The early picks are definitely preliminary, as Vegas can't seem to decide how to handicap the NE game.
In the rankings, I've highlighted the DET/GB game—where GB is currently favored by three—to give an example of how the financial rankings can make the difference in a pick.
The Sharpe and Alpha rankings are exactly flip-flopped, and these teams execute very well, but the Beta indicates that GB is far more likely to do it again.
Of course, because it's a three-point game, the Box picks DET (the game is outside the <3 point margin for financial override)...but at least it illustrates some things to consider.
Here are the rankings and picks:
|THE PICKS||Over /|
|* considers lay in pick order||Under|
|1. MIN +7.5 v. NYG Away||42.5|
|2. BUF +7.5 v. JAC Away x2!||42.5|
|3. STL +3 v. SEA @Home x2! - Bet Soon||38.5|
|4. SF +10 v. ARI Away - Bet Soon||35.5|
|5. DET +3 v. GB @Home - Bet Soon||42.5|
|6. WAS +3 v. TB Away - Bet Soon||43.0|
|7. CIN +1 v. TEN @Home||40.0|
|8. CAR +3 v. NO @Home - Bet Soon||38.5|
|9. DEN +2 v. CHI Away||40.5|
|10. BAL +9 v. SD Away - Bet Soon||40.5|
|11. NYJ +14 v. DAL Away - Bet Soon||44.0|
|12. MIA +16 v. PIT Away - Bet Soon||40.5|
|13. OAK +5.5 v. KC Away||38.0|
|14. CLE -3.5 v. HOU @Home||40.5|
|15. ATL +12 v. IND @Home - Bet Soon||42.0|
|16. PHI +22.5 v. NE Away||47.5|
I expect the picks to change when the NE spread is finalized and when the spreads move a bit further off their opening lines, so stay tuned for a repeat pick post tomorrow or early on Turkey Day.
The only favorite on the roster this week is CLE—but I'm glad it's the Box's 14th-ranked pick, since HOU's returning combo of Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub makes me nervous.
The combo has the ability to be a Box-buster, even against a scrappy Derek Andersen.
Notice in the WS Ranks how NE's beta actually DROPPED from last week...because they outscored themselves, hence adding a layer of volatility.
I'm not sure how DAL is even in the same league as NE in terms of output; I think the Alpha rankings are the only rankings in the country that have DAL No. 1 and NE No. 2.
That should at least make Dallas fans happy—until of course Dallas plays the Pats again for the ring and loses by 20 or 30 or 40 points.
It's got to make you feel warm and fuzzy to see San Francisco and Miami ranked above anyone in SOMETHING, even if it's for consistently poor play.