Pretty blah week on the NFL front last week. Big Plays went 1-1, as Buffalo staged a 2nd half comeback to cover, while Arizona melted down late and failed to cover by 1 measly point. Other Plays went 1-1, as the Giants covered on Thursday and Oakland managed to turn a tie game at halftime into a 17-point defeat. The Break-Even or Better picks went 3-2. Tampa and Cleveland blew 2nd half leads, while Tennessee, San Diego, and Dallas covered with relative ease. All in all, it was a week where we looked great at halftime, but the second half didn’t go our way. Including our BEOB selections, our teams were outscored by 62 points in the second half and overtime.
On to this week’s selections… Lines are widely available as of 3pm EDT. As usual, we do not consider injuries (except QB) or matchup factors; the lines are based purely on our ratings, plus home-field advantage, and an adjustment for teams coming off of byes and Thursday games.
A few notes: Houston is a Big Play if Matt Schaub plays. Depending on which QB Kubiak starts, Schaub’s absence would hurt Houston by around 2.5 points, enough to make the play slightly better than break-even. Since we have to make the pick right now, we’re splitting the difference and categorizing it as an Other Play. Also, Julio Jones’s injury definitely hurts Atlanta, but I’m not sure it’s as much as the public perceives. The average difference between a starting WR and reserve WR is 0.2 points, according to analysis we did this past offseason. Jones is clearly an elite WR, but I find it hard to believe his injury hurts Atlanta by more than a point. A point would knock the game down to Break-Even or Better. We’ll be conservative and move it down. Also, the Dallas line is either +2.5 +100 or +3 -120. We’ll call that half a play at +2.5 and half a play at +3.
Big Plays (4-4-1 YTD)
- Dallas +2.5 (+100) or +3 (-120) at Philadelphia [MP= -3.5]
Other Plays (14-12 YTD)
- Houston +6.5 vs. Kansas City [MP= +2.5]*
- Indianapolis +6.5 vs. Denver [MP= +3.9]
- Carolina -6 vs. St. Louis [MP= -9.6]
- New York Jets +4 vs. New England [MP= +2.1]
Break-Even or Better (3-2 YTD)
- Atlanta -7 vs. Tampa Bay [MP= -10.6]*
- Arizona +6.5 vs. Seattle [MP= +4.0]
- Chicago +1 at Washington [MP= -1.6]