]  Picking this one on the basis that it’s a home team getting a point.  Both these teams are suspect, but I want to believe in the Bills.
Ben.  Computer guru, Ironman triathlete, and Steelers fan, also living in Connecticut.
Bengals @ Steelers (-3.5).  This is Ben’s lock.
Colts @ Broncos (-6).
Ravens (-6) @ Browns.
I think Ben is going to make a roaring comeback this week.

[1] I didn’t realize this was the Thursday night game until it came on TV last night.  As you can see, I’m already a point down this week.

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