Week 4 was one of those rare weeks for the NFL Predictor where picking Against the Spread had better results than just picking winners. If you're going to Vegas, that's always a good thing, but when you're in a contest picking winners it's not all that fun. Picking Against the Spread the Predictor was 10-4-1 (Steelers +3 Pushing), bringing our record on the season up to 34-27-2, or 55.6%. Thanks to a really nice week we're back above the break-even line of 52.4%. Picking winners was a sad 8-7, bringing our season total there to 37-26, well below where I want to be. Hopefully getting more data, and some health, will bring our numbers up.
I do know some of the numbers aren't looking like you'd expect, and it's a big limitation of my system: lack of changes for injuries. I know I've mentioned it in the past, but because it's a fairly simplistic, it doesn't account for injuries. In all reality though, only QBs make a significant impact on a point spread (as we saw with Andrew Luck Thursday, going from PK to +5.5 for the Colts by kickoff). Hopefully I'll get some time this offseason to try and make a slight change with a known QB change, but for now we're stuck with an inefficient model for a couple of teams.
SuperContest picks went 3-2 last week, bringing our season total to 14-6. Two easy winners, one quite bad pick, a GW Drive, and an OT loss that almost pushed. It happens. I can't use my auto-Panthers pick this week, as they are on Bye, but we'll try for another nice week with 3 Home Dogs getting too many points.
- Redskins +7 at Falcons
Going back to the same well with both teams here. Got a nice Home Dog win with the Redskins last week, and going against the Falcons, which didn't work out so well. Washington is playing much better than they're getting credit for, and I think they hang around here. Not sure they can actually win, but I'll take the 7 here.
- Bears +9 at Chiefs
This is more for the fact that the Chiefs shouldn't be 9 point favorites against anyone than about their opponent. Think Cutler keeps them in it, and the Bears Defense won't look so bad against the Alex Smith checkdown and screen game.
- Lions +2.5 vs. Cardinals
The Lions are much better than their record indicates, and I think they play an inspired game this weekend. Arizona is a much different team away from the desert, and showed some flaws last week.
- Cowboys +8.5 vs. Patriots
The Patriots are coming off of a bye, and the Cowboys are still missing Tony Romo, but I think they'll be able to move the ball against this Patriots Defense, especially on the ground with their Offensive Line. While NFL teams rarely look ahead, especially the Patriots, I think they might have peeked at the upcoming game during their bye week.
- Raiders +4.5 vs. Broncos
The last of our three home underdogs, this one I have the most confidence in. The Broncos are surviving with the best Defense in the NFL, but I think we'll see a minor hiccup here. Can't predict they'll win the game, but think Denver wins in a close, low-scoring game.
Here are the rest of your Week 5 picks, which have a lot of underdogs covering: