Saturday, October 29, 2011

The NFL Blog: 2011 Week 8 Betting Lines

Last Week: Vs. Spread: (7-5-1); Straight Up: (8-5)

Season: Vs. Spread: (49-49-5); Straight Up: (68-35)

Week 7 Review: Well the week certainly didn’t end well for me with the Colts getting raped, murdered, and mutilated and then the Ravens choking, but it was solid overall. I won’t complain about being .500 ATS in the NFL after 7 weeks.

Week 8 Preview: This looks like a better week of action. There are 6 more teams on byes and the early schedule on Sunday is weak. However, things should be interesting later on Sunday, with Detroit at Denver and the Pats and Steelers going at it. Finally the primetime games have something to offer this week, with Dallas and Philly on Sunday night and San Diego at KC on MNF. Unfortunately

I have to take a break from comments again this week. I apologize. The World Series, work, lack of sleep, and other commitments have slowed me down again this week.

Sunday’s Early Games

New Orleans (-13.5) @ St. Louis

Pick: Saints cover

Miami (+9.5) @ New York Giants

Pick: Giants win but Dolphins beat the spread

Arizona (+12.5) @ Baltimore

Pick: Ravens cover

Minnesota (+3.5) @ Carolina

Pick: Panthers win but Vikings beat the spread

Indianapolis (+9) @ Tennessee

Pick: Titans cover

Jacksonville (+9.5) @ Houston

Pick: Texans cover but Jags beat the spread

Sunday’s Late Games

Detroit (-1.5) @ Denver

Pick: Lions cover

Washington (+5.5) vs. Buffalo (Toronto)

Pick: Bills cover

Cincinnati (-1) @ Seattle

Pick: Bengals cover

Cleveland (+9) @ San Francisco

Pick: Niners cover

New England (-3) @ Pittsburgh

Pick: Patriots cover

Sunday Night’s Game

Dallas (+3.5) @ Philadelphia

Pick: Eagles win but Cowboys beat the spread

Monday Night’s Game

San Diego (-3.5) @ Kansas City

Pick: Chargers win but Chiefs beat the spread

The NFL Blog: 2011 Power Rankings (After Week 7)

Power Rankings After Week 7

1. Green Bay 7-0 (1st)

2. New Orleans 5-2 (3rd)

3. New England 5-1 (4th)

4. Pittsburgh 5-2 (6th)

5. Baltimore 4-2 (2nd)

6. San Diego 4-2 (5th)

7. San Francisco 5-1 (7th)

8. Houston 4-3 (9th)

9. Buffalo 4-2 (10th)

10. Detroit 5-2 (8th)

11. Chicago 4-3 (12th)

12. New York Jets 4-3 (13th)

13. Dallas 3-3 (14th)

14. Oakland 4-3 (11th)

15. Philadelphia 2-4 (15th)

16. Atlanta 4-3 (18th)

17. New York Giants 4-2 (17th)

18. Tampa Bay 4-3 (16th)

19. Carolina 2-5 (22nd)

20. Kansas City 3-3 (23rd)

21. Cincinnati 4-2 (21st)

22. Tennessee 3-3 (19th)

23. Washington 3-3 (20th)

24. Cleveland 3-3 (25th)

25. Denver 2-4 (27th)

26. Jacksonville 2-5 (28th)

27. Arizona 1-5 (24th)

28. Seattle 2-4 (26th)

29. Minnesota 1-6 (29th)

30. Indianapolis 0-7 (30th)

31. Miami 0-6 (31st)

32. St. Louis 0-6 (32nd)

-Previous week’s rankings in parenthesis;

Comments: Sorry, no time for comments this week.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The College Football Blog: 2011 Season Résumé Rankings (After Week 8)

Season Résumé Rankings after Week 8

1. LSU 8-0 (1st)

2. Alabama 8-0 (2nd)

3. Oklahoma State 7-0 (4th)

4. Clemson 8-0 (5th)

5. Boise State 7-0 (6th)

6. Kansas State 7-0 (7th)

7. Stanford 7-0 (9th)

8. Houston 7-0 (10th)

9. Oregon 6-1 (NR)

10. Arkansas 6-1 (NR)

Out: Oklahoma (3rd); Wisconsin (8th).

Explanation: Unfortunately not enough time for a full explanation section this week. Sorry about that, folks. For the first time this season the top 10 contains non-undefeated teams, with Oregon and Arkansas joining the rankings at #9 and #10 respectively. Stanford and Houston each moved up 2 spots in the rankings (the biggest move of any team remaining in these rankings). None of the 8 teams remaining in the top 10 dropped in the standings this week. LSU and Alabama remained in place in the top 2 spots respectively.


The College Football Blog: 2011 Power Rankings (After Week 8)

Power Rankings after Week 8

1. LSU 8-0 (2nd)

2. Alabama 8-0 (1st)

3. Oregon 6-1 (5th)

4. Stanford 7-0 (6th)

5. Oklahoma State 7-0 (7th)

6. Boise State 7-0 (4th)

7. Clemson 8-0 (9th)

8. Oklahoma 6-1 (3rd)

9. Wisconsin 6-1 (8th)

10. Arkansas 6-1 (10th)

11. Texas A&M 5-2 (11th)

12. Michigan State 6-1 (NR)

13. Kansas State 7-0 (13th)

14. Arizona State 5-2 (12th)

15. Virginia Tech 7-1 (14th)

Out: Auburn (15th).

Explanation: Lots of change in my rankings this week, which I guess is to be expected when a couple of undefeated teams get upset. There are certainly some aspects of my top 15 which would raise some eyebrows and protests but that’s always the case. I still maintain the belief that there are only 7 or 8 great teams this year.

In contrast to last week when my top 10 remained unchanged, the top 9 spots in my power rankings changed this week, with only Arkansas remaining in place among the top 10 teams (at #10). That was a confusing sentence but I don’t have time to try and figure out how to clean it up. Bama remained undefeated with another blowout win but they fell out of the #1 spot this week, with new #1 LSU taking over.

The only team to fall out of my rankings this week was previously #15 Auburn. Michigan State—fresh off their big win over the Badgers—jumps into the rankings at #12. While 5 different teams moved up in my rankings this week, no team moved up more than 2 spots. The 4 teams jumping 2 spots up the ranks this week were Oregon, Stanford, Oklahoma State, and Clemson. Oklahoma made by far the biggest move down my rankings this week. It might surprise some that they didn’t fall more than 5 places to #8, but we’ll get into that a little later on.

1. LSU: 8-0 (won vs. Auburn, 45-10). LSU moves up a spot to the #1 position this week after they blew out Auburn to get to 8-0. I can’t really explain it other than to say that LSU has just been a bit more impressive than Alabama. LSU has always been dangerous under Les Miles but this season they haven’t had any of those “moments” that they usually have. They’ve just killed it every game. We’ll find out more this weekend. That’s probably an understatement.

2. Alabama: 8-0 (won vs. Tennessee, 37-6). Bama drops a spot from the #1 position to #2, despite another blowout win. Bama has been a little shaky during the first half of their last two games. Look, I know that’s nitpicky, but LSU has been slightly more impressive. There’s no reason to stick with my original stance if there’s enough evidence to warrant change. Plus, we’re going to learn how close these teams really are in strength this weekend.

3. Oregon: 6-1 (won at Colorado, 45-2). Oregon moves up 2 spots to #3. The Ducks have continued to win easily despite the absence of LaMichael James and Darron Thomas. It certainly hurts that they will probably be without Cliff Harris again for a while. As yet they have not announced him done for the year.

4. Stanford: 7-0 (won vs. Washington, 65-21). Stanford moves up 2 spots to #4. Stanford is damn impressive. They’re making me think they might be as good as or better than the Ducks, which I would never have expected.

5. Oklahoma State: 7-0 (won at Missouri, 45-24). Oklahoma State moves up 2 spots to #5. A lot of people would have the Cowboys higher than this and maybe I should too.

6. Boise State: 7-0 (won vs. Air Force, 37-26). Boise State moves down 2 spots to #6. The Broncos’ biggest supporters would rage at this move. But this always seems to happen. Boise State just doesn’t play many games against tough competition and they always put up huge scores. Then when they struggle against a seemingly average opponent, I start to doubt them.

7. Clemson: 8-0 (won vs. North Carolina, 59-38). Clemson moves up 2 spots to #7. Suddenly, Clemson has as explosive an offense as anyone in the country.

8. Oklahoma: 6-1 (lost vs. Texas Tech, 38-41). Oklahoma plummets 5 spots to #8 this week after their stunning loss at home to Texas Tech. You may be confused as to why I didn’t drop the Sooners out of the top 10 or worse. All I can say is that I still think Oklahoma is better than everyone not ranked in the top 7. There’s no way to excuse Oklahoma’s loss last Saturday, but allow me to bore you with my attempt. For one thing, I do think that the absence of RB Dominique Whaley—which went almost unnoticed by the announcers—was an issue. Texas Tech ran the ball better than Oklahoma and that was a surprise.

Also, I will never believe that Oklahoma was not in some way affected by the lightning delay. Still, Texas Tech came out in the 3rd quarter and got a quick stop and then scored right away, so it can’t all be blamed on the slow start. It’s not very convincing but all I can say is that last week’s game had to be a fluke. It does happen. I’m not the only one who thinks it was an aberration. Vegas has Oklahoma favored by two TD’s on the road against undefeated Kansas State this weekend.

9. Wisconsin: 6-1 (lost at Michigan State, 31-37). Wisconsin drops only 1 spot to #9 this week despite their upset loss against MSU. If you can’t figure out why they didn’t drop any farther, think road loss on a Hail Mary to a 6-1 team.

10. Arkansas: 6-1 (won at Mississippi, 29-24). Arkansas remains at #10 this week despite the fact that they did not look very good in their road win over Mississippi.

11. Texas A&M: 5-2 (won at Iowa State, 33-17). Texas A&M holds at #11 following their win over Iowa State.

12. Michigan State: 6-1 (won vs. Wisconsin, 37-31). Michigan State jumps into the power rankings at #12 following their surprising victory over Wisconsin. Consider me onboard. Even though MSU had a good season last year and has been consistently good under Mike Dantonio, I thought they’d be an 8-4 football team this season. When they got blown out by ND I kind of dismissed them and refused to consider them again until they proved something to me. They have certainly done that over the last few weeks.

13. Kansas State: 7-0 (won at Kansas, 59-21). Kansas State stays at #13 following their big win over rival Kansas.

14. Arizona State: 5-2 (Idle). Arizona State was off last week but they fall 2 spots to #14 due to the performances of other teams.

15. Virginia Tech: 7-1 (won vs. Boston College, 30-14). Virginia Tech drops 1 spot to #15 despite winning last week to get to 7-1. This was due to the performances of other teams more than anything they did.

Teams Falling Out of the Rankings

Auburn: 5-3 (lost at LSU, 10-45). Auburn falls out of the rankings from #15 this week after getting pummeled by LSU. Truth be told, Auburn should probably never have been in the top 15 to begin with.