Brian Berger’s NFL Locks for Week #16

Guest post by @BSB84

The editor of this site forgot to post my picks from last week, however I went 5-10-1 bringing my total record to 73-70-3.

Jacksonville -3.5 vs Tennessee – I don’t plan on watching one second of this game. The only reason I’m picking it it because the Jags are favored for the first time in 42 games (one shy of tying the record)

Houston +5.5 vs Baltimore – Baltimore is really good, but I think even with a backup QB, the Texans can take advantage of the Ravens decimated secondary

Seattle -8 vs Arizona – Seattle is starting to pull it all together and with Ryan Lindley at qb, yea

San Diego +1 vs San Francisco
Philadelphia -7.5 vs Washington
Minnesota +6.5 vs Miami
Green Bay -10.5 vs Tampa Bay
Chicago +9 vs Detroit
Atlanta +6 vs New Orleans
New England -10 vs NY Jets
Pittsburgh -4 vs KC
Cleveland +3.5 vs Carolina
NY Giants +5 vs St. Louis
Buffalo -5.5 vs Buffalo
Indianapolis +3 vs Dallas
Cincinnati +3 vs Denver

Brian Berger’s NFL Locks for Week #14

Guest post by @BSB84

Brian Berger NFL PIcksBack after a long break due to the holiday and work craziness. I was 62-51-1 before my break.

New Orleans -9.5 vs Carolina – I don’t know what to make of the Saints, however, I do know that the Panthers are terrible
Cleveland – +3.5 vs Indianapolis – Been on home dogs all year. Plus, just when you thin the Browns are ready to fall off, they find a way to win a game that maybe they shouldn’t have
Houston -5 vs Jacksonville – All hail JJ Watt. I’m terrified for Blake Bortles

Rest of the Picks
Chicago +3.5 vs Dallas
Miami -3 vs Baltimore
Pittsburgh +3 vs Cincinnati
Tennessee PK vs NY Giants (good lord this game is awful)
Detroit -9.5 vs Tampa
Washington +2.5 vs St. Louis
Minnesota -6 vs NY Jets
Denver -9.5 vs Buffalo
Kansas City +1 vs Arizona
Oakland +8 vs San Fran
Philadelphia -1 vs Seattle
New England -3.5 vs San Diego
Green Bay -12.5 Atlanta (not sure they can make this line high enough)

This Weeks Topic:
Checking in on Super Bowl Odds! When we checked these back at the end of October here is what they looked like (all numbers courtesy of Bovada):

Denver – 3/1
Green Bay – 8/1
Seattle – 9/1
Dallas – 9/1
New England – 12/1
Indianapolis – 12/1
San Diego – 12/1
San Fran – 14/1
Philadelphia – 16/1


Green Bay 7/2
New England – 15/4
Denver – 17/4
Seattle – 13/2
Philadelphia – 12/1
Indianapolis – 18/1
Detroit – 25/1
Arizona/Cincinnati/Dallas/New Orleans/San Diego/San Fran – 28/1

A few takeaways. While Denver is still pretty close to where they were a few weeks ago, the Pats and Packers have taken huge leaps. Also, back in October, the teams were pretty bunched together. Right now there are really four favorites, Green Bay, New England, Denver and Seattle and then everyone else. I’ll check back in with these probably during week 17 or so.

Brian Berger’s NFL Locks for Week #11

Guest post by @BSB84

Whoa! I went 10-3 last week. Bringing my season tally to 62-51-1.

Miami -4 vs Buffalo – Miami is very good. Even being 5-4 they have an elite defense and probably should have won last week

Houston +3 vs Cleveland – Cleveland should win this game, but I feel like every time we’re ready to go forward with them they lose a game they shouldn’t

Chicago -3 vs Minnesota – Da Bears have no business being favored, yet they are.


Rest of the picks:
GB -6 vs Philadelphia
KC -2 vs Seattle
Carolina +1.5 vs Atlanta
New Orleans -7 vs Cincinnati (what a fall from grace for the Bengals)
Tampa Bay +7 vs Washington
Denver -9.5 vs St. Louis
NY Giants +4 vs San Fran
San Diego -10 vs Oakland
Detroit +1.5 vs Arizona
Indianapolis -3 vs NE
Pittsburgh -6 vs Tennessee

A few weeks back we looked at the Detroit Lions defense as a unit that was dominant and, while surprising because they are the lions, not that surprising given the past few years. Here are the top five teams in Weighted DVOA (Weight DVOA represents an attempt to figure out how a team is playing right now, as opposed to over the season as a whole, by making recent games more important than earlier games).

1. Den (36.2%)
2. Bal (23.7%)
3. GB (21.3%)
4. Philly (21%)
5. Sea (19.4%)

The one “obvious” shocker in there is Baltimore. However, they are #2 in DVOA for the entire year, so don’t be surprised if they make a deep playoff run. Baltimore is really good. The even crazier part is the gap between 1 and 2 (Denver and Baltimore) is as large as the gap between 2 and 9 (Baltimore and Detroit). Which goes to show you that even though Denver got manhandled by the Pats a few weeks back, they are still the best team in football.

*DVOA is a method of evaluating teams, units, or players. It takes every single play during the NFL season and compares each one to a league-average baseline based on situation. Click here for a further explanation

Brian Berger’s NFL Locks for Week #10

Guest post by @BSB84

Not a great week last week. Went 5-8 bringing my season tally to 52-48-1. That lone tie, just like the Bengals and Panthers.

Miami +3 vs Detroit – I know I said last week that I wasn’t a believer in Miami but I’m starting to change my tone.

Atlanta -2.5 vs Tampa Bay – Tampa is awful and they replaced Mike Glennon with Josh McCown

San Francisco + 5 vs New Orleans – Doesn’t this just feel like one of those games where everyone writes off the 49ers and then they go and lay the hammer down?

The Rest of the Picks

Cleveland +6.5 vs Cincinnati
Dallas – 6.5 vs Jacksonville
Buffalo +2 vs KC
Baltimore -9.5 vs Tennessee
NY Jets +4.5 vs Pittsburgh
Denver -11 vs Oakland
St. Louis + 7 vs Arizona
Seattle -9 vs NY Giants
Green Bay -7 vs Chicago
Philadelphia -6 vs Carolina

This Weeks Topic

The Marcus Lattimore news is such a shame. He was so great in college and now he’s done with football. He elevated that South Carolina program to a level they have never reached (Top 10 finishes, money, you name it) and now he’s done. Just another reason that college athletes should be paid one way or another.

Brian Berger’s NFL Locks for Week #9

Guest post by @BSB84

I actually won both of my sucker bets last week! Hard to believe. However, I went jut 8-7 for the week bringing my record to 48-40-1 for the year.

San Diego +2.5 vs Miami – Just when you think Miami is playing well they go and lay an egg. Plus, even after losing two games in a row, San Diego is really really good.

Dallas -4 vs Arizona – Makes no sense that Dallas should be favored by four, which is why I’m taking them

Minnesota PK vs Washington – Teddy Bridgewater > Colt McCoy

Rest of the picks
Carolina +3 vs New Orleans
Cincinnati -11 vs Jacksonville
Tampa Bay +6.5 vs Cleveland
Philadelphia -2 vs Houston
NY Jets +9.5 vs Kansas City
St. Louis +10 vs San Francisco
Denver -3 vs New England
Seattle -15 vs Oakland
Pittsburgh +1 vs Baltimore
NY Giants +3.5 vs Indianapolis

This weeks topic:

Brady and Manning meet on Sunday for the 16th time. Brady leads the head-to-head match-up 10 to 5. Here is a look at their cumulative stats during those match-ups.

Manning: 375/600, 62.5% completion, 31 touchdowns, 20 interceptions, 4,371 yards, 87.85 QB Rating
Brady: 334/500, 66.8% completion, 27 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 3,680 yards, 96.41 QB Rating

Brady’s QB rating is right in line with his career average (96.1). Manning’s 87.85 QB rating on the other hand, is below his career average of 97.9. That’s not to say that OMG Tom Brady is a better QB than Manning (he isn’t), it’s just an interesting footnote in what has been two remarkable careers.

Brian Berger’s NFL Locks for Week #8

eagles vs cardinals week 8Guest post by @BSB84

Woooooo. Big Bounce back week last week. Went 11-4, bringing my record to 40-33-1.

San Diego +8.5 vs Denver – San Diego won last year at Denver and one of these days, Denver won’t win in a blowout
New Orleans -1.5 vs Green Bay – Sucker bet!
Cincinnati PK vs Baltimore – Another sucker bet!

Onto the rest of the picks (can’t wait to lose both of those sucker bets)

Atlanta +3.5 vs Detroit
Minnesota +3 vs Tampa Bay
New England -6 vs Chicago
Kansas City -7 vs St. Louis
Carolina +5 vs Seattle
NY Jets -3 vs Buffalo
Jacksonville +6 vs Miami (coming on Jax, two game winning streak!)
Tennessee +2 vs Houston
Philadelphia +2.5 vs Arizona
Indianapolis -3 vs Pittsburgh
Cleveland -7 vs Oakland
Dallas -9.5 vs Washington

This Weeks Topic:

Super Bowl Odds! Here are the final preseason odds for the teams with the best chance to win the Super Bowl (all numbers courtesy of Bovada).

  • Denver Broncos – 11/2
  • Seattle Seahawks – 6/1
  • New England Patriots – 8/1
  • San Francisco 49ers – 8/1
  • Green Bay Packers – 9/1
  • New Orleans Saints – 9/1
  • Philadelphia Eagles – 20/1
  • Chicago Bears – 22/1
  • Indianapolis Colts – 22/1
  • Detroit Lions – 33/1

Here is the current top 10, which features three new teams compared to the preseason list above.

  • Denver Broncos – 3/1 (This is how well the Broncos are playing: At the beginning of the year they were basically co-favorites with Seattle, now they are three times more likely to win than the next closest team, the Packers)
  • Green Bay Packers – 8/1
  • Seattle Seahawks – 9/1
  • Dallas Cowboys – 9/1 (the biggest mover in the top 10. Preseason they were 66/1!)
  • New England Patriots – 12/1
  • Indianapolis Colts – 12/1
  • San Diego Chargers – 12/1 (New entrant. They were 40-1 in the preseason)
  • San Francisco 49ers – 14/1
  • Philadelphia Eagles – 16/1
  • Baltimore Ravens – 18/1 (The last new team, they were also 40-1 in the preseason)

The three teams that dropped out are the Saints, Bears and Lions. The Saints and Bears dropped out because they aren’t playing well. Their current odds are 33/1 (Saints) and 75/1 (Bears). The Lions have actually improved their odds since the beginning of the year as they currently sit at 28/1. It’s just that the Cowboys, Chargers and Ravens have been pretty awesome this year so far, so they jumped them. We’ll check back with these as we get closer to the Playoffs.

Brian Berger’s NFL Locks for Week #7

Guest post by @BSB84


This conversation sums up how last week went for me:

Me: I will get you picks later this afternoon
PerezSolomon: Cool cool
Me: I’m scared to look, I think I had a terrible week
PerezSolomon: I don’t think it was that bad
Me: You’re right, it was worse, 4-10-1

That’s right, 4-10-1! Bringing my overall record to 29-29-1. That’s right, .500 baby!

NY Giants +6.5 vs Dallas – I just think that Dallas has one of those games where you remind yourself that they are still the Cowboys

Minnesota +5.5 vs Buffalo – Now that Minny isn’t going against the best defense in the league (yes, that is Detorit!) I expect them to be able to move the ball

Baltimore -7 vs Atlanta – Joe Flacco threw 5 touchdowns in about 30 seconds last week. This week he goes against a terrible defense with no pass rush

The rest of the picks:

NY Jets +9.5 vs New England
Indianapolis -3 vs Cincinnati
Tennessee +5.5 vs Washington
Chicago -3 vs Miami
Jacksonville +5.5 vs Cleveland (the Browns are really fun aren’t they?!)
Seattle -7 vs St. Louis
Green Bay -7 vs Carolina
New Orleans +3 vs Detroit
Kansas City +4 vs San Diego
Arizona -3.5 vs Oakland
Denver -6.5 vs San Fran
Houston +3. vs Pittsburgh

So Peyton manning is going to break Brett Favre’s all-time touchdown passes record either this week or next (he only needs three more). The remarkable thing isn’t that he’s going to break it (although that’s pretty remarkable in and of itself) it’s how he’s done it without throwing a ton of interceptions. For those that don’t know, not only does Favre own the touchdowns thrown record, he has also thrown the most interceptions ever, by a lot. Favre has thrown 336 interceptions, second place is George Blanda with 277.

Brett Favre’s interception percentage* is 3.3% (Blanda’s is 6.9% if you want to know), good for 57th all-time and tied with some luminaries who played the quarterback position such as Tony Eason, Elvis Grbac and Joe(y) Harrington.

Manning currently sits at 222 interceptions, including the three he’s thrown this year. If he retires after next year, given that he’s thrown about 14.6 picks per year (12.7 if you remove his disastrous rookie year, where he threw 28) he’ll finish around the top 10 of most interceptions thrown. However, his interception % is a ridiculous 2.6%. Good enough to be tied for 15th all time. That number might change a little bit, but it’s not going to vary too much at this point in his career.

People want to talk about the Super Bowls (not won) for Peyton Manning, and I guess that is fair to some degree. But there is a a reason that he is going to go down as one of the greatest, if not the greatest to ever play this game. Peyton Manning is very very good at football.

* Interception % is the percentage of times intercepted when attempting to pass