Sports Picks – December 22nd, 2016

Football/Sports Update – Dec. 22nd, 2016

As the season winds down and the post season ramps up, a question remains: Will I, before the end of season, get a win with Applebee’s? Sadly, I paid a heavy price for having so much faith in the NFC North this week…

  • Night Football games

    As a test for next season, I’m extending my predictions to the 3+ major/special games per week. Due to how late in the season this was started, I am combining the record for these games each week, for a total of 9 games.

    How I did last week:

    • Thursday: Seattle Seahawks beat the Los Angeles Rams
    • Saturday: Miami Dolphins beat the New York Jets
    • Sunday: Dallas Cowboys beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    • Monday: Washington Redskins lost to the Carolina Panthers

    This puts my record for this at 3-1, a strong start and something to keep on for next season.

    My picks this week:

    • Thursday: New York Giants over the Philadelphia Eagles
    • Saturday: Cincinnati Bengals over the Houston Texans
    • Sunday (first game): Pittsburgh Steelers over the Baltimore Ravens
    • Sunday (second game): Denver Broncos over the Kansas City Chiefs
    • Monday: Dallas Cowboys over the Detroit Lions
  • Applebee’s Football Picks:

    Each week during the season the Applebee’s where I am from has a weekly $10 gift certificate for everyone who picks 5 winning teams of that week. They can pick any team they choose, though all 5 of their picks have to win to win the certificate. My record for last week was 3 and 2, with the NFC North teams blowing it for me. My season record is 0 and 15, with an overall record this season of 44-34 in 78 games.

    Last Week’s Picks:

    • Minnesota Vikings lost to the Indianapolis Colts: Ironically, I got what I wanted – and didn’t want – at the same time.
    • Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears: This should have been more of a blowout than it was, and the fact that it wasn’t hurt the Packers more than it helped them.
    • Detroit Lions lost to the New York Giants: This made me feel good, although losing this game bit me in the ass for the challenge. Thanks, NFC North!
    • Tennessee Titans beat the Kansas City Chiefs
    • Houston Texans beat the Jacksonville Jaguars

    This Week’s Picks:

    • Miami Dolphins over the Buffalo Bills: (EXP)
    • San Diego Chargers over the Cleveland Browns: This is worth noting for the anomaly discussed later with the Chicago Bears pick. (EXP)
    • Tennessee Titans over the Jacksonville Jaguars
    • Atlanta Falcons over the Carolina Panthers
    • New England Patriots over the New York Jets
  • Favorite Teams picks:

    Unless there’s good reason, I rarely choose my favorite teams in any of these contests – I don’t want to throw bad karma their way by picking them. (Yes, as silly as it sounds, sometimes I believe in luck!) My favorites are the Chicago Bears, a team I grew up with and enjoy watching/cussing out, and the Green Bay Packers, another team I enjoy watching and have current local ties to. (I am also an odd duck, since these are rival teams, and their fans like to razz me for it. When they play each other, Bears over the Packers.)

    To be fair, I also pay attention to the other NFC East teams, in particular the Minnesota Vikings (a rival to both of my faves, though a favorite of many of my friends – #3 in ranks of who I want to win) and the Detroit Lions (with no friend ties, this team could go 0-16 like they did a few years back and it wouldn’t bother me much – I just don’t want them to beat my teams.)

    My record last week was 1 and 2 with the games above. My overall record is 9 and 8 in 17 games.

    My picks last week were:

    • Because all of my picks were listed in the Applebee’s contest above, and the Green Bay Packers the only NFC North team to win, my record for last week is 1-2.

    My picks for this week are:

    • My pick for the Detroit Lions is listed for Monday Night.
    • Minnesota Vikings over the Green Bay Packers: I’m hoping to be wrong on this one, especially with the suck streak Minnesota has gone through lately. However, the Packers barely beat the Bears and the Vikings are statistically on both sides of the ball. Aaron Rodgers hasn’t been getting the rest he needs, and the Packers are pretty banged up, so as much as I want the Packers to win this one (and shut a few of my Vikings friends up,) It’s hard to give it to them this week. (EXP)
    • Chicago Bears over the Washington Redskins: This one is experimental, so hear me out. Statistically, the Redskins trounce the Bears in most of the categories on nfl.com, and the only real visible thing benefitting the Bears is home field advantage. What makes this experimental – and you might have noticed this on a couple of other games I’m calling – is an efficiency rating, where the average amount of yards is divided by the average points per game, AND THEN compared to other stats such as points allowed and third down conversions. Most of the teams so far that I’ve tested (only a handful) had the team that was statistically worse with a lower score in efficiency; however, the Bears scored higher than the Redskins (19 to 16), which favors closer to the points allowed by the Redskins than their average points. With the Bears going fishing anyway after next week, I might as well use them as test subjects when they produce anomalies like this. (EXP)

Again, Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah/Happy Holidays – One more week after this! See you next week!

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