Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Pick Em Week 10

 (For Pick Em Standings -- week-by-week and YTD -- click here.)

Welcome to what was almost the most boring week of picks this season.  Until Keller lost his mind towards the end of the picks, I thought we'd have the first ever three-way mirror-image picks.  But, he didn't let us down.  The main game that concerns me is the Atlanta one.  They have to lose sometime, and the Saints need a big win.  They might shock us all.  It's a gut feeling, but not nearly enough to make any of us pick them in this match-up.

Now, as much as I kid Keller, his two contrary picks can't be faulted.  Neither game is favored by even 2 full points, so it could go either way.  It's a coin flip, so take your chances.


How about that?  Three different locks this week.  That's never happened before.  But hey, all three games are smart money picks - and here's why:

Lock of the Week (Keller): New England over Buffalo (take any spread under 17.5 and the Over): 45-21.  The Greatriots are coming off a bye and the Bills are coming back to Earth.  This is the time of year when New England pads their point differential by beating up on overmatched AFC East teams and Buffalo starts to... well, look like Buffalo.  The trajectories of the two teams are meeting at just the right time for my Lock of the Week and exactly the wrong time for the Buffalo Bills.  I really wanted to take the Steelers this week, but I have a sinking Tyler Palko Game feeling about Monday night.  Things look like they're lining up too well for Pittsburgh, they usually play to the level of their opponent, and they might be looking ahead to two games against the hated Ravens in the next three weeks.  That's what I like to refer as a bunch of bad converging trajectories, so I'm going with Coach Hoodie and Tom Terrific.

Lock of the Week (Weidman):San Fran over St Louis (Take the under and the points):  I coulda picked New England.  I coulda picked Pittsburgh.  Hell, I coulda gotten a real degree in college - a lot of things coulda happened, but they didn't and I picked San Fran. This game has all the hallmarks of Games That Screw Weidman.  Seriously - everything says San Fran, which means they're probably going to go all Hindenburg on me...but they shouldn't.  San Fran has only lost 9 turnovers this season, and STL has only forced two.  And, in the other direction, SF's D is solid.  Turnovers win games.  Cliches are cliches for a reason.  The Niners are rested and continuing a win streak.  The Rams are on a mission of suck.

Oh, and did I mention the Rams haven't won in San Fran since Jericho was still on the air?

Lock of the Week (Forty): Pittsburgh over Kansas City 32-10 (Take the under, even though it's 43, and the Steelers should be able to handle a 11.5 spread.) I would guess this is the game Weidman and Keller will also go with for their locks {Nope.  -Weidman}, but you really can't find a better lock on the schedule, although San Francisco vs. St. Louis and New England vs. Buffalo are close. The Chiefs are inept on both sides of the ball and are, by far, the worst team in the NFL this season. The Steelers showed a touch of their old dominant self in last week's game again the Giants. Despite the emotion involved for New York and bad calls in the first half, Pittsburgh rallied. Roethlisberger is much more likely to take the pressure of a high profile Monday night game and flourish, as opposed to Matt Cassel. The basic story here is that the Steelers are starting to peak in the second half of the season while the Chiefs show no signs of life on either side of the ball.

Meet the "Experts":

Brad "QBERT" Keller is the inventor and sole proprietor of the QBERT (Quantitative BERT jones is awesome) system for rating quarterbacks. Using this innovative approach and working tirelessly part time breaking down film and finding angles inside the angles, he has mastered the art of picking and handicapping NFL games. With an expanded playing field this season, he's anxious to defend his title against a formidable group of experts that... hey, you know what? He can beat these two jokers, right? No problem. Because he has a foolproof system.

"Arena" Weidman's prime qualification for this contest is that he's spent more than a decade watching Steelers games with Keller while drinking. Because of this, most of his picks might seem like they were done while drunk, but that's just a facet of how he gets into "recall mode."  A devoted follower of the Arena Football League, Weidman's NFL world view is colored through this lens. Because of this, he possesses strong opinions on why more people should go to Power games and how the the Cardinals should really be using the Rattlers as a farm team.  Mainly, he just has trouble with the field being way too big.

Leonard "Forty" Hayhurst earned his nickname for his ability to grow the facial hair of a 40-year-old man at the age of 16, not his ability to pound 40s of King Cobra, but there's that too. He owns the largest collection of Drew Bledsoe memorabilia in the world (five items would be the largest, right?). He feels for Cleveland Browns fans because when he started rooting for a 2-14 club in the New England Patriots, they eventually won three Super Bowls. Then Steelers fans brag about how they have six Super Bowl wins, to which Leonard says they would have had eight if the Patriots hadn't beaten them twice in the AFC Championship game. They then mumble something about Franco Harris and walk away.

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