Here's my analysis on the Redskins/Giants game...all of my picks are free at www.blackboxsports.net ... I might post my Denver play later as well, but it's up on the site if you're interested. Good luck to all the gamblohrs in here!
The Giants have put up quite a few points this season, but have had a relatively easy schedule thus far, at least in terms of defenses they’ve played. In fact, the highest ranked defense they’ve played recently was the Patriots (7th), who held them to 26 pts. That said, the Redskins don’t qualify as having a good, or even average defense themselves, as they currently rank 31st in our Power Rankings, with a pitiful power rating of 20 (out of a 100). They can’t stop the run at all, allowing 4.8 YPC this season (t-2nd last), and also have a hard time against the pass, allowing 7.7 YPA this season. They also can’t get to the QB, and are allowing a 109 QBR and a whopping 6.4 YPP (yards per play) over the last 6 weeks….they’re just pitiful. While the Giants probably won’t be able to take advantage on the ground, Eli and company will certainly take advantage aerially.
On the other side, the Redskins do have some hope. The Giants rank in the middle of the pack at stopping the run, which will be important in this game as the Redskins try to control the clock with Matt Jones and Alfred Morris. If they can keep Cousins in manageable down and distances, I like their chances of putting up a ton of points themselves. The Giants D, despite being ranked 23rd in our Power Rankings, are allowing 6.6 YPP over the last 6 weeks (worse than the Redskins) and, despite JPP playing a lot better than expected off an amputated finger, still struggle to get any pressure on the QB (I’m not buying the Patriots game – Brady has been under duress all season).
This game is shaping up to be a back and forth affair, so I like taking the home team with the free FG. I also like the situational angles here, as the Redskins are coming off a blow-out defeat to the Panthers, while the Giants are coming off a very tight loss to the undefeated Pats, and are also off a bye, which explains why this spread is moving in the direction of the Giants. The whole point of the Model is to cut thru all the noise, public bias, media hype and other crap that can move a line, so I’m not surprised it’s saying the Redskins are undervalued right now. The standard method for recommending units likes the Skins for 2 units (see above in the Statistical Model section), and so does the new method. I’m sticking with 2 units on the Redskins.
LINE MOVEMENT: This line has dropped to 2.5, indicating the professional bettors are all over the Redskins. I still like the skins for 2 units, even at 2.5, but I'm going to hold out and see if 3 pops back up again. We're not risking much by doing this, since the worst case scenario is the line moves down to 2, which isn't a big deal.
OVER-UNDER: I don't normally play over-unders, but for whatever reason I'm trying it this week for a few games. This total doesn't make sense to me - 47? Both teams can put up 30+, and a 28-24 final would actually be on the low side to me. I'm going with 1 unit on the Over.
FINAL BET: This line has dropped to +2..I'm locking this in for 2 units.
INJURY UPDATES: I don't normally post all the injuries, but considering a lot of people are scared to take the Redskins, I decided to give an update. The Giants have 2 key injuries on their Offensive Line - G Justin Pugh and C Weston Richburg (who is having a stellar season). Center is so important, so the latter is really going to hurt.
JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore played such an enormous role in the Purdue Boilermakers' success last season that replacing their production will be a huge challenge for Matt Painter, who nearly bolted for Missouri this offseason. The return of Robbie Hummel will certainly help, but does Purdue have enough pieces around the returning senior?
You couldn't help but feel terrible last year when Hummel suffered a second torn ACL in nine months. The first cost him the end of his junior season, while the second happened last October during Purdue's second practice. Hummel's return will provide a huge boost in leadership and scoring, but I am definitely skeptical of whether or not he can return to his old form and play at the high level we are used to seeing.
The only returning frontcourt player to see significant minutes last year is D.J. Byrd who is physical and can shoot the ball from the outside, but incredibly under-sized at 6-5. Sandi Marcius and Travis Carroll played sparingly last season, combining to average just 2.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, and .4 blocked shots per game. Now as sophomores, they will battle for minutes in the middle and will be lucky to combine for half of the production Johnson accounted for a season ago.
Freshmen Donnie Hale and Jacob Lawson will try to provide some depth off the bench. Hale has a game similar to Hummel; a taller forward, versatile, and can shoot it from the outside. Lawson is more suited to play on the inside and will be a factor early in his career because of his rebounding and shot blocking since his offensive game is still raw.
As big as the loss of Johnson is to the frontcourt, Moore's absence will be felt in the backcourt. Lewis Jackson returns to run the point. He is a solid defender and passer but not much of a shooter. Ryne Smith will have to increase his scoring load and become more than just a three-point assassin; an area where he excelled last season as he connected on 44.1% of his three-point attempts.
I expected Kelsey Barlow to take a bigger step than he did last season, but his development from his freshman year was somewhat disappointing. Terone Johnson was a solid contributor and John Hart saw decent minutes off the bench. All three guards will take on larger roles this season while redshirt freshman Anthony Johnson will try to work his way into the rotation.
Purdue has not finished worse than second in the Big Ten the past four seasons as Painter has found a way to maximize his team's potential. Expectations will be lessened in 2011-2012 as the Boilermakers try to fill the void left behind by Johnson and Moore. If Hummel does not return to his old form, Purdue could be in jeopardy of missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five years. But if Painter once again works his magic, expect the Boilers to be dancing.
Player to Watch: Kelsey Barlow, G
At 6-5, Barlow has a unique skill set for a bigger guard. He can play the point, handle the rock, and cause problems on defense due to his length. Barlow still struggles with his outside shot and has yet to truly look comfortable at Purdue, but could be an X-factor for the Boilermakers this season if he starts to figure it out.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/17 vs. Iona (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
11/18 vs. Temple/Western Michigan (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
11/20 vs. Alabama/Maryland/Wichita State/Colorado (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)