RossCode Picks - Week III Review

posted on 2005-09-27 at 22:17:22 by Joel Ross

I still came out on the losing end this week, but it was a much better week, as we'll see as we go through the week. Remember early in the season when I mentioned that I'd heard a theory that betting on games in weeks one and two was a good idea because the oddsmakers didn't know how teams would perform? Well, I'm starting to think it's not true. Yes, you may be able to gain an advantage if you are intimately familiar with the teams involved, but in most cases, it's just not the case. Now that things are a little more steady and we have an idea of how teams are going to perform, things start to settle down a little bit. That was definitely the case for me this week.

  • Atlanta 24, Buffalo 16 (-2.5) (37 O/U) [P: $9.35, S: $10.00, O/U: ($10.00), T: $9.35]: The combination of D & D (Warrick Dunn and Tico Duckett) has got to be hard on defenses. They are different styles of backs, and switching them up constantly is probably hard to adjust to. Throw in Vick taking off from the backfield, and defenses are going to be confused. Then, add in Vick starting to look a little better as a passer, and it's chaos! McGahee finally had a solid game, but Losman is going through rookie growing pains. 75 yards passing. Ouch.
  • Carolina 24 (-3), Miami 27 (36.5 O/U) [P: ($10.00), S: ($10.00), O/U: ($10.00), T: ($30.00)]: Who would have guessed that Miami would be 2-1 at this point in the season? Maybe Saban really is NFL coaching material, and one of those few coaches who can make the transition from college to pro seemlessly. This is a team that shouldn't be that good, but they are performing very well. Ronnie Brown finally got the ball regularly and made good use of it, running for 130+ yards and getting his first touchdown. Maybe Ricky Williams isn't needed. Carolina is still a good team, but their passing game is a little lopsided - without Steve Smith, who would you throw to? Teams are going to start ganging up on him, and someone else will have to step up.
  • Cincinnati 24 (-3), Chicago 7 (40 O/U) [P: $6.90, S: $10.00, O/U: ($10.00), T: $6.90]: Cincinnati appears to be a team on the rise, and that'll probably continue. While I'm not saying they aren't good, let's remember who they played: Cleveland, Minnesota and Chicago. Combined record: 3-6. And next week, they play Houston, meaning they'll get even more attention when they move to 4-0. Chicago looks like they'll be relying on defense and running for the rest of the year, as Orton was obviously thrust into the starting role long before he was ready. I've long thought that for a quarterback to be good in the NFL, he needs to be brought up slowly. You can't adjust to the game without being to learn from someone who's been there. And it should be from the sideline for at least part of the season. There aren't many rookies who can step in and be a good player right away. And no, Jeff Blake doesn't count!
  • Cleveland 6, Indianapolis 13 (-13.5) (46.5 O/U) [P: $1.18, S: ($10.00), O/U: ($10.00), T: ($18.82)]: Once again, the difference in this game for Indy came from two sources: their defense and their running game. Who would have thought Indy would be 3-0 if I told you Manning wouldn't have a TD pass in two of those three games? Last year, the Colts won games because they were shootouts, and Manning shot better. This year, their grinding out wins using the tried and true tactics - tough defense and a solid running game. This is a team to watch out for, because we know you can't keep Manning and Harrison down all year. Cleveland's a tough team to figure out. On paper, they are bad. In practice, they hung with the Colts. Dilfer at QB would scare me though. Just so we're clear on the pick - I thought Indy would win, but the red is because they didn't cover. I knew 13 was too much! I should have stuck with my 10 point spread rule.
  • Jacksonville 26, New York Jets 20 (-2.5) (33.5 O/U) [P: $12.80, S: $10.00, O/U: $9.52, T: $32.32]: Let's start with the easy team. Jacksonville is playing pretty good. They definitely stuck with their running game - Fred Taylor, who, when healthy, is a top ten back, had 37 rushes and a touchdown. Now, let's look at the Jets. They're in a world of hurt right now. First, they go into the week with a running back who's hurting, but can play. Then, Pennington goes down. But that's not all - he comes back into the game because his backup gets hurt. Here's where I'm confused. Both of your starting quarterbacks are hurting, yet your star back only gets 18 carries? Was Martin hurting that much? If so, should he have played? If Pennington really did tear his rotator cuff again, what happens to him? Will he be able to play again? Could New York be looking for a new quarterback and a runningback in the next year or so? I'm not saying Martin is done, but he's getting up there in age. He won't be around forever. UPDATE: In a crazy turn, the Jets have signed Vinny Testeverde. Isn't he injury prone too?
  • New Orleans 16, Minnesota 33 (-4) (44.5 O/U) [P: $5.88, S: $10.00, O/U: ($10.00), T: $5.88]: Finally! Culpepper answers his critics and comes through with three touchdown passes, including one in the opening minute. Who would have guessed that it took Minnesota deciding on a running back and using him regularly to finally get their passing game going? Oh yeah. Me. I've been harping on establishing the run for a while now! If you're New Orleans, I say you take a knee in the endzone any time you can. They've fumbled the ball on the opening kick off two weeks in a row, both resulting in easy touchdowns for their opponent, and putting them in a hole early in the game. There seem to be a lot of questions about Brooks lately. He's big and strong, but he only completed 14 passes - 2 to the other team - on 32 attempts.
  • Oakland 20, Philadelphia 23 (-7.5) (46.5 O/U) [P: $3.21, S: ($10.00), O/U: $9.26, T: $2.46]: Philly's another team I picked to win and cover, but only completed one of those tasks. This was apparently the week for kickers in the NFL. I've always had a soft spot for kickers - I played soccer in highschool, and kicker was the most logical position for me if I was to play football, so I can relate. But most feel they aren't "true" football players. Well, after watching Akers, who could have justifiably stayed out of the rest of the game, come on and kick the game winner on a torn hammy, how can you say kickers aren't tough. Or important. Akers, Viniateri, and Mare all won their respective games in the closing moments via a field goal.
  • Tampa Bay 17 (-3.5), Green Bay 16 (37.5 O/U) [P: $5.46, S: ($10.00), O/U: $9.01, T: $4.47]: Tampa Bay's defense is staunch. Of course, they're a lot like Cincy - who have they played? Minnesota, Buffalo, and Green Bay. Same 3-6 record. Not exactly a stellar reference, but they're still playing very well, Their offense is well distributed as well. Green Bay is a mess. I think I've said that before. In the past, Favre could will the ball to his receivers. Recently, he hasn't been able to do that, throwing more and more picks every year. I think Favre is a great quarterback, but the transition better be under way in Green Bay to a younger quarterback.
  • Tennessee 27, St. Louis 31 (-6.5) (45.5 O/U) [P: ($10.00), S: $10.00, O/U: ($10.00), T: ($10.00)]: This one's reverse. I thought Tennessee would win outright. Instead they covered, but lost. Neither of these teams excite me, but there's rumors about each that are interesting. First, could the Jets be looking at the Titans backup quarterback? Volik hasn't played much, but is supposed to be pretty good. And for St. Louis, it sounds like they need to not only be in the playoffs, but win?a game or two for Mike Martz to save his job.
  • Arizona 12, Seattle 37 (-6) (41.5 O/U) [P: $3.95, S: $10.00, O/U: ($10.00), T: $3.95]: Well, Warner's out, and that gives Josh McCown a chance to prove himself. They're bad, so there's no chance this will hurt their playoff chances - they never had any! Maybe this will get Denny Green to run a little more. Or maybe not. Even with McCown playing quite a bit of the game, Shipp still only had 10 carries. Maybe they should watch Seatte, who gave Alexander the ball 22 times, and he turned that into 140 yards and four touchdowns.
  • Dallas 34 (-6.5), San Francisco 31 (41 O/U) [P: $3.77, S: ($10.00), O/U: ($10.00), T: ($16.23)]: Dallas must still have been reeling from their late fourth quarter loss to Washington. Yes, they pulled this one out, but they needed a fourth quarter comeback of their own to do it.
  • New England 23, Pittsburgh 20 (-3) (42 O/U) [P: ($10.00), S: ($10.00), O/U: $9.71, T: ($10.29)]: This was probably the premiere game this week. Could New England, coming off a loss, go into Pittsburgh and beat Roethlisberger and Co.? As it turns out, yes, they could. Barely. A literal last second field goal, combined with a mysterious addition to the game clock gave them the victory. Willie Parker came down to earth, and I'm sure we'll see speculation that he won't be starting when Staley comes back now, after last week all the reports that it wouldn't matter. The NFL is a fickle place!
  • New York Giants 23, San Diego 45 (-6) (42 O/U) [P: $4.07, S: $10.00, O/U: ($10.00), T: $4.07]: So what would make the NFL pick San Diego against New York for a Sunday night game? Surely (even before the season started) it wasn't going to be as good of a game as New England vs. Pittsburgh, was it? No, it was picked for one reason: Eli Manning. Not because he's the future poster boy of the NFL, but because he refused to play for the Chargers. As it turns out, he was right - he'd be sitting on the bench where Phillip Rivers is rather than throwing for 350+ yards. Still, his move seemed childish to me, even if it did work out - that certainly wasn't his reasoning for refusing to play there - Brees was looking like a minor bust at the time, and not the sure star that Manning was. So how can San Diego turn this season around? Despite winning, they are 1-2. How about giving the ball to L.T.? It worked last week, and it worked last year.
  • Kansas City 10, Denver 30 (-3) (48 O/U) [P: ($10.00), S: ($10.00), O/U: $9.26, T: ($10.74)]: K.C. got thrashed here. a late touchdown made it somewhat respectable, but respectable losses don't get you in the playoffs. They didn't use their strength - the combo of Holmes and Johnson enough. Granted, they were down by 20 only 20?minutes into the game, which would cause most teams to start passing. Not a smart move when your gameplan is to run with the occasional pass - or at least that's what it should be. Denver sure stuck to a ground game - they ran 32 times, and only threw the ball up 18 times. Of course, that could just be coincidental - maybe the Chiefs lost because they had 13 penalties for almost 120 yards.

Results Summary

  • Picks (this week): 10 - 4 (71.43%) - Winnings: $16.56. This is more the kind of numbers I put up last year picking winners. You can tell I picked favorites, because even thought I had 6 more correct than wrong, that only translated into $16 in winnings. Now, that's almost a 12% return in a week, which isn't horrible
  • Picks (season): 24 - 22 (52.17%) - Winnings: ($95.77). I'm still down overall, despite being above .500?picking games. ?That's a 20% loss!
  • Spread (this week): 7 - 7 (50.00%) - Winnings: $0.00. Even for the week. That's the nice thing about picking ATS. You know what you're getting when you get one right. I can be even picking and break even in money, unlike picking winners.
  • Spread (season): 17 - 28 (37.78%) - Winnings: ($110.00): I'm still down big on the season. 24%, but I should get better here.
  • Over/Under (this week): 5 - 9 (35.71%) - Winnings: ($43.24): For the first time all year, picking the over/under hurt me. I would have been for the week, but picking the over/under killed me.
  • Over/Under (season): 21 - 24 (46.67%) - Winnings: ($42.72): This week's over/under fiasco also cost me my one bright spot. I'm now down overall for over/under too.
  • Total Weekly Winnings: ($26.68): All of the loss resulted from the over/under. Too bad too, because I could have been positive overall, where as most weeks I'm up?on over/under and down everywhere else.
  • Total Overall Winnings: ($248.49). It just keeps getting bigger. Overall, I would have lost 18%. That's like tech stocks in 2002!

Ok. That's it. I'm out. I'll be back Thursday with my picks for Week IV.

Categories: Football