Wednesday, February 4, 2009

NFL Wrapup: APR vs. the Line

Back in week 6, I noticed that it seemed like often on the split picks, it was the APR taking the road team, and the Line taking the home team. On further review, I was right. Here's how the APR vs. Line split picks break down for the 2008 season.

APR Takes the Home Team

There were 5 games where APR picked the home team and the Line picked the road team. APR was 4-1 in these picks (missing only Colts @ Vikings in week 2).

In this and following tables, the winning team is shown in bold.

2Colts (line)@ Vikings (APR, SRS)
2Chargers (Line) @ Broncos (APR, SRS)
3Panthers (Line)@ Vikings (APR, SRS)
4Eagles (SRS, Line)@ Bears (APR)
6Cowboys (SRS, Line)@ Cardinals (APR)

Beware of drawing conclusions from such a small sample. Note that four of these were very close games—only Panthers @ Vikings was decided by more than 6 points. And Chargers @ Broncos was the infamous "Ed Hochuli 'no fumble' game".

APR Takes the Road Team

There were 48 of these games, and APR was 22-26 in these picks. I'm not going to go through all 48 games, but there are a few worth mentioning.

  • The NFC South was 27-5 at home, and 13-19 on the road:

    2Falcons (APR, SRS)@ Buccaneers (Line)
    6Panthers (APR, SRS)@ Buccaneers (Line)
    14Falcons (APR, SRS)@ Saints (Line)
    14Buccaneers (APR, SRS)@ Panthers (Line)
    2Saints (APR, SRS)@ Redskins (Line)
    2Bears (APR, SRS)@ Panthers (Line)
    5Buccaneers (APR, SRS)@ Broncos (Line)
    8Buccaneers (APR, SRS)@ Cowboys (Line)
    12Packers (APR, SRS)@ Saints
    15Saints (APR, SRS)@ Bears (Line)
  • Jet lag is a bummer:

    3Cardinals (APR, SRS)@ Redskins (Line)
    4Cardinals (APR, SRS)@ Jets (Line)
    5Bills (APR, SRS)@ Cardinals (Line)
    7Broncos (APR, SRS)@ Patriots (Line)
    17Redskins (APR, SRS)@ 49ers (Line)
  • The Ravens had some issues on the road agains good teams:

    4Ravens (APR, SRS)@ Steelers (Line)
    6Ravens (APR, SRS)@ Colts (Line)
    11Ravens (APR)@ Giants (SRS, Line)


This is more evidence that APR doesn't pick the home team often enough. I think the answer might be to separate the power indexes into "home" and "visitor" power. Clearly there are some teams that just do much better at home than on the road.

And I see browsing the current standings, there are a handful of teams (Dolphins, Patriots, Bills, Browns, Jaguars, and Raiders) that actually had better road records than home records.