NFL Week 2 Picks & Analysis – FootballSunday, September 15, 2013 8:11
Picks and analysis for the 2013 NFL season Week 2 games.
THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF WAGERING
The NFL is the world’s gold standard sports institution because it is a league geared toward parity.
If we were to analyze the 32-team NFL in any given year, the breakdown would look something like this:
- 3-5 teams are elite—they lose no more than 4 games…
- 7-10 teams fall into the 9 – 11 win category
- 7-10 teams fall in the 7 – 8 win category
- 3-5 teams stink—they win no more than 4 games
- 7-8 teams fall between any two of the above slots
Essentially, then, we have 20 – 24 teams that are generally equal in terms of talent and depth—and are capable of beating elite teams on any given Sunday.
The differences between the “elite” teams and those who win only 7-11 games usually comes down to an ill-timed penalty, a tipped ball, a fluke play, or a missed opportunity(s).
One of Bill Cowher’s famous quotes, sans sputum, was “There’s a very fine line between success and failure in the NFL.”
A good example is the 2012 Chargers who finished 7 – 9 and lost 5 games by seven points or less. The 9 – 7 G-Men lost four games by five points or less. Da Bears—10 – 6 in ’12—lost four games by seven points or less.
Conversely, last year’s NFC #1 seed, Atlanta, won a whopping 7 games by seven points or less—many by a field goal.
Elite teams come and go depending on how they manage the cap. Pittsburgh has been restructuring deals for years because they invested so much dough in Big Ben. Cincinnati will face the same dilemma in a year or two when they have to pony up the sheckles for Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. Dallas is juggling the same balls after Romo’s big re-up—and the world champion Ravens look like a vastly different team after Flacco struck gold.
But, there are 15 games to go. The fun of September football is finding out what teams are made of as opposed to what the world of “experts” thinks they are.
No NFL team—without an exceptionally elite quarterback and stable offensive and defensive lines—can stay elite for long. The NFL system doesn’t allow for that. Solid, successful organizations like the Giants, the Packers, Pittsburgh and New England create larger windows of championship opportunities, through good, (lucky) drafting, minimal coaching turnover, and superb head coaching. Compare those four teams to the Browns, Raiders, Bills and Cowboys during the last decade.
Parity is the reason picking against the spread is such a challenge. Sometimes the bookies slip up, like they did Thursday, thinking the Pats were going to roll over the Jets.
That’s when the ATS players have to put down the money and hope the pigskin squirts their way.
WEEK 2 PICKS
WEEKLY TALLY: 7 – 8 – 1 = .467
SPECIALS: 2 – 1 – 1
Bovada Account = + 20.10
Week 1 is the most difficult to call during the NFL season. The new rules limiting practice time and hitting make it hard to predict which teams are ready and which teams suck.
My Steelers made a big deal about how much “full speed hitting” and how physical their July was compared to previous Tomlin training camps. The Black & Gold embarrassed themselves against the Titans.
Like many people, I thought the Jets were a clown car ready to roll over a major cliff. They beat Tampa Bay on a stupid Buc penalty and outplayed New England, but just couldn’t close the deal.
Last year we had a very poor September, yet managed to claw our way to a year-end .538 overall and .553 on our Specials.
This year we plan to be in the black after Sunday’s slate of games.
GAIRZO AGAINST CBS
2012 saw us best five of the eight experts over at CBS.com. Last week, we smoked them all…
UPSET SPECIAL 1 – 0 – 1
New York Jets vs. New England Patriots –13
We pushed in Week 1 when the Bengals gagged against Da Bears, but we were dead on Thursday Night’s AFC East game at the Razor.
Thirteen points was just too much to give the Jets because Brady has to train a whole new pack of receivers.
New England better watch out for the Dolphins…
Patriots 13, Jets 10 [Final]
GAME OF THE WEEK 1 – 0
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks –3
This matchup could be a prequel of the NFC Championship game and the analysis is simple: Seattle enjoys the loudest and one of the most consistent home field advantages in the NFL—the only 8 – 0 team at home last year.
The Seahawks have the defensive personnel and a coach with real world experience against the read-option, and the Hawks destroyed the Niners 42 – 13 late last year.
In reality, this is a pick-em game I wouldn’t bet on, but it is the only legit GOW on the board.
‘Hawks 23, Niners 17
LOCK OF THE WEEK 0 – 1
New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers –3
Greg Schiano brings a lot to the table as head coach, but if he doesn’t make nice with Josh Freeman or at least respect the man’s talent, Schiano risks losing the locker room and eventually his job.
You don’t take the “C” off of your quarterback’s jersey, unless he’s Ryan Leaf bad.
The Mateys play without discipline and focus. No matter how tough they think they are, if they don’t play with intelligence, Schiano’s pirate ship could start sinking fast.
Conversely, the Saints look reborn with Sean Payton’s return—and there is a developing rumor that they may actually play some hard defense this year.
Better coach, better quarterback—it’s a Holy Lock.
Saints 31, Bucs 23
OVER/UNDER OF THE WEEK 1 – 0
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals -7
Few teams respond to adversity like the Steelers—especially when the world starts eulogizing them.
The Bengals need this game to prove the world is justified in predicting this could be the year of the Tiger.
Jarvis Jones and Troy Polamalu score defensive touchdowns for the Steelers, but Cincy kicks the winning field goal in overtime.
Take the over…
Bengals 27, Steelers 24
As usual, my picks are in italic below…
NFL Lines For Week 2 – 9/12 – 9/16, 2013
|Date & Time||Favorite||Line||Underdog||Total|
|9/15 1:00 ET||At Philadelphia||-7.5||San Diego||55|
|9/15 1:00 ET||At Baltimore||-7||Cleveland||43.5|
|9/15 1:00 ET||At Houston||-8||Tennessee||43|
|9/15 1:00 ET||At Indianapolis||-3||Miami||43|
|9/15 1:00 ET||Carolina||-3.5||At Buffalo||43.5|
|9/15 1:00 ET||At Atlanta||-6||St. Louis||47|
|9/15 1:00 ET||At Green Bay||-7.5||Washington||49.5|
|9/15 1:00 ET||At Kansas City||-3||Dallas||46.5|
|9/15 1:00 ET||At Chicago||-6||Minnesota||42|
|9/15 4:05 ET||New Orleans LW||-3.5||At Tampa Bay||47|
|9/15 4:05 ET||Detroit||-2||At Arizona||48|
|9/15 4:25 ET||At Oakland||-4.5||Jacksonville||39.5|
|9/15 4:25 ET||Denver||-4.5||At NY Giants||55|
|9/15 8:30 ET||At Seattle GW||-3||San Francisco||44.5|
Monday Night Football Line
|9/16 8:40 ET||At Cincinnati||-7 O/U||Pittsburgh||41|
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