We pick the weekend's game in a league where upsets are becoming the norm and the favorites are stumbling left and right. This season, ambushes have become the expected, unthinkable upsets have ceased to exist. Will we see more of the same this weekend?
The unthinkable upset has become obsolete in the NFL. Everybody can beat everybody, every day. The lowly Titans beat the supposedly good Steelers. Previously winless Cleveland trumped Cincinnati. Detroit exposed the Eagles. Seattle upstaged the mighty Patriots. And on and on it went all day on Sunday. And Monday.
Last weekend, the underdogs went 8-6 straight up and 12-2 against the spread. For the year, underdogs are 57-32-2 ATS, the second highest margn in 35 years. If you were betting the favorites so far, you probably haven't looked so good this year. In week six, our BTB Writers consensus pick came in at a disappointing 6-8, which was still two picks better than the community consensus picks in KDPs 10-for-10 contest. On our BTB Writers panel, only Coty Saxman had a winning record for week 6, in large part because he notoriously picks the opposite of what everyone else does.
The NFL has become unpredictable. In its infinite wisdom, the league has made sure the margin between good and bad teams has become progressively thinner. So far, 27 of the league’s 91 games (29.7 percent) have been decided by three points or fewer. That puts 2012 on pace to pass 1997 (27.9 percent; 67 of 240 games) as the highest single-season mark since the merger.
The league touts this as "competitiveness" in its press releases and promotes the idea of "parity" or "competitive balance" wherever it can. But every week, as supposedly superior teams get upset by opponents with inferior records, we get a graphic reminder that the marketing slogans of competitiveness and parity mask nothing more than mediocrity.
All of this of course is just a clever ruse I've concocted to draw attention away from the fact that I finished 3-11 last week. But we continue undeterred, making our picks each week and hoping that this week won't see more of our supposed favorites ambushed. Below are all our picks for Week 7, 2012.
Outside of the Cowboys, only the Vikings, Patriots and Bears are unanimous picks by our panelists. And with how the season has progressed so far, the chances of all three of those teams actually coming through are pretty slim. Can we expect another weekend of upsets, and if so, who's your upset pick of the week?