Week 1 featured plenty of sloppy football, and six losses by participants in last year’s playoffs. This week should tell us much more about who these teams will be for this season. Zach and Jonathan are here making their Week 2 NFL picks.
Minnesota Vikings -5 .5 over Miami Dolphins
Last season, AccuScore was 19-11 ATS in games involving the Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins, and went 1-0-1 this past weekend with the two teams. Handicapping the NFL is a challenge where strong trending information really helps the player. There were 15 teams in 2009 that combined to give AccuScore a > 67% ATS record and it is a gift when they play each other. The Vikings and Dolphins are among those 15 teams and both have little turnover in their skill positions making their 2009 data more reliable. Additionally, AccuScore went 5-2 opening weekend when our line differed from Vegas by less than a point and half and that is the case here.
New England Patriots –2.5 at New York Jets
After week 1, the Jets are not leading the league in f***ing wins and will be a long shot to accomplish that goal this season. Rex Ryan oversees an overrated team that opened the season with a lot of bark and little bite. The Jets defense is stout, but the loss of Kris Jenkins hurts not only on the field, but in the locker room. Last year, AccuScore was a combined 20-13 in games involving the Jets and Patriots and our selections went 2-0 in their head-to-head matchups. Other key trends include a 2009 ATS record of 9-2 in AFC East division games.
Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs OVER 38 points
AccuScore went 10-5 in totals opening weekend and was a combined 2-0 in games involving the Browns and Chiefs. Their week two matchup stands out because they were our two most profitable teams in 2009. AccuScore was a combined 23-4 last year in games involving the Browns and Chiefs, which is among our highest combined accuracies for two teams playing. Turnover in personel is always something to pay attention to in using last season’s date, but Jake Delhomme’s statistical finger print is as miserable if not worse then what Quinn and Anderson put forth last year when AccuScore was 13-2 in Cleveland totals. Kansas City showed promise Monday night and the total number is very manageable even for two offenses that don’t have a lot of fire power.
Oakland Raiders -3.5 vs. St. Louis Rams
AccuScore – 57.1% to cover, 67.6% to win
Yes, Oakland did not look good in Week 1, but I think that has a lot to do with Tennessee being a real playoff contender in the AFC. On the bright side the Raiders get this game at home, and Darren McFadden totaled 150 yards of offense. He will be boosted in the backfield with the return of Michael Bush. Sam Bradford flashed some talent in his first game in the pros, but he still failed to beat a poor Cardinals team at home and threw 3 interceptions. Bradford was also battered getting hit 7 times and sacked twice. The Raiders defense does have some talent, and did a pretty good job rushing the passer with 37 sacks a year ago. AccuScore correctly picked the game winner for both these teams in Week 1. This game might be a time where you would want to buy the ½ point. AccuScore projects Oakland to win by 3 or more points in 64% of simulations.
New England Patriots -2.5 @ New York Jets
The Patriots are the most likely to team to cover this week according to AccuScore’s computers at 61.5%. Watching both teams in Week 1, that makes empirical sense to me as well. The Patriots lit up the Bengals through the air jumping out to a 24-0 lead before cruising to a win. The biggest thing for New England was that Brady was hit just twice, and wasn’t sacked. The Jets obviously struggled to put up points against the Ravens, which surprised us at AccuScore very little. We have been of the opinion that the Jets have been overrated and Mark Sanchez quite frankly isn’t a very good quarterback. To beat the Patriots the Jets will have to put up some points, and I don’t believe Sanchez will be able to do that enough. Zach laid out the strong trends associated with this game from last season. AccuScore also correctly picked both New England to win and New York to lose last week. I think that will be the case again.