The Pi-Rate Ratings

December 31, 2018

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast for The Wildcard Playoff Round: January 5-6, 2018

This Week’s PiRate Rating Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Total
Houston Indianapolis 2.0 2.7 2.1 49.5
Dallas Seattle -1.6 -1.9 -2.8 44.5
Baltimore L.A. Chargers 2.6 2.4 2.4 43
Chicago Philadelphia 5.5 5.5 6.4 44.5

The Wildcard Playoff Schedule

Saturday,  January 5, 2019

4:35 PM Eastern Standard Time

TV: ESPN

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

 

8:15 PM Eastern Standard Time

TV: Fox Network

Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys

 

Sunday, January 6, 2109

1:05 PM Eastern Standard Time

TV: CBS

Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens

 

4:40 PM Eastern Standard Time

TV: NBC

Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears

 

For the Divisional Playoff Round

The lower remaining seed in the AFC will play at Kansas City on Saturday, January 12, on NBC at 4:35 PM EST

 

The higher remaining seed in the NFC will play at the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, January 12, on Fox Network at 8:15 PM EST

 

The higher remaining seed in the AFC will play at New England on Sunday, January 13, on CBS at 1:05 PM EST

 

The lower remaining seed in the NFC will play at New Orleans on Sunday, January 13, on Fox Network at 4:40 PM EST

Ratings of the Playoff Teams

Playoff Team PiRate Mean Bias Avg. Total W-L
New Orleans 112.3 112.3 112.3 112.3 27 13-3
Kansas City 106.8 107.0 106.6 106.8 30.5 12-4
LA Rams 106.5 106.7 106.3 106.5 29 13-3
Chicago 104.9 105.1 105.8 105.3 21.5 12-4
New England 105.0 105.1 104.9 105.0 22.5 11-5
Seattle 104.6 104.7 105.2 104.8 24 10-6
LA Chargers 104.3 105.0 104.8 104.7 23 12-4
Baltimore 104.5 104.9 104.7 104.7 20 10-6
Indianapolis 102.9 102.3 103.3 102.8 25.5 10-6
Houston 102.4 102.5 103.0 102.6 24 11-5
Philadelphia 102.4 102.6 102.5 102.5 23 9-7
Dallas 100.5 100.3 99.9 100.2 20.5 10-6

 

Note: The College Basketball Bracket Gurus will debut next week.  Most of the gurus are enjoying vacations this week and did not submit their data to us.

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January 1, 2018

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast For Wildcard Playoff Round: January 6-7, 2018

All times given are Eastern Standard Time

Saturday, January 6, 2018

4:20 PM on ESPN

Tennessee Titans (9-7-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (10-6-0)

PiRate: Kansas City by 8.1

Mean: Kansas City by 8.0

Bias: Kansas City by 8.7

Total: 45

Estimated Realistic Score: Kansas City 27  Tennessee 17

 

8:15 PM on NBC

Atlanta Falcons (10-6-0) at Los Angeles Rams (11-5-0)

PiRate: Los Angeles by 5.4

Mean: Los Angeles by 5.0

Bias: Los Angeles by 5.7

Total: 48

Estimated Realistic Score: Los Angeles 27  Atlanta 21

 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

1:05 PM on CBS

Buffalo Bills (9-7-0) at Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6-0)

PiRate: Jacksonville by 9.4

Mean: Jacksonville by 8.9

Bias: Jacksonville by 9.5

Total: 42

Estimated Realistic Score: Jacksonville 26  Buffalo 16

 

4:40 PM on Fox

Carolina Panthers (11-5-0) at New Orleans Saints (11-5-0)

PiRate: New Orleans by 5.8

Mean: New Orleans by 5.9

Bias: New Orleans by 6.0

Total: 53

Estimated Realistic Score: New Orleans 28  Carolina 24

 

 

December 26, 2017

PiRate Ratings NFL Forecast For Week 17: December 31, 2017

Week 17 PiRate Rating Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Total
Baltimore Cincinnati 13.1 12.6 13.6 38
Detroit Green Bay 3.2 3.0 3.7 46
Miami Buffalo 1.8 1.6 1.3 41
Atlanta Carolina 3.3 3.8 3.0 50
Tampa Bay New Orleans -7.9 -7.3 -8.0 49
Tennessee Jacksonville -2.4 -2.2 -2.8 45
New England N.Y. Jets 16.4 16.9 16.5 39
Indianapolis Houston 3.3 3.4 3.5 44
Pittsburgh Cleveland 18.8 18.3 21.8 39
N.Y. Giants Washington -4.9 -4.6 -5.0 42
Minnesota Chicago 12.7 12.3 13.4 34
Philadelphia Dallas 6.9 6.0 8.0 46
LA Chargers Oakland 9.3 8.4 10.2 44
Seattle Arizona 8.7 8.9 8.3 41
Denver Kansas City -6.0 -6.1 -6.4 42
LA Rams San Francisco 13.7 13.3 14.1 50

Current PiRate Ratings–12/26/2017

A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New England 108.3 108.4 108.4 108.3 23 12-3
Buffalo 96.0 96.3 96.1 96.1 20 8-7
Miami 95.8 95.9 95.3 95.7 21 6-9
N. Y. Jets 94.3 94.0 94.4 94.3 16 5-10
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Pittsburgh 107.0 107.1 107.2 107.1 23 12-3
Baltimore 105.5 105.7 105.6 105.6 22 9-6
Cincinnati 95.3 96.1 94.9 95.5 16 6-9
Cleveland 90.7 91.4 87.9 90.0 16 0-15
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Jacksonville 103.3 103.2 103.4 103.3 23 10-5
Tennessee 97.8 98.0 97.6 97.8 22 8-7
Indianapolis 92.3 92.7 91.8 92.3 22 4-11
Houston 91.0 91.2 90.4 90.9 22 3-12
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
LA Chargers 104.5 104.1 104.7 104.4 23 8-7
Kansas City 103.1 103.2 103.5 103.3 23 9-6
Oakland 97.7 98.3 97.0 97.7 21 6-9
Denver 95.2 95.0 95.1 95.1 19 5-10
             
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Philadelphia 106.7 105.4 107.7 106.6 23 13-2
Dallas 101.8 101.4 101.7 101.7 23 8-7
Washington 98.4 98.6 98.2 98.4 24 7-8
N.Y. Giants 91.5 92.0 91.2 91.6 18 2-13
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
Minnesota 107.4 107.0 108.1 107.5 18 12-3
Detroit 99.4 99.7 99.2 99.5 27 8-7
Green Bay 98.2 98.7 97.5 98.1 19 7-8
Chicago 96.7 96.8 96.7 96.7 16 5-10
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
New Orleans 107.4 106.8 107.9 107.4 28 11-4
Atlanta 103.9 103.7 104.1 103.9 24 9-6
Carolina 103.2 102.4 103.5 103.0 26 11-4
Tampa Bay 97.5 97.5 97.9 97.6 21 4-11
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Totals W-L
LA Rams 107.3 106.6 107.9 107.3 25 11-4
Seattle 102.9 103.0 102.3 102.7 20 9-6
Arizona 97.2 97.1 97.0 97.1 21 7-8
San Francisco 96.1 95.8 96.3 96.1 25 5-10

Playoff Scenarios

You can go to any sports site online to see the generic playoff scenarios, where you can see what must happen for each potential playoff team to earn their spot.  Let’s take a look at the logical scenarios in the order that they are most likely to occur.

AFC

Baltimore

The Ravens have the overwhelming advantage among the teams vying for the two wildcard spots.  The 4 division championships have been clinched.  Baltimore is the number 5 seed if they win at home over Cincinnati Sunday.  The Ravens have about a 75% chance of winning this game and getting in at #5.  Even if the Ravens lose to the Bengals, if Either Buffalo or Tennessee lose but not both, the Ravens still get in as the number 6 seed.  If Baltimore loses, and both Buffalo and Tennessee lose, then Baltimore stays at number 5.

Baltimore falls out of the playoffs only if they lose to Cincinnati, and both Buffalo and Tennessee win.  The Ravens have about a 95% chance of making the playoffs.

Tennessee

The Titans have the best chance of making the playoffs as the 6-seed (or even 5-seed) of the remaining contenders.  If Tennessee beats Jacksonville on Sunday, the Titans are in as the 6-seed if Baltimore wins, and the 5-seed if Baltimore loses.  What Buffalo does in this instance does not affect the Titans moving up to number 5; only what Baltimore does affects the Titans seeding if they beat a Jacksonville team that has nothing to play for (3-seed win or lose) and will most likely rest their key players.

Tennessee can still make the playoffs at 8-8 if Buffalo and the LA Chargers lose.  They hold all tiebreakers over the Bills and Chargers.

Tennessee misses out on the playoffs if the Titans lose to the Jaguars and either Buffalo or the Chargers win.  The Titans chances for making the playoffs are about 55%.

Los Angeles Chargers

This is where the scenarios get a little tricky.  First, the Chargers can only get in the playoffs if they win and Tennessee loses.  However, they still need some help.  Either Baltimore must also win or Buffalo must lose, or else the Chargers will be eliminated.  If Buffalo and Baltimore win, then the Chargers get in over the Bills, but if Buffalo wins and Baltimore loses, then the Bills take the 6-seed.  Of course, if Tennessee and Buffalo lose, and the Chargers win, then the Chargers make it over both the Titans and Bills.  The Chargers have about a 37.5% chance of making the playoffs under these scenarios.

Buffalo

The Bills are on life support with only a 1 in 10 chance of making the playoffs.  There are at least two different sets of scenarios that will get the Bills in.  If they win at Miami in what will most likely be Jay Cutler’s real swan song, then they can get in if Baltimore loses, which will then eliminate the Chargers.  They would move up to a 5-seed in this scenario if Tennessee loses or gets the 6-seed if Tennessee wins.

The Bills will also make it as the 6-seed if they win and both Tennessee and the LA Chargers lose.  They can then earn the 5-seed if Baltimore also loses.

Top Seed

New England holds the tiebreaker over Pittsburgh, so the only way the Steelers can get the top seed is for the Jets to beat the Pats, while the Steelers send Cleveland to 0-16.

 

NFC

Philadelphia has clinched the top seed.  If Minnesota beats Chicago in Minneapolis, the Vikings get the 2-seed.  Minnesota can still get the 2-seed, if they lose to the Bears, and they will still get the 2-seed unless Carolina wins, New Orleans, loses, and the Rams lose. Then, Carolina would get this seed.  Chances are better than 95% that Minnesota gets the 2-seed.

For the 3-seed, the LA Rams hold the tiebreaker over New Orleans and Carolina, while New Orleans holds the tiebreaker over Carolina.

The 5-seed will go to either Carolina or New Orleans, whichever does not win the NFC South (New Orleans has about a 60% chance and Carolina a 40% chance).

The 6-seed is what is up for grabs

Atlanta

The Falcons earn this spot with a win over Carolina or a Seattle loss to Arizona.

Seattle

The Seahawks must win and Atlanta must lose.

Here are our Playoff Projections for this week.

AFC Seeding
1 New England
2 Pittsburgh
3 Jacksonville
4 Kansas City
5 Baltimore
6 Tennessee
NFC Seeding
1 Philadelphia
2 Minnesota
3 LA Rams
4 New Orleans
5 Carolina
6 Atlanta
Wildcard Round
Kansas City over Baltimore
Jacksonville over Tennessee
Carolina over New Orleans
LA Rams over Atlanta
 
Divisional Round
New England over Kansas City
Jacksonville over Pittsburgh
Carolina over Philadelphia
LA Rams over Minnesota
 
Conference Championship
New England over Jacksonville
LA Rams over Carolina
 
Super Bowl 52
LA Rams over New England

 

 

 

January 4, 2017

NFL Ratings And Spreads For Wildcard Playoff Round: January 7-8, 2017

Filed under: Pro Football — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 7:31 am

NFL Playoffs–Wildcard Round

Oakland Raiders (12-4-0) at Houston Texans (9-7-0)

Saturday, January 7, 4:35 PM EST

TV: ESPN

Las Vegas Line: Houston by 3 1/2,

Totals Line: 36 1/2

Note: Raiders’ rookie QB Connor Cook will start

Texans expect to start Brock Osweiler at QB who will play at less than 100%

PiRate Spread: Houston by 2.7

Mean Spread: Houston by 3.0

Bias Spread: Houston by 1.8

Totals Spread: 46 points

100 Simulations

Houston wins 77

Oakland wins 23

Average score: Houston 23  Oakland 18

Outlier A: Houston 41  Oakland 13

Outlier B: Oakland 34  Houston 16

 

Detroit Lions (9-7-0) at Seattle Seahawks (10-5-1)

Saturday, January 7, 8:15 PM EST

TV: NBC

Las Vegas Line: Seattle by 8

Totals Line: 43

PiRate Spread: Seattle by 8.6

Mean Spread: Seattle by 6.9

Bias Spread: Seattle by 9.3

Totals Spread: 43 points

100 Simulations

Seattle wins 86

Detroit wins 14

Average Score: Seattle 26  Detroit 16

Outlier A: Seattle 42  Detroit 13

Outlier B: Detroit 27  Seattle 20

 

Miami Dolphins (10-6-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5-0)

Sunday, January 8, 1:05 PM EST

TV: CBS

Note: Miami QB Ryan Tannehill is out for this game.  Matt Moore will start.

Las Vegas Spread: Pittsburgh by 10

Totals Spread: 47

PiRate Spread: Pittsburgh by 9.9

Mean Spread: Pittsburgh by 9.8

Bias Spread: Pittsburgh by 10.0

Totals Spread: 45 points

100 Simulations

Pittsburgh wins 73

Miami wins 27

Average Score: Pittsburgh 25  Miami 20

Outlier A: Pittsburgh 35  Miami 10

Outlier B: Miami 19  Pittsburgh 10

 

New York Giants (11-5-0) at Green Bay Packers (10-6-0)

Sunday, January 8, 4:40 PM EST

TV: Fox

Las Vegas Line: Green Bay by 5

Totals Line: 44 1/2

PiRate Spread: Green Bay by 5.6

Mean Spread: Green Bay by 6.1

Bias Spread: Green Bay by 5.0

Totals Spread: 57 points

100 simulations

Green Bay wins 59

New York wins 41

Average Score: Green Bay 26  New York 24

Outlier A: Green Bay 31  New York 13

Outlier B: New York 30  Green Bay 17

November 8, 2016

NFL Ratings And Spreads For Week 10: November 10-14, 2016

Beginning today, we start posting playoff projections.  Our playoff projections look ahead to remaining schedules and use a combination of Pirate Ratings and home field advantage to estimate the remaining won-loss records of all the teams.  Even though the last place teams do not figure to make the playoffs, we have to project their records as well in order to break ties.

In the AFC, we are projecting that it will take a minimum record of 10-6 to earn a wildcard spot.  It is a tiny bit easier in the NFC as of this week, as we project a 9-6-1 record will qualify for the playoffs.

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
New England 110.7 109.2 111.8 110.6 67 44
Buffalo 103.2 103.3 103.7 103.4 63 40
N. Y. Jets 98.4 97.0 99.0 98.1 58 40
Miami 97.0 97.4 97.0 97.1 59 38
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Pittsburgh 102.8 102.7 103.5 103.0 62 41
Cincinnati 102.0 101.7 102.2 102.0 61 41
Baltimore 98.5 99.9 98.1 98.8 61 38
Cleveland 88.9 89.6 88.6 89.0 56 33
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Houston 98.1 99.0 97.9 98.3 61 37
Indianapolis 97.6 98.8 97.2 97.9 62 36
Tennessee 96.0 97.5 95.6 96.4 58 38
Jacksonville 92.9 94.5 92.2 93.2 58 35
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Denver 105.6 104.2 105.3 105.0 63 42
Kansas City 103.9 103.9 104.3 104.0 64 40
San Diego 100.5 101.2 100.4 100.7 65 36
Oakland 100.1 100.5 100.5 100.4 65 35
             
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Dallas 102.8 102.0 103.3 102.7 62 41
Philadelphia 103.2 101.5 102.7 102.5 63 40
Washington 100.3 100.1 100.3 100.2 62 38
N.Y. Giants 99.4 99.0 99.6 99.3 62 37
             
North PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Minnesota 103.1 102.3 103.0 102.8 59 44
Green Bay 101.0 100.9 100.7 100.9 62 39
Detroit 99.0 98.7 98.9 98.9 61 38
Chicago 95.4 94.0 95.1 94.9 56 39
             
South PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Atlanta 103.8 104.9 104.1 104.2 69 35
Carolina 103.5 103.3 103.6 103.5 62 42
New Orleans 100.2 101.4 100.3 100.6 67 34
Tampa Bay 95.3 96.0 94.9 95.4 59 36
             
West PiRate Mean Bias Avg Off Def
Seattle 106.5 104.1 107.1 105.9 62 44
Arizona 105.1 103.4 105.4 104.6 66 39
Los Angeles 98.4 99.4 98.1 98.7 57 42
San Francisco 88.9 90.3 88.0 89.1 53 36

This Week’s PiRate Ratings Spreads

Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias Totals
Baltimore Cleveland 12.1 12.8 12.0 48
Carolina Kansas City 2.6 2.4 2.3 45
Jacksonville Houston -2.7 -2.0 -3.2 49
New Orleans Denver -2.4 0.2 -2.0 54
New York Jets Los Angeles 3.0 0.6 3.9 35
Philadelphia Atlanta 2.4 -0.4 1.6 48
Tampa Bay Chicago 2.9 5.0 2.8 42
Tennessee Green Bay -2.0 -0.4 -2.1 45
Washington Minnesota 0.2 0.8 0.3 41
San Diego Miami 6.5 6.8 6.4 52
Arizona San Francisco 19.2 16.1 20.4 46
Pittsburgh Dallas 3.0 3.7 3.2 44
New England Seattle 7.2 8.1 7.7 43
New York Giants Cincinnati 0.4 0.3 0.4 47

If The Playoffs Began Today

AFC
1 New England
2 Oakland
3 Houston
4 Baltimore
5 Kansas City
6 Denver
   
NFC
1 Dallas
2 Atlanta
3 Seattle
4 Minnesota
5 New York Giants
6 Washington

 

PiRate Ratings Projected Playoffs 

AFC Seeding
1 New England
2 Oakland
3 Indianapolis
4 Pittsburgh
5 Denver
6 Kansas City
   
NFC Seeding
1 Dallas
2 Seattle
3 Atlanta
4 Detroit
5 New York Giants
6 Washington

Wildcard Round

Kansas City over Indianapolis

Pittsburgh over Denver

Atlanta over Washington

New York Giants over Detroit

 

Divisional Round

New England over Kansas City

Oakland over Pittsburgh

New York Giants over Dallas

Seattle over Atlanta

 

Conference Championships

New England over Oakland

New York Giants over Seattle

 

SUPER BOWL

New York Giants over New England

January 5, 2016

PiRate Ratings NFL Wildcard Round

The 2016 NFL Playoffs on paper look like the most competitive in many years.  In the AFC, there is no clear cut winner, and it would not shock us at all if almost every game on this side was close.

 

The NFC appeared to have been top heavy with the top two seeds clearly better than the rest, but in the final two weeks, Carolina and Arizona appeared to be having some issues, while Minnesota and Seattle looked to be hitting their peaks.  The Washington Redskins closed on a nice streak as well, and only the Green Bay Packers really limped into the playoffs.

 

Final Regular Season NFL PiRate Ratings
N F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Washington 99.7 100.4 101.6 100.6 9-7-0 388 379
Philadelphia 98.0 97.8 98.3 98.0 7-9-0 377 430
N.Y. Giants 98.4 97.8 97.4 97.9 6-10-0 420 442
Dallas 97.8 96.3 96.0 96.7 4-12-0 275 374
               
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Minnesota 105.4 105.5 108.2 106.4 11-5-0 365 302
Green Bay 103.8 103.2 103.4 103.5 10-6-0 368 323
Detroit 100.1 99.4 100.1 99.9 7-9-0 358 400
Chicago 97.0 96.5 96.6 96.7 6-10-0 335 397
               
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Carolina 108.7 109.1 110.5 109.4 15-1-0 500 308
Atlanta 97.1 96.9 96.4 96.8 8-8-0 339 345
New Orleans 95.7 94.9 96.4 95.7 7-9-0 408 476
Tampa Bay 93.2 92.5 91.6 92.4 6-10-0 342 417
               
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Seattle 111.4 111.0 111.6 111.3 10-6-0 423 277
Arizona 109.8 109.7 111.0 110.2 13-3-0 489 313
St. Louis 96.8 97.5 97.5 97.3 7-9-0 280 330
San Francisco 94.2 93.0 93.9 93.7 5-11-0 238 387
               
A F C
East PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
New England 107.0 106.4 105.5 106.3 12-4-0 465 315
N. Y. Jets 102.4 103.1 102.8 102.8 10-6-0 387 314
Buffalo 101.2 101.8 101.4 101.5 8-8-0 379 359
Miami 96.5 96.3 95.4 96.1 6-10-0 310 389
               
North PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Pittsburgh 107.3 107.5 107.2 107.3 10-6-0 423 319
Cincinnati 106.8 107.3 107.3 107.1 12-4-0 419 279
Baltimore 98.3 97.6 97.3 97.7 5-11-0 328 401
Cleveland 92.5 92.0 92.5 92.3 3-13-0 278 432
               
South PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Houston 100.9 102.5 102.3 101.9 9-7-0 339 313
Indianapolis 95.6 95.8 95.3 95.6 8-8-0 333 408
Jacksonville 92.2 93.2 90.8 92.1 5-11-0 376 448
Tennessee 89.3 89.4 88.6 89.1 3-13-0 299 423
               
West PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Kansas City 105.6 106.4 105.8 105.9 11-5-0 405 287
Denver 103.9 103.6 103.8 103.8 12-4-0 355 296
San Diego 96.9 97.5 97.2 97.2 4-12-0 320 398
Oakland 96.5 98.1 96.5 97.0 7-9-0 359 399

 

The Playoff Teams Ratings

Current NFL Playoffs PiRate Ratings
NFC PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Seattle 111.4 111.0 111.6 111.3 10-6-0 423 277
Arizona 109.8 109.7 111.0 110.2 13-3-0 489 313
Carolina 108.7 109.1 110.5 109.4 15-1-0 500 308
Minnesota 105.4 105.5 108.2 106.4 11-5-0 365 302
Green Bay 103.8 103.2 103.4 103.5 10-6-0 368 323
Washington 99.7 100.4 101.6 100.6 9-7-0 388 379
               
AFC PiRate Mean Bias Average W-L-T Pts Opp
Pittsburgh 107.3 107.5 107.2 107.3 10-6-0 423 319
Cincinnati 106.8 107.3 107.3 107.1 12-4-0 419 279
New England 107.0 106.4 105.5 106.3 12-4-0 465 315
Kansas City 105.6 106.4 105.8 105.9 11-5-0 405 287
Denver 103.9 103.6 103.8 103.8 12-4-0 355 296
Houston 100.9 102.5 102.3 101.9 9-7-0 339 313

Note: Computer Simulations of the Wildcard Playoff Round will be published on Friday, January 8

This Week’s Games
         
Week Number: Wildcard Round      
Date of Games: January 9-10      
         
Home Visitor PiRate Mean Bias
Houston Kansas City -1.7 -0.9 -0.5
Cincinnati Pittsburgh 2.0 2.3 2.6
Minnesota Seattle -3.0 -2.5 -0.4
Washington Green Bay -1.1 0.2 1.2

January 2, 2014

PiRate Ratings–NFL Wildcard Round Preview

Wildcard Playoff TV Schedule

Day

Time (ET)

Game

TV

Radio

Saturday, January 4

4:35 PM

Kansas City @ Indianapolis

NBC

Westwood 1

Saturday, January 4

8:10 PM

New Orleans @ Philadelphia

NBC

Westwood 1

Sunday, January 5

1:05 PM

San Diego @ Cincinnati

CBS

Westwood 1

Sunday, January 5

4:40 PM

San Francisco @ Green Bay

Fox

Westwood 1

   

To find a local Westwood 1 radio affiliate, check this link:

http://westwoodonesports.com/stations/

Weather Forecasts For Kickoff and Next 3-4 hours

Indianapolis—Dome Stadium (no weather effect)

Philadelphia—Partly Cloudy / Temperatures remaining steady near 28 degrees and light winds

Cincinnati—90 % chance of rain/snow mix / Temperatures falling through the 30’s with moderate winds

Green Bay—Brutally cold with temperatures falling from about 5 at kickoff to -5 but dry.

 

 

PiRate Spreads

Home Visitor

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Indianapolis Kansas City

2.9

4.6

2.9

Philadelphia New Orleans

-0.2

0.3

-0.6

Cincinnati San Diego

8.1

8.1

8.4

Green Bay San Francisco

-5.1

-6.2

-6.1

 

 

Computer Simulations (100x)

Kansas City at Indianapolis

Kansas City Wins: 37

Indianapolis Wins: 63

Average Margin: Indianapolis 24.4  Kansas City 22.7

KC Outlier Win: 30-10

Ind Outlier Win: 27-7

 

New Orleans at Philadelphia

New Orleans Wins: 29

Philadelphia Wins: 71

Average Margin: Philadelphia 31.1  New Orleans 23.8

NO Outlier Win: 38-20

Phi Outlier Win: 34-13

 

San Diego at Cincinnati

San Diego Wins: 44

Cincinnati Wins: 56

Average Margin: Cincinnati 25.2  San Diego 24.5

SD Outlier Win: 28-12

Cin Outlier Win: 31-10

(8 simulations had an OT victory—5 for Cin and 3 for SD)

(Lowest Standard Deviation in this round of sims)

 

San Francisco at Green Bay

San Francisco Wins: 62

Green Bay Wins: 38

Average Margin: San Francisco 26.3  Green Bay 22.0

SF Outlier Win: 37-16

GB Outlier Win: 28-17

(GB’s 11-point outlier margin occurred 7 other times)

 

November 26, 2013

PiRate Ratings: NFL–November 28-December 2, 2013

The Division & Wildcard Races

NFC East: It is now a two-team race between Dallas and Philadelphia with the Giants and Redskins falling back out of the race.  Both teams have three home games remaining, but the important Week 17 game between the two rivals takes place at Cowboys Stadium.  This week, we favor Dallas to edge the Eagles out, and we do not project the Eagles to get in as a wildcard.

 

NFC North: Mediocrity has set in with the loss of two starting quarterbacks.  Aaron Rodgers is worth about 10-13 points per game, and his loss has turned the Packers into a poor team.  Matt Flynn is an improvement over Scott Tolzien, but the Packers will not get their star back until Week 14, by which time Green Bay could be 5-6-1 and 1 ½ games behind Detroit and possibly Chicago.  We believe that the Bears and Lions might both finish 9-7, so Rodgers would have to lead the Packers to four consecutive wins when he returns.  The Rodgers of December 8 will not be the Rodgers of September 8, and we believe the division race will be decided in Week 15 and Week 16.  In Week 15, Chicago plays at Cleveland and Detroit hosts Baltimore.  The following week, Chicago plays at Philadelphia, and Detroit hosts the Giants.  We favor Detroit by a tiny edge this week.

 

NFC South: Short of a collapse, Carolina will secure the number 5 seed with the first wildcard, while New Orleans will earn the number two seed and host a divisional round playoff game.  Or, it could be the other way around, since the two hot teams have yet to face off this season.  We believe the Saints will hold onto the two-game edge.  This week could very well be a preview of the NFC Championship Game, as New Orleans goes to Seattle on Monday Night Football.  New Orleans does have an incredibly tough December with three road games against teams with a combined 23-10 record as well as Carolina at home.

 

NFC West:  Seattle should secure home field advantage through the Conference Championship Game.  The Seahawks host the Saints this week and follow that up with a road trip to San Francisco.  At worst, if they lose both games, they should still finish 13-3.  The 49ers and Cardinals are the top two competitors for the sixth and final playoff spot.  The two square off in Phoenix in Week 17, but we believe that San Francisco will have clinched the wildcard bid before that game.  The 49ers have a schedule advantage for the next four weeks with three home games, while Arizona has three road games in the next four weeks.

 

AFC East: It is now safe to write New England’s name in ink as the official AFC East Champion.  With a three game lead against mediocre opposition, there is no chance that the Patriots will miss out on the playoffs.  A possible 12-4 record should earn the Pats a Divisional Round home game and first round bye.  The Dolphins, Bills, and Jets are all within one game of the final wildcard spot, but we do not like any of the trio’s chances.  Miami and the Jets have serious problems and appear to be heading to valleys.  Buffalo could pass both and finish in 2nd place with a 7-9 record.

 

AFC North: Cincinnati is vulnerable here.  The Bengals are not a complete team.  They are inconsistent on both sides of the ball, but the real reason is that some opponents can exploit their weaknesses, while others cannot.  What is left on their schedule?  Four teams capable of exploiting their weaknesses.  A 2-3 finish is quite possible, which would send the Bengals to a 9-7 record.  It should still be enough to win the division, but the Ravens and Steelers are both capable of finishing 9-7 as well.  Thursday night’s Baltimore-Pittsburgh game at M&T Bank Stadium will leave one of the rivals at 6-6 with an excellent chance to go 3-1 down the stretch.

 

AFC South: Indianapolis is much like Cincinnati, except the Colts are even more vulnerable to teams that have superb passing quarterbacks.  Still, the rest of this league is weaker than the three weaker AFC East teams.  At worst, the Colts will falter to finish 10-6, and that will win this league by two to four games.  Tennessee is the technical number six team as of this week, but the Titans’ next two games are on the road against Indianapolis and Denver, which will send them to a 5-8 record with three to play.  The last wildcard spot will go to a 9-7 team.

 

AFC West: The race has gotten a little interesting.  Peyton Manning once again proved his inability to play in cold weather.  The Broncos covered for him in the first half with the defense scoring or setting up the scores, but Manning had one of his poorest performances in a Broncos’ uniform.  Kansas City’s once stellar defense has been picked apart in successive weeks by division rivals.  Still, the Chiefs need only win one more game to wrap up a wildcard bid.  San Diego is the 5-6 team with the overall best chance to finish 9-7.  Phillip Rivers has seen his career resurrected with Coach Mike McCoy and offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt present.

 

This Week’s PiRate Ratings

Current NFL PiRate Ratings

N F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Dallas Cowboys

100.6

101.9

100.4

Philadelphia Eagles

98.9

100.1

99.2

New York Giants

96.3

96.1

95.5

Washington Redskins

95.0

95.0

94.7

       
North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Chicago Bears

100.5

100.2

99.9

Detroit Lions

99.9

100.3

99.8

Green Bay Packers

98.2

97.0

97.1

Minnesota Vikings

94.6

94.0

93.8

       
South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

New Orleans Saints

107.8

109.2

108.7

Carolina Panthers

106.1

106.4

106.7

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

97.3

97.1

97.4

Atlanta Falcons

94.8

94.0

93.8

 

 

 

 

West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

San Francisco 49ers

110.1

110.8

110.6

Seattle Seahawks

107.6

107.6

107.8

Arizona Cardinals

100.9

102.2

101.5

St. Louis Rams

100.8

101.6

101.3

       

A F C

East

PiRate

Mean

Biased

New England Patriots

106.6

104.9

106.9

Miami Dolphins

98.6

98.3

98.9

Buffalo Bills

97.5

96.6

97.5

New York Jets

93.0

91.3

92.7

       
North

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Cincinnati Bengals

106.3

106.2

106.4

Baltimore Ravens

102.8

102.4

102.9

Pittsburgh Steelers

99.6

99.6

100.0

Cleveland Browns

95.8

95.5

95.4

       
South

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Indianapolis Colts

100.6

100.7

100.7

Tennessee Titans

98.0

98.1

98.2

Houston Texans

95.2

94.5

95.1

Jacksonville Jaguars

88.8

88.5

88.5

       
West

PiRate

Mean

Biased

Denver Broncos

110.6

110.9

111.0

Kansas City Chiefs

102.3

103.7

102.7

San Diego Chargers

101.3

101.9

101.2

Oakland Raiders

93.6

93.4

93.7

 

This Week’s PiRate Spreads

Home Visitor

PiRate

Mean

Bias

Detroit Green Bay

4.2

5.8

5.2

Dallas Oakland

10.0

11.5

9.7

Baltimore Pittsburgh

5.7

5.3

5.4

Carolina Tampa Bay

11.3

11.8

11.8

Cleveland Jacksonville

10.0

10.0

9.9

Indianapolis Tennessee

6.3

6.6

6.3

Kansas City Denver

-5.3

-4.2

-5.3

Minnesota Chicago

-3.4

-3.7

-3.6

N Y Jets Miami

-2.6

-4.0

-3.2

Philadelphia Arizona

1.5

1.4

1.2

Buffalo (@ Toronto) Atlanta

4.2

4.1

5.2

San Francisco St. Louis

12.3

12.2

12.3

Houston New England

-8.4

-7.4

-8.8

San Diego Cincinnati

-2.0

-1.3

-2.2

Washington N Y Giants

1.2

1.4

1.7

Seattle New Orleans

2.8

1.4

2.1

 

This Week’s PiRate Playoff Projections

A F C

1. Denver

2. New England

3. Indianapolis

4. Cincinnati

5. Kansas City

6. San Diego

 

N F C

1. Seattle

2. New Orleans

3. Dallas

4. Detroit

5. Carolina

6. San Francisco

 

Wildcard Round

San Diego over Indianapolis

Kansas City over Cincinnati

San Francisco over Dallas

Carolina over Detroit

 

Divisional Round

Denver over San Diego

Kansas City over New England

Seattle over San Francisco

New Orleans over Carolina

 

Conference Championships

Kansas City over Denver

Seattle over New Orleans

 

Super Bowl

Seattle over Kansas City

January 4, 2011

The PiRate Ratings’ NFL Playoffs Edition–Wildcard Round

For each playoff game, we show the PiRate, Mean, and Biased rating spreads.  Then, we reveal the results of the 100 simulations.  And, just for you, we will reveal the vote of the five of us in picking each game against the spread as well as the total.

We have access to a computer simulator that allows us to rapidly simulate games 100 times.  We can simulate games based on certain statistical data, strength of schedule, and linear regression. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

 4:30 PM EST on NBC-TV

New Orleans Saints  (11-5-0)  at Seattle Seahawks (7-9-0)

Vegas:        NO by 10 ½

Totals:       44 ½

PiRate:       NO by 9.3

Mean:         NO by 6.5

Bias:           NO by 4.9

100 Simulations:         NO 84  SEA 16

Avg. Sim Score             NO 32.7  SEA 16.8

Outlier A:                     NO 41  SEA 14

Outlier B:                     SEA 24  NO 19 (three others of 5 pts.)

5 PiRates Pick vs. Spread:   SEA—3        NO—2

5 PiRates Pick vs. Totals:    UND—4       OVR—1

 

8:00 PM EST on NBC-TV

New York Jets (11-5-0) at Indianapolis Colts (10-6-0) 

Vegas:        IND by 2 ½

Totals:       44 ½

 

PiRate:       IND by 0.6

Mean:         IND by 0.7

Bias:           IND by 0.3 

100 Simulations:         NYJ 57  IND 43

Avg. Sim Score             NYJ 22.8  IND 20.1

Outlier A:                     NYJ 27  IND 7

Outlier B:                     IND 30  NYJ 13

 

5 PiRates Pick vs. Spread:   NYJ—3        IND—2

5 PiRates Pick vs. Totals:    OVR—3       UND—2      

 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

1:00 PM EST on CBS-TV

Baltimore Ravens (12-4-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (10-6-0)

Vegas:        BAL by 2 ½

Totals:       41 

PiRate:       BAL by 2.3

Mean:         BAL by 2.6

Bias:           KC by 0.2 

100 Simulations:         BAL 52  KC 48

Avg. Sim Score             BAL 21.8  KC 20.7

Outlier A:                     BAL 35  KC 13

Outlier B:                     KC 27  BAL 10

 

5 PiRates Pick vs. Spread:   KC—4           BAL—1       

5 PiRates Pick vs. Totals:    OVR—3       UND—2      

 

 4:30 PM EST on FOX-TV

Green Bay Packers (10-6-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (10-6-0)

Vegas:        PHI by 2 ½

Totals:       46 ½  

PiRate:       GB by 3.5

Mean:         GB by 4.6

Bias:           GB by 1.1 

100 Simulations:         GB 67  PHI 33

Avg. Sim Score             GB 34.1  PHI 26.7

Outlier A:                     GB 41  PHI 16

Outlier B:                     PHI 33  GB 14

5 PiRates Pick vs. Spread:   GB—5            PHI—0       

5 PiRates Pick vs. Totals:    OVR—4       UND—1      

 

January 4, 2010

Final Regular Season PiRate Ratings: January 4, 2010

PLAYOFFS!!! DO TALK ABOUT PLAYOFFS!!!

With Apologies to Jim Mora, Sr.

 

The folks at ESPN and other networks carrying the college bowls need to look at their ratings for these meaningless games they have been carrying for the last couple of weeks.  Take a look at the ratings for this coming weekend’s playoff games.  The Alamo Bowl and Gator Bowl equivalents will be played this weekend and known as the Wildcard Playoff Round.  Both of those bowls had a news angle to them.  Bobby Bowden coached in his final game in the Gator Bowl, and Texas Tech minus Coach Mike Leach played in the Alamo Bowl.  I didn’t watch either game, as the baseball book I read Friday and Saturday was much more entertaining. 

Note: If you want to be floored by just how much a drop-dead gorgeous actress knows about baseball, read Alyssa Milano’s new book Safe at Home. She just picked up a new customer, as I will be purchasing Twins’ clothing for my female relatives on their next birthdays.

 

The irony of this week’s opening slate of playoff games is that three of the four games are sequels of yesterday’s week 17 games.  Arizona and Green Bay will hook up again in Phoenix and Dallas and Philadelphia will do it over again in Arlington, Texas.  The Jets and Bengals will be a little more democratic than the other two games; they will switch venues from the Meadowlands to Paul Brown Stadium.

At first glance, this seems to make these games less electrifying, since the teams will play two games in a row, and in less than a week in the case of the two Saturday games (Jets-Bengals & Cowboys-Eagles).  Nothing could be further from the truth.  It will add to the excitement.  Football is a lot more than just blood and guts.  It is perhaps the one sport that is affected by coaching strategy than any other.  It is a chess game with human pieces.

Imagine how much different the games would be if the coaches were forced to share their game plans in advance.  In the case of Philadelphia and Dallas, this game meant a lot as homefield advantage and a possible bye were riding on the outcome.  Both teams had to show the other team everything they had in preparation for this game, and now both teams have one less day to prepare for the rematch. 

Cincinnati had little to play for against the Jets, so they benefitted from getting a good luck at everything Coach Rex Ryan’s team had, since the Jets had to win the game.  Think of it as one team getting to see the other team’s game plan.  Even with Cincinnati swooning in the second half of the season, one has to believe this repeat game gives the Bengals twice the homefield advantage of a normal NFL game.

Green Bay and Arizona really didn’t gain much repeat advantage when the two squared off yesterday.  In this case, it was the devastating results of personnel injuries.  The Packers saw ace defensive back Charles Woodson go down with a shoulder injury, while Arizona saw star receiver Anquan Boldin leave the game with an ankle injury; defensive end Calais Campbell suffered a broken thumb, and defensive back Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie injured his knee.  Even if these four players can play again this week, none will be at 100%.

The one game that isn’t a rematch of week 17 finds Baltimore going to New England.  Both of these teams are talented enough to run the table and get a ticker tape parade in February.

Now, throw into the equation that the two AFC games will have serious weather issues this weekend.  It’s still too early to know for sure, but it looks like the Bengals-Jets game will be played in temperatures around 20 degrees with a chance of snow.  The Patriots-Ravens game should have clear skies, but the temperature should be in the upper teens.  When it’s this cold, it becomes much more difficult to pass and catch the ball and slightly more difficult to hold onto the ball on running plays and field kicks.  In the old days, players would just put enough “stick-em” on their hands to become a ball magnet.  The leather gets really slippery when the temperature dips below 25. 

For those of you who have chosen to purchase our weekly picks on the webpage (www.piratings.webs.com), we will have a different approach for the playoffs.  We concluded the regular season with a 5-2 record for the week, and that brought our seasonal record to 94-61-2 (60.6%).  For the NFL playoffs, we will offer a $10 package that is good for all playoff games.  Instead of giving you an exact card to play, we will diagnose every game and give you the PiRate Rating predicted score, the Mean Rating predicted score, the Bias Rating predicted score, and the infamous 100 simulations results from the research lab computer that proved that garbage in, garbage out isn’t always the case.  If you want to know more about the 100 simulations playoff results, check in on last year’s Super Bowl blog here: https://piratings.wordpress.com/2009/01/30/pirate-ratings-super-bowl-43-preview/ .  You will find the computer simulator was very accurate in the 2008-2009 playoffs.  Check it out on the webpage at “Playoff Winners: $10.

NFL Regular Season Epilog

 

The NFL regular season concluded with a couple of important games, while the other games proved to be about as important as the Sun Bowl.  Here are some points to ponder.

1. The Cincinnati Bengals finished the season 3-4.  They averaged only 15.8 points per game in the nine weeks after their bye week.  They gave up 26 points per game in their final four games.  Is this the look of a playoff team?  Cleveland looked more like the playoff team, winning their final four games by an average of 8.5 points per game.

2. Denver has swooned for the second year in a row.  Second verse was same as the first.  A fast start, a mediocre middle, and an 0-4 conclusion saw the Broncos eliminated from the playoffs yet again.  The 44-24 loss to the Chiefs capped a 2-8 finish after a 6-0 start.  During the 2009 flop, the Broncos were outscored 258-193 and lost to both Kansas City and Oakland, as well as lowly Washington.  The Broncos could finish in last place in the AFC West in 2010, as they will have a harder schedule than the Raiders and Chiefs.

3. The New York Giants began the season 5-0 and finished 8-8.   Their defense gave up 14.2 points per game in the 5-0 start and 32.4 points per game in the 3-8 finish.

4. The Tennessee Titans and Carolina Panthers were the opposites of the Broncos and Giants.  Carolina found itself in an 0-3 hole and slowly climbed back to finish 8-8.  Tennessee began 0-6 and finished 8-2 with Vince Young at quarterback.

5. The two hottest teams in the league are the Chargers and Packers.  While New Orleans, Indianapolis, and Minnesota were hogging the headlines, San Diego won their last 11 games by more than a 13-point average margin.  Included in this string were victories over three playoff teams—Philadelphia, Dallas, and Cincinnati.  Green Bay found itself in a hole after losing to then winless Tampa Bay and falling to 4-4.  In the second half of the season, the Packers finished 7-1 with an average scoring margin of 30.8 to 15.6.

6. Speaking of Indy and New Orleans, no team has every won the Super Bowl after beginning the year with a 10+-game winning streak and tailing off at the end of the year.  Look at last year’s Titans.  They were 10-0 and finished 13-3.  The Titans promptly exited in their first playoff game and then saw it mount to an 0-6 start this season.  You may ask when was the last time a team lost its final two (as in the Colts) or three (as in the Saints) games of the regular season and then won the Super Bowl?  The Green Bay Packers of 1967 dropped their final two regular season games and then won Super Bowl II.  No team has ever lost their last three regular season games and won the Super Bowl.  In fact, going back to the pre-Super Bowl days, no team has every won the league championship after losing their final three regular season games.

7. There has been a consistent predictor of NFL playoff winners over the course of four plus decades.  Almost every NFL Champion since 1960 has possessed a trio of shared traits.  Of course, it’s not that easy.  In many years, three or more teams possessed these traits.  However, in only a couple of years did the champion not possess the traits we speak of.  If you want to know what these traits are, you’ll have to sign up for our postseason coverage at www.piratings.webs.com.  $10 will buy you analysis on every playoff game.

Final Regular Season NFL PiRate Ratings

           
               

NFC East

PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Dallas  106.3 107.4 107.2 11-5-0 361 250
Philadelphia  105.1 105.3 105.3 11-5-0 429 337
New York Giants 98.8 99.6 99.9 8-8-0 402 427
Washington  96.9 96.2 95.3 4-12-0 266 336
               
NFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Green Bay  108.2 108.3 108.3 11-5-0 461 297
Minnesota 106.3 106.6 106.4 12-4-0 470 312
Chicago 97.1 97.2 98.5 7-9-0 327 375
Detroit 87.8 87.6 86.9 2-14-0 262 494
               
NFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
New Orleans 106.9 107.3 106.1 13-3-0 510 341
Carolina 106.1 103.7 103.4 8-8-0 315 308
Atlanta   103.9 103.6 103.6 9-7-0 363 325
Tampa Bay 94.3 94.5 95.0 3-13-0 244 400
               
NFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
San Francisco 102.3 101.3 101.6 8-8-0 330 281
Arizona 101.3 99.9 102.3 10-6-0 375 325
Seattle 88.0 90.5 90.6 5-11-0 280 390
St. Louis 84.4 85.5 84.6 1-15-0 175 436
               
AFC East PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
New England 107.8 107.8 106.4 10-6-0 427 285
NY Jets 105.1 106.7 105.6 9-7-0 348 236
Miami 97.9 99.8 99.2 7-9-0 360 390
Buffalo 95.4 97.7 97.1 6-10-0 258 326
               
AFC North PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Baltimore 108.8 105.9 105.6 9-7-0 391 261
Pittsburgh 104.3 101.8 103.9 9-7-0 368 324
Cincinnati 98.8 99.7 101.7 10-6-0 305 291
Cleveland 94.9 96.7 98.0 5-11-0 245 375
               
AFC South PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
Indianapolis 107.3 104.4 106.2 14-2-0 416 307
Houston   103.3 101.9 103.1 9-7-0 388 333
Tennessee 100.4 98.5 101.8 8-8-0 354 402
Jacksonville 93.7 94.2 97.2 7-9-0 290 380
               
AFC West PiRate Mean Biased W-L-T Pts Opp
San Diego 111.5 106.8 109.3 13-3-0 454 320
Denver 95.3 99.3 99.8 8-8-0 326 324
Oakland   92.8 91.6 92.9 5-11-0 197 379
Kansas City 91.4 92.6 92.3 4-12-0 294 424
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