Week Seven NFL Picks and "Game of the Week"

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    Re: Week Seven NFL Picks and "Game of the Week"

    1.)                Minnesota Vikings @ Pittsburgh Steelers – It’s going to be pretty hard for me to pull for a Brett Favre led team but I know ever time I have done so he’s been able to let me down.  The Steelers will break through that line this week and wear down Favre early.  Expect to see the Steeler offense really tested against this D and it creates an interesting matchup w/ the Steeler D vs. the Viking run game.


    2.) San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs -
    It will be closer than it seems.  Kansas City has come on as of late and they've had two good drafts - this is important because now is the time the young guys start o get the hang of it.  Still have to go with the Chargers here though.

    3.) Indianapolis Colts @ St. Louis Rams  -
    Colts by a million.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see a slaughter similar to what we saw in Foxboro this past week.


    4.) Chicago Bears @ Cincinnati Bengals – Good game here.  I’ll go Bears.  Think the defense will step up and Cutler will shine coming off of a loss.  I just trust Chicago more than Cinci.

    5.) Green Bay Packers @ Cleveland Browns – Packers walk easily here.  The Browns are a mess through and through on offense.  Their D is not that strong either.

    6.) New England Patriots @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    – Not too much to talk about beyond what we already have.  What favors Tampa is that this will be a run first type of atmosphere but the Patriots are getting them at the right time.

    7.) San Francisco 49ers @ Houston Texans: Another decent matchup.  I love what Mike Singletary has brought to this 49er team.  I think they will rise to the occasion on the road.  Texans are getting better as the year goes on but I just don’t see it happening this week.

    8.) NY Jets @ Oakland Raiders – Good point in the season for the Jets to get the Raiders – the only issue for them is that the Oakland defense actually looks legit right now.  I do think the NYJ line will rise to the occasion.  Seymour has dominated Ferguson since he’s been in the league and the familiarity works in the defense’s favor.  I’ll still go with the Jets if only for the fact that Oakland’s offense is a joke.

    9.) Buffalo Bills @ Carolina Panthers – two coaches on the hot seat, two QB’s looking at their last days at the healm.  Carolina will come out on top at home against a Bills team struggling with consistency on offense. 

    10.) New Orleans Saints @ Miami Dolphins
    – The Saints are just too good right now though this will be a good test of their run defense.  Will be interesting to watch for scouting purposes but not for the outcome – Saints by a lot.

    11.) Atlanta Falcons @ Dallas Cowboys – Could be a closer game than expected.  I would look for Demarcus Ware to come out of hibernation this week.  Still, the Falcons are looking like an incomplete team whereas the Cowboys are struggling to come together.

    12.) Arizona Cardinals @ NY Giants – They’re billing this as a matchup of the past two NFC Champs but it really doesn’t boil down that way.  The Giant will run right through the Cardinals and I believe Warner will be running for his life on the other side of he ball.

    13.) Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins – Both teams are sort of disappointments but the Redskins are disappointments who already expected to be bad.  Expect The Eagle’s D to look like the Pats offense looked this past week.

     
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    Re: Week Seven NFL Picks and "Game of the Week"

    In Response to Re: Week Seven NFL Picks and "Game of the Week":
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Week Seven NFL Picks and "Game of the Week" : My personal formula: The PaulK is a statistical estimate of how many games (out of 16) a team would win, if it started its season fresh tomorrow.   Example:   At the end of week 5, Buffalo was playing at the level of a 6-10 team.   The PaulK works on the following principles. 1.   It matters both who you beat and how many points you beat them by.   Beating the Raiders by one point doesn’t count for a lot this year.   It might actually drag your team’s power ranking down. 2.   A team plays its best football for three quarters.   In the fourth quarter teams clutch their rosaries.   Sometimes they put their scrubs on the field.   One team runs the ball three times and punts.   The other team throws an interception that gets run back for a touchdown on 4th and 10.   If you throw a hail mary in the fourth quarter and it fails, the coach will understand because he ordered that play.   If you mess up early in the game your coach will let you know.   So, in my system the score after 3 quarters is the best predictor of future wins.   I consider the first three quarters to be signal and the fourth quarter scores to be mostly noise. 3.   A team that dominates time of possession statistically does better. 4.   Good ratings start to go stale as teams change.   The PaulK eventually adjusts to season-ending injuries, or sometimes newbie defenses start to get better.  My current discount is 90% of full weight one week back, 81% two weeks back, 72.9% three weeks back... 5.  To figure out the spread, I subtract one team's number of expected victories against the other to get the difference.  Then I give 1.5 points per victory.  The home team gets 3 points.  Exception:  London. So far, I like the results.   
    Posted by Paul_K[/QUOTE]

    Paul;

    Sounds like a well thought out system. Do you do it on Excel?

    I agree with all your principles except #2. First, statistically, the team ahead by the third quarter is usually going to win anyhow, so what's the difference netween using the final score of the 3rd quarter score as a factor?

    I disagree that teams play their best for 3 quarters and slack off in the fourth. Sometimes football seems a lot like BBall where the fourth quarter is the only one worth watching and the time when teams play their best.

    Also, counting the third quarter score only ignores the come-from-behind-factor. It would seem that if a team comes back to win a game, they should be credited with a win. Likewise the team that can't hold on to a thrid qiauter lead shouldn't get credit for a win. 
     
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    Re: Week Seven NFL Picks and "Game of the Week"

         Here's a great article by the Indy Star's Bob Kravitz, who comments on the state of the NFL: http://www.indystar.com/article/20091023/SPORTS15/910230325/1058/SPORTS03/Kravitz++NFL+parity+is+gone++and+good+riddance

        
     
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    Re: Week Seven NFL Picks and "Game of the Week"

    In Response to Re: Week Seven NFL Picks and "Game of the Week":
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Week Seven NFL Picks and "Game of the Week" : Paul; Sounds like a well thought out system. Do you do it on Excel? I agree with all your principles except #2. First, statistically, the team ahead by the third quarter is usually going to win anyhow, so what's the difference netween using the final score of the 3rd quarter score as a factor? I disagree that teams play their best for 3 quarters and slack off in the fourth. Sometimes football seems a lot like BBall where the fourth quarter is the only one worth watching and the time when teams play their best. Also, counting the third quarter score only ignores the come-from-behind-factor. It would seem that if a team comes back to win a game, they should be credited with a win. Likewise the team that can't hold on to a thrid qiauter lead shouldn't get credit for a win. 
    Posted by unclealfie[/QUOTE]

    Teams don't "slack off" in the fourth quarter.  They play for different goals.  That makes those plays noise, not signal, for the question, "which team is playing better most of the time?"  I want to eliminate noise from the signal.

    Every single play says something about the team under some circumstance or other.  Almost all of the plays in the first 3 quarters (except the last minute of the second quarter) are about the team trying to gain points in general while trying not to lose points in general.  I want that particular signal because next week, almost all of the plays through the end of the third quarter are going to be equally for that goal. In fact, in many games, all of the plays halfway through the fourth quarter are for that goal. 

    At the end of the fourth quarter, the situations change.  Teams are playing prevent so that they give up yardage and give up field goals but not touchdowns.  The losing team often looks tremendous all of a sudden against the Patriots' defense.  It's not that real!  Brady has gone something ridiculous, like 70-3 when the Pats are ahead in the fourth quarter, so BB has usually gotten what he really wants, a 1 point victory.   The most egregious example was when the Pats, instead of punting, threw away 2 points by deliberately hiking the ball out of the endzone.  They got a free kick from the 20, not from the back of the endzone, and went on to win the game, thank you.  Another quite common example, when ahead by 9 or more points, is to let the other team drive for a slow touchdown 5 or 6 yards at a time.  The other team gets 7 points but loses almost all of their time, and has to kick an onside kick which fails.  The final completely bogus play is the winners' kneeldown, especially in field goal position.

    On the losing side we see hail mary plays with many interceptions.  Defensive players try to rip the ball out, miss the tackle and watch a touchdown take place.

    Those are the plays that are noise.  Yes, they often lead to points on the final score. 

    When games are pretty even, 4th quarter results are a valid signal.  If I had time I'd sift through and use the plays from the close games, but they don't add that much additional solidity to my stats.  I need an easy rule to get them all out of the way.  So, 3rd quarter stats.

    Overtime coin flips are an additional source of noise.  The flip winner tends to get the points.  I see some of the same desperate defensive gambles when one team is in field goal range, just before the other team kicks the winning field goal.

    I agree that the fourth quarter (of a close game) is worth watching. 

    I regret that I have no come-from-behind factor.  It's a blind spot in my stats.  For example, Brett Favre would be a great come-from-behind factor, and certain teams have no such tools.  However, much of this factor should equally be evident in the first three quarters.  Brett, Payton and TB usually do their coming-from in the first three quarters, and then there's no deficit to make up.  If I took every game play-by-play (which I don't have time for) I could have such a factor.

    My simulation of a come-from-behind factor is the time of possession.  The come-from-behind team has usually beaten up the other team's defense. 

    It may also be that some teams are more physical or just plain dirty than other teams, and that would be an under-the-radar come-from-behind factor.  Also, certain teams may specialize in staying up all night rehearsing the magic gimmick play that perhaps wins the game.  Finally, Miami and Denver are exhausting places for visitors to play, and that's a come-from-behind factor for the home team.  However, there is precious little signal to mine for all of this.  If there's no signal, it's not too usable here.

    I never give any credit for wins.  I give credit for next week's potential.  That's my target.

    Yes, it's in Excel for easy editing, with a Visual Basic routine in the background.
     
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    Re: Week Seven NFL Picks and "Game of the Week"

    My 3:35 updated predictions
    visitor /  home / my pointspread / vegas / the difference
    buf car     -3.0 7.5 -10.5
    nyj oak     -10.4 -7 -3.4
    chi cin     -2.0 -1.5 -0.5
    no mia     -1.4 -7 5.6
    atl dal     -6.6 4 -10.6
    az nyg     0.4 7 -6.6
    phi was     -3.5 -7 3.5

    Huge for buffalo
    minor for the jets
    flat for chi/cin
    large for miami
    huge for atlanta
    huge for arizona
    minor for washington

    Lots of strong opinions here. 

    Let me add the usual two caveats. 
    1.Watch the injuries (above post, especially buffalo). 
    2. Gambling is for people who don't understand mathematics.
     
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    Re: Week Seven NFL Picks and "Game of the Week"

    In Response to Re: Week Seven NFL Picks and "Game of the Week":
    [QUOTE]My 3:35 updated predictions visitor /  home / my pointspread / vegas / the difference buf car     -3.0 7.5 -10.5 nyj oak     -10.4 -7 -3.4 chi cin     -2.0 -1.5 -0.5 no mia     -1.4 -7 5.6 atl dal     -6.6 4 -10.6 az nyg     0.4 7 -6.6 phi was     -3.5 -7 3.5
    Posted by Paul_K[/QUOTE]
    OK this ruined my hour.  (At least the Patriots game was soothing).  The 1:00 game inputs didn't get used at all in the above numbers.  That's why there was no movement.  Here is the (Belated!!) 3:30 update:
    buf car   30 -0.7 7.5 -8.2
    nyj oak   30 -5.8 -7 1.2
    chi cin   30 -0.5 -1.5 1.0
    no mia   30 -0.6 -7 6.4
    atl dal   30 -3.1 4 -7.1
    az nyg   30 1.0 7 -6.0
    phi was   30 -4.0 -7 3.0

    I haven't seen one late score yet, so this should be interesting.
    The buffalo game narrowed 2.3 points. 
    The oakland game swang violently 4.6 points towards oakland.
    NO/miami didn't move much
    Atlanta/dallas narrowed 3.5 points, but it's still heavily atlanta
    az/nyg and phi/was didn't move much
    Now to go see what actually happened in these games. . . .
     
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    Re: Week Seven NFL Picks and "Game of the Week"

    Wow did that look ugly against the vegas sharks!  I'll tote it up Tuesday.

    Oh well, two more calculations for the road, with later game scores factored in:
    az nyg   30 0.0 7 -7.0
    phi was   30 -3.2 -7 3.8
    Arizona got a little bigger difference, and washington got a fraction more likely to cover.
     

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