Wednesday, September 15, 2010

NFL Week 2 Picks

Week one was an interesting one for the model. Of all the picks made, it got 53% correct (against the spread as well). Once the confidence in the pick is factored in (estimated accuracy of the pick) the accuracy shot up to 72% overall and 67% against the spread. This included picking the Steelers and the Texans. I did pick the Cowboys and they blew it by holding on the last play of the game, but that is what I get for picking the Cowboys.

This week we final have some current data to feed into the model so we are looking for slightly better overall performance. Here goes nothing. Home teams are listed first, each team's projected score is in parentheses and the confidence level reflects the odds the team projected to win will actually win the game:

San Francisco (20) vs. New Orleans (19) Confidence: 51%
The 49ers ran into so....technical difficulties last week, but we assume that Singletary and Co. will be able to get the play calling under control and get Alex Smith in position to have the break out year I have projected him to have. Meanwhile, New Orleans is not running the ball well nor (strangely enough) passing enough.

Washington (17) vs. Houston (21) Confidence: 52%
The Texans look to follow up their big upset of the Colts with a win on the road over the incredibly lucky Redskins. Houston averaged over 7 yards per play on first down against a good Colts defense, hard to imagine what they will be able to do to a 'Skins defense that gave up  nearly 6 yards a play on first against a good but not that good Cowboy offense.

Carolina (20) vs. Tampa Bay (21) Confidence: 58%
These were two of the worst third down defenses last week, both giving up close to 10 yards per pass play on 3rd and long. Not sure that either team has the firepower to take advantage of the others weakness though so Tampa should be just good enough on offense to squeak out a win.

Cincinnati (21) vs. Baltimore (16) Confidence: 59%
The Ravens must be riding high after their big Monday night upset of the suddenly cowering Jets, but it will not be enough to beat a division rival on the road. The Bengals are passing well and often which should more than over come a leaky first down defense to score them the win at home.

Cleveland (24) vs. Kansas City (21) Confidence: 61.3%
The Chiefs are getting a ton of buzz and my good friends over at Football Outsiders are feeling good about their pick of the Chiefs winning the division. I however see there 1.4 yards per pass attempt on first down against the Chargers and believe that everything is not quite up to date in KC. Cleveland's strong defense will let them win at home, regardless of their starting QB.

Denver (22) vs. Seattle (19) Confidence: 65.8%
Tebow Fever, catch it.

Green Bay (23) vs. Buffalo (15) Confidence: 64%
Buffalo looks to have one of the worst offenses in the league, averaging approximately 3 yards per play on first down. Their defense is stout, but not enough to contain Rodgers and company (even without Grant) in Lambeau.

Tennessee (22) vs. Pittsburgh (19) Confidence: 70.4%
I had the Steelers win pegged last week, and feel equally confident about a loss for them this week. The Titan's D is looking dominant in all phases and defenses are so scared of Chris Johnson, Vince Young is becoming an efficient option.

Detroit (9) vs. Philadelphia (10) Confidence: 71.2%
The Vick experiment continues  in the backup QB bowl. It looks to be close, but since the Detroit Defense gave up 11.3 yards per 1st down pass attempt and 10 yards per 2nd down pass attempt, even Vick should be able to move the chains.

Oakland (12) vs. St. Louis (17) Confidence: 71.4%
 St Louis is apparently not afraid to let their rookie QB throw the ball (60% of first down plays), and the Oakland D seems amenable to allowing him to actually complete a few this week.

Atlanta (12) vs. Arizona (21) Confidence: 75.8%
The Cards take their balanced and efficient offense on the road against an Atlanta team that appears to have weakened on the defensive end and have little to no rushing attack on offense. The Cards should have little problem taking this one on the road.

Minnesota (23) vs Miami (14) Confidence: 80%
Minnesota bounces back at home after being beat up by the Saints in the opener. They have a dominant run defense and Miami has almost no aerial attack. Peterson may have trouble finding some holes in a defense that looks to be just as good against the run as the Vikes, but at home in their very own dome, old man Favre should be able to find a few TDs to keep the Purple alive.

San Diego (28) vs. Jacksonville (18) Confidence: 85.7%
My one and only caveat to this pick is that the Chargers have to throw the ball more on first down. They are a very good passing team, yet Norv chose to throw on only 40% of first down plays against the Chiefs. That is 21st in the league, behind such stellar passing attacks as the Redskins, Rams and 49ers. If they throw, they'll win going away, otherwise...

Dallas (25) vs. Chicago (16) Confidence: 86.3%
They deeply disappointed me last week, but they also outplayed the Redskins in virtually every aspect of the game. As Chicago was on the other side of lucky last week, I see Dallas bouncing back and actually letting their very efficient offense score some points.


  1. Did I miss a NE vs NYJ pick? Or a NYG vs Colts pick?

  2. Giants and Jets picks are at the Wall Street Journal New York Section.