2017 WEEK 16 PICKS

Horrible, horrible week my friends. Only 6 correct picks, and I think I was lucky to get even that. My spreads were so close to the ESPN Pigskin Pick’Em (PP) spreads that had I nudged 4 of my games by even 1 point, I would have caught those games:

Game My Spread ESPN Spread Diff
BAL@CLE +7 +7.5 0.5
NYJ@NOR -16 -15.5 0.5
TEN@SFO -1 -1.5 0.5
NWE@PIT +2 +2.5 0.5

I say this not to complain about the losses (although obviously I’m not happy), but to point out how dicey it can be betting against the spread. The Machine was great picking winners this week –13 correct straight up picks, my best record this year (I think everyone did well straight up this week) – but just fell on the wrong side of the spread.

Where I’m at:

All Picks: 117-107, 52.2%
ESPN Leaderboard Rank: 15K, 91%
Super Hot Sizzling Picks: 22-20, 52.3%
Bankroll: -$7 (betting $11 on every game)

Yep, I’m in the red. Total bummer.

Enough crying, we’ve got another week of games to get to!

WEEK 16 PICKS

DayDateAwayHomeMy
Spread
ESPN PP
Spread
My
ATS
Pick
Pred
Score
Sat
12/23/17
INDBAL-14-13.5BAL13-27
Sat12/23/17MINGNB+7+6.5MIN28-21
Sun
12/24/17ATLNOR-8-5.5NOR19-28
Sun12/24/17BUFNWE-15-12.5NWE14-29
Sun12/24/17CLECHI-8-6.5CHI10-18
Sun12/24/17DETCIN+5+4.5DET26-21
Sun12/24/17DENWAS-7-3.5WAS16-23
Sun12/24/17LARTEN+11+6.5LAR28-17
Sun12/24/17MIAKAN-6-10.5MIA26-20
Sun12/24/17SDGNYJ+6+6.5NYJ23-17
Sun12/24/17TAMCAR-8-9.5TAM19-27
Sun12/24/17JAXSFO+9+4.5JAX23-14
Sun12/24/17SEADAL-2-4.5SEA23-25
Sun12/24/17NYGARI-4-4.5NYG16-20
Mon12/25/17PITHOU+6+9.5HOU27-21
Mon12/25/17
OAKPHI-12-8.5PHI17-29

With holiday season upon us, I just don’t have the time to really dig in here, but I do need to go over one thing: I’m making a tweak to The Machine to account for these funky games where one team needs to win (by varying degrees) and the other team is already thinking of the off-season. There are nine(!) such games this week, here they are:

BAL@IND, MIN@GNB, DET@CIN, MIA@KAN, SDG@NYJ, TAM@CAR, JAX@SFO, PIT@HOU and OAK@PHI.

Here is the tweak: I’m giving each of the teams that need to win a single point. This isn’t based on any real research, mostly just a guess, but I do need to “hang my hat” on to something when I make a tweak like this. So, I looked at the average margin of victory (MOV) for the winning team in all games in seasons 2002-2016 and found this:

Weeks 1-13: MOV is 11.5 points
Weeks 14-16: MOV is 12.7 points.

So there’s a full point’s difference between the first 13 weeks and the next 3. What does this mean? Not sure, but for me it means that the better teams are ramping up for the playoffs and those teams that are out of picture are laying off a bit, hence the slightly larger point differential. The result is that three of my games have flipped to the favorites – Baltimore, Minnesota, and Detroit. Of course, if these three teams don’t cover, you’ll have to listen to me whine about how I should have never tweaked The Machine.

SUPER HOT SIZZLING PICKS OF THE WEEK

Here they are:

Jacksonville at San Francisco, Jaguars by 4.5
My ATS pick: Jaguars

The Jimmy G. “Good Times” Train ends here, Jacksonville takes care of business: Jaguars 23, 49ers 14.

Miami at Kansas City, Chiefs by 10.5
My ATS pick: Dolphins

Hate this pick, hate this pick, hate this pick. The spread has to be based on the assumption that the Dolphins have packed it in, but The Machine doesn’t know that, and the 1-point tweak wasn’t enough to get to 10 points. Hoping Miami can keep this close: Chiefs 26, Dolphins 20.

Los Angeles Rams at Tennessee, Rams by 6.5
My ATS pick: Rams

Pick of the week. This is a big number to cover on the road, but The Machine, and myself, think the Rams can do it. The Titans are probably the “worst” of the teams in the playoff hunt and the Rams have been great on the road (+12.1 MOV), I think they win big here: Rams 28, Titans 17.

Happy Holidays all, have a great week!