RossCode Picks - NFL Week I Review

posted on 2005-09-14 at 00:41:09 by Joel Ross

Ouch! This week hurt. I think across the board, a lot of people didn't see?a lot of the upsets coming. Look at the survivor/suicide pools, and I'm guessing you're going to see roughly half of the people eliminated from the competition. I was. Who knew San Fran had it in them to beat St. Louis?

Anyway, below is a little confusing, so I'm going to provide a brief description of what it all means. I'm not sold on this being the final format, since it's complicated. But here's the explanation. Let's say you have the following:

  • Oakland* 20, New England 30 (-7.5) (50 O/U) [P: $2.94, S: ($10.00), O/U: $0.00, T: ($7.06)]: Some insightful comment about the game.

If you look at my post about my picks, you'll already know what some of it means - it's a review of what I picked. In this case, I picked Oakland to cover, but lose. I list the final score, and that the spread was 7.5, meaning New England had to win by 8 or more to cover. I also picked under, and the over/under line was 50. I'll usually reference whether I was right or wrong in the description, but based on the score, the spread, and the over/under, you can also figure out for yourself if I was right or wrong. In the above, I was wrong about the spread pick - New England did win by more than 7.5. I was right on the straight up pick - Oakland did lose. And I pushed on the over/under pick - it was 50, and the total (20+30) was 50 too. Inside the brackets is going to be the hard part. The P signifies how much I would have made on a $10.00 bet based on the money line (which I never list, mainly to keep things simpler). For that game, the money line was -340 for New England to win, so that results in making only $2.94 on a $10.00 bet. The next number (S) is how much I made or lost on the spread pick. I got that wrong, so I lost my $10.00 bet. If I had been right, I would have made $10.00. The next number is O/U, which is how much I made or lost on my over/under pick. Since it was a push, I broke even. The last number is the total gain or loss for that game. So in the example. I would have lost $7.06 for this game. I would have bet $30.00, and only gotten back $22.94 - a net loss. You'll see that a lot this week.

Of course, you can skip past all of that stuff, and just read my witty insights too. The summary will be at the bottom - how I did straight up, against the spread, and over/under. And then a net sum of winnings for the week (or, as is the case this week, a net loss).

Anyway, let's get into this week's games.

  • Oakland* 20, New England 30 (-7.5) (50 O/U) [P: $2.94, S: ($10.00), O/U: $0.00, T: ($7.06)]: New England looked strong, but Oakland looked better than I expected. Randy Moss looked disinterested at times, but that's not surprising. Did Oakland watch the tapes of Moss just standing on the field whenever the play was a run when he was in Minnesota? Did they expect to get anything different just because he's playing for the Raiders? I hope not. I thought this would be closer. If just New England had one less field goal or touch down, I would have been pefect for this game. That would have been an almost $30 swing.
  • Chicago 7, Washington 9 (-6) (33 O/U) [P: $3.85, S: ($10.00), O/U: ($10.00), T: ($16.15)]: Living in the midwest, we were "blessed" with having this game be televised. The Saints (America's Team?) was on, and it was (or at least looked like) a good game, but no. We got to see Washington's domination of the Bears. I mean, they marched up the field three times, and kicked three field goals! That's utter destruction of the Bears defense. But seriously. If you suffered through this one, did you hear the announcers ask when it would be too early to talk about Brunell replacing Ramsey as the starting QB? The other announcer was quick to point out that Brunell hadn't thrown a TD pass, so yes, it was infact too early. The sole highlight of the game? Thomas Jones scored a touchdown. Did you know those exist? I didn't either. Of course, we were watching the Tennessee / Pittsburgh game while that was going on.
  • Cincinnati 27 (-4), Cleveland 13 (44 O/U) [P: $5.71, S: $10.00, O/U: $9.80, T: $25.52]: One of six games that I would have come out on top if I'd actually used real money, and the most profitable too. It looks like Carson Palmer is going to have a good season. He had a pretty good game, but then again, it was Cleveland, who's expected to be awful this year. The worst part for Cleveland? They could actually under acheive!
  • Denver 10 (-4.5), Miami 34 (38.5 O/U) [P: ($10.00), S: ($10.00), O/U: $9.09, T: ($10.91)]:?Newsflash! Jake Plummer is not that good! I know it's a little early, but apparently Nick Saban is adjusting OK to the pro game. Or maybe not. We'll see at the end of the year. At least he didn't have to wait long to get his first win. Remember all the talk about how Ricky Williams wouldn't be a factor when he comes back because Ronnie Brown is supposedly going to establish himself as the number one back? What are those people saying now? 3 more weeks, maybe?
  • Houston 7, Buffalo 22 (-5.5) (38.5 O/U) [P: $4.35, S: $10.00, O/U: $9.52, T: $23.87]: Buffalo is slowly becoming a pretty good team. Losman, while not spectacular, wasn't a detriment to his team, as a lot of rookies can be as they learn the ropes. McGahee looked pretty good, and that should worry a few teams in the AFC East.
  • New York Jets 7, Kansas City 27 (-3) (47.5 O/U) [P: ($10.00), S: ($10.00), O/U: ($10.00), T: ($30.00)]: Who in the AFC East should be worried? How about the Jets? Pennington looks rough, and is coming off of shoulder surgery. Curtis Martin probably won't repeat last years feat of leading the league in rushing yards. So your passing game and your running game will probably take a dip this year, unless Chad can get back in game shape. That hurts the defense too. K.C., on the other hand, looks to be a pretty good team. The 1-2 combo of Holmes and Johnson is deadly, and covers the fact that Trent Green isn't the most dynamic passer in the game. The defense looks better than in the past - they were just a few minutes shy of a shut out. Speaking of that, did you see the way that TD was celebrated? You're down 27-6 late in the fourth, and you celebrate like you just scored the game winner in the Super Bowl?
  • New Orleans 23, Carolina 20 (-7) (45 O/U) [P: ($10.00), S: ($10.00), O/U: $9.09, T: ($10.91)]: America's Team. It's fitting that the Saints came back to win - the team (city) was down, but banded together to catch up, just as the city will band together to rebuild itself. Carolina will recover from this - it was an emotional game, unlike any game Carolina will play all year, so it's understandable. Let's take a tangent, shall we? It looks like the Super Dome will have to be torn down, or at least go under extensive repairs. There are two sides to this argument. Some argue that the project shouldn't happen - tear it down, and put the money that would have been invested in this into the schooling system, or other more important projects in the city. The other side says rebuild it - you have to in order to start the healing. Now, even among those, there are debates about where to rebuild it - on the ground it's on, which is reportedly over an old grave, and where reportedly there were murders and rapes during the hurricane, or do you rebuild it in a new place, and let the current ground be used as a memorial? Personally, I think you have to do what you can to keep the Saints there. I don't really have a preference on where to build the stadium - just do it!
  • Seattle 14, Jacksonville 26 (-3) (39.5 O/U) [P: $6.25, S: $10.00, O/U: $9.01, T: $25.26]:?My other big money game. I didn't even see highlights of this one, but since I would have won $25 on it, I'm sure it was good!
  • Tampa Bay 24, Minnesota 13 (-6) (43 O/U) [P: ($10.00), S: ($10.00), O/U: ($10.00), T: ($30.00)]: Maybe Randy Moss will be missed more than originally thought. Maybe Tampa Bay is better than expected. I doubt both of those. Culpepper's numbers had a downturn at the end of last year. He's an up and down guy, and he'll bounce back. This is only one of three games this week where I missed every pick - the pick, the spread pick and the o/u.
  • Tennessee 7, Pittsburgh 34 (-7) (40 O/U) [P: $3.13, S: $10.00, O/U: ($10.00), T: $3.13]: Willie Parker rules! He was so quick - good cuts, and his pull away speed was spectacular. On one play, a linebacker was about to dive to tackle him, and he turned on the burners and was gone. I made the comment to my brother-in-law that Bettis and Staley were excited for Parker, but if his play continues, those smiles will slowly fade as their chance at starting dwindles. Staley more so than Bettis - Bettis (when healthy) will always be the option on the goal line - he's too big to regularly stop! I wouldn't be surprised to hear Staley trade rumors in the next couple of weeks if Parker plays well next week. Tennessee is obviously in the rebuilding phase - early in it.
  • Arizona 19, New York Giants 42 (-2.5) (37.5 O/U) [P: $6.90, S: $10.00, O/U: ($10.00), T: $6.90]: Arizona is pretty good at picking wide receivers, but I guess it helps that they always are picking near the top of the draft. Boldin has been a great receiver for them for the past couple of years, and Larry Fitzgerald had a great first day. Here's an interesting stat, courtesy of TMQ. Warner has been in three consecutive openers in the Meadowlands - in three different jerseys!
  • Dallas 28, San Diego 24 (-4.5) (40.5 O/U) [P: ($10.00), S: ($10.00), O/U: $9.09, T: ($10.91)]: I was shocked by this game. Late in the game, San Diego's tight end had a chance to win the game, but he dropped a key pass. And it wasn't their number one tight end - Antonio Gates was suspended - a test of wills between Gates and the Chargers in which the Chargers "won" - they kept their word and suspended Gates, even though Gates signed his contract two days after the deadline. If the Chargers are one win shy of the division title or worse, the wildcard, will they still see this as a victory? I guess they'll get an extra few weeks to contemplate that in the off-season.
  • Green Bay 3, Detroit 17 (-3) (46 O/U) [P: ($10.00), S: ($10.00), O/U: $8.77, T: ($11.23)]: I picked Green Bay, but I'm a Lions fan - a pessimistic Lions fan, but a Lions fan none the less. I'm glad the Lions won, but this was a very sloppy game! Fantasy note: Every year, a team loses a key player in the first week. Last year it was Steve Smith. One year, it was Ed McCaffery. This year, it's Javon Walker. And now the Packers are reeling, as are a few fantasy teams who banked on Favre having a good year with Walker, and for the Walker owners. How many casual players saw Walker hit the waiver wire and snatched him up not knowing?
  • St. Louis 25 (-6), San Francisco 28 (46.5 O/U) [P: ($10.00), S: ($10.00), O/U: ($10.00), T: ($30.00)]: San Fran is one win away from matching their win total from last year. How many other teams can make that claim? That's production. What's up with Mike Martz' play calling? No one understands it, including his own team. He's the first coach on the hot seat, but he won't be the last!
  • Indianapolis 24 (-3), Baltimore 7 (46.5 O/U) [P: $6.67, S: $10.00, O/U: ($10.00), T: $6.67]: This was a great game for Indy. Yeah, Manning was held to earthling type numbers, rather than his out-of-this-world numbers from last year, but Baltimore has a great defense. They've figured out Manning's weakness - a defense who moves around before the snap, and a player on the other side of the ball who's barking out orders more than Manning is. Unfortunately, that caught the defense off guard a few times, and Manning took advantage. He's too good to be held down for a full game. For Baltimore, don't you think an offense would be a good idea? How sad is it when you long for the days of Trent Dilfer?
  • Philadelphia 10 (-1), Atlanta 14 (41.5 O/U) [P: ($10.00), S: ($10.00), O/U: $9.09, T: ($10.91)]: Someone tell Andy Reid that you're allowed to run the ball. 13 running plays compared to 48 passing plays, and they were only briefly down by more than 7 points. In a blowout, you have to pass to come back - it takes less time. But 7 points is not a blowout. And running opens up the passing game. If you don't have to worry about the run, then your linebackers can either make a run at the QB, or they can help defend the shorter passes - all with no regard to the running back, who's only in to look pretty. Atlanta, on the other hand, ran quite a bit. For as good as Vick is, or is hyped to be, he doesn't put up the passing numbers - 155 yards last night. How much did the fight affect each team? I don't think it was much - Atlanta was just more fired up!

Results Summary: So it looks bad, and it was. The numbers below are based on a $10 bet, but if you want to compare my results to Andrew's (he's using units), divide my numbers by 10.

  • Picks: 8 - 8 (50.00%) - Winnings: ($40.21): Breaking even wasn't enough for me. The games I got right didn't pay enough to break even.
  • Spread: 6 - 10 (37.50%) - Winnings: ($40.00): Worse record against the spread, but less loss. Betting is odd. There's a theory that betting on week one and two games is a good idea because the oddsmakers are taking wild guesses at lines. There's another theory too - no one knows, so don't do it! Sunday night, I got an email from Andrew with the subject line Why not to bet week 1: exhibit A. He includes a nice stat. In a couple of suicide leagues (where you pick one game a week that's a lock), 35 of 93 people were eliminated. And that's not even taking the spread into account!
  • Over/Under: 8 - 7 (53.33%) - Winnings: $3.47: I never would have guessed that I would be above water on the o/u. I don't expect this to continue, but I'll take it for now. As an interesting side note, the rumors are that 51 is the magic number for the high end of the o/u - if it hits 51, bet under! Only Oakland/New England approached it - and even then, it was right on. Of course, if the line was 51, under would have one. By the way, 13 of 16 games scored under 51 points. I guess I can see why that's considered a lock pick.
  • Total Winnings: ($76.74): Not a good week. I would have bet $480.00 and come out with $409.26. That's a loss of 15%. Not a good return on investment!

I'll be back in a couple of days with next week's picks. I checked tonight, and lines are set, but money lines aren't out yet. Hopefully by Thursday, they will be. I'm hoping to recover a little bit next week!

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