After going three for four last weekend, I thought I'd try my luck again this weekend. The simple fact is that in the past, over a long period of time, I just about break even against the odds (in fact, I don't bet on NFL games), and there is no reason to expect I'd do at all well over a short haul; I could very well get both picks wrong this week. Anyway here goes:
- The odds makers pick San Francisco over Atlanta by 3.5 even though Atlanta is at home. SF looked really good last week against Green Bay, and Atl struggled against Seattle at home, barely winning in part because of poor clock management by Seattle. This is a tough pick. In the end, I'll take Atl plus the points. It feels like a long shot, but 70% of nearly 60K participants on Sportacular picked Atlanta to win outright, despite the odds from Las Vegas.
- New England is favoured over Baltimore by 8 points (though earlier this week they were favoured by 9.5). NE looked really good in their victory over Houston, but Baltimore looked mighty good last week, too, and has a lot of injured players back on their active roster. They're playing in NE, which is probably worth quite a bit, but I'll go out on a limb and pick Baltimore plus the points. Interestingly, of over 50K participants on Sportacular, 59% have picked Baltimore to win outright. I'm not going that far. After all, as I have said before, "Don't bet against the economist (referring to the head coach of NE)." But I do think they'll have enough of a battle on their hands they could very easily not win by much, if at all.