NFL Week 3 Picks

The Chargers refused to trade Vincent Jackson to Minnesota yesterday. The deal fell through, according to sources, because SD didn’t feel they were getting full value offers of a 2nd and 4th Rd. pick (they were asking for a 2nd and 3rd). By not trading VJax before yesterday’s deadline, the Bolts condemned him to sit out an extra three games on his suspension (imposed by the team).

Personally, I like the non-trade. It does several things for the Chargers that I think will be beneficial.

First, it means that if VJax wants to be a free agent after this season that he will have to play the final games of this season so that it will count as a year toward his contract. If he wants to still have value, he will have to perform. That could reap benefits for the Bolts heading into the playoffs – a prime time for me-first players to stand out.
Second, they have another month (until Oct. 19) to wait on a deal before it is too late to trade the disgruntled WR. If Minnesota is still struggling, they may come around with the offer that San Diego is looking for. Also, another Super Bowl hopeful team could suffer an injury and pony up the picks to acquire Jackson.
Just like the Jets did with Revis, the Chargers are exercising their power over the player and the situation to get the deal THEY want. By not caving into early demands by Revis, the Jets spent significantly less money and have less of an obligation (in years) to the player. It looks like the Chargers are doing the same. There are several teams who NEED a deep threat receiver like Jackson. Minnesota is just the most glaring need right now. Wait and see, Bolts fans. I think this plays out well for you.

Interesting Stat for the Week:
Winning teams in the first two weeks of this young season are averaging 24.7ppg. Their losing opponents average just 14.3ppg. That’s a 10.4 point margin of victory on average, per game. A two score margin is par for the course over the past several seasons. Since 2008, there has been a 10.6 point margin of victory in the first two weeks. That margin grows to 13.1pts for week. That may come in handy this week as we have 3 games with a double digit spread.

Beating the Spread:

In case you weren’t paying attention or suck at simple math, the team here at the Bang has not fared well this season in picking against the spread. Our combined record (41-49-6) gives us a whopping .427 win pct. Giving us the benefit of the doubt (because no one can win on a push) we have been correct on 45.5% of our selections. Here’s a little break down of our success (or lack there of):

If spread is =/< 4.5: 20-34-6
If spread is > 4.5: 21-15

We have a seeming inability to pick the close match-ups. For that matter, we aren’t great great in the blow outs. (Personally, I blame Casey no matter what)

Don’t hate us too much, though. So far on the year, the favored teams are struggling to cover the spread, making it rather difficult to pick. Then you look at some of the schizophrenic teams out there (Chargers, 49ers, Colts, Falcons) and the teams who have played nowhere NEAR what was expected of them to this point (Cowboys, Vikings, Lions), and it becomes obvious why we struggle.

Here’s how the favored teams have fared in covering the spread:

If spread is =/< 4.5: 11-8 (one game was EVEN, and doesn't count)
If spread is > 4.5: 7-5

So the favorites are only 18-13 (.580 win pct.). And then consider that Cleveland was favored over the Chiefs and it adds to the confusion of what the “favorite” is really all about. There’s a reason they call it a gamble, and those odds-makers are good at what they do.

Our unanimous picks (you know, the ones we’re supposedly sure of) are a whopping 6-8. The only sure thing is that there is no sure thing.

Week 3 Picks (spread as of Thursday)
Game Steelers Casey Armondo Commentary
Titans at Giants -3 Titans Titans Titans Both are playoff hopefulls, and hopefully neither has played their best football of the season.
Bengals at Panthers +3.5 Bengals Panthers Panthers Clausen’s first start comes against a defense that had 4 picks against Joe Flacco. It’s either going to be beginner’s luck or a horrible beat down.
Cowboys at Texans -3 Texans Texans Texans The Boys haven’t proven anything except that there are more gaps in the O-line than in suburban America. Houston, on the other hand, appears to be firing on all cylinders.
49ers at Chiefs +1 49ers 49ers Chiefs Frank Gore had a dominant performance against New Orleans, despite the 49ers loss. KC struggled to finish off Cleveland and has shown very little offense in their first two games.
Steelers at Bucs +2.5 Steelers Steelers Steelers The Bucs are 2-0, but it’s hard to have faith in a team that has allowed more than 300ypg against the Browns and Panthers. That being said, the Steelers have yet to show anything offensively and are down to their last legs (literally) at QB.
Bills at Patriots -13 Patriots Patriots Bills ARMONDO: NE ain’t THAT good (-13), I don’t care if it is Buffalo.
New England may not be that good, but are the Bills THAT bad?
Browns at Ravens -10.5 Ravens Browns Browns ARMONDO: Same as above.
CASEY: I know this can’t happen, but Flacco looked liked ass last week.
The Ravens’ offense has been horrendous (10ppg) and the Browns’ D looks solid (16.5ppg). Then remember that Baltimore hasn’t lost to Cleveland since 2007.
Lions at Vikings -10.5 Lions Lions Lions ARMONDO: Again, see above.
The Lions have been in both of their losses, and Minnesota hasn’t been 10.5pts better than anyone this year. This is a better game than it is getting credit for.
Falcons at Saints -6 Saints Saints Saints The Saints have done just enough to win their first two games, but Atlanta appears to have found it’s stride against Buffalo. If this becomes a shootout, it’s anybody’s game.
Redskins at Rams +3.5 Redskins Redskins Rams This game could come down to which Donovan McNabb shows up. He lit up the scoreboard against Houston but looked lackluster in Wk 1. The Rams will need a healthy Steven Jackson to have a shot.
Eagles at Jaguars +3.5 Eagles Eagles Eagles Vick earned the starting job despite Kolb being cleared to play. The offense has looked sharp under his lead, and his mobility is once again giving the opposition fits. The Jags had 6 turnovers last week and haven’t gotten much production from MJD. Frankly, I’m surprised the spread isn’t bigger.
Colts at Broncos +6 Colts Colts Colts Indy’s offense is running on all cylinders and the defense managed to hold down NYG despite the injuries. Denver will look to test the secondary and should have some success if they can hold off the Colts’ pass rush.
Raiders at Cardinals -4 Raiders Cardinals Raiders The Cardinals give up 384ypg. The Raiders gain 345ypg. Expect a big day for the Oakland offense. The question will be whether or not their defense will can hold off the Arizona WRs.
Chargers at Seahawks +5.5 Chargers Chargers Chargers It appears that the Lightning Bolts found their stride in Wk 2, while the Seahawks looked the junior varsity version of their Wk 1 performance. Not sure which version of each team will show up, but we’ve come to a consensus on the outcome.
Jets at Dolphins -2 Jets Dolphins Jets The surprising 2-0 Dolphins face their first big test of the season. The Jets face their second stout defense of the year. This one is coming down to defense and whether or not these grinding offenses can wear them down.
Packers at Bears +3 Packers Packers Bears The Bears have been impressive so far (if a win against the Cowboys can be considered impressive at this point), but the Packers bring one of the NFL’s best offenses into town. This could come down to turnovers and whether or not Cutler can limit them.

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