The Pi-Rate Ratings

November 2, 2010

PiRate Ratings For NFL Football: Week 9–November 7-8, 2010

AFC West Showdown in Oakland

 

How long has it been since a Raiders-Chiefs game meant so much?  Not since 1993 has this rivalry game been so important.  

 

Those of us that remember football from 45 years ago can remember some wild games between these two teams.  In 1968, Chiefs’ head coach Hank Stram faced a dilemma when the 5-1 Chiefs hosted the 5-1 Raiders.  His top receivers were injured and would miss the game.  Kansas City had three excellent running backs.  Stram installed a double tight end full-house T formation and ran the ball almost exclusively.  Len Dawson threw just three passes that day, but the running back trio of Mike Garrett, Robert Holmes, and Wendell Hayes rushed for close to 300 yards in a shocking win over the Raiders.

 

The two teams finished the season tied at 12-2, and they faced off in Oakland in a playoff for the AFL West title.  Oakland got revenge with a 41-6 blowout.

 

The following year, Oakland beat the Chiefs in a preseason game, and then beat them twice during the regular season.  In 1969, in the AFL’s final season, the league expanded its playoffs from two to four teams.  Playing for a fourth time, the Chiefs won in the most important AFL game of the season.  It put them in the Super Bowl.

 

The following year, the first as NFL members, the Chiefs appeared set to win when a huge fight broke out as the Chiefs were running out the clock.  Penalties forced KC to punt, and Oakland got the ball back one final time and forced a tie.  The Raiders finished 8-4-2 to 7-5-2 for the Chiefs.  Had Kansas City won that game, the Chiefs would have won the AFC West in a tiebreaker.

 

The rivalry took on added intensity when the Kansas City Athletics baseball team moved to Oakland for the 1968 season.  Sports fans in the city of Kansas City had an axe to grind with the fans from the city of Oakland.  It did not hurt that the Chiefs and Raiders were the two best teams in the old American Football League.  In the 1969 expansion of Major League Baseball, Kansas City was awarded a new franchise, and it was placed in the same division as Oakland.

 

Back to the present.  The Raiders have awakened and won two games in a row by a combined score of 92-17.  Kansas City holds a 1 ½ game lead at 5-2.  This game means something again.

 

Current Regular Season NFL PiRate Ratings
             
             
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NFC East

 

PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T PPG Opp
New York Giants 104.0 104.2 106.0 5-2-0 25.0 21.9
Philadelphia 102.9 102.4 103.6 4-3-0 24.6 22.4
Washington 98.2 99.8 99.7 4-4-0 19.4 21.3
Dallas 96.4 97.2 92.9 1-6-0 22.0 26.7
             
NFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Green Bay 105.1 104.8 105.1 5-3-0 22.0 17.0
Minnesota 102.1 101.0 97.8 2-5-0 18.4 20.6
Chicago 98.1 100.0 100.4 4-3-0 18.0 16.3
Detroit 97.7 98.7 100.0 2-5-0 26.1 23.6
             
NFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Atlanta 103.8 103.8 105.3 5-2-0 24.1 19.0
New Orleans 102.8 101.9 103.5 5-3-0 20.9 18.5
Carolina 96.2 92.2 90.6 1-6-0 12.1 21.4
Tampa Bay 93.1 96.3 99.8 5-2-0 19.4 23.3
             
NFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
San Francisco 97.1 95.4 96.8 2-6-0 17.1 22.3
Seattle 96.4 96.8 98.2 4-3-0 17.6 20.0
St. Louis 95.7 96.7 98.6 4-4-0 17.5 17.6
Arizona 92.8 94.7 92.3 3-4-0 19.0 28.3
             
AFC East PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
NY Jets 108.1 106.3 106.0 5-2-0 22.7 15.7
New England 107.2 106.4 107.1 6-1-0 29.3 22.0
Miami 103.4 101.3 102.3 4-3-0 19.0 21.3
Buffalo 95.0 92.5 94.6 0-7-0 18.7 30.1
             
AFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Baltimore 105.4 103.8 104.4 5-2-0 21.3 18.4
Pittsburgh 104.1 105.9 104.5 5-2-0 21.0 14.6
Cleveland 98.4 97.4 96.3 2-5-0 16.9 20.3
Cincinnati 98.2 97.7 94.5 2-5-0 20.9 23.3
             
AFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Indianapolis 106.6 105.9 106.2 5-2-0 23.3 17.9
Tennessee 103.2 106.1 103.2 5-3-0 28.0 18.8
Houston 98.8 99.4 99.8 4-3-0 21.9 23.9
Jacksonville 93.8 94.8 96.1 4-4-0 20.6 28.3
             
AFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
San Diego 101.8 100.9 100.1 3-5-0 26.3 21.8
Oakland 100.5 100.0 100.3 4-4-0 26.5 21.0
Kansas City 100.0 101.6 101.7 5-2-0 23.3 17.4
Denver 93.5 94.3 92.3 2-6-0 19.3 27.9

 

This Week’s Games
Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site        
             
Week 9: November 7-8, 2010          
Vegas Line as of 4:00 PM EDT Tuesday          
             
Favorite Underdog PiRate Mean Bias Vegas Totals
Chicago BUFFALO 1.1 5.5 3.8 3    40 1/2
San Diego HOUSTON 1.0 -0.5 -1.7 2 1/2 50   
New Orleans CAROLINA 4.6 7.7 10.9 7 42   
MINNESOTA Arizona 12.3 9.3 8.5 9 40 1/2
ATLANTA Tampa Bay 13.7 10.5 8.5 9 44 1/2
New York Jets DETROIT 6.4 3.6 2.0 4 41 1/2
BALTIMORE Miami 4.0 4.5 4.1 5 1/2 40 1/2
New England CLEVELAND 6.8 7.0 8.8 4 1/2 44   
New York Giants SEATTLE 3.6 3.4 3.8 5 1/2 41 1/2
OAKLAND Kansas City 2.5 0.4 0.6 2 1/2 40 1/2
Indianapolis PHILADELPHIA 1.7 1.5 0.6 -3    46 1/2
GREEN BAY Dallas 11.7 10.6 15.2 7 1/2 45 1/2
Pittsburgh CINCINNATI 1.9 4.2 6.0 4 1/2 41 1/2

 

PiRate Passer Rating  
Player Team AYPA Int% PiRate #  
Michael Vick PHI 6.7 0.00 121.5  
Peyton Manning IND 6.7 0.67 115.6  
Vince Young TEN 6.5 1.64 106.0  
Kyle Orton DEN 6.4 1.58 105.9  
Josh Freeman TB 5.5 1.34 103.0  
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 7.1 2.44 102.3  
Phillip Rivers SD 6.7 2.29 101.4  
Tom Brady NE 5.7 1.78 100.3  
Matt Cassel KC 5.4 1.68 99.5  
Seneca Wallace CLE 5.4 2.00 96.6  
Matt Ryan ATL 5.3 1.98 96.2  
Mark Sanchez NYJ 4.9 1.86 95.1  
Chad Henne MIA 5.3 2.46 92.0  
Joe Flacco BAL 5.3 2.54 91.3  
Matt Schaub HOU 5.3 2.55 91.2  
Carson Palmer CIN 5 2.48 90.2  
Kevin Kolb PHI 4.9 2.61 88.4  
Tony Romo DAL 5.7 3.29 87.0  
Donovan McNabb WAS 4.9 2.89 86.0  
Jason Campbell OAK 4.9 2.90 85.9  
Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF 4.7 2.84 85.3  
Aaron Rodgers GB 5.3 3.35 84.2  
Drew Brees NO 5.1 3.32 83.3  
Sam Bradford STL 3.9 2.74 81.7  
Kerry Collins TEN 4.6 3.45 79.4  
Shaun Hill DET 4.4 3.37 79.0  
Matt Hasselbeck SEA 3.7 2.97 78.6  
Jay Cutler CHI 4.8 3.87 76.8  
Alex Smith SF 4.2 3.72 74.8  
Bruce Gradkowski OAK 4.3 3.92 73.6  
Eli Manning NYG 4.8 4.60 70.4  
Jimmy Clausen CAR 2.6 3.30 69.5  
David Garrard JAX 4.2 4.70 66.2  
Derek Anderson ARI 3.5 4.52 63.9  
Brett Favre MIN 3.8 5.21 59.4  
Charlie Batch PIT 3.7 6.12 50.8  
Trent Edwards JAX 1.4 5.26 45.5  
Matt Moore CAR 2.1 7.30 31.5  
Max Hall ARI 0.5 6.67 28.1  
PiRate Passer Rating Formula  
[((7* Air Yards Per Attempt [eliminates YAC]) – (11* Int.%)) +105] * 0.8

 

AYPA can be found at advancednflstats.com

 

October 26, 2010

PiRate Ratings For NFL Football: Week 8–October 31- November 1, 2010

Time For A Horse Or Two To Move Out Of The Pack 

This is the time of year where the eventual Super Bowl participants begin to kick it up a notch.  It doesn’t happen every season; for instance, we knew that New Orleans and Indianapolis were the class of the NFL last year from the second or third week.  However, in most seasons, somewhere around games five thru seven, a couple of teams begin to separate from the pack.  You don’t always realize it until the last quarter of the season.  A 3-3 team will go 5-1 to move to 8-4.  That team may still trail two or three teams in their conference.  While everybody else looks at the 10-2 teams, it is really the hot 8-4 team that is primed to win in the playoffs.

Which AFC teams appear to be peaking at this time?  The Jets, Steelers, Patriots, and Ravens are not peaking.  The Jets could turn out to be a great team that is going to “wire the field,” but we see two teams that look to be decent fits for this pattern.  Both happen to be in the same division.  The Indianapolis Colts may not be close to last year’s team in talent, but they are starting to play like a playoff winner.  The Tennessee Titans better fit this pattern.  They look like a team that could run off five or six wins in a row, after winning three in a row in impressive fashion.

Stranger things have happened in the past, so we must look at the Browns and Raiders at this point.  Both pulled off impressive victories on the road last week.  We are not saying they will run off five more in succession, but we must take a hard look at their games this week. 

In the NFC, the New York Giants clearly exhibit the pattern we are looking for.  The Seattle Seahawks are the other team to monitor for this possible scenario.  We think there is still going to be one other team that will break out from the pack in the next two weeks and begin to look like a playoff winner.  Philadelphia could be that team.

Beans On Bowl

This is the week for the annual game across the pond.  When San Francisco and Denver face off in London this weekend, it could set back global football relations for years.  Could we see a coaching dismissal made some point over the Atlantic Ocean on the return flight?  Even the blokes in Jolly Ole’ England know when somebody is trying to pull a fast one over them on the football field.

Current Regular Season NFL PiRate Ratings
   
NFC East
PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T PPG Opp
New York Giants 104.0 103.7 105.7 5-2-0 25.0 21.9
Philadelphia 102.9 102.0 102.1 4-3-0 24.6 22.4
Dallas 101.9 100.2 98.0 1-5-0 22.8 25.3
Washington 99.4 100.5 100.5 4-3-0 18.6 19.0
NFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Green Bay 102.8 102.9 103.5 4-3-0 23.9 19.4
Minnesota 102.7 101.2 100.1 2-4-0 18.5 19.3
Chicago 98.1 100.0 99.0 4-3-0 18.0 16.3
Detroit 96.5 98.4 95.3 1-5-0 24.3 23.3
NFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Atlanta 103.8 103.3 104.4 5-2-0 24.1 19.0
New Orleans 101.4 99.9 101.4 4-3-0 21.0 19.7
Carolina 97.6 92.4 93.1 1-5-0 12.5 21.7
Tampa Bay 92.9 95.4 97.6 4-2-0 16.3 21.3
NFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Seattle 98.4 98.5 100.5 4-2-0 20.0 17.8
San Francisco 96.6 94.7 92.8 1-6-0 16.1 23.1
St. Louis 94.3 96.5 96.3 3-4-0 17.1 18.7
Arizona 93.0 95.6 95.3 3-3-0 16.3 26.7
AFC East PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
NY Jets 110.4 107.4 109.5 5-1-0 26.5 16.8
New England 106.6 105.7 106.6 5-1-0 29.5 22.7
Miami 101.3 100.2 102.0 3-3-0 18.5 22.5
Buffalo 92.7 91.9 90.9 0-6-0 20.2 33.0
AFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Pittsburgh 105.5 107.6 107.4 5-1-0 22.8 13.7
Baltimore 105.4 104.0 104.8 5-2-0 21.3 18.4
Cincinnati 100.3 98.8 99.2 2-4-0 22.0 23.7
Cleveland 98.4 97.9 96.2 2-5-0 16.9 20.3
AFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Tennessee 105.3 107.9 106.8 5-2-0 28.4 16.7
Indianapolis 105.1 105.0 105.6 4-2-0 27.2 20.8
Houston 100.3 99.6 101.1 4-2-0 25.5 27.8
Jacksonville 90.8 92.6 91.8 3-4-0 18.6 29.9
AFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Kansas City 101.3 101.5 102.3 4-2-0 25.0 18.7
San Diego 99.7 100.4 98.2 2-5-0 25.3 21.3
Oakland 97.0 98.2 97.8 3-4-0 25.6 23.6
Denver 94.0 96.0 94.3 2-5-0 19.7 28.4
This Week’s Games
Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site        
             
Week 8: October 31-November 1, 2010          
Vegas Line as of 3:30 PM EDT Tuesday          
             
Favorite Underdog PiRate Mean Bias Vegas Totals
San Francisco Denver  (London) 2.6 -1.3 -1.5 Pk 42   
DALLAS Jacksonville 13.1 9.6 8.2 6 1/2 42 1/2
DETROIT Washington 0.1 0.9 -2.2 2 1/2 44   
NEW YORK JETS Green Bay 9.6 6.5 8.0 6    42   
Carolina ST. LOUIS 0.3 -7.1 -6.2 3    37   
CINCINNATI Miami 1.0 0.6 -0.8 2    43 1/2
KANSAS CITY Buffalo 11.6 12.6 14.4 7 1/2 44 1/2
Tennessee SAN DIEGO 1.6 3.5 4.6 -4    44   
ARIZONA Tampa Bay 2.1 2.2 -0.3 3    39 1/2
OAKLAND Seattle 0.6 1.7 -0.7 2 1/2 42   
NEW ENGLAND Minnesota 7.9 8.5 10.5 6    42 1/2
Pittsburgh NEW ORLEANS 1.1 4.7 3.0 -1    44 1/2
INDIANAPOLIS Houston 7.8 8.4 7.5 5 1/2 49 1/2

 

PiRate QB Passer Ratings

Player Team AYPA Int % PiRate #
Michael Vick PHI 6.7 0.00 121.5
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 8.8 1.85 117.0
Peyton Manning IND 6.9 0.79 115.7
Kyle Orton DEN 6.3 1.45 106.5
Mark Sanchez NYJ 5.1 1.13 102.6
Phillip Rivers SD 6.7 2.22 102.0
Josh Freeman TB 5.0 1.51 98.7
Matt Cassel KC 5.5 1.96 97.5
Vince Young TEN 5.4 1.98 96.8
Seneca Wallace CLE 5.4 2.00 96.6
Matt Ryan ATL 5.3 1.98 96.2
Tom Brady NE 5.3 2.02 95.9
Matt Schaub HOU 5.7 2.54 93.6
Chad Henne MIA 5.4 2.42 93.0
Carson Palmer CIN 5.3 2.46 92.0
Joe Flacco BAL 5.3 2.54 91.3
Kevin Kolb PHI 4.9 2.61 88.4
Donovan McNabb WAS 5.1 2.83 87.6
Tony Romo DAL 5.7 3.29 87.0
Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF 5.4 3.13 86.7
Drew Brees NO 5.1 3.48 81.9
Matt Hasselbeck SEA 4.1 2.94 81.1
Aaron Rodgers GB 5.4 3.83 80.5
Shaun Hill DET 4.4 3.37 79.0
Sam Bradford STL 3.7 3.08 77.6
Jay Cutler CHI 4.8 3.87 76.8
Alex Smith SF 4.2 3.72 74.8
Kerry Collins TEN 4.8 4.17 74.2
Bruce Gradkowski OAK 4.3 3.92 73.6
Jason Campbell OAK 3.6 3.60 72.4
Eli Manning NYG 4.8 4.60 70.4
Jimmy Clausen CAR 2.6 3.30 69.5
Derek Anderson ARI 3.2 3.82 68.3
David Garrard JAX 3.2 5.47 53.8
Brett Favre MIN 3.3 5.59 53.3
Charlie Batch PIT 3.7 6.12 50.8
Trent Edwards JAX 1.4 5.26 45.5
Max Hall ARI 0.9 5.08 44.3
Matt Moore CAR 2.5 7.00 36.4

AYPA is Air Yards Per Pass Attempt.  It is the average pass yardage per attempt minus yards after catch.  This statistic is available at advancednflstats.com.

October 19, 2010

PiRate Ratings For NFL Football: Week 7–October 24-25, 2010

A PiRate Look at the Playoff Chase

Parity, shmarity!  12 and only 12 teams will make the playoffs, and 20 teams will not regardless of how close the 32 teams might be in talent.  How do we look for the playoff teams? 

We wish we could tell you we have a great formula like we have for picking the NCAA Basketball Tournament.  If you want to read about that, click on the College Basketball link on the right side of the page and read up on how successful our tournament formula has been in the past. 

The only tell-tale sign in back-testing that is worth a grain of salt is scoring margin.  Teams with scoring margins over 10 points per game have historically dominated in the playoffs.  At this point of the season, it is too early to use scoring margin due to a small sampling of games.  After 16 games, the strengths of schedule differ much less, but after six games, the margin is too much.

 

Let’s try to look at the divisions strictly by how well the teams appear to be playing. 

NFC East

 

Dallas can forget hosting the Super Bowl.  They won’t make the playoffs this season.  The Giants and Eagles have yet to play each other, but we feel like Philadelphia is a little better at this point and believe the Eagles will soar above the rest in the East.  New York will stay in the playoff race.  Washington looks like an 8-8 team. 

NFC North

 

Green Bay’s injury problems have left this division race open for three teams.  Minnesota should begin to play better offensively as Randy Moss gets more and more acclimated to his old digs.  Chicago appears to be lacking the offensive line strength to win 10 games.  The Bears could be 9-7 or 8-8, and we think 9-7 will not be enough to qualify as a Wildcard.  As for the Packers, it is going to be tough relying strictly on the passing game when the weather turns frigid.  We think Minnesota will win the North with a 10-6 record. 

NFC South

 

As soon as Tampa Bay proves to be unworthy of playoff mention, this will become a two-team race between Atlanta and New Orleans.  They could finish in a tie, with the tiebreaker loser gaining a Wildcard spot.  We think both could finish 11-5. 

NFC West

 

It has never happened before, but there is a chance it could happen this year.  No division winner has ever been 8-8 or worse, but it could happen in this division.  Arizona and San Francisco have little on offense, while Seattle and St. Louis have so much young and inconsistent talent.  If we had to pick one team to go 9-7, it would be Pete Carroll’s Seahawks. 

AFC East

 

With Buffalo primed to go 2-14 or worse and probably go 0-6 in division play, it allows the other three teams to clean up in the standings.  The Jets look like the class of the league at this point of the season, but they are not dominant yet.  New England is solid, while Miami has enough talent to stay in the playoff picture.  We will call for the Jets to win the division at 12-4 or 13-3 with the Patriots in the Wildcard picture at 11-5 or 12-4.  As for Miami, the Dolphins will stay in the hunt for most of the season before settling in at 9-7. 

AFC North

Pittsburgh and Baltimore are as strong collectively as the Jets and Patriots.  We feel strongly that both teams will make the playoffs with records in the 12-4 range.  Cincinnati is going to struggle to finish at 8-8, while Cleveland will lose double digit games again. 

AFC South

 

With the East and North both having two very good teams, there won’t be room for a Wildcard in this division.  Three teams sit tied at 4-2.  Houston’s defense will cost them a game or two down the stretch.  Tennessee and Indianapolis should decide this division in their head-to-head matchups.  We will go with the great Peyton Manning to pull off two close wins and give the Colts another division title at 11-5.  Jacksonville will more than likely be shopping for a new coach.  They should be shopping for a new city.  The Los Angeles Jaguars has a nice ring to it. 

AFC West

 

San Diego cannot win on the road, and the last time we checked, they have eight road games.  Denver has not started on fire this year and will not be 6-2 at the halfway point before they collapse in the second half.  Oakland is still a dozen quality players short, while Kansas City has shown just enough to lead this division.  We think the Chiefs could pull this off at 9-7. 

Our playoff Soothsayer sees this scenario:

 

NFC

1. Philadelphia

2. New Orleans

3. Minnesota

4. Seattle

W. Atlanta 

W. New York Giants 

AFC

1. New York Jets

2. Pittsburgh

3. Indianapolis

4. Kansas City

W. New England 

W. Baltimore 

 

Wildcard Round

New York Giants at Minnesota

Atlanta at Seattle 

Baltimore at Indianapolis

New England at Kansas City 

Divisional Round

 

Minnesota at Philadelphia

Seattle at New Orleans 

Indianapolis at Pittsburgh

New England at New York Jets

 

Conference Championship

New Orleans at Philadelphia

 

Pittsburgh at New York Jets 

SUPER BOWL

 

Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh 

Winner: The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

 

This Week’s PiRate Passer Ratings 

Player Team Comp% Int % AYPA PiRate #
Michael Vick PHI 61.5 0.00 6.7 121.5
Peyton Manning IND  67.3 0.79 6.9 115.7
Kyle Orton DEN 62.8 1.21 6.7 110.8
Phillip Rivers SD 62.3 2.27 7 103.2
Mark Sanchez NYJ 55.4 1.13 5.1 102.6
Kevin Kolb PHI 67.6 1.90 5.8 99.7
Jay Cutler CHI 60.3 2.13 5.7 97.2
Vince Young TEN 61.4 1.98 5.4 96.8
Seneca Wallace CLE 63.0 2.00 5.4 96.6
Josh Freeman TB 59.1 1.89 5.1 96.0
Matt Ryan ATL 60.3 1.83 5 95.9
Tom Brady NE 67.5 2.41 5.6 94.2
Donovan McNabb WAS 58.1 2.33 5.4 93.8
Matt Schaub HOU 64.5 2.54 5.7 93.6
Drew Brees NO 70.6 2.60 5.7 93.1
Matt Cassel KC 57.8 2.22 4.9 91.9
Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF 61.2 2.35 4.9 90.7
Chad Henne MIA 63.2 2.92 5.1 86.8
Joe Flacco BAL 60.5 2.93 5.1 86.8
Tony Romo DAL 69.4 3.40 5.7 86.0
Carson Palmer CIN 59.3 3.09 4.8 83.7
Aaron Rodgers GB 64.2 3.48 5.3 83.0
Shaun Hill DET 61.1 3.37 4.4 79.0
Eli Manning NYG 64.7 3.92 4.9 76.9
Matt Hasselbeck SEA 61.4 3.61 4.2 75.7
Sam Bradford STL 56.8 3.42 3.6 74.1
Bruce Gradkowski OAK 52.0 3.92 4.3 73.6
Alex Smith SF 60.1 4.04 4.1 71.4
Jimmie Clausen CAR 47.3 3.30 2.6 69.5
Brett Favre MIN 58.7 4.67 3.5 62.5
Derek Anderson ARI 51.8 4.39 2.8 61.1
Jason Campbell OAK 56.0 4.40 2.6 59.9
David Garrard JAX 65.6 5.47 3.2 53.8
Charlie Batch PIT 59.2 6.12 3.7 50.8
Trent Edwards JAX 56.6 5.26 1.4 45.5
Jake Delhomme CLE 55.0 6.67 2.2 37.7
Matt Moore CAR 42.4 10.17 0.2 -4.4

 

The PiRate Passer Formula is: ((7* AYPA) – (11* Int.%)) +105] * 0.8

 

AYPA is Air Yards Per Pass Attempt or Passing Yards minus Yards After Catch. 

This statistic is available at advancednflstats.com

This Week’s NFL PiRate Ratings

 

 

NFC East

PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T PPG Opp
Philadelphia Eagles 105.0 103.2 104.9 4-2-0 28.2 20.0
Dallas Cowboys 103.1 101.1 99.9 1-4-0 20.4 22.2
New York Giants 102.8 102.9 103.2 4-2-0 22.3 19.7
Washington Redskins 98.6 100.1 98.2 3-3-0 18.8 19.8
             
NFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Minnesota Vikings 103.1 102.0 100.7 2-3-0 17.4 17.6
Green Bay Packers 102.4 102.6 100.7 3-3-0 23.2 18.7
Chicago Bears 98.9 100.1 99.5 4-2-0 18.7 16.2
Detroit Lions 96.5 98.6 93.9 1-5-0 24.3 23.3
             
NFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
New Orleans Saints 104.6 102.4 104.1 4-2-0 21.7 18.0
Atlanta Falcons 103.6 103.6 102.3 4-2-0 21.7 16.8
Carolina Panthers 97.1 92.2 89.8 0-5-0 10.4 22.0
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 92.6 95.4 96.7 3-2-0 16.0 22.2
             
NFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Seattle Seahawks 97.4 97.3 98.6 3-2-0 19.6 19.4
San Francisco 49ers 97.1 95.6 95.8 1-5-0 16.3 23.2
St. Louis Rams 94.6 95.2 97.1 3-3-0 17.2 18.8
Arizona Cardinals 94.0 96.9 97.3 3-2-0 17.6 27.6
             
AFC East PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
New York Jets 110.4 108.1 109.4 5-1-0 26.5 16.8
New England Patriots 106.4 106.1 107.0 4-1-0 30.8 23.2
Miami Dolphins 101.4 99.4 101.7 3-2-0 17.8 22.4
Buffalo Bills 91.6 90.5 88.9 0-5-0 17.4 32.6
             
AFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Baltimore Ravens 106.5 106.0 107.6 4-2-0 18.7 15.8
Pittsburgh Steelers 105.4 107.9 106.6 4-1-0 22.8 12.0
Cincinnati Bengals 100.5 99.0 99.0 2-3-0 20.0 20.4
Cleveland Browns 95.2 95.8 94.9 1-5-0 14.7 20.8
             
AFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Indianapolis Colts 105.1 105.5 105.4 4-2-0 27.2 20.8
Tennessee Titans 103.2 107.0 105.3 4-2-0 27.0 16.3
Houston Texans 100.3 98.7 102.5 4-2-0 25.5 27.8
Jacksonville Jaguars 92.5 93.9 97.6 3-3-0 18.3 27.8
             
AFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
San Diego Chargers 99.9 99.6 100.2 2-4-0 26.2 21.0
Kansas City Chiefs 99.6 99.6 100.7 3-2-0 21.6 18.4
Denver Broncos 97.6 99.6 97.3 2-4-0 20.7 23.3
Oakland Raiders 93.4 94.1 93.0 2-4-0 20.0 25.2

This Week’s PiRate, Mean, and Biased Spreads 

This Week’s Games
Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site        
             
Week 7: October 24-25, 2010          
Vegas Line as of 3:30 PM EDT Tuesday          
             
Favorite Underdog PiRate Mean Bias Vegas Totals
Pittsburgh MIAMI 2.0 6.5 2.9 3    40 ½
ATLANTA Cincinnati 6.1 7.6 6.3 3 1/2 43   
KANSAS CITY Jacksonville 10.1 8.7 6.1 4 1/2 43   
TENNESSEE Philadelphia 1.2 6.8 3.4 3    44   
CHICAGO Washington 3.3 3.0 4.3 3    40   
NEW ORLEANS Cleveland 12.4 9.6 6.2 13    43   
BALTIMORE Buffalo 17.9 18.5 21.7 13    38   
CAROLINA San Francisco 2.0 -1.4 -4.0 -3    35   
TAMPA BAY St. Louis 0.0 2.2 1.6 3    38 ½
SEATTLE Arizona 5.4 2.4 3.3 5 1/2 40 ½
New England SAN DIEGO 2.5 2.5 2.8 -3    47   
DENVER Oakland 7.2 8.5 7.3 7    42 ½
GREEN BAY Minnesota 2.3 2.6 3.0 2 1/2 44 ½
DALLAS New York Giants 2.3 0.2 -1.3 3 1/2 44 ½



October 12, 2010

PiRate Ratings For NFL Football: Week 6–October 17-18, 2010

Parity USA

 

For the first time since 1970, no NFL team won its first four games.  Let’s take a brief look at that season 40 years ago. 

 

It was the first season that the old AFL and the NFL were fully merged.  Baltimore (then the Colts), Pittsburgh, and Cleveland joined the new AFC, leaving 13 teams in each conference.

 

The divisional races were exciting with many unexpected turns.  In the AFC Central, the Cincinnati Bengals began the year losing six of their first seven games.  It appeared that Coach Paul Brown had lost the touch that had made him so successful with Cleveland.  The Bengals were in last place, three games behind their older in-state rival and given up for dead.  Just when it appeared like they would be in the hunt for the first pick in the next NFL Draft, a pick that would most assuredly be Jim Plunkett, the Bengals’ defense caught fire.  After giving up more than 25 points per game in the first half of the season, they gave up just 11 in the second half.  Seven consecutive wins later, Cincinnati had passed Houston, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland to win the AFC Central with an 8-6-0 record.

 

In the AFC West, the Oakland Raiders came down to Earth after a three-year run which saw go 37-4-1.  Quarterback Daryle Lamonica was beginning to show signs of aging, so what did Coach John Madden do?  He inserted an even older quarterback into the lineup.  George Blanda won five comeback five games with his passing and kicking to propel Oakland from a 3-2-2 start to an 8-4-2 finish, passing Denver and Kansas City in the standings.

 

In the AFC East, John Unitas was beginning to show his age, but he had enough left in the tank to combine with a really good Colts’ defense to lead Baltimore to the best record in the conference.  Upstart Miami, with first year coach Don Shula enjoyed its first winning season, finishing 10-4 and earning the wildcard.

 

The NFC had its share of wild races.  In the East, the St. Louis Cardinals looked unbeatable when they shut out the Dallas Cowboys 38-0 on Monday Night Football.  The blowout moved the Cardinals to 7-2 and dropped the Cowboys to 5-4, a game behind the New York Giants at 6-3. 

 

The Giants led a host of teams vying for the wildcard berth.  Los Angeles stood one half game back at 5-3-1, while Detroit and Green Bay joined Dallas at 5-4.  The Lions would have been 6-3, but a 63-yard field goal by Tom Dempsey of the lowly Saints did them in.

 

What happened in the final five weeks?  St. Louis fell apart following the win over Dallas.  They tied Kansas City and beat the weak Philadelphia Eagles to move to 8-2-1 and looked to be in control.  But, that was their last win of the season.  At 8-5-1, they missed the playoffs altogether.

 

The Giants moved into first in the division by defeating the Cardinals in week 13 34-17, and at 9-4, they needed a win in the finale to secure the division title.  They never threatened in losing to the Rams by four touchdowns.

 

The Cowboys caught fire after the pasting in prime time.  They won five in a row to win the division on the final weekend.

 

The Minnesota Vikings rode the best defense in the league to a second consecutive 12-2-0 finish.  The San Francisco 49ers had the NFL’s top offense with quarterback John Brodie having an All-Pro season.  They made the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons (in 1957, they were in a playoff for the division title and lost to Detroit).

 

As for the wildcard berth, the Packers forgot how to score and fell out of the race, going on to lose four of their final five.  The Rams and Lions began to pull away from the rest, and the two faced off in week 13 on Monday Night Football at the Coliseum in Los Angeles.  The Lions won an exciting game to move a half game in front of the Rams at 9-4.  They clinched the spot the following week with a 20-0 win over Green Bay.

 

You can see a lot of possible similarities in this year’s races.  Could the San Francisco 49ers still catch fire and be this year’s version of the Bengals?  The NFC West is weak enough so that 8-8 could win the division.  Might Mike Singletary be able to coax the Prospectors to a 8-3 finish?

 

Dallas could be the team that comes from off the pace to win the division.  The Giants, Eagles, and Redskins are all capable of losing two or three in a row.

 

What about the Vikings?  Is Brett Favre going to rebound?  Can the Bears be the surprise team in the North and win the division much like the 49ers emerged in 1970.  What about the Chiefs?  Are they going to be like San Francisco was and win the division title in a big surprise?  Might they earn a wildcard like the upstart 1970 Dolphins, or will they be like the Cardinals and collapse in the second half?

 

It will be interesting in this season of parity.  Expect to see about 10 teams competing for three or four playoff spots in the final couple of weeks.

Current Regular Season NFL PiRate Ratings
 
NFC East
PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T PPG Opp
Dallas 104.2 102.2 102.3 1-3-0 20.3 27.8
Philadelphia 102.0 100.5 100.3 3-2-0 24.4 20.6
New York Giants 100.7 99.0 99.1 3-2-0 21.2 19.6
Washington 98.1 99.4 97.5 3-2-0 17.8 18.4
NFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Green Bay 104.2 104.3 104.5 3-2-0 23.8 17.8
Minnesota 103.3 101.7 102.0 1-3-0 15.8 16.8
Chicago 100.9 99.7 101.1 4-1-0 18.4 14.8
Detroit 94.3 94.0 95.7 1-4-0 25.2 22.4
NFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Atlanta 105.7 104.5 105.4 4-1-0 22.6 14.0
New Orleans 103.3 103.0 103.4 3-2-0 19.4 20.4
Carolina 97.9 94.9 95.9 0-5-0 10.4 22.0
Tampa Bay 94.3 97.6 97.6 3-1-0 14.8 16.0
NFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
San Francisco 97.2 94.6 92.8 0-5-0 15.2 26.0
Seattle 94.5 95.7 95.4 2-2-0 18.8 19.3
St. Louis 94.0 96.5 97.3 2-3-0 16.6 19.2
Arizona 92.5 94.3 94.2 3-2-0 17.6 27.6
AFC East PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
NY Jets 111.1 108.2 109.0 4-1-0 27.0 16.2
New England 106.6 106.1 106.5 3-1-0 32.8 24.0
Miami 100.1 98.6 101.3 2-2-0 16.5 23.0
Buffalo 92.6 93.7 93.4 0-5-0 17.4 32.6
AFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Baltimore 106.1 105.6 106.3 4-1-0 18.4 14.4
Pittsburgh 103.7 107.0 105.5 3-1-0 21.5 12.5
Cincinnati 101.6 100.8 100.9 2-3-0 20.0 20.4
Cleveland 97.4 97.3 96.3 1-4-0 15.6 19.4
AFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Indianapolis 104.9 104.4 103.4 3-2-0 27.2 20.2
Houston 101.9 101.5 103.5 3-2-0 23.6 27.2
Tennessee 99.4 102.3 99.5 3-2-0 26.4 19.0
Jacksonville 94.1 95.0 95.2 3-2-0 21.4 27.4
AFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
San Diego 103.8 103.5 103.0 2-3-0 28.0 21.2
Kansas City 100.5 101.8 100.9 3-1-0 19.3 14.3
Denver 97.0 99.1 97.8 2-3-0 20.8 23.2
Oakland 92.4 93.0 92.7 2-3-0 22.2 26.8
This Week’s Games
Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site        
             
Week 6: October 17-18, 2010          
Vegas Line as of 2:00 PM EDT Tuesday          
             
Favorite Underdog PiRate Mean Bias Vegas Totals
San Diego ST. LOUIS 8.5 4.1 6.2 8 1/2 45   
HOUSTON Kansas City 1.3 -0.6 1.3 4 1/2 44   
NEW ENGLAND Baltimore 4.3 3.3 2.7 3    44 1/2
New Orleans  

TAMPA BAY
4.4 -2.6 1.8 5    44   
Atlanta PHILADELPHIA 1.8 2.5 1.4 NL NL
NEW YORK GIANTS Detroit 9.7 6.2 10.4 10    44 1/2
CHICAGO Seattle 10.2 10.0 10.0 7    40   
GREEN BAY Miami 6.6 10.1 5.1 NL NL
PITTSBURGH Cleveland 8.8 12.7 11.5 13 1/2 37   
New York Jets DENVER 11.4 5.8 7.6 3    40 1/2
SAN FRANCISCO Oakland 7.1 3.1 3.3 6 1/2 41   
MINNESOTA Dallas 4.2 4.6 4.2 1 1/2 43 1/2
Indianapolis WASHINGTON 3.5 2.5 2.4 3 1/2 43 1/2
Tennessee JACKSONVILLE 2.5 6.3 0.6 3    44 1/2

October 5, 2010

PiRate Ratings For NFL Football: Week 5–October 10-11, 2010

Four weeks into the NFL season gives us enough time to begin to make assumptions.  There just may not be a great team in the league this year.  The Kansas City Chiefs are the only undefeated team left, and it is a good bet they will not be so after this week.

We have a lot of mediocre teams and a handful of good but not great teams.  Scoring is down this year.  That gives the odds makers quite a dilemma.  The underdog is covering more than ever this year.  The lines will be shorter, and this will create many instances where sweetheart teaser plays become more advantageous.

If a team that should be a five-point favorite all of a sudden becomes a two and a half-point favorite, then playing a 10-point teaser to make them a seven and a half-point underdog becomes truly sweet and playing a 13-point teaser to make them a 10 ½-point underdog becomes money in the bank.

The PiRates are having a great time playing these NFL sweetheart teasers so far this year.  In fact, we may have to consider not playing any college games and picking just NFL games, at least as long as this hot streak continues.

We have also fattened up on money line parlays that take advantage of the fact that favorites are still winning but not covering.  The lower the regular spread, the lower the money line odds. 

                                                PiRate QB Passer Ratings                                       

 

Player Team AYPA INT% PiRate #
Michael Vick PHI 6.7 0.00 121.5
Peyton Manning IND 7.4 0.58 120.3
Mark Sanchez NYJ 6.1 0.00 118.2
Tony Romo DAL 6.6 1.56 107.2
Kyle Orton DEN 6.6 1.71 105.9
Donovan McNabb WAS 6.5 1.65 105.9
Tom Brady NE 6.3 1.64 104.9
Drew Brees NO 6.2 1.79 103.0
Phillip Rivers SD 7.3 2.84 99.9
Seneca Wallace CLE 5.4 1.82 98.2
Matt Ryan ATL 5.1 2.01 94.8
Aaron Rodgers GB 5.6 2.86 90.2
Jay Cutler CHI 5.7 2.94 90.0
Josh Freeman TB 4.8 2.41 89.7
Matt Shcaub HOU 5.6 3.08 88.3
Carson Palmer CIN 4.4 2.46 87.0
Chad Henne MIA 5.2 3.03 86.5
Vince Young TEN 4.8 2.82 86.1
Kevin Kolb PHI 3.3 2.22 82.9
Dennis Dixon PIT 4.5 3.13 81.7
Matt Cassel KC 4.4 3.90 74.4
Bruce Gradkowski OAK 4.5 4.21 72.1
Eli Manning NYG 4.8 4.55 70.9
Sam Bradford STL 3.6 3.80 70.7
Joe Flacco BAL 3.8 4.63 64.5
Jimmy Clausen CAR 3.0 4.17 64.1
Shaun Hill DET 3.7 4.67 63.6
Matt Hasselbeck SEA 3.7 4.76 62.8
Alex Smith SF 3.5 4.64 62.8
Jason Campbell OAK 2.2 3.85 62.5
Derek Anderson ARI 2.8 4.46 60.4
Trent Edwards BUF 1.5 3.85 58.6
Jake Delhomme CLE 3.7 5.41 57.2
David Garrard JAX 3.0 5.21 55.0
Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF 5.2 7.14 50.3
Brett Favre MIN 2.8 6.19 45.2
Charlie Batch PIT 3.8 7.14 42.4
Matt Moore CAR 1.2 8.16 18.9
 PiRate Passer Rating Formula: [(AYPA * 7) – (11 * Int%) + 105] * 0.8

 

Current Regular Season NFL PiRate, Mean, and Biased Ratings
             
             
 

 

NFC East

PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T PPG Opp
Dallas  104.2 102.2 102.3 1-2-0 18.0 17.7
Philadelphia  102.0 100.5 100.3 2-2-0 23.8 19.8
New York Giants 100.7 99.0 99.1 2-2-0 18.0 22.0
Washington  98.1 99.4 97.5 2-2-0 18.3 19.8
             
NFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Green Bay  104.2 104.3 104.5 3-1-0 26.5 18.3
Minnesota  103.3 101.7 102.0 1-2-0 14.3 12.7
Chicago 100.9 99.7 101.1 3-1-0 17.3 17.0
Detroit 94.3 94.0 95.7 0-4-0 20.5 26.5
             
NFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Atlanta 105.7 104.5 105.4 3-1-0 23.3 15.0
New Orleans 103.3 103.0 103.4 3-1-0 19.8 18.0
Carolina 97.9 94.9 95.9 0-4-0 11.5 21.8
Tampa Bay 94.3 97.6 97.6 2-1-0 16.7 19.7
             
NFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
San Francisco 97.2 94.6 92.8 0-4-0 13.0 25.8
Seattle 94.5 95.7 95.4 2-2-0 18.8 19.3
St. Louis 94.0 96.5 97.3 2-2-0 19.3 13.0
Arizona 92.5 94.3 94.2 2-2-0 14.5 29.5
             
AFC East PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
NY Jets 111.1 108.2 109.0 3-1-0 26.5 15.3
New England 106.6 106.1 106.5 3-1-0 32.8 24.0
Miami 100.1 98.6 101.3 2-2-0 16.5 23.0
Buffalo 92.6 93.7 93.4 0-4-0 15.3 31.3
             
AFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Baltimore 106.1 105.6 106.3 3-1-0 15.3 13.8
Pittsburgh 103.7 107.0 105.5 3-1-0 21.5 12.5
Cincinnati 101.6 100.8 100.9 2-2-0 19.8 19.5
Cleveland 97.4 97.3 96.3 1-3-0 17.0 19.3
             
AFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Indianapolis 104.9 104.4 103.4 2-2-0 29.3 23.0
Houston 101.9 101.5 103.5 3-1-0 27.0 25.5
Tennessee 99.4 102.3 99.5 2-2-0 24.5 17.0
Jacksonville 94.1 95.0 95.2 2-2-0 17.8 27.8
             
AFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
San Diego 103.8 103.5 103.0 2-2-0 28.3 17.8
Kansas City 100.5 101.8 100.9 3-0-0 22.7 10.3
Denver 97.0 99.1 97.8 2-2-0 21.8 21.3
Oakland 92.4 93.0 92.7 1-3-0 19.0 26.8

 

This Week’s Games                                                                

Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site                                                       

                                                                       

Week 5: October 10-11, 2010                                                            

Vegas Line as of 11:00 PM EDT Tuesday                                                                

This Week’s Games
Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site        
             
Week 5: October 10-11, 2010          
Vegas Line as of 11:00 PM EDT Tuesday          
             
Favorite Underdog PiRate Mean Bias Vegas Totals
BALTIMORE Denver 12.1 9.5 11.5 7    38 1/2
BUFFALO Jacksonville 1.5 1.7 1.2 Pk 41   
INDIANAPOLIS Kansas City 7.4 5.6 5.5 8    44 1/2
 

DETROIT
St. Louis 3.3 0.5 1.4 3    42 1/2
Atlanta CLEVELAND 5.3 4.2 6.1 3    40 1/2
CINCINNATI Tampa Bay 9.3 5.2 5.3 6 1/2 38   
Chicago CAROLINA 0.0 1.8 2.2 2 1/2 35 1/2
Green Bay WASHINGTON 3.1 1.9 4.0 2 1/2 44   
HOUSTON New York Giants 3.2 4.5 6.4 3    47 1/2
New Orleans ARIZONA 8.8 6.7 7.2 6 1/2 45 1/2
San Diego OAKLAND 9.4 8.5 8.3 6    45   
DALLAS Tennessee 7.8 2.9 5.8 6 1/2 41 1/2
Philadelphia SAN FRANCISCO 0.8 1.9 3.5 -3    38   
NEW YORK JETS Minnesota 9.8 8.5 9.0 4    38 1/2

September 28, 2010

PiRate Ratings For NFL Football: Week 4–October 3-4, 2010

Week 3 PiRate Passer Ratings *

Player Team AYPA Int % PiRate #
Peyton Manning IND  7.7 0.00 127.1
Michael Vick PHI 6.7 0.00 121.5
Mark Sanchez NYJ 6.1 0.00 118.2
Donovan McNabb WAS 7.0 0.98 114.6
Kyle Orton DEN 7.4 1.60 111.4
Matt Ryan ATL 5.7 0.94 107.6
Tony Romo DAL 6.6 1.56 107.2
Chad Henne MIA 5.8 1.08 107.0
Jay Cutler CHI 7.5 2.20 106.7
Drew Brees NO 6.2 1.79 103.0
Tom Brady NE 6.5 2.04 102.4
 

Seneca Wallace

CLE 5.4 1.82 98.2
Phillip Rivers SD 6.7 3.31 92.4
Aaron Rodgers GB 5.6 2.86 90.2
Josh Freeman TB 4.8 2.41 89.7
Carson Palmer CIN 4.4 2.46 87.0
Dennis Dixon PIT 4.5 3.13 81.7
Brad Gradkowski OAK 5.1 3.57 81.1
 

Matt Schaub

HOU 5.4 3.96 79.4
Derek Anderson ARI 3.7 3.06 77.8
Matt Cassel KC 4.4 3.90 74.4
Kerry Collins TEN 3.7 4.00 69.5
Alex Smith SF 3.7 4.20 67.7
Vince Young TEN 4.3 4.65 67.1
Joe Flacco BAL 3.8 4.63 64.5
Jimmy Clausen CAR 3.0 4.17 64.1
Sam Bradford STL 3.1 4.27 63.8
Shaun Hill DET 3.7 4.67 63.6
Jason Campbell OAK 2.2 3.85 62.5
 

Trent Edwards

BUF 1.5 3.85 58.6
Eli Manning NYG 4.5 5.88 57.4
Jake Delhomme CLE 3.7 5.41 57.2
Matt Hasselbeck SEA 3.9 5.56 57.0
Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF 5.2 7.14 50.3
Brett Favre MIN 2.8 6.19 45.2
Charlie Batch PIT 3.8 7.14 42.4
 

David Garrard

JAX 1.8 6.76 34.6
Matt Moore CAR 1.2 8.16 18.9

 

* PiRate Passer Rating Formula: [(AYPA * 7) – (11 * Int%) + 105] * 0.8

Where AYPA is Air Yards Per Pass Attempt (passing yards minus yards after catch)

AYPA is available at advancednflstats.com

Current Regular Season NFL PiRate Ratings
             
             
 

NFC East

PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T PPG Opp
Dallas  104.2 102.4 103.6 1-2-0 18.0 17.7
Philadelphia  103.3 103.1 103.6 2-1-0 27.7 20.7
New York Giants 98.8 94.8 97.4 1-2-0 18.3 28.3
Washington 96.8 99.4 95.6 1-2-0 18.7 22.3
             
NFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Green Bay 105.8 106.6 107.8 2-1-0 26.0 15.7
Minnesota 103.3 102.5 102.3 1-2-0 14.3 12.7
Chicago 102.3 102.0 104.4 3-0-0 22.0 17.0
Detroit 92.7 95.1 92.7 0-3-0 18.7 26.0
             
NFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Atlanta 106.3 108.9 107.7 2-1-0 25.7 15.3
New Orleans 104.5 104.8 106.0 2-1-0 21.0 19.3
Carolina 96.7 90.7 91.4 0-3-0 10.7 23.7
Tampa Bay 94.3 94.8 97.1 2-1-0 16.7 19.7
             
NFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
San Francisco 96.4 93.2 95.4 0-3-0 10.3 29.0
Arizona 95.6 97.5 97.9 2-1-0 16.0 25.7
Seattle 95.5 99.3 100.1 2-1-0 24.0 19.0
St. Louis 92.5 96.2 94.7 1-2-0 19.0 16.3
             
AFC East PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
NY Jets 108.6 104.4 106.7 2-1-0 22.7 15.7
New England 104.6 100.4 104.5 2-1-0 30.0 27.3
Miami 102.1 101.6 101.2 2-1-0 17.3 17.0
Buffalo 95.6 94.0 91.2 0-3-0 15.7 29.0
             
AFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Baltimore 104.8 101.9 103.7 2-1-0 14.7 13.7
Pittsburgh 104.5 107.7 107.7 3-0-0 24.0 11.0
Cincinnati 102.3 98.1 102.4 2-1-0 19.7 18.3
Cleveland 96.7 95.7 94.8 0-3-0 15.0 19.0
             
AFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Indianapolis 105.9 109.7 107.8 2-1-0 29.7 20.3
Houston 101.7 103.8 103.4 2-1-0 25.7 26.0
Tennessee 101.1 102.6 102.5 2-1-0 26.0 14.0
Jacksonville 93.1 93.4 91.2 1-2-0 13.3 27.7
             
AFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
San Diego 101.2 101.6 99.9 1-2-0 24.0 20.3
Kansas City 100.5 100.4 99.5 3-0-0 22.7 10.3
Denver 95.8 100.6 96.8 1-2-0 20.3 21.7
Oakland 92.6 92.3 89.1 1-2-0 17.3 25.3

 

This Week’s Games
Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site        
             
Week 4: October 3-4, 2010          
Vegas Line as of 5:00 PM EDT Tuesday          
             
Favorite Underdog PiRate Mean Bias Vegas Totals
TENNESSEE Denver 8.3 5.0 8.7 6 1/2 41 1/2
PITTSBURGH Baltimore 2.7 8.8 7.0 1 1/2 34 1/2
Cincinnati CLEVELAND 3.6 0.4 5.6 3    37 1/2
GREEN BAY Detroit 16.1 14.5 18.1 14 1/2 45 1/2
NEW ORLEANS Carolina 10.8 17.1 17.6 13    44   
ATLANTA San Francisco 12.9 18.7 15.3 7    42   
Seattle ST. LOUIS 1.0 1.1 3.4 Pk 38 1/2
New York Jets BUFFALO 10.0 7.4 12.5 5    37   
Indianapolis JACKSONVILLE 9.8 13.3 13.6 7 1/2 46 1/2
Houston OAKLAND 7.1 9.5 12.3 3    43 1/2
SAN DIEGO Arizona 7.6 6.1 4.0 8    46   
PHILADELPHIA Washington 9.5 6.7 11.0 6    42 1/2
Chicago NEW YORK GIANTS 0.5 4.2 4.0 -4    44   
New England MIAMI 0.5 -3.2 1.3 Pk 45 1/2

September 14, 2010

PiRate Ratings For NFL Football: Week 2–September 19-20, 2010

18.3!  That is the average number of points scored per team in the opening week of the 2010 NFL season.  That is a little more than a field goal less per team compared to last year.  Is this a sign that scoring is about to become harder in the league, or is it more of a case of so many closely-matched contests in week one?  We will have to wait a couple of weeks before we can begin to make an assumption.

Week two finds a handful of interesting games on the slate.  The Jets hook up with the Pats, and it is almost a must-win game for Coach Rex Ryan and his crew.  After losing Monday night at home to Baltimore, a loss would to New England would give Team Belichick a two-game edge in the AFC East.

Indianapolis hosts the Giants in a battle of Manning vs. Manning.  The Colts could not stop the Houston running game, and the Texans are not a rushing behemoth.  If Eli and company get the best of Peyton and company, the Colts could be two games behind the rest of the division.

Kansas City visits Cleveland, and if the Chiefs can pull off the road win over a weak Browns’ team, they will become a legitimate threat in the AFC West.  The Chiefs get Cleveland and Buffalo as part of finishing fourth in the division last year, while the Chargers must play New England and Cincinnati. 

Dallas hosts Chicago, and the Cowboys must rebound or else they could find themselves in a hole they cannot crawl out of.  Jerry Jones might even begin to consider his options if the Cowboys lay another egg offensively this week.  The mental anguish of having the winning touchdown called back could do to Dallas what Virginia Tech’s loss to Boise State did to the Hokies.  Additionally, Chicago benefitted from a final play penalty to beat Detroit, and the Bears could get a positive bounce from that event.

The Saints and Vikings got an extra three days to prepare for their second games.  Minnesota hosts Miami.  The Dolphins struggled to beat the hapless Bills, and the Vikes are much better at home than they are on the road.  After the opening touchdown drive, Minnesota’s defense shut down Drew Brees.

The Saints fly into a hornet’s nest in San Francisco.  Mike Singletary will have the 49ers hopping mad after the embarrassing loss at Seattle.

                Week One PiRate Passer Ratings *                                

Player Team PiRate #
David Garrard JAX 126.0
VinceYoung TEN 125.4
Tom Brady N-E 125.4
Peyton Manning IND 123.8
Phil Rivers S-D 122.1
Drew Brees N-O 118.7
Derek Anderson ARI 118.7
Michael Vick PHI 118.2
Tony Romo DAL 116.5
Donovan McNabb WAS 111.4
Chad Henne MIA 108.6
Matthew Stafford DET 108.1
Jay Cutler CHI 104.2
Trent Edwards BUF 101.4
Matt Cassel K-C 99.1
Carson Palmer CIN 98.9
Mark Sanchez NYJ 98.6
Kyle Orton DEN 93.2
Matt Ryan ATL 87.5
Joe Flacco BAL 87.2
Dennis Dixon PIT 82.1
Josh Freeman T-B 75.0
Brett Favre MIN 74.9
Jason Campbell OAK 74.8
Matt Hasselbeck SEA 73.7
Alex Smith S-F 59.4
Jake Delhomme CLE 57.2
Matt Schaub HOU 47.9
Shaun Hill DET 47.2
Sam Bradford STL 46.1
Aaron Rodgers G-B 40.1
Eli Manning NYG 18.4
Matt Moore CAR 6.2

 

* PiRate Passer Rating: [((7 x AYPA) – (10 x Int. %)) + 105] x 0.8

AYPA = Air Yards Per Pass Attempt (eliminates Yards After the Catch)

 

Current Regular Season NFL PiRate Ratings
             
             
Bitmap

NFC East

 

PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Dallas 103.6 102.7 101.1 0-1-0 7 13
New York Giants 101.5 102.5 101.9 1-0-0 31 18
Philadelphia 101.0 100.8 99.0 0-1-0 20 27
Washington 99.2 100.6 98.7 1-0-0 13 7
             
NFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Green Bay 104.8 106.7 105.8 1-0-0 27 20
Minnesota 104.6 105.2 105.5 0-1-0 9 14
Chicago 100.3 96.8 99.9 1-0-0 19 14
Detroit 92.3 91.3 92.4 0-1-0 14 19
             
NFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
New Orleans 105.4 107.7 107.9 1-0-0 14 9
Atlanta 103.9 102.3 102.9 0-1-0 9 15
Carolina 100.1 100.4 98.2 0-1-0 18 31
Tampa Bay 94.7 96.7 94.6 1-0-0 17 14
             
NFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
San Francisco 98.6 95.8 98.2 0-1-0 6 31
Arizona 98.3 98.6 98.7 1-0-0 17 13
Seattle 95.2 98.4 98.0 1-0-0 31 6
St. Louis 90.3 90.7 91.3 0-1-0 13 17
             
AFC East PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
NY Jets 106.8 103.2 104.3 0-1-0 9 10
New England 106.1 104.4 107.4 1-0-0 38 24
Miami 101.7 101.3 101.7 1-0-0 15 10
Buffalo 97.0 95.2 95.9 0-1-0 10 15
             
AFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Baltimore 106.1 105.2 106.9 1-0-0 10 9
Pittsburgh 101.7 102.9 102.6 1-0-0 15 9
Cincinnati 99.9 98.9 99.6 0-1-0 24 38
Cleveland 96.9 95.0 94.1 0-1-0 14 17
             
AFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Houston 103.7 104.3 103.3 1-0-0 34 24
Indianapolis 103.2 103.9 103.1 0-1-0 24 34
Tennessee 100.5 102.6 102.9 1-0-0 38 13
Jacksonville 96.9 97.8 98.2 1-0-0 24 17
             
AFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
San Diego 101.2 101.8 101.1 0-1-0 14 21
Kansas City 97.0 98.7 97.8 1-0-0 21 14
Denver 96.0 95.8 96.4 0-1-0 17 24
Oakland 91.6 92.0 90.6 0-1-0 13 38
 

 

           
Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site          
             
Week 2: Sept. 19-20, 2010            
Vegas Line as of:

10:30 PM EDT Tuesday

           
             
Favorite Underdog PiRate Mean Bias Vegas Totals
CLEVELAND Kansas City 2.9 -0.7 -0.7 1    38   
GREEN BAY Buffalo 10.8 14.5 12.9 13    43   
Baltimore CINCINNATI 4.2 4.3 5.3 2 1/2 40   
TENNESSEE Pittsburgh 1.8 2.7 3.3 4 1/2 37   
Philadelphia DETROIT 5.7 6.5 3.6 5    42    
DALLAS Chicago 6.3 8.9 4.2 7 1/2 41   
CAROLINA Tampa Bay 8.4 6.7 6.6 NL NL
ATLANTA Arizona 8.6 6.7 7.2 6 1/2 43   
MINNESOTA Miami 6.9 7.9 7.8 5 1/2 39 1/2
OAKLAND St. Louis 3.3 3.3 1.3 3 1/2 37 1/2
DENVER Seattle 3.8 0.4 1.4 3 1/2 40   
Houston WASHINGTON 1.5 0.7 1.6 3    44   
SAN DIEGO Jacksonville 6.3 6.0 4.9 7 1/2 45 1/2
NEW YORK JETS New England 2.7 0.8 -1.1 -1 1/2 38 1/2
INDIANAPOLIS New York Giants 4.7 4.4 4.2 5 1/2 48   
New Orleans SAN FRANCISCO 2.8 7.9 5.7 4 1/2 44   

August 25, 2010

Introducing the PiRate NFL Pass Rating Formula

Introducing the PiRate NFL Pass Rating Formula

 

The National Football League has been using the same pass rating formula for multiple decades.  It uses a combination of completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdowns, and interceptions.  If you want to calculate it on your own, here it is:

 

I.     (Completion Percentage-30.0) * 0.05 +

II.    (Yards per attempt-3.0) * 0.25 +

III.   (20 * touchdowns per pass attempt) +

IV.   2.375 – (25 * interceptions per pass attempt)

 

If any of these four components are greater than 2.375, then cap the value at 2.375

 

Add these four stats together and multiple them by 16.667 to get the passer rating.  Here is an example:

 

In 1963, Y. A. Tittle had these stats for the New York Giants

Completions 221  Attempts 367  Yards 3145  Touchdowns 36  Interceptions 14

 

I.     (60.20 – 30.0) * 0.05 = 1.51  +

II.    (8.57-3.0) * 0.25 = 1.39        +

III.   (20 * .098) = 1.96                +

IV.   2.375 – (25 * .038) = 1.43    +

 

 Subtotal = 6.29     6.29 * 16.667 =

                     104.8

 

Once you know this formula, you can easily plug it into a spreadsheet and figure the ratings.  However, these ratings are a poor way to select the most efficient passer.

 

Let’s take a look at two opposing passers, Smith and Jones.

 

Smith completes 15 of 24 passes for 3 touchdowns with no interceptions.

 

Jones completes 10 of 24 passes for 0 touchdowns and 1 interception.

 

Smith is obviously much better, correct?  No, not correct.  It depends on several other things.  What if Jones has a lousy offensive line or receivers that drop every other pass thrown to them?  What if Smith has all day to pass with Jerry Rice-type receivers?  All these stats show us are just that—their stats.

 

Smith could have completed six passes to backs behind the line of scrimmage with the backs following blocking for long gains.  Jones could have threaded the needle with 30 yard passes to the deep sidelines only to have had them dropped by inept receivers.

 

In essence no pass-rating formula is worth a grain of salt.  Let’s look at two separate plays.  Passer A completes 13-yard pass for a touchdown.  It is a dump pass into the flat to the tailback with the tailback avoiding three defenders as he streaks into the end zone.  This one pass gets the NFL Maximum rating of 158.3.

 

Now, let’s look at Passer B.  His team is backed up at their own 1 yard line. He drops back and fires a bomb 55 yards through the air that comes down perfectly in the hands of his flanker.  The flanker takes off down the sideline and is knocked out just one yard from scoring.  This 98-yard pass gives Passer B a rating of 118.8!  Peyton Manning actually had a better total season rating than this a couple years ago, and even though he ranks among the best ever, he was not worth a 98-yard completion every time he threw the ball!

 

Can this be?  You betcha!  The rating is flawed.  Obviously the brilliantly thrown pass that travelled 55 yards past the line of scrimmage that comes down perfectly in the hands of the intended receiver should be worth a lot more than the dump pass that I could complete given two seconds protection.

 

Here is where the PiRate Pass Rating Formula tries to correct the incorrect values of the NFL Pass Rating Formula.

 

Our formula looks at just two statistics.  The first is interception percentage.  An intercepted pass is worth anywhere from 3 to 7 points for the other team on average.  We realize that all interceptions are not the same.  A poorly thrown pass into the flat at the offense’s 20-yard line hurts much more than a 3rd and 25 pass thrown 40 yards downfield and intercepted by the defense. 

 

The second stat is called “Air Yards Per Attempt,” or AYPA.  It is simply the passing yardage minus the yards after catch.  If Passer A completed a 51-yard pass for a touchdown, but the play consisted of a pass completed to a tailback one yard past the line of scrimmage with the back running for 50 yards, the passer gets credit for an AYPA of 1 yard (51 yard pass – 50 yards after the catch).

 

Here is the PiRate Pass Rating Formula:

[AYPA * 7 – (11 * Interception %) + 105] * 0.8

 Interception percentage is figured as: (Interceptions/Attempts) *100

 Anything over 100 is an excellent rating.  Over 90 means the QB is above average.  80 would be considered average; below 80 means this QB should be looking over his shoulder for a replacement to take his job.

 In our passer rating, we don’t include passing percentage or touchdown passes.  Yards gained are what matters.  Three consecutive completed passes that gain a total of nine yards means 4th & 1.  Two incomplete passes followed by an 11 yard completion means 1st & 10.  Which outcome is better?

 Touchdowns skew the ratings.  If one coach sends in passing plays at the opponents’ one yard line, while another sends his 240-pound power back to plunge over the goal, the quarterbacks will get too much credit in once instance and no credit in the other. 

 Let’s take a look at the PiRate Rating in action.  First, you must be wondering where can you find AYPA?  There is an excellent website that carries this stat, so you don’t have to try to figure out the YAC for each QB.  Go to: www.advancednflstats.com

 Here is a look at both ratings side-by-side:

Player

PiRate QB Rating

 

Player

Official NFL Rating

Aaron Rodgers

108.9

|||

Drew Brees

109.6

Drew Brees

107.5

|||

Brett Favre

107.2

Brett Favre

106.7

|||

Phil Rivers

104.4

Tony Romo

105.6

|||

Aaron Rodgers

103.2

Phil Rivers

104.8

|||

Ben Roethlisberger

100.5

Ben Roethlisberger

97.9

|||

Peyton Manning

99.9

Matt Schaub

97.8

|||

Matt Schaub

98.6

Peyton Manning

97.2

|||

Tony Romo

97.6

Donovan McNabb

96.3

|||

Tom Brady

96.2

David Garrard

96.1

|||

Kurt Warner

93.2

Kyle Orton

94.7

|||

Eli Manning

93.1

Brad Gradkowski

94.4

|||

Donovan McNabb

92.9

Tom Brady

93.8

|||

Joe Flacco

88.9

Kurt Warner

93.4

|||

Kyle Orton

86.8

Eli Manning

92.8

|||

Jason Campbell

86.4

Vince Young

92.1

|||

Carson Palmer

83.6

Joe Flacco

87.7

|||

David Garrard

83.5

Marc Bulger

86.7

|||

Vince Young

82.8

Jason Campbell

85.4

|||

Alex Smith

81.5

Matt Ryan

83.0

|||

Matt Ryan

80.9

Carson Palmer

81.7

|||

Brad Gradkowski

80.6

Chad Henne

80.8

|||

Jay Cutler

76.8

Alex Smith

79.7

|||

Chad Henne

75.2

Brady Quinn

78.4

|||

Matt Hasselbeck

75.1

Matt Hasselbeck

75.7

|||

Trent Edwards

73.8

Matt Cassel

75.7

|||

Marc Bulger

70.7

Kerry Collins

72.1

|||

Matt Cassel

69.9

Trent Edwards

69.9

|||

Ryan Fitzpatrick

69.7

Kyle Boller

69.1

|||

Brady Quinn

67.2

Jay Cutler

67.3

|||

Kerry Collins

65.5

Ryan Fitzpatrick

64.3

|||

Mark Sanchez

63.0

Mark Sanchez

60.9

|||

Kyle Boller

61.2

JaMarcus Russell

56.4

|||

Matt Stafford

61.0

Matt Stafford

54.1

|||

Josh Freeman

59.8

Jake Delhomme

51.5

|||

Jake Delhomme

59.4

Josh Freeman

46.4

|||

JaMarcus Russell

50.0

Derek Anderson

46.3

|||

Derek Anderson

42.1

 

Coming tomorrow: We reveal the initial NFL PiRate, Mean, and Bias ratings for the 2010 season and give our predictions for each division.

December 11, 2008

PiRate Ratings Week 15 NFL Previews: December 11-15, 2008

PiRate Ratings For NFL Week 15

And Down The Stretch They Come!

 

There’s just a furlong to go in the NFL regular season, and most of the playoff spots are still to be decided.

 

If the season ended today in the NFC, the Giants and Panthers would get first round byes, with the Cardinals, Vikings, Buccaneers, and Cowboys playing in the first round.  The Falcons still control their own destiny, even though they are the number seven team in the NFC this week.  Also in the running for a playoff spot are the Eagles, Redskins, Saints, and Bears.

 

If the season ended today in the AFC, the Titans and Steelers would get first round byes, with the Jets, Broncos, Colts, and Ravens playing in the first round.  The Dolphins and Patriots still have good chances to move up, while the rest of the conference is out of the picture (San Diego could sneak in with three wins and three Denver losses).

 

 

This week’s schedule is chock full of important games with playoff implications.  In the NFC alone, there are five games where both teams have winning records and strong playoff chances.  It will be almost like a preliminary to the playoffs.  In the AFC, all eyes will be in Baltimore for the big game between the Ravens and Steelers.  Pittsburgh must play at Tennessee next week, so the Steelers have a rough couple of road games.

 

The PiRate Pro Ratings (Rating)

 

The NFL version of the PiRate Ratings is not the same as the collegiate version.  The NFL version is strictly a statistical formula than could be reproduced by anybody who knew the equations I use to devise the formula.  No subjective data is used.

 

The formula combines scoring margin, strength of schedule, and early in the season, last year’s scoring margin and strength of schedule.  As the season progresses, last year’s data decreases to where it has little effect by mid-October. 

 

The Mean Ratings (Mean)

 

Just like the PiRate Ratings, the NFL Mean Ratings are not the same as the collegiate version.  The NFL Mean Ratings consist of a dozen different calculations.  Three calculations consist of different ways to look at point differential and strength of schedule.  Five calculations look at yards gained and allowed rushing and passing and special teams play with the strength of the opponents’ rushing and passing.  Point values are assigned based on each set of data.  The remaining four ratings are my old four pro ratings from the 1970’s and 1980’s.  The 12 ratings are given equal weight, and then I take the average (mean) to get the rating.

 

The Bias Ratings (Biased)

 

The Bias Ratings consist of five of the components of The Mean Ratings.  The five ratings are not given equal weight.  The five ratings are weighted at 37.5%, 25%, 12.5%, 12.5%, and 12.5%.  I have back tested these ratings and found that this weighting gives the rating its best predictive percentage.

 

All three ratings are normalized so that 100 is average.  If I don’t mess up with the math, each of the three ratings should average 100.  The teams’ ratings show how many points above or below average they are in comparison with the rest of the league.  A rating of 107 means that team is a touchdown better than average, while a rating of 93 means that team is a touchdown weaker than average. 

 

I do not attempt to rate teams from different years.  A 107-rated team in 2008 is not the same as a 107-rated team from 1972.  We all know that due to the evolution of strength and quickness, today’s Detroit Lions would blow the 1972 Miami Dolphins off the field.

 

Current NFL Standings
NFC East Won   Lost   Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

New York

11

2

0

366

226

110.21

109.88

108.46

2

Dallas

8

5

0

312

280

102.02

102.78

103.60

2

Philadelphia

7

5

1

339

263

107.18

105.64

105.81

2

Washington

7

6

0

218

246

99.03

99.74

100.60

2

NFC North

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Minnesota

8

5

0

307

276

103.51

103.71

104.09

2

Chicago

7

6

0

304

278

102.34

101.17

102.15

2

Green Bay

5

8

0

355

319

104.62

102.10

100.99

2

Detroit

0

13

0

219

413

87.55

88.46

87.65

3

NFC South

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Carolina

10

3

0

323

254

105.75

104.74

106.54

2

Tampa Bay

9

4

0

303

238

105.14

103.85

105.04

2

Atlanta  

8

5

0

323

271

104.40

103.44

103.62

2

New Orleans

7

6

0

366

326

103.61

103.00

102.17

2

NFC West

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Arizona

8

5

0

372

323

101.44

100.95

102.52

3

San Francisco

5

8

0

286

327

95.22

96.48

96.19

3

Seattle

2

11

0

237

335

92.29

92.89

92.48

3

St. Louis

2

11

0

169

394

83.23

86.90

84.67

2

AFC East

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

New York

8

5

0

354

292

101.26

101.10

102.52

2

New England

8

5

0

301

276

99.57

101.16

102.79

2

Miami

8

5

0

269

260

98.26

98.56

102.01

2

Buffalo

6

7

0

279

275

96.33

95.31

97.37

3

AFC North

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Pittsburgh

10

3

0

289

183

108.86

108.01

107.22

2

Baltimore

9

4

0

316

200

109.24

108.03

106.70

3

Cleveland

4

9

0

222

275

97.55

97.36

95.03

2

Cincinnati

1

11

1

154

345

90.35

91.54

88.23

2

AFC South

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Tennessee

12

1

0

332

184

110.21

108.83

108.85

2

Indianapolis

9

4

0

292

253

104.85

105.51

105.92

2

Houston

6

7

0

306

331

99.15

100.04

100.08

3

Jacksonville

4

9

0

251

293

97.23

96.78

94.85

3

AFC West

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Denver

8

5

0

316

336

96.27

98.09

100.92

2

San Diego

5

8

0

324

281

102.60

100.41

100.85

2

Oakland

3

10

0

179

299

90.57

91.98

89.56

2

Kansas City

2

11

0

233

364

90.15

91.53

90.58

2

                         

 

 

Note: due to the Thursday game, weather forecasts and odds are those as of Wednesday 12 Noon EST

 

You will now see multiple numbers given in the Vegas line and Ov/Un.  I am listing the range given by the different books in Vegas and offshore as of 12 Noon EST Wednesday, so you can use the one that best meets your needs.  Remember though, if you use parlays and teasers, you must use the same source.  You cannot play a parlay using the odds from different books.  What you will see in my “imaginary picks” below will show different books, but each teaser will be composed of games from the same book.  When I believe it is okay to play different spreads of the same game, I have put those numbers in parentheses.  If you don’t see different choices, then I only recommend that single spread for that game.

 

I leave it to you to find out the book in question.  Generally, some of the big ones in Vegas are: Hilton, Caesar’s-Harrah’s, MGM Mirage, Stations, Leroy’s, Wynn, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, and The Palms.  Some of the large offshore books include: BetUs, Bodog, Sportsbook, BetJamaica, and Pinnacle.

 

Average Simulation Scores for each game are now rounded to nearest whole number.

 

NFL Previews-Week 15

 

New Orleans (7-6-0) at Chicago (7-6-0)

Time:           8:15 PM EST, Thursday

TV:               NFL Network

Forecast:     Overcast sky, moderate wind, temperature falling from the upper 20’s to the mid 20’s

 

PiRate:                Chicago by 1                   

Mean:                  Tossup

Bias:                    Chicago by 2

Vegas:               Chicago by 2.5, 3

Ov/Un:               44.5, 45, 45.5

100 Sims:           Chicago 64 New Orleans 36

Avg Sim Score:  Chicago 27 New Orleans 23

Outlier 1a Sim:  Chicago 34 New Orleans 13

Outlier 1b Sim:  New Orleans 30 Chicago 17

 

Strategy:     Chicago -2½, Chicago +7½ in 10-point teaser, Chicago +10½ in 13-point teaser, Over 31½ in 13-point teaser  

Drew Brees may be held well under his 300+ yard average in passing yards in this game due to the elements and not because of the Chicago pass defense  On an average day game, Brees might pass for over 400 yards against the Bears.  The Bears’ defensive line should contain the run just enough to force Brees to pass a few times too many in this game.  I expect Brees to go down at least twice, and he may rush some throws and connect with the wrong jersey.

 

The Bears won’t exploit the Saints’ defense like some teams have, but I expect the home team to win this game by more than a field goal.  The home field advantage should be on the high side for this game between two evenly-matched teams.  I’m looking for Chicago to win by a score around 24-20 with Matt Forte having a great night.

 

The loser of this game will not make the playoffs this year, while the winner stays in contention for another week.  With Minnesota playing a tough road game, Chicago could move into a first place tie in the black and blue division with a win.

 

 

Green Bay (5-8-0) at Jacksonville (4-9-0)

Time:           1:00 PM EST

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Mostly cloudy, moderate wind, temperature around 70

 

PiRate:                Green Bay by 9

Mean:                  Green Bay by 2

Bias:                    Green Bay by 6

Vegas:               Green Bay by 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5  

Ov/Un:               45, 45.5

100 Sims:           Green Bay 58 Jacksonville 42

Avg Sim Score:  Green Bay 25 Jacksonville 22

Outlier 1a Sim:  Green Bay 37 Jacksonville 21

Outlier 1b Sim:  Jacksonville 20 Green Bay 10

 

Strategy:     Jacksonville +12½ in 10-point teaser, Jacksonville +15½ in 13-point teaser, Over 32 in 13-point teaser, Under 58½ in 13-point teaser    

Welcome to the Disappointment Bowl.  These two teams are done for the year and have nothing to play for other than pride.  The Jaguars may be as weak as Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Oakland at this point of the season.  Green Bay’s problem is an inconsistent defense, especially against the pass.

 

Jacksonville’s passing game shouldn’t do to the Packers secondary what other teams have done this year, and the running game will be hindered with the absence of Fred Taylor due to an injured thumb.

 

I am looking for this game to be lower scoring than expected but not a defensive struggle.  The Packers should win this road game, but I have no confidence in the certitude.  I’ll call for them to win this one by a score similar to 24-17.

 

 

Detroit (0-13-0) at Indianapolis (9-4-0)

Time:           1:00 PM EST

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Cloudy, moderate wind, temperature around 50 if the dome roof is open

 

PiRate:                Indianapolis by 19

Mean:                  Indianapolis by 19

Bias:                    Indianapolis by 20

Vegas:               Indianapolis by 17,18   

Ov/Un:               Indianapolis by 44.5, 45

100 Sims:           Indianapolis 100 Detroit 0

Avg Sim Score:  Indianapolis 34 Detroit 12

Outlier 1a Sim:  Indianapolis 56 Detroit 7

Outlier 1b Sim:  Indianapolis 27 Detroit 24

 

Strategy:     Over 31½ in 13-point teaser

The simulation gave Indianapolis 100 wins in 100 sims.  I haven’t run 100 simulations for that long, but I have to believe it is quite a rarity for it to return 100% success for any NFL Team in a scheduled game.

 

I estimate the Colts to have a 95% chance of winning this game and a 50% chance of winning by double digits.  Peyton Manning and company have the offense up to full speed, and I could easily see the Colts running the table to finish 12-4 and winning their wildcard playoff round.

 

Detroit’s chances to get a win are getting slim.  With New Orleans at home and Green Bay on the road, it may not happen this year.  The Lions could become the first 0-16 team in history. 

 

This week, I am looking for the Colts to win almost effortlessly.  I could see them with a 28-3 lead at the half and then cruising to a 38-10 victory.  I favor the 13-point tease of the Over in this one, as I believe Indianapolis will top 31 points.  Even if they shut out Detroit (with the Lions’ QB problems, it could happen), the Colts can cover 31½ total points by themselves.

 

 

Washington (7-6-0) at Cincinnati (1-11-1)

Time:           1PM EST

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Cloudy, moderate wind, temperature in the low 50’s

 

PiRate:                Washington by 7

Mean:                  Washington by 6

Bias:                    Washington by 10

Vegas:               Washington by 6.5, 7, 7.5          

Ov/Un:               36.5, 37

100 Sims:           Washington 82 Cincinnati 18

Avg Sim Score:  Washington 26 Cincinnati 18

Outlier 1a Sim:  Washington 38 Cincinnati 13

Outlier 1b Sim:  Cincinnati 24 Washington 20 (2 times)

 

Strategy:            Over 23½ in 13-point teaser

This is a must-win game for the Redskins.  In all likelihood, they have to win out to qualify as a wildcard team.  They have dropped four out of their last five games, and I doubt they will win their final three.  In fact, this game could be their last win of the season.

 

Cincinnati has mailed it in for the year.  They need major reconstruction, and I think it will be quite some time before the Bengals are competitive again.  The Reds could be in the Major League playoffs before the Bengals make the NFL playoffs.

 

I look for a low-scoring game with Washington winning in boring fashion.  Clinton Portis will probably have a great game after running his mouth all week.

 

I don’t like playing the sides in this one, even in teasers.  While I think the Bengals will struggle to score more than a touchdown in this game, I do see Washington topping 21 points.  That makes the low Over a play in a 13-point teaser.

 

 

Tampa Bay (9-4-0) at Atlanta (8-5-0)

Time:           1PM EST

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Dome

 

PiRate:                Atlanta by 1

Mean:                  Atlanta by 2

Bias:                    Atlanta by 1

Vegas:                Atlanta by 2.5, 3  

Ov/Un:               44.5, 45

100 Sims:           Atlanta 53 Tampa Bay 47

Avg Sim Score:  Atlanta 23 Tampa Bay 22

Outlier 1a Sim:  Atlanta 28 Tampa Bay 14

Outlier 1b Sim:  Tampa Bay 23 Atlanta 14

(note: 7 sims went to OT)

 

Strategy:     Under 58 in 13-point teaser, Over 31.5 in 13-point teaser

This should be a great game, possibly one of the five best games of the regular season.  Both teams are coming off tough divisional losses.  The winner of this game will hold on strong to the top of the wildcard playoff bubble, while the loser will join a host of other teams in a mix at the bottom of the bubble.

 

Matt Ryan had his worst game when these two met in St. Petersburg in September.  I expect a much better effort this time out, and I also expect Michael Turner to break off a couple of 10+ yard runs.

 

This game will be close, and I believe both teams will score in the 20’s.  The best plays here are to sandwich the expected 40-50 point total with a teasing of both the Over and Under.

 

 

San Francisco (5-8-0) at Miami (8-5-0)

Time:           1PM EST

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Showers likely, moderate wind, temperature in the mid to upper 70’s

 

PiRate:                Miami by 5

Mean:                  Miami by 4

Bias:                    Miami by 8

Vegas:               Miami by 6.5, 7  

Ov/Un:               41.5, 42

100 Sims:           Miami 57 San Francisco 43

Avg Sim Score:  Miami 22 San Francisco 20

Outlier 1a Sim:  Miami 27 San Francisco 10

Outlier 1b Sim:  San Francisco 21 Miami 13

 

Strategy:            Under 55 in 13-point teaser

This one is a hard one to figure out.  The 49ers are playing really good ball even though it is too late to make the playoffs.  The Dolphins are in the hunt for both a wildcard spot and divisional championship.  Obviously, this is a critical game for Miami, and a loss would put them in serious jeopardy in the AFC playoff hunt.

 

Miami has quietly won six of seven games, and I think they are quietly going to win their next two games to set up a monumental season finale against the Jets in The Meadowlands.

 

As for this game, I expect it to be a hard-fought defensive battle.  I cannot say for sure that Miami can cover at 6½ or 7 points, but I do believe both teams will score fewer than 25 points.  Thus, teasing the Over is my selection for this game.

 

Seattle (2-11-0) at St. Louis (2-11-0)

Time:           1:00 PM EST

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Dome

 

PiRate:                Seattle by 7

Mean:                  Seattle by 4

Bias:                    Seattle by 6

Vegas:               Seattle by 3

Ov/Un:               43, 43.5  

100 Sims:           Seattle 61 St. Louis 39

Avg Sim Score:  Seattle 26 St. Louis 19

Outlier 1a Sim:  Seattle 24 St. Louis 3

Outlier 1b Sim:  St. Louis 17 Seattle 10

 

Strategy:     St. Louis +16 in 13-point teaser, Over 30 in 13-point teaser, Under 56½ in 13-point teaser

How much would you pay for tickets to this game?  You might find someone willing to pay you to take their ticket.  It was expected that St. Louis would be where they are at this point in the season, but Seattle was supposed to be about 9-4 after 13 games.  Injuries ruined their season, and those injuries continue to plague the Seahawks.  Don’t expect Matt Hasselbeck to play in this game.  Seneca Wallace isn’t totally healthy, but he’ll likely start this game.

 

The Rams should never be expected to win a game before it starts, even if they are hosting Detroit or Cincinnati.  I do expect them to lose by no more than 14 points if at all, so I can recommend taking St. Louis in a 13-point teaser.  My guess at the total score for this game is something like 23-21, which places that in the middle between the extremes of a 13-point teaser.

 

 

Buffalo (6-7-0) at New York Jets (8-5-0)

Time:           1:00PM EST

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Partly cloudy, light wind, temperature in the mid 40’s

 

PiRate:                Jets by 7

Mean:                 Jets by 8

Bias:                    Jets by 7

Vegas:                Jets by 7, 7.5

Ov/Un:               41

100 Sims:           Jets 73 Buffalo 27

Avg Sim Score:  Jets 32 Buffalo 24

Outlier 1a Sim:  Jets 48 Buffalo 17

Outlier 1b Sim:  Buffalo 28 Jets 20

 

Strategy:     Jets +3 in 10-point teaser, Jets +6 in 13-point teaser, Over 28 in 13-point teaser

Buffalo started 5-0, and the Bills have since gone 1-7.  Their season is done, and Dick Jauron has done nothing to earn his extension.

 

The Jets can ill afford to lose three games in a row and make the playoffs in the highly competitive AFC.  It looks like 10-6 will be the minimum record for the successful wildcard qualifiers.  A loss in this game just may be too much to overcome.  The Jets won handily in Buffalo six weeks ago, and they should win again this week.  Thus, I like playing New York on both 10 and 13-point teasers.  The 13-point tease of the Over should win before halftime, as I see 50 total points being scored in this game.

 

 

Tennessee (12-1-0) at Houston (6-7-0)

Time:           1:00 PM EST

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Chance of thunderstorms, light wind, temperature in the mid 70’s

 

PiRate:                Tennessee by 8

Mean:                 Tennessee by 6

Bias:                    Tennessee by 6

Vegas:                Tennessee by 3, 3.5

Ov/Un:               44.5, 45

100 Sims:           Tennessee 66 Houston 34

Avg Sim Score:  Tennessee 29 Houston 22

Outlier 1a Sim:  Tennessee 33 Houston 14

Outlier 1b Sim:  Houston 28 Tennessee 16

 

Strategy:     Houston +13½ in 10-point teaser, Houston +16½ in 13-point teaser, Over 31½ in 13-point teaser, Under 58 (or 57½) in 13-point teaser     

This is a trap game for sure.  Even though the Texans cannot qualify for the playoffs this year, they still have much to play for, like their first ever winning season.  That September hurricane probably cost them a shot at the playoffs, for Houston might be 8-5 or 9-4 instead of 6-7 if it weren’t for all the troubles they endured in September.

 

In the first meeting of these two teams, Tennessee won by 19 points, but the game was much closer than the score indicated.  The Titans led 24-12 with Houston near the Tennessee goal line, when Titan CB Cortland Finnegan picked off a Matt Schaub pass and returned it 99 yards for a touchdown.

 

The Texans haven’t forgotten that game, nor have they forgotten that they had success running the ball against the Tennessee defense.  Steve Slaton topped 100 yards in that game.

 

Tennessee could wrap up home field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win Sunday.  It won’t be easy, and I think they have little more than a 50-55% chance of winning.  The Titans are the Texans’ biggest rival for obvious reasons, and they would like nothing more than to spoil that clinching chance for Tennessee.

 

I believe this game will be higher scoring than expected.  Tennessee has given up more than 21 points only once this year, and that was their lone loss.  I believe Houston will become the second opponent to top 21 points, but I’m not sure it will be enough to win the game.

 

I’m going with Tennessee to win and clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs, but I don’t think they will win by much.

 

 

Pittsburgh (10-3-0) at Baltimore (9-4-0)

Time:           3:15PM EST

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Partly cloudy, light wind, temperature in the upper 40’s

 

PiRate:                Baltimore by 3

Mean:                  Baltimore by 3

Bias:                    Baltimore by 2

Vegas:               Baltimore by 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5

Ov/Un:               34, 34.5

100 Sims:           Baltimore 50 Pittsburgh 50

Avg Sim Score:  Baltimore 20 Pittsburgh 19

Outlier 1a Sim:  Baltimore 17 Pittsburgh 0

Outlier 1b Sim:  Pittsburgh 20 Baltimore 7

 

Strategy:     Baltimore -1, Baltimore +9 in 10-point teaser, Baltimore +12 in 13-point teaser, Pittsburgh +15½  (14, 14½, or 15) in 13-point teaser, Over 21 in 13-point teaser, Under 47 in 13-point teaser

This is the top game of the day, and it will look like one of those Packers-Vikings games from the mid to late 1960’s.  The winner could very well score just 10 points in this game, although I am expecting Baltimore to score at least 17 points and win the game.

 

The Steelers will clinch the AFC North with a win, and if Baltimore wins, the Steelers would still hold the tie-breaker edge over the Ravens by virtue of a one-game edge in AFC games (the 4th tie-breaker scenario). 

 

Both teams face a tough opponent on the road next week, and this game takes on even greater importance.  If Baltimore wins this week, and both teams lose next week, then it will take the 5th tiebreaking rule to separate the two.  That one is strength of victory, and it could still leave them tied.  Tiebreaker number six is strength of schedule, and yes, if New England and San Diego were to lose a few more games than Miami and Oakland, this could be a push as well.  Tiebreaker numbers seven through 11 would have to decide it, because tiebreaker number 12 is a coin flip.  With the NFL having so many financial troubles and with layoffs announced, they may not have the coin to make that flip and Bank of America won’t lend one to them.

 

Seriously, I look for Baltimore to play just a little more inspired and emerge with a 17-10 victory.  Both teams will make the playoffs if they are 10-4 after this game.  If Pittsburgh should find a way to win, then next week’s game at Tennessee could be for number one in the conference.

 

Denver (8-5-0) at Carolina (10-3-0)

Time:           4:15PM EST

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Mostly cloudy, light wind, temperature in the low 50’s

 

PiRate:                Carolina by 11

Mean:                 Carolina by 9

Bias:                   Carolina by 8

Vegas:               Carolina by 7, 7.5, 9

Ov/Un:               47, 47.5, 48

100 Sims:           Carolina 54 Denver 46

Avg Sim Score:  Carolina 29 Denver 28

Outlier 1a Sim:  Carolina 45 Denver 24

Outlier 1b Sim:  Denver 41 Carolina 24

 

Strategy:            Denver +19 in 10-point teaser, Denver +22 in 13-point teaser, Over 34 (34½ or 35) in 13-point teaser

It looked like the Broncos were going to swoon right out of the top spot in the AFC West after losing four of five earlier this year.  However, San Diego kept finding ways to lose, and now the Broncos have recovered as of late, winning four of five including two big road victories.

 

The time is right for the Panthers to bounce a little and come out flat in a game against a team capable of beating them in Charlotte.  Carolina played brilliantly, especially on offense, against Tampa Bay Monday night, but I don’t believe their running game will come close to repeating the production in that game.  Denver is by no means a run-stopping team, but they will concentrate their efforts on stopping the two-headed monster of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams.  Jake Delhomme will have to pass the ball for the Panthers to win. 

 

I expect this to be a high scoring game.  Jay Cutler will not have Peyton Hillis available for this game, so I expect the Broncos will throw the ball 40 times and pick up more than 300 yards.

 

This game could see more than 135 scrimmage plays, and that should lead to both teams topping 24 points.  I like teasing the Over here, as I just cannot see the offenses being stopped all day, especially with this game set to be played in ideal football weather.

 

 

San Diego (5-8-0) at Kansas City (2-11-0)

Time:           1:00 PM EST

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Chance of showers, moderate wind, temperature in the low 50’s

 

PiRate:                San Diego by 10

Mean:                 San Diego by 7

Bias:                   San Diego by 8

Vegas:                San Diego by 4.5, 5, 5.5

Ov/Un:               45, 45.5, 46, 46.5

100 Sims:           Kansas City 52 San Diego 48

Avg Sim Score:  Kansas City 25 San Diego 24

Outlier 1a Sim:  Kansas City 28 San Diego 17

Outlier 1b Sim:  San Diego 40 Kansas City 20

 

Strategy:            Kansas City +15½ (15, 14½) in 10-point teaser, Kansas City +18½ (18, 17½) in 13-point teaser, Under 59½ (59, 58½) in 13-point teaser, Over 32 in 13-point teaser

Contrary to what the Charger brass have stated publicly, I believe this is going to be the final season for Coach Norv Turner in San Diego.  His team was robbed in that game in Denver, and that wasn’t his fault.  However, the way they reacted after that game and failed to recover is his fault.  He could even be shown the door Monday if San Diego loses to the lowly Chiefs.

 

Kansas City is not a pushover.  Just ask Denver after the Broncos had to come from behind to win at Invesco Field and avoid the sweep.  Five weeks ago at Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego escaped with a 20-19 win over Kansas City.

 

Note that the simulator gives Kansas City a 52% chance to win this game even though the Chargers are favored by more than a field goal.  I like those odds, and I am taking Kansas City in the teasers because of that.

 

Minnesota (8-5-0) at Arizona (8-5-0)

Time:           4:15 PM EST

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Partly cloudy, moderate wind, temperature in the low 60’s

 

PiRate:                Arizona by 1

Mean:                 Tossup

Bias:                   Arizona by 1

Vegas:                Arizona by 3   

Ov/Un:               47.5, 48

100 Sims:           Arizona 59 Minnesota 41

Avg Sim Score:  Arizona 33 Minnesota 24

Outlier 1a Sim:  Arizona 52 Minnesota 31

Outlier 1b Sim:  Minnesota 27 Arizona 17

 

Strategy:     Over 34 ½ (35) in 13-point teaser

This is another one of those great NFC games this week.  While Arizona has already clinched their division, the Cardinals can still get a first round bye if they win out and Carolina and Tampa Bay lose enough games.

 

Minnesota holds a tiny one game edge over Chicago, and they have the toughest final three games of any of the NFC contenders.  The Vikings must close against the Falcons and Giants after this game.

 

I give the Cardinals a very slight advantage in this game, but I find no value in any plays on sides in this game.  My only inclination is to tease the Over.  I cannot see Minnesota’s defense holding Kurt Warner and company at bay very often, and I cannot see Arizona stopping Adrian Peterson very often.  Tarvaris Jackson gets another chance to show he belongs in the NFL, as Gus Frerotte doesn’t appear likely to play. 

 

 

New England (8-5-0) at Oakland (3-10-0)

Time:           4:15 PM EST

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Rain showers, light wind, temperature in the upper 40’s

 

PiRate:                New England by 7

Mean:                  New England by 8

Bias:                    New England by 11

Vegas:               New England by 7

Ov/Un:               39,40

100 Sims:           New England 89 Oakland 11

Avg Sim Score:  New England 24 Oakland 15

Outlier 1a Sim:  New England 37 Oakland 7

Outlier 1b Sim:  Oakland 21 New England 16

 

Strategy:     Under 53 (52) in 13-point teaser

The Patriots have to win this game to stay in the playoff hunt.  If they lose to the pitiful Raiders, they may just fold up.  It’s not going to be easy for Coach Bill Belichick’s team this week.  Quarterback Matt Cassel left the team following the passing of his father.  He may not be ready to play Sunday.  Rookie Kevin O’Connell would start in his place, and even the Raiders’ anemic defense would give him fits.

 

Oakland isn’t healthy by any means, and I mean physically as well as mentally.  Quarterback JaMarcus Russell has a gimpy ankle, and he hasn’t produced all that much when he has been healthy.  Former Raider quarterback Rich Gannon openly stated that he does not think Russell has a work ethic conducive to being a winner in this league.

 

I expect this to be a low scoring game if Cassel is not on hand.  The totals line has dropped, and I am sure it will drop after this blog story comes out.  I am playing the Under in a 13-point teaser while I can get that number at 53 (or 52) points because I believe this will be a 35 to 45-point game.

 

New York Giants (11-2-0) at Dallas (8-5-0)

Time:           8:15PM EST

TV:               NBC

Forecast:     Partly cloudy, moderate wind, temperature falling from the upper to mid 60’s

                    

PiRate:                Giants by 6

Mean:                  Giants by 5

Bias:                    Giants by 3

Vegas:               Dallas by 2.5, 3

Ov/Un:               44, 44.5, 45

100 Sims:           Giants 58 Dallas 42

Avg Sim Score:  Giants 23 Dallas 19

Outlier 1a Sim:  Giants 28 Dallas 12

Outlier 1b Sim:  Dallas 24 Giants 10

 

Strategy:            Giants +13 in 10-point teaser, Giants +16 in 13-point teaser, Under 58 in 13-point teaser, Over 31 in 13-point teaser

Dallas should be favored in this game, and the betting public believes that as well.  The simulator has no biases, and it believes the Giants have a 58% chance of winning this game.  All three of my computer ratings agree with the simulator and favor New York by six, five, and three points.  That data is good enough for me to take the Giants in both 10 and 13-point teasers.

 

Almost all 100 simulations of this game produced scores with total points between 35 and 55.  So, I like playing both sides in 13-point teasers.

 

I think New York will pull off the mild upset and force Dallas into must-win situations their final two weeks.  The victory may hurt New York down the stretch, as this game should be very physical.  Without running back Brandon Jacobs, there’s a chance Eli Manning could see a heavier pass rush and possibly suffer an injury in this game.  With Carolina coming up next on the schedule and Minnesota probably needing a win in week 17, the Giants could trip up as the season concludes.  They need this game more than any of the other teams that have already clinched their division.  If they lose this one to fall to 11-3, they could easily lose their last two as well.

 

Dallas could also lose their final three games and miss out on the playoffs.  Baltimore and Philadelphia are two tough hombres as the season winds down.  This is probably a must-win game for the team and Coach Wade Phillips.  I’m guessing with a loss, Dallas is on the outside looking in, and Coach Phillips is soon to be on the unemployment line.

 

Cleveland (4-9-0) at Philadelphia (7-5-1)

Time:           8:30PM EST Monday

TV:               ESPN

Forecast:     Clear, light wind, temperature holding steady in the upper 40’s

 

PiRate:                Philadelphia by 12  

Mean:                  Philadelphia by 10

Bias:                    Philadelphia by 13

Vegas:                Philadelphia by 14, 14.5, 15

Ov/Un:               38.5, 39

100 Sims:           Philadelphia 90 Cleveland 10

Avg Sim Score:  Philadelphia 29 Cleveland 13

Outlier 1a Sim:  Philadelphia 44 Cleveland 6

Outlier 1b Sim:  Cleveland 28 Philadelphia 24

 

Strategy:     Over 28½ (29) in 10-point teaser, Over 25½ (26) in 13-point teaser 

Cleveland failed to show up last week in Nashville, and now they face a hungry and mad Eagles team ready to claw them to pieces.

 

Since the tie debacle with Cincinnati and a terrible follow-up with Baltimore, Philadelphia has been a terror on the gridiron.  The Eagles destroyed Arizona and then won at the Giants.  They have a clear path to a 10-5-1 season, and I think they will bring their A-game this week to the 21st Century version of the Mistake on the Lake known as Browns Stadium.

 

I don’t like the line in this game, but I do like the totals.  Philadelphia should top 24 points in this one, so I see both the 10 and 13-point teasers as being strong plays.  Remember that almost every Monday night game this year has been an offensive shootout.  I just cannot see the Browns slowing Donovan McNabb and company much if at all.

 

 

Hurray For A Good Week

 

I played it conservatively last week and stuck with what I had studied the most-playing teasers with totals instead of sides.  It produced a 5-2 record for the week and just missed by a whisker of going 7-0 (one game of each losing teaser just missed).  The return on the $700 “wagered” was $950 for a nice profit of $250 and ROI of 35.7%.

 

For the season, the record against the spread is now 94-75-7, which computes to 55.6%.  I’m under 60%, where I was for most of this season, but it least we are headed back up again.

 

I don’t really like most of the games this week insofar as picking point spread winners.  This is going to be a fun week for watching some big games.  I will stay with my minimalist view for another week and try to find the top values rather than go for quantity.

 

Here are my wagers for week 15 (all wagered to win $100 or $100 wagered if at + odds on a parlay or money line):

 

ALL 5 WAGERS = 13-POINT TEASERS

 

For those not familiar with a 13-point teaser, you can move the lines 13 points in your favor, but you must play a four-game parlay and all four games must win to win the wager.  You play at odds of 10-13, meaning you put up $13 for every $10 the book puts up.

 

1.    New Orleans & Chicago OVER 31½

       Green Bay & Jacksonville OVER 32

       Detroit & Indianapolis OVER 31½

       Washington & Cincinnati OVER 23½

 

2.    Tampa Bay & Atlanta OVER 31½

       San Francisco & Miami UNDER 55

       Buffalo & NY Jets OVER 28

       Tennessee & Houston UNDER 58

 

3.    Pittsburgh & Baltimore OVER 21

       Denver & Carolina OVER 34

       San Diego & Kansas City UNDER 59½

       New England & Oakland UNDER 53

 

4.    Seattle & St. Louis OVER 30

       Tennessee & Houston OVER 31½

       Minnesota & Arizona OVER 35

       NY Giants & Dallas UNDER 58

 

5.    Seattle & St. Louis UNDER 56½

       Pittsburgh & Baltimore OVER 21

       NY Giants & Dallas OVER 31

       Philadelphia & Cleveland OVER 25½   

 

AND REMEMBER!!!  Do not use these picks for real.  I have no real money on the line in this mathematical experiment.  I won’t lose a penny if all these wagers lose this week, so you shouldn’t risk a penny on these picks either.  This is strictly for fun.

November 26, 2008

PiRate Ratings Week 13 NFL Previews: November 27-December 1, 2008

PiRate Ratings For NFL Week 13

Can It Be Giants Vs. Jets In Super Bowl XLIII

 

The two hottest teams in the NFL both call East Rutherford, New Jersey, home.  The New York Giants at 10-1 reign supreme over the NFC.  The New York Jets are 8-3, and Brett Favre and company have won five games in a row by an average score of 34-18.  Three of those wins have come against teams with winning records, and two of them came against teams likely to contend with them for the AFC Championship.

 

 

The PiRate Pro Ratings (Rating)

 

The NFL version of the PiRate Ratings is not the same as the collegiate version.  The NFL version is strictly a statistical formula than could be reproduced by anybody who knew the equations I use to devise the formula.  No subjective data is used.

 

The formula combines scoring margin, strength of schedule, and early in the season, last year’s scoring margin and strength of schedule.  As the season progresses, last year’s data decreases to where it has little effect by mid-October. 

 

The Mean Ratings (Mean)

 

Just like the PiRate Ratings, the NFL Mean Ratings are not the same as the collegiate version.  The NFL Mean Ratings consist of a dozen different calculations.  Three calculations consist of different ways to look at point differential and strength of schedule.  Five calculations look at yards gained and allowed rushing and passing and special teams play with the strength of the opponents’ rushing and passing.  Point values are assigned based on each set of data.  The remaining four ratings are my old four pro ratings from the 1970’s and 1980’s.  The 12 ratings are given equal weight, and then I take the average (mean) to get the rating.

 

The Bias Ratings (Biased)

 

The Bias Ratings consist of five of the components of The Mean Ratings.  The five ratings are not given equal weight.  The five ratings are weighted at 37.5%, 25%, 12.5%, 12.5%, and 12.5%.  I have back tested these ratings and found that this weighting gives the rating its best predictive percentage.

 

All three ratings are normalized so that 100 is average.  If I don’t mess up with the math, each of the three ratings should average 100.  The teams’ ratings show how many points above or below average they are in comparison with the rest of the league.  A rating of 107 means that team is a touchdown better than average, while a rating of 93 means that team is a touchdown weaker than average. 

 

I do not attempt to rate teams from different years.  A 107-rated team in 2008 is not the same as a 107-rated team from 1972.  We all know that due to the evolution of strength and quickness, today’s Detroit Lions would blow the 1972 Miami Dolphins off the field.

 

Current NFL Standings & Ratings

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC East

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

New York

10

1

0

329

199

110.19

115.97

110.53

2

Dallas

7

4

0

265

251

100.76

101.99

104.65

2

Washington

7

4

0

201

199

99.39

99.65

101.51

2

Philadelphia

5

5

1

271

229

104.14

102.50

100.63

2

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC North

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Chicago

6

5

0

267

234

102.58

100.77

101.77

2

Minnesota

6

5

0

253

246

102.41

102.33

102.05

2

Green Bay

5

6

0

303

260

105.09

102.86

101.49

2

Detroit

0

11

0

193

346

87.33

90.06

88.18

3

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC South

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Tampa Bay

8

3

0

257

180

105.88

104.23

105.53

2

Carolina

8

3

0

250

200

104.27

101.91

104.74

2

Atlanta

7

4

0

276

226

104.07

101.95

102.91

2

New Orleans

6

5

0

317

278

102.97

102.16

102.73

2

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC West

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Arizona

7

4

0

318

265

103.17

102.77

104.09

3

San Francisco

3

8

0

252

310

93.22

94.58

93.86

3

Seattle

2

9

0

207

277

93.26

94.23

93.20

3

St. Louis

2

9

0

147

344

83.36

88.48

87.67

2

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC East

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

New York

8

3

0

323

234

105.83

105.68

107.01

2

New England

7

4

0

267

222

101.94

102.33

102.56

2

Buffalo

6

5

0

273

249

99.30

99.62

100.29

3

Miami

6

5

0

237

245

99.16

98.19

99.97

2

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC North

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Pittsburgh

8

3

0

236

160

107.36

104.39

105.25

2

Baltimore

7

4

0

258

187

107.39

105.27

104.24

3

Cleveland

4

7

0

207

237

97.72

97.16

96.48

2

Cincinnati

1

9

1

148

276

92.44

92.92

92.78

2

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC South

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Tennessee

10

1

0

257

165

108.61

105.77

106.38

2

Indianapolis

7

4

0

247

244

102.98

102.44

103.39

2

Jacksonville

4

7

0

224

240

98.45

98.57

96.91

3

Houston

4

7

0

252

293

96.90

98.78

97.24

3

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC West

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Denver

6

5

0

258

302

94.90

96.24

98.13

2

San Diego

4

7

0

274

252

102.15

100.47

99.83

2

Oakland

3

8

0

159

245

92.67

94.49

93.14

2

Kansas City

1

10

0

196

327

90.16

91.11

90.76

2

 

Note: due to the Thanksgiving holiday, weather forecasts and odds are those as of Wednesday 8 AM EST

 

NFL Previews-Week 13

 

Tennessee (10-1-0) at Detroit (0-11-0)

Time:           12:30 PM EST, Thursday 11/27

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Dome

 

PiRate:         Tennessee by 18                   

Mean:           Tennessee by 13

Bias:             Tennessee by 18

Vegas:        Tennessee by 11      -630/+530

Ov/Un:        44½

Strategy:     Tennessee -1 in 10-point teaser, Tennessee +2 in 13-point teaser, Tennessee -630 as part of money line parlay     

This game would have been much more interesting if the Titans had won last week, as no 11-0 team has played an 0-11 team in an NFL game.

 

Detroit is banged up quite a bit, while Tennessee has minimal injury concerns.  I would tend to pick the Titans to rebound and blow the Lions off the field by three or more touchdowns, but some gut instinct tells me this game will be closer than expected.  I actually believe the Lions will keep this one within striking distance and actually have a chance at the big upset.  I am too shy to take the Lions at +11, and I don’t even like taking them at +21 and +24 in teasers.  I do think Tennessee has a 90-95% chance of winning, so I will go with the Titans in the teasers, as well as using them as part of a money line parlay.

 

Seattle (2-9-0) at Dallas (7-4-0)

Time:           4:15 PM EST, Thursday November 27

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Chance of Showers, light wind, temperature in the upper 60’s

 

PiRate:         Dallas by 10

Mean:           Dallas by 10

Bias:             Dallas by 13

Vegas:        Dallas by 12       -710/+610 

Ov/Un:        46½

Strategy:     Dallas -2 in 10-point teaser, Dallas +1 in 13-point teaser, Seattle +22 in 10-point teaser, Seattle +25 in 13-point teaser, Dallas -710 as part of a money line parlay

Even with Felix Jones out for the year, Dallas has enough offensive weapons to outscore most of the opponents remaining on the schedule.  However, after this game, the final four opponents are all capable of beating them.  This is a must-win game for Dallas, while Seattle is just playing out the schedule. 

 

The Seahawks have been outscored 119-45 in their four road games on the East Coast.  This is their first road game in the Central Time Zone, but I expect the result to be similar. 

 

Dallas doesn’t blow opponents off the field, and Seattle has been losing by less than a dozen of late, so I like both ends in 10 and 13-point teasers.

 

Arizona (7-4-0) at Philadelphia (5-5-1)

Time:           8:15 PM EST, Thursday, November 27

TV:               NFL Network

Forecast:     Partly cloudy, light wind, temperature falling from the upper to mid 30’s

 

PiRate:         Philadelphia by 3

Mean:           Philadelphia by 2

Bias:             Arizona by 1

Vegas:        Philadelphia by 3     -145/+125   

Ov/Un:        46½  

Strategy:     Arizona +13 in 10-point teaser, Arizona +16 in 13-point teaser, Over 33½ in 13-point teaser

How do you figure Philadelphia?  Are they the team that beats Pittsburgh 15-6?  Are they the team that loses to Dallas 41-37?  Or, are they the team that ties the then 1-8 Bengals and loses to the Ravens 36-7 in their most recent games?

 

Coach Andy Reid could be on his way out and quarterback Donovan McNabb may be joining him.  They better come up with their A-games this week.

 

Arizona could probably lose all their remaining games and still win their division at 7-9.  This isn’t a must-win game for the Cardinals, but don’t expect them to lie down and play dead in the city of brotherly love this week.

 

Kurt Warner should have a 300+ passing yard day this week, and Arizona should top 24 points.  It’s all up to the Eagle offense.  They could lay another egg and lose by two touchdowns; they could play a decent game and make it a close game either way; or, they could play like they know their backs are against the wall and win by two touchdowns.  The Cardinals have a decent chance or winning, a great chance of losing by a touchdown or less, and an outstanding chance of covering at double digit points.

 

Denver (6-5-0) at New York Jets (8-3-0)

Time:           1PM EST

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Showers possible, light wind, temperature in low 40’s

 

PiRate:         Jets by 13

Mean:           Jets by 11

Bias:             Jets by 11

Vegas:        Jets by 7½  -325/+295       

Ov/Un:        47½

Strategy:     Jets +2½ in 10-point teaser, Jets +5½ in 13-point teaser, Jets -325, Under 60½ in 13-point teaser   

Denver should have the services of at least two capable running backs this week, but that isn’t going to solve the Broncos’ woes.  They are fortunate that 8-8 can win their division this year, because they may struggle to finish 8-8.  They could easily finish 1-4 to end up at 7-9 and become the first team with a losing record to make the playoffs in a non-strike-shortened season.

 

The Jets are playing as good right now as they have since Joe Namath led them to victory in Super Bowl III.  Dominating Tennessee in Nashville last week was no small task.  Add wins over New England and Buffalo, and this is a powerful team.  As of this writing, I rate the Jets as the top team in the AFC.

 

The weather could be the only intangible keeping this game close.  I see the Jets winning this one with relative ease, but a wet field could keep the margin down under the line. 

 

The New York defense has been hiding under the radar.  In the last seven games, they have surrendered less than 17 points per game (better than the Ravens and Titans over that time).

 

Miami (6-5-0) at St. Louis (2-9-0)

Time:           1PM EST

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Dome

 

PiRate:         Miami by 14

Mean:           Miami by 8

Bias:             Miami by 10

Vegas:         Miami by 7½      -325/+275  

Ov/Un:        44

Strategy:     Miami +2½ in 10-point teaser, Miami +5½ in 13-point teaser, Miami -325, Under 54 in 10-point teaser, Under 57 in 13-point teaser

Miami definitely must win this game to stay in the playoff hunt, as it might be necessary to post a 10-6 record to earn an AFC Wildcard spot.  At 6-5, there isn’t much room for error, and this is the easiest game remaining on their schedule. 

 

St. Louis may have to go without Marc Bulger.  As I write this on Wednesday, he is listed as very doubtful.  The Rams are headed nowhere, so it would be foolish for Bulger to risk permanent brain damage to play in this game.  Thus, I am of the belief that an almost washed-up Trent Green will be under center for the Rams. 

 

If Steven Jackson can play, the Rams may have a chance to keep this game close.  However, Jackson will be rusty even if he is close to 100% by game time.  Don’t expect a 20-100 rushing day out of him; look for something more like 7-25.  Miami will win, but it may be closer than their fans will like.

 

New York Giants (10-1-0) at Washington (7-4-0)

Time:           1PM EST

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Chance of rain, light wind, temperature around 40

 

PiRate:         Giants by 9

Mean:           Giants by 14

Bias:             Giants by 7

Vegas:        Giants by 3½     -190/+165  

Ov/Un:        42

Strategy:     Washington +13½ in 10-point teaser, Washington +16½ in 13-point teaser, Over 29 in 13-point teaser 

This is going to be one whale of a game.  These two opened the season in DC, and it was a real snoozer.  The Giants won 16-7, and it was assumed at that time by the so-called experts that Washington would have a tough season adjusting to new coach Jim Zorn’s offense.  Since then, the Redskins have averaged almost 20 points per game, but their defense has continued to keep them in every game.  The most they have surrendered in any game is 24 points (only Pittsburgh can say the same).

 

This is going to be a game where the outstanding running games try to plow through rather strong defenses.  Both New York’s Brandon Jacobs and Washington’s Clinton Portis enter this contest with injuries.  It is not sure whether either or both will miss this game.

 

I look for this game to stay close throughout the day, and I am going with the Redskins in the teasers.  Because there is a chance that the passing games may have to be used more than preferred, I am also teasing the Over.

 

New Orleans (6-5-0) at Tampa Bay (8-3-0)

Time:           1:00 PM EST

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Showers likely, moderate wind, temperature in the upper 70’s

 

PiRate:         Tampa Bay by 5

Mean:           Tampa Bay by 4

Bias:             Tampa Bay by 5

Vegas:        Tampa Bay by 3½    -190/+165  

Ov/Un:        47½  

Strategy:     Tampa Bay +6½ in 10-point teaser, Tampa Bay +9½ in 13-point teaser, Tampa Bay -190, Tampa Bay -3½, Over 34½ in 13-point teaser, Under 60½ in 13-point teaser

Let’s take a look at some statistical information concerning the Saints.  At home, they are 4-1 (5-1 if you count the game in London) and average 35 points to 17 for the opposition.  On the road, they are 1-4 and average 22.6 points to 29.4 for the opposition.  Their lone road win came at lowly Kansas City.

 

Tampa Bay has taken care of the other two NFC South teams to come to Raymond James Stadium.  They should make it a perfect three for three this week.  New Orleans will bounce some from their big Monday night win, and the Buccaneers must play back-to-back road games against Atlanta and Carolina after this game. 

 

I am going with the Bucs to win and cover the spread in this game.  I believe their defense will hold New Orleans under 24 points as well.    

 

 

Indianapolis (7-4-0) at Cleveland (4-7-0)

Time:           1:00PM EST

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Snow showers possible, light wind, temperature around 35

 

PiRate:         Indianapolis by 3

Mean:          Indianapolis by 3

Bias:             Indianapolis by 5

Vegas:         Indianapolis by 5     -220/+180

Ov/Un:        45

Strategy:     Indianapolis +8 in 13-point teaser, Under 58 in 13-point teaser

Cleveland will have to go without Brady Quinn the rest of the year.  I am almost convinced that the Browns have quit on Derek Anderson.  I also believe that Coach Romeo Crennel and General Manager Phil Savage will be leaving at the end of this year. 

 

Indianapolis keeps winning by slim margins, but they keep winning.  I see no reason why they cannot run the table and finish 12-4. 

 

The weather could play a major part in many games this week, and this is one of those games where cold and wet conditions could make for slippery footballs and slippery turf.  That could neutralize some of Indy’s advantage, but I’ll take the Colts in the teasers.  I’m looking for the Colts to win 27-13.  The loss of center Jeff Saturday could cause Manning to rush a pass or two and the newfound running game to take a small step backward.

 

San Francisco (3-8-0) at Buffalo (6-5-0)

Time:           1:00 PM EST

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Snow showers likely, moderate wind, temperature in mid 30’s

 

PiRate:         Buffalo by 9

Mean:          Buffalo by 8

Bias:             Buffalo by 9

Vegas:         Buffalo by 7 -275/+255 

Ov/Un:        42½  

Strategy:     Buffalo -7, Buffalo -275, Buffalo +3 in 10-point teaser, Buffalo +6 in 13-point teaser

San Francisco has so much going against them in this game.  To start out, no West Coast team has won on the East Coast this year, and the 49ers’ three wins have come in the Pacific Time Zone.  San Francisco is not acclimated to playing in cold, snowy weather, and they are likely to get a dose of that this week.  The 49ers have nothing to play for, while Buffalo definitely must win this game to keep their playoff hopes alive.  Their final four games are all tough ones against teams competing for a playoff spot.

 

I’m looking for a Buffalo blowout by two touchdowns or more.  I won’t pick any totals in this game, because the weather could be a bigger factor than the personnel.

 

Baltimore (7-4-0) at Cincinnati (1-9-1)

Time:           1:00PM EST

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Light rain possible, light wind, temperature around 40

 

PiRate:         Baltimore by 13

Mean:           Baltimore by 10

Bias:             Baltimore by 9

Vegas:        Baltimore by 7   -300/+250

Ov/Un:        36½

Strategy:     Baltimore +3 in 10-point teaser, Baltimore +6 in 13-point teaser, Baltimore -300 in Money Line parlay, Over 23½ in 13-point teaser

Cincinnati is a mess in both of its professional sports, and the problem is in the front office in both.  Baltimore is a mess in baseball, but their football team is rather good.  The Ravens have a great chance of finishing 11-5 and challenging for the AFC North title.  Pittsburgh has a much tougher final month of games, and the Ravens could be tied for first after this week.

 

The Bengals failed to show up in Pittsburgh a week ago, and they showed no offense the week before against Philadelphia.  I don’t see them finding the solution this week against Ray Lewis and his merry men of mayhem.

 

The two big intangible factors in this game both favor Cincinnati.  The weather should make for a closer than expected game, and the Bengals get an extra three days to prepare for this one.  Thus, I believe the margin of victory will be slimmer than expected.  Even if the field is as big of a mess as the home team, I think there will be at least 25 total points scored.

 

Carolina (8-3-0) at Green Bay (5-6-0)

Time:           1:00PM EST

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Light snow, moderate wind, temperature in the upper 20’s to near 30

 

PiRate:         Green Bay by 3

Mean:           Green Bay by 3

Bias:             Carolina by 1

Vegas:        Green Bay by 3½     -170/+150  

Ov/Un:        42

Strategy:     Under 55 in 13-point teaser, Green Bay -170

This is a tough game to diagnose.  Both teams lost games last week when their defenses suffered major letdowns, and their offenses or special teams contributed to the other side of the scoreboard. 

 

I see one excellent play in this game.  When both teams surrendered a great deal of points in their last games and it was also greater than they normally surrender, look for a regression to the mean in the next game.  Thus, I believe this game will be lower scoring than expected.  The possible inclement weather should aid us in that prediction.

 

This is a must-win game for Green Bay, as a loss will put them two games behind the Bears-Vikings winner.  The NFC North will not supply any wildcard teams this year, so at 5-7, the Packers can have the fork stuck in them.

 

Atlanta (7-4-0) at San Diego (4-7-0)

Time:           4:05 PM EST

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Sunny, very windy (will affect passes and kicks), temperature in the mid to upper 70’s

 

PiRate:         Tossup

Mean:          San Diego by 1

Bias:            Atlanta by 1

Vegas:         San Diego by 5  -205/+175

Ov/Un:        49

Strategy:     Atlanta +15 in 10-point teaser, Atlanta +18 in 13-point teaser, Over 36 in 13-point teaser, Under 62 in 13-point teaser

This game will be more of a rivalry game than your typical NFC South versus AFC West game.  Michael Turner warmed the bench in San Diego while LaDainian Tomlinson got the accolades in Chargerville.  Now, Turner is the big star, while Tomlinson waddles in mediocrity for the Chargers.  Turner has rushed for 1,088 yards and 13 touchdowns, while Tomlinson has rushed for 770 yards and five touchdowns. 

 

Matt Ryan is now the odds-on choice to win the Rookie of the Year title.  You will be hard pressed to find another first year quarterback with ratings like his.

 

This game has become a must-win contest for both teams.  I would have thought that San Diego would have been eliminated with a loss last week, but now it looks like 8-8 will win the pathetic West Division. 

 

I don’t really love any of the selections in this game, but if I had to guess, I would say it will be lower scoring than expected and a true tossup game.

 

Pittsburgh (8-3-0) at New England (7-4-0)

Time:           4:15 PM EST

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Rain likely, light wind, temperature in the upper 30’s

 

PiRate:         Pittsburgh by 3

Mean:          Tossup

Bias:            Pittsburgh by 1

Vegas:         New England by 1    -120/+100   

Ov/Un:        40

Strategy:     New England +9 in 10-point teaser, New England +12 in 13-point teaser, New England -1, New England -120, Under 53 in 13-point teaser

Pittsburgh has big injury issues headed into this game, and the fact that I have to preview this game five days in advance makes it difficult to get a good grasp on making selections.  The choices I have above are made with the assumption that Willie Parker will either miss this game or have very little affect on the outcome due to his sore knee.

 

I like New England to win this game by a couple of points in a defensive struggle.  The rain should help keep the score down as well.

 

 

Kansas City (1-10-0) at Oakland (3-8-0)

Time:           4:15 PM EST

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Sunny, light wind, temperature in the mid to upper 60’s

 

PiRate:         Oakland by 5

Mean:           Oakland by 5

Bias:             Oakland by 4

Vegas:        Oakland by 3     -160/+140

Ov/Un:        41½

Strategy:     Oakland +7 in 10-point teaser, Oakland +10 in 13-point teaser, Oakland -160, Oakland -3, Over 28½ in 13-point teaser

In years past, this would have been the game of the week this week and possibly the game of the year.  Now it could be an exciting game just because these two teams are equally inept.

 

The Raiders defeated Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium earlier this year.  Oakland’s other two wins strangely came against two division leaders.  What’s even stranger is that if they win this game to improve to 4-8, they could possibly move into a second place tie in the AFC West and be just two games out of first place with four games to go.  They just might have an outside chance at getting to 7-9 and backing into the division title. 

 

That above fairy tale isn’t likely to happen, but I believe the silver and black will win again this week.

 

 

Chicago (6-5-0) at Minnesota (6-5-0)

Time:           8:15PM EST

TV:               NBC

Forecast:     Dome

                    

PiRate:         Minnesota by 2

Mean:           Minnesota by 4

Bias:             Minnesota by 2

Vegas:        Minnesota by 3         -160/+150

Ov/Un:        42

Strategy:     Minnesota +7 in 10-point teaser, Minnesota +10 in 13-point teaser, Chicago +13 in 10-point teaser, Chicago +16 in 13-point teaser, Over 29 in 13-point teaser

To the winner of this game goes undisputed possession of first place in the NFC North and a possibility of having a two-game cushion over Green Bay.  This will be an interesting game between two decent teams albeit with exploitable liabilities.

 

I am going with the Over tease because it is a primetime, nationally-televised game.  I also believe it will be a close game, so I think we can play both sides on 10 and 13-point teasers.

 

Since Minnesota lost 48-41 at Chicago, they have definitely been playing better football than the Bears, but I am not about to use that as a definitive fact that Minnesota will win this game.  I still think it is close to a 50-50 tossup.  The game will probably turn on one big play.  Adrian Peterson and Devon Hester are both overdue for such antics.

 

 

Jacksonville (4-7-0) at Houston (4-7-0)

Time:           8:30PM EST Monday

TV:               ESPN

Forecast:     Partly cloudy, light wind, temperature around 65

 

PiRate:         Houston by 1    

Mean:           Houston by 3

Bias:             Houston by 3

Vegas:        Houston by 3     -175/+155

Ov/Un:        48½

Strategy:     Houston +7 in 10-point teaser, Houston +10 in 13-point teaser, Houston -175, Over 35½ in 13-point teaser

Neither team has enjoyed the success many picked them to have this season.  Houston’s malaise has been more excusable because the team was displaced earlier in the season by a hurricane.

 

Jacksonville won the first meeting in overtime two months ago.  Since then, the Jags have gone 2-5, while Houston has gone 5-3. 

 

I’ll take the hotter team playing at home with a tiny axe to grind after losing a game they should have won in the first meeting.  I’ll tease the Over just because it is a Monday night game.

 

Yuck!!!

 

It had to happen.  My picking against the spread was just too highly accurate to continue week after week. Last week’s picks finished just 2-8-1, my worst week of the year.  What made it so annoying was that most of my picks were correct, but I played nothing but teasers.  You had those handful of games that were completely out of the norm that the NFL sees happening with regularity this time of the year.  Philadelphia completely laid an egg after the tie debacle of the previous week.  Denver showed why they are not in the same league with the other division leaders by getting blown out at home to the Raiders (they also lost to the 1-10 Chiefs).  Green Bay blew up on Monday night in just three plays.  Cleveland’s offense was totally lost once Brady Quinn proved that his injured finger was getting in his way. And so on and so on.  The bank account took a major hit; you can subtract $800 from the pushka, leaving me with $1,120.  That means the for the season profit stands at just $120 after all those winning weeks.  Can I get a bailout from the NFL Reserve?

 

For the season, my picks against the spread are now 85-56-7 (60.3%).  

 

I am going with a large amount of games this week, because I have noticed that when I make cuts in the games I like, I usually cut games I would have won if I had played them.

 

Here are my wagers for week 13 (all wagered to win $100 or $100 wagered if at + odds on a parlay or money line):

 

1. Tampa Bay -3½ vs. New Orleans

2. Buffalo -7 vs. San Francisco

3. New England -1 vs. Pittsburgh

4. Oakland -3 vs. Kansas City

5. New York Jets -325 vs. Denver

6. Miami -325 vs. St. Louis

7. Tampa Bay -190 vs. New Orleans

8. Buffalo -275 vs. San Francisco

9. Green Bay -170 vs. Carolina

10. New England -120 vs. Pittsburgh

11. Oakland -160 vs. Kansas City

 

12. Money Line Parlay (+130)

Tennessee over Detroit

Dallas over Seattle

NY Jets over Denver

Baltimore over Cincinnati

 

13. Money Line Parlay (+200)

Tennessee over Detroit

Dallas over Seattle

NY Jets over Denver

Baltimore over Cincinnati

Miami over St. Louis

 

14. 10-point teaser (TURKEY SPECIAL)

Tennessee -1 vs. Detroit

Dallas -2 vs. Seattle

Arizona +13 vs. Philadelphia

 

15. 10-point teaser

NY Jets +2½ vs. Denver

Miami +2½ vs. St. Louis

Tampa Bay +6½ vs. New Orleans

 

16. 10-point teaser

Buffalo +3 vs. San Francisco

Baltimore +3 vs. Cincinnati

New England +9 vs. Pittsburgh

 

17. 13-point teaser

Tennessee +2 vs. Detroit

Dallas +1 vs. Seattle

Arizona +16 vs. Philadelphia

NY Jets +5½ vs. Denver

 

18. 13-point teaser

Miami +5½ vs. St. Louis

Tampa Bay +9½ vs. New Orleans

Indianapolis +8 vs. Cleveland

Buffalo +6 vs. San Francisco

 

19. 13-point teaser

Baltimore +6 vs. Cincinnati

New England +12 vs. Pittsburgh

Oakland +10 vs. Kansas City

Miami & St. Louis Under 57

 

20. 13-point teaser

Baltimore & Cincinnati Over 23½

Washington & NY Giants Over 29

Tampa Bay & New Orleans Over 34½

Indianapolis & Cleveland Under 58

 

21. 13-point teaser

Atlanta & San Diego Over 36

Minnesota & Chicago Over 29

Houston & Jacksonville Over 35½

Arizona & Philadelphia Over 33½        

 

AND REMEMBER!!!  Do not use these picks for real.  I have no real money on the line in this mathematical experiment.  I won’t lose a penny if all these wagers lose this week, so you shouldn’t risk a penny on these picks either.  This is strictly for fun.

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