Tuesday, December 30, 2008

First Round of Playoffs Preview

With three weeks of data I was able to run some more regression analysis. It was pretty amazing but what ended up being the most significant information were two items. For the visiting team the most important factor was the point allowed per home game for the home team. It was almost 99% significant. This makes sense because it was the 6th-8th game for the home team and the number was probably a good indication of how well they play defense at home.

For the home team the most important factor was the three week average defense for the visiting team. This also makes a lot of sense. It is tougher for a visiting team and why Vegas always gives the home team three points. The NFL and sports in general is about momentum. So it stands to reason a visiting team is going to play as good or bad as their last three weeks.

Enough of the geek speak and onto the games.

Teams Spread O/U Predicted Off Avg Def Avg Def 3 Def H Def A Projected
The Cardinals are allowing 34 points a game over their last three and have allowed 22 points a game at home over the season. This includes home games against the 49ers, the Rams and the Seahawks. Atlanta has been scoring around 20 points a game on the road, over the season and for the last three games. I will give them 28 because of the poor Cardinals defense as of late and at home. The Cardinals are only averaging 18 points a game over the last three. The Falcons are only allowing 18 points a game over the last three. In fact Atlanta is strong at 20 points for all their defensive numbers. I will give the Cardinals 21.

Atlanta (#7, 11-5) -1 51 26 24.4 20.3 18 20.5 20.1 28 Atlanta
Arizona (#18, 9-7) 1 51 25 26.7 26.6 34.3 22.2 31 21

This is a hard game to call both teams have weaknesses and the Chargers seem to match up well against the Colts. This is the classic offense versus defense game. I believe that a good defense will hold down a good offense and this game will be lower scoring than predicted. If I had a gun to my head I would pick the Colts, because its Norv Turner. The under seams a better play, these teams are allowing 37 points a game combined over the last 3.

Indianapolis (#3, 12-4) -1 51 26 23.6 18.6 15 15.1 22.1 20 Under
San Diego (#15, 8-8) 1 51 25 27.4 21.7 22 19.6 23.8 21

The Ravens have been very good to me all season. The Dolphins are allowing 20 points a game on all their stats. Baltimore is scoring even more but I could conservatively give Baltimore 20. Next, the Dolphins are only averaging 19 points a game at home and 17 for the season. The Ravens are allowing 15 points a game over the last three and the season. I see Miami being lucky to score 15.

Baltimore (#4, 11-5) -3 37.5 20.25 24.1 15.2 14.7 10 20.5 20 Baltimore
Miami (#11, 11-5) 3 37.5 17.25 21.6 19.8 19 20.5 19.1 15

Before even looking at the stats for this game remember Tavaris Jackson is the starting QB. The Eagles are clicking on defense allowing 9 points a game over their last three. I just don't have faith in a one dimensional offense doing well in the playoffs and think the Eagles will hold the Vikings to 14 points. The Eagles offense has been scoring a ton of points except for the Redskins game which I still can't explain. The Vikings are allowing 20 points a game over the season and the last three. They have been a little better at home, but Williams if he does play will be injured. Just a reminder, Tavaris Jackson is starting for the Vikings.

Philadelphia (#8, 9-6-1) -3 41.5 22.25 26 18.1 8.7 14.8 21.4 21 Philadelphia
Minnesota (#10, 10-6) 3 41.5 19.25 23.7 20.8 19 17.9 23.8 14

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