My season long totals are here.
Against the Spread: 123-112-7
Straight Up: 155-87
Wild Card Round Picks (edit, as it turns out, I have the exact same picks, all the way through, as Peter King - this is unsettling)
Seattle +10.5 Saints (NO wins game) win/loss
Colts -2.5 Jets loss/loss
Ravens -3 Chiefs win/win
Packers +2.5 Eagles win/win
ATS - 3-1
SU - 2-2
So, here's what that would leave us.
Ravens at NE
Colts at Steelers
I'm going to take the Patriots and Steelers regardless of opposition. And were they to meet in the conference title, as I'd expect, I'll take the Patriots. I'll take NE over anyone in the AFC, and were they to be upset, I'd take Pittsburgh over anyone else.
Packers at Atlanta
Saints at Chicago
I like the Packers/Philly winner to go to the Super Bowl. I liked GB to make it before the season started, and still do. In this scenario, I like the Packers going to Chicago and beating the Bears in the title game. Let's assume the Saints win this weekend; if the Eagles win, I'd take the Falcons over the Saints and the Eagles over the Bears - and then the Eagles going to Atlanta to beat the Falcons in the title game.
I'm going to take either Patriots or Steelers over the Packers in the Super Bowl. But probably take the Packers plus any number over a field goal. If it's not the Packers, but any other team from the NFC, probably the number would have to get to double digits before I'd take the NFC dog. Id like the Packers over any other team from the AFC. I'd like the Eagles over any other team from the AFC, with the possible exception of Baltimore.
So - my SB is NE over GB. Probably taking GB plus the points.
So, why should you listen to me?
Well, perhaps because of my pre-season picks.
Here's where I brag. We've reached that part of the post.
I do a lot of sports prognostication here; if there's one piece of advice I am most certain about it is the following: focus your investment not on picking individual games; there are too many variables to consistently make good decisions. It's like betting if a stock will go up or down in the next 3 and a half hours. New England was the best team in football over the course of the regular season. But they could play a bad half of football at the wrong time and it ends their season.
16 games is a longer run. If your analytical system is sound - you can, in football, baseball, and basketball consistently make good investment decisions based on the season win totals. As I did in my pre-season picks, where I try to really focus in on where the good buys are.
Here is every single season long win total I expressed an opinion on in my pre-season picks; I expressed 13 opinions on the pre-season win totals (spoiler alert - I won every damn one of them).
1. New England 10-6
-Their over/under is 9.5 wins; if you can tease that down to 9, I don't see, absent a Brady injury, a circumstance where they don't win 9 games. Despite the Patriots dominance, they haven't gotten as much respect as they deserve from the public, particularly on the road - they're 34-19 against the spread on the road over the past six years. The reason for the excessive number of holdouts as we hit week one (Mankins is still out for NE) is there are players who would be unrestricted free agents if not for the uncapped year. I sort of want to be the only guy on the Patriots bandwagon this year - it seems to me as if it's a rare opportunity to buy low.
1. Baltimore 11-5
-Their over/under is 10; that's a good play. I don't see too many scenarios where they don't win ten games.
2. Pittsburgh 10-6
-I feel similarly, maybe a little less strongly, about the Steelers over/under, which is 9, as I do with the Ravens at 10.
4. Cleveland 3-13
-Their number is 5.5, the Browns have to win 6 games to beat you, that seems unlikely to happen
1. San Diego 9-7
-They don't have McNeil or Jackson; the 11 win over/under for San Diego is stealing money; if the Chargers go 12-4 and you do worse than push that bet, you can curse my name.
2. Kansas City 8-8
-the 6.5 total means a 7-9 season gets you paid, if you could tease the number down to 6, so the Chiefs would have to go 5-11 for you to be a loser, that makes lots of sense.
1. New York 10-6
-Their number is 8.5, if you can buy it down to 8, that would mean they'd need to go 7-9 to beat you; I maybe am overrating the Giants at 10 wins, but I think they're at least .500
2. Dallas 9-7
-They don't win 11 games, and their number is 10.
3. Philadelphia 9-7
-Same as NY; if you can buy down their 8.5 to 8, that's a play
2. Minnesota 9-7
-Their 9.5 total would look tempting if it were 10
1. Atlanta 10-6
-Their number is 9, they're more likely to win 11 than lose 8, it's a good play
2. New Orleans 9-7
-They don't win eleven games, and they need to if they want to beat the 10.5
4. Carolina 6-10
-Their 7.5 means it takes a .500 season to beat you.