Sunday, 9 September 2012

Nfl Week 1

Seriously under-prepared - despite the software at my disposal - so these are just quick hits.

Rams +9 @ Lions: I fully expect the Lions to implode at some point. Tipperary's performance in the All-Ireland SF is another example of how ra-ra management does not work against organised teams. I do think now is the best time for the Lions to have this match-up as it is the healthiest they will be all season. In a dome, at home, against inexperienced opposition. When I am giving nine I feel that you should expect your team to win the game even if they concede a touchdown first. The Lions offence comes all day when it gets on top.

Take the overs.

Update: I agree with the above logic but having seen the Lions' injuries on defence I am switching to the over 45.5.

Eagles -9.5 @ Cleveland: My initial reaction was that I do not want to back against either of these teams. I thought the Eagle's situation was a mess last year but they have a history of strong coaching before that. I see the Eagles as being similar to a team that have massively upgraded their coach  Also the Cleveland situation has been over hyped with a strong overreaction to the Brandon Weeden pick. Then I remembered there that we have a rookie QB going against a strong defensive line. This is a positive when taking large points as you are as likely to increase your lead in the fourth quarter as give away a garbage time score because the opposition must now play into your strength and their weakness. I was wary because 10-point defeats at home do not feel that common to me but the Browns gave up two of them in their first three home games last year. This was an aberration as they finished fourth in PA last season but they are without Phil Taylor and All-World Joe Haden for this one.

Take the Eagles but back Cleveland's defence when Taylor and Haden return.One interesting note is that you have one of the worst at coach's challenges in Reid and replacement refs.

Bills +2.5 @ Jets: The gut instinct here is that there can be no value in where they set overs (38.5). Everything is pointing in the direction of the under: Buffalo's big splash on Mario Williams, the Jets offensive woes in the preseason, and the Jets' great defence. Firstly the Jets gave up more points than the Patriots last season. Buffalo's defence could take time to gel and gave up the most points in the AFC last year. I feel like the Jets are being looked doen on by people for having two overrated QB's but they can only put one of them on the field.

Take the overs.

Falcons -1 @ Chiefs: I find this hard to rectify with all the hype surrounding the Falcons for the Superbowl*. I'm not ready to forgive the Chiefs for last year and I don't think people are presuming that Jamaal Charles will be the same player he was before the injury. Maybe I am not giving them enough credit for the Arrowhead effect because of the 41-0 home drubbing against the Bills last season. I did forgive them their first two losses last season because they lost a superstar early in each.

* I do agree with the strategy of picking a medium-priced teams for the Superbowl. Health at the end of the seasons and luck are such big factors at the end.

Take the Falcons.

Patriots -4.5 @ Titans: I am glad that this line has moved towards the Titans. There are concerns about the Patriots O-Line but I think they are more depth concerns. The offence did not look great in pre-season but Welker is back now and they have so many options once they go no huddle. On defence they were middle of the pack and finally look to have hit in the draft on the defensive line with Chandler Jones. I hope I am not overlooking the Titans who people seem to have forgotten were in contention for a playoff spot last season and Jake Locker has impressed me when I have seen them but this appears to be a very-strong Patriot's team.

Take the Pats.

Jaguars +3.5 @ Vikings: I think the Jags were the better team last year. I have heard good reports about Gabbert and am willing to put him ahead of Ponder - with Webb better than either of them. I expect the Jags to get more out of MJD than the Vikings get out of Peterson.

Take the Jags

Redskins + 9 @ Saints: This is the game I feel least comfortable talking about. I have ignored every article on the Saint in the offseason.

Find someone else to advise you.

Colts +10 @ Bears: I feel confident about taking the Colts here because of Andrew Luck. Rookie QBs have been producing for several years now and Luck has looked like the best of them. This is an opportunity to back against people that underestimate how steep the Pyramid Of Talent is. Yes the colts are a horrible otherwise but just because Cutler is back does not mean we get the Bears in the form they were in when he went down last season.

Take the Colts

Dolphins +12.5 @ Texans: I would like to know the ATS of teams who featured on Hard Knocks in their season opener. I would guess that good teams are too highly rated while a team like the Dolphins would be over rated. The Dolphins were excellent in the second half of last season. If they went with Moore I would be even more confident. Houston have to deal with an offseason of expectation and you cannot claim a large improvement for Schaub since they did not drop off significantly without him. Can the defence and the offensive line continue at such dominant levels?

Take the Dolphins

49'ers +5 @ Packers: The packers were by far the best team last season. San Francisco are a massive candidate for regression according to all the leading indicators of such things (fumble recovery, Pythagorean, record in close games).

Take the Packers

Seahawks -1 @ Cardinals: I really liked the Seahawks for the NFC West this year but how can there be any value left with them after all the Russell Wilson hype. The Cardinals QB situation is similar to the Jets in that they can only put one mediocre QB on the field. After the Bye last season the Cardinals went 6-4 losing 32-20 vs Steelers, 27-30 @ Ravens, 7-23 @ 49'ers and 16-23 @ Bengals. A lot of their wins involved Patrick Peterson pre-eminent punt performance but the Seahawks record away from Safeco Field tips me towards the Cardinals.

Take the Cardinals.

Panthers -1 @ Buccaneers  I think the Bucs could be a mini San Fran from last year because of the coaching upgrade. They have added some stars via free agency and were a lucky 11-win team two seasons ago. I think the key will be the return of Josh Freeman to being an average (or even slightly above) QB.

Take the Bucs

Steelers + 1 @ Broncos: Well, this is 11 points better than they were getting in the playoffs. I think this is a no-brainer given the uncertainty aboutPeyton Manning. Yes, the Broncos have a good defensive line going against a moderate offensive line but Ben has been in this situation before and excelled.

Take the Steelers

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