PIGSKIN PICK’EM: WEEK 1

I’m breaking down my thought process while filling out my pigskin pick’em pool.
Already 1-0.

Miami +4.5 v. Atlanta.
Pinny line: -4
This is a great match-up of two teams that should have to deal with the wrong end of the law of averages this year. Both of these teams are pretty overrated based on playoff appearances, which leaves little angle. I’ll take the Dolphins and the points.
Chance of actual play: None.

Cincinnati -3.5 v. Denver
Pinny line: -4
This is somewhat funny on the grounds that a 4-11-1 team is laying 4(and the line has moved about 7 points) to an 8-8 team from last year. Then again, Denver is projected to be bad this season.
Chance of actual play: Small.

Cleveland +3.5 v. Minnesota
Pinny: +4
Tough getting 4 points against BrettFavreBrettFavreBrettFarve but this is the most obvious contrarian spot of the week, in my opinion. Cleveland was god awful last year and people are all over Minnesota. Based on the ESPN consensus the Vikes are the most popular team of the week.
Chance of actual play: High.

Jacksonville +6.5 v. Indianapolis
Pinny: +7
Please lose this game by a lot, Jacksonville.
Chance of actual play: Small.

Detroit +11.5 v. New Orleans
Pinny: +13
Not totally sure I want to give up 1.5 points in this, and this line is not particuarly appealing as a play, so I’ll just back the 0-16 team on principle.
Chance of actual play: Small.

Tampa Bay +3.5 v. Dallas
Pinny: +6
This will probably become a running theme in these posts, but at what point does it become the better idea to back the more popular team getting with a 2.5 pt edge on the current Vegas line. Tampa is the obvious contrarian spot, considering they are basically an afterthought in the NFC South, but if 6 really is the fair line, then Dallas is probably worth it at 3.5. Oh well, for now I’ll stick to TB.
Chance of actual play: 50-50.

Carolina -.5 v. Philadelphia
Pinny: +1
Again, the value of the movement suggests the Eagles, but I’d rather take the home team that is far less popular. It’s not like Vegas didn’t know what they were doing when they set the opening line.
Chance of actual play: Small.

Baltimore -8.5
v. Kansas City
Pinny: -13
In this case, Vegas didn’t know what they were doing when they set the line. Cassel’s injury concerns have pushed the line all the way up to 13. Kansas City is the second least popular team on ESPN this week, but 4.5 points is too good to pass up with the extenuating circumstances. Keep an eye on this one, though because if the line drifts back down because of Cassel’s health than KC is probably the play.
Chance of Actual Play: 50-50(On KC)

Houston -4.5 v. NYJ
Pinny: -4.5
I couldn’t think of any conceivable angle in this one, so I took the home team.
Chance of actual play: None.

Washington +6.5 v. NYG
Pinny: +6.5
Redskins are slightly less popular on ESPN, but nothing crazy for an underdog. I think they remain underrated when compared to the Eagles, Giants and Cowboys so I’ll take the Redskins here.
Chance of Actual play: Small.

San Francisco +6.5 v. Arizona
Pinny: +6
Always take the points against a team as overrated as the Cardinals. Problem is, San Fran should be pretty overrated too, at least compared to their surface record of 7-9 last season. Rooting for Arizona by three touchdowns and passing, isn’t a bad idea either.
Chance of Actual Play: Small.

St. Louis +7.5 v. Seattle
Pinny: +9
This one was growing on me until I saw the line movement.
Chance of Actual Play: Moderate.

Green Bay -3.5 v. Chicago
Pinny: -3.5
Chicago seems to be getting more hype and Green Bay was incredibly unlucky last year. I’m a little concerned by the fact that the projections say even with better luck they still won’t be all that good this year, but I have to make a pick in this game.
Chance of actual play: Small.

San Diego -6.5 v. Oakland
Pinny: -9
2.5 points and a absurd projection from FO for San Diego are enough to swing me in favor of the way more popular Chargers.
Chance of actual play: Small(on Raiders)

Buffalo +10.5 v. New England
Pinny: -10.5
Your classic crappy unpopular team, vs. Good popular team. I think you know who I am taking.
Chance of Actual play: Small.

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