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Staff Picks: Super Bowl Picks

Chris Liss

Chris Liss

Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.

Dalton bounced back with two wins while everyone else lost, meaning he's tied with Erickson and Stopa at 5-5. Unfortunately for him, he cannot win outright because he and Erickson both have the Colts this week. Only Stopa, who has the Saints, can win the playoff staff picks outright. As for me, I lost both games, too, and sit at 1-9 - with one game left, that's a deficit I'll have to address in the 2011 playoffs.

Enjoy the games.

Erickson Pianowski Liss Stopa Del Don
Saints +5.5 vs. Colts Colts Colts Colts Saints Colts
Last Week's Record 0-2 0-2 0-2 0-2 2-0
Playoff Record 5-5 4-6 1-9 5-5 5-5
2009 Playoff Best Bets 1-2 1-2 1-2 1-2 2-1
2009 Record 123-130-3 132-121-3 131-122-3 130-123-3 126-127-3
Best Bet Record 8-8-1 9-8 10-7 7-10 7-8-2
Break Point Record 7-11 2-3 8-8 11-16 8-12
Majority Record 127-126-3
Consensus Pick Record 19-23-1
2008 Playoff Record 6-5 5-6 5-6 8-3 4-7
2007 Playoff Record 8-3 3-8 6-5 N/A 2-9
2006 Playoff Record 7-4 N/A 4-7 N/A N/A
2005 Playoff Record 5-6 N/A 3-8 N/A N/A
2004 Playoff Record 6-5 N/A 4-7 N/A N/A
2003 Playoff Record 6-5 N/A 4-7 N/A N/A
2002 Playoff Record 6-5 7-4 5-6 N/A N/A
2001 Playoff Record 6-4-1 7-3-1 4-6-1 N/A N/A
2000 Playoff Record 6-5 7-4 6-5 N/A N/A
2008 Record 132-114-10 128-118-10 124-122-10 125-121-10 130-116-10
2007 Record 127-120 118-129 127-120 N/A 130-117
2006 Record 118-129 N/A 139-108 N/A N/A
2005 Record 121-126 N/A 127-120 N/A N/A
2004 Record 124-124 N/A 130-118 N/A N/A
2003 Record 121-126 118-129 124-123 N/A N/A
2002 Record 113-136 123-126 141-108 N/A N/A
2001 Record 124-113 117-120 118-119 N/A N/A
2000 Record 123-117 134-106 141-99 N/A N/A
Notes: Majority Record The RotoWire majority picks, i.e., teams chosen by three or more writers were 2-2 in the Divisional round and 4-4 in the playoffs. We were 127-126-3 on the season. Consensus Picks Last week, we lost with the Cardinals. This week, we have no consensus picks. We finished the year 19-23-1 on consensus picks for the year, and were 24-19-2 on them in 2008. Break Points Break points are th

Notes:

Majority Record

The RotoWire majority picks, i.e., teams chosen by three or more writers were 2-2 in the Divisional round and 4-4 in the playoffs. We were 127-126-3 on the season.

Consensus Picks

Last week, we lost with the Cardinals. This week, we have no consensus picks.

We finished the year 19-23-1 on consensus picks for the year, and were 24-19-2 on them in 2008.

Break Points

Break points are the records of each handicapper when his pick breaks up what would otherwise be a consensus, i.e., when he is the only writer among the five to pick a particular team. We'll track these throughout the year for each writer, so that you can see who has been strong and who has not when they go against the grain. Keep in mind that each writer submits his picks independently.

Last week, Dalton won with both the Colts and Vikings.

This week, Stopa's the sole backer of the Saints.

Comments:

WriterComment
EricksonThe Saints have thrived when they've forced turnovers, and they have had as big of a home field advantage as anyone this year. Neither of these conditions is likely to exist on Sunday.
PianowskiI know what to expect from Peyton Manning and the Colts offense. I feel far less confident in the Saints, game to game. The extra prep time helps Indy, at least that's my gut feel. Maybe the Colts won't cover, but I'm fairly confident they'll win. (It would have been more fun with Favre around. It's okay, we can say it.)
LissI'm more confident the Colts will play to their capacity Sunday than the Saints.
StopaWhen the Championship Games ended, my immediate thought was "There's no way I'm picking against Manning in the Super Bowl. Hall of Fame QBs like Manning don't lose this game." That Manning had just torn apart a Jets defense that compared favorably to the 2000 Ravens, and the Saints were fortunate the Vikings had crisco on their gloves, made me ultra-confident in the Colts. As time passed, I've realized the problem. EVERYONE is thinking that way, and Vegas knows it. In fact, The Manning Factor (the term I'm using for everyone's feeling that there's no way the Colts lose) is the only reason this game is not close to a push. Mike Salfino's statistical analysis indicates the Saints should be more than a FG favorite on a neutral field. We can argue the merits of that type of analysis all day long, but the point is clear - except for The Manning Factor, these teams are rough equals. Both have elite QBs in their prime, a plethora of offensive weapons and mediocre defenses. The Colts are a bit better at playing straight-up defense, but the Saints force more turnovers and have a superior running game and special teams. The only way to justify this line being so high is Manning. The biggest question in deciding this game ATS is how much credence to give to The Manning Factor.

I want to give in to The Manning Factor, go with my initial instinct and take the Colts. But that's what every Joe Public gambler is going to do (as seen by 2/3 of the public being on the Saints - a high disparity given the volume of bets being placed). I can't help but feel the Saints are the savvy, contrarian play. I'd still take the Colts to win straight-up. But contrary to what we often think, HOF QBs do sometimes lose games like this. Tom Brady lost one just a few years ago. John Elway couldn't win one until he was no longer the best offensive player on his own team. Brett Favre lost one (albeit to Elway). With that backdrop, would it be that surprising if the Colts lost this game? Dwight Freeney isn't 100 percent, Jim Caldwell has never ever been on a stage like this, and the Colts, who struggle on kick coverage, will have to kick to Reggie Bush. I hate picking against Manning, but there are just too many things that point to the Saints and not enough towards Indy. It feels wrong, but that's why it's right. And if it were wrong, Vegas would adjust the line more (to make the bets more 50/50), but it hasn't. Back New Orleans.

Since I'm taking the Saints, I feel like I have to take the Over. You know Manning is going to get his, so if you're picking the Saints, you have to think the game will be high-scoring. Conversely, if you like the Colts, you should parlay it with the under.

Del DonToo lengthy to post here.
The players: * Jeff Erickson: RotoWire Senior editor, 2001, 2008 Staff Picks Champ. Writes the Value Meter. Covers and roots for the Bengals. * Scott Pianowski: Fantasy expert for Yahoo! Sports, and also contributes to Rotowire.com. 2009 Staff Picks Champ. Roots for the Patriots. * Chris Liss: RotoWire Managing Editor, 2000, 2002, 2006 Staff Picks Champ, 2003, 2004 co-champ. Writes Beating the Book and Surviving the Week in addition to Staff Picks. Covers and roots for the Giants. * Mark Stopa: Staff Writer, Writes Working the Wire. Roots for the Bills. * Dalton Del Don: RotoWire Senior Staff Writer. 2007 Staff Picks Champ. Writes the Game Capsules and the Barometer. Covers the Eagles and roots for the 49ers.



The players:

* Jeff Erickson: RotoWire Senior editor, 2001, 2008 Staff Picks Champ. Writes the Value Meter. Covers and roots for the Bengals.
* Scott Pianowski: Fantasy expert for Yahoo! Sports, and also contributes to Rotowire.com. 2009 Staff Picks Champ. Roots for the Patriots.
* Chris Liss: RotoWire Managing Editor, 2000, 2002, 2006 Staff Picks Champ, 2003, 2004 co-champ. Writes Beating the Book and Surviving the Week in addition to Staff Picks. Covers and roots for the Giants.
* Mark Stopa: Staff Writer, Writes Working the Wire. Roots for the Bills.
* Dalton Del Don: RotoWire Senior Staff Writer. 2007 Staff Picks Champ. Writes the Game Capsules and the Barometer. Covers the Eagles and roots for the 49ers.