Welcome back. I hope my picks were helpful last week. I ended up going 10-6 which was good enough to move me up in my pool. This week the picks are a little tougher. You will learn how the formula still has an element of guessing - which I am trying to iron out.
PHI 9.5 KC 28-20
KC: Right off the bat, I have a game where my 10 indicators are split evenly. 5 point to the favorite and 5 to the underdog. My most trusted indicators are all leaning towards KC. I expect the Eagles to win this game, but only by 7 or 8 points. It will be close, but 9.5 pts is too many to cover.
Philly is only slightly more efficient in scoring (yds/pt of 12.6 vs. 13.9), but the expected yards gained differential is not enough to cover.
BAL 13.5 CLE 40-22
BAL: The Ravens, on the contrary, look to easily cover the 13.5 pts.
My only worry is that late in the fourth quarter, it is easy for favorite to stop fighting to keep a double digit lead, so they allow an easy score which kills the cover, yet keeps the win. The formula has no current way to predict that, so I will have to assume that the teams play all 60 minutes.
WAS 6.5 DET 19-17
DET: Another 5-5 split in my indicators. Again, my favorite indicator says that the Redskins will win, but not cover. They are scoring more that 8 point fewer per game than their opponents are allowing on average. Therefore the formula discounts the Lions 36 pts allowed avg down to around 28. This game should be horrible to watch, yet fascinating to see how close my formula gets to the final scores.
NYG 6.5 TB 36-21
NYG: Giants lead in all 10 indicators, and most of the component stats (pts scored, pass def, etc) as well.
HOU 3.5 JAC 24-23
JAC: Houston has the worst modifier on my defensive strength of schedule computation. The Texans give up over 7 pts per game MORE than their opponents allow on avg. That translates into predicting the Jags will get about a TD more than their average of 15 pts.
NE 3.5 ATL 15-17
ATL: The Falcons should win this one outright. The Pats lead in several component stats, yet are much LESS efficient at scoring. The Falcons enjoy a lead of 10 fewer yds/pt on average (smaller numbers indicate better scoring efficiency).
NYJ 2.5 TEN 23-9
NYJ: At the other end from Houston, the Jets are leading the defensive strength of schedule computation. They give up almost 11 fewer points per week than their opponents are averaging. This smothering defense will stop the Titans in their tracks.
Another indicator that I have not coded, but I perform manually is looking at common opponents. Both teams have already played Houston. Both teams put up a bunch of points against the Texans, but the Jets only gave up 7, while the Titans gave up 34. All signs point to New York.
MIN 6.5 SF 16-22
SF: Mariner249er will be happy to see that the formula picked SF. They are boosted in both offense and defense through the strength of schedule computation while the Vikings lose ground in both stats.
GB 6.5 STL 24-11
GB: All 10 indicators point to GB. Should be a lock against the Rams who score (the worst) 9.8 FEWER points per game than their opponents allow on avg.
NO 5.5 BUF 43-27
NO: With Drew Brees on fire, it is not surprising to see that the Saints lead in my offensive strength of schedule computation - scoring 14 MORE pts than their opponents allow on avg. Couple that with the Bills allowing 4 MORE than avg and this game should be New Orleans in a landslide.
CHI 2.5 SEA 12-20
SEA: My formula gives the Bears no respect. In fact I am not sure why there the favorites here. Even with Seattle at home, the line is tipped towards Chicago. I'll take the points and home field advantage - thank you.
SD 5.5 MIA 27-20
SD: This pick is mixed (7-3 in favor of SD) and is also my least confident pick of the week.
DEN 0.5 OAK 14-2
DEN: 2 points, I am predicting 2 points for the Raiders? How did that happen? It turns out that Oakland has the 2nd worst offensive strength of schedule modifier (-9) and Denver has the 2nd best defensive strength of schedule modifier (9.5). Put them together and Oakland looks to produce 18 points fewer than their average.
Admittedly, this sounds a little fishy. I will review this prediction after the game.
PIT 3.5 CIN 11-16
CIN: Still a couple days to use the BENGALSWIN code at Elegant Sports Jewelry to save $5 on some beautiful jewelry in your team colors. The offer is good on all products (not just Bengals stuff), but you have to order at least $20.
ARI 2.5 IND 25-19
ARI: This is mixed like SD v MIA, but the smaller spread makes it a little easier to pick the favorite.
DAL 8.5 CAR 38-19
DAL: Panthers get hit hard from both strength of schedule modifiers (6 pts from each).
My tiebreakers are 57 pts and 308 rushing yards.
There you have it. Good luck. Please let me know if this data was helpful in making your own picks this week.