2018 Blazing Five (Week 16)
Got a 4-1 record in B5 last week – so, ‘.500’ YTD…glad to see you again after several weeks under water. As up and down as this season has been…getting to .500 feels, at least, safe. If the worst thing that happens is a .500 season after not really finding a great wave to ride this season…I take it, learn from it, move on to next season.
If I can get another 4-1 type week…I can, perhaps, end up with a solid showing among the guys here. Maybe we get to 53%+ with two good weeks to finish…or not. The picks The Computer is giving me this week look crazy and doomed, therefore they are probably pretty smart. I made a deeper change to my computer models, in one weighted area of team/wager analysis, last week and got a 4-1 result…so, I’ll follow The Computer into peril here this week.
My not for the faint of heart picks are (and I’m not putting my real money on any of them because none seem super-strong, not like MINN last week or Indy most weeks)…
Blazing Five Records After Week 15 (corrected from errors on missing games last week):
43-30-2 = Skolman
41-31-3 = Katz
36-35-4 = Savage
36-36-3 = RC
34-37-2 = Rabbitt
*14-12-0 when 3 or more of our group agrees on a B5 pick.
TB at DAL (-7.0)
The Computer says: TB by 4.3 (Point Spread Differential = 11.3)
I have no earthly idea why The Computer loves TB so much…it’s been a lot of false hope and near misses a bunch, but consider the Bucs last 5 games (in order)…
Lost NYG by 3, beat SF and CAR, had NO down at the half and were controlling them and then lost by 14, lost to BAL last week, but were in it…in a downpour. They’ve been decent/good the past 5 games. It’s a decent TB team that’s defense is getting better (three of last 4 opponents held to 20 or less). Winston and a lot of young players playing for their lives vs. an overrated, high-profile Dallas team…I’m starting to see thru the craziness here (which means Dallas 40-0 win).
ATL (-3.5) at CAR
The Computer says: CAR by 5.8 (Point Spread Differential = 9.3)
Late breaking move to Carolina by The Computer – Debut/out-of-nowhere, more ‘unknown’ QBs have had a nice run their first game this season (remember Mullens a god on MNF, Barkley, Daniel, Driskel, Darnold debut, Mayfield debut, Osweiler 2018 debut game beats CHI, Josh Johnson wins…).
Heinicke has a lot of time with Norv Turner back to their Minnesota days. He’s been working with the first team for weeks (Cam not practicing as much to preserve his shoulder). He’s not as out of the loop as some forced QB starts this season.
Home dog + ‘unknown’ QB = I’ll take the points.
MIN (-6.0) at DET
The Computer says: DET by 1.4 (Point Spread Differential = 7.4)
The Computer has been pro-Detroit a lot this year, and thinks they win this game outright. Home dogs are really doing well this season and especially of late.
The Vikings are nothing so special either…getting gashed on the ground the last three weeks and just lost their one good ILB (Kendricks).
HOU at PHI (-1.5)
The Computer says: PHI by 7.3 (Point Spread Differential = 5.8)
This is the game that, to me, has the most intriguing internals pointing to a clear win by a favorite this week – Nick Foles delivering a beat down to the overrated Texans. This line keeps moving in favor of Philly…so, the Sharks are in on it too.
BAL at LAC (-4.0)
The Computer says: LAC by 1.0 (Point Spread Differential = 5.0)
The Computer shows some signs of a Ravens outright upset, but a lot of betting factors point to the Chargers as a safer pick. I just see too many signs of an upset…and I get 4pts to find out.
MIA -3.5...I think the home road splits for these two teams give us some value. Even before the miracle...Miami played the Pats close...Jaguars on the road are not good and once they get behind it only gets worse.
MIN -6...I’m sticking with my gut feeling that (starting last week) the Vikings are closing the season 3-0 ATS.
CLE -8.5...I’m caught up in the Baker Mayfield video on twitter asking the crowd to bring it for the last home game of the season. Maybe the most overpriced team of the week but I’m willing to pick two blowouts over their in state rival this season.
NO -6...Saints are the best team in the NFL. They’ve been overvalued the past few weeks but I don’t feel like they are expensive here...this team has a super home field advantage and they played the last 3 on the road. Steelers are off their Super Bowl (since they aren’t making the real Super Bowl).
OAK +3...I’ve been fascinated all year that the Raiders fans have supported a team that is leaving them...pretty awesome of them. Gruden said this week they want to win the last home game for the fans in Oakland. I think they get it outright.
Lions +6 - This line is about 3 points too high. The Lions aren't quitting and the Vikings aren't that good. It's a divisional matchup and it will be a close game.
Falcons -3 - The Panthers offense is so used to operating with Cam, I don't know how they'll handle having Taylor Heinecke under center. The Falcons have been dead for weeks but are still somewhat showing up, and I think they take advantage of this opportunity.
Seahawks +2.5 - It would be so fitting of Andy Reid to blow this game and drop to the 5 seed.
Bears -4 - Hard to trust either team coming off huge divisional wins, but the Bears need to keep winning to keep the pressure on the Rams for the 2nd seed. I like to think the Bears learned from their road loss to the Giants a few weeks ago and will show up focused for this game. I wouldn't be surprised if this game is 30-3 at halftime and we all wonder why the spread was so low.
Jaguars +3.5 - It's really hard to imagine the Dolphins finishing 7-1 at home. Its a short trip for the Jags and I think they keep it close.