Culture of Hoops

Steaming Hot Picks Week 5

Image courtesy of Mike Morbeck/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Mike Morbeck/Flickr.

After a quarter of the NFL season being in the books, now trends and teams really start to take shape. Four games is a perfect sample size in order for you and I to have even more of a reason to pick who we pick.

As a great philosopher once said: “Women lie, men lie, but numbers don’t lie!”

There may be nothing more true on this planet than those song lyrics. Although I doubt Lil’ Wayne was referring to football handicapping, it certainly makes sense.

Like, if I told you to take the Jacksonville Jaguars +3 this week on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, you would tell me to pound sand because the Jags are “bad.” I wouldn’t argue with you but the numbers say that Tampa Bay is 0-2 at home against the spread this season and Jacksonville’s only win this year came on a grass field when they were underdogs. An awfully similar situation to this week.

Don’t make that bet, but I just showed you how a good sample of of games can give you something to go off of. The more games played the better understanding of betting trends.

Here’s a betting trend:
I’m 7-5 on the season and last week the Chicago Bears vs. Oakland Raiders game was one half point away from giving me my first 3-0 week! If you’ve stuck with me so far this year you’re still winning and clearly smarter than your friends. Let’s you and I keep the winning spirit alive this week and if you want, tell those not so smart friends of yours. They might be smarter because of it.

Straight bet of the week: Green Bay Packers (-8.5) vs St. Louis Rams
The Rams proved last week that they can only beat the good teams within their division. They beat the Seattle Seahawks and handed the Arizona Cardinals their first loss of the year last week. Not to mention rookie running back Todd Gurley rushed for 100 yards last week… in the fourth quarter. So why would I bet against them?

Well, aside from the fact that I’m not ready to put Gurley in the Hall of Fame yet, the Packers aren’t in their division and their quarterback is Aaron Rodgers. You know, just the guy who has tossed 11 scores this season without turning the ball over once. Even scarier for the Rams is the game is at Lambeau. The place where the last time Rodgers chucked an interception, Caitlin Jenner was still using the men’s room. That’s a long time ago. Long enough ago that Rodgers probably forgets how to turn the ball over at home. Long enough ago that the Rams still suck. Go Pack!

O/U of the week: New Orleans Saints vs Philadelphia Eagles over 49 1/2
There is a silly assumption in the NFL about the Eagles. Many teams think that the Eagles have a bad defense, contributing to their 1-3 start. I am here to give you the truth, with a number. Two. Two because the Eagles are the second best team against the run in the league so far this season. Two is also the amount of rushing touchdowns the Eagles defense has allowed this season. Finally, two is also the number of times the Saints run the ball every game.

The Saints are the proud owners of the the worst statistical defense in the league, so they always have to throw the ball. Plus, as I just told you, Philadelphia will not allow them to run the ball. Bad news for Philly. I said they were good against the run, they are horrible against the pass, allowing 200 or more yards a game up through the air. This has the makings to be one of the highest scoring games of the year. Two defenses that cannot stop the pass against offenses that are excellent at airing it out. This should be over by the end of the first half.

Three team tease of the week:
Atlanta Falcons (-7)
Seattle Seahawks (+3)
New England Patriots (-8)

Falcons (+2) vs. Washington Redskins
The Falcons are a new team! No team scares them, their defense is fierce and they force-feed Julio Jones, which clearly leads to a ton of points. All of these changes have been brought on by new head coach Dan Quinn. The culture has changed and they are a 4-0 force to be reckoned with. A matchup to pay attention to is Devonta Freeman who has seven touchdowns in two weeks up against the league’s best run defense in the Washington Redskins. Either way, Atlanta stays undefeated, and you’re already getting poonts!

Seattle Seahawks (+12) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first saw the Seahawks were underdogs especially to an unproven team such as the Bengals. Yes, they are 4-0 although they haven’t played any very good teams, but they will this week. With Kam Chancellor on the field the Seahawks haven’t allowed a passing touchdown in 18 regular season quarters. That’s a great defense and good defense always travels well even if it is from one coast to another. And even if “Big Red” and the Bengals surprise me, which they wont, you’re getting 12.

New England Patriots (+1) vs. Dallas Cowboys
Three words: Scorched. Earth. Tour.

But if you need something more than that check out my preview of this game.

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