Author’s note: Being that this is my first post as a writer for The GridFe, I’d like to take a moment to thank Bryan and the guys for having me aboard. I’ve been a fan of this site since its inception (I believe in 2015) because the writing that Bryan, Adam and more recently Ben, put forth is top notch: honest, insightful, fair and always interesting. I suspect that my contributions will be on the “lighter” side, but will be fun and interesting nonetheless. So, thanks guys!
Some history is needed before we jump in to my post below. In 2012, I started playing ESPN’s Pigskin Pick’Em with office buddies at work. The game is simple: you pick the winner of games against the Vegas spread every week, the player with the most correct picks at the end of the season wins. This simple game literally spawned a whole new hobby for me, the effects of which you’re seeing now: an obsession with being able to predict the outcomes of games using stats (sometimes called “computer predictions“). The simple spreadsheet I started with – which only kept track of points scored and points allowed – has grown into a 50-column monster that I now call The Machine (details here), of which you’ll see numerous references to below.
The post below is a continuation of posts I ran at my own, soon-to-be-phased-out blog; The GridFe will be the new home of my weekly picks. Thanks all.
What a week…what a very bad week for me. I went 5-9, easily my worst effort for the year. If you’re familiar with picking winners against the spread, you know that it’s just as hard to do poorly as it is to do well since the spread is, theoretically, set up so that every game is a coin flip. I’ve watched most of the games, and there were a few that I “could have” won, like the Kansas City-Oakland thriller, but for the most part, me and The Machine were just on the wrong side of everything. Even my Super Hot Sizzling picks took another hit, going 0-3. I’ve had a busy week, not much time to write, so I’ll quickly recap where I’m at and then jump into the picks.
(Note: I started the year with a virtual bankroll of $1,000 and I’m betting $11 every game)
All Picks: 59-46, 56.2%
ESPN Leaderboard Rank: 3596, 98%
Super Hot Sizzling Picks: 9-9 (50.0%)
Bankroll: $1,084 (+$84 total)
So I’m still in the black, but I’ll be in the red real soon if I keep picking like I did this week.
2017 Week 8 Picks
(Yes I’m aware that I’m still using “SDG” for the LA Chargers. Too lazy to change that in my database)
Wow. This doesn’t look too good. We’ve got 6 spreads over a touchdown and I’m taking 5 of them, including the big ones: Minnesota -9.5 over Cleveland, Cincinnati -10.5 over Indianapolis and Philadelphia -12.5 over San Francisco. I’m alright with the spreads being that high, I think the matchups warrant it. But these games aren’t played on paper, and if I wasn’t following the demands of my spreadsheet, I’d take the underdogs in probably all three of those games. Stranger things have happened, but I’m not anticipating a good week…breaking even would be good.
SUPER HOT SIZZLING PICKS OF THE WEEK
Well, here they are: my Super Hot Dried Up Turds On the Sidewalk Picks of the Week.
Atlanta at New York Jets, Falcons by 4.5
My ATS pick: Atlanta
The Machine still thinks Atlanta is one of the best teams in the league; the way they’ve been playing as of late, they probably aren’t. But who knows, maybe they’ll remember how to have an unstoppable offense again: Atlanta 25, New York 16.
Los Angeles Chargers at New England, Patriots by 7.5
My ATS pick: Patriots
I keep hearing about the Patriots defensive woes (which I suppose they’ve somewhat fixed), but I haven’t heard much talk about their offense which is solid. I think they win easily at home: New England 31, Los Angeles 19.
Houston at Seattle, Seahawks by 5.5
My ATS pick: Houston
Deshaun Watson has yet to face a legendary defense (OK, the Legion of Boom isn’t what they were a few years back, but they’re still very, very good) in a stadium known for ear-bleeding crowd noise (CenturyLink), so I’m thinking he’ll have problems. But of course, The Machine doesn’t know anything about any of that, it’s telling me to take Houston to cover, so that’s what I’m doing: Seattle 18, Houston 16.
That’s it for this week, have a great weekend.