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I have been betting games this season against my Dad, and we've been having some fun. So, in the spirit of small wagers and compulsive tinkering with statistics, I thought  I'd share my pasttime with whoever might want to add their opinion.

 I'm going to go with the USA Today spreads, and I'll add Jon Saraceno's picks and  margins of victory in parentheses:

Teams: USA Today (saraceno mov)

SF @ AZ: SF 4 (6)
ATL @ CAR: ATL 3 (5)
IND @ BAL: BAL 16 (14)
BUF @ SD: SD 6 (11)
CHI@ DEN: CHI 3.5 (3)
HOU@ CIN: CIN 4 (3)
CLE @ PIT: PIT 13.5 (13)
NYG @ DAL: DAL 3.5 (6)
MIN @ DET: DET 8 (7)
OAK @ GB: GB 11 (24)
TB @ JAC: JAC 1 (3)
KC @ NYJ: NYJ 9 (17)
PHI @ MIA: MIA 3 (PHI 6)
NE @ WAS: NE 7 (16)
NO @ TEN: NO 3.5 (11)
STL @ SEA: SEA 6.5 (18)

I'm including Saraceno's mov's because it's fun to see him get over-enthusiastic about a team he really really likes (PHI). But I'm not going to bet against his spreads.

My picks below the crumpled pigskin.


I'm using a predictive RPI that pays more attention to each teams' three most recent games. If I were to bet on the upcoming games, these are the bets I would make (team beating the USA Today spread gets the asterisk):

Teams:                 RPI [USA Today] (Saraceno)

SF* @ AZ:            SF 8 [4] (6)
ATL @ CAR:          ATL 3 [3] (5)   tie
IND* @ BAL:         BAL 12 [16] (14)
BUF* @ SD:          SD 1 [6] (11)
CHI @ DEN*:          CHI 1 [3.5] (3)
HOU* @ CIN:         HOU 5 [CIN 4] (CIN 3) +
CLE* @ PIT:          PIT 7 [13.5] (13)
NYG* @ DAL:         DAL 1 [3.5] (6)
MIN* @ DET:         DET 5 [8] (7)
OAK* @ GB:          GB 8 [11] (24)
TB @ JAC:             JAC 1 [1] (3)       tie
KC* @ NYJ:           NYJ 5 [9] (17)
PHI* @ MIA:         MIA 2 [3] (PHI 6) ++
NE @ WAS:           NE 7 [7] (16)      tie
NO @ TEN*:           NO 3 [3.5] (11)   
STL* @ SEA:         SEA 4 [6.5] (18)

+I've got HOU-5 over CIN; USA Today and Saraceno see a different game
++I've got MIA-2 over PHI, but USA Today wants MIA-3 and Saraceno sees PHI-6. My RPI says I must take PHI in that game, but to be clear, I am taking PHI+3.

ties: If I was playing a parlay card this weekend, I would just stay away from the three games below and bet on the ones above. But...I'll play these games too, just to work on my RPI.

ATL @ CAR: CAR won last week, ATL lost... CAR @ home gets the*
TB @ JAC:  Both teams just lost big; I'll go with the home JAC*
NE @ WAS: NE had a 28-point lead over IND last week and then shut the engines down, coasting to a 7-point win...I'll go with the home team again, WAS gets the*

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