The Degenerate: Week 3, The Friday Picks

“Who do you like?”

During football season that only means one thing, who are you putting your money on? This weeks slate looks interesting, but I’m concentrating on only a few games this week to dig deeper into, including the Eagles / Giants game.

Eagles / Mike Vick update: All reports say that Mike Vick is playing this week, and now the line is now up to Eagles -9. Big jump from the initial -7 that people expected if Vick played.

The plan is to give out a few picks each week. some weeks that may be 4 games, some weeks it might be 1 game. I’m not going to pick every single game or put 3 stars or 4 stars on a game. I’ll never make something my ‘NFL Lock of the Month’ (at least not in a serious way), that’s not how I operate. If you want a ‘25 Star Lock of the Month’ then go call Stu Feiner (remember that guy?). But let’s always remember, this is for amusement purposes only (you’re welcome, Spike). So let’s get to it…

Bet #1: New Orleans Saints (-4) over Houston Texans

So this line is in the ‘Vegas Zone’ as Bill Simmons likes to say. A 4 points spread tells you that Vegas has no idea. They’re calling it a toss up and giving the Saints some points for homefield (and the Superdome is a serious homefield advantage). This game opened at 4’, dropping down to 4. So there are no real money moves to key off of.

Bottom line is I’m not sold on Houston. Yes, they’re 2-0. Yes, they crushed Indianapolis in Week 1, but looking back that isn’t really a big deal anymore, the Colts suck this season. Yes, they went into Miami and knocked off the Dolphins 23-13, nice win but it was close in the early 4th quarter. And let’s be truthful, Chad Henne is no Drew Brees.

Arian Foster is banged up and may not even play so expect to see alot of Ben Tate. Houston averages 152 rushing yards per game this season, but the Saints rush defense is tough. They’ve allowed a hundred yard rusher only once in the last 15 games. So Tate has his work cut out for him. That leaves it to Schaub and Andre Johnson to get it done. Johnson is very good,  but it will take more than Andre Johnson to beat the Saints.

New Orleans is an offensive machine, putting up 34 and 30 points in the first 2 games. Brees looks sharp so far this season, 4th in passing yards, 6 TD’s, 0 Ints. Yes, Houston is only allowing 162 passing yards per game, but to who? Kerry Collins and Chad Henne, that’s who. Here comes Brees. Strap in, Texan fans. It could be a long afternoon.

The Texans defense is stingy, but I think the Saints offense, plus the homefield, will give them the edge in this one. Prediction? How about Saints 30 Texans 21? Yeah, that sounds good to me.

The Pick: Saints -4

Bet #2: 3-Team Teaser: Eagles, Patriots, Steelers

In case you didn’t know, a teaser bet gives you points to use in your favor. A 2 team teaser gives you 6 points, 3 team teasers give you 10 points, and a 4 team teaser gives you 14 points. So, for this 3 team teaser if you’re the favorite, you get 10 points taken off of the line. If you’re the underdog, you get 10 points added to the line. Sounds great, right? The downside is that it usually has higher juice (lose $60 for every $50 bet). So a $100 bet will lose $120. And all 3 teams have to cover the new spread in order for you to win your bet. Oh, and if any of the games push (or tie), then you lose the whole bet. So, I guess all those points come at a price.

Alot of people hate teasers, they think they’re for squares. But I love them (maybe I’m a square?). They’re fun bets, you get some points in your favor and you can cherry pick games. It’s always nice to take a big favorite and make the game a pick ‘em which is what I’m doing this week.

Based on the current lines this 10 point swing turns into:
Eagles (+1) (current line is -9, of course if Vick sits this bet is not as appealing, so tread carefully).
Patriots (+1.5) (current line is -8.5)
Steelers (-.5) (current line is 10.5)

Steelers: After Pittsburgh got a wakeup call in Week 1 at Baltimore they turned it on and shut out Seattle in Week 2. Now they take on a debilitated and demoralized Colts team. Really, are the Colts even going to put any effort out the rest of the way? Jim Irsay is a shrewd guy, he knows that the season is lost and 0-16 = Andrew Luck. I’m not saying they are going to throw games, but sticking Kerry Collins or Curtis Painter behind center is as good as giving up. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Steelers pitched another shutout. Maybe Steelers 24-6? Regardless, they will win and cover this teaser.


Patriots:
New England is a juggernaut on offense, we’ve all seen the Brady stats. Yes, their pass defense is suspect, but I think as long as Brady is locked in like he is now they will be tough to beat. And Buffalo isn’t going to be the team to beat them, even at home. If I was laying 8’ points I might say Buffalo has a shot, but at a +1’? Give me the Patriots every time. How about Patriots 31-17. Good enough to cover.

Now onto the Eagles. I was skeptical reading all the reports from various internet investigative reporters (a.k.a. people on Twitter who have no idea) who said that Mike Vick will start and play on Sunday. But it seems like Vick will play (according to multiple sourcs, including Howard Eskin, who knows his stuff). That is great news for Vick and great news for Eagles fans (and good news for me, I have Vick in like 3 fantasy leagues).

Matt Mac's Rendition Of Vick's Helmet

When Vick was on the field last week at Atlanta he played great. Combined with D-Jax, Maclin and McCoy I think the Eagles will be able to put up enough points to outscore the Giants. Yes, the defense has holes, they can’t stop the run game, Tony Gonzalez tore us apart, etc, etc, etc. But the Giants are banged up and are coming off a short week. So travelling to the Linc for the Eagles home opener will not be an easy task. And really, does Eli Manning ever scare you? He doesn’t scare me. How about a big week for Shady McCoy, and the Eagles roll 27-14.

The Pick: Eagles (+1), Patriots (+1.5), Steelers (-.5)

Trends for some Week 3 matchups (via Covers.com):

Detroit @ Minnesota
Detroit is 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 vs. NFC
Minnesota is 2-8 ATS in their last 10 vs. NFC

New England @ Buffalo
New England is 7-0 ATS in their last 7 meetings in Buffalo.

Miami @ Cleveland
Miami is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 road games

NY Giants @ Philadelphia
OVER is 10-3 in Giants last 13 vs. NFC East
OVER is 11-4 in Eagles last 15 games overall.

Jacksonville @ Carolina
OVER is 8-2 in Jaguars last 10 road games.
OVER is 13-6 in Jaguars last 19 games overall.
OVER is 6-2-2 in Panthers last 10 games overall.

*ATS = against the spread

Links:

Here are some sites I use to get info or research the games. In fact, most of the stats I give to you probably came from one of these sites.

Pregame.com – great site with game info, podcasts and pretty active forums.
Covers.com – my favorite site for research. Covers has info on game matchups, trends, and some very informative articles.
Scoresandodds.com – go here for Scores and Odds (duh). Simple and right to the point. See the lines and the line moves, get scores.

 

Ok, now that you know who I like, let me know who you like in the comments.

Good luck this weekend!

Questions, comments, links to share, etc… You can get in touch with me multiple ways:
Follow me on Twitter – @Fantasource
Email me fantasource@gmail.com

Or just let me know your thoughts in the comments.

  • http://twitter.com/fantasource Fantasource

    Matt Bowen of NationalFootballPost.com had a decent take on the Texans defense. I feel the same way, let’s see if they can handle Brees before you buy into them. If they do, and I lose my bet, I’ll know the Texans are for real and remember that for future weeks.

    “1. Texans’ defense: I want to buy Houston as a legit contender in the AFC this season, but I am also very interested to see how Wade Phillips’ defense plays tomorrow on the road in New Orleans. Can the Texans’ blitz front get home and what do we see from the secondary vs. Drew Brees? Because if you want to send pressure at the Saints QB you have to take away the “hot reads,” play with leverage and drive on the football with solid technique. Great early season test for Mario Williams and the Houston defense in the Dome.”

    Here’s the full article: http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/NFL-Sunday-Five-things-to-watch-8024.html

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