Panthers-Saints and the Power Rankings

Do you remember how people kept complaining about the Thursday night games last year?  Or was that this year?  Or is it every year?  Anyway, tomorrow night we get a rare bird:  two sub-.500 teams playing for first place in their division.  The Saints and Panthers are decent teams and historically have had some good games, so I’m optimistic that the game will be better than that description gives them credit for, but let’s take a quick look. Continue reading

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NFL Week 8 Results

After a bizarre game in London (but a win is a win!), the Lions have played two games in a row where they won yet failed to cover.  That’s more impressive when you consider they were favored in those games by 2 and 3.5.  This week it was a small help to the models, as they all had Atlanta covering thanks to the Falcons being listed as the home team.  How about the other games?  Let’s find out how the picks did. Continue reading

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NFL Week 8 Picks

With Detroit and Atlanta kicking off at 9:30 in the morning, it’s extra important to get the picks up today.  With a relatively strong contingent of home underdogs this week, including the Falcons assuming they were actually playing at home, maybe the models will have a good week.  It has yet to happen, and they lost the Thursday night game again, but you never know.  Weirder things have happened. Continue reading

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Bill Simmons Just Found out About Point Differential

Bill Simmons had some time off due to his suspension from ESPN, but returned with his picks for tomorrow’s games (which I’ll have in my usual picks post later).  But aside from golfing, apparently Simmons spent some time thinking about if you could maybe use something better than a team’s record as a measure of how good they are.  He gives an example:

For instance, Arizona battled back in Week 1 to beat San Diego 18-17 on Monday night — the Cardinals got the “win” and San Diego got the “loss,” but really, that was an “either/or” game, right? For gambling purposes, there had to be a better way to capture that.

And so what Bill does is re-categorize each game for each team as a convincing win, a convincing loss, or in between.  And he titles this an ‘epiphany’.  What Bill has actually finally done is take a step towards using point differential instead of win/loss outcome. Continue reading

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Broncos-Chargers Features the Best Team in Football

The storylines from early in the season are starting to fall apart a bit.  The Patriots started poorly, but now sit at 5-2 (even though they still haven’t been inspiring their old confidence).  The Bengals have failed to win three weeks in a row after a great start.  The Saints are in bad shape.  Seattle is in bad shape.  Green Bay is starting to round into form, but they can’t shake the Lions.  The Cowboys looks amazing.  And most relevant to the power rankings, the Chargers lost for the second time.  That’s enough to knock them out of the number 1 spot, and after a convincing win over the 49ers, the Broncos have taken over. Continue reading

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NFL Week 7 Results

The models had a glowing start to the week.  They all got the Jets to cover against the Pats, and the next three games that the models agreed on (according to the schedule released before the season began) were all hits too: Tennessee, St. Louis, and Minnesota to cover.  Unfortunately, it was downhill from there.  Let’s see how the carnage went. Continue reading

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NFL Week 7 Picks

The predictions this week start off on a high note, as the Jets managed to keep the game close against the Patriots for a cover.  The models though the Pats were favorites by about the early line of a touchdown, but as the number moved closer to 10 the Jets became more of a preference.  The models sort of took a week off for the week 3 Falcons-Bucs Thursday night game, where they similarly had Atlanta as the 6 point favorite that the line claimed, but otherwise have gotten every other Thursday night game this year wrong.  So with one correct pick in the bag, let’s get to the rest of the weekend. Continue reading

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