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.
20. Evan Fournier, G, France: D Grade
This is quite the reach for a guy whom I had projected as an early-second-round pick. Denver does have its core pretty much intact for next season, so they can stash Fournier overseas for a year or two. I would have much rather seen the Nuggets take somebody like Marquis Teague since Andre Miller is a free agent.
38. Quincy Miller, F, Baylor: Grade A
Miller must be kicking himself for coming out after his freshman year considering he would have been a top-10 prospect in the 2013 Draft. This is an outstanding value pick for the Nuggets as Miller could eventually become a steal. He certainly won't make an impact anytime soon though.
50. Izzet Turkyilmaz, F, Turkey: C Grade
I'm not at all surprised that Denver took another foreign guy. I don't know much about him, but he does have the sweetest name in the draft.
*** 2012 NBA Offseason Needs and Free Agents listed below this comment box. ***
2011-12 Season Summary:
Balance, balance, and more balance. That was the key for the Nuggets this past season as ten players who finished the season on the roster averaged at least eight points per game. Those numbers are a bit misleading since injuries limited the court time of several of those players. Regardless, it's a formula that George Karl has adopted in Denver since the franchise dealt Carmelo Anthony. Karl's system led the team to have one of the most potent offenses in the NBA and gain a respectable amount of success.
Leading the charge for the Nuggets was their backcourt of Ty Lawson and Aaron Afflalo. Both players made significant strides with their game, which helped offset the separate ankle and thumb injuries that sidelined Danilo Gallinari for 23 games. Almost as important for Denver was the leadership and experience that veteran ironman Andre Miller brought to the backcourt.
Newcomers Corey Brewer and Rudy Fernandez played important roles off the bench though Fernandez's season was cut short due to a back injury. Wilson Chandler was supposed to add even more depth after his stint playing professional ball in China during the strike, but his return to the NBA ended after just eight games because of a bum hip.
Perhaps the most surprising part of the Nuggets' season was the trading of veteran big man, Nene, who the team had just signed to a long-term extension last offseason. Dealing Nene to the Wizards for JaVale McGee brought a younger, more defensive-minded player, which was needed due to Chris Andersen's injury and off-the-court issues. Timofey Mozgov and Kosta Koufus added more size and depth inside, which most NBA teams always seem to covet.
After failing to immediately crack the rotation, rookie Kenneth Faried became a fan favorite due to his hustle and aggressive style of play (and quite honestly, emerged as one of my favorite rookies of this past season.) His energy and ability to crash the boards added a missing dimension from Denver's roster. Al Harrington had a nice bounce back season after a rough inaugural year in town and accepted his role as the top scoring threat off the bench.
SF: Danilo Gallinari/Wilson Chandler/Jordan Hamilton
SG: Aaron Afflalo/Corey Brewer/*Rudy Fernandez
PG: Ty Lawson/Julyan Stone
NBA Free Agents:
PG-Andre Miller (UFA)
*C-JaVale McGee (RFA)
*SG-Rudy Fernandez (RFA)
2012-13 Team Salary: Approximately $48.1 million
NBA Offseason Needs:
1. Pay McGee?:
While swapping Nene for McGee temporarily saved the Nuggets some money, that won't be the case this offseason since he is a restricted free agent and due for a significant pay raise. The question for Denver becomes how much is the team willing to pay to keep him around?
It recently given long-term extensions to Gallinari, Afflalo, and Chandler. Plus, the team will have to pony up some cash for Ty Lawson in the near future since he becomes a restricted free agent next summer.
Denver does have the advantage of being able to match any offer McGee signs, but anything in the $10-$12 million per year range could be out of their price range.
2. Re-sign Miller:
At 36 years old, Andre Miller isn't near as productive as he was a few years ago. However, his leadership and ability to distribute the basketball still make him a very valuable asset on a still rather youthful team. If Miller can land a starting job elsewhere though, he could once again be on his way out of the Mile High City.
3. 3-Point Shooter:
While the Nuggets defended the three-point line better than any other team in the league, they struggled shooting it from distance, finishing 24th in the league in three-point percentage. Getting Gallinari healthy should help that number improve but Denver should still be proactive in looking to add a long-distance specialist off its bench, which would only make the Nuggets a more dangerous offensive team.