This week in addition to three regular picks, I'm going to make a couple of interesting non-traditional picks.
No matter how much was being bet on the big favorites last week, none of their lines really moved off the 14 mark in Vegas. This one however, opened at 14.5 and there have been no signs of any value action taking the points. Tamba Bay has lost by 1 possession to two very bad teams in Carolina and Washington, but has lost by 13 or more points to everyone else. While 14.5 is a lot of points, one of the great things about picking the Patriots is that they won't let up until they have a comfortable lead, which for them is at least 4 TDs. With the trip to England being a once a year thing for only two teams, one can only guess that in terms of preparation Belichick's edge is even bigger than usual.
I think last week's Phi-Oak game was a complete outlier and Oakland will go back to being very very bad again. Not counting Oakland's first game, where their rushing attack came out and ran all over the Chargers, Oakland has been averaging 8.4 points per game. Even without Kris Jenkins, that Jet defense should still be good enough to handle Oakland. The Jets' passing offense had been struggling even before last week's stinkbomb against the Bills. Oakland's defense only seems to give up big games to high powered offenses that can go deep, which the Jets really can't do.
Washington is just really really bad and the Eagles have a good history of bouncing back from embarrassing games. Philly always mails in some random away game every year, but it rarely signals that the wheels have come off. If Philly was playing any other team that was last in their division, this line would be 10 or higher. Yet Washington really is no better than any one of those other cellar dwellers.
Extra Pick #1
Over in 4th quarter as long as it's under 14.
Minn and Pitt have both given up an average of more than 10 points each in the fourth quarter of their games this season. Add that to the fact that both Favre and Roethlisberger are known for fourth quarter comebacks, they could easily score 2 touchdowns in the last 3 minutes alone.
Extra Pick #2
There are many paired and hedged trading strategies, so why not use those strategies on football picks?
Both NOS-6.5 and Over 47.5
We know that the Saints can and will score, as long as they have to. It seems significantly less likely that Miami will cover or win by shutting down that offense. Rather, if they make it close, it'll be from putting up a lot of points on their own, which they've been able to do when at home. I think the chances of winning both is significantly higher than the chances of losing both plus the juice on a push.