The Pi-Rate Ratings

September 19, 2012

PiRate Ratings and Spreads For NFL Week 3: September 20-23, 2012

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 9:11 am

The New Power Division

Just two years ago, the Seattle Seahawks won the NFC West Division with a 7-9-0 record.  In the previous eight seasons, only seven NFC West teams posted winning records, and never once did two teams from that division win nine games in the same season.  You have to go back to 2003 to fins two teams with winning records from this division.

 

After two weeks of the 2012 season, it looks like the NFC West will break that trend.  San Francisco might be the best team in all of football.  The 49ers won easily at Lambeau Field, and they handled Detroit in Candlestick Park Sunday night.  It is more than a small possibility that they could be 13-0 when they visit New Englandin December.

 

Arizona is also 2-0 with a win at New England.  This is without starting quarterback John Skelton.  Seattle lost at Arizona in week one and then demolished Dallas in week two.  Even St. Louis appears to be ready to challenge for a winning record.  Jeff Fisher has the Rams looking like a playoff contender after losing a close game at Detroit and then winning at home against Washington.

 

To The Contrary

The divisions expected to be the best in both conferences are a combined 8-8 so far, with all eight teams sitting at 1-1.  The NFC North has the misfortune of playing the new power division, and both Green Bay and Detroit have felt the wrath of Harbaugh.  Minnesota lost to Andrew Luck and the Colts.  The Bears have not lost out of division yet, but heading into week three, they are in more disarray than any team that is not wearing fleur de leis on their helmets.

 

In the AFC East, the Jets lost big to Pittsburgh and New England was surprised by Arizona.  Buffalo lost big to the Jets, while Miami lost big to Houston.  It is still too early to make a big assumption here, but New England faces a big game this week at Baltimore.  The Pats have not started 1-2 since 2001, but that team rallied to finish 11-5-0 and first in the division.  It was the year Tom Brady replaced Drew Bledsoe at quarterback three games into the season and guided New England to a Super Bowl Championship.

 

Comparing 2012 to 1966

What seems like a move to a predominant passing game in the 21st Century NFL compared to a former running game back in the Vince Lombardi days is mostly utter nonsense.  Let’s look at some statistics from this season compared to 1966, when Lombardi’s Packers won the NFL-AFL Championship Game in what would soon be renamed “The Super Bowl.”

 

In 2012, the average team scores 24.3 points per game.  In 1966, the NFL averaged 21.7 points per game, and the AFL averaged 22.5 points per game.  There’s very little difference there.

 

In 2012, the average team runs the ball 42% of the time and passes 58% of the time.  In 1966, the average NFL team ran the ball 49% of the time and passed 51% of the time.  The average AFL team ran the ball 46% of the time and passed 54% of the time.  In all three instances, these teams consistently averaged 63 scrimmage plays per game.  We are talking basically three more passing attempts per game these days compared to back in the days of Lombardi.  Scattered over the course of a game, the difference is negligible.

 

In 2012, the average team averages 7.0 yards per pass attempt and 11.1 yards per completion.  In 1966, the NFL averaged 6.9 yards per pass attempt and 13.4 yards per completion, while the AFL averaged 6.8 yards per attempt and 14.7 yards per completion.  Basically, today’s trend is to throw shorter passes for a higher completion percentage, while in 1966, teams tended to throw longer passes with lower completion percentages but more yards per completion.  The real difference is that teams tended to throw a couple extra long bombs in those days.  Once again, the differences are negligible, and the overall results are about the same.

 

In 2012, the average team averages 4.1 yards per rushing attempt.  In 1966, the average NFL team averaged 3.9 yards per rushing attempt, and the average AFL team averaged 4.0 yards per rushing attempt.  This miniscule difference can be explained by the simple fact that teams in 1966 always had a fullback that ran the ball.  In 3rd and short or at the goalline, teams would give the ball to their bigger, more powerful back to get two yards and a first down.  Today, teams are more liable to throw a quick pass than use a line plunge or quick trap through the A-gap to get a first down.

 

In essence, the game has changed very little since the days of Lombardi.  The main difference is that teams used two backs and a tight end almost exclusively in 1966, whereas teams almost always use just one back in 2012.  When a team used two backs today, one of those backs is only a blocker.  In 1966, the two backs split the running plays.  Some teams gave the ball more to the fullback, and some gave it more to the halfback.

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

NFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Philadelphia Eagles

104.6

106.8

106.1

106.5

2

New York Giants

101.6

101.2

101.9

102.5

2

Dallas Cowboys

100.7

101.2

99.7

99.0

3

Washington Redskins

97.5

98.8

96.4

95.5

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Green Bay Packers

107.2

106.7

104.6

105.0

2

Chicago Bears

103.5

102.4

103.0

102.0

2

Detroit Lions

101.7

100.6

101.6

101.5

2

Minnesota Vikings

92.6

94.6

92.2

91.5

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Atlanta Falcons

104.5

104.9

104.9

107.0

3

New Orleans Saints

99.4

99.0

95.0

93.5

2.5

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

96.1

96.8

98.7

100.5

2.5

Carolina Panthers

96.0

98.8

99.6

98.5

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

San Francisco 49ers

108.4

108.4

106.7

108.0

3

Arizona Cardinals

101.6

100.8

104.1

104.0

3

Seattle Seahawks

100.8

100.6

101.7

102.5

3

St. Louis Rams

95.4

94.3

96.6

98.0

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

New England Patriots

106.7

106.5

104.6

106.5

2.5

New York Jets

101.6

99.8

100.1

101.0

2.5

Buffalo Bills

98.2

97.1

100.6

100.0

2.5

Miami Dolphins

97.7

97.4

98.8

98.5

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Baltimore Ravens

107.3

106.0

106.7

107.0

3

Pittsburgh Steelers

106.0

102.9

101.7

104.0

2.5

Cincinnati Bengals

97.4

97.8

100.9

100.5

2

Cleveland Browns

94.0

94.3

96.4

97.0

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Houston Texans

109.0

107.7

108.0

108.0

2

Jacksonville Jaguars

93.4

93.1

92.1

91.5

2

Tennessee Titans

93.0

94.4

92.6

92.0

2.5

Indianapolis Colts

90.6

93.0

95.4

98.0

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

San Diego Chargers

104.3

104.5

103.2

103.0

3.5

Denver Broncos

103.3

102.5

101.8

101.0

3

Kansas City Chiefs

93.6

93.1

91.2

90.0

2

Oakland Raiders

92.0

94.0

92.9

93.0

3

 

This Week’s PiRate Spreads

Home Team in all CAPS

Vegas Spread as of: Wednesday, September 19 @ 9AM EDT

Favorite Underdog

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Vintage

Vegas

Totals

New York Giants CAROLINA

3.1

-0.1

-0.2

1.5

Pk

50 1/2

CHICAGO St. Louis

10.1

10.1

8.4

6

9

44 1/2

DALLAS Tampa Bay

7.6

7.4

4

1.5

8

46 1/2

San Francisco MINNESOTA

13.3

11.3

12

14

8

43

Detroit TENNESSEE

6.2

3.7

6.5

7

3

46 1/2

WASHINGTON Cincinnati

2.6

3.5

-2

-2.5

3 1/2

49

New York Jets MIAMI

1.4

-0.1

1.2

0

2 1/2

40

NEW ORLEANS Kansas City

8.3

8.4

6.3

6

9 1/2

52 1/2

Buffalo CLEVELAND

1.7

0.3

1.7

0.5

2 1/2

43 1/2

Jacksonville INDIANAPOLIS

0.3

-2.4

-5.8

-9

-2 1/2

41 1/2

ARIZONA Philadelphia

0

-3

1

0.5

4

43 1/2

SAN DIEGO Atlanta

3.3

3.1

1.8

-0.5

3

47 1/2

Houston DENVER

2.7

2.2

3.2

4

Pk

46

Pittsburgh OAKLAND

11

5.9

5.8

8

4

44 1/2

BALTIMORE New England

3.6

2.5

5.1

3.5

2 1/2

44 1/2

Green Bay SEATTLE

3.4

3.1

-0.1

-0.5

3

46 1/2

September 12, 2012

PiRate Ratings and Spreads For NFL Week 2: September 13-16, 2012

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 11:39 am

Very few surprises dotted the week one schedule in the NFL.  Washington began the RG3 era with a high-powered upset of the New Orleans Saints, but a lot of folks worried the Saints would have trouble this year.  The two New York teams made headlines; the Giants lost at home to the Cowboys, while the Jets looked more like they were playing Savannah State than the Buffalo Bills.  After scoring one TD in the second half of one preseason game, they bombed the Bills with 48 points.

 

After one week, the Harbaugh brothers look like they could be on a collision course.  San Francisco won at Green Bay and looked even stronger than last season.  Baltimore looked like a co-favorite with New England after manhandling the Bengals.

 

We see a handful of games that look exciting this week.  New Orleans and Carolina face off in Charlotte with the loser headed to a 0-2 start.  Look for A-games from both teams after the Saints’ defense and Panthers’ offense failed to get the job done last week.

 

Minnesota could be 2-0 on Sunday afternoon; the Vikings face Indianapolis, and with Green Bay possibly losing to Chicago and Detroit possibly losing to San Francisco, the Vikings could be all alone in first place in the old black and blue division.

 

Our two favorite games this week are Baltimore at Philadelphia, and the Jets at Pittsburgh.  The Eagles looked pedestrian in their win over the Browns, while the Steelers’ defense looked lost at time against Peyton Manning and the Broncos.  If the Ravens win and the Steelers lose, Baltimore will already be in the driver’s seat in the AFC North.

 

Here are this week’s four ratings

NFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Philadelphia Eagles

104.1

105.6

106.3

107.0

2

Dallas Cowboys

103.1

102.2

101.7

101.5

2.5

New York Giants

101.6

106.2

103.8

103.0

2.5

Washington Redskins

98.0

94.1

96.5

97.5

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Green Bay Packers

105.6

107.6

104.0

103.0

2

Chicago Bears

105.1

99.8

103.3

103.0

2

Detroit Lions

102.0

102.8

102.6

102.0

2.5

Minnesota Vikings

93.0

94.2

93.9

94.0

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Atlanta Falcons

103.9

102.3

101.5

100.5

3

New Orleans Saints

101.4

105.6

100.5

100.5

2

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

95.5

92.6

95.9

97.0

2.5

Carolina Panthers

95.2

97.8

99.2

98.5

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

San Francisco 49ers

108.1

105.5

103.7

104.5

3

Arizona Cardinals

99.0

99.7

99.7

98.0

2.5

Seattle Seahawks

98.1

99.0

98.9

99.0

2.5

St. Louis Rams

94.6

93.0

94.6

95.5

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

New England Patriots

108.5

108.7

104.9

106.5

3.5

New York Jets

104.1

101.2

101.9

103.5

2.5

Buffalo Bills

95.9

96.5

99.8

98.5

3

Miami Dolphins

95.2

98.9

97.6

95.5

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Baltimore Ravens

107.8

104.8

104.8

104.5

3

Pittsburgh Steelers

103.8

105.4

102.9

105.0

2

Cincinnati Bengals

97.1

98.8

101.3

100.5

2

Cleveland Browns

94.3

95.1

96.6

96.0

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Houston Texans

107.3

103.3

105.3

105.5

2

Tennessee Titans

96.1

98.7

97.6

97.0

2.5

Jacksonville Jaguars

94.8

95.0

93.8

93.0

2.5

Indianapolis Colts

90.2

92.2

91.3

91.0

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Denver Broncos

103.7

98.9

100.1

100.0

3

San Diego Chargers

101.7

101.9

100.4

99.5

3.5

Kansas City Chiefs

96.4

97.9

99.0

99.5

2

Oakland Raiders

94.5

96.5

96.9

97.5

2

 

Here are the spreads for this week’s games

Home Team in all CAPS

Vegas line as of 12:00PM EDT on Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Favorite Underdog

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Vintage

Vegas

Totals

GREEN BAY Chicago

2.5

3.4

-0.2

-1.0

6   

51   

N. Y. GIANTS Tampa Bay

8.6

7.6

6.9

6.0

9   

44 1/2

New Orleans CAROLINA

3.7

2.1

1.6

5.5

2 1/2

51   

NEW ENGLAND Arizona

13.0

14.6

8.5

12.5

13 1/2

48   

Minnesota INDIANAPOLIS

0.3

0.9

0.6

0.5

1   

44 1/2

Baltimore PHILADELPHIA

1.7

-0.6

2.0

3.0

-1   

46 1/2

BUFFALO Kansas City

2.5

2.0

0.6

-4.0

3   

45   

MIAMI Oakland

3.7

2.8

-0.5

-6.0

-2 1/2

37 1/2

CINCINNATI Cleveland

4.8

3.2

5.7

5.5

7   

38   

Houston JACKSONVILLE

10.0

8.7

8.9

8.5

7 1/2

41 1/2

Dallas SEATTLE

2.5

1.9

4.2

5.5

3   

41 1/2

Washington ST. LOUIS

0.9

4.0

2.8

3.0

3   

45   

PITTSBURGH N. Y. Jets

1.7

1.7

1.0

1.0

6   

41 1/2

SAN DIEGO Tennessee

9.1

9.4

11.0

11.5

7   

42 1/2

SAN FRANCISCO Detroit

9.1

8.0

7.6

11.0

7   

47   

ATLANTA Denver

3.2

5.7

2.8

2.0

3   

51   

 

Check back Thursday Afternoon for this week’s PiRate Picks for college and pro football.

 

Coming Friday: Our first look at the 2012 Presidential and Congressional races.  Yes, we have PiRate Ratings for the polls too!

September 2, 2012

PiRate Ratings and Spreads For NFL Week 1: September 5-9, 2012

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 3:41 pm

If you haven’t followed our college ratings, then you need to know about the new (old) rating the PiRate Ratings has brought back this year.

 

We call it the “PiRate Vintage Rating.”  It is actually a modification of our ratings from the 1970’s and 1980’s.  Our creator found the old ratings in an old spiral notebook while cleaning his basement in April of this year.  After looking it over, he realized that by applying a little additional knowledge about how certain statistics affect the scores of NFL games, and with the use of a spreadsheet to back-test data for the last dozen years, he formulized a new rating.  The Vintage Rating is 100% independent of the other PiRate Ratings, so it will be interesting to see how it fares compared to the PiRate, PiRate Mean, and PiRate Biased ratings.  These three ratings are computed from the same set of data with different formulae.  The Vintage Ratings use only full and half points.

 

Remember this before continuing.  We strongly urge you not to rely on these ratings to pick games against the spread.  Yes, it is true that last year, our regular PiRate Ratings at 56%+ against the spread were the most accurate NFL ratings against the spread of the 75 or so national computer ratings that participate in Todd Beck’s “Prediction Tracker.”  However, we picked 81 NFL selections against the spread (for fun and not for investment) and were correct just 53.2% of the time 42-37-2.  There is only one way to really win in Vegas or offshore:  you have to be part of an elite syndicate of players with access to a supercomputer that can interpret rooms full of data and find consistent facts that win over time.  It has been done, because there are people that have been cut off from all the books or reduced to small maximums.  If you are one of those people, you most definitely are not reading this.

 

Without further adieu, here are our initial NFL ratings:

 

NFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Philadelphia Eagles

104.6

105.6

106.3

107.0

2

New York Giants

103.3

106.2

103.8

103.0

3

Dallas Cowboys

101.4

102.2

101.7

101.5

2.5

Washington Redskins

95.9

94.1

96.5

97.5

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Green Bay Packers

107.7

107.6

104.0

103.0

3

Chicago Bears

104.0

99.8

103.3

103.0

2

Detroit Lions

103.2

102.8

102.6

102.0

2.5

Minnesota Vikings

93.0

94.2

93.9

94.0

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

New Orleans Saints

103.5

105.6

100.5

100.5

2

Atlanta Falcons

102.2

102.3

101.5

100.5

3

Carolina Panthers

95.5

97.8

99.2

98.5

3

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

95.2

92.6

95.9

97.0

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

San Francisco 49ers

106.0

105.5

103.7

104.5

3.5

Arizona Cardinals

99.0

99.7

99.7

98.0

2.5

Seattle Seahawks

98.1

99.0

98.9

99.0

3

St. Louis Rams

93.4

93.0

94.6

95.5

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

New England Patriots

106.7

108.7

104.9

106.5

3.5

New York Jets

102.5

101.2

101.9

103.5

2.5

Buffalo Bills

97.5

96.5

99.8

98.5

3.5

Miami Dolphins

95.9

98.9

97.6

95.5

3.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Pittsburgh Steelers

106.1

105.4

102.9

105.0

2.5

Baltimore Ravens

105.4

104.8

104.8

104.5

3

Cincinnati Bengals

99.5

98.8

101.3

100.5

2

Cleveland Browns

93.8

95.1

96.6

96.0

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Houston Texans

106.6

103.3

105.3

105.5

2

Tennessee Titans

97.9

98.7

97.6

97.0

2.5

Jacksonville Jaguars

94.8

95.0

93.8

93.0

2.5

Indianapolis Colts

91.3

92.2

91.3

91.0

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Vintage

HFA

Denver Broncos

101.4

98.9

100.1

100.0

3

San Diego Chargers

101.1

101.9

100.4

99.5

3

Kansas City Chiefs

98.1

97.9

99.0

99.5

2

Oakland Raiders

95.1

96.5

96.9

97.5

2

 

Here is our look at how we think the divisional standings will look on New Year’s Eve.

 

NFC East

Won

Lost

Philadelphia Eagles

10

6

New York Giants

10

6

Dallas Cowboys

7

9

Washington Redskins

5

11

 

 

 

NFC North

 

 

Green Bay Packers

12

4

Chicago Bears

12

4

Detroit Lions

9

7

Minnesota Vikings

4

12

 

 

 

NFC South

 

 

New Orleans Saints

9

7

Atlanta Falcons

10

6

Carolina Panthers

6

10

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5

11

 

 

 

NFC West

 

 

San Francisco 49ers

11

5

Arizona Cardinals

5

11

Seattle Seahawks

6

10

St. Louis Rams

5

11

 

 

 

AFC East

 

 

New England Patriots

12

4

New York Jets

7

9

Buffalo Bills

8

8

Miami Dolphins

6

10

 

 

 

AFC North

 

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

12

4

Baltimore Ravens

12

4

Cincinnati Bengals

8

8

Cleveland Browns

4

12

 

 

 

AFC South

 

 

Houston Texans

11

5

Tennessee Titans

7

9

Jacksonville Jaguars

6

10

Indianapolis Colts

6

10

 

 

 

AFC West

 

 

Denver Broncos

9

7

San Diego Chargers

9

7

Kansas City Chiefs

8

8

Oakland Raiders

5

11

 

Wildcard Round

Philadelphia over New York Giants

Chicago over Atlanta

Houston over San Diego

Denver over Baltimore

 

Divisional Round

Green Bay over Chicago

San Francisco over Philadelphia

Pittsburgh over Denver

New England over Houston

 

Conference Championships

Green Bay over San Francisco

Pittsburgh over New England

 

Super Bowl XLVII

Pittsburgh over Green Bay

 

Here are the Ratings’ spreads for week one of the NFL season.

Home team is in all CAPS

If a minus (-) precedes a number in Mean, Bias, or Vintage numbers, that means the PiRate underdog is the favorite.

For example, under “Vintage,” Atlanta is listed at -1.0 vs. Kansas City.  This means Kansas City is favored by 1.0 points in this rating.

 

Favorite Underdog

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Vintage

Vegas

Totals

N. Y. GIANTS Dallas

4.9

7.0

5.1

4.5

4   

46

CHICAGO Indianapolis

14.7

9.6

14.0

14.0

9 1/2

42

Philadelphia CLEVELAND

8.3

8.0

7.2

8.5

8   

41 1/2

N. Y. JETS Buffalo

7.5

7.2

4.6

7.5

3   

40 1/2

NEW ORLEANS Washington

9.6

13.5

6.0

5.0

9 1/2

49 1/2

New England TENNESSEE

6.3

7.5

4.8

7.0

6 1/2

47 1/2

MINNESOTA Jacksonville

0.7

1.7

2.6

3.5

4   

38   

HOUSTON Miami

12.7

6.4

9.7

12.0

10 1/2

43   

DETROIT St. Louis

12.3

12.3

10.5

9.0

8 1/2

46 1/2

Atlanta KANSAS CITY

2.1

2.4

0.5

-1.0

2 1/2

42   

GREEN BAY San Francisco

4.7

5.1

3.3

1.5

5 1/2

45   

Carolina TAMPA BAY

-2.2

2.7

0.8

-1.0

2 1/2

46 1/2

ARIZONA Seattle

3.4

3.2

3.3

1.5

-2 1/2

40 1/2

DENVER Pittsburgh

-1.7

-3.5

0.2

-2.0

1   

44 1/2

BALTIMORE Cincinnati

8.9

9.0

6.5

7.0

6   

41   

San Diego OAKLAND

4.0

3.4

1.5

0.0

1 1/2

47 1/2

 

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