2009 NFL Week 3 Beatpath Picks

Time for the Week 3 picks.

The “official picks” should again be considered the ITB picks, the last column. My “personal picks” had the same record as the “official pics” in week 2, so, still tied there.

There are three BeatPicks – picks that are dictated by the graph itself. As for my personal picks, I’ll pick Arizona over Indianapolis, and New England over Atlanta.

The pick rules – consistent with the first two weeks of the season – are: If there is a beatpath, pick the favored team. Otherwise, pick the team with the best win-loss record. If they’re the same, pick who beatpaths favors in the beatpath rankings.

  Isaacson-Tarbell Beatpaths Isaacson-Tarbell-Beatpaths
Record So Far 17-15 23-9 22-10
Last Week 8-8 12-4 11-5
Cleveland at Baltimore: Knowing how Denver’s beatpath has gone, Cleveland would beat Baltimore and lengthen it even further. But all three methods agree that Baltimore is favored. BAL BAL BAL
Washington at Detroit: All three methods agree that Washington is the clear pick here, due to them having one more win than Detroit, and a history of being ranked ahead. WAS WAS WAS
Jacksonville at Houston: Another unanimous pick, this time for Houston, although not many would have expected it at the outset of the season. HOU HOU HOU
Atlanta at New England: Isaacson-Tarbell picks Atlanta due to the win-loss records. Beatpaths vanilla picks New England, simply due to a history of New England being ranked further ahead. ITB picks Atlanta, because there’s no beatpath relationship. ATL NE ATL
Green Bay at St. Louis: A unanimous pick for Green Bay. It’s pretty impossible for St. Louis to find a scenario under which they’d be favored, these days. GB GB GB
NY Giants at Tampa Bay: NY Giants are unanimously favored, as Tampa Bay is two games behind the Giants in win-loss record, also with a history of being ranked behind the Giants. On top of that, the Giants already have a beatpath to Tampa Bay, making this the first BeatPick of the season. NYG NYG* NYG
Tennessee at NY Jets: Another unanimous pick, plus another beatpath through Houston, making this a BeatPick. NYJ NYJ* NYJ
Kansas City at Philadelphia: Philadelphia has a better record, and is also ranked ahead of Kansas City, making this a clear pick. PHI PHI PHI
San Francisco at Minnesota: At last, an interesting game between two undefeated teams, although it seems an odd billing. Isaacson-Tarbell picks the home team. Beatpaths ranks Minnesota ahead, although this also depends on beatpaths tiebreaker variant – San Francisco has a slightly meatier beatpath, although it’s impossible to judge the quality of its beatwins given the NFC West’s history. I was torn on which tiebreaker to use this week, and chose the one that relies more heavily on last season’s records since we’re so early in the season. That impacts this pick since it leads to Minnesota being favored. Otherwise it would have been San Francisco. MIN MIN MIN
New Orleans at Buffalo: New Orleans is undefeated, Buffalo isn’t. Beatpaths still sees Buffalo ranked ahead of New Orleans, though, due to last season. The game could be surprising. NO BUF NO
Chicago at Seattle: Interesting matchup – I’ll clearly be rooting for Seattle, since it’s my second hometown. Isaacson-Tarbell reverts to the home team. Beatpaths remembers Chicago being ranked ahead, although it’s not by much – four ranking slots. It’s close because of home field advantage, but I’m usually only tempted to flip the pick if it’s within three rankings or less. Either way, since Isaacson-Tarbell reverts to the home team, the beatpath pick has precedence. SEA CHI CHI
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati: A game that tests a beatpath. Cincinnati has a beatpath to Pittsburgh, making this a BeatPick for Cincinnati. What’s flukey – CIN->GB? GB->CHI? This will be an interesting game, and Cincinnati will be revved up for it. Isaacson-Tarbell picks the home team. It’s unanimous. CIN CIN* CIN
Denver at Oakland: Denver has the better record, and this is a unanimous pick. DEN DEN DEN
Miami at San Diego: Miami is winless but they still seem dangerous to me. The pick is for San Diego, but beatpaths still sees Miami as historically ranked ahead of San Diego. SD MIA SD
Indianapolis at Arizona: Both teams have defeated Jacksonville – Arizona by more, and at Jacksonville – but Arizona also lost in week 1. Indianapolis has the better record, and is also favored in the rankings. I’d be tempted to pick the upset here. IND IND IND
Carolina at Dallas: Dallas has the better record and is at home, and Dallas is ranked ahead. A clear pick for Dallas. DAL DAL DAL

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