NFL Eliminator Challenge: Week 9

Welcome to week nine of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series!  Last week, we went a perfect 3-0 as our pick of the week, the Bears, easily beat the Jets. Our two alternate picks both won by slim margins.  Let’s keep our streak rolling into week nine!  Read on and feel free to comment at the bottom or hit me up on twitter!

Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups

Two weeks in a row now, we haven’t seen any big division upsets.  While some games were close such as the Chiefs and Redskins, only beating their division rivals by a single touchdown, the closest game was between two one-win teams in Arizona.  That being said, keep in mind that we are really overdue for a big division upset this weekend.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, do yourself a favor and avoid the below division games:

  • Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers
  • New York Jets at Miami Dolphins
  • Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings

Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

Similar to our division matchups, we had some more snoozers in prime-time.  Even the Saints-Vikings game ended up being a two-score decision, and that was the highlight of the weekend.  However, I would still take these games with a grain of salt.  Unless you want to take a chance, I would avoid the below marquee games:

  • Oakland Raiders at San Francisco 49ers
  • Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots
  • Tennessee Titans at Dallas Cowboys

Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

Of 11 games on Sunday (not counting the London game), seven of them were won by the home team, including the Panthers upsetting the Ravens, who had until recently been dominant at home.  I can’t stress this enough, in the NFL, home field advantage is very real.  Be aware and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:

  • Chicago Bears at Buffalo Bills
  • Kansas City Chiefs at Cleveland Browns

Step 4 – Make your pick!

My pick of the week is:

  • Seattle Seahawks over the Los Angeles Chargers

Let me start this off that there are not a lot of attractive picks this week.  First off, there has been a lot of parity in the NFL this season, secondly, some of the more attractive picks are either division games or where the pick is the away team.  It really came down to Seattle or Washington, and I just don’t trust a team that barely beat the Giant last week.  If we follow our rules, this is the best option, but below I have also added some rule breaking picks I would be comfortable with.  Good luck!

Other options I like this week:

  • Chicago Bears over the Buffalo Bills

Yes, Chicago is the away team, but did you watch the Bills offense on Monday night?  If the Bears can get seven on the board, they may have the game won in the first quarter.

  • Carolina Panthers over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I hate, hate, HATE picking division games, but if I’m ever going to pick one, I’m going to pick one where one team is on the upswing, while the other team is on the downswing.  These teams couldn’t be heading in more opposite directions, and I don’t see how the Bucs get out of their own way in this one.

 

*BROWNS WARNING* – many may be leaning towards picking the Chiefs over the Browns in Cleveland this weekend, but this smells like a trap game to me.  As a Dolphins fan, I remember when our coach was fired in the 2015 season and Dan Campbell took over.  Their first game with him as the interim head coach was against the Titans, where the Dolphins won 38-10.  Campbell’s second game was against the Texans, where again the Dolphins won easily 44-26.  Campbell may have finished the rest of the season losing seven of the next ten games, but some teams play differently right after a coach is fired, and they can surprise some of the best teams.

 

Overall record: 19-5

Last week record: 3-0

 

Follow me on twitter and let me know what you think of this week’s picks @DE_aaron!

https://twitter.com/DE_aaron

Thanks for reading!

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