Statsational NFL Week 10

By | November 5, 2014
We put another good week in the books closing out strong with an easy Monday night victory.  For those of you not getting the college games you are missing out on a nice season as we move to 93-70-3 on the season.  Using discount code STRETCH2014 you can get the rest of the CFB season for a $50 savings here .
I mentioned teams getting 10.5 or more in the NFL last week.  Two instances last week both covered with Jacksonville and Oakland.  The model did not have Oakland but these are almost always automatic bets and at a minimum should always be taken in office pools.
I did some analysis of each team in the league to see who is playing beyond their record and who has been fortunate to be where they are.

This graph shows each team and how they are performing strictly from a yards from scrimmage standpoint.  Teams are measured on how they perform based on the average given up by their opponent.  So rushing for 100 yards on an opponent who averages giving up 120 yards on the ground is not as good as rushing for 100 yards against an opponent who averages giving up 80.

The further left you go on the chart the better the team is expected to be.  No surprise the furthest team on the left is Denver.  The higher up you are on the chart the better record you have.  The curved line smooths out the points a bit.  Those around that line are pretty much playing to the proper record.  The further below the line you are the more you have underachieved and the further above the line the more you have over performed.

Expected Wins based on Yards
As we can see the biggest over achieving team is Arizona.  Also have a look at where Cincinnati and Cleveland are on the chart.  The difference between these teams and teams like Tennessee, Carolina, Atlanta are minimal.  The biggest under achieving team is the Jets.  Washington has also been better than their record shows.
One thing that will cause a team to perform outside of where they should would be turnovers.  Turnovers are extremely difficult to predict and often have a huge luck factor.  16 games in an NFL season is an extremely small sample size.  Some years the loose balls will find a way to you and other seasons they will not.  Interceptions are a bit more predictive but so many interceptions or lack of interceptions can be chalked up to luck as well.  But we do know some QB’s are more apt to turn it over than others based on their past performance.  Here is a look at the same chart as above but adjusted for turnover differential.
Expected Win with TO

After adjusting for turnovers it becomes a bit clearer as to why certain teams are where they are.  The Jets and Washington are better teams than their records indicate but both need the QB position to play better than it has.  And by better they both need to not be loose with the football.  Arizona has just 2 interceptions all season.  How sustainable that is is hard to say.  Foles was able to have an extremely low interception total last season but eventually that evens out.  From these charts, on a neutral field, if you can promise me Denver will be even in turnovers against any other team in the league they are not going to lose very often.  Not really a ground breaking discovery.  But perhaps some teams you may have a different view of after looking these over.
Special teams are not factored in here but in some instances can be just as important as a turnover.  It is all about starting field position.  At some point coaching decisions and game management also play a factor.  This is where a better coach gets you to the top in your section as opposed to the bottom.
When you look at a line that looks a bit off on the surface these graphs may also help.  The Jets are the obvious team here again as they were last week.  They probably should have covered but with each non cover their value for a bettor goes up.  This week they get 4.5 points at home.  The public will hammer Pittsburgh here.  Pitt has looked great in its last two outings.  The Jets have continued to look bad.  There will not be a square dollar bet on the Jets.  We will however take our chances that the Jets can play a cleaner game and possibly win this one outright.
We have just 5 games this week.  I can not recall having this few but we had a lot of conflicting trends on games so a lot of very marginal edges thus no play for us.
Here is the list
NFL Week 10

​1. Tennessee +10………………………….73%
2. NY Jets +4.5…………………………….63%
3. Tampa Bay +1…………………………..60%
4. Detroit -3………………………………….57%
5. Seattle -9………………………………….55%
San Francisco
St. Louis

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