A Strange Season So Far
It may not mean all that much to you, but as far as our ratings go, this has been one of the strangest NFL seasons in a long time. Our three ratings usually begin to look close to identical by the midway point of the season, because certain constants exist in football. After factoring strength of schedule, when one team consistently gains 350 total yards and gives up 280 total yards, and this team scores one point for every 12 yards gained and gives up one point for every 13 yards gained, then on a neutral field against a perfectly average NFL opponent, that team is one touchdown better, and in 100 games, that team should be expected to beat the perfectly average team about 75 times.
The above stated paragraph has been consistently accurate for a long time, basically since the NFL featured 12 teams in the 1950’s. Other parts of the game, like turnovers, special teams, and penalties affect the game to an extent, but on the whole, when a team out-gains its opponents by an average of 350 to 280 yards per game and scores a point for every 12 yards while giving up a point for every 13 yards given up, over the long haul, all the teams with these stats and that played an average schedule should average 7 points more per game than they give up. Averaging 7 points more per game than your opponents usually makes you a playoff team in any era.
This season, has been an anomaly. There are always cases where one team out-gains another by 200 yards and loses the game due to a turnover margin of -3, or some big special teams play, or even a large discrepancy in penalty yardage (think pass interference on a long pass). Then, there is a frequent case where the eventual winning team runs for 200 yards and controls possession of the game for 38 minutes while moving to a 28-point lead. Then, the eventual losing team passes for 200 yards in the last 22 minutes and loses by 14 points.
It is just six weeks, but the norms are all messed up this season. Teams that move the ball well all day are losing too many times to teams that look inept for half the game and win on data that usually does not contribute as much to the outcome as it has been contributing this year.
There is a second factor this year. Consistency has been thrown out the window. The Cincinnati Bengals look like Super Bowl contenders one week and like an expansion franchise the next. Miami gets embarrassed at home by Tennessee one week and then dominates Pittsburgh the next and sends Ben Roethlisberger to the operating table. One week, Oakland looks like the Raiders of Daryle Lamonica and Ben Davidson, and the next week they look like the Raiders of most of the last 15 years.
You have New England, Dallas, Minnesota, and Seattle as the most consistently good teams this year. Denver, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Washington have been up and down or down and up, and any of these teams could prove to be as consistent as the first four. However, the other 24 teams are like dice-rollers. One week, they roll an 8 and then hit 8 the hard way; the next week, they roll an 8 and then crap out with a 7.
This is where computer ratings are useless. Computer ratings cannot factor inconsistency. If a team is supposed to win by 10 but loses by 10, and then in the next game, they are supposed to lose by 10 and wins by 10, their rating is not going to differ much from a team that is supposed to win by 10 and does so and then loses by 10 when they are supposed to lose by 10.
You would almost need to have two different ratings for the teams–one when they are going to lay a golden egg, and one when they lay a rotten egg. An algorithm would then have to be constructed to determine whether the team would be golden or rotten. Good luck with that. There is only one way to try to make use of this knowledge–don’t invest any money on these games!
Okay, there are some very astute computer specialists and mathematical geniuses that can devise such an algorithm based on enough data to fill a small library. They can determine the chance that a team will be golden or rotten about 60 percent of the time. By further using this information to play more underdogs than favorites, they can win 5 out of 8 times (62.5%).
Believe it or not, 62.5% is enough to be banned from every respectable sports book in the world. The big-time winners must compensate others to place bets for them, because they are persona non grata with the books when they basically win 5 out of 8 times. If they bet through their confidential couriers at 6 different books for a total of $150,000 a game, and they bet on 16 games per weekend (college and pro), they are going to win 10 of the 16 games and pocket a profit near a half million dollars by the time they pay their commissions, while the books will be out more than a half million. After a quarter of a season, that’s more than two million bucks lost by the books, and they cannot have that.
We know that there are many other ways the wise guys exploit that you and us cannot use, such as playing both sides against the middle in games with wide swings in the spreads between the opening line and the lines just before kickoff.
What do the books want from you? Believe it or not, they want you to win four times out of nine and no less. If you can consistently win four times and lose five times every week, they have you hooked. You will slowly lose money every week, but you will be so close to winning that you can taste it, and you will get even next week. If you consistently win just 1 to 3 times a week, they cannot count on your betting next week unless you really have some screws loose.
They don’t even want you to go 4-5 every week. They hope that in 17 weeks of football, you will go 5-4 every third or fourth week and pocket a little profit, and that you will then go 4-5 all the other weeks. You and millions other giving them a couple hundred dollars every week make them very wealthy.
You can also make them wealthy by following our advice. So, please, lose on your own account and do not blame us. We just do this for fun. Unfortunately, we have had some moderate success in the past, and more than a few dozen of you with URLs from the State of Nevada read our Money Line articles every week believing that past success can be used to predict future results.
|Current NFL PiRate Ratings|
|A F C|
|N. Y. Jets||98.8||97.2||99.7||98.6||58||41|
|N F C|
|This Week’s Games|
|Los Angeles (L)||New York Giants||0.5||1.7||0.4||41|
|Kansas City||New Orleans||8.4||5.9||9.5||56|
|New York Jets||Baltimore||3.6||0.2||5.1||41|
|San Francisco||Tampa Bay||-0.9||-0.4||-0.8||39|
|(L) Game to be played in London|