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2010 NFL Week 6 Picks and Podcast

First, a favor please: if you enjoy the podcast, please log onto iTunes and give us a good rating.

Second, last week was an unmitigated disaster for Vin and Ryan. RJ held his own and is actually the go-to guy for your lock of the week. The lineup of games is much better this week and we’ve got all your analysis. We also discuss the MLB playoffs.

The featured games this week are Baltimore @ New England, Atlanta @ Philly, Dallas @ Minnesota, and Indianapolis @ Washington.
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NFL Week 6 2010 Picks

Straight Up

MATCHUP Vegas Vinny BostonMac RJ Peso* Actual
Ravens @ Patriots Ravens Patriots Ravens Ravens Patriots
Chiefs @ Texans Texans Chiefs Texans Texans Texans
Lions @ Giants Giants Giants Giants Giants Giants
Falcons @ Eagles Falcons Falcons Eagles Eagles Eagles
Saints @ Bucs Saints Bucs Saints Saints Saints
Seahawks @ Bears Bears Bears Bears Bears Seahawks
Dolphins @ Packers Dolphins Packers Dolphins Packers Dolphins
Chargers @ Rams Chargers Chargers Chargers Chargers Rams
Browns @ Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers
Jets @ Broncos Jets Jets Jets Jets Jets
Raiders @ Niners Raiders Niners Niners Raiders Niners
Cowboys @ Vikings Vikings Cowboys Cowboys Vikings Vikings
Colts @ Redskins Colts Colts Colts Colts Colts
Titans @ Jaguars Titans Titans Titans Titans Titans
Prev Week 4-10 (.286) 4-10 (.286) 7-7 (.500) 8-6 (.571)
Overall 40-36 (.526) 41-35 (.539) 39-37 (.513) 44-32 (.579)

Against the Spread

MATCHUP Vegas Vinny BostonMac RJ Peso* Actual
Ravens @ Patriots (-2.5) Ravens Patriots Ravens Ravens Patriots
Chiefs @ Texans (-5) Chiefs Chiefs Texans Texans Chiefs
Lions @ Giants (-11) Giants Giants Giants Giants Lions
Falcons @ Eagles (-3) Falcons Falcons Eagles Eagles Eagles
Saints @ Bucs (+4.5) Saints Bucs Saints Bucs Saints
Seahawks @ Bears (-7.5) Bears Seahawks Seahawks Bears Seahawks
Dolphins @ Packers (-7) Dolphins Dolphins Dolphins Dolphins Dolphins
Chargers @ Rams (+8.5) Rams Rams Chargers Chargers Rams
Browns @ Steelers (-13.5) Browns Browns Browns Steelers Steelers
Jets @ Broncos (+3) Jets Jets Jets Broncos Jets
Raiders @ Niners (-6.5) Raiders Niners Niners Raiders Niners
Cowboys @ Vikings (-1.5) Vikings Cowboys Cowboys Cowboys Vikings
Colts @ Redskins (+3) Colts Colts Colts Redskins PUSH
Titans @ Jaguars (+3) Titans Titans Jaguars Titans Titans
Prev Week 3-11 (.214) 5-9 (.357) 8-6 (.571) 7-7 (.500)
Overall 30-43-3 (.411) 36-37-3 (.493) 34-39-3 (.466) 29-44-3 (.397)

* The peso is a coin flip of an old peso to pick the game.

Locks of the Week

Vegas Vinny: (1-4, Balance =$775). I’m finally off the schneid! I’m going with my same strategy of picking a random game and making that my lock of the week. Since Ryan stole my initial Chiefs backdoor cover lock, I changed it up and the computer told me to lock the Seatte-Chicago game. I love the Bears in this game, especially if Jay Cutler is playing. (Indications are that he will start.)

The Seahawks are simply dreadful on the road. In two road games this season, the Seahawks scored 14 points in Denver and 3 points in St. Louis. Since 2008, they’ve gone 3-15 away from home and have beaten exactly 0 teams outside of the division in that span. I expect the Bears to run the ball a lot in the first quarter, to both keep the defense from swarming Cutler and to open up the passing game a little bit. The 31st ranked Seattle pass defense is susceptible to big plays down the field and if the Bears can protect Cutler, he’ll have a field day. Marshawn Lynch will be eager to show off for his new team but the Bears rush defense is pretty decent. Without a passing game (Hasselbeck has 8 TDs and 16 INTs) to complement Lynch, he’ll be stymied in his debut.

The only thing that scares me about this game is the extra 1/2 point that Vegas tacked onto the line. At 7, i’d bet more but at 7.5 I’ll only put $55 to win $50 on the Bears (-7.5)

BostonMac: (1-4, Balance =$720) Since I’ve sucked royally at picking locks this season, I’m going to go off my usual patterns and pick the Chiefs. Vin has been posing the question for a few weeks now as to whether the Texans defense is good at stopping the run or if teams simply don’t even try to run because Houston can’t cover a pass to save its life. Last week against the Giants answered that question: the Texans suck at stopping the run, and they are horrendously incompetent against the pass. Not that Matt Cassel is tearing it up out there, but the Chiefs three-headed rushing monster of Jones, Charles, and McCluster should control this game. Add in the fact that Vegas still doesn’t believe in the Patriots West (who knows, maybe Romeo Crennel could get another shot at a head job if he can build the Chiefs back into a top-tier defense throughout an entire season), and you have the recipe for a potentially lucrative score. Yes I know I am down a lot of money right now. But I’m still going to put $55 to win $50 to get off my down streak and take KANSAS CITY (+5) to win outright.

RJ: (3-1-1, Balance =$1145) Nothing is more frustrating for a team than to completely dominate play in all five of their games only to have a 2-3 record to show for it. The Chargers are in their typical early season swoon, but not for the reasons they normally are. They are first in offense and second in defense. So what gives? Their problems boil down to one thing: Special Teams. In each of their losses–all on the road–The 2007 Special Teams Coach of the Year (they actually have awards like this?) Steve Crosby’s punt and kicking units have given the Chiefs, Seahawks and Raiders enough points to be the difference between 5-0 and 2-3. Fortuanately, they face a Rams team that allowed a 105-yard KO return to Stefan Logan of the Lions. The Rams are probably the most improved team in the NFL behind the Bucs, but they were brought back down to Earth by the Detroit Lions. Also, the loss of Mark Clayton as Sam Bradford’s favorite target might be too much to overcome. As long as the Chargers (-8.5) don’t hand the Rams double-digit points on kick returns and blocked punts (seriously, who gives up TWO in one game?), they shouldn’t have any problems this week. $55 to win $50.

Burton: (1-4, Balance =$545) New Orleans just ain’t the same team without Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas, and even if Thomas is listed as active for Sunday’s game, he likely won’t be at full strength as he hasn’t practiced all week. Tampa Bay has yet to beat neither a good team nor a team starting with a letter other than “c”, holding wins over winless Carolina, one-win Cleveland, and a mediocre-at-best Cincinnati team. Before they can be called “the most surprising team in the NFL,” let them beat someone. Remember, I said before the year started they’d be a 7-win team. I still think that is correct.

If Thomas does not play, I really don’t see New Orleans winning. The Saints almost lost to woeful Carolina and followed that up with a loss to the remains of Arizona. No good team should have any trouble with either team. I’ll assume Thomas plays, but there’s no way he’s even close to 100 percent. With no running game, the game will rest on Drew Brees’ shoulders, and it’ll die there. I’m taking the backdoor cover ONLY because we are told to assume that “questionable” means not out, but if he does not play, you can put the money on Tampa S/U. $55 to win $50, Tampa Bay (+4.5).

P.S., don’t be afraid to parlay this game with Indianapolis and Chicago if you want to make some real money. There’s a lot of good lines out there this week for the taking. And my policy for this year is simple: avoid Tennessee and Denver games at all costs. Those two teams are freakishly unpredictable.

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