Thursday, October 30, 2014

NFL Week 9 Game Picks

GameAPRSRSLine
Jets @
Chiefs
Chiefs
ρ=1.3623
Chiefs
δ=17.6
Chiefs
-10
Raiders @
Seahawks
Seahawks
ρ=1.3178
Seahawks
δ=13.5
Seahawks
-15
Jaguars @
Bengals
Bengals
ρ=1.2599
Bengals
δ=12.2
Bengals
-11
Rams @
49ers
49ers
ρ=1.2303
49ers
δ=12.9
49ers
-10
Broncos @
Patriots
Broncos
ρ=1.2002
Broncos*
δ=10.9
Broncos
-3
Buccaneers @
Browns
Browns
ρ=1.1896
Browns
δ=14.8
Browns
-6½
Colts @
Giants
Colts
ρ=1.1256
Colts*
δ=10.6
Colts
-3
Washington @
Vikings
Washington
ρ=1.0773
Washington*
δ=4.4
Vikings
-1
Chargers @
Dolphins
Chargers
ρ=1.0725
Chargers*
δ=6.2
Dolphins
-1½
Eagles @
Texans
Eagles
ρ=1.0712
Eagles*
δ=4.2
Eagles
-2
Ravens @
Steelers
Ravens*
ρ=1.0693
Ravens*
δ=9.4
no line
Cardinals @
Cowboys
Cardinals
ρ=1.0506
Cardinals*
δ=2.5
Cowboys
-4
Saints @
Panthers
Saints*
ρ=1.0370
Saints*
δ=3.9
Saints
-3

Bye: Packers, Falcons, Lions, Titans, Bears, Bills

Comments:

  • No line for Ravens @ Steelers. Hopefully I can update before Sunday.

  • -15 seems like a lot of points for the Seahawks to cover this week. Yeah, they're playing at home, and yeah, the Raiders are a bad team. But the Seahawks are also clearly not as good as they were last year either.

  • Some trepidation for the Washington/Vikings line as well, presumably based on the status of RG3. I'll check that one Saturday too.

  • Time for another Manning-Brady matchup, as well as a rematch of the AFC Championship game. As I mentioned in the power rankings, the Broncos are ranked head and shoulders above everybody else after having beaten the 49ers and Chargers. If they can beat the Patriots in their own house, it will give them a trio of really strong victories, and the inside track on the AFC's #1 seed.

  • The Line likes the Cowboys over the Cardinals. I think this is another mistake, especially with Romo hurt. The Cowboys struggled to score against Washington, and now they'll be facing a team with a real defense (even, I think, if Patrick Peterson has to sit out).

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

NFL Week 8 Pick Results

Winning team in bold.

Unanimous Picks (8-2)

Right:

Lions @ Falcons
Dolphins @ Jaguars
Seahawks @ Panthers
Texans @ Titans
Chargers @ Broncos
Rams @ Chiefs
Bears @ Patriots
Raiders @ Browns

Wrong:

Washington @ Cowboys
This loss has to go on the Cowboys offense, which was struggling even before Romo got hurt. They had two more turnovers, but I think the game was really lost on the 6 drives that ended on a punt, turnover on downs, or the first half expiring. The Cowboys just need to score more than 17 points to win games.
Colts @ Steelers
This was just a massive breakdown in the Colts' defense. The Steelers scored touchdowns on 5 of their first 6 drives, all 76 yards or longer. In spite of the Steelers having a not-so-dominating second half, that was enough to put the game out of reach for the Colts.

Split Picks: (APR 3-2, SRS 2-3, Line 3-2)

Packers (APR, SRS) @ Saints (Line)
Part of this was the Packers failing to get into the end zone early, aided by some really idiotic playcalling. I mean, when you've got Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Eddie Lacy, and Davante Adams in your receiving corp, you don't need Julius Peppers on the field in a goal to go situation.
Part of this was the defense once again failing to get a punt, or even slow down the Saints in the second half. And once Aaron Rodgers tweaked his hamstring, and the Packers stopped scoring on every drive, this game was pretty much over.
Bills (APR, SRS) @ Jets (Line)
The Bills may not be a great team, but the Jets are awful. This was just a flat mistake for the Line to take them here.
Vikings (APR, SRS) @ Buccaneers (Line)
A close game featuring a couple bad teams. A couple notable differences for the Vikings. For the first time since their late September blow out win over the Falcons, they scored more than 16 points, and they didn't turn the ball over. It wasn't by any means a dominating performance, but it was enough to get a road win over a weak opponent.
Ravens (APR, SRS) @ Bengals (Line)
Is there any figuring the Bengals? Given their three games prior to this one, they looked doomed to a long ugly slide at least until they could get AJ Green Back. Instead they got some solid receiving production from Mohamet Sanu, okay results from their running back by committee approach, and decent production from their defense, that held their opponent under 27 points for the first time since September. In all, it was enough to stop the Ravens, who before this week looked like they might run away with the AFC North.
Eagles (SRS) @ Cardinals (APR, Line)
Watching this game, it seemed like the Eagles were mostly the better team on offense. But 6 punts and 3 turnovers meant they had a lot of drives that didn't put any points on the board, and gave the Cardinals opportunity to control the game, which they did.

Totals

This
Week
This
Season
%
APR 11- 5 64-37-163.2%
SRS 10- 6 62-39-161.3%
Line 11- 5 69-32-168.1%

Monday, October 27, 2014

NFL Week 8 Power Rankings

RankTeamPower
Index
W-LThis Week
1 (-)Broncos1.1597
(LW × 0.9923)
6-1Won by 14
vs Chargers
2 (↑1)Cardinals1.0204
(LW × 1.0050)
6-1Won by 4
vs Eagles
3 (↑2)Chiefs0.9979
(LW × 1.0037)
4-3Won by 27
vs Rams
4 (↓2)Colts0.9850
(LW × 0.9351)
5-3Lost by 17
@ Steelers
5 (↑1)Eagles0.9792
(LW × 0.9866)
5-2Lost by 4
@ Cardinals
6 (↓2)Cowboys0.9713
(LW × 0.9592)
6-2Lost by 3
vs Washington
7 (↑5)Patriots0.9663
(LW × 1.0227)
6-2Won by 28
vs Bears
8 (↓1)Chargers0.9632
(LW × 0.9762)
5-3Lost by 14
@ Broncos
9 (↓1)49ers0.9601
(LW × 0.9871)
4-3Bye
10 (-)Ravens0.9563
(LW × 0.9914)
5-3Lost by 3
@ Bengals
11 (↓2)Seahawks0.9518
(LW × 0.9844)
4-3Won by 4
@ Panthers
12 (↑1)Lions0.9177
(LW × 0.9910)
6-2Won by 1
@ Falcons
13 (↑2)Texans0.9141
(LW × 1.0276)
4-4Won by 14
@ Titans
14 (-)Bengals0.9125
(LW × 0.9991)
4-2-1Won by 3
vs Ravens
15 (↓4)Packers0.9086
(LW × 0.9442)
5-3Lost by 21
@ Saints
16 (↑1)Bills0.9016
(LW × 1.0254)
5-3Won by 20
@ Jets
17 (↓1)Dolphins0.8981
(LW × 1.0192)
4-3Won by 14
@ Jaguars
18 (↑1)Steelers0.8944
(LW × 1.0586)
5-3Won by 17
vs Colts
19 (↓1)Giants0.8750
(LW × 1.0027)
3-4Bye
20 (↑5)Saints0.8534
(LW × 1.0600)
3-4Won by 21
vs Packers
21 (-)Browns0.8496
(LW × 1.0141)
4-3Won by 10
vs Raiders
22 (↑1)Washington0.8389
(LW × 1.0358)
3-5Won by 3
@ Cowboys
23 (↓1)Panthers0.8230
(LW × 0.9903)
3-4-1Lost by 4
vs Seahawks
24 (↓4)Bears0.8173
(LW × 0.9685)
3-5Lost by 28
@ Patriots
25 (↑1)Rams0.7804
(LW × 0.9851)
2-5Lost by 27
@ Chiefs
26 (↑1)Vikings0.7787
(LW × 1.0138)
3-5Won by 6
@ Buccaneers
27 (↓3)Titans0.7646
(LW × 0.9488)
2-6Lost by 14
vs Texans
28 (↑2)Falcons0.7391
(LW × 1.0106)
2-6Lost by 1
vs Lions
29 (↓1)Jets0.7325
(LW × 0.9586)
1-7Lost by 20
vs Bills
30 (↓1)Jaguars0.7243
(LW × 0.9688)
1-7Lost by 14
vs Dolphins
31 (-)Raiders0.7222
(LW × 1.0052)
0-7Lost by 10
@ Browns
32 (-)Buccaneers0.7142
(LW × 1.0056)
1-6Lost by 6
vs Vikings

Comments:

  • If you look at the power index values, it's the Broncos' world, and the other teams are just living in it.

  • The last time the Packers gave up at least 44 points in the regular season was in 2008... at the Saints.

  • The Cardinals have somehow managed to make it to 6-1. Their offense sure doesn't seem that good, and their defense doesn't seem that dominating. One change over last year that helps a lot is the fact that the offense hardly ever turns over the ball. They've lost the ball just 5 times so far this season, compared with 17 turnovers through 7 games last year.

  • Yeah, this is a miniscule sample space, but Andrew Luck and the Colts are now 4-8 in regular season road games outside the AFC South. All but one of the losses was by double-digit margins, too (and it only gets worse if you include playoff games).

  • You have to go back to 1997 to find a season where the Lions did better than 4-4 in the second half of the season. I know that covers a lot of players and a lot of coaches (not to mention Matt Millen) but there's a certain... institutional consistency going on there. Especially given the way they struggled to beat the Falcons this week, the Lions are a long way from clinching anything just yet.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

NFL Week 8 Game Picks

GameAPRSRSLine
Lions @
Falcons
Lions
ρ=1.2661
Lions*
δ=10.0
Lions
-3½
Rams @
Chiefs
Chiefs*
ρ=1.2550
Chiefs
δ=16.7
Chiefs
-6½
Washington @
Cowboys
Cowboys
ρ=1.2503
Cowboys
δ=9.5
Cowboys
-9½
Colts @
Steelers
Colts
ρ=1.2467
Colts*
δ=20.1
Colts
-2½
Packers @
Saints
Packers
ρ=1.1952
Packers*
δ=12.7
Saints
-1
Chargers @
Broncos
Broncos
ρ=1.1845
Broncos
δ=7.4
Broncos
-7½
Dolphins @
Jaguars
Dolphins
ρ=1.1786
Dolphins*
δ=13.4
Dolphins
-5½
Raiders @
Browns
Browns
ρ=1.1661
Browns
δ=3.7
Browns
-7
Seahawks @
Panthers
Seahawks
ρ=1.1634
Seahawks*
δ=14.4
Seahawks
-4½
Bills @
Jets
Bills
ρ=1.1506
Bills*
δ=5.5
Jets
-3
Bears @
Patriots
Patriots*
ρ=1.1195
Patriots
δ=6.4
Patriots
-6½
Texans @
Titans
Texans
ρ=1.1038
Texans*
δ=6.9
Texans
-1
Vikings @
Buccaneers
Vikings
ρ=1.0814
Vikings*
δ=11.2
Buccaneers
-2½
Ravens @
Bengals
Ravens
ρ=1.0561
Ravens*
δ=8.6
Bengals
-1
Eagles @
Cardinals
Cardinals*
ρ=1.0230
Eagles*
δ=1.1
Cardinals
-2½

Bye: 49ers, Giants

Comments:

  • Since their blow-out win over the Buccaneers, the Falcons have averaged 17 points a game, and (with the exception of the Ravens) facing some pretty bad defenses. Given how good the Lions' defense has been, the Falcons might actually be looking at their first shut out since 2004.

  • Should the Saints be favored to win this week? They don't lose very often at home, and with a prime time game and on the brink of falling to 2-5, they're going to be as jacked up for this game as any this season.

    On the other hand, their two home wins so far this season were not exactly dominating afairs, in spite of a couple pretty weak opponents. I think if the Packers come ready for a battle, this is one they can win.

  • Can the Browns get back on track against the Raiders? After watching the Cardinals @ Raiders game last week, I think the Raiders are not as bad as their 0-6 record, and if the Browns are not careful, they could wind up giving a win to the final remaining winless team.

  • Remember when the Bengals were one of the last undefeated teams in the league? That's gotta seem like a long time ago to them and their fans. Especially if AJ Green can't play, this seems like it should be a pretty easy win for the Ravens.

  • Eagles @ Cardinals is actually one of the marquee matchups this week. But with the way the Eagles turn over the ball, and have needed a lot of help from their special teams to put points on the board, I think they're going to have a tough time getting ahead of the Cardinals.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

NFL Week 7 Pick Results

Winning team in bold.

Unanimous Picks (8-3)

Right:

Cardinals @ Raiders
Jets @ Patriots
Vikings @ Bills
Saints @ Lions
Panthers @ Packers
Bengals @ Colts
Giants @ Cowboys
49ers @ Broncos

Wrong:

Chiefs @ Chargers
The Chargers win when they score 22+ points (which they've done 5 times this season) and the Chiefs lose when they give up 22+ points (which they've done 3 times this season), so easy pick, right?
But in this game, the Chiefs defense held the Chargers to just two touchdown drives and two field goals (thanks in part to the offense holding onto the ball for 39 minutes). That gave the Chiefs an opportunity to stay in the game, and in classic football cliche style, win the game in the fourth quarter.
Seahawks @ Rams
Of course, the Rams got a big boost from their special teams, But for the second week in a row, the Seahawks offense struggled to move the ball, posting 5 drives 41 yards or shorter. They had three sustained drives late, but ran out of time before they could complete a comeback.
Browns @ Jaguars
The Browns offense couldn't get anything going in this game, punting 7 times and turning the ball over on downs three times. Still, they were only down 6-7 late in the fourth quarter when a couple turnovers gave the Jags short fields that they turned into easy touchdowns.

Split Picks: (APR 0-3, SRS 2-1, Line 2-1)

Wow, maybe the ugliest week ever for APR on split picks.

Dolphins (SRS) @ Bears (APR, Line)
I think the Dolphins have an underrated defense, and when they face a struggling offense like the Bears, it can swing a game their way. The Bears had 3 turnovers, and other than their two touchdowns, their longest drive went 35 yards. The Dolphins offense isn't gonna set any records this season, but it didn't take a lot for them to finish ahead of the Bears in this game.
Titans (APR) @ Washington (SRS, Line)
A close game against a couple mediocre teams. Washington actually had 115 more yards of offense, so this is a game they should win as long as they don't make any big mistakes. Colt McCoy only threw for 128 yards in the second half, but he only threw incomplete once, and didn't throw any interceptions. That was enough to give them a 2 point victory over the Titans.
Texans (APR, SRS) @ Steelers (Line)
Well, the Texans established an early 13-0 lead, and could've won this game. But two turnovers deep in their own end gave the Steelers a couple easy touchdowns, and it was more than the Texans could overcome.

Totals

This
Week
This
Season
%
APR 8- 6-1 53-32-162.2%
SRS 10- 4-1 52-33-161.0%
Line 10- 4-1 58-27-168.0%

Monday, October 20, 2014

NFL Week 7 Power Rankings

RankTeamPower
Index
W-LThis Week
1 (-)Broncos1.1687
(LW × 1.0323)
5-1Won by 25
vs 49ers
2 (↑1)Colts1.0533
(LW × 1.0419)
5-2Won by 27
vs Bengals
3 (↓1)Cardinals1.0154
(LW × 0.9911)
5-1Won by 11
@ Raiders
4 (-)Cowboys1.0126
(LW × 1.0100)
6-1Won by 10
vs Giants
5 (↑7)Chiefs0.9942
(LW × 1.0530)
3-3Won by 3
@ Chargers
6 (↑4)Eagles0.9925
(LW × 1.0343)
5-1Bye
7 (↓2)Chargers0.9867
(LW × 0.9851)
5-2Lost by 3
vs Chiefs
8 (-)49ers0.9727
(LW × 0.9983)
4-3Lost by 25
@ Broncos
9 (↓3)Seahawks0.9668
(LW × 0.9659)
3-3Lost by 2
@ Rams
10 (↓3)Ravens0.9646
(LW × 0.9826)
5-2Won by 22
vs Falcons
11 (↑3)Packers0.9623
(LW × 1.0307)
5-2Won by 21
vs Panthers
12 (↓1)Patriots0.9448
(LW × 0.9911)
5-2Won by 2
vs Jets
13 (-)Lions0.9260
(LW × 0.9911)
5-2Won by 1
vs Saints
14 (↓5)Bengals0.9134
(LW × 0.9510)
3-2-1Lost by 27
@ Colts
15 (-)Texans0.8896
(LW × 0.9757)
3-4Lost by 7
@ Steelers
16 (↑6)Dolphins0.8811
(LW × 1.0620)
3-3Won by 13
@ Bears
17 (-)Bills0.8793
(LW × 0.9804)
4-3Won by 1
vs Vikings
18 (↑1)Giants0.8727
(LW × 1.0007)
3-4Lost by 10
@ Cowboys
19 (↑2)Steelers0.8449
(LW × 1.0156)
4-3Won by 7
vs Texans
20 (↓2)Bears0.8439
(LW × 0.9569)
3-4Lost by 13
vs Dolphins
21 (↓5)Browns0.8378
(LW × 0.9273)
3-3Lost by 18
@ Jaguars
22 (↓2)Panthers0.8311
(LW × 0.9584)
3-3-1Lost by 21
@ Packers
23 (↑2)Washington0.8099
(LW × 1.0174)
2-5Won by 2
vs Titans
24 (↓1)Titans0.8059
(LW × 0.9970)
2-5Lost by 2
@ Washington
25 (↓1)Saints0.8051
(LW × 1.0106)
2-4Lost by 1
@ Lions
26 (↑3)Rams0.7922
(LW × 1.0733)
2-4Won by 2
vs Seahawks
27 (↓1)Vikings0.7681
(LW × 1.0271)
2-5Lost by 1
@ Bills
28 (-)Jets0.7642
(LW × 1.0335)
1-6Lost by 2
@ Patriots
29 (↑3)Jaguars0.7476
(LW × 1.0851)
1-6Won by 18
vs Browns
30 (↓3)Falcons0.7314
(LW × 0.9866)
2-5Lost by 22
@ Ravens
31 (-)Raiders0.7185
(LW × 1.0249)
0-6Lost by 11
vs Cardinals
32 (↓2)Buccaneers0.7103
(LW × 1.0038)
1-5Bye

Comments:

  • The Patriots struggle to beat another lesser opponent in their home stadium. If the Jets had won, one of the things I would've pointed to was their third down coversion rate (9 of 16) as a major factor in keeping them in the game.

  • Well, the Bengals were +2 on turnovers against the Colts, but the Bengals offense just collapsed against what has been an unremarkable defense (although the Colts defense is currently best in the league on third down conversions, thanks in part to a 1/13 performance by the Bengals).

  • One of the big differences for the Seahawks between last year and this is turnovers. Last year they finished the regular season with a +20 cumulative turnover margin. This year, nearly halfway into the season, they're currently at +1.

  • The Eagles, Colts, and Cowboys are all in the top 5 of turnovers on offense right now. They might all make it to the postseason, but as I've observed before, turnovers can be a real deal breaker when it comes playoff time.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

NFL Week 7 Game Picks

GameAPRSRSLine
Cardinals @
Raiders
Cardinals
ρ=1.4615
Cardinals*
δ=15.7
Cardinals
-3½
Seahawks @
Rams
Seahawks
ρ=1.3561
Seahawks*
δ=22.2
Seahawks
-6½
Falcons @
Ravens
Ravens
ρ=1.3243
Ravens
δ=14.5
Ravens
-7
Browns @
Jaguars
Browns
ρ=1.3114
Browns*
δ=15.5
Browns
-5½
Jets @
Patriots
Patriots
ρ=1.2892
Patriots
δ=11.1
Patriots
-10
Vikings @
Bills
Bills
ρ=1.1993
Bills
δ=10.9
Bills
-4
Saints @
Lions
Lions
ρ=1.1728
Lions
δ=11.3
Lions
-2½
49ers @
Broncos
Broncos
ρ=1.1619
Broncos
δ=9.2
Broncos
-6½
Giants @
Cowboys
Cowboys
ρ=1.1497
Cowboys
δ=4.4
Cowboys
-5½
Texans @
Steelers
Texans
ρ=1.0960
Texans*
δ=10.9
Steelers
-3½
Panthers @
Packers
Packers
ρ=1.0767
Packers
δ=9.8
Packers
-7
Dolphins @
Bears
Bears*
ρ=1.0629
Dolphins*
δ=2.4
Bears
-3½
Chiefs @
Chargers
Chargers*
ρ=1.0608
Chargers
δ=3.0
Chargers
-4
Bengals @
Colts
Colts
ρ=1.0525
Colts
δ=7.0
Colts
-3
Titans @
Washington
Titans
ρ=1.0154
Washington
δ=2.7
Washington
-4½

Bye: Buccaneers, Eagles

Comments:

  • Peyton Manning is only 2 touchdowns away from tying Brett Favre's carrer total (and league record) of 508. Manning has passed for at least 2 touchdowns every game this year, including against the Seahawks.

    The 49ers haven't been giving up many passing touchdowns, but they really haven't faced a lot of big passing threats either. It seems like a lock Manning will at least tie the record Sunday night

  • I feel like the Steelers are a bad pick for the Line this week. The Steelers have been deeply unimpressive so far this season, giving the Buccaneers their first (and so far only) win of the season, and struggling to beat the now 0-6 Jaguars.

    The Texans haven't looked like world-beaters either, but at least they've been competitive against some tougher teams. I think APR and SRS are right here.

  • Everybody likes the Colts to win at home this week. But their offense has one of the highest turnover totals in the league so far this season. If the Bengals can get some turnovers, they'll have a chance to jump start their season with an upset win this week.

  • The Lions' defense has looked a lot better this season than it has in a long time. But with Drew Brees and the Saints coming to town, they'll be facing one of their toughest tests of the season, especially if Calvin Johnson has to sit out again.

  • The Packers are favored to win again against what feels like an under-rated opponent. Cam Newton had a field day running against the Bengals last week, and he might have another one against the Packers.