Thursday, September 25, 2014

NFL Week 4: Yo, Give Me My ATS Winners, Bitch!

NY Giants at Washington (-3.5)
Word on the street is that the Special Olympics is filing a trademark complaint against the Redskins for using the name "Special Teams" when describing their players who handle kickoffs, punts, field goals, and extra points. Through 3 weeks of the 2014 campaign, their "Special" Special Teams unit have missed an extra point (along with New Orleans, the only other team to have failed to convert one this year), given up a 102 yard kickoff return for a touchdown, had a punt blocked that was returned for a touchdown, and in last week's 3 point loss to Philly (which included before mentioned KO return), kicker Kai Forbath missed a chip shot, 33 yard field goal. Not to mention they're DFL statistically in yardage yielded on kickoffs and bottom 10 in yardage yielded on punt returns.

But whatever you say, Mike Wise....The pressing problem at the moment for the Washington Redskins is Kirk "5 Career Starts" Cousins' inability to close games. That's on the journalistic level with the reporter who after being assigned to cover the sinking of the Titanic, opted to go with the headline: Cruise Ship's Bathroom Exhaust Fans Were Inoperable!

Speaking of Cousins, he's only ranked 1st in yards per game and he's got the 4th highest passer rating through not even 2 full games as the Redskins starter. And even after being held to just 6 points and 398 total yards in Week 1 at Houston, the Redskins now have the 2nd highest ranked offense in the entire league.

I pegged the Giants in a "due" role last week at home against the Texans. But I still think they've got problems and I would run from them in this week's role. Statistically, they're bottom 10 in the league in both total offense and defense. ATS, they're 1-7 in their last 8 in September, 3-7 last 10 following a SU and ATS win. Cousins and this offense are for real, and Eli will be running for his life. 27-13 Redskins.

Tennessee at Indy (-7.5)
If Jake Locker Can't Go, Charlie Gets The Nod
I guess when you're an NFL owner and you get pulled over during the off season shit faced out of your mind on drink and drug, Roger The Dodger gives you Denver and Philly in Weeks 1 and 2. And after starting off what some might deem a predictable 0-2 with that murderer's row of a start (although the Colts stuck around with Denver, and then they blew a 20-6 lead against Philly), Andy Luck and The Boys righted the ship last week in Jacksonville in a big way.

And like last week's cupcake in North Florida, the Colts will face another inferior offense in Jake Locker and the Tennessee Titans. And as of Thursday morning, Locker is apparently a GTD with a wrist injury. And if he doesn't go, some guy named Charlie Whitehurst (or is it "Manson"- google his picture) will start.  Through 3 weeks, the Titans are next to DFL in the entire league, averaging just 14 points/per, and Locker is averaging just 217 yards through the air. That's an offense I'd like to stick in an actual locker, and then forget the combination.

The Colts are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 as a 3.5-10 point favorite. They're also 14-2 ATS in their last 16 vs. a team with a losing record. Head to head, the Colts have won SU and covered 5 in a row. Consider Indy as your survivor team if you didn't use them last week. 38-17 Colts.

Jacksonville (+12.5) at San Diego
So I'm going from playing against one inferior team to making a case for playing another. And I hate to bet a team that I know is going to lose, and just hope they keep it close, but the factors here are telling me to do so, so just grin and bear it, bitches!

I love the Chargers. I'm on record saying that they will win the AFC this year. But the Chargers and the Jaguars are on the opposite ends of the football spectrum going into this game, and I believe it is going to collide into a pretty ugly, not so sexy game that the Chargers win, but not in a manner in which they anchor it.

How many more weeks in a row can Jacksonville get poleaxed? They are a professional football team, correct? I mean, at some point, that "being a professional football team" part will kick in, and they might actually punch someone in the face. Or at least keep it close doing so. They've started off the 2014 campaign with losses of 17, 31, and 27 points. Those beatings were so bad, that Roger Goodell admitted privately that he couldn't even watch the highlights.

Rookie Blake Bortles is getting his first professional start for the Jacks, after playing the second half last week against Indy, and now getting a full week of reps in practice. I like that. And I think his teammates will rally around him. And the Chargers have had a brutal first three weeks, and have pretty much come out smelling like a rose. Tough loss at a very good Arizona team, short week and then they beat the defending Super Bowl champs, and then they traveled across country and beat formerly 2-0 Buffalo. As British Nirvana wannabes Bush once said, "..come back down from this cloud." #TRAP  The Bolts are 0-4 in their last 4 as a 10.5 point or greater favorite. 22-14 Chargers.

Philadelphia at San Francisco (-5.5)
If there was ever a case to be made for a 3-0 team who could be 1-2 right now, its that of the 2014 Philadelphia Eagles. After spotting Jacksonville a 17 zippy lead in the first half of their Week 1 tilt, they then scored 34 unanswered points to eventually beat the hapless Jaguars. Then in two consecutive weeks, they won games they were completely outplayed in. Its time to pay the piper, Philly.

After seemingly starting off pretty ho-hum with a fairly easy win at Dallas in Week 1, the 49ers returned home to piss away a 20-7 4th Quarter lead to the Bears, in a game in which they turned the ball over 4 times. And then last week got punched square in their N-bomb dropping mouths, in a tough divisional loss at Zona.

I love Frisco in this spot. They need to keep winning to keep up with before mentioned Zona and their other divisional nemesis, Seattle. And I hate Philly here for all the reasons I mentioned in the first paragraph. Frisco is 24-8-3 ATS in their last 35 following an ATS loss. Philly is 2-10-1 ATS in their last 13 the week after allowing more than 350 yards of total offense (gave up 511 total yards to Washington). Helloooo, Frisco! 30-20 San Francisco. 

New Orleans (-3) at Dallas
I've played against the Cowboys for two straight weeks, and I'm not about to turn back now. Those sons of bitches stuck it up my high and mighty ass last week, coming back from a 21-0 deficit to not just sail my ship out of Cover Harbor, but to win the game outright. That 1 pm disaster, combined with the abortion of a final 6 minutes I saw in the Baltimore/Cleveland game (see my Cleveland +1.5 loss- nice play calling at the end, Kyle, you dick), is the reason I had to double up on my AA meetings this week. (All Alcohol parties, I sometimes attend).

In short, Dallas doesn't have the luxury this week of facing either Jake Locker or Austin Davis, like they did the prior two weeks. This dude, Drew Something or Other- he's got this big hairy mole on his face and he's a pretty good Quarterback- is coming to town, and Dallas' defense is going to get burned like my bunghole after a night of Anita's bean burritos and Budweisers.

I like this game in large part because myself and the rest of the world, is waiting for Drew Brees and the Saints offense to take off. And I believe this is the week that happens. I realize they lost in a shootout to Atlanta in week 1, but they were mostly contained in both their Week 2 loss at Cleveland and last week's 20-9 home win against the Adrian Peterson-less Vikings.

Dallas is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games, and for what its worth, 0-5 ATS in their last 5 Week 4 tilts. Conversely, the Saints are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 Week 4 match ups. Dallas will score, but the Saints will score a lot more. This is my strongest game on the board (3-0 ATS in "strong/Barking Dog of week" games). 38-23 Saints.

Last Week                                                          3-2 ATS
YTD                                                                  7-8 ATS (47%)
Reg. Season Since '09                      195-156-12 ATS (55%)

Follow along as we pursue excellence in the Las Vegas Hilton Super Contest
@Sportsyack on Twitter.

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