The Pi-Rate Ratings

September 6, 2015

NFL Report For Week 1–September 10-14, 2015

The 2015 NFL Football season begins with major quarterback news.  Tom Brady, expected to be out four games, is now in.  Tim Tebow, expected to be in as an Eagle reserve, is now out.  Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, the 2013 and 2014 Heisman Trophy winners, face off in week one in football’s equivalent of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.  Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is 100% healthy, but he hasn’t a healthy top-flight receiver.  Former Heisman winners RGIII and Johnny Football begins the year as backups, while veterans Matt Flynn, Christian Ponder, and Matt Cassel are men without a country, er team.  As for Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Harvard scholar inherits the unenviable task of trying not to throw interceptions (3.5% rate for career) for the Jets, where each bad play will be scrutinized like the name on the back of the jersey reads, “Trump” or “Clinton.”

 

By next Sunday, all will be well, and on the field results will take over for off the field news.  The PiRates have finalized the preseason ratings and have calculated their first spreads of the season.

Current NFL PiRate Ratings
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Dallas 106.9 105.6 107.6 106.7 0-0-0 0 0
Philadelphia 104.7 103.9 105.2 104.6 0-0-0 0 0
N.Y. Giants 99.9 99.7 100.4 100.0 0-0-0 0 0
Washington 93.2 92.1 92.5 92.6 0-0-0 0 0
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Green Bay 108.5 107.5 109.1 108.4 0-0-0 0 0
Detroit 102.9 101.8 103.4 102.7 0-0-0 0 0
Minnesota 100.5 97.4 101.9 99.9 0-0-0 0 0
Chicago 95.8 95.1 95.8 95.6 0-0-0 0 0
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Carolina 100.8 100.0 101.0 100.6 0-0-0 0 0
New Orleans 100.1 95.4 101.1 98.9 0-0-0 0 0
Atlanta 95.7 96.1 95.8 95.9 0-0-0 0 0
Tampa Bay 92.1 93.4 92.0 92.5 0-0-0 0 0
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Seattle 107.8 106.9 108.0 107.6 0-0-0 0 0
Arizona 101.3 100.5 101.3 101.0 0-0-0 0 0
San Francisco 99.3 96.9 99.1 98.4 0-0-0 0 0
St. Louis 95.9 98.6 95.0 96.5 0-0-0 0 0
A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
New England 107.9 107.9 107.9 107.9 0-0-0 0 0
Buffalo 99.8 100.6 99.6 100.0 0-0-0 0 0
Miami 98.7 100.3 98.0 99.0 0-0-0 0 0
N. Y. Jets 97.7 98.2 97.5 97.8 0-0-0 0 0
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Baltimore 106.7 105.1 108.2 106.7 0-0-0 0 0
Cincinnati 102.9 103.3 102.9 103.0 0-0-0 0 0
Pittsburgh 102.8 102.8 102.5 102.7 0-0-0 0 0
Cleveland 95.4 92.7 95.6 94.6 0-0-0 0 0
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Indianapolis 104.7 105.8 104.9 105.1 0-0-0 0 0
Houston 97.6 99.1 97.5 98.1 0-0-0 0 0
Tennessee 93.9 93.7 94.5 94.0 0-0-0 0 0
Jacksonville 89.8 95.2 88.5 91.2 0-0-0 0 0
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Denver 105.6 104.8 105.0 105.1 0-0-0 0 0
San Diego 100.8 101.7 100.1 100.9 0-0-0 0 0
Kansas City 100.2 102.2 100.2 100.9 0-0-0 0 0
Oakland 90.1 95.7 87.9 91.2 0-0-0 0 0

Week One Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
New England Pittsburgh 8.1 8.1 8.4
Arizona New Orleans 4.2 8.1 3.2
Buffalo Indianapolis -1.9 -2.2 -2.3
Chicago Green Bay -9.7 -9.4 -10.3
Dallas N. Y. Giants 9.5 8.4 9.7
Denver Baltimore 1.9 2.7 -0.2
Houston Kansas City -0.6 -1.1 -0.7
Jacksonville Carolina -9.0 -2.8 -10.5
N. Y. Jets Cleveland 4.8 8.0 4.4
Oakland Cincinnati -9.8 -4.6 -12.0
San Diego Detroit 0.9 2.9 -0.3
St. Louis Seattle -8.9 -5.3 -10.0
Tampa Bay Tennessee 0.7 2.2 0.0
Washington Miami -3.5 -6.2 -3.5
Atlanta Philadelphia -6.5 -5.3 -6.9
San Francisco Minnesota 1.8 2.5 0.2

 Coming later this week:  Our solution to shortening the preseason while gaining revenue and increasing the fan base.

 

August 26, 2015

2015 AFC East Division Preview

Today, we begin our 2015 previews of each NFL division with a look at the AFC East Division. This year, we are going to concentrate mostly on stats and analytics.

You will see the following information in each preview.

  1. A current starting lineup based on multiple sources.  This will include players that are questionable for Week 1, and players suspended in the first four weeks.
  2. Team Information–Head Coach, Offensive and Defensive Coordinators, Last Year’s W-L Record and Average Offensive and Defensive Points Per Game
  3. 2015 Preseason PiRate, Mean, and Bias Ratings with an Average of the Three.
  4. Our PiRate Grades on Running Game, Passing Game, Defense Against the Run, Defense Against the Pass, Special Teams, and Coaching + Intangibles.  Note that these grades use advanced metrics and do not rely on regular statistics.  More about that in the footnote at the end of this entry.
  5. The PiRate Ratings won-loss predictions for 2015 and whether the team is picked to make the playoffs.  These predictions are based on a unique set of data and do not strictly correlate to our preseason ratings.  We actually have pre-adjustments in our ratings based on factors such as depth, age, schedule, travel, etc.

AFC EAST

New England has won this division six consecutive seasons, and the last time they didn’t win, they lost in a tiebreaker to the Miami Dolphins.  With Tom Brady sidelined for four games, a lot of pundits are picking the Patriots to begin the season trailing one or more contenders.  We remind them that Matt Cassel took over a Patriot team in 2008 and went 10-5 as a starter.  Jimmy Garoppolo should be able to at least split those four games, which should allow the Pats to seven-peat in the AFC East.

Rex Ryan takes over at Buffalo, and the Bills have enough talent on hand to make a playoff run, something Bills’ fans have not experienced since the fateful “Music City Miracle” in 1999.  With the addition of Matt Cassel, LeSean McCoy and to a lesser extent, Percy Harvin and Richie Incognito, Ryan’s Bills could take on the persona of the Oakland Raiders of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Miami added Ndamukong Suh and Greg Jennings to a roster that was 7-5 before fading fast last year.  The Dolphins will make the Playoffs this year, or Joe Philbin will be history.

The New York Jets start over with a new coach, a new quarterback they did not expect to have, two new cornerbacks, and a commitment to open up the offense.  However, in order for the Jets to get off the ground in 2015, unexpected new starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick must find a way to avoid the interception bug for at least 4 or 5 games, or else rookie Bryce Petty will be in the Big Apple microscope.

BUFFALO BILLS

Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Sammy Watkins
WR Percy Harvin
WR Robert Woods
TE Charles Clay
LT Gordy Glenn
LG Richie Ingonito
C Eric Wood
RG John Miller
RT Seantrel Henderson
QB Matt Cassel
HB LeSean McCoy
FB Jerome Felton
Defense
DE Mario Williams
DT Marcell Dareus
DT Kyle Williams
DE Jerry Hughes
LB Nigel Bradham
LB Preston Brown
LB Manny Lawson
CB Leodis McKelvin
S Aaron Williams
S Corey Graham
CB Stephon Gilmore
N5 Nickell Robey
Special
Kicker Dan Carpenter
Punter Colton Schmidt
KR Percy Harvin
PR Marcus Thigpen
Buffalo Bills
Head Coach Rex Ryan
Off. Coordinator Greg Roman
Def. Coordinator Dennis Thurman
2014 W-L-T 9-7-0
Pts 21.4
Opp 18.1
Ratings
PiRate 99.8
Mean 100.6
Bias 99.6
Average 100.0
Grades
Running B-
Passing C-
Vs. Run B+
Vs. Pass B-
Special Teams C
Coaching + Intangibles C+
Predicted W-L 10-6-0
Division Rank 2
Conference Rank 9
Overall Rank 17
Postseason Yes

MIAMI DOLPHINS

Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Greg Jennings
WR Kenny Stills
WR Jarvis Landry
TE Jordan Cameron
LT Albert Brandon
LG Dallas Thomas
C Mike Pouncey
RG Billy Turner
RT Ja’ Wuan James
QB Ryan Tannehill
HB Lamar Miller
FB (None)
Defense
DE Cameron Wake
DT Ndamukong Suh
DT Earl Mitchell
DE Olivier Vernon
LB Chris McCain
LB Koa Misi
LB Jelani Jenkins
CB Brent Grimes
S Reshad Jones
S Michael Thomas
CB Jamar Taylor
N5 Brice McCain
Special
Kicker Caleb Sturgis
Punter Brandon Fields
KR Jarvis Landry
PR Jarvis Landry
Miami Dolphins
Head Coach Joe Philbin
Off. Coordinator Bill Lazor
Def. Coordinator Kevin Coyle
2014 W-L-T 8-8-0
Pts 24.3
Opp 23.3
Ratings
PiRate 98.7
Mean 100.3
Bias 98.0
Average 99.0
Grades
Running C-
Passing C+
Vs. Run C
Vs. Pass B
Special Teams C-
Coaching + Intangibles C
Predicted W-L 9-7-0
Division Rank 3
Conference Rank 10
Overall Rank 19
Postseason No

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Reggie Wayne
WR Julian Edelman
WR Danny Amendola
TE Rob Gronkowski
LT Nate Solder
LG Josh Klein
C Bryan Stork
RG Ryan Wendell
RT Sebastian Vollmer
QB Tom Brady
HB LeGarrette Blount
FB James Develin
Defense
DE Rob Ninkovich
DT Alan Branch
DT Sealver Siliga
DE Chandler Jones
LB Jamie Collins
LB Jerod Mayo
LB Dont’a Hightower
CB Malcolm Butler
S Patrick Chung
S Devon McCourty
CB Logan Ryan
N5 Robert McClain
Special
Kicker Stephen Gostkowski
Punter Ryan Allen
KR Danny Amendola
PR Julian Edelman
New England Patriots
Head Coach Bill Belichick
Off. Coordinator Josh McDaniels
Def. Coordinator Matt Patricia
2014 W-L-T 12-4-0
Pts 29.3
Opp 19.6
Ratings
PiRate 107.9
Mean 107.9
Bias 107.9
Average 107.9
Grades
Running C-
Passing A+
Vs. Run C-
Vs. Pass C
Special Teams A
Coaching + Intangibles A+
Predicted W-L 12-4-0
Division Rank 1
Conference Rank 1
Overall Rank 2
Postseason No

NEW YORK JETS

Starting Lineups
Offense
WR Brandon Marshall
WR Eric Decker
WR Jeremy Kerley
TE Jeff Cumberland
LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson
LG James Carpenter
C Nick Mangold
RG Willie Colon
RT Breno Giacomini
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
HB Chris Ivory
FB Tommy Bohanon
Defense
DE Muhammad Wilkerson
DT Damon Harrison
DE Leonard Williams
LB Quinton Coples
LB Demario Davis
LB David Harris
LB Calvin Pace
CB Darrelle Revis
S Calvin Pryor
S Marcus Gilchrist
CB Antonio Cromartie
N5 Buster Skrine
Special
Kicker Nick Folk
Punter Ryan Quigley
KR Chris Owusu
PR Jeremy Kerley
New York Jets
Head Coach Todd Bowles
Off. Coordinator Chan Gailey
Def. Coordinator Kacy Rodgers
2014 W-L-T 4-12-0
Pts 17.7
Opp 25.1
Ratings
PiRate 97.7
Mean 98.2
Bias 97.5
Average 97.8
Grades
Running C-
Passing D
Vs. Run A-
Vs. Pass B+
Special Teams C
Coaching + Intangibles D
Predicted W-L 7-9-0
Division Rank 4
Conference Rank 12
Overall Rank 23
Postseason No

Grade Constituents & Data

Running Game: Offensive Line & Running Backs

Mere average yards per carry or total yards gained matters little here.  We grade based on how effective the running game is.  So, if a player gained 1,200 yards and averaged 4.0 yards per carry last year, there is no guarantee that he is better than a player that gains 800 yards and averaged 3.5 yards per attempt.  Gaining three yards on third and two is a lot more important than gaining four yards on third and eight.  A player that gets a lot of attempts inside the two yard line will see his average yards per carry drop but will be more effective due to getting the job done.

Passing Game: Quarterback, Receivers, Backs, Offensive Line

We use a combination of average yards per attempt, air yards per attempt, yards after catch, sacks per attempt, and avoidance of turnovers.  A team with a better quarterback may have a lower grade than a team with less talented quarterback, if he has a better pass blocking offensive line and/or better receivers.

Defense: All 11 defensive players factor into both run and pass defense.  The defensive ends and cornerbacks count more against the pass than any other position, while the front seven counts more against the run than the secondary.

Special Teams: Punt and Kick Coverage count for a little more than punt and kick return, but with a little extra given weight to returners that have a proven history of becoming game-changers.  Actual punting and kicking have gotten to the point where there is not much difference between the best and worst.  If the top punter averages 46 yards per punt, and a replacement punter averages just 40 yards per punt, that six yards is not that much of a factor.  Coverage is much more important.  Not allowing the opponent to get a long return counts more than the six yards difference in the punters.

Coaching + Intangibles: The head coach is not the only coach that matters, but he counts more than the strength and conditioning coach.  We look at the entire coaching staff, with the coordinators receiving more consideration than all but the head coach.  Intangibles include a host of factors, including things like having a player break a teammate’s jaw, penalties from deflating balls, having a team that missed out of the playoffs by a tiebreaker last year, and many other little things.

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.

October 24, 2008

PiRate Ratings Week 8 NFL Previews: October 26-27, 2008

PiRate Ratings For NFL Week Eight

 

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 and Ratings

 

NFC East

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

New York

5

1

0

170

101

106.25

103.64

106.38

2

Washington

5

2

0

140

128

103.71

102.63

102.67

2

Dallas

4

3

0

189

175

102.40

101.04

101.49

2

Philadelphia

3

3

0

167

123

109.63

103.82

105.29

2

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC North

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Chicago

4

3

0

196

150

108.85

121.83

107.54

2

Green Bay

4

3

0

194

159

103.74

102.42

103.83

2

Minnesota

3

4

0

154

167

100.81

99.70

99.10

2

Detroit

0

6

0

97

187

85.66

89.24

87.98

3

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC South

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Tampa Bay

5

2

0

161

107

109.14

105.23

106.68

2

Carolina

5

2

0

147

104

107.82

104.20

105.01

2

Atlanta

4

2

0

139

127

102.06

99.97

101.21

2

New Orleans

3

4

0

179

163

102.32

100.35

100.14

2

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC West

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Arizona

4

2

0

177

144

105.41

102.42

102.97

3

St. Louis

2

4

0

96

178

88.55

93.55

93.62

2

San Francisco

2

5

0

158

196

94.26

93.76

94.81

3

Seattle

1

5

0

110

171

90.36

93.22

92.72

3

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC East

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Buffalo

5

1

0

149

118

101.53

101.40

103.79

3

New England

4

2

0

130

116

98.35

101.18

101.91

2

New York

3

3

0

154

146

99.23

98.89

98.62

2

Miami

2

4

0

120

130

98.85

96.86

98.14

2

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC North

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Pittsburgh

5

1

0

141

89

108.55

105.95

107.90

2

Baltimore

3

3

0

105

100

102.40

100.85

100.25

3

Cleveland

2

4

0

92

106

99.63

98.88

98.10

2

Cincinnati

0

7

0

98

182

91.92

91.98

90.98

2

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC South

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Tennessee

6

0

0

149

66

109.91

107.60

107.30

2

Indianapolis

3

3

0

128

131

101.39

100.27

101.13

2

Jacksonville

3

3

0

124

128

100.99

100.83

102.37

3

Houston

2

4

0

140

179

94.24

96.66

96.58

3

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC West

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Denver

4

3

0

173

195

95.30

96.47

97.96

2

San Diego

3

4

0

192

162

102.88

101.48

102.87

2

Oakland

2

4

0

97

148

89.29

93.41

93.14

2

Kansas City

1

5

0

75

165

85.39

90.24

89.93

2

 

NFL Previews-Week Eight

 

San Diego (3-4) vs. New Orleans (3-4) (at London)

Time:           1PM EDT

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Light rain expected, light winds, temperature falling from the upper 50’s to the low 50’s

 

PiRate:         San Diego by 1 

Mean:           San Diego by 1

Bias:             San Diego by 3

Vegas:        San Diego by 3         -155/+145

Ov/Un:        46

Strategy:     Over 36 in 10-point teaser, Over 33 in 13-point teaser

Tally Ho!  These two teams will play in Wembley Stadium in London Sunday afternoon/evening London time.  I don’t like it when the usual tendencies for games have been altered.  Both teams have gotten out of their routines, and there isn’t enough prior history (just one year to be exact) to look back and discover patterns.  My advice is to leave this game alone, but the only thing close to safe is to look for a high scoring game with a lot of passing. 

 

LaDainian Tomlinson should be close to 100% for the Chargers, but I expect him to get fewer carries than normal in order to protect the injured toe. 

 

Drew Brees should have a 300-yard passing game, and for that reason I think these teams will combine to score more than 40 points.

 

Kansas City (1-5) at New York Jets (3-3)

Time:           1PM EDT

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Mostly sunny, moderate winds, temperature in upper 50’s

 

PiRate:         Jets by 16

Mean:           Jets by 11

Bias:             Jets by 11

Vegas:        Jets by 13          -610/+485

Ov/Un:        39

Strategy:     Under 52 in 13-point teaser

The Chiefs’ offense has gone into hibernation.  Until late in the fourth quarter last week, Kansas City had gone eight quarters without scoring a point.  Brodie Croyle and backup Damon Huard are now both done for the season.  Third stringer Tyler Thigpen is completing just 42% of his passes for 4.4 yards per attempt.  Now, with Larry Johnson inactive again for this game, what can the Chiefs do this week?  It’s not like their defense will bail them out.  They are the 31st-rated stop troops in the NFL with a run defense that is on pace to give up more than 3,300 yards rushing.

 

The Jets had engine failure last week in Oakland, and I don’t see that problem occurring this week.  Brett Favre may not have to raise his arm too many times if Thomas Jones is his usual self.  He rushed for 159 yards last week and could easily equal or top that this week.

 

Because Coach Eric Mangini may decide to mimic Vince Lombardi and plan for his offense to grind out 80-yard drives that take 15 plays and half a quarter to score, the Jets may actually have difficulty covering the line.  I wouldn’t fool with a 13-point spread.  Instead, I am looking at a tease of the totals.  I cannot see Kansas City scoring 17 points in this game, and I cannot see the Jets topping 35.  The final score could be as low as 24-7 and as high as 35-14.  So, I like “Under 52” as part of a 13-point teaser.

 

Atlanta (4-2) at Philadelphia (3-3)

Time:           1PM EDT

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Sunny, moderate winds, temperature near 60

 

PiRate:         Philadelphia by 10  

Mean:           Philadelphia by 6

Bias:             Philadelphia by 6

Vegas:        Philadelphia by 9½         -380/+335

Ov/Un:        45

Strategy:     Philadelphia +½ in 10-point teaser, Philadelphia +3½ in 13-point teaser, Over 35 in 10-point teaser, Over 32 in 13-point teaser, Under 58 in 13-point teaser

This should be quite an entertaining game, and the Falcons believe they can pull off the upset and move on the top half of the playoff bubble.  The Eagles have all their offensive weapons healthy, and Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, and company should find success moving the ball in this game.

 

There is one big factor in this game that may not reveal itself until game time.  Falcon rookie sensation Sam Baker may not be able to play, and he is a key reason why quarterback Matt Ryan has been able to pass like he is a seasoned veteran.  In the one game where Baker was unable to go, the Falcons’ offense scored just nine points.

 

Without Baker, Atlanta cannot win this game.  With a healthy Baker, they can keep it close and have a shot at the upset.

 

Either way, I like the Eagles to win the game, so I’ll take Philly and points in the teasers.  Teasing the Totals could be iffy due to the possibility of the Falcons not being able to score without Baker in the lineup.  Without him, they could struggle to reach double digits.  If they score just 10 points, the Eagles would have to score 23 to satisfy a 13-point teaser and 26 to satisfy a 10-point teaser.  Only tease the Over if you already know Baker will start and be able to play at near 100% effectiveness.

 

I could see a 13-point tease of the Under working for us.  Under 58 would be very playable even if Baker starts.  Atlanta’s defense should hold the Eagles to 28 points or less, and their offense won’t score 30 points.

 

Buffalo (5-1) at Miami (2-4)

Time:           1PM EDT

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Rain likely, light winds, temperature near 80

 

PiRate:         Buffalo by 1

Mean:           Buffalo by 3

Bias:             Buffalo by 4

Vegas:        Buffalo by 1 -120/+100

Ov/Un:        42½

Strategy:     Miami +11 in 10-point teaser, Miami +14 in 13-point teaser, Buffalo +9 in 10-point teaser, Buffalo +12 in 13-point teaser

This is an intriguing game.  Buffalo’s 5-1 record is questionable when you consider that four of those wins came over teams buried deep in the standings.  The one lone quality win came over a mediocre Jacksonville team, and the one loss came on the road at Arizona.

 

Miami has that extraordinary win at New England when they sprung the single wing offense on an unsuspecting defense.  In the next game, a trick play pulled out the win over San Diego.  Baltimore stuffed the offense last week.  Buffalo’s defense is not in the Ravens’ class, but it is strong enough to take those pet plays away.

 

The Bills’ running game has been disappointing this year, while quarterback Trent Edwards has been a pleasant surprise.  Miami’s defense isn’t strong against the pass.  That worries me this week.  I don’t really like any of the plays in this game, as I see a huge deviation in possible outcomes.  I only list the teasers above, but I don’t heartily endorse any of them.  Miami could win by a touchdown, and the Bills could win by two touchdowns.  The score could be 28-24 or 14-10. 

 

St. Louis (2-4) at New England (4-2)

Time:           1PM EDT

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Partly cloudy, considerable wind (enough to affect game), temperature in the mid 50’s

 

PiRate:         New England by 12

Mean:           New England by 10

Bias:             New England by 10

Vegas:         New England by 7    -315/+285

Ov/Un:        43

Strategy:     New England -7, New England -315, New England +3 in 10-point teaser, New England +6 in 13-point teaser, Under 56 in 13-point teaser

Break up the Rams!  Any team that can blow out the Cowboys by 20 points must be a force to be reckoned with.  Is Jim Haslett a super genius who can turn the weakest team in 20 years into the strongest team of 2008?  In back-to-back weeks, the Rams won at Washington and destroyed the team expected to waltz to the Super Bowl.

 

New England is the perfect embodiment of a Jekyll and Hyde team.  They lose big to the Dolphins and blow out the Broncos.  They hold the Jets’ offense to 10 points and give up 30 to the struggling Chargers.

 

I believe the weather will play an important role in this game.  The Rams are accustomed to playing indoors, and this game is going to be played with a stiff wind and cool temperatures.  This will be no big deal for the home team.

 

New England’s offense woke up last week against Denver, and I don’t see the Monday night effect hurting them this week.  They should be able to score 24 to 30 points against St. Louis even with a renewed defensive strength since the change of coaches.

 

I see the Pats winning by double digits and holding Marc Bulger and company to 17 points or less.  A score of 28-14 is quite possible, so I like a tease of the Under as well as the Patriots straight up and giving a touchdown.   New England would have to score more than 42 points to ruin a 13-point tease if the Rams score just two touchdowns.  Even a score of 35-21 wouldn’t beat us.  I would be shocked if the Pats don’t run the ball 35 or more times in this game, so total plays should be reduced.

 

Arizona (4-2) at Carolina (5-2)

Time:           1PM EDT

TV:               Fox

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

 

PiRate:         Carolina by 4

Mean:          Carolina by 4

Bias:             Carolina by 4

Vegas:        Carolina by 4     -200/+170

Ov/Un:        43½

Strategy:     Carolina -4, Carolina -200, Carolina +6 in 10-point teaser, Carolina +9 in 13-point teaser, Over 33½ in 10-point teaser, Over 30½ in 13-point teaser, Under 58½ in 13-point teaser

This game could be an NFC playoff preview.  Arizona is in complete control in the West, while Carolina is on pace to qualify as a wildcard or possible champion of the South Division.

 

The Cardinals have lost both times they have ventured into the Eastern Time Zone.  Their defense faltered both times.  This will be the toughest opponent of the three eastern teams they will have played.

 

Carolina may have the best home field advantage so far this season.  Their average score in Bank of America Stadium is 27-8, while their average road game score is 13-24.

 

Arizona had a week off, so that makes this one a bit tougher to call.  I still think the Panthers have a decided advantage in this contest.  Their pass defense should hold Kurt Warner about 75 yards below his average, and the Cardinals’ running game is not strong enough to take up the slack.  Jake Delhomme should top 200 passing yards and lead his offense to 24 or more points.  It adds up to a touchdown or more victory, so I like Carolina straight up and giving four points.

 

Oakland (2-4) at Baltimore (3-3)

Time:           1PM EDT

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Sunny, light wind, temperature near 60

 

PiRate:         Baltimore by 16

Mean:           Baltimore by 10

Bias:             Baltimore by 10

Vegas:        Baltimore by 7          -325/+295

Ov/Un:        36

Strategy:     Baltimore -325, Baltimore +3 in 10-point teaser, Baltimore +6 in 13-point teaser, Under 49 in 13-point teaser

Is their any possibility that JaMarcus Russell can solve the Ravens’ pass defense and avoid getting clobbered by their pass rush?  Will Darren McFadden be able to play this week?  Even if he can go, I doubt he will carry the ball more than eight times.  Ray Lewis and his band of mad men will make mincemeat out of Oakland’s offense.

 

The big question mark for Baltimore is who will line up at the wideout spots this week.  Yamon Figurs, Derrick Mason, and Demetrius Williams may all miss this game.  Running back Willis McGahee should play, but he won’t be at full strength. 

 

I expect a low scoring game, and Baltimore knows how to win when they score just 10-14 points.  I could see a score as low as 13-10 and as high as 21-17.  I don’t like the spread, but I think Baltimore has better than an 80% chance of winning.  Therefore, I like the money line option as well as getting the Ravens and points in the teasers.  Obviously, teasing the Under at 49 looks inviting as well.  I just cannot see a final score of 27-23 with both teams being hit with injuries on the offensive side.

 

Washington (5-2) at Detroit (0-6)

Time:           1:00PM EDT

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Dome

 

PiRate:         Washington by 15

Mean:           Washington by 10

Bias:             Washington by 12

Vegas:        Washington by 7½         -315/+285

Ov/Un:        42

Strategy:     Detroit +7½, Detroit +17½ in 10-point teaser, Detroit +20½ in 13-point teaser, Over 29 in 13-point teaser

This is my pick as trap game of the week.  Detroit is bound to luck into at least one win this season, and this could be that week.  The Redskins have been quite fortunate to win close games every week.  They seem to play to the quality of the opposition.  Their offense has gone south the last two weeks against the Rams and Browns, two teams not noted for excellence in defense.

 

Detroit has nothing to lose except maybe the rights to Tim Tebow if they win one too many games this year.  With the loss of Roy Williams and Jon Kitna, the Lions changed their strategy last week against Houston.  Calvin Johnson was used more like Bob Hayes was used by the Cowboys in the late 1960’s.  Johnson ran deep routes, while Mike Furrey became the possession receiver.  It worked to some extent, and it opened some holes for the running game.  Dan Orlovsky’s passing line looked like one from the 1960’s AFL.

 

Washington’s offense lives or dies with the running of Clinton Portis.  Portis could rush the ball 25 times and pick up 125 yards in this game, and the Redskins will still have to score with their passing game to win this one.

 

The numbers add up to a huge Washington win, but I believe the numbers will give away some to intangibles this week.  Call it a gut instinct, but I think Detroit will keep this one close and have a chance to win it in the final period.

 

Tampa Bay (5-2) at Dallas (4-3)

Time:           1:00PM EDT

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Sunny, light wind, temperature near 80

 

PiRate:         Tampa Bay by 5

Mean:           Tampa Bay by 2

Bias:             Tampa Bay by 3

Vegas:        Dallas by 2½     -140/+120

Ov/Un:        40½

Strategy:     Tampa Bay +12½ in 10-point teaser, Tampa Bay +15½ in 13-point teaser, Over 27½ in 13-point teaser

The Dallas defense has fallen on rough times, and head coach Wade Phillips will be calling the defensive plays this week.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he tries to lower the score of this game by complimenting his defensive play-calling with a time-consuming, conservative offensive game plan.

 

Tampa Bay is primed to take over the label of Super Bowl favorite this week.  A Buccaneer win would definitely place them at the top of the NFC pecking order, especially if the Giants lose at Pittsburgh.

 

Even if the Bucs cannot pull off the mild road upset, I see them keeping this game close.  Dallas was only able to beat Cincinnati by nine points at Texas Stadium, so there’s no reason to believe they can beat Tampa Bay by double digits without Tony Romo.

 

Tampa Bay is definitely one of the top three teams in the NFC and top six in the NFL.  I love the chance to get them and double digit points in any game at any location.  So, I’ll take Jon Gruden’s team and a boatload of points.  Also, I think both teams will at least reach 14 points, so I like teasing the Over as well.

 

Cleveland (2-4) at Jacksonville (3-3)

Time:           4:05 PM EDT

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Partly cloudy, light winds, temperature in the low 70’s

 

PiRate:         Jacksonville by 4

Mean:           Jacksonville by 5

Bias:             Jacksonville by 7

Vegas:        Jacksonville by 7      -315/+285

Ov/Un:        42

Strategy:     Cleveland +17 in 10-point teaser, Cleveland +20 in 13-point teaser, Under 55 in 13-point teaser

Welcome to Staphgate.  The medical news coming out of Cleveland this week has overshadowed the team’s on-the-field performance.  It could foretell a Browns’ collapse, but it could also cause the team to rally and play a fantastic 60 minutes of football.

 

Jacksonville may be the most boring team in the league unless you are an old Ohio State football fan who likes three yards and a cloud of dust football.  Not having receivers Matt Jones and Mike Walker means the Jags will run the ball even more than the norm.  Look for backs Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor to combine for 30 attempts this week.

 

Cleveland has actually been playing decent football the last couple of weeks, and they could pull off another surprise or two in the coming weeks.  The one problem this week is that Jacksonville has enjoyed an extra week of preparation.  While I see the Jags winning this game, I am not sure they will be able to win big.  Their biggest win to date is a seven point victory over Denver.

 

I like, but don’t love, taking the Browns in teasers.  Because there could be more running than normal in this game, I also like teasing the Under at 55.  I could see this game ending in a 27-20 score at a maximum.

 

Cincinnati (0-7) at Houston (2-4)

Time:           4:05PM EDT

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Partly cloudy, light winds, temperature in the low 80’s

 

 

PiRate:         Houston by 5

Mean:           Houston by 8

Bias:             Houston by 9

Vegas:        Houston by 9½        -380/+335

Ov/Un:        44½

Strategy:     Houston -380, Over 31½ in 13-point teaser

 

This game was supposed to be played the week Hurricane Ike struck the Lone Star State.  At the time, Cincinnati would have had a much better chance to win this game.  Now, Houston enters this contest on a two-game winning streak, while the Bengals have more than likely folded their hand for the season.  The Texans are almost double digit favorites.

 

The key stat for this game is the difference in the Bengals’ offense with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback instead of Carson Palmer.  With Fitzpatrick running the team, Cincinnati has averaged 12 points per game.  In Palmer’s four games, the Bengals averaged only 15.5 points per game, but they competed in those games against the likes of Baltimore, Tennessee, the Giants, and Dallas. 

 

This will actually be the first weaker than average defense Cincinnati will face this season.  I look for Fitzpatrick to lead the orange and black north of the 20-point barrier.  However, the Bengals are hurting on the other side of the ball, and they will give up considerably more than 20 points to an improving offense.  The Texans have average about 28 points per game the last four weeks against defenses that are mostly better than Cincinnati’s.

 

I could see this game being decided late, but I think Houston will make it three straight victories.  I don’t like the line, so I recommend the money line.  I am looking at a 28-21 score here, so I believe the totals can be teased safely.

 

New York Giants (5-1) at Pittsburgh (5-1)

Time:           4:15PM EDT

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Partly cloudy, moderate winds, temperature dropping from the mid 50’s to near 50

 

 

PiRate:         Pittsburgh by 4

Mean:           Pittsburgh by 4

Bias:             Pittsburgh by 4

Vegas:        Pittsburgh by 3        -140/+130

Ov/Un:        42

Strategy:     Pittsburgh -3, Pittsburgh -140, Under 55 in 13-point teaser

This is the game of the week and could be a preview of the Super Bowl.  I tend to think the Giants will not make it through the playoffs this year, but that is beyond the point this week.

 

In my opinion, the Steelers are capable of finishing 13-3 or even 14-2 and earning home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  Their defense will give up less than 250 points, and their offense will top 400 when the season ends.  Running back Willie Parker should return to the field this week.  Ben Roethlisberger is playing like an all-pro, and Hines Ward is playing with a chip on his shoulder.

 

The Giants have been relying on Brandon Jacobs to take enough heat off Eli Manning, and it has worked most weeks.  Jacobs will not run the ball for 80 yards in this game, and Manning will have to win it with a big aerial assault.  I don’t think he can pull it off.  Call it a 20-13 win for the black and gold.

 

Seattle (1-5) at San Francisco (2-5)

Time:           4:15PM EDT

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Sunny, light winds, temperature in the mid to upper 70’s

                    

PiRate:         San Francisco by 7

Mean:           San Francisco by 4

Bias:             San Francisco by 5

Vegas:        San Francisco by 5   -230/+190

Ov/Un:        40½

Strategy:     San Francisco -230, San Francisco +5 in 10-point teaser, San Francisco +8 in 13-point teaser

Here, we have the initial second meeting of the season for divisional rivals.  The 49ers won the first meeting in Seattle, but things have changed since then.  Mike Nolan was shown the door last week after San Francisco lost at the Giants.  The interim coach is former Bears’ great Mike Singletary.  Offensive coordinator Mike Martz, who directed the Rams to a Super Bowl, was passed over.  Now, take into consideration that lame-duck Seahawks’  coach Mike Holmgren has had to dispel rumors all week that he will be the new 49er coach in 2009, and it makes this game much harder to diagnose. 

 

Which of these teams will be more ready to play?  I think San Francisco will play with more emotion in the early stages of the Singletary administration.  The players will fear him if they don’t bust their butts on every play.  Martz will still have full authority on the offensive play-calling, so I think the 49ers will be an improved team, at least for the next few weeks.  It adds up to a sweep in this year’s series, but I am not ready to call for a touchdown difference.  Therefore, I am going with the money line as well as taking the home team in teasers.

 

Indianapolis (3-3) at Tennessee (6-0)

Time:           8:30PM EDT Monday

TV:               ESPN

Forecast:     Partly cloudy, moderate winds, temperature dropping from upper 40’s to lower 40’s

 

PiRate:         Tennessee by 11     

Mean:           Tennessee by 9

Bias:             Tennessee by 8

Vegas:        Tennessee by 4        -200/+170

Ov/Un:        41

Strategy:     None

Let’s look at some of the facts for this game.  It is the Monday night game, and we all know how unpredictable those games have proven to be through the years.  It is the top rivalry game in the AFC South, and the two teams play like it is the old Raiders and Chiefs series from the AFL days.  Tennessee has been running over run defenses like they have Walter Payton and Barry Sanders at running back.  Indianapolis has been a feast or famine team with their offense either looking terrific or terrible from week-to-week. 

 

The Colts could score 28 points and pick up 250-300 passing yards, but they could easily watch LenDale White and Chris Johnson combine for 250 or more rushing yards.  Indianapolis hasn’t been able to stop enemy rushing attacks this year.

 

I just don’t like any possible plays here this week.  I think Indianapolis could spoil the Titans’ perfect record if Peyton Manning plays like he did against Baltimore, but if he is not on his game and has a repeat performance of last week’s game in Green Bay, this game could be ugly.  Tennessee would like nothing more than to win by three touchdowns and make the rest of the nation respect them at 7-0. 

 

 

 

The Imaginary Bank Account Suffers First Losing Week

 

It had to happen.  I knew my luck would run out eventually, and last week I suffered my first losing week of the year.  The selections went 8-9 lowering my selections against the spread for the year to 52-28-3 (65%).  The account gave up $310, and that lowered the balance to $1,675.  For the year, my Return on investment is now 20.2%.

 

My straight selections continued to do well, as I was 3-1 on those picks.  The Teasers let me down, as there were too many odd games.  The Bears-Vikings game was a huge surprise to nearly everybody.  How about that Rams-Cowboys game-somebody forgot to tell St. Louis they are no longer the “Greatest Show on Turf.”

 

This week, I am torn between playing straight picks, where I have been quite successful this season and playing the teasers, where I have been successful over the course of several years.  It’s a tough call, but I am going to play more sides than teasers this week.  

 

Here are my wagers for week eight (all wagered to win $100):

 

 1. New England -7 vs. St. Louis

 2. New England -315 vs. St. Louis

 3. Carolina -4 vs. Arizona

 4. Carolina -200 vs. Arizona

 5. Baltimore -325 vs. Oakland

 6. Detroit +7½ vs. Washington

 7. Houston -380 vs. Cincinnati

 8. San Francisco -230 vs. Seattle

 9. Pittsburgh -3 vs. New York Giants

10. Pittsburgh -140 vs. New York Giants

 

11. 10-point teaser parlay

       A. San Diego & New Orleans Over 36

       B. Philadelphia & Atlanta Over 35

       C. Miami +11 vs. Buffalo

 

12. 10-point teaser parlay

       A. New England +3 vs. St. Louis

       B. Carolina +6 vs. Arizona

       C. Carolina & Arizona Over 33½

 

13. 10-point teaser parlay

       A. Detroit +17½ vs. Washington

       B. Tampa Bay +12½ vs. Dallas

       C. San Francisco +5 vs. Seattle

 

14. 13-point teaser parlay

       A. Jets & Kansas City Under 52

       B. Philadelphia +3½ vs. Atlanta

       C. Miami +14 vs. Buffalo

       D. New England +6 vs. St. Louis

 

15. 13-point teaser parlay

       A. Carolina +9 vs. Arizona

       B. Carolina & Arizona Over 30½

       C. Baltimore +6 vs. Oakland

       D. Baltimore & Oakland Under 49

 

16. 13-point teaser parlay

A. Detroit +20½ vs. Washington

B. Detroit & Washington Over 29

C. Tampa Bay +15½ vs. Dallas

D. Tampa Bay & Dallas Over 27½

 

17. 13-point teaser parlay

       A. Cleveland +20 vs. Jacksonville

       B. New York Giants & Pittsburgh Under 55

       C. San Francisco +8 vs. Seattle

       D. Houston & Cincinnati Over 31½  

     

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.

October 17, 2008

PiRate Ratings Week Seven NFL Previews: October 19 & 20, 2008

PiRate Ratings For NFL Week Seven

 

The PiRate Pro Ratings

 

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

 

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

 

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 a rating of 100 is average.

 

Current NFL Standings (listed alphabetically by divisions)

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC East

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Dallas

4

2

0

175

141

109.00

105.04

104.68

2

New York

4

1

0

141

84

101.74

103.65

104.75

2

Philadelphia

3

3

0

167

123

109.19

104.82

103.47

2

Washington

4

2

0

126

117

108.60

102.77

104.14

2

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC North

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Chicago

3

3

0

148

109

109.63

104.18

102.83

2

Detroit

0

5

0

76

159

84.05

89.24

88.13

3

Green Bay

3

3

0

160

145

104.53

100.84

101.14

2

Minnesota

3

3

0

113

119

106.16

100.20

101.34

2

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC South

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Atlanta

4

2

0

139

127

99.42

99.71

101.70

2

Carolina

4

2

0

117

97

104.05

102.40

103.16

2

New Orleans

3

3

0

172

133

110.04

103.29

105.74

2

Tampa Bay

4

2

0

141

97

112.13

106.03

105.50

2

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC West

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Arizona

4

2

0

177

144

105.29

103.24

105.38

3

St. Louis

1

4

0

62

164

76.28

89.46

88.42

2

San Francisco

2

4

0

141

167

90.14

93.84

95.67

3

Seattle

1

4

0

100

151

80.53

92.71

92.32

3

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC East

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Buffalo

4

1

0

126

104

94.82

99.48

100.73

3

Miami

2

3

0

107

103

102.46

99.80

99.32

2

New England

3

2

0

89

109

90.70

99.55

98.12

2

New York

3

2

0

141

130

103.58

101.22

103.43

2

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC North

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Baltimore

2

3

0

78

87

100.87

99.20

98.88

3

Cincinnati

0

6

0

88

144

95.15

95.12

95.73

2

Cleveland

2

3

0

81

92

100.23

100.22

98.96

2

Pittsburgh

4

1

0

103

79

106.66

104.77

105.35

2

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC South

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Houston

1

4

0

112

158

97.37

97.52

96.65

3

Indianapolis

3

2

0

114

97

107.12

104.22

104.74

2

Jacksonville

3

3

0

124

128

102.44

102.15

102.19

3

Tennessee

5

0

0

115

56

112.04

107.20

108.72

2

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC West

Won

 

Lost

 

Tied

Pts

Opp

Rating

Mean

Biased

HTA

Denver

4

2

0

166

154

101.37

99.54

100.85

2

Kansas City

1

4

0

65

131

83.12

90.67

91.23

2

Oakland

1

4

0

81

135

85.43

93.10

92.18

2

San Diego

3

3

0

178

139

105.92

104.82

105.22

2

 

NFL Previews-Week Six

 

San Diego (3-3) at Buffalo (4-1)

Time:           1PM EDT

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Mostly sunny, light winds, temperature in the mid 50’s

 

PiRate:         San Diego by 8 

Mean:           San Diego by 2

Bias:             San Diego by 1

Vegas:        Buffalo by 1 -115/+115

Ov/Un:        44

Strategy:     Over 34 in 10-point teaser, Over 31 in 13-point teaser, Buffalo +9 in 10-point teaser, Buffalo +12 in 13-point teaser, Buffalo -1

 

Buffalo had a week off after the embarrassing loss at Arizona.  San Diego won a big primetime game over New England Sunday night and must now travel 2,700 miles across three time zones.

 

I am not sold on the Bills even at 4-1, and I think the Chargers have the talent to overcome the obstacles in this game.  I’m going with the Bills in the teasers because I still think they have a little better than 50% chance of winning this one.  Even if San Diego wins, I don’t see it being by more than a touchdown. 

 

Pittsburgh (4-1) at Cincinnati (0-6)

Time:           1PM EDT

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Sunny, light or no wind, temperature rising from the low to upper 60’s

 

PiRate:         Pittsburgh by 10     

Mean:           Pittsburgh by 8

Bias:             Pittsburgh by 8

Vegas:        Pittsburgh by 9½     -420/+380

Ov/Un:        35½

Strategy:     Cincinnati +9½, Cincinnati +19½ in 10-point teaser, Cincinnati +22½ in 13-point teaser, Over 25½ in 10-point teaser, Over 22½ in 13-point teaser

 

It doesn’t take a Harvard graduate to realize the Bengals are much weaker without quarterback Carson Palmer running their offense, but it may take more than a Harvard grad to beat the Steelers.

 

On paper, Pittsburgh should win this game with relative ease.  At Paul Brown Stadium, the Bengals make this game much closer than it should be.  Even with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, Cincinnati has enough talent to keep this one close.  Pittsburgh is the type of team that when they win road games, it is by less than a touchdown.

 

Cincinnati’s players may be ready to throw in the towel on the season, but it won’t happen this week against the perennial bullies of their division.  Expect a stellar performance from the Bengals, and thus this will not be an easy Steeler win.  I might consider the Bengals straight up on this one, but I prefer the striped helmets in the teasers.  I like teasing the Over here, as 23 or 26 points is not asking much.

 

Minnesota (3-3) at Chicago (3-3)

Time:           1PM EDT

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Clouds increasing during the day, moderate winds, temperature in the mid to upper 60’s

 

PiRate:         Chicago by 5     

Mean:           Chicago by 6

Bias:             Chicago by 3

Vegas:        Chicago by 3      -175/+155

Ov/Un:        37½

Strategy:     Chicago +7 in 10-point teaser, Chicago +10 in 13-point teaser, Under 47½ in 10-point teaser, Under 50½ in 13-point teaser 

 

This one could be the game of the week.  To the winner could go sole possession of first place in the division.  Both teams have quite exploitable weaknesses, but the Vikings seem to have less of them.  I expect this game to develop into an old fashioned guts and glory affair right out of the 1960’s.  I expect the two teams to shorten this game with around 120 plays from scrimmage.  I could see both teams failing to gain 300 total yards, and I could see the winner scoring no more than 17 points. 

 

Chicago has played just two home games, and those came against two teams better than the Vikings.  On the other hand, Minnesota is a better team today than the one that took the field against Green Bay in week one. 

 

If your opinion that a low scoring game will take place, it goes without saying that you would like your chances that the spread will be less than a touchdown.  Thus, getting the Bears at home and getting a touchdown or even 10 points becomes a favorable situation.  Additionally, if you think a game could end with a 17-13 score, then teasing the Under when that total moves to 47½ or 50½ points is something you would jump on.

 

Tennessee (5-0) at Kansas City (1-4)

Time:           1PM EDT

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Mostly sunny and quite windy, with a temperature in the upper 60’s to near 70

 

PiRate:         Tennessee by 27     

Mean:           Tennessee by 15

Bias:             Tennessee by 15

Vegas:        Tennessee by 9        -330/+300

Ov/Un:        35

Strategy:     Kansas City +19 in 10-point teaser, Kansas City +22 in 10-point teaser, Over 25 in 10-point teaser, Over 22 in 13-point teaser, Kansas City +9

 

Both teams had the week off, and still the Titans have issues at wide receiver.  Kansas City has issues at running back, where Larry Johnson has been suspended.  However, Brodie Croyle should be ready to go.

 

Kansas City’s lone win was over a then undefeated Denver team.  They have a fair chance of getting upset number two this week.  The Titans are a much better home team than they are a road team.  Their two road trips have been to Cincinnati and Baltimore.  The Bengals offered little competition, whereas the Ravens outplayed Tennessee.  The Chiefs are weaker than Baltimore but stronger than the Bengals were when the Titans beat them.

 

I give Kansas City a 35% chance of pulling off the upset, and a 75% chance of losing by a touchdown or less.

 

This is one game where I would consider the underdog straight up, but I really like the Chiefs in the teasers.  I just cannot imagine a scenario where the Titans could win this game by 20 points, especially with Justin McCareins and Justin Gage ailing.  Tennessee will try to run the ball 60% of the time, and the Chiefs will be ready.  Kansas City will pass the ball more than normal, and this gives them a fighting chance this week.  Rarely if ever would I consider keying one game in multiple teasers, but this might be one week where I would do it with this game. 

 

New Orleans (3-3) at Carolina (4-2)

Time:           1PM EDT

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Sunny, light winds, temperature in the mid 60’s

 

PiRate:         New Orleans by 4    

Mean:           Carolina by 1

Bias:             New Orleans by 1

Vegas:         Carolina by 3            -155/+135

Ov/Un:        44

Strategy:     Over 34 in 10-point teaser, Over 31 in 13-point teaser, New Orleans +13 in 10-point teaser, New Orleans +16 in 13-point teaser

 

This game provides me with what I think is a strong play.  These two teams know how to score points.  I think the totals line is a little low because the Saints held Oakland to a field goal last week while the Panthers laid an egg in Tampa. 

 

New Orleans has consistently scored between 24 and 34 points this year, while Carolina has averaged 26 points per game at home.  The Panthers rebounded from their first loss at Minnesota with a great game against Atlanta.  I expect another turnaround effort this week.  I’m looking for the winner of this game to score 28 to 35 points and prevail by a touchdown or less.

 

I like taking the Saints in the teasers because if they score their usual 24-34 points in this one, look how much Carolina will have to score to beat us.

 

San Francisco (2-4) at New York Giants (4-1)

Time:           1PM EDT

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Sunny, light winds, temperature in the mid to upper 50’s

 

PiRate:         Giants by 14     

Mean:           Giants by 12

Bias:             Giants by 11

Vegas:        Giants by 10½          -430/+390

Ov/Un:        46½

Strategy:     Giants -½ in 10-point teaser, Giants +2½ in 13-point teaser, Under 56½ in 10-point teaser, Under 59½ in 13-point teaser, Giants -430   

 

Just how much did last week’s blown game to the Eagles take out of the 49ers?  We may know the answer this week.  San Francisco was on its way to a 3-3 record to stay in the playoff hunt before mistake after mistake allowed the Eagles to score 23 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.  Blowing a nine point league in less than a full quarter is inexcusable when you are at home playing a team that has traveled across the country and is missing one of its top offensive weapons.

 

Coach Mike Nolan is now on thin ice, and it doesn’t bode well that he must take his team to the East Coast to play a mad bunch of Giants.  The defending Super Bowl champs were embarrassed on national TV Monday night, and they will be ready to play this week.

 

I don’t like taking the Giants and having to give 10½ points, as this could be one of those games where New York chooses to grind it out on the ground and consume the clock much like Jacksonville.  They could dominate for 60 minutes and still win by a score of 21-12.  So, give me the teaser plays in this one.  San Francisco would have to win outright to beat me.  I usually don’t like playing a money line where a loss could cripple the chances of a winning week overall, but the Giants should probably be listed at -600.   

 

Baltimore (2-3) at Miami (2-3)

Time:           1PM EDT

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of rain showers, considerable winds, temperature in the low 80’s

 

PiRate:         Miami by 4 

Mean:           Miami by 3

Bias:             Miami by 2

Vegas:        Miami by 3         -140/+120

Ov/Un:        36½

Strategy:     Baltimore +13 in 10-point teaser, Baltimore +16 in 13-point teaser, Over 26½ in 10-point teaser, Over 23½ in 13-point teaser 

 

This game is a playoff eliminator.  The winner moves to 3-3 to stay alive in the playoff chase, while the loser more than likely is headed to a 6-10 record or worse.  Baltimore has dropped three in a row after winning their first two, while Miami has been playing like a team with a chance to go 8-8.

 

I don’t really like any of the possibilities in this game, as I could see a variety of scenarios playing out this week.  Just one or two plays early in this game could change the outcome completely.

 

How will the Dolphins’ single wing package perform against a Ravens’ defense that could stop it completely?  Can Dan Henning come up with the right strategy to exploit Ray Lewis in company?

 

Baltimore has done absolutely nothing on offense the past two weeks, and the Dolphins have already held much better offenses under 14 points.

 

With so many tossup games this week, you might see a pattern in my selections.  Go with the underdog in a teaser, since it allows you to in essence get a few extra points in your favor without having to rely on your pick pulling off a mild upset.

 

Teasing the Over is still a slight risk in this one, as I included it only as a last pick to fill out a parlay.  One big play on special teams or one big turnover could allow the total to hit 30 points.

 

Dallas (4-2) at St. Louis (1-4)

Time:           1PM EDT

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Dome

 

PiRate:         Dallas by 31      

Mean:           Dallas by 14

Bias:             Dallas by 14

Vegas:        Dallas by 7         (no money line)

Ov/Un:        44

Strategy:     Leave this one alone, unless you know for sure the status of Tony Romo.  If he doesn’t play, then teasing the Under at 54 & 57 looks good  

 

Tony Romo is actually going to try to play with a broken finger on his throwing hand.  I would leave this game alone.  It could be a ruse by the Cowboys to try to take the heat off Brad Johnson.  The only logical play here is to tease the Under, because Dallas could beat the Rams with Marion Barber at quarterback.  If Romo plays, I don’t expect Dallas to throw the ball more than 20-25 times.  If Johnson has to go, I expect a similar strategy.

 

Marc Bulger didn’t have much luck against Dallas last year, but I expect him to fare a little better this season.  It could allow the Rams to keep it close for a long time, but seven points is too tricky to play either way.  My advice is to forget this game; there are better options available.

 

Detroit (0-5) at Houston (1-4)

Time:           4:05PM EDT

TV:               Fox

Forecast:     Mostly sunny, light winds, temperature around 80 (all 2008 games at Reliant Stadium are now outdoors)

 

PiRate:         Houston by 16  

Mean:           Houston by 8

Bias:             Houston by 12

Vegas:        Houston by 9½        -400/+360

Ov/Un:        46½

Strategy:     Houston +½ in 10-point teaser, Houston +3½ in 13-point teaser, Detroit +19½ in 10-point teaser, Detroit +22½ in 13-point teaser, Over 36½ in 10-point teaser, Over 33½ in 13-point teaser  

 

Houston finally won a game last week, while Detroit was on the verge of getting a victory.  Now, the Texans are favored by almost double digits.  A lot of that has to do with the Lions sending Roy Williams packing to Dallas. 

 

The question in this game is how much the loss of Williams will affect the ability to get the ball to Calvin Johnson.  Johnson won’t be open as often, as defenses begin to key on him.

 

Detroit’s offense didn’t set the woods on fire the last three times out with Williams on the roster.  They scored 30 points.  Houston has surrendered 28 or more points in every game so far.  That streak will come to an end this week, and I expect the Texans to win their second consecutive game.  The Lions are going to struggle without Williams, and it is hard to find a winnable game on their remaining schedule.

 

Indianapolis (3-2) at Green Bay (3-3)

Time:           4:15PM EDT

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Mostly cloudy, moderate winds, temperature dropping from low 60’s to the mid 50’s

 

PiRate:         Indianapolis by 1    

Mean:           Indianapolis by 3

Bias:             Indianapolis by 2

Vegas:        Indianapolis by 2     -130/+110

Ov/Un:        47

Strategy:     Indianapolis +8 in 10-point teaser, Indianapolis +11 in 13-point teaser, Over 37 in 10-point teaser, Over 34 in 13-point teaser

 

If the Bears-Vikings game isn’t the best one this week, then it’s probably this game.  This one could be the most exciting match as well. 

 

Straight away, I like the possibility that this could be a game where the losing team scores 24 or more points.  The weather could be much worse this time of the year at Lambeau Field. Instead, it will be ideal for Brown County, Wisconsin, in mid-October.  Just close your eyes and smell in all the brats being steamed in beer and then grilled to perfection.  Then, watch two quarterbacks put on an aerial display as good as the annual one in Oshkosh.

 

This is one game where I’d prefer to take the favorite in a teaser play.  The Colts are the most improved team in the league since the second week of the season.  Peyton Manning is almost back to his old self, and he will pick apart the Packers’ defense.  The Colts should top 30 points for the third consecutive week.

 

Aaron Rodgers will need a 300 yard effort to give the Packers a chance to win this game.  If they are to pull off the mild upset, I think they will have to score 35 points. 

 

New York Jets (3-2) at Oakland (1-4)

Time:           4:15PM EDT

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Partly cloudy, light winds, temperature in the low 70’s

 

 

PiRate:         Jets by 16  

Mean:           Jets by 6

Bias:             Jets by 9

Vegas:        Jets by 3     -175/+155

Ov/Un:        41

Strategy:     Oakland +13 in 10-point teaser, Oakland +16 in 10-point teaser, Over 31 in 10-point teaser, Over 28 in 13-point teaser

 

This is a trap game.  The Jets are better than average, while Oakland stinks.  However, the Raiders can be counted on to come up with a decent game every other week or so.  They failed to show up last week in New Orleans, but they will perform much better this week.

 

The Jets are making their second of four trips to the West Coast this week.  Their first visit to the Pacific Ocean ended in a 19-point drowning in San Diego.  I expect a much better effort this time out, but I cannot see them winning big.  This could be a 28-20 game.  King Brett may connect for three touchdown passes, but he could also throw a couple of critical picks that allows Oakland to pick up some easy points. 

 

Cleveland (2-3) at Washington (4-2)

Time:           4:15PM EDT

TV:               CBS

Forecast:     Sunny, light winds, temperature dropping from around 60 to the low 50’s

 

 

PiRate:         Washington by 10

Mean:           Washington by 5

Bias:             Washington by 5

Vegas:        Washington by 7½ -300/+270

Ov/Un:        41½

Strategy:     Cleveland +17½  in 10-point teaser, Cleveland +20½  in 13-point teaser, Over 31½ in 10-point teaser, Over 28½ in 13-point teaser

 

How do you gauge a team that won at Dallas and lost at home to St. Louis?  How do you gauge a team that looked dead for three weeks, won a sloppy game against a winless team, and then destroyed the undefeated defending Super Bowl Champions on Monday night?

 

This game is definitely tricky.  It should be expected for the Browns to bounce some after the emotional win over the Giants.  Having to play on Monday night could put more rubber into that bounce. 

 

The big question is how will the Redskins respond after losing at home to the worst team in the NFL?

 

The logical play here is to force Washington to win big to ruin the pick.  The Redskins have yet to win a game by a touchdown. 

 

The Browns could bounce big time and still lose by less than 17 points.  Their offense should put up enough points to allow this game to go well over the 30 total. 

 

 

Seattle (1-4) at Tampa Bay (4-2)

Time:           8:15PM EDT

TV:               NBC

Forecast:     Clear to partly cloudy, moderate winds, temperature dropping from the upper 70’s to the lower 70’s

                    

PiRate:         Tampa Bay by 34    

Mean:           Tampa Bay by 15

Bias:             Tampa Bay by 15

Vegas:        Tampa Bay by 10½         -445/+405

Ov/Un:        38

Strategy:     Tampa Bay -½ in 10-point teaser, Tampa Bay +2½ in 13-point teaser, Over 28 in 10-point teaser, Over 25 in 13-point teaser, Tampa Bay -445 

 

There is a big question with this game.  Who will start at quarterback for the Seahawks?  Matt Hasselbeck is definitely out.  Seneca Wallace is injured yet could still play, but Charlie Frye may have to go if Wallace isn’t ready Sunday.  Frye attempted 23 passes last week against the Packers’ mediocre secondary, and he averaged a measly 3.6 yards per attempt with two interceptions.  Two sacks brought his production down under 2.6 yards per pass play.

 

Tampa Bay won big over Carolina last week, and the Bucs could be ready to go on a run to a possible 12-win season.  This game should be close to a cinch for the home team.  Jeff Garcia played competently if not brilliantly last week subbing for Brian Griese.  I’m looking for a 28-10 Tampa Bay victory, but I’ll play it safe and take the Bucs in the teasers.

 

Denver (4-2) at New England (3-2)

Time:           8:30PM EDT Monday

TV:               ESPN

Forecast:     Mostly clear, moderate winds, temperature falling from mid 50’s to mid 40’s

 

PiRate:         Denver by 9

Mean:           New England by 2

Bias:             Denver by 1

Vegas:        New England by 3           -160/+150

Ov/Un:        48

Strategy:     Under 58 in 10-point teaser, Under 61 in 13-point teaser

 

These two teams are among the most inconsistent in the league.  The one thing I think I can predict with some rationality is that Denver will continue to struggle to score points.  This is their first trip east this year.  The Pats should play better this week after playing two consecutive road games on the West Coast. 

 

I’m teasing the Under in this one.  The odds makers always inflate the totals for Monday night games, so I feel like I’m getting a couple of bonus points here.  My guess is New England will win by a score of something like 20-16.

 

The Imaginary Bank Account Makes Another Nice Deposit

 

It’s now six winning weeks out of six!  Not only did I have a sixth consecutive winning week, I was 10-3 to bring my record for the year against the spread to 44-19-3 (69.8%).  I was close to finishing 11-2 until the 49ers committed more mistakes in five minutes than they used to commit in an entire season during their glory years.  It’s starting to look bleak for Coach Nolan.

 

The profitable weekend brought me $640, bringing the bank account for the year up to $1,985, just 15 bucks shy of doubling the initial $1,000 investment in six weeks.  For the season, my return on investment is 30.1%.

 

Once again, I did rather well with the straight wagers, getting four out of five correct.  The new 13-point teaser parlays finished 3-1, while the tried and true 10-point teaser parlays finished 3-1. 

 

This week, I am having quite a bit of difficulty coming up with straight wagers, as the schedule is not favorable for playing them that way.  Not counting the Dallas-St. Louis game and the Tony Romo situation, I see seven games that could easily go either way not only against the spread but in which team will win outright.  Even the game that looks like a blowout (Titans-Chiefs) may be a huge trap.  Tennessee could easily lose this one.  Cincinnati is a lively upset threat this week as well. 

 

As a result, I will be relying heavily on teaser parlays this week, trying to pick games that give me what looks like ridiculous odds in my favor.  Sure, one or two of these games will be ridiculous and ruin some of the parlays, but I am banking on the law of averages.  Hopefully, it will lead to another profitable weekend. 

 

Here are my wagers for week seven (all wagered to win $100):

 

1. Buffalo -1 vs. San Diego

 

2. Cincinnati +9½ vs. Pittsburgh

 

3. New York Giants -430 vs. San Francisco

 

4. Tampa Bay -445 vs. Seattle

 

5. 10-point teaser

       A. Buffalo +9 vs. San Diego

       B. Cincinnati +19½ vs. Pittsburgh

       C. Chicago & Minnesota Under 47½ 

 

6. 10-point teaser

       A. Chicago +7 vs. Minnesota

       B. Kansas City +19 vs. Tennessee

       C. New Orleans +13 vs. Carolina

 

7. 10-point teaser

       A. Kansas City & Tennessee Over 25

       B. New Orleans & Carolina Over 34

       C. Detroit & Houston Over 36½

 

8. 10-point teaser

       A. New York Giants -½ vs. San Francisco

       B. Baltimore +13 vs. Miami

       C. Houston +½ vs. Detroit

  

9. 10-point teaser

       A. Indianapolis +8 vs. Green Bay

       B. Cleveland +17½ vs. Washington

       C. Tampa Bay -½ vs. Seattle

 

10. 10-point teaser

       A. Indianapolis & Green Bay Over 37

       B. Oakland & New York Jets Over 31

       C. Cleveland & Washington Over 31½

 

11. 10-point teaser

       A. Buffalo & San Diego Over 34

       B. Tampa Bay & Seattle Over 28

       C. Denver & New England Under 58

 

12. 13-point teaser

       A. Buffalo & San Diego Over 31

       B. Kansas City +22 vs. Tennessee

       C. Indianapolis & Green Bay Over 34

       D. Tampa Bay & Seattle Over 25

 

13. 13-point teaser

       A. Buffalo +12 vs. San Diego

       B. New Orleans & Carolina Over 31

       C. Baltimore & Miami Over 23½

       D. Oakland +16 vs. New York Jets

 

14. 13-point teaser

       A. Cincinnati +22½ vs. Pittsburgh

       B. New Orleans +16 vs. Carolina

       C. Houston +3½ vs. Detroit

       D. Oakland & New York Jets Over 28

 

15. 13-point teaser

       A. Cincinnati & Pittsburgh Over 22½

       B. Kansas City & Tennessee Over 22

       C. Detroit +22½ vs. Houston

       D. Cleveland +20½ vs. Washington

   

16. 13-point teaser

       A. Chicago +10 vs. Minnesota

       B. New York Giants +2½ vs. San Francisco

       C. Detroit & Houston Over 33½

       D. Cleveland & Washington Over 28½

  

17. 13-point teaser

       A. Chicago & Minnesota Under 50½

       B. Baltimore +16 vs. Miami

       C. Indianapolis +11 vs. Green Bay

       D. Tampa Bay +2½ vs. Seattle

 

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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