It’s no surprise that Kansas City is favored over Oakland tonight. The Raiders are the league’s only winless team while the Chiefs were perhaps surprisingly hanging around the AFC West division lead with the Broncos; after an impressive win over Seattle while Denver lost in equally impressive fashion to the Rams, the two are actually tied based on record. The game is in Oakland though, which limits the damage a little bit. The Chiefs are touchdown favorites according to SBR, but the models have the game a little closer. But in any case, it seems likely that it’s a boring Thursday night game ahead. Continue reading
I wimped out a bit in Vegas; I placed an 11-team parlay that was doomed from the start (as virtually any such bet is by definition). But let’s see how the models did and where I could have made some money in hindsight. Continue reading
The picks will be short and sweet this week as I’m in Vegas debating how much to trust the models. The answer looks like “probably not much”, but we’ll see.
Tonight’s game, on the surface, looks to be a chance for either the Bills or Dolphins to stay in the playoff chase. And while that’s technically true, it’s also unfortunately true for these two that neither of them is likely to make the playoffs. The problem is that the AFC has too many teams in the running, there are some clearly better teams, and other decent teams have the same record. As things stand, the Pats, Broncos, and Colts are all very likely to win their divisions and are also actually good teams. That’s three of the six right there. Another team is guaranteed to come from the AFC North in the form of the division winner. So Miami and Buffalo, barring a New England collapse, are relegated to the wild card. This is doubly true since each still has a game to play in New England. The next issue is that there is a smorgasbord of potential wild cards teams. The winner of tonight’s game will be 6-4; other teams in that neighborhood include the loser (at 5-5), the non-division winners of the AFC North (currently either 6-4, 5-3-1, or 6-3), the Chiefs, and the Chargers. Both the Dolphins and Bills have to play a game in Denver still. It’s an ugly road ahead. Continue reading
Just when I thought the picks couldn’t get any worse, they did. Luigi got Thursday night’s game right, and then didn’t get another one until the end of the Arizona-St. Louis game. So let’s flash through the embarrassment. Continue reading
Entering the second half of the season, there’s surprisingly little we know about the best team in the NFL. That’s because we don’t know who it is. My rankings have the Broncos on top, but they aren’t clearly better than the Colts, and neither is that far ahead of the Pats, Ravens, or Eagles. And if you’re a believer in head-to-head games being super informative, then maybe you’d put the Pats ahead of the Broncos despite New England having played worse in a lot of other games. Maybe the Eagles should be ahead of the Colts, although they’ve gotten by on special teams and now have to get by with Mark Sanchez. Maybe the one-loss Cardinals should be #1, although they lost convincingly to the Broncos. So maybe this will be the week that brings a little clarity to the league, or maybe at least the playoff picture. Continue reading
Tonight’s game has already started, so I won’t belabor the preview. The Bengals are favored by about a touchdown, which seems right given the pedigrees and expectations for the two teams. That being said, the Browns have been fairly solid so far this year, albeit against a pretty easy schedule. The models all have the Bengals as the favorite, but by more like a field goal. Instead let’s take a look at the power rankings about halfway through the season. Continue reading