The lovely Ms. Katherine Jenkins certainly brings it every week: as real, spectacular and buxom as any pigskin prognosticating muse on the planet. She can illuminate the darkest night with her ... ahem ... inspiration.
It’s our similarly named real and spectacular picks that are sagging this season. Once again, we failed to hit even the humble .500 mark.
We've had a glorious career of hitting home runs. From 2009 to 2011 , we produced an incredible 17 weeks of 10-plus wins against the spread.
That’s an average of nearly six 10-win weeks per season, for those of you keeping measurements at home.
These days, we're no different than your pal Candy Cooter at the Golden Banana Lounge, working hard, hoping for singles.
Those Glory Day memories remind us of a sad little old song of our youth.
Certain losses you can live with each week in the nip-and-tuck game of pro football. You expect to live on the razor's edge.
Here in Week 10 of the 2012 season, it was the grossly disfiguring losses that proved hard to look at by the end of the day.
The Giants, favorites to repeat as Super Bowl champs as recently as two weeks ago, were whitewashed by the Bungles and the Dolphins mounted just a figgie against a Titans team that was on pace to give up more points than any team in NFL history.
It’s time for us to recapture a little of the glory with a late-season surge.
In past years we averaged nearly 29 games above .500 ATS. This year, we need to scratch and claw merely to salvage something as humble as a winning record.
And, let’s face it, there are worse ways to spend a few weeks than scratching and clawing with the real and spectacular Ms. Jenkins.
In fact, she seems downright happy to see us right now.
2012 season week-by-week performance
Week 1: 9-7 straight up; 7-9 ATS
Week 2: 10-6 straight up; 7-8-1 ATS
Week 3: 6-10 straight up; 8-7-1 ATS
Week 4: 10-5 straight up; 8-7 ATS
Week 5: 9-5 straight up; 6-8 ATS
Week 6: 5-9 straight up; 4-10 ATS
Week 7: 11-2 straight up; 6-5-2 ATS
Week 8: 10-4 straight up; 8-6 ATS
Week 9: 9-5 straight up; 6-8 ATS
Week 10: 9-4-1 straight up; 6-7 ATS
Year to date: 88-57-1 straight up; 66-76-4 (.465) ATS
History to date (2009-2012): 487-412 (.542); 33 winning weeks; 17 losing weeks, 11 weeks at .500
Indianapolis (-3.5) at Jacksonville
Our pick: Indianapolis 23, Jacksonville 17
Final score: Indianapolis 27, Jacksonville 10
Result: A win for CHFF (1-0 straight up; 1-0 ATS)
What we said: “The fact that these teams are more fairly matched than the records would indicate is evidenced by the fact that the Jaguars won the first meeting, 22-17, up in Indianapolis back in Week 3, Jacksonville’s only victory of the year … But the Jaguars were able to lean heavily on Maurice Jones-Drew in that Week 3 victory (28 carries, 177 yards, 1 TD) and he’s not playing this week … Despite the narrow statistical gap between these two teams, this game has the feel of two teams heading in opposite directions.”
Atlanta (-2.5) at New Orleans
Our pick: Atlanta 31, New Orleans 28
Final score: New Orleans 31, Atlanta 27
Result: A loss for CHFF (1-1 straight up; 1-1 ATS)
What we said: “Not surprisingly, Atlanta enjoys large advantages in most of our key Quality Stats comparisons below, but its defense appears vulnerable to a Saints’ offense that has averaged 27.0 PPG over the last four games, three of which were victories. Look for the Falcons to win, but for Drew Brees and Co. to keep it close.”
Buffalo at New England (-10.5)
Our pick: New England 35, Buffalo 21
Final score: New England 37, Buffalo 31
Result: A loss for CHFF (2-1 straight up; 1-2 ATS)
What we said: “The Patriots’ lousy pass defense will give up a lot of yards, and probably give up a good amount of points, but New England’s offensive machine should be much too much to handle for a Buffalo defense that makes the French army circa 1940 look impenetrable.”
Denver (-4) at Carolina
Our pick: Denver 28, Carolina 21
Final score: Denver 36, Carolina 14
Result: A win for CHFF (3-1 straight up; 2-2 ATS)
What we said: “In the end Denver has large advantages in our most key indicators, like Offensive Passer Rating, Real QB Rating, the Quality Standings, the Relativity Index and our Quality Stats Power Rankings.”
Detroit (-1.5) at Minnesota
Our pick: Detroit 24, Minnesota 21
Final score: Minnesota 34, Detroit 24
Result: A loss for CHFF (3-2 straight up; 2-3 ATS)
What we said: “ This appears to be about a field-goal game either way. And right now you should have more confidence that the Lions can get that extra three points needed for the win.”
N.Y Giants (-4) at Cincinnati
Our pick: N.Y. Giants 28, Cincinnati 21
Final score: Cincinnati 31, N.Y. Giants 13
Result: A loss for CHFF (3-3 straight up; 2-4 ATS)
What we said: “On the Relativity Index, the Quality Standings, Quality Stats Power Rankings and in Passer Rating Differential, New York is much better than Cincinnati.In fact, the Giants are 13 points better on the Relativity Index, while Manning should be able to regain his old form against a defense that ranks No. 28 in Defensive Passer Rating.”
Oakland at Baltimore (-7.5)
Our pick: Baltimore 27, Oakland 21
Final score: Baltimore 55, Oakland 20
Result: A loss for CHFF (4-3 straight up; 2-5 ATS)
What we said: “The Ravens, clearly, are the better team here, and they’re also at home. But Baltimore has registered only one true blowout win all year long—opening night against Cincinnati. Since then, they barely beat the terrible Chiefs and the sad-sack Cowboys, and they struggled twice against a bad Cleveland team including last week, trailing in the fourth quarter before exploding for 10 late points. The Ravens are the better team. But if you’re playing the odds, it seems reasonable that the Raiders can keep it within a touchdown.”
San Diego at Tampa Bay (-3)
Our pick: Tampa Bay 27, San Diego 20
Final score: Tampa Bay 34, San Diego 24
Result: A win for CHFF (5-3 straight up; 3-5 ATS)
What we said: “Tampa Bay’s advantages in most of the key Quality Stats comparisons for this game are not huge. But the Bucs are better in an incredible 18 of 20 indicators (who would have seen that coming before the start of the season) and those advantages are still big enough to set the expectations that the Bucs should take this game by a fairly comfortable margin.”
Tennessee at Miami (-6)
Our pick: Miami 27, Tennessee 20
Final score: Tennessee 37, Miami 3
Result: A loss for CHFF (5-4 straight up; 3-6 ATS)
What we said: “Miami’s offense isn’t great, but Tennessee’s defense is horrendous and has trouble stopping anybody. The Titans are also 1-3 on the road, beating only the Bills 35-34, while losing the other three games by an average of 25 points. Meanwhile, Ryan Tannehill has not thrown an interception since Sept. 30 and has posted a passer rating of 90 or better in all three complete games he’s played since then. He should plenty of holes in the welcoming Titans defense. Jake Locker looks at return as Tennessee's starter, but the team was blown out twice badly in two of his three games early in the season.”
N.Y. Jets at Seattle (-6)
Our pick: Seattle 21, N.Y. Jets 6
Final score: Seattle 28, N.Y. Jets 7
Result: A win for CHFF (6-4 straight up; 4-6 ATS)
What we said: “Here’s the big numbers from Spreadapedia: Pete Carroll’s Seahawks are 14-7 at home, including an even better 15-6 ATS. That’s pretty impressive. Seattle has surrendered just 15.5 PPG at home this year, despite facing two of the most prolific offenses and most productive passers in NFL history in Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and New England’s Tom Brady. It’s hard to envision a statistical scenario in which the Jets and their pathetic passing attack can mount a competitive offense against a team and in an arena that has already humbled the NFL's best passers.”
Dallas at Philadelphia (-1.5)
Our pick: Dallas 23, Philadelphia 21
Final score: Dallas 38, Philadelphia 23
Result: A win for CHFF (7-4 straight up; 5-6 ATS)
What we said: “At the end of the day, the Cowboys have actually played better (better being a relative term with these two teams) against tougher competition, with six games against Quality Opponents. They are five points better on the Relativity Index. More importantly, Dallas is in fact better passing the football, easily topping Philadelphia in Real Passing YPA, Real QB Rating and Offensive Passer Rating … At the end of the day, the Cowboys should get a better performance out of their quarterback and have finally found an opponent dumber and less efficient than they are.”
St. Louis at San Francisco (-11)
Our pick: San Francisco 17, St. Louis 0
Final score: San Francisco 24, St. Louis 24
Result: A loss for CHFF (7-4-1 straight up; 5-7 ATS)
What we said: “The 49ers are No. 1 in scoring defense and when measured by the Relativity Index, they’re holding opponents to less than half their scoring average in other games. They’ve held four of their last five opponents without a touchdown. This one could be ugly, and certainly low scoring as has been every NFC West game this year..”
Houston at Chicago (-1)
Our pick: Houston 21, Chicago 17
Final score: Houston 13, Chicago 6
Result: A win for CHFF (8-4-1 straight up; 6-7 ATS)
What we said: “The Bears are dead last in the NFL at protecting the passer, suffering a Negative Pass Play on a brutal 13.3 percent of dropbacks. That’s a very bad sign for Chicago going up against J.J. Watt and one of the most devastating pass rushes in football and the team that is No. 1 on our Defensive Hog Index. The Bears faced the No. 2 Defensive Hogs from Green Bay back in Week 2 and the result was an ugly 23-10 loss, Chicago's only defeat of the season. Bottom line: the Texans will win this game with their defensive line and by severely limiting what is already a challenged Bears passing attack.”
Kansas City at Pittsburgh (-11.5)
Our pick: Pittsburgh 24, Kansas City 3
Final score: Pittsburgh 16, Kansas City 13
Result: A loss for CHFF (9-4-1 straight up; 6-8 ATS)
What we said:“We talked last week about the fact that good teams are usually good bets while bad teams are bad bets. Well, the Steelers are a good team and the Chiefs are a bad team. We also talked this week about Offensive Passer Rating as the best way to predict winners and losers in NFL games. Well, Pittsburgh is No. 5 in Offensive Passer Rating (100.8), nearly 36 full points better than the 32nd-ranked Chiefs in this indicator. Bottom line: Pittsburgh is far superior and playing very well lately, and playing at home this week, where they’re 3-0 this year and 13-1 in their last 14 games, the lone defeat a narrow 23-20 loss to Baltimore.”