It was a pretty eventful weekend in the NFL. The Colts won their first game, the Packers lost their first game, every lazy writer in the universe got to make some kind of ‘lights out’ joke about the 49ers-Steelers game, and (important for me) the Lions put a virtual lock on a playoff spot. Let’s start with a quick rundown on the model predictions.
The over/under has completely crashed and burned. While I expected it to be disappointing by being average (you need to be above average to be profitable), it has been disappointing by being below average. This week it was 5-11, for a season total of 94-108-5. You might think that perhaps it would be best to bet opposite the picks, but there’s no reason to think they are systematically wrong. They might bounce back (to average) in the last two weeks, or this could just be a fluke. Either way, definitely getting an overhaul in the offseason.
Luigi was only 8-8 in picking outright winners this week. The Colts and Chiefs were obviously surprises, but so were the Redskins and Panthers, which I think were also reasonable underdogs. On the season Luigi is 127-81. Adding in the moneyline, Luigi was 3-5 for a season record of 51-78, which is a little bit in the red.
In all Bovada games Luigi was only 8-8 for a season record of 104-96-8. But a number of games were too close to call. In the 11 pickable games Luigi was 6-5 for a season record of 86-72-7, which is slightly profitable. As a side note, the Lions game was the best of all worlds; they won but the Raiders covered as predicted, which is a miracle considering the line was +1.5. My SuperContest picks (against Bovada, not Hilton, lines) were the Jaguars, Chargers, Bucs, Redskins, and Browns. Those picks were 3-2 for a season total of 41-31-4 and 43 points. Finally, we have Bill Simmons’ lines. He was 7-8-1 while Luigi was 9-6-1, with the Raiders-Lions game being the push under his lines. The other change for me was Vikings-Saints; I took the Saints on Bill’s line but the Vikings on Bovada’s, and the Saints covered. So on the season Bill is 111-104-9 and I am 120-95-9. It would take a lot for me to lose a 9 game lead in two weeks, but I’ll restrain myself from declaring victory. The model doesn’t know about players being rested, for example, so Bill might have more of an edge at the end of the year.
On to the power rankings! We have a new number one this week after the Packers suffered their first loss. The Saints have taken over, although the difference is very small. The Chargers are performing a small-scale replica of last year, where they were very good but missed the playoffs. This time they’ll just be the best team to not make the playoffs, although they’re more of an above-average instead of very good team.