2017 Week 9 NFL Picks, Week 8 Recap

Not a bad week, but not great either. I said last week that I’d be happy to just break even in Week 9 (which doesn’t make sense as there were 13 games, but anyway); as it is, I went 7-6, which is fine. I was concerned about taking so many favorites this weekend (9), especially when some of the spreads were pretty big – 6 were over a touchdown, 3 were over 9 points. Interestingly, 6 of my 7 correct picks were the favorites; my lone underdog win was Houston +5.5 against Seattle. But there is a bright spot for this otherwise mediocre week: I hit all three of my Super Hot picks as Atlanta, New England and Houston all covered.

Quick discussion about fumbles: studies have shown that forcing and recovering fumbles seem to be random events that aren’t very predictive . I find this pretty significant when projecting a team’s future performance, and it shapes the way I view games. For example, this week, I won two games in which the team I picked recovered two fumbles: the Vikings recovered two in their game against Cleveland and won 33-16; Buffalo recovered two, and lost one, in their game against Oakland, winning the game 34-14. Assuming as I am that those fumbles are random events (and yes, of course, we could say nearly everything that happens in the game is random), it’s quite possible that I could have lost those games. And further, due to that randomness and the loss of points that generally happen as a result, I don’t view the losses by Oakland and Cleveland to be quite as severe as the score suggests. On the flip side, I think I lost a few games that I really felt good about due to fumbles that could have gone either way: New Orleans and Cincinnati each lost two fumbles and recovered none in their games against Chicago and Indianapolis, and Washington and Denver each lost two fumbles and recovered one in their games against Dallas and Kansas City.

So, no, you don’t win bets by what you think “should have” happened, but for me it’s a kind of “moral victory” – I believe I have a better chance of hitting those picks if the fumbles go the other way. Notice, incidentally, that I don’t have the same opinion about interceptions. Although those can also be random – tipped passes, etc. – they are also caused by poor decisions by the QB, and other factors, that most of us would consider somewhat predictive.

Alright, enough of that. Here’s where I’m at:

All Picks: 66-52, 55.9%
ESPN Leaderboard Rank: 5303, 97%
Super Hot Sizzling Picks: 12-9 (57.1%)
Bankroll: $1,088 (+$88 total)

Feeling pretty good to be at 56%, as I’m ahead of a few other popular handicappers/predictions systems (and of course, I’m behind a number of others, but right now I want to focus on the positive):

Massey-Peabody, 62-54-2, 53.4%
ESPN FPI, 56-61-1, 47.9%

(this info comes from ThePredictionTracker.com)

OK, hooray for me, whatever. I could lose all 13 games this week, so let’s check it out.

2017_W09

The few times I say I’m feeling good about the current week’s picks, I end up not feeling good after the games have been played. Well, to heck with it, I feel good about these picks. I think there’s a lot of value in a few of them (see my Super Hot picks below), and I like that I’m taking a lot of dogs – nine – including the bigger spreads. Apart from my Super Hot picks, I really like Baltimore at Tennessee and Denver at Philadelphia. I think the Ravens are in about the same tier as the Titans, not sure why they’d be more than a field goal underdog; I know Philadelphia is “flying high now!” but I’m thinking the Broncos aren’t going to lose two fumbles (and possibly recover one as they’ve only recovered 2 fumbles all year) and recently promoted QB Brock Osweiler isn’t going to throw 3 picks (OK Brock, I’ve set the bar…you can throw 2, but not 3 picks).

SUPER HOT SIZZLING PICKS OF THE WEEK

Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants, Rams by 3.5
My ATS pick: New York

Bryan’s Composite Power Ratings – basically, the average of a bunch of popular NFL team rankings – has the Rams at #10 and the Giants at #25, so I can see how the Rams would be a road favorite:

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