Thursday, October 11, 2012
NFL 2012: Week 6 - The Parody of Parity: Close Match-ups
No sport except perhaps NASCAR intervenes more to even up the playing field among competitors. In the NFL, there never could be a filthy wealthy New York Yankees overwhelming a marginally financed Pittsburgh Pirates. Market size doesn't matter. Who wouldn't love to have the Pittsburgh Steelers fortunes. With salary caps and schedule tweaks, the NFL strives to keep things in some kind of balance, but nevertheless, there certainly are premium franchises where shrewd management and strong organization keeps winners on the field from year to year. Certain teams are almost certain to be in the hunt when January comes around. Recent AFC history finds the Patriots, Ravens, and Steelers almost certainly in the playoffs as were the Indianapolis Colts until rebuilding time came around. In the NFC, recently the situation has been more tumultuous though certainly some organizations have been strong in recent years: Green Bay, the New York Giants, and Philadelphia.
This week almost every contest finds the odds makers going for less than a touchdown difference -- any given Sunday, the mighty can fall. Would anyone have seen the Indianapolis Colts beating the Green Bay Packers last week? How about Arizona beating New England in week 2?
In this context, perhaps we're weaseling out on why our predictions are below our typical success rate so far this year especially against the spread!!! Still we soldier on...
Pittsburgh (-5 1/2) @ Tennessee
The Steelers sure look like a sure bet here.
Dallas @ Baltimore (-3 1/2)
The still over rated and excessively hyped Cowboys will not walk away happy in Crab Town.
Oakland @ Atlanta (-9)
Atlanta is one of 2012's success stories. They'll prevail.
Cincinnati (-2 1/2) @ Cleveland
Cincinnati wins the first battle for Ohio in 2012. Cleveland cannot be taken for granted. They could pull the upset if the home crowd wakes up.
St. Louis @ Miami (-3 1/2)
Whoa, here's a tough call. Have to go with the fish in their own tank.
Indianapolis @ New York Jets (-3)
The Jets have been miserable so far this year but face an inexperienced but clearly enthusiastic team. On substance, we have to pick the Jets, but surprises could be in the wind.
Detroit @ Philadelphia (-5.5)
It's starting to look like Detroit's football revival was a short-lived phenomenon. They're not the guaranteed loser they had been for decades, but they're a team in turmoil and will lose to the tough Eagles.
Kansas City @ Tampa Bay (-3.5)
Toss up game. We pick the home team.
New England (-3.5) @ Seattle
Don't worry, the Patriots will prevail.
Buffalo @ Arizona (-5)
Arizona's not as good as their fast start but at home against the Bills, they'll do fine.
New York Giants @ San Francisco (-5.5)
The tables are turned this year. The Giants are struggling to look like defending champs against erhaps the team to beat in the NFC.
Minnesota @ Washington (-2.5 only one report)
Las Vegas didn't like this game and neither do we. We'll go for the home team, the Landover Maryland Redskins. (or is it Ashburn, Virginia?)
Green Bay @ Houston (-5.5)
The Packers face the toughest team in the AFC so far this year. The Texans have the edge.
Denver @ San Diego (-2.5)
Peyton Manning hasn't fully taken charge in Denver yet, but San Diego? They're the ultimate under achievers. The Chargers should win, but this is another surprise in the makings.