I don't have as much time as usual, so this will mostly be a data dump post. I've been using a rudimentary system for the past few weeks to predict the outcomes of NFL games, and I've been measuring the system against the spread used by Vegas. Through three weeks, in games my program says are strongly undervalued, the picks have gone 14-5 (or 15-5) against the spread. In week 12, I picked the Saints to cover against the Pats (and they did), but I did not mention them in my summary at the end. A cynic would say that had the Saints not covered, I would have claimed I never picked them, so therefore they shouldn't count in the win column. Regardless of how you veiw that game, the system has been very successful so far -- slightly more successful than it was over the 20-year period in which the method was originally tested. A sample size of 20 games is too small to draw any significant conclusions, but combined with the results from 1988 to 2007, I feel pretty confident that certain types of teams are under (or over) valued.
On to this week's ratings:
|1||New Orleans Saints||2.19||0.31||2.49||0.21||-0.24||-0.03||2.47||12.3|
|2||Green Bay Packers||0.57||0.09||0.65||0.84||0.63||1.47||2.12||10.6|
|6||New York Jets||-0.43||0.43||0.00||1.48||0.34||1.81||1.81||9.1|
|10||New York Giants||1.06||0.05||1.11||0.00||0.21||0.21||1.32||6.6|
|12||San Diego Chargers||1.92||-0.96||0.96||0.36||-0.12||0.23||1.20||6.0|
|14||New England Patriots||1.17||-0.12||1.05||-0.02||-0.20||-0.22||0.83||4.2|
|19||San Francisco 49ers||-0.84||0.23||-0.60||0.06||0.53||0.58||-0.02||-0.1|
|27||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||-1.12||-0.13||-1.24||-0.51||-0.51||-1.02||-2.26||-11.3|
|28||St. Louis Rams||-1.28||0.30||-0.97||-0.97||-0.44||-1.41||-2.39||-11.9|
|29||Kansas City Chiefs||-1.52||-0.35||-1.86||-1.00||-0.34||-1.34||-3.21||-16.0|
And this week's games:
|Indianapolis Colts||@||Jacksonville Jaguars||7.9||-0.3||5.1||3||2.1|
|Arizona Cardinals||@||Detroit Lions||1.2||-16.5||14.6||12.5||2.1|
|Dallas Cowboys||@||New Orleans Saints||10.1||12.3||-5.3||-7||1.7|
|Cincinnati Bengals||@||San Diego Chargers||2.9||6.0||-6.1||-6.5||0.4|
|Green Bay Packers||@||Pittsburgh Steelers||10.6||9.2||-1.6||-1||-0.6|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||@||Seattle Seahawks||-11.3||-6.7||-7.6||-6.5||-1.1|
|Houston Texans||@||St. Louis Rams||0.4||-11.9||9.4||10.5||-1.1|
|Chicago Bears||@||Baltimore Ravens||-2.3||7.1||-12.4||-11||-1.4|
|New York Giants||@||Washington Redskins||6.6||2.2||1.4||3||-1.6|
|New England Patriots||@||Buffalo Bills||4.2||-3.9||5.0||7||-2.0|
|Cleveland Browns||@||Kansas City Chiefs||-17.3||-16.0||-4.3||-1||-3.3|
|San Francisco 49ers||@||Philadelphia Eagles||-0.1||9.6||-12.7||-9||-3.7|
|Minnesota Vikings||@||Carolina Panthers||6.0||-2.2||5.2||9||-3.8|
|Miami Dolphins||@||Tennessee Titans||-6.3||4.7||-13.9||-3||-10.9|
|Oakland Raiders||@||Denver Broncos||-16.1||6.7||-25.9||-14||-11.9|
|Atlanta Falcons||@||New York Jets||-5.9||9.1||-18.0||-5||-13.0|
Only three games stand out this week. Based on their efficiency scores and national perception, the Jets have been consistently undervalued and (full disclosure coming) as a Jets fan I agree with the numbers. New York has by far the strongest pass defense in the league (and I suspect it would look even better if we adjusted for strength of schedule), a solid run defense and a very good running game. Too much attention has been paid to the Jets weak passing attack, which makes up only 1/4 of my team ratings. My system saw the Jets as undervalued against the Panthers, Bills and Bucs the past three weekends, and the Jets covered each time. Take New York for the fourth week in a row.
The Broncos were strong picks for games in weeks 12 and 13, and covered easily against both the Giants and Chiefs. They were considered neutral last week, and they failed to cover against the Colts. Oakland has been (unsurprisingly) a heavy dog three of the past four weeks, against first Dallas, then Pittsburgh, and now versus Denver. My system said to bet against Oakland each week, and including against the Redskins last week, picking against the Raiders has worked twice and failed once (Pittsburgh). The numbers say the Broncos should be a much heavier favorite, and to date, the numbers seem to be doing okay on both Denver and Oakland. Especially with Bruce Gradkowski out, this looks like a Mile High beatdown waiting to happen. Take Denver.
The Titans and Dolphins are interesting teams for stats purposes. Using full-season stats for the Titans would probably undervalue them, considering how much better they've played since Vince Young entered the lineup. As for the Dolphins, whether it's the Wildcat or something else, Miami has won more games the past two seasons than you'd expect given their peripherals. Additionally, these two teams have played arguably the toughest two schedules in the league, another reason both are undervalued. Young is questionable for this game, but I expect him to play. Looking strictly at the numbers, the Titans appear to be the much better team, and are at home, so this line is very inviting. Take the Titans.
Just three picks this week: the Jets, the Broncos and the Titans.
This entry was posted on Thursday, December 17th, 2009 at 2:57 pm and is filed under Statgeekery. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.