Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NFL Week 11 Game Picks

GameAPRSRSLine
Chiefs @
Raiders
Chiefs
ρ=1.3814
Chiefs*
δ=16.4
Chiefs
-7
Titans @
Eagles
Eagles
ρ=1.3284
Eagles
δ=11.4
Eagles
-11
Jaguars @
Colts
Colts
ρ=1.3271
Colts
δ=18.0
Colts
-13½
Washington @
49ers
49ers*
ρ=1.2376
49ers
δ=8.3
49ers
-9
Packers @
Vikings
Packers
ρ=1.2344
Packers*
δ=14.4
Packers
-9
Jets @
Bills
Bills
ρ=1.1719
Bills
δ=8.1
Bills
-4½
Cowboys @
Giants
Cowboys
ρ=1.1614
Cowboys*
δ=6.7
Cowboys
-3
Lions @
Patriots
Patriots
ρ=1.1430
Patriots
δ=8.8
Patriots
-7½
Cardinals @
Seahawks
Cardinals
ρ=1.1203
Cardinals*
δ=1.2
Seahawks
-6½
Buccaneers @
Bears
Bears*
ρ=1.1141
Bears
δ=6.3
Bears
-5½
Browns @
Falcons
Browns
ρ=1.0870
Browns*
δ=4.3
Falcons
-3
Dolphins @
Broncos
Broncos
ρ=1.0586
Broncos
δ=0.7
Broncos
-7
Ravens @
Saints
Ravens
ρ=1.0532
Ravens*
δ=5.7
Saints
-3
Bengals @
Texans
Texans*
ρ=1.0455
Texans
δ=1.5
Texans
-1
Rams @
Chargers
Chargers
ρ=1.0392
Chargers
δ=8.8
Chargers
-4

Bye: Steelers, Panthers

Comments:

  • Mostly unanimous picks this week.The Saints can't lose at home three times in a row, can they?

  • The Cardinals enter probably the hardest stretch of their schedule, including road games at all three NFC West opponents. Drew Stanton will need to pass a pretty tough test if the Cardinals are going to hang onto the best record in the NFC.

  • The Patriots have a tough stretch ahead of them too. After the Lions, they have road games against the Packers and Chargers, before finishing up with a trio of divisional games.

  • The Lions play the second of their back-to-back road games at conference leading teams. The good news for them is after this week, they've got what should be a pretty easy schedule before finishing up going into Lambeau, for what could be the contest that decides which team takes the NFC North this year.

  • I'm not really sure why the Line has taken the Falcons over the Browns this week. The Falcons are 0-6 in games against teams outside the very bad NFC South. And while I think the Browns have been playing a little over their heads, they really should be able to take care of the Falcons (although they really should've been able to take care of the Jaguars back in week 7, too).

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

NFL Week 11 Pick Results

Winning team in bold.

Unanimous Picks (6-3)

Right:

49ers @ Giants
Steelers @ Titans
Bills @ Dolphins
Seahawks @ Chiefs
Raiders @ Chargers
Lions @ Cardinals

Wrong:

Bengals @ Saints
On defense, the Saints just couldn't stop the run, giving up 186 yards on the ground (2nd most all season, and most in a home game). Andy Dalton only threw 22 times, but when he did, he was very effective, posting 220 yards and 3 touchdowns. Pretty much a complete turnaround from his week 10 performance.
On the other side of the ball, the Bengals' defense was somehow able to contain the Saints offense, holding Drew Brees to under 6 yards per passing attempt, and Mark Ingram to under 3 yards a carry. Somehow the Saints were able to sustain 4 relatively long drives, but they chewed up 24 minutes of game time, and only produced 10 points on the scoreboard. It wasn't nearly enough to keep up with the Bengals.
Buccaneers @ Washington
Apparently somebody didn't tell Washington's defense that they should cover Mike Evans, who had 209 yards of the Bucs' 288 yards passing. Couple that with 3 turnovers and 6 sacks, and Washington really never had a chance.
Broncos @ Rams
The Broncos were absolutely stymied by the Rams' defense. CJ Anderson only ran for 29 yards, and while Peyton Manning had 389 yards passing, they were mostly spread out among too many drives to put points on the board.
The Rams didn't have an amazing day on offense either, but they did get into the end zone early, and that along with 5 field goals eventually put the game out of reach.

Split Picks: (APR 4-1, SRS 3-2, Line 2-3)

Thanks to win by three road dogs, a surprisingly bad week of split picks for the Line.

Falcons (SRS) @ Panthers (APR, Line)
A close game between a couple bad teams. The Panthers had one more turnover and two missed field goals, which as much as anything else was the difference in the game.
Texans (APR, SRS) @ Browns (Line)
Like their earlier game against the Jaguars, the Browns' offense just seemed to dry up in this game. For whatever reason, they started Isaiah Crowell at RB, which appears to be a mistake, as he only had 61 yards on 14 carries (and most of that came on one play). Brian Hoyer couldn't pick up the slack. While he had 330 passing yards, he also threw incomplete 30 times, the most single-game incompletions of any team this season.
Patriots (APR, SRS) @ Colts (Line)
The Colts have a bad defense. They are now 0-4 when they give up more than 28 points. The Colts are the only team to give up more than 28 points in at least 4 games and have a winning record (although the 5-5 Texans are close).
Vikings (SRS) @ Bears (APR, Line)
The Bears managed to get their running game back on track, rushing for 138 total yards. Their defense mostly managed to shut down the Vikings (holding them to just 4 drives longer than 16 yards) and so Jay Cutler's 3 touchdown passes were enough to give the Bears their first home win of the season.
Eagles (APR, SRS) @ Packers (Line)
The Eagles have shown a lot of problems this season, and after this game, you can add their pass defense to the list. The Packers put together four long first-half drives, mostly passing the ball, scoring three touchdowns and a field goal. Add in a rare (for the Packers anyway) punt return touchdown, and this game was pretty well over at halftime.

Totals

This
Week
This
Season
%
APR 10- 4 92-49-165.1%
SRS 9- 5 89-52-163.0%
Line 8- 6 97-44-168.7%

Monday, November 17, 2014

NFL Week 11 Power Rankings

RankTeamPower
Index
W-LThis Week
1 (↑3)Patriots1.0716
(LW × 1.0389)
8-2Won by 22
@ Colts
2 (↑1)Chiefs1.0449
(LW × 1.0129)
7-3Won by 4
vs Seahawks
3 (↓2)Broncos1.0334
(LW × 0.9415)
7-3Lost by 15
@ Rams
4 (↓2)Cardinals1.0324
(LW × 0.9959)
9-1Won by 8
vs Lions
5 (↑4)Packers0.9832
(LW × 1.0415)
7-3Won by 33
vs Eagles
6 (↑1)Dolphins0.9763
(LW × 1.0259)
6-4Won by 13
vs Bills
7 (↓2)Eagles0.9556
(LW × 0.9591)
7-3Lost by 33
@ Packers
8 (↑3)49ers0.9433
(LW × 1.0039)
6-4Won by 6
@ Giants
9 (↓1)Cowboys0.9378
(LW × 0.9886)
7-3Bye
10 (-)Lions0.9375
(LW × 0.9973)
7-3Lost by 8
@ Cardinals
11 (↓5)Colts0.9355
(LW × 0.9578)
6-4Lost by 22
vs Patriots
12 (↑1)Seahawks0.9215
(LW × 0.9937)
6-4Lost by 4
@ Chiefs
13 (↓1)Chargers0.9137
(LW × 0.9828)
6-4Won by 7
vs Raiders
14 (-)Bills0.9078
(LW × 0.9939)
5-5Lost by 13
@ Dolphins
15 (-)Ravens0.8996
(LW × 0.9982)
6-4Bye
16 (↑2)Texans0.8918
(LW × 1.0125)
5-5Won by 16
@ Browns
17 (↑4)Rams0.8793
(LW × 1.0675)
4-6Won by 15
vs Broncos
18 (↓1)Steelers0.8787
(LW × 0.9925)
7-4Won by 3
@ Titans
19 (↓3)Saints0.8541
(LW × 0.9593)
4-6Lost by 17
vs Bengals
20 (-)Bengals0.8529
(LW × 1.0245)
6-3-1Won by 17
@ Saints
21 (↑3)Bears0.8334
(LW × 1.0283)
4-6Won by 8
vs Vikings
22 (↓3)Browns0.8326
(LW × 0.9579)
6-4Lost by 16
vs Texans
23 (↓1)Giants0.8075
(LW × 0.9809)
3-7Lost by 6
vs 49ers
24 (↑1)Vikings0.7965
(LW × 0.9882)
4-6Lost by 8
@ Bears
25 (↑1)Jets0.7746
(LW × 1.0009)
2-8Bye
26 (↑3)Falcons0.7659
(LW × 1.0263)
4-6Won by 2
@ Panthers
27 (↓4)Washington0.7622
(LW × 0.9328)
3-7Lost by 20
vs Buccaneers
28 (-)Raiders0.7563
(LW × 1.0003)
0-10Lost by 7
@ Chargers
29 (↓2)Panthers0.7490
(LW × 0.9764)
3-7-1Lost by 2
vs Falcons
30 (↑2)Buccaneers0.7480
(LW × 1.0512)
2-8Won by 20
@ Washington
31 (↓1)Titans0.7193
(LW × 0.9781)
2-8Lost by 3
vs Steelers
32 (↓1)Jaguars0.7049
(LW × 0.9842)
1-9Bye

Comments:

  • Another ugly loss for the Broncos, and this one finally knocks them off the top of the rankings. I'm not sold on the Patriots as the best team in the league, but 8 wins and a very solid road victory over the Colts make for a pretty nice resume right now.

  • The Cardinals knock off the Lions to take a 2 game lead over the other division leaders in the NFC. But they way both these teams played, I'm not sure either can win a playoff game on the road. And while the Cards have the inside track on the #1 seed for the moment, they've got a tough remaining schedule, including all three divisional road games. They haven't clinched anything yet.

  • After looking like dopes in their home stadium against the Browns, the Bengals go into the Superdome, and get a 3-score victory in one of the toughest places to get a road win in the league.

  • The 49ers continue to claw their way back from the brink of elimination. But it can't be good that with a +3 turnover margin, they only beat the Giants by 6 points.

  • And with the Seahawks losing, whatever chances they and the 49ers have to get to the playoffs may hinge on their home-and-away series (either that or hoping the Cardinals collapse playing out their own home stretch).

  • The playoff picture in the AFC is just a mess. The Patriots probably have the AFC East locked up once again. But all the other divisions are still in contention, with just one win separating first and last place in the AFC North, and five teams at 6-4 (and the Bengals at 6-3-1) vying for that #6 wildcard seed.

  • The Raiders have been officially eliminated from the playoffs, and the situations for the Jets, Titans and Jaguars are probably hopeless. Every other AFC team has at least a shot at getting in.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

NFL Week 11 Game Picks

GameAPRSRSLine
Broncos @
Rams
Broncos
ρ=1.3326
Broncos*
δ=21.2
Broncos
-9
Raiders @
Chargers
Chargers
ρ=1.2296
Chargers
δ=11.5
Chargers
-10½
Steelers @
Titans
Steelers
ρ=1.2039
Steelers*
δ=7.9
Steelers
-5½
Buccaneers @
Washington
Washington*
ρ=1.1483
Washington
δ=10.8
Washington
-7
49ers @
Giants
49ers
ρ=1.1414
49ers*
δ=3.9
49ers
-4½
Seahawks @
Chiefs
Chiefs
ρ=1.1124
Chiefs
δ=4.2
Chiefs
-1½
Lions @
Cardinals
Cardinals
ρ=1.1026
Cardinals
δ=3.3
Cardinals
-2
Bengals @
Saints
Saints
ρ=1.0695
Saints
δ=2.5
Saints
-7
Patriots @
Colts
Patriots
ρ=1.0560
Patriots*
δ=0.6
Colts
-2½
Eagles @
Packers
Eagles
ρ=1.0554
Eagles*
δ=1.2
Packers
-5
Bills @
Dolphins
Dolphins*
ρ=1.0420
Dolphins
δ=4.5
Dolphins
-5
Falcons @
Panthers
Panthers
ρ=1.0279
Falcons*
δ=1.7
Panthers
-1½
Texans @
Browns
Texans*
ρ=1.0134
Texans*
δ=0.9
Browns
-3
Vikings @
Bears
Bears*
ρ=1.0054
Vikings*
δ=3.2
Bears
-3½

Bye: Ravens, Cowboys, Jaguars, Jets

Comments:

  • The 1963 Broncos and the 1966 Giants are the only (modern era) teams to give up 50 points in three games in a season, so the Bears have at least one bit of ignominy left to try to avoid the rest of their season.

  • Maybe I'm wrong, but it feels to me like 10½ is a lot of points for the Chargers to cover. Yeah, it's the Raiders, but the first game in this series was decided by 3 points, and that was the Raiders closest loss all season.

  • So far the Packers are 0-3 against playoff contending teams this season. If they're gonna make the playoffs, and do something in the playoffs, that's got to change, starting with this weeks contest against the Eagles.

    The Eagles have one of the most turnover-prone offenses in the league (second only to the Jaguars), and the Packers offense is one of the best at forcing turnovers. If the Packers can avoid giving away the store on special teams, this is a game they should be able to win.

  • Patriots at Colts is an interesting matchup. I feel like the Colts are benefitting from a weak division and a relatively easy schedule. While the Patriots are more than 5 years into a stretch of mostly losing to good teams on the road.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

NFL Week 10 Pick Results

Winning team in bold.

Unanimous Picks (9-2)

Right:

Cowboys @ Jaguars
Falcons @ Buccaneers
Chiefs @ Bills
Broncos @ Raiders
Titans @ Ravens
Giants @ Seahawks
Rams @ Cardinals
Bears @ Packers
Panthers @ Eagles

Wrong:

Browns @ Bengals
Another game where the Bengals' offense just disappeared. Andy Dalton had a miserable night passing, with three interceptions and a single-digit passer rating. The Browns weren't amazing, but it doesn't take much to win when your opponent is imploding like that.
Steelers @ Jets
The Steelers' offense goes back into hibernation. I'm not sure what else to say about this one, other than the fact the Steelers are now 1-4 when they don't score at least 30 points. The lone win in there came against the lowly Jaguars (and was a 1-point game until Blake Bortles threw a pick 6 in the 4th quarter).

Split Picks: (APR 1-1, SRS 1-1, Line 1-1)

Dolphins (APR, SRS) @ Lions (Line)
Maybe all there is to say about this game is that the Dolphins have a problem closing out close games. Last week's blow out win over the Chargers to the contrary, they don't have a dominating offense, and when they manage to establish a late lead, they really need their defense to get stops when it matters most. And so far, that really hasn't happened.
49ers (APR, SRS) @ Saints (Line)
A near thing for the Saints, and a good job of their defense holding the 49ers to 3 points in the second half. But they really need more than 24 points from their offense to win games, especially at home.
Meanwhile, the 49ers get a much needed win, in spite of some ongoing problems. They gave up 4 more sacks (as noted in last week's pick results, this is an ongoing problem for them). Another issue in evidence this week, they now have six games where they haven't scored more than 7 points in the second half. Including this game, they are 2-4 when that happens.

Totals

A nice round of picks for everybody this week.

This
Week
This
Season
%
APR 10- 3 82-45-164.5%
SRS 10- 3 80-47-162.9%
Line 10- 3 89-38-170.5%

Monday, November 10, 2014

NFL Week 10 Power Rankings

RankTeamPower
Index
W-LThis Week
1 (-)Broncos1.0976
(LW × 1.0150)
7-2Won by 24
@ Raiders
2 (↑1)Cardinals1.0366
(LW × 1.0120)
8-1Won by 17
vs Rams
3 (↑2)Chiefs1.0316
(LW × 1.0324)
6-3Won by 4
@ Bills
4 (↓2)Patriots1.0314
(LW × 1.0029)
7-2Bye
5 (↑1)Eagles0.9963
(LW × 0.9979)
7-2Won by 24
vs Panthers
6 (↓2)Colts0.9767
(LW × 0.9719)
6-3Bye
7 (-)Dolphins0.9516
(LW × 1.0014)
5-4Lost by 4
@ Lions
8 (-)Cowboys0.9487
(LW × 1.0108)
7-3Won by 14
@ Jaguars
9 (↑5)Packers0.9440
(LW × 1.0306)
6-3Won by 41
vs Bears
10 (↑1)Lions0.9401
(LW × 1.0204)
7-2Won by 4
vs Dolphins
11 (↑2)49ers0.9396
(LW × 1.0255)
5-4Won by 3
@ Saints
12 (-)Chargers0.9297
(LW × 1.0137)
5-4Bye
13 (↑3)Seahawks0.9273
(LW × 1.0222)
6-3Won by 21
vs Giants
14 (↑1)Bills0.9133
(LW × 1.0019)
5-4Lost by 4
vs Chiefs
15 (↓5)Ravens0.9013
(LW × 0.9748)
6-4Won by 14
vs Titans
16 (↑2)Saints0.8904
(LW × 0.9960)
4-5Lost by 3
vs 49ers
17 (↓8)Steelers0.8854
(LW × 0.9530)
6-4Lost by 7
@ Jets
18 (↑1)Texans0.8808
(LW × 0.9866)
4-5Bye
19 (↑1)Browns0.8691
(LW × 1.0176)
6-3Won by 21
@ Bengals
20 (↓3)Bengals0.8326
(LW × 0.9251)
5-3-1Lost by 21
vs Browns
21 (↑3)Rams0.8237
(LW × 1.0134)
3-6Lost by 17
@ Cardinals
22 (↓1)Giants0.8232
(LW × 0.9776)
3-6Lost by 21
@ Seahawks
23 (-)Washington0.8171
(LW × 0.9957)
3-6Bye
24 (↓2)Bears0.8104
(LW × 0.9847)
3-6Lost by 41
@ Packers
25 (-)Vikings0.8060
(LW × 1.0033)
4-5Bye
26 (↑6)Jets0.7739
(LW × 1.0541)
2-8Won by 7
vs Steelers
27 (↓1)Panthers0.7671
(LW × 0.9753)
3-6-1Lost by 24
@ Eagles
28 (-)Raiders0.7561
(LW × 1.0117)
0-9Lost by 24
vs Broncos
29 (-)Falcons0.7463
(LW × 1.0073)
3-6Won by 10
@ Buccaneers
30 (↓3)Titans0.7354
(LW × 0.9675)
2-7Lost by 14
@ Ravens
31 (↓1)Jaguars0.7162
(LW × 0.9712)
1-9Lost by 14
vs Cowboys
32 (↓1)Buccaneers0.7116
(LW × 0.9658)
1-8Lost by 10
vs Falcons

Comments:

  • Remember back after week 6, when I said the Dolphins have a problem knowing how to win? Yeah, still thinking that. I think it's just APR's love of teams that lose close to highly ranked oppnents that's keeping them in the top 10 right now..

  • Or back in week 8, when I wondered, is there any figuring the Bengals? Still wondering that, too.

  • Remember when the Giants had posted three convincing wins, and looked like they might have a chance to run away with the NFC East? Even now they're not totally out of it, but with games against the 49ers, Cowboys and Eagles still to play, they might have trouble making it past 7 wins this year.

  • The Cardinals have lost Carson Palmer for the season, which means that it's up to Drew Stanton to take them as far as he can. I suppose the good news is, it's not that huge of a drop off from Palmer to Stanton, the strengths of that team are really elsewhere.

  • I don't think I've ever seen a teams playoff hopes dashed as hard or as fast as the Bears have in their last two games. The Bears haven't historically haven't been quick to fire their head coaches, but Trestman is really the first one they've hired in the social media era, and there have been calls for him to be fired, even before the end of the season.

  • The Browns have a decent shot at just their third winning season since their 1999 reboot, and their second playoff appearance in that span. Note that APR has them ranked quite low, at #19. But if you look at their schedule, they've got close wins over teams like the Titans, Raiders, and Buccaneers, and an 18 point loss to the currently 1-9 Jaguars. It's certainly not the most impressive resume in the league right now.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

NFL Week 10 Game Picks

GameAPRSRSLine
Broncos @
Raiders
Broncos
ρ=1.4469
Broncos*
δ=19.2
Broncos
-11½
Cowboys @
Jaguars
Cowboys
ρ=1.2727
Cowboys*
δ=12.9
Cowboys
-6½
Panthers @
Eagles
Eagles
ρ=1.2694
Eagles
δ=13.1
Eagles
-6
Steelers @
Jets
Steelers
ρ=1.2653
Steelers*
δ=9.6
Steelers
-5
Rams @
Cardinals
Cardinals
ρ=1.2602
Cardinals
δ=14.6
Cardinals
-7
Titans @
Ravens
Ravens
ρ=1.2164
Ravens
δ=13.1
Ravens
-10
Bears @
Packers
Packers
ρ=1.1131
Packers
δ=7.2
Packers
-7½
Chiefs @
Bills
Chiefs
ρ=1.0960
Chiefs*
δ=6.5
Chiefs
-1½
Giants @
Seahawks
Seahawks
ρ=1.0774
Seahawks
δ=4.3
Seahawks
-9
Browns @
Bengals
Bengals
ρ=1.0538
Bengals
δ=2.7
Bengals
-7
Dolphins @
Lions
Dolphins
ρ=1.0315
Dolphins*
δ=6.4
Lions
-2½
49ers @
Saints
49ers
ρ=1.0249
49ers*
δ=0.2
Saints
-5
Falcons @
Buccaneers
Falcons
ρ=1.0057
Falcons*
δ=8.6
Falcons
-1½

Bye: Patriots, Chargers, Colts, Vikings, Washington, Texans

Comments:

  • No line for Cowboys "@" Jaguars, presumably waiting for an update on Romo's status. I assume the Cowboys will be favored by something, it's just a question of how much. I will check back later in the week. Update: I'm now seeing Cowboys -6½, which seems reasonable.

  • I like the pick of the Dolphins to upset the Lions this week. As mentioned earlier, the Dolphins have a very solid defense, and it seems like maybe Tannehill and the offense are finding their groove in the last couple games. Meanwhile, the Lions are coming off a couple ugly wins over the Saints and Falcons. If they fall behind 21 points to the Dolphins, they're gonna find it a lot harder to mount a come back.

  • Everybody likes the Falcons this week (although not by much). I feel like this could easily be another upset. The Bucs have been competitive in most of their games, will be playing at home, and would like nothing better than a little revenge for their 56-14 loss to the Falcons in week 3.

    Meanwhile, the Falcons only have 2 wins of their own, and are coming off an ugly second half collapse to the Lions a couple weeks ago, and that's the only close loss the Falcons have had all season. I just don't feel like the Falcons are a team that could get a road win anywhere right now.