Week 11: Picking Winners, Thinking Outside the Box

I want winners!


Tony is a former retail manager turned full-time sports investor. This is a new column at 4for4 designed to help those of you in weekly pickem and survivor pools gain an edge on the competition. Tony wants winners and is glad to field questions on Twitter or through email.



Interesting Stats


Norv Turner, the active coach with at least 10 seasons as an NFL head coach, has a career losing record, and is now 107-114-1.

Miami won at home for the first time in 11 tries.

Against the Lions, the Chicago defense (14 points) outscored the Detroit offense (13 points).

For people that play in pick-the-winner pools, home teams are 83-64 SU, home favorites 65-32 SU, and home dogs 18-32 SU.

A couple of against-the-spread (ATS) numbers: YTD overs are 74-72. YTD against-the-spread 71-70 -6, with 51 of those underdogs who covered, being outright winners. Double digit dogs are 13-7-1 ATS. In week 10 we had 8 underdogs that covered ATS, all 8 of them won the game outright.



Picking Winners


For pick’em, against-the-spread type pools (Office Football Pool, Pick 5 formats, etc.), a key to winning is often finding the unpopular public plays and going against the grain. Here are some plays I like this week that may help you win your pool. This is the first time this year I have picked all favorites. 


NEW YORK Giants -4.5
The Eagles offense has one of the best running games in the league but Reid has no patience to stay with it. He refused to run the ball to McCoy in the Arizona game and his love for the passing game is really hurting this team. Vick has struggled the past few weeks and now that his ribs are hurt he will not have the ability to throw the ball vertical with any accuracy.

Teams are forcing Vick to stay in the pocket and it makes it very difficult to have a short passing game. The problem for Vick is his height; how is he supposed to see over his left tackle when the guy has ten inches on him. Balls continue to get tipped which leads to interceptions. It doesn’t really matter if Vick is able to go or not Sunday as whoever is at quarterback will face some heavy pressure and will be forced into some key turnovers.

I was really impressed with the Giants run defense last game against the Niners. They were able to shut them down but unfortunately they were not able to force turnovers which I expect will change this week. Overall the Giants defense is improving from week to week, and I expect a huge effort out of them on Sunday in this divisional game. Look for the Giants to dominant this game like they did in the first meeting. Giants roll to a nice double digit victory and the heat gets turned up even more on Reid.

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