2016 Week 7 NFL ATS Picks
Week 6 Results
Week 1-3-1, Season 8-19-3, All Time 201-183-6
Six weeks into the season, and I am yet to have a winning week. The six week stretch has been marked by a combination of bad reads and bad breaks. I think my true level of performance over this period, if played out over tens of thousands of iterations, would be somewhere just below .500--It's bad, but perhaps better than it looks. One particular game last week really encapsulates the way I feel this season has gone thus far.
Seattle played a dominant first half against Atlanta and lead 17-3. Seattle seemed like the clear correct side, but then Atlanta pulled off a 21-0 third quarter and entered the forth quarter with an unlikely lead. Atlanta went on to cover in a close loss, making them better than expected, right? I got an "L" for the pick, but I don't think that is representative of the pick's worth. Played 100 times, how often will Seattle's league leading secondary blow coverages on consecutive drives and fritter away a 14 point second half lead? Not many. Point being, wins and losses, especially over a small sample size, only tell a fraction of the story. 8-19-3 is an awful record, but by no means is this season over.
Week 7 Picks
New Orleans +6 (105) @ Kansas City
New Orleans is the least surprising team this year. They play great offense at home, average offense on the road, and horrible defense no matter where they are. Nothing has changed over the last three seasons. Kansas City on the other hand, is a bit more interesting. Despite being a favorite to win the AFC West, Kansas City has played some truly atrocious games. I hesitate to trust Brees on the road in a hostile environment, but I do think Kansas City is being overrated based on their one-off good performance against a potentially average Oakland team. I like New Orleans to cover in a close loss.
Minnesota -3 (105) @ Philadelphia
This week, two hypothesis have been presented to rationalize Philadelphia in this game that I think are flawed. First, there is an expectation that Minnesota has been good for a so long that they are "due" for a let down. Minnesota will come back to earth, but calling the peak of any bull market is notoriously difficult to do. I see no reason to believe a well coached team will come out unprepared or flat following a bye. Second, there is the expectation that a good Philadelphia defensive front will be able to take advantage of an injured Minnesota offensive line, pressuring Sam Bradford. If that logic is true, then shouldn't an even better Minnesota front be able to take more advantage of an equally injured Philadelphia offensive line and pressure the significantly less experienced Carson Wentz? Minnesota may struggle on offense, but I don't think they will struggle as much as a Philadelphia unit that couldn't move the ball in each of the last two weeks against sub-par defenses.
Tennessee -3 (120) vs Indianapolis
I continue to believe that Tennessee is the best team in the AFC South. It doesn't help Indianapolis that this is their least advantageous matchup of the year thus far. Tennessee runs the ball and pressures the QB exceptionally well. Indianapolis is historically bad in both run defense and pass protection. Simply put, Tennessee is a better team, has a favorable matchup, and is playing at home. Those factors are worth much more than three points.
San Diego +6.5 @ Atlanta
If I told you Atlanta would return all of its personal from 2015 and just run it back for the 2016 season, you'd probably ask why their GM still had a job. Yet, here is the 2016 Atlanta Falcons, sitting favorably in the NFC South with the best offense in the NFL. The main weakness of the 2015 iteration of this team was its offensive line, and in the two games the 2016 version of this squad failed to protect Matt Ryan, they have looked remarkably average. Atlanta's line has improved, but Seattle proved it can still be had. I think San Diego's defense is sneaky good at generating pressure, and I like them as a live dog in this game.
Seattle +2 @ Arizona
These two teams are incredibly similar. Both struggle with identity on offense, but wreck teams with their defense. That being said, I think this is a much better spot for Seattle. Matchup wise, it will be incredibly difficult for Palmer to play vertically with out significant risk of turnover. Arizona needs to be able to run the ball to win this game, but Seattle has one of the best rush defenses in the NFL. I also really like where Seattle is off the field. While they did win last week, their best unit nearly lost them the game. The secondary is the identity of this team, and I think they will have prepped like they would coming off a blowout loss. People have been talking about Arizona "needing" this game more, but I think Seattle has something to prove to themselves.