Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wildcard Picks (And results from preseason picks)

Week 17 recap:

13-3 straight up
9-7 against the spread
10-6 over/unders

Total Regular Season: 

167-87-1 straight up (65.7%)
133-113-1 against the spread (54.1%)
77-66-4 over/unders (53.8%)

Overall, a very solid season of picks. Much better than last year (61.5%/50.4%)  Nearly tied my ATS record from 2011 (54.3%).  With a successful string of playoff picks, I can get to 55%.  

In other news, Gym Shorts was fired on Black Monday, and the Lion Faithful rejoiced.  Still a lot to be determined though. Who will coordinate the offense?  Who will compose the secondary?  What receivers will be added to complement Calvin?   What will we do with the #10 pick?  And most importantly, who will be the head coach?  Assuming the Gruden/Cowher/Dungy group is not interested, I have to think Lovie Smith is at the top of Detroit's list.  He knows the NFC North, he is a 4-3 defense guy, and he went to a Superbowl with Rex Grossman.  That's my choice.   

But knowing the Lions, they'll try their chances with the 'hot coordinator' routine, once again. We have seen how that works out.  Marty, Marinelli, Schwartz.  None of them were real coaches.  Chances are, we'll hire Denver's O-coordinator or Seattle's D-coordinator or something obnoxiously cliche like that.  Ugh.  Is it Tigers season yet?  

*EDIT*  The damn Bucs just signed Lovie Smith.  The Lions are interviewing Jim Caldwell (who went 2-14 a couple years ago in one of the most pathetic coaching displays of all time).  I hate the Lions.  

Before we get to the Wildcard picks, a quick revisit to my preseason prop bets.

Team over/unders: 

Atlanta - under 10 wins (Bet $20 at -150 odds, won $13.33)
Cleveland - under 6 wins (Bet $45 at +145 odds, won $65.25) 
Detroit - under 8 wins *Shakes head slowly in disbelief* (Bet $25 at even odds, won $25) 
Jacksonville - under 5 wins (Bet $35 at -130 odds, won $26.92) 
New England - over 10.5 wins (Bet $45 at +120 odds, won $54) 
New Orleans - over 9 wins (Bet $20 at -150 odds, won $13.33) 
Oakland - under 5.5 wins (Bet $30 at -200 odds, won $15) 

Baltimore - over 8.5 wins (Bet $40, lost $40) 
Cincinnati - under 8.5 wins (Bet $35, lost $35) 
Green Bay - over 10.5 wins (Bet $40, lost $40) 

7 out of 10 is pretty good.  If Rodgers stayed healthy I would have been 8 of 10.  As it was, I was up by $97.83. 

Then there's the team prop bets: 

Atlanta doesn't make the playoffs.  (Bet $25 at +135 odds, won $33.75) 

Indianapolis does make the playoffs.  (Bet $30 at +145 odds, won $43.50)
New Orleans does make the playoffs.  (Bet $30 at -150 odds, won $20)
Oakland doesn't make the playoffs.  (Bet $20 at -2000 odds, won $1) 
Indy wins the AFC South.  (Bet $35 at +240 odds, won $84) 
Green Bay wins the NFC North.  (Bet $40 at -140 odds, won $28.57)

Baltimore makes the playoffs. (Lost $20)
Miami makes the playoffs (Lost $20)
Tampa makes the playoffs (Lost $35)
Washington makes the playoffs (Lost $35)
Baltimore wins the AFC North (Lost $50)
New Orleans wins the NFC South (Lost $30)
St. Louis wins the NFC West (Lost $15)

Calgary wins the CFL Grey Cup (Lost $10)

So I won $210.82 and lost $215, for a net loss of $4.18.  Not bad I guess.  Shouldn't have taken those fliers on Miami and St. Louis, though the payout would have been hefty.  

My player prop bets went 0 for 11, for a total loss of $190, unless Gio Bernard somehow wins Rookie of the Year, which would get me $360.  (He was on track until stinkin' Eddie Lacy and Keenan Allen came along).  I had some decent picks here, especially Jamaal Charles to win the rushing title, but ended up with an 0-fer. 

Still a few team prop bets with a chance of paying out.  My three Super Bowl bets were New Orleans, New England and Green Bay.  Saints would win me $360, Pats would net $250, and Packers $420.   I don't think any of them have a good chance, but I figure 3 out of 12 is a decent shot.  

Lastly, my player over/unders. I did one per team.  Here are the results. 

Rashard Mendenhall - under 750 rushing yards  (Bet $20 at -115 odds, won $17.39) 
Osi Umenyiora - under 8.5 sacks  (Bet $40 at -115 odds, won $34.78) 
Greg Hardy - over 8 sacks  (Bet $40 at -115 odds, won $34.78) 
Brandon Marshall - under 102.5 receptions  (Bet $20 at -115 odds, won $17.39)
Andy Dalton - over 15.5 interceptions  (Bet $20 at -115 odds, won $17.39) 
Wes Welker - under 90.5 receptions  (Bet $20 at -115 odds, won $17.39)
Calvin Johnson - over 1,405 receiving yards  (Bet $20 at -115 odds, won $17.39)

Calvin Johnson - over 10 receiving TDs  (Bet $20 at -115 odds, won $17.39)
JJ Watt - under 15.5 sacks  (Bet $40 at -115 odds, won $34.78)
Andrew Luck - over 250 rushing yards  (Bet $20 at -115 odds, won $17.39)
Blaine Gabbert - under 10.5 games started  (Bet $20 at -115 odds, won $17.39)
Dwayne Bowe - under 1,000 receiving yards  (Bet $20 at -115 odds, won $17.39)

Ryan Tannehill - over 14.5 interceptions  (Bet $20 at -115 odds, won $17.39)
Danny Amendola - under 950 receiving yards   (Bet $20 at -115 odds, won $17.39)
Drew Brees - over 4,700 passing yards   (Bet $20 at -115 odds, won $17.39)
Dee Milliner - over 2.5 interceptions   (Bet $20 at -115 odds, won $17.39)
Denarius Moore - under 750 receiving yards   (Bet $20 at -115 odds, won $17.39)
Michael Vick - under 3,200 passing yards   (Bet $40 at -115 odds, won $34.78)
Ben Roethlisberger - over 12.5 interceptions   (Bet $40 at -115 odds, won $34.78) 
Marshawn Lynch - over 10 rushing TDs  (Bet $20 at -115 odds, won $17.39)
Tavon Austin - under 75.5 receptions   (Bet $20 at -115 odds, won $17.39)
Doug Martin - under 1,200 rushing yards   (Bet $20 at -115 odds, won $17.39)
Matt Ryan more passing yards than Romo  (Bet $30 at +115 odds, won $34.50)
AJ Green more receiving yards than Andre Johnson  (Bet $40 at +105 odds, won $42)

Ray Rice - over 1100 rushing yards.  (Lost $20)
Steve Johnson - over 6.5 receiving TDs  (Lost $20)
Trent Richardson - over 9.5 rushing TDs  (Lost $20)
Tony Romo - over 4,440 passing yards  (Lost $20)
Calvin Johnson - over 100.5 receptions (Lost $20) 
Aaron Rodgers - over 38.5 passing TDs  (Lost $20)
Adrian Peterson - over 11.5 rushing TDs (Lost $20)
Hakeem Nicks - over 5.5 receiving TDs  (Lost $20)
Ryan Matthews - under 900.5 rushing yards  (Lost $20)
Colin Kaepernick - under 550 rushing yards *SO CLOSE*  (Lost $20)
Jake Locker - over 13.5 interceptions  (Lost $20)
Robert Griffin III - over 14.5 games started  (Lost $20)
Mike Munchak - first coach fired  (Lost $25) 
Any QB rushes for 1,000 yards  (Lost $35)
Any team goes 0-16  (Lost $20)
Von Miller more sacks than Clay Matthews (Lost $40)
Ray Rice more rushing yards than CJ Spiller (Lost $30)

24 correct, 17 incorrect.  Pretty good.  That makes for a total of $390 lost and a total of $546.03 won, for a net of $156.03.  

Add them all together, and because of those stupid player prop bets (0 for 11, lost $190) I'm at a net loss of $20.32.  So unless the Pack, Pats or Saints win the Super Bowl, it's another negative season for me.  I am starting to realize why Vegas makes money.  


Here are the Wildcard picks: 

Chiefs (11-5) @ Colts (11-5)
Predicted Line:  IND by 2.5
Actual Line:  IND by 3 

The Chiefs started out 9-0 and then went 2-5 to end the year.  Against playoff teams, they went 1-5 this season. Their quarterback is Alex Smith. They have no receivers.  Tamba Hali is still out.  

Indy, meanwhile, has a lousy defense, no running attack, and hasn't rebounded since losing Reggie Wayne.  It's just been Andrew Luck carrying the team on his back while going 6-0 against a pathetic division.  

So what gives?    

The best unit on the field will be the KC defense, and they'll keep the game low-scoring.  But in Lucas Oil Stadium, the Chiefs offense will have a tough time getting in the end zone, and we'll see something like a 10-6 game at halftime.  I like the points in a low-scoring matchup; let's say Indy 17-16.  
(Under 47) 

Saints (11-5) @ Eagles (10-6)
Predicted Line:  NO by 2

Actual Line:  PHI by 3 

I mean, I've been driving the Nick Foles Bangwagon for over a month, and even I don't understand how Philly should be favored in this game.  Philly's defense is horrendous against the pass; the Saints will score at will. Philly will be able to keep pace for a while, but Brees will pull away.  Saints 31-24. 
(Over 54) 

Chargers (9-7) @ Bengals (11-5)
Predicted Line:  CIN by 6
Actual Line:   CIN by 7 

Not only is Cincy 8-0 at home this season, they are 8-0 against the spread, which is downright incredible.  They scored 34 or more in 6 of those 8 home games, and in their last five home games the margins of victory have been:  40, 21, 14, 28, and 17.  In other words, San Diego is in trouble.  I'm taking the Bengals +7, not because of their offense, but because of their defense. Bengals 27-19.  
(Under 47)  

49ers (12-4) @ Packers (8-7-1)
Predicted Line:  SF by 3.5
Actual Line:   SF by 3 

Hard to believe it was just last year's playoffs when Colin Kaepernick ran for 181 yards (and threw for 263 more) to demolish the Packers, all while making the whole thing look completely effortless. The Niners outgained the Pack by 220 yards and dominated every facet of that game.  Fast-forward twelve months, and San Fran is even better than they were, and Green Bay is probably worse.

A few caveats though:  Eddie Lacy changes the complexion of this game, if he can generate any kind of a rushing attack against San Fran's front 7, which, granted, is unlikely.  But Green Bay had no running game last year to take the pressure off Rodgers.  This time, it's imperative, as Rodgers is still getting used to playing with a broken shoulder. 

Secondly, last year's playoff game was in California.  This one is in Wisconsin, with a forecast in the single digits. That favors a low-scoring game controlled by running the ball, which clearly favors the Niners. 
Ultimately, San Fran has the coaching edge, the personnel edge, and the biggest advantage of all:  the fact that Green Bay's defense flat-out sucks.  But, the Packers have two things San Fran doesn't:  homefield advantage, and Aaron Rodgers.  Let's see how that shoulder works.  

I have San Fran winning by 3 exactly, 27-24, but for the sake of the ATS pick, I'll say GB-3.  
(Over 47)  

Go Lions! 

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