Happy Thursday! The picks were 9-7 last week, for a total record of
115-76-1 126-81-1 (sorry, forgot week 14’s picks). I was 1-0 on the personal picks, or 16-14 for the year.
UPDATE: The rest of the picks are in place now. A quick look at how CHI->NO changed the rankings – the top 6 stay the same, and 21-32 stay the same, but the middle gets pretty scrambled, including a large jump for Chicago. Hypothetical pick alterations noted below.
NEW ORLEANS at Chicago: Neither team has a beatpath to the other, but New Orleans is favored. If New Orleans wins, it subtly shrinks the 6-team beatloop into a 5-team beatloop, which restores a NO->GB->CHI beatpath. If Chicago wins, it busts that beatloop in another direction, restoring CHI->IND->BAL->WAS->NO. Crazy interesting.
San Francisco at MIAMI: A very close pick, they’re ranked right next to each other. Miami is favored. San Francisco is playing for a beatwin.
TAMPA BAY at Atlanta: Tampa Bay has a beatwin over Atlanta and is favored. If Atlanta wins, they shed the beatloss, leaving their remaining beatloss to Denver.
WASHINGTON at Cincinnati: Not as much as a mismatch as the conventional wisdom would have you believe, but Washington is still favored. Washington is playing for a beatwin. Cincinnati would be able to shed a beatloss to Cleveland with a win.
SAN DIEGO at Kansas City: San Diego has a beatwin over Kansas City and is favored. Kansas City would be able to shed the beatwin with the win, but it won’t make much of a difference.
GREEN BAY at Jacksonville: Another game between teams in the lower half of the league. Green Bay is favored. Green Bay is playing for a beatwin. If Jacksonville wins, they shed their beatloss to Chicago – interestingly, this busts the same beatloop that Chicago busted, so it looks like there were multiple ways for Chicago to break free of its shackles this week.
TENNESSEE at Houston: Tennessee has a beatpath to Houston. If Houston wins, there’s still a redundant beatpath to Houston.
Seattle at ST. LOUIS: This is how bad it’s gotten for Seattle, St. Louis is favored over them. Seattle is playing for a beatwin. If St. Louis wins, it restores STL->WAS->SEA and STL->DAL->SEA, but both STL wins get beatlooped away otherwise, so it’s really just a WAS->SEA that gets restored.
Detroit at INDIANAPOLIS: The Chicago game actually flips this pick. Just kidding.
Buffalo at NY JETS: The most lopsided pick of the week but I don’t think it’s a safe pick for the NY Jets at all. Still, the NY Jets are favored. The NY Jets have a beatpath to Buffalo. If Buffalo wins, they reclaim a beatwin over Oakland.
MINNESOTA at Arizona: Minnesota has a beatpath to Arizona. If Arizona wins, they beatloop Minnesota through Carolina. I really don’t trust the MIN->CAR beatwin and don’t think it will survive past this week, so I will personally pick Arizona.
NEW ENGLAND at Oakland: Neither team has a beatpath to the other, but New England is comfortably favored over Oakland. New England is playing for a beatwin. If Oakland wins, there’s no visible change to the current beatpath graph.
PITTSBURGH at Baltimore: Neither team has a beatpath to the other, but Pittsburgh is favored over Baltimore. Pittsburgh is playing for a beatwin. If Baltimore wins, they split the season series and regain their beatwin over Philadelphia.
DENVER at Carolina: Denver has a beatpath to Carolina. If Carolina wins, the DEN->TB->MIN->CAR beatpath is busted apart and Denver is left with their beatwins over New Orleans and Atlanta. Carolina would emerge with no beatlosses. I’m sticking with Denver on this one, guys!
NY Giants at DALLAS: Neither team has a beatpath to the other, but Dallas is favored. If the NY Giants win, they get a beatwin over Dallas. If Dallas wins, they regain their beatwin over Cleveland, which would be invisible anyway, so no changes to the beatpath graph. Odd that the underdog team is the one playing for the beatwin. I’ll personally pick the NY Giants.
Cleveland at PHILADELPHIA: This is actually an example of, and the only example of, a game that the CHI->NO game flips the pick on. I have Cleveland ranked one slot ahead of Philadelphia in the interim rankings. Officially though, Philadelphia is the pick. Neither team has a beatpath to the other, but Philadelphia is favored. No real change to the graph if Cleveland wins, but Philadelphia is playing for a beatwin.