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I thought the computer was on the way to another 10 win ATS week, and then Jamison Crowder finally touched the ball at the end of the MNF football game and delivered a handicapping sucker punch. I'm sure we all benefit from luck as well as get burned by it betting football…but why do I remember the 'burns' much more?
The last-second Washington flip threw the computer to 9-7 ATS for the week…and sunk the Blazing Five to an awful 1-4. We were too hot coming in so we had to cool down, and we did so in head-shaking fashion.
The Computer: 39-26, 60.0% (all games ATS), 13-7 Blazing Five 65.0%
RC: 33-30 (all games) 11-9 Blazing Five
Here are The Computer's picks in order of biggest disparity it sees in the spread. I had a slight change in my formula with the new week's data and am using quarter points to help me with some of the visuals.
SEA at LAR (-1.0) *10.25 point spread variance
The Computer says Rams by 11.25
Almost every category favors the Rams here. The fact that Cliff Avril is now out…it makes this even juicier. I hear a lot of 'How are the Rams favored here?' nonsense on TV…it goes without saying they don’t really study these games. I can’t put into proper words how bad Seattle is and how good the Rams are, so I'll let the Computer show it by the number variance in the spread.
RC: I'm Rams all the way because I believe the Seahawks are a giant fraud.
*Computer 'Best Bet'. RC's 'Best Bet'
**And RC's radical survivor pick since many will use KC. This is where I'm 'going for it' in survivor.
JAX (+9.0) at PIT *9.00 point spread variance
The Computer says Steelers by 1.0.
Two great defenses go toe-to-toe here, how can you not take the nine-point gift? The Steelers have the better QB but the Jags have #1-2 secondary in the league. Likely, the Steelers win this but you can’t give 9.0 to the Jags here, you just can't.
RC: I wouldn’t be shocked if the Jags won and sent the Steelers into a tailspin.
KC (-1.0) at HOU *6.50 point spread variance
The Computer says Chiefs by 7.50
The computer sees most things favoring the Chiefs here. The Texans hung with a bad Patriots team and then shocked the Titans for a half and then whipped Matt Cassel. The Texans have serious O-Line issues and the Chiefs are just firing on all cylinders as usual in the regular season.
RC: I'll take KC as well. I'm not buying the Texans just yet.
BAL (+2.5) at OAK *6.25 point spread variance
The Computer says Ravens by 3.75
E.J. Manuel is bad enough but the Raiders are playing like garbage and now locker room strife rumors are hitting. The Computer sees an equally matched game of two bad teams. The QB makes the difference.
RC: I take the Ravens over E.J. Manuel any day. Not like the Ravens are anything great, but…
GB at DAL (-2.0) *5.75 point spread variance
The Computer says Dallas by 7.75
The difference in this game is the Dallas O-Line vs. the Packers banged up O-Line. If they get some of their guys back The Computer would see this a lot closer but still favoring home Dallas. The Cowboys have lost to good teams and beat the Rams in most categories except the final score. Green Bay has been living on easy street most of the season.
RC: The Dallas tour of tough opponent continues. This is kind of a must-win for Dallas or they could be 5-5 after 10 games and would need to win nearly every game to finish to make the playoffs/win the division. This is a very pivotal game that I think Dallas wins at home.
LAC (3.5) at NYG *4.50 point spread variance
The Computer says LAC -1.0
Two bad teams that are kinda mirror images of each other…complete with horrific coaches. The computer thinks the Chargers will win the LOS battle and discounts the home field to a degree because the fans will turn on this team if they get behind like they did vs. Detroit.
RC: I say 3.5 is too much to give for too bad teams at work, so just taking points just because.
BUF (+3.0) at CIN *4.25 point spread variance
The Computer says BUF -1.25
The Bills have a couple of key injuries – Humber and Jordan Matthews broke bones in Week 4. The computer thinks the Bills have enough to overcome and win or cover. This is an even game in the trenches but the Bengals are too turnover prone against a defense forcing them.
RC: I wouldn’t be shocked if the Bengals won this game, Vegas isn't either, apparently, but if you’re giving me 3.0 with the Bills, I'll take it for the win or cover.
TEN at MIA (+2.5) *3.25 point spread variance
The Computer says Miami by 0.75 if Mariota is out and Titans by 9.25 if a healthy Mariota starts.
This all comes down to Mariota playing or not, and how healthy he is. If he starts, the Computer takes TEN and if not it goes MIA. We think Mariota will not be active.
RC: Because of Matt Cassel and Miami at home…I go Dolphins, but gimme the Titans if Mariota goes.
NYJ at CLE (pk) *1.50 point spread variance
The Computer says CLE by 1.5.
The tale of the tape will be two things: (1) the Browns D-Line dominating the Jets, and helping the secondary…now that Myles Garrett is back. (2) Kevin Hogan delivers the Browns the win either as a surprise starter or in relief.
RC: I think the Jets have been more lucky than good and should be looking past CLE to their game next week hosting NE…which suddenly is a thing. They get trapped here.
MIN at CHI (+3.0) *1.25 point spread variance
The Computer says Vikings by 1.75
The Computer struggles with this due to no data on Trubisky just projections. The computer also assumes Keenum, if Bradford it's Vikes by 4+. The Computer will roll dice with the home dog here.
RC: I can’t not bet on Trubisky, right?
SF at IND (-1.0) *1.25 point spread variance
The Computer says Indy by 2.75
Is there anyone who thinks one team or the other has a clear edge over the other? Doesn’t QB favor Indy slightly? The Computer reaches for 'home' and lays the low points to the 49ers.
RC: I'll take SF to get their first win. They've been knocking on the door. The Colts have Andrew Luck's shadow now lurking.
NE (-5.5) at TB *0.75 point spread variance
The Computer says NE -6.25
The team (NE) that is having a hard time in pass protection faces the defense with 1.0 sacks on the season. Good news for Tom Brady. Tampa is likely missing its linebackers again and T.J. Ward. If NE loses Stephon Gillmore that will make this even closer. Slight lean to NE.
RC: I say New England has to win and knows to do that it has to score 40+ points, and they will. I don’t think Winston can get in a shootout with Brady without having a bad turnover or two.
ARI (+6.5) at PHI *0.50 point spread variance
The Computer says Philly by 6.0.
The Computer will stick to the math and take the points.
RC: I like Arizona because they've been a little scrappy, and with a win here they could wake up tied for first if Seattle beats LAR this week. Arizona has motivations…at least, enough to keep it close.
CAR (+2.5) at DET *0.25 point spread variance
The Computer says Detroit by 2.25
A very even matchup here so the Computer takes the points every so slightly.
RC: I will take Detroit because I think they're the better team and the post-Patriots win eases up the Panthers for a letdown the following week.