The Pi-Rate Ratings

December 29, 2009

PiRate Ratings and Spreads For NFL Week 17: January 3, 2010

NFL Week 17 Preview

Warning: Electrifying Playoffs Ahead!!!

 

All of a sudden what seemed to be an ironclad cut and dry Super Bowl between New Orleans and Indianapolis now looks like it could just as easily be Green Bay and The Jets.  Parity has come along late in the season, and the best teams no longer look unbeatable, while some of the worst may be among the best.

The Saints have dropped consecutive games.  Only one other time in NFL history has a team been undefeated until three games to go and then lost all three.  The 1969 Los Angeles Rams opened 11-0 before losing their final three games.  They promptly lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Vikings a possible playoff opponent in the second round if Minnesota and Philadelphia lose this week while Arizona wins.

The six NFC playoff teams are known.  New Orleans has secured the top spot.  Philadelphia currently holds down the number two seed, but the Eagles must win at Dallas to keep it. The Eagles hold the tiebreaker over Minnesota if both teams finish 12-4.  Should Dallas beat Philadelphia, the Vikings hold the tiebreaker over the Cowboys.  Should Dallas win and Minnesota lose, Arizona could take the second seed with a win over Green Bay.  Dallas would get the bye only if they beat Philadelphia and both Minnesota and Arizona lost.

Green Bay holds the tiebreaker edge over Dallas if they finish tied in the wildcard position.  They could possibly play at Arizona in consecutive weeks, which would be quite interesting.

The AFC is a big mess.  And, to make matters worse, some of the larger websites are wrong on which teams control their own destiny.  If you have read that Denver is in with a win, then you have been victimized by shoddy information.

The two AFC teams in control of their own destiny are New York and Baltimore.  Denver needs help to make the playoffs even though if the playoffs started today, they would be in.  The problem is this week’s schedule changes to formula.  So, The Jets and Ravens are the teams who get in if they win.

Denver can get in with a win and losses or ties by either Baltimore or Pittsburgh; or a loss by the Jets and a Houston win.  If the Broncos lose, then they would make the playoffs with a slew of losses by other teams (more than we can list and so improbable that there is no reason to list).

Houston can clinch a playoff spot with a win and at two from among Baltimore, Denver, and The Jets lose and/or tie.

Pittsburgh can make the playoffs with a win and: Houston and either Jets or Ravens lose and/or tie;  or Jets, Baltimore and Denver lose and/or tie.

Miami and Jacksonville can only get to 8-8 with wins, and too many things must happen for either to qualify.  For the Dolphins to sneak in, they must beat Pittsburgh and then have the Jets, Ravens, and Texans lose and Jacksonville lose or tie.  Jacksonville needs a win over Cleveland plus losses by four more teams (several combinations but most include Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Denver).

New England holds the tiebreaker over Cincinnati in the battle for the third seed.

Looking at this week’s closing schedule, the Jets and the Ravens have tough opponents, but both teams should win if they play up to their capacity.  Oakland knocked Tampa Bay out of the playoffs last year, but we cannot see the Raiders beating the hard-nosed Ravens.  The Jets face Cincinnati at home, and the Bengals may be the weakest division winner in several years. 

If things go the way the PiRate Ratings say they should, here’s how the playoffs should look:

Wildcard Round

NFC

#6 Dallas at #3 Minnesota

#5 Green Bay at #4 Arizona

 

AFC

#6 Baltimore at #3 New England

#5 New York Jets at #4 Cincinnati

 

Divisional Round

 

NFC

#1 New Orleans hosts lower remaining seed

#2 Philadelphia hosts higher remaining seed

 

AFC

#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 106.4 106.5 107.6 11-4-0 429 313
Dallas 105.0 104.4 105.7 10-5-0 337 250
New York Giants 100.9 101.1 101.9 8-7-0 395 383
Washington 95.3 96.0 91.3 4-11-0 246 313
               
NFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Green Bay 106.2 105.7 106.8 10-5-0 428 290
Minnesota 104.2 106.1 105.3 11-4-0 426 305
Chicago 96.1 96.6 96.4 6-9-0 290 352
Detroit 88.8 88.5 84.9 2-13-0 239 457
               
NFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
New Orleans 108.1 109.9 108.0 13-2-0 500 318
Carolina 104.9 100.3 100.7 7-8-0 292 298
Atlanta   103.2 102.0 103.1 8-7-0 343 315
Tampa Bay 95.0 93.1 93.1 3-12-0 234 380
               
NFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Arizona 103.3 102.4 104.4 10-5-0 368 292
San Francisco 100.0 101.5 99.4 7-8-0 302 275
Seattle 87.2 91.9 89.5 5-10-0 267 373
St. Louis 86.7 86.6 86.5 1-14-0 169 408
               
AFC East PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
New England 108.6 108.7 107.3 10-5-0 400 251
NY Jets 103.3 104.7 104.2 8-7-0 311 236
Miami 99.1 101.0 100.9 7-8-0 336 360
Buffalo 94.3 95.9 94.1 5-10-0 228 319
               
AFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Baltimore 109.5 106.5 105.8 8-7-0 370 248
Pittsburgh 103.1 100.7 104.0 8-7-0 338 300
Cincinnati 100.6 101.6 103.1 10-5-0 305 254
Cleveland 94.2 91.8 94.4 4-11-0 222 358
               
AFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Indianapolis 108.4 108.6 109.6 14-1-0 409 277
Houston   102.5 102.2 103.0 8-7-0 354 306
Tennessee 101.2 100.1 102.3 7-8-0 337 389
Jacksonville 94.4 95.8 98.3 7-8-0 273 357
               
AFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
San Diego 109.9 106.6 108.9 12-3-0 431 300
Denver 98.3 102.2 102.2 8-7-0 302 280
Oakland   92.1 90.9 90.8 5-10-0 184 358
Kansas City 88.4 90.4 86.4 3-12-0 250 400

 

This Week’s Games
Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site          
             
HFA for Week 17 = 2.4            
Vegas Line as of 8:30PM EDT Tuesday            
Sunday, January 3, 2010            
Favorite Underdog PiRate Mean Bias Vegas Totals
Indianapolis BUFFALO 11.7 10.3 13.1 NL NL
New Orleans CAROLINA 0.8 7.2 4.9 NL NL
CLEVELAND Jacksonville 2.2 -1.6 -1.5 Pk 37   
DALLAS Philadelphia 1.0 0.3 0.5 3    47   
Chicago DETROIT 4.9 5.7 9.1 3    45   
New England HOUSTON 3.7 4.1 1.9 -8    46   
Pittsburgh MIAMI 1.6 -2.7 0.7 NL NL
MINNESOTA New York Giants 5.7 7.4 5.8 8 1/2 48   
NEW YORK JETS Cincinnati 5.1 5.5 3.5 10    35   
San Francisco ST. LOUIS 10.9 12.5 10.5 7 1/2 40 1/2
Atlanta TAMPA BAY 5.8 6.5 7.6 3    41 1/2
Green Bay ARIZONA 0.5 0.9 0.0 3 1/2 43 1/2
DENVER Kansas City 12.3 14.2 18.2 13    38   
Baltimore OAKLAND 15.0 13.2 12.3 10 1/2 38   
SAN DIEGO Washington 17.0 13.0 20.0 3 1/2 38 1/2
Tennessee SEATTLE 11.6 5.8 10.4 4    44   
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