The Pi-Rate Ratings

December 15, 2009

PiRate Ratings and Spreads For NFL Week 15: December 17-21, 2009

Week 15 NFL Preview

PiRate Picks Go A Perfect 7-0!

 

We’re quite happy here at the PiRate Ratings this week.  Our picks against the spread (available for just $5 a week at www.piratings.webs.com), finished a perfect 7-0 last week bringing our record for the season to 86-48-2, 64.2%.  Our two-week record is 11-1, and we’ve basically used the same strategy both weeks.

This week, the NFL schedule presents the viewer with a basket of lemons.  There are some rather lousy games on tap: Arizona-Detroit, Chicago-Baltimore, Kansas City-Cleveland, Houston-St. Louis, and Seattle-Tampa Bay.  However, to the investor, sometimes, these games become hidden gems.

Throw in the college bowl season’s first offerings, and there are still options to consider this week.

The playoff chase is becoming interesting in the AFC, where the 6-win teams are still very much in the hunt.  In the NFC, the Packers are virtually a shoo-in now as a Wildcard team, but the final spot is still up for grabs.  Dallas holds the upper hand today, but with three very tough finishing games, the Cowboys cannot even be considered the favorite for that spot.  Now, if Dallas can somehow pull off the big upset this weekend in New Orleans, then it may be the end of the chase in the NFC.

Here is the way we at the PiRate Ratings see the playoffs shaping up. 

NFC East

 

Philadelphia is 9-4 and should win 11 games to take the title.

Dallas is 8-5, but could easily lose their last three games.  We see them finishing 9-7.

New York is 7-6 and absolutely must win at Washington Monday night.  If they get by the Redskins, they should beat Carolina, but the finale at Minnesota could be tough unless the Vikings have nothing to play for.  We can see the Giants finishing 9-7.

NFC South

 

The Saints have this race in hand and will have home field advantage for the NFC playoffs.

Atlanta is 6-7 and must win their final three games to have a chance.  All three games left are winnable, but the Falcons have not had much luck with injuries this year.  We believe they will lose at least once more and be eliminated.

NFC North

 

Minnesota has secured the title, and Green Bay will secure a wildcard spot with one more win, which they will get either this week or next.

NFC West

 

Arizona still holds a two-game lead over San Francisco with three to play, so we will pick the Cardinals to repeat as champs.

San Francisco is 6-7.  They have to win at Philadelphia this week, to benefit from closing with Detroit and St. Louis.  We don’t see Mike Singletary’s club winning at Philly this weekend.

AFC East

 

This race is still up for grabs.  New England owns just a one-game lead over Miami and the Jets, and the Patriots have lost all their true away games this year.  With two more away games to play, the Pats could be looking at 9-7, which would open the door.

Miami has topped .500 at 7-6, and they visit Tennessee this week in a death match.  The loser can look to next year.  If the Dolphins prevail, they finish with two winnable home games and could win the division.  We think 9-7 is what Miami fans should expect.  The Dolphins hold the tiebreaker advantage over New England, so we believe they can win the division at 9-7 if the Pats blow it this week at Buffalo.

The Jets are also 7-6.  They host Atlanta in another death match game.  However, they must still go to Indy next week and host Cincinnati in week 17.  It looks bleak for Jets’ fans.

AFC South

 

It’s all about who will finish second in this division, as the only intrigue with the title is whether the Colts can run the table.

Jacksonville is 7-6 and the leader in the clubhouse for the final wildcard spot.  They host Indianapolis this week, and they almost beat the Colts at Indy earlier this year.  They finish at New England and at Cleveland, so the Jags could be looking at 8-8, which would put them out.

Houston is 6-7 and needs too many things to happen to qualify, least of which is winning their final three games at St. Louis, at Miami, and versus New England.  They will be lucky to finish 8-8 for the third straight year.

Tennessee is 6-7 after beginning 0-6.  They also need too many things to happen to be considered a legitimate contender.  If they defeat Miami at home this week, they still must beat San Diego at home next week and win at Seattle.  It looks like 8-8 is their best possibility as well.

AFC North

 

Cincinnati is on the verge of securing the division title, but the Bengals are the most likely division winner to lose to a wildcard in the opening round.

Baltimore is 7-6, and the Ravens are the one team the division winners don’t want to face in the first round.  Baltimore should manhandle the Bears this week to set up a death match game at Pittsburgh.  A season finale at Oakland could be tricky, as the Raiders played spoiler last year in week 17.  Still, we see the Ravens coming through to win finish at least 9-7

Pittsburgh is 6-7 and is fading as fast as the Red Sox used to fade in baseball.  We don’t see them recovering to win three in a row.

AFC West

 

San Diego holds a two-game lead over Denver, and we see no reason to expect the Chargers to fold.

Denver is 8-5 and has a favorable finishing schedule with both Oakland and Kansas City coming to the Mile High City.  You can use pen to put them in as a wildcard.

PiRate Playoff Speculation

 

NFC—Round One

#3 Philadelphia hosts #6 Dallas

#4 Arizona hosts #5 Green Bay

 

Divisional Round

 

#1 New Orleans hosts lower remaining seed

#2 Minnesota hosts higher remaining seed

 

AFC—Round One

 

#3 Cincinnati hosts #6 Baltimore

#4 Miami hosts #5 Denver

 

Divisional Round

 

#1 Indianapolis hosts lower remaining seed

#2 San Diego hosts higher remaining seed

 

Current NFL PiRate Ratings
               
               
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NFC East

 

PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Philadelphia 106.3 105.7 106.7 9-4-0 372 273
Dallas 101.7 102.4 103.3 8-5-0 296 233
New York Giants 101.5 100.4 103.5 7-6-0 341 330
Washington 99.6 99.3 96.9 4-9-0 234 251
               
NFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Minnesota 109.4 107.1 108.8 11-2-0 389 243
Green Bay 103.9 104.3 105.9 9-4-0 344 243
Chicago 95.6 96.8 95.0 5-8-0 247 291
Detroit 88.0 88.2 86.3 2-11-0 209 406
               
NFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
New Orleans 113.4 109.9 110.8 13-0-0 466 274
Atlanta 99.9 99.8 98.8 6-7-0 302 305
Carolina   98.4 98.2 92.8 5-8-0 225 282
Tampa Bay 89.1 91.8 88.5 1-12-0 190 356
               
NFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Arizona 103.9 103.1 105.1 8-5-0 306 258
San Francisco 100.7 101.5 100.5 6-7-0 269 242
Seattle 92.9 95.0 94.7 5-8-0 250 301
St. Louis 85.9 88.9 86.1 1-12-0 146 361
               
AFC East PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
New England 107.8 106.6 105.4 8-5-0 348 234
NY Jets 103.1 102.8 104.3 7-6-0 275 211
Miami 100.3 100.8 103.9 7-6-0 292 306
Buffalo 96.0 97.0 96.3 5-8-0 215 271
               
AFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Baltimore 109.1 105.2 106.6 7-6-0 319 218
Pittsburgh 101.7 99.8 99.8 6-7-0 278 244
Cincinnati 101.0 101.0 104.1 9-4-0 264 217
Cleveland 91.5 92.3 92.1 2-11-0 158 315
               
AFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Indianapolis 111.0 109.2 110.7 13-0-0 359 217
Tennessee 103.6 102.4 103.1 6-7-0 293 323
Houston   102.1 102.5 100.4 6-7-0 311 273
Jacksonville 94.4 96.7 98.9 7-6-0 235 287
               
AFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
San Diego 108.5 105.9 107.8 10-3-0 362 259
Denver 100.0 101.7 104.0 8-5-0 256 230
Oakland   91.4 92.2 90.8 4-9-0 155 316
Kansas City 88.3 91.7 88.3 3-10-0 206 342

 

This Week’s Games
Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site          
             
HFA for Week 15 = 2.7            
Vegas Line as of 12:30PM EDT Tuesday            
Thursday, December 17, 2009            
Favorite Underdog PiRate Mean Bias Vegas Totals
Indianapolis JACKSONVILLE 13.9 9.8 9.1 6 1/2 46   
             
Saturday, December 19, 2009            
Favorite Underdog PiRate Mean Bias Vegas Totals
NEW ORLEANS Dallas 14.4 10.2 10.2 7    53 1/2
             
Sunday, December 20, 2009            
Favorite Underdog PiRate Mean Bias Vegas Totals
PITTSBURGH Green Bay 0.5 -1.8 -3.4 1    40   
TENNESSEE Miami 6.0 4.3 1.9 3    41 1/2
New England BUFFALO 9.1 6.9 6.4 7    40 1/2
Arizona DETROIT 13.2 12.2 16.1 10 1/2 47   
PHILADELPHIA San Francisco 8.3 6.9 8.9 9    44 1/2
NEW YORK JETS Atlanta 5.9 5.7 8.2 NL NL
BALTIMORE Chicago 16.2 11.1 14.3 10    40 1/2
Cleveland KANSAS CITY 0.5 -2.1 1.1 -2    36 1/2
Houston ST. LOUIS 13.5 10.9 11.6 9 1/2 43   
SAN DIEGO Cincinnati 10.2 7.6 6.4 6 1/2 44   
DENVER Oakland 11.3 12.2 15.9 14    37   
SEATTLE Tampa Bay 6.5 5.9 8.9 7    39 1/2
Minnesota CAROLINA 8.3 6.2 13.3 7    43   
             
Monday, December 21, 2009            
Favorite Underdog PiRate Mean Bias Vegas Totals
WASHINGTON New York Giants 0.8 1.6 -3.9 -3    43   
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