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.
Third time's the charm, right? After failing in their attempts to land free agents Hedo Turkoglu and Paul Millsap earlier this month, the Blazers have finally landed an impact free agent, agreeing to a reported 3-year, $21 million contract with point guard Andre Miller. (The third year of the deal will be a team option.)
Miller, like a lot of other free agents have found out this summer, learned that this is indeed a buyers' market. Portland was really the only team with enough cap space able to offer him anything more than the mid-level exception without the 76ers having to get involved in some sort of sign-and-trade deal. A yearly salary of $7 million for a veteran point guard who averaged 16.3 ppg, 6.5 apg and 4.5 rpg last season, and has only missed five games in the last nine years, is quite the bargain.
With this signing, the Blazers have significantly upgraded their point guard play. Last year, Portland used a three-man rotation with Steve Blake starting at the one, and Sergio Rodriguez and Jerryd Bayless coming off the bench. While Blake was serviceable as a starter, he is not going to lead a team to a ring playing starter's minutes and is in the final year of his deal. Rodriguez was dealt to Sacramento in a draft-day trade, while Bayless is probably still a year or two away from being a major contributor. The Blazers also drafted St. Mary's point guard Patty Mills in the second round who now seems like a long shot to make the roster or may spend his first season in the D-League.
As expected, Portland made a major jump last season, improving by 13 wins and finishing tied with the second-best record out West. While I applaud the Miller signing, I'm not sure it catapults the Blazers any higher in the Western Conference. With the Lakers staying strong and San Antonio's acquisition of Richard Jefferson, they are clearly the teams to beat.
The only way Portland can enter the conversation is if Greg Oden actually lives up to his potential. Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge will provide the scoring, while Miller brings his experience and floor leadership, but the Blazers will need Oden to fill that spot in the middle if they are to be taken seriously as title contenders.