FIWK the NFL: Week 5

I have a friend and fellow Chargers fan coming in to town this weekend and we are going to watch the game at BJ's together. I am actually more excited to watch this game than the Chargers first four matchups because it is always more fun to watch a game with a friend. Last week, my point differential stat du jour went 12-4 so you bet your sweet ass I'm going with that again. PLUS I don't have to think nearly as much. So take the picks, grab a friend and some good beer, and here...we...go!

BUFFALO (+2.5) over Philadelphia: Buffalo +37, Philadelphia 0. You know what, I don't want to have to type the point differential for every team, when I can just link to them. And I'll also post them in point differential order at the bottom. Something is wrong with the Eagles. They just don't look as good as they should be. And the Bills actually look much better than they should be. There's a decent chance I'm going to be picking against the Eagles ATS for a few more weeks.

INDIANAPOLIS (-2.5) over Kansas City: I still think the 1-3 Chiefs are horrible. And I don't know if it's just playing in prime time two weeks in a row, but the Peyton Manning-less Colts don't look all that sucky. I mean, they are deservedly 0-4, but they are giving some not sucky teams (Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay) a little trouble.

Arizona (+2.5) over MINNESOTA: This is actually the only game that disagrees with Football Outsiders (because I still think about the games, I don't just pick a random stat and follow it blindly). In every other game my point differential stat lines up with their DVOA efficiency stat. Now, that is really better designed to compare games straight up, but it worked ATS last week, so we're going to keep riding the wave...but back to the Vikings and Cardinals. I don't like either of these teams. The Vikings look better than 0-4, but lost to the Chiefs (the Chiefs!). The Cardinals won by 7, then lost the next three games by a total of 8 points. I want to think they are bad, but they're trying to show me they just aren't that bad. Arizona plus points is fine.

NYG (-10) over Seattle: And the Seahawks!

Tennessee (+3) over PITTSBURGH: Remember what I said about the Eagles? It pretty much all applies here as well. The O-line is bad/old and Big Ben isn't saving them. The defense is good, but not dominant enough. They are taking care of business against bad teams, but losing to good teams. And Tennessee has definitely moved a group or two up. In fact, if I have time, I might take a look at those groups again.

LinkNew Orleans (-6.5) over CAROLINA: Cam Newton is legit and 1-3 and yes, those can be mutually exclusive. New Orleans is making a strong case as the second best team in the NFC, which makes Green Bay's opening night victory look all that much more impressive.

Cincinnati (+2.5) over JACKSONVILLE: I know, right? I can't believe I'm picking them either.

HOUSTON (-6) over Oakland: The Texans are looking like they really want a three seed and probably think they can get a first round bye. It also feels really good to be able to cheer against the Raiders and have it mean something.

SAN FRANCISCO (-3) over Tampa Bay: Ok, this is getting weird. The 49ers are favored against a team with a winning record? And I even like the Buccaneers. And I'm going with the Alex Smith led 49ers? Well, let's clarify one thing. Alex Smith may be the starting quarterback, but he is not leading the 49ers anywhere. Their only loss was in overtime. I'm going to start allowing some cautious optimism. Not that they are going to be among the best tin the NFL. And I still think they are more likely to finish 8-8 than 10-6, but they are no longer in the chase for Andrew Luck.

San Diego (-4) over DENVER: The Chargers need one of those old fashion butt-whoopings on a vastly inferior team. I think Philip Rivers plays out of his mind, throwing for 400 yards and/or 3 TDs and the defense gets a couple turnovers. It will look like the Chargers are dominating, but you'll look up at the end of the game and see Chargers 35 - Broncos 28 and think, hmm...that final score was a little closer than the game felt. Why couldn't the Chargers blow them away on the scoreboard?

NEW ENGLAND (-9) over Nyj: When I re-do my groups, I will have to mix conferences. One group will be the Falcons, Steelers and Jets and I think there's a decent chance all three miss the playoffs. Mark Sanchez looks like the horrible quarterback I always wanted him to be. Antonio Cromartie and LaDainian Tomlinson are making AJ Smith look smarter and smarter. And overall, these guys are playing less like a team and more like a random assortment of talented players. New England's defense is bad, but the Dirty Sanchez won't be able to do anything with it.

Green Bay (-6) over ATLANTA: Losing to the Bears and Bucs doesn't look THAT bad, but beating the Seahawks and Eagles is looking less impressive by the week. Green Bay is looking like the best team in the NFL and the best chance for back to back Super Bowl winners in...well, seven years. The Patriots did it only seven years ago and that just doesn't seem like that long ago, but it should be rarer.

DETROIT (-5.5) over Chicago: I like this a little more because the Lions are playing at home on MNF. Who would have thought before the season that the Colts two prime time games would be a bad decision while the Lions on MNF looked like a great game in advance. Who would have thought the Lions would be favored over a non-Seahawks playoff team? I can tell you this; the Lions and the Bills are going to get their own group.

Baltimore 62
Detroit 59
Green Bay 51
Buffalo 37
New England 37
Houston 37
Tennessee 32
New Orleans 29
Washington 20
San Francisco 19
NY Giants 15
Tampa Bay 7
San Diego 6
Cincinnati 6
NY Jets 5
Philadelphia 0
Arizona -1
Oakland -2
Dallas -2
Chicago -4
Pittsburgh -8
Carolina -13
Atlanta -15
Cleveland -19
Minnesota -19
Denver -30
Miami -35
Seattle -39
Indianapolis -45
Jacksonville -46
St. Louis -67
Kansas City -77


  1. I like the point differential list. It's really a tragedy that Indy and KC, combined point diff. of -122, are playing this week. That means that one of those atrocious teams is actually going to get positive point diff. movement with a win.

    On to the picks ... ugh. I really do not like the picks this week. I will have to ponder this and get back to it.

  2. Quick update of the groups:

    Green Bay, New England
    Baltimore, New Orleans
    These are the top four teams, with the Packers and Patriots currently leading their respective conferences.

    San Diego, Houston, NYG, Tampa Bay
    Just taking care of business. They're supposed to be good and are putting themselves in position to make the playoffs...but there's something not quite right and it's hard to say they are ready to win the Super Bowl.

    Detroit, Buffalo, Washington, Tennessee, San Francisco
    What the what? At least two of these teams will make the playoffs.

    Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, NYJ
    Only one or two of these teams will make the playoffs, no more.

    Chicago, Dallas
    At 2-2, these guys are underperforming.

    Oakland, Cincinnati, Cleveland
    At 2-2, these guys are overperforming.

    One of the above five teams will come down to a tiebreaker with one of the previous four teams.

    Seattle, Arizona, Carolina, St. Louis, Minnesota, Jacksonville, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Indianapolis
    All of these guys are 1-3 or 0-4 and alternate between entertaining and just bad.

  3. And I'm going to do $10 on every pick above again. I'll keep riding this until it doesn't work.

  4. I meant to add that 2-2 Oakland, Cleveland and Cincinnati are all one game out of first and have not yet played the teams at the top of their division.

  5. $10 on bills, niners, and chargers

  6. ...and I'm rooting for a tie in the KC-Indy game

  7. Ugh. I still hate these picks. I'm getting to this just after the start of games, but I am going to pick these:

    $50 on Min -2.5 ... I got burned last week thinking Minne could take down the atrocious Chiefs, so did I learn my lesson that the Vikes aren't good? Hell no! Double down on the Vikings! The Cardinals are even worse, I think they'll lose.

    $50 on Tampa +3 ... sorry Niners fans, but I still think your team is bad and overachieving. I think the Bucs are not playing great, based on the eye test, but they should beat the weak Niners.

    $100 on San Diego -4 ... another line that feels like stealing. If the Chargers don't win this game by close to 10 points I'll be surprised. What Aaron said above is right - SD will probably play as if they could be winning by 20, but somehow the Broncos might end up getting within 10. Still should destroy the -4 spread though.

  8. Man, I was not nearly as excited about my picks this week as I was last week, and now I'm paying for it.

  9. Ahahaha... Niners win 48-3... so, yeah...

    I won the SD line but that game me a heart attack. Ugh.

  10. Ok well. The Niners obliterated their opponent by 45 points, which should almost count as a triple loss for me. But as it is I lost that, won the Vikings line, and against all odds won the Chargers line (although it almost killed me).

    So I went up $100 for the week bringing me back to $1,000 for the season.

  11. I'm excited to see the new +/- numbers!

    Won all three bets, putting me $30 up for the week, and bringing me to a total $1,050.

    I think I need to start putting more $$ on each game.

  12. I went 6-6-1 for no change. I'm still at $1,010.