Saturday, October 17, 2015

NFL Week 6: This Picking ATS Winners Thing is Becoming So Easy

Coming off my first Westgate Contest (three years running) undefeated week, and a weekend in Vegas with The Legend, Beaver from Sterling, Bernie Sanders, and others, we're looking to continue the springboard with five more winners this Sunday.

After three rounds of golf and a couple afternoons at The Legend's abode, located in an "affluent, gated community" 20 minutes off the Vegas Strip, I am safe and sound back in the DMV, rested and refreshed for more climbing up the leaderboard. Going into this past weekend, "The Yack" was in about 700th place out of the 1,700 or so that entered the contest. The 4-0-1 weekend propelled us almost 400 spots up to 313th place, which is in the Top 20%. Our 15-9-1 record thru 5 weeks (including an impressive 6-1 ATS on our barking dogs-ruff-ruff!) gives us 15.5 points, 5.5 points behind the leader who has 21 points, after his sick 21-4 ATS opening 5 weeks. Onward and upward, beeeotches....

Washington (+6) at NY Jets
The Jets are coming off their bye week, after dismantling the Dolphins in the country of crooked teeth and wrong way driving. The Redskins are coming off a heart breaking loss to the possibly fraudulent Atlanta Falcons. Both teams have been very stingy defensively; the Jets (2nd) and the Redskins (6th) are playing it pretty tight to the vest.

Ryan Fitzpatrick: Not a Member of The Dollar Shave Club
The Redskins- other than their short week trip up to this same stadium a few weeks ago- have been in virtually every game. Other than that Thursday night loss to the G-Men, they've been tied or held the lead in the fourth quarter of the other four games they've played.

The Jets are pretty one dimensional. Granted, their one dimension is in the form of Chris Ivory, who is posting a league leading 104 yards/game rushing, but Ryan Fitzpatrick is no Broadway Joe. He's 27th in the league in yards passing per (231), and like his counter part Mr. Cousins, tends to throw some picks (7 TDs, 6 INTs). On paper, this game is pretty even. See the QBs, the young coaches, each team's running game, and their before mentioned defenses. The series between these two franchises is 8 wins Washington, 2 wins NY Jets, and the Jets have never beaten the Redskins in the Meadowlands. 23-20 Redskins in OT, ruff-ruff.

Kansas City at Minnesota (-4)
The Chiefs are coming off their second fourth quarter collapse in the last four weeks, which led them to losing their 4th game in a row. To compound this debacle, was the fact that they've also lost Jamal Charles for the year. Rumor has it that Andy Reid is looking into getting gastric bypass surgery that can remove excess horseshit coaching genes/cells, while allowing him to continue pounding cream filled chocolate donuts during film sessions.

Other than their head scratching Week 1 loss to the nubby 49ers, the Purple People Eaters have been pretty solid this season. They took care of business against both Detroit and San Diego, and hung around and covered at Denver prior to going on bye this past weekend. And now they get a team who can't get out of its own way.

The Chiefs are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 overall, and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games. Adrian Peterson's 5.0 yards/per carry, coupled with the Chiefs 27th ranked defense against the pass, should allow for usual game manager Teddy Bridgewater to look like Fran Tarkenton in this one. The Chiefs debacle will continue, and Andy Reid will start hearing the whispers. In between bites of his Philly cheese steak, of course. 31-13 Vikings.

Denver (-4.5) at Cleveland
Josh McCown has been on a bit of a heater lately. He put up 356 yards and 2 touchdowns two weeks ago at San Diego in a tough 3 point loss, and then last week he set a Browns franchise record when he threw for 457 yards in Cleveland's overtime win at Baltimore. Those numbers are all fine and dandy against San Diego's 15th ranked defense and Baltimore's 24th, but McCown will be in all sorts facing Denver's #1 ranked defense this Sunday.

Everyone (including this guy) is just waiting for Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense to explode. Considering their miracle comeback against the Chefs in week 1 was capped off by a defensive fumble return for a touchdown, the Bronocs offense has yet to clip the 30 point mark in any of their first five games. In fact, they're averaging a pedestrian 22 points/per contest.

I think this is the week, tho. McCown is playing over his head, and is due to start playing like Josh McCown, and the Brownies are yielding a league's worst 5.05 yards/per carry, giving up 149 yards/per game on the ground. This should help both a struggling Denver run game, and their senior citizen future HOF quarterback, whose looking for his first big game of the 2015 campaign.

The Broncos are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games in October, and have covered 4 straight against the Browns. This might not be a blowout, but I think the Browns will never be in this game. 27-14 Broncos.

Houston (Pick'em) at Jacksonville
Fantasy Owners Will Be Pleased With This Guy on Sunday
The Texans are not very good. And you should never bet on not very good teams on the road, especially when they're close to almost laying points. But I'm laying out a caveat here, as the Texans will turn to who I think is a better than average Quarterback in Brian Hoyer, and they'll have Arian Foster back for the second consecutive week. And I think this is a HUGE under the radar element of this game.

For one, Brian Hoyer moves the ball. He did so when in Cleveland, and if not for some homeless guy who told the Browns' owner who to draft, Hoyer would still be in Cleveland and would be starting. And Foster is just a horse. He lines up as a back, he lines up in the slot, he's literally all over the field when the Texans are on offense, and he's hard to defend.

The Jags are giving up 29 points/per game, second worst in the league only to Tampa's 29.6. This, coupled with their below average overall defense (19th), will yield yards and points to a Houston team, who has yo-yo'ed between Ryan Mallett and Hoyer, putting up over 300 yards/game in the air (4th overall in the entire league). The road team is 6-1-1 ATS in the last 8 match ups between these two. Maybe the worst game on the card this weekend, from a fan's/viewing point of view, but I don't discriminate against pigs when it comes to big fat ATS winners. 24-20 Texans.

Carolina at Seattle (-7)
I like betting on teams the week after heartbreaking, sometimes meltdown losses. Unless, of course, they're named the Kansas City Chiefs. I'm not sure what happened to the Seahawks last weekend in Cincinnati during the 4th quarter, but it kept my Week 5 record blemish free (got the push), and it will provide the fire that lights their asses this weekend.

Carolina is the same Carolina team that they've been for the last few years. Good, but not great. And Newton is a good game manager, whose stats reflect as much. So when it comes to big boy games, they fold like cheap suits (See the Panthers, last year in the playoffs at Seattle). I realize that you can only play your schedule, but the Panthers 4-0 record is a bit deceiving. None of their first four opponents have winning records, and they were one play away from a home loss against 2-4 New Orleans. (Yes, the Seahawks were one play away from losing to (at the time) 0-3 Detroit, but don't let this fact get in the way of my argument. Spoken like a true liberal, right?)

Give me the Seattle home field advantage, mix in the league's #1 ranked rushing offense (142 yards/per game), and complete that trifecta with Seattle's Top 5 ranked defense. Generally speaking, that's a recipe for an ATS winner. Carolina is 1-5 ATS in their last 5 meetings with the S'Hawks. 23-10 Seahawks. 

Last Week                   4-0-1 ATS
YTD                         15-9-1 ATS

**lines are from the Westgate Sportsbook, 10-15-2015**Follow this blog on Twitter, @sportsyack

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