NFL Eliminator Challenge: Week 9

Welcome to Week Nine of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series.  Last week we got one of the easiest picks of the season, where the Chiefs beat the lowly Jets by a score of 35-9.  However, our alternate picks weren’t as lucky as we split 1-1, our one win taking overtime for the Saints to beat the Bears.  We might need to look closer at home field advantage in the future.  Time to get back to 3-0!  Feel free to comment at the bottom or hit me up on twitter!

Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups

Man, I love division games.  The Bills barely beat the Patriots due to a Cam fumble in the final minutes.  The Vikings upset the Packers in Green Bay by less than a touchdown.  The Steelers and Ravens came down to the final play of their game and the Broncos came back to beat the Chargers by a single point.  Week in, week out, these continue to be the best games of the week and are highly unpredictable.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, do yourself a favor and avoid the below division games:

  • Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings
  • New York Giants @ Washington Football Team
  • Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Las Vegas Raiders @ Los Angeles Chargers
  • New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • New England Patriots @ New York Jets

Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

While prime time didn’t exactly offer the most exciting of matchups, we did have some exciting games.  Even though four of the six teams had two wins or less entering the week, we saw the 1-6 falcons upset the 3-4 Panthers on Thursday night by eight points.  Sunday was uneventful, with the 2-4-1 Eagles beating the Cowboys fairly easily. But Monday gave us another nail biter, as the 1-6 Giants came very close to upsetting the 5-2 Buccaneers. Similar to division games, prime time games have been a pleasant surprise in 2020.  Unless you want to take a chance, I would avoid the below marquee games:

  • Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers
  • New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • New England Patriots @ New York Jets

Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

Last week there were four games where there were decent underdogs playing at home: Cincinnati, Detroit, Miami and Denver.  While Detroit got blown out by Indy, somehow the other three teams won, two of them very convincingly.  The Bengals and Dolphins didn’t have a chance according to the “experts,” instead the Bengals beat Tennessee by 11 and the Dolphins beat LA by nine (and it should have been more).  We will continue to keep an eye on this rule for 2020 but for now I’m still going to play it safe and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:

  • Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers
  • Seattle Seahawks @ Buffalo Bills
  • Baltimore Ravens @ Indianapolis Colts
  • Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Pittsburgh Steelers @ Dallas Cowboys
  • New England Patriots @ New York Jets

Step 4 – Make your pick!

My pick of the week is:

  • Atlanta Falcons over the Denver Broncos

While the Falcons are only 2-6 and the Broncos are 3-4, this is all about talent.  The Falcons have won two of their last three games, their one loss only coming by only one point.  Julio Jones is starting to look like his old self and with the game taking place in Atlanta, I think they win a close one in this game.

Other options I like this week:

  • Kansas City Chiefs over the Carolina Panthers

If you didn’t pick Kansas City last week, here is another chance.  They are playing at home in Kansas City and are hosting a Panthers team that lost to a one-win Falcons team the week before.  I think the Panthers’ record is catching up to their talent level and the Chiefs should take advantage on Sunday.

  • Tennessee Titans over the Chicago Bears

This pick is all about ignoring recency bias.  Two weeks ago the Titans were undefeated and barely lost to the undefeated Steelers by a field goal.  Yes, they lost badly to Cincinnati last week, but this team is too talented to lose three in a row, and with a return to their home field I expect them to get back on track against a team with a record that I believe is better than their talent similar to Carolina.

Last Week Record = 2-1

Season Record = 17-6

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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