Welcome to week ten of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series. Last Sunday we were lucky enough to go three of three for a second week in a row. Cincinnati took care of business against the lowly Jaguars, Kansas City held strong against the struggling Jets, and the Seahawks fended off a late Oakland rally to the delight of the Seattle home crowd. Let’s keep the streak going this week! Read on and feel free to comment at the bottom.
Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups
If it weren’t for this first crucial step in our eliminator process I would have thought the San Francisco 49ers would have easily beat the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. I also would have thought the Carolina Panthers would be able to defeat a New Orleans team that has struggled mightily on the road this season. That being said, if I picked these games last week as discussed above I would have gone 0-2. Do yourself a favor and avoid the below division games:
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- Cleveland at Cincinnati
- Atlanta at Tampa Bay
- Denver at Oakland
- St. Louis at Arizona
Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups
This season we have had some hits and misses when it comes to entertaining prime time games. This week is one to cherish when we have a division matchup in Green Bay as well as a very intriguing matchup in Philly. In my personal opinion, both games could go either way and that’s why I’m staying away. If I were you I would avoid the below marquee games this week:
- Chicago at Green Bay
- Carolina at Philadelphia
Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage
There were some very impressive home field performances this past weekend. Big Ben rewrote the history books in Pittsburgh while the Dolphins played an almost perfect game against the traveling Chargers. That being said, the most impressive feat over the weekend was the New England Patriots performance over the Denver Broncos. Many were calling the Broncos the beat team in the league, but the Patriots reminded everyone why home field advance is so important in the NFL. Be aware and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:
- Kansas City at Buffalo
- Dallas at Jacksonville (London)
- Pittsburgh at NY Jets
Step 4 – Make your pick!
After nine weeks consisting of eight straight correct picks, it is amazing and surprising that we have yet to pick the Broncos or Seahawks. It’s time to break that cycle. The Seattle Seahawks have looked far from their dominant selves this season, but they have still been a force at home. With a home record of 10-2 over the past two seasons, the Seahawks host the New York Giants this week, a team that is 4-8 on the road during the same time period. I expect a lot of Marshawn Lynch on Sunday, leading to a Seattle victory. My pick of the week is:
Seattle over NY Giants
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Another option I like this week:
Baltimore over Tennessee
After a tough loss in Pittsburgh last weekend I expect Baltimore to rebound this Sunday. On the season Baltimore is 3-1 at home while the Titans are 1-3 on the road. Also keep in mind that Mettenberger should struggle against a stout Raven’s defense.