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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A small 'dog is movin' in

It was a dud of a week for me in the pro football underdog pool. I went with Buffalo over New England, which in turn went nowhere. One of the players ahead of me had Indy over Tennessee, which was a winner, and so now I'm 3½ points out of second place, 4 points out of first. Behind me, four players had the wild Oakland win over Tampa Bay, and with their 13-point pickups I now have a couple of folks 11½ points behind me in the race for third place.

This week's setup is out, and there won't be a whole lot of movement this time around. All four home teams are favored to lose, but not by much:

3 MIAMI vs. Baltimore
3 MINNESOTA vs. Philadelphia
2 ARIZONA vs. Atlanta
1.5 SAN DIEGO vs. Indianapolis

So which of the four underdogs (in caps) should I choose to win its game outright? The point spread is not relevant, except insofar as that's how many points I'll get for a correct pick.

Part of the game at this point is not picking the same games as the players ahead of you. If we all choose the same teams throughout the rest of the pool, I won't advance. Here's what the two players ahead of me said over the last five weeks (winning games marked with an asterisk), if that's any indication of where they'll go this week:

First-place player

Indy vs. Tennessee*
St. Louis vs. San Francisco
Cincinnati vs. Washington*
San Francisco vs. NY Jets*
New Orleans at Tampa Bay

Second-place player

Denver at San Diego
Carolina at NY Giants
Cincinnati vs. Washington*
Houston at Green Bay*
Atlanta at San Diego*

Next week, the spreads should be larger, but again there will be only four games. After that is the final week of the pool -- only two games, probably with a smallish point spread. It's entirely possible that things will be completely settled before that last week's kickoff.

Anyway, readers, I'm counting on you once again for some advice for this week. Miami, Minnesota, Arizona, or San Diego?

UPDATE, 9:35 p.m.: Hey, let's make it easy:

Which pro football underdog is most likely to win its playoff game outright this weekend?
Miami over Baltimore
Minnesota over Philadelphia
Arizona over Atlanta
San Diego over Indianapolis
pollcode.com free polls

Since two of the games are on Saturday, please vote by Friday night.

Comments (7)

Hmmm...tough week to pick. My gut tells me Miami, but Arizona is a decent pick as well. Good luck!


Might as well go large - MIA

This could be time for a reader poll!

Poll is up. I'm still interested in your thoughts, however.

Doesn't look like the poll will help you much. Nor will looking at the leaders' past picks help...except that the leader is clearly partial to home 'dogs, which won't help one iota this week.

Doesn't look like the poll will help you much.

It's good data for my top-secret "system."

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