Surviving Week 6
After an uneventful Sunday, the Falcons loss to the Jets on Monday night trimmed some pools nicely, and by nicely I mean if you didn't pick the Falcons, our No. 4 choice last week - though, to be honest, the margin between 1 and 4 wasn't that big.
Also, one disadvantage to picking this early in the week is you miss out on significant late-breaking developments like Calvin Johnson
being scratched an hour before Sunday's game. I actually switched my pick to the Packers (I posted that switch in the comments of last week's article), so if you rely on this article it's worth checking back each week to see if anything's changed. I'll always post in the comments who I'd switch to if something like that happens again.
Let's take a look at this week's slate:
|Team ||Opponent ||%Taken ||Vegas ML** ||Vegas Odds
|49ERS ||Cardinals ||27.90% ||525 ||84.00
|BRONCOS ||Jaguars ||26.40% ||5000 ||98.04
|SEAHAWKS ||Titans ||13.40% ||750 ||88.24
|CHIEFS ||Raiders ||13.00% ||360 ||78.26
|BEARS ||Giants ||8.50% ||330 ||76.74
|TEXANS ||Rams ||3.90% ||320 ||76.19
|Bengals ||BILLS ||3.50% ||295 ||74.68
|COWBOYS ||Redskins ||1.90% ||220 ||68.75
Home team in CAPS
** Average of the two moneylines
Without doing the math, I'm positive the Broncos - despite being 26-percent picked - are the top team, given their 98 percent chance to win. Let's assume you've used the Broncos, what then? In that case the Seahawks (at 13.4%) are the easy call with an 88 percent chance to win. After those two, what then?
It's a close call between the Niners, Chiefs, Texans and Bengals. Rather than doing all the precise math, I'm going to simplify this by saying I think the Texans are going to roll at home, and for that reason I give them an 80 percent chance to win. I also think the Niners number is too high against an Arizona team that has an equally good defense, so let's reduce that to 80 also. With those numbers, the Texans beat out both the Niners, Bengals and Chiefs. As such, they're my third choice.
1. Denver Broncos
There would have to be 80-percent of your pool on them before you'd consider jumping ship to another team. The Jaguars might score some points with Chad Henne
under center and Justin Blackmon
back, but if they keep it within 20, it'll be a strong showing. I give the Broncos a 97 percent chance to win this game.
2. Seattle Seahawks
If you've used the Broncos, but have Seattle available, it's an easy call. The Seahawks are virtually unbeatable at home, and the Titans have neither the shutdown defense nor the explosive offense to push them. I give the Seahawks an 88 percent chance to win this game.
3. Houston Texans
I realize Matt Schaub
's already set a new pick-six-in-consecutive-games record, and Houston didn't show up in San Francisco last week. But like last week when it was better to bet against the Jaguars than on the Falcons, this week it's better to bet against the Rams than on the 49ers - especially given the pick distribution. I give the Texans an 80 percent chance to win this game. (Unfortunately, I've used the Texans here already in Week 2).
4. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs aren't anywhere near as good as their perfect record, and the Raiders aren't nearly the doormat many thought after the preseason. That said, Kansas City is a conversative team that doesn't make a ton of mistakes and is playing at home. I give the Chiefs a 78 percent chance to win this game. (Note the 49ers trump them in win percentage, but are also more popular).
5. San Francisco 49ers
The Cardinals are dangerous as they have a strong defense and playmaking receivers, and the 49ers' offense has been limited this year given all the injuries to their wideouts. But this game is in San Francisco, and Carson Palmer
is good for a couple big mistakes, especially with a lackluster running game and playing behind a poor offensive line. I give the 49ers an 80 percent chance to win this game.
6. Cincinnati Bengals
I don't like Andy Dalton
going on the road, but I do trust the Bengals defense to handle quarterback Thaddeus Lewis
. I give Cincy a 75-percent chance to win this game.
- The defense has slipped, Jay Cutler
is capable of disastrous mistakes, and as bad as the Giants have been, they're a volatile underdog with too much easy-to-see upside.
- RGIII had his way with them last year, the Redskins are coming off a bye, and this is a rivalry game I'd typically avoid.