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Posted by on Oct 21, 2017 in Blog, Essays | 4 comments

NFL Week #7 Picks

 

 

Which NFL team has the best fans?

Great fan bases support their team no matter how they fare on the field.  They show up — win or lose.  The teams with the best fans always sell out their games.  The fans always pack the stadium from start to finish — rain or snow or shine.  Great fans produce energy in the home stadium.  The teams with the best fans are deeply embedded into the local community.  By contrast, the worst fans produce little or no loyalty and support.

According to this definition, here’s my list of the TOP TEN and BOTTOM FIVE fan bases:

 

TOP TEN (best at top):

  1. Green Bay Packers — rabid fan base for 60 years, tiny market size, uncomfortable old-fashioned bench-style seats, lousy weather–yet always a home sell-out and a celebration of football
  2. Cleveland Browns — horrible franchise, hopeless team–yet still beloved and supported….lovable losers–the proverbial Chicago Cubs of football.  Imagine how much more fans would love the Browns if they were winners.
  3. Buffalo Bills — like Browns, not much to cheer about in last 20 years, but great local support for every home game….stadium traffic is worst I’ve ever experienced
  4. New Orleans Saints — when Saints play at home, entire city tailgates.  Despite small market, fans 80,000 fans packed Tulane Stadium and Superdome even when team was awful
  5. Kansas City Chiefs — Hasn’t appeared in Super Bowl in 47 years, but sells out every seat for 5 decades–one of loudest NFL stadiums
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers — Might rank higher since like Saints this is a smaller market that consistently packs a large stadium, often in bad weather.  Great history and tradition 
  7. Denver Broncos — since 1970’s one of best home-field advantages in the league–great fan support despite highest ticket price in the NFL (average ticket–$300)
  8. New York Jets — No Super Bowl appearances in 48 years, but rabid fan base still shows up every game even though the Jets have often fielded the league’s worst teams
  9. Seattle Seahawks — loud fanatical fans–indisputably the best home-field advantage in the NFL.  Winning helps fill seats
  10. Tie:  Philadelphia Eagles/Minnesota Vikings — Neither team has ever won a Super Bowl, but all their games sell out and the fans show up no matter how bad the weather

Amending Top 10 :  Replace Seattle Seahawks with Washington Redskins

 

BOTTOM FIVE (worst at top):

  1. “Los Angeles” Chargers — this “worst” fans pick isn’t even close.  The Chargers are an NFL orphan, a team without a home.  San Diego fans screwed by owner Spanos, who went for the money grab to the north.  No one in L.A. cares. 
  2. San Francisco 49ers — Moving out of old Candlestick was obscene.  New stadium is hours’ drive away from city center, and horrible design broils the fans in upper deck.  Now that team is losing, they can’t sell seats.  An embarrassment given the 49ers former glory
  3. Los Angeles Rams — Average ticket price among the NFL’s lowest and despite a fun, winning team to watch now, they still can’t attract fans.  USC draws twice as many fans in the same stadium–that’s humiliating. 
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars — Jaguars have been a bad team for a very long time, but then so have the Browns, Jets, Bills, etc. and yet those teams sell out every game.  Low ticket price, seats always available, and no one cares.  This franchise should be moved to Toronto
  5. Atlanta Falcons — Despite strong ownership, a sparkling new stadium, and fielding an exciting team that almost won last year’s Super Bowl, early season games have lots of empty seats, late-arriving disinterested fans, and minimal home-field advantage

 

Agree?  Disagree?  Who belongs on the list that I missed?  Which teams and fans would you leave off?

 

***************************************

2017 NFL REGULAR SEASON RESULTS

STARTING BANKROLL:  $10,000.

CURRENT BALANCE:  $11,850.

OVERALL W-L RECORD:  21 wins / 12 loses

Week #1 — 3 wins, 4 losses = net -$250

Week #2 — 1 win, 0 losses = net +$350

Week #3 — 7 wins, 2 losses = net +$1,070

Week #4 — 1 win, 1 loss = net -$20

Week #5 — 7 wins, 3 losses = net +$740

Week #6 — 2 wins, 2 losses = net -$40

****************************************

This is the third straight week, I’m touting the angle to bet on all the winless teams (after Week #5).  The angle has produced about 60 percent winners dating back nearly 30 seasons.  In Week #5, the angle produced 2 wins and 2 losses, although one of the games (SD at NYG) pitted two winless teams against each other.  Last week, the angle went 2-1, as both SFO and NYG covered.  CLE did not.  Heading into Week #7, this leaves two remaining winless teams — CLE and SFO.

Here are my wagers and thoughts on all the games this week.  So, far, I’ve made 8 plays:

 

Dallas at San Francisco

SFO plays tough every week.  Only blowout loss was to LAR four weeks ago.  Despite 0-6 straight up record, SFO is a stellar 5-1 against the spread, including three straight covers on the road.  Now, back at home against perpetually overrated DAL getting +6 (line opened at +4.5 but moved upon news that RB Elliott will start) this looks like a solid play.  For bettors, it’s SFO here or nothing else (DAL, the ultimate square play — RUN if you see any handicapper touting the Cowboys).  A victory here gives SFO considerable confidence team is headed in the right direction.  I think there’s enough talent here to keep the game close and perhaps pull off the upset of the day.  By the way, here’s a really cool 12-minute clip of the greatest moments in the storied DAL-SFO rivalry:

Wagers: 

Game:  San Francisco +6 (Risking $220 to win $200)

First Half:  San Francisco +3.5 (Risking $220 to win $200)

 

Tennesee at Cleveland

Tough to bet CLE, which has shown no signs of improvement since a few close losses to open the season.  CLE does return to QB Kizer after getting yanked last week, which could spur a better performance (can things get any worse for Browns?).  If there’s any game where CLE should be motivated, it’s this week playing back at home with their top draft choice starting versus a wildly inconsistent opponent that’s has been shredded defensively.  TEN will run the ball heavily, but one of few bright spots thus far in this otherwise dismal season has been CLE run defense.  TEN also gets the short prep week after a big MNF win.  INDY led much of that game fielding a team much like CLE with weak talent, which leads me to believe CLE should keep this within the touchdown margin.  Overreaction here to QB Mariota’s strong performance and a final score last week that was a bit misleading.  Combined with the “bet the winless teams” angle, CLE is a compelling play.  TEN is clearly a square wager to be avoided.  Moreover, the total at 46 seems like a ridiculous number of points given TEN likely to run the ball and CLE incapable of much scoring.  Betting the UNDER, as well.

Wagers: 

Total:  Cleveland/Tennessee UNDER 46 (Risking $220 to win $200)

Game:  Cleveland +6 (Risking $220 to win $200) 

First Half:  Cleveland +3 (Risking $220 to win $200)

 

Carolina at Chicago

I’m allergic to laying points on the road.  It makes me sick.  But I’ll swallow my disgust here and lay the points with CAR on the road.  Major reason for this is — both teams should retort back to their usual ways after major aberrations last week.  CAR got humiliated by PHIL and since then gets ten days to prepare for an inferior opponent that should be handled with ease.  Meanwhile, CHI’s road win at BALT was somewhat misleading.  Three critical BALT turnovers killed the Ravens, and CHI’s offensive yards came on a few breakaways.  Give Bears credit for good defensive effort last week (BALT leading WR was out) and massive props for the rushing attack.  But that’s likely to end here against a superior and highly motivated opponent.  CHI shows signs of being much better and in time they will be, but young teams like this have a way of zig-zagging and this looks to be the week they zag (or zig, which is it?).  On a personal note — this play is largely a fade of rookie QB Trubisky to get a second consecutive win….I don’t like what I’ve seen, so far.  Looking for Newton to vastly outplay his counterpart.

Wager:

Carolina -3 (Risking $220 to win $200)

 

Arizona / Los Angeles Rams at London

I’m looking for steadily improving LAR to feast on a weak ARZ offensive line and force aging QB Palmer to win through the air.  Love DC Wade Phillips to game plan the hell out of ARZ and make it impossible for the Cardinals to keep up in scoring with the league’s top scoring offense (that’s right, the Rams lead the NFL in scoring).   ARZ has been horrid on the road this season and coming off their best showing of the year last week, no expectation here that ARZ keeps the momentum going versus a defense that has something to prove and an offense that’s becoming one of the NFC’s best.  Last LAR division game was a bitter loss to rival SEA, so I look for a better effort here against a downgraded opponent coming off a big win.

Wager:  LA Rams -3 (risking $220 to win $200)

 

MNF:  Washington at Philadelphia

Should be a wildly entertaining game.  I made this game line -3, but it’s -4.5 instead (and -5 at a few offshores).  PHL getting lots of breaks with turnovers and penalties, and although this team may end up winning the NFC East, I don’t like them laying this many points to an opponent with a QB who’s enjoying his best season (statistically) as a pro.  QB Cousins looks to be solidly in control an offense that can keep up with anybody.  Game here means a bit more to WAS which probably must win or else they fall into the wild card hunt (win by PHL gives them a 2-game lead).  Looks to be a 3- 4-point game either way.  So, I’m playing the dog and hoping it barks and bites.

Wager:  Washington +4.5 (Risking $220 to win $200)

 

THOUGHTS ON OTHER GAMES:

JAX worth a look playing at INDY off the Colts’ short week.  But JAX so inconsistent it’s hard to predict which team will show up.  Thinking JAX will light up a weak INDY defense that hasn’t exactly faced the NFL’s best QBs, so the OVER 43.5 is the most tempting play in this game.  OVER will be especially attractive if JAX jumps to an early lead and INDY has to abandon the run.

CIN very tempting getting generous +6 versus PIT team that finally got things together defensively last week.  Yet, PIT still struggling on offense.  CIN a eal darkhorse in this game, after playing three bad games has steadily improved and is very much back in the hunt.  Only reason I don’t pull trigger with CIN is some serious concerns about OL.  If QB Dalton gets pressured, CIN has no shot in this game.  He must get protection, otherwise PIT could roll.  For this reason, probably a game to avoid.

BAL is shit.  Wildly inconsistent frauds.  Not sure what would ever compel me to bet on the Ravens again after getting gutted last week by yet another BAL shit the bead performance and mental fuckshow (yeah, I’m still pissed they lost at home to Bears fielding a rookie QB — SHAME!!!).  Since my emotions have completely taken over when it comes to capping shit Ravens’ games, it’s best I just leave them alone, or else make another angry rant video.  I honestly can’t see straight after losing so much money on Ravens and Flacfucko every week.  Enough!  Ravens get dicked in London and lose to mediocre Jags by 35, then bounce Oakland on the road, then can’t convert a fucking third down until halftime to the shit Bears last week (Both Ravens’ scores were on kick returns).  No more betting the Ravens!!!!!  Oh yeah, Baltimore is playing Minnesota.  Keenum starting again for Vikings, but they come off huge home win versus Rodgerless Packers, so perhaps an emotional letdown here.  Fuck the Ravens.  Fuck this game.

NYJ at MIA and home team is laying -3, which sounds about right in this division rivalry.  Tempting to take road dog which is playing very well at the moment (refs screwed Jets last week).  But MIA defense is more than solid.  MIA might be the worst NFL offense — but the defense hasn’t allowed more than 20 in any game this season, which is why Dolphins are 3-2 and in the playoff race even with Cutthroatler at QB.  Shutting down ATL entire second half after faling behind last week 17-0 on the road showed some real spark, so I don’t want to bet against this unit at the moment.  Lots of bettors will be tempted to bet UNDER the low total, but I’m passing on making any wagers, unless there’s a prop on Cutler’s interception total to go OVER.

TB plays at BUF and Bills are tempting laying just -3 with the extra prep time.  Really bad spot for TB here after getting rolled in PHX last week and now have to travel second straight week.  I can’t failt anyone for laying the FG with BUF which looks like a really tempting play.  But something tells me this could be a trap game full of surprises.  Also not really inspiring of confidence to lay points with this BUF offense.

Who could have imagined NOR would be laying points on the road at GB, but that’s what happens when Rodgers went down with injury.  Line moved at least ten points in this game.  NOR suddenly playing well but has also caught opponents at the right time and now face a GB team that may rally behind the backup.  NOR defense always a concern.  NOR could score 40.  They also might play a sloppy game decided by a late FG.  Way too many intangibles here to lay money.  Lambeau Field might as well be a giant craps table this week.

NYG plus 4 looks tempting against SEA which doesn’t appear capable of blowing out anyone at the moment.  But SEA defense is strong enough to absolutely shut down Giants and have the stadium turning against Manning by halftime.  Probably NYG +4 is the play, but I’m skipping this one.

DEN playing SDI at Los Angeles.  OVER 41 looks worth a look.  SDI playing much better now, winners of two straight.  With a break or two, SDI could be 5-1 right now.  And with a facelift and $50 million, I’d be Leonardo DiCaprio.

ATL plays NWE in Super Bowl rematch.  Unless I have money in it, which I won’t in this game, I don’t give a fuck.  I’d rather watch my money on the Browns.  Pass.

Good luck to all.

 

NOTE:  Check back for updates and possible added plays.

 

 

4 Comments

  1. Football is a winter sport. See those top three teams in your Top Ten? What the hell else is there to do in those cities?

  2. Miami is 3-2. Same number of losses as the previously unbeaten KC Chiefs, how’s that for a head scratcher????!!!

  3. Feel like Cowboys should be up for consideration for bottom five. “Americas Team”, certainly has some fair weather fans. They have a nice new stadium full of the visiting teams fans, or least they tend to make more noise.

    Raiders seem to have a devoted fan base even though the team generally stinks and the stadium is a joke and there moving again.

  4. Agree 100% that Packers fans belong on the top.
    Not only are the games 100% sold out by season tickets, the wait list for season tickets is estimated at 30 years. Not uncommon for wait list spots to be gifted to newborns, and season tickets can be inherited. Packers are also the only NFL team that is community owned. Almost socialism! After the Packers became non profit* fan owned, the NFL made a rule that prevents any other teams from converting to fan ownership.

    *Shares include voting rights, but can not be re-sold and do not pay dividends,

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