Thursday, January 29, 2009

Super Bowl Preview

I thought I would give a detailed preview of the way I look at games since I only have to focus on one game. As a reminder I went 8-2 over the playoffs so far.

Predicted Results

This is the easiest thing to explain. I take the over/under (46.5) and the spread (6.5). I divide both these numbers by two and that gives us a number for what Vegas expects the Steelers and the Cardinals to score. This math shows the Steelers at 26.5 and the Cardinals at 20.

Steelers Offense vs. Cardinals Defense
The next step is to compare an offense versus a defense. I decided to pick the Steelers offense first. The Steelers average 22.5 points a game over the 2008 season (including playoffs). The last three games they have scored 29.7 points game. Since its a neutral game we won't look at the home/away split. The Steelers are obviously peaking at the right time but its with an offense that is below average. This tells me that they are scoring with help from their defense, whether its actual turnovers or field position. Don't forget the punt return for a touchdown that helped them. The Cardinals have been allowing 25.7 points a game over the season and 20.7 points over the last three games. Another team that is peaking and playing thier best football. The offenses the Cardinals played were: Falcons, Panthers and Eagles. These are good offenses but no one in the top 10. If you look at the Steelers, they have put up close to 30 points against a number of defenses. Really struggling against the Titans and Ravens the last two months. I see the Steelers scoring 30 points. Steelers 30

Cardinals Offense vs. Steelers Defense
The Cardinals have averaged 27.5 points a game over the season and 31.7 over the last three. The Cardinals have a top 10 passing offense and a horrible running attack. The problem is that passing attack needs good weather and they have played much better in a dome than on grass. The Steelers have a top defense allowing 14.5 points a game and 12.7 points over their last three games. The number of the top offenses the Steelers have played are minimal. They played the Chargers twice, the Colts and the Giants. All of these offenses score over 20 points, expect for the Chargers first game when they were struggling. I find it hard to believe that the Cardinals will score less than 20 points. Cardinals 21

Final Thoughts
As the easy math can tell you, I like the Steelers winning by nine points. I think the easier bet is the over, because I see Warner throwing 40 times this game and that will create both offensive and defensive scores.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Conference Championship Preview

It has been a great playoffs run. Looking at these games I have a major problem with the over/under for each game. The math, reasoning and picks are below:

The Cardinals have been scoring 32 points over their last three and 30 points at home all season. The Eagles defense has been giving up 10 points a game over their last three. Those three teams were the Cowboys, Giants and Vikings all teams with major offensive problems. Sure the Eagles have a great blizting defense but you live by the sword you die by the sword. I have to give the Cardinals 28 points since its at home and they have been hot as of late. The Eagles have also been on fire offensively scoring 31 points over their last three but they have struggled on the road offensively. If you remove the Redskins and Bengals game the offensive numbers look a lot better on the road. I expect the Eagles to score 27 points, a good mid-point between their offense and the Cardinals defense. I love the over for this game, these teams combined for 68 points in the end of November and I expect big plays on both teams.
Teams Spread O/U Predicted Off Off 3 Def Def 3 Projected
Philadelphia (#5, 11-6-1) -4 49.5 26.75 25.8 31 17.4 10.3 27 Over
Arizona (#11, 11-7) 4 49.5 22.75 27.2 32.3 25.7 19.3 28

The Ravens Titans game was a bloodbath with a large number of players limping off at one point. As I was watching that game I made a mental note to take their opponent for this week's game. The problem is that Vegas seemed to have the same line of reasoning. The Ravens have been scoring 22-23 points a game in all three categories (season, last three and away). This is a lot higher than the Steelers 15 points a game at home. I see the Ravens scoring at least 15 points. Vegas thinks the Steelers will score 20 points. Despite the Ravens only allowing 9 points a game over their last three. The last time these two teams played it was 13-9. I think the Steelers will score 16. After seeing weather predictions and dealing with the Chicago weather I have to take the under.
Teams Spread O/U Predicted Off Off 3 Def Def 3
Baltimore (#1, 13-5) 6 34 14 23.6 22.3 14.6 8.7 15 Under
Pittsburgh (#2, 13-4) -6 34 20 22.5 26.7 14.5 18.3 16

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Divisional Playoff Results

Another strong week in the playoffs, this time going undefeated and getting all four games correct. That is right, I went 4-0 and I am now 7-1 over the playoffs. Of course, I only bet 40% of my pile so the returns are not as high as you might expect. Still, it is great to see such success since reverse engineering.

(301) Baltimore Ravens +3 (-120) Sat@3:30p Win
(303) Arizona Cardinals +10 Sat@7:15p Win
(305) Philadelphia Eagles +4 Sun@12:00p Win
(308) Pittsburgh Steelers -6 Sun@3:45p Win

Weekly Record: 4-0
Playoff Record: 7-1
Overall Record: 92-77-5 (54.44%)
Record since reverse engineering: 35-20-1 (63.63%)
Weekly Return: 35.59%
Cumulative Return: -41.53%

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Divisional Playoffs Actual Bets

After hearing Kevin Mawae is injured and either won't play or will play injured it moved me to just bet on the Ravens instead of the under. I had the Ravens winning 16-13 but with Mawae hurt I see the Ravens defense playing even better. Below are the actual bets:

(301) Baltimore Ravens +3 (-120) Sat@3:30p
(303) Arizona Cardinals +10 Sat@7:15p
(305) Philadelphia Eagles +4 Sun@12:00p
(308) Pittsburgh Steelers -6 Sun@3:45p

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Divisional Playoff Preview

The playoffs are harder to be in my opinion because some of our regular season favorites have now established themselves as very good teams (Baltimore and Carolina). They no longer are the easy picks they were during the regular season. It's interesting because I don't really feel the momentum is behind one or two teams as far as the fans. It seems like everything is almost wide open. Below are the previews and picks.

If we have learned anything in these 18 weeks it is that defense is the most important part of the football game because it is the most consistant. The last time these two teams played the combined score was 23 points. Over the season these defeneses have allowed a combined 29.5 points. Over the last three games 30 combined points. Their highest numbers are Baltimore on the road 19.2 and the Titans at home 16.6 for a combined 35.8. Only we have learned the most important numbers are the home defense 16.6 and the last three games 13.3 for a total of 30 points. I am taking the under

Spread O/U Predicted Off Avg Off 3 Def 3 Def H Projected
Baltimore (#2, 12-5) 3 34.5 16 24.2 29 13.3 10 16 Under
Tennessee (#3, 13-3) -3 34.5 19 23.4 14.3 16.7 16.6 13

The Panthers have played outstanding defense at home this season at 14 points a game. The problem is they have played some really poor teams at home. The gave up 22 points to the Lions and 23 points to the Cardinals. The Cardinals are averaging 23 points a game away and their last three and I see them scoring that amount. The Cardinals are allowing 30 points a game over their last three the same number that the Panthers are scoring over their last three and at home over the season. Therefore, I see the Panthers scoring 30 points a game.

Spread O/U Predicted Off Avg Off 3 Def 3 Def H

Arizona (#14, 10-7) 10 48.5 19 26.9 23.7 30.7 22.4 23 Cardinals
Carolina (#6, 12-4) -10 48.5 29 25.9 30.3 25 13.9 30

The Giants have played well at home only allowing 16 points a game versus an Eagles offense that has scored 21 points a game on the road including 20 the last time they played at Giant stadium. The problem is you have to go back to November for the last time the Giants allowed less than 20 points, I expect the Eagles to score 20. Injuries to the Giants offense has caused problems and their offense is only scoring 20 points a game over the last three. The biggest problem is the Eagles defense is only allowing 10 points a game over their last three one of our favorite indicators. In fact the Eagles defense has been great since the 36-31 loss against the Giants on November 9th. Only allowing more than 14 points once in a 48-20 victory over the Cardinals. I think the Giants would be lucky to score 17 points.

Spread O/U Predicted Off Avg Off 3 Def 3 Def H

Philadelphia (#7, 10-6-1) 4 40 18 26 24.3 10 14.8 20 Eagles
NY Giants (#4, 12-4) -4 40 22 26.7 20.3 22.7 15.6 17

The last time the Steelers allowed more than 13 points was November 9th and that includes a contest with the Chargers. Vegas is predicting 16 points for the Chargers so they obviously understand how good the Steelers defense is, 14.4 points at home and 13.9 over the year. I would agree with 16 points or have a hard time finding a fault in that number. The Chargers are allowing 21 points a game over their last three. The Steelers are averaging 19 points a game over the same period. I am having a hard time with this game, I see the Steelers at 21 points. So we are about equal with Vegas but since we have a gamlbing problem and want to place a wager its time to look at the intangibles. They all seem to point in the Steelers direction: an extra week off, the top defense in the league, crappy playing surface, Norv Turner. In the end it comes down to the fact that Norv Turner's regular season record is 77-95-1, I am going Steelers.

Spread O/U Predicted Off Avg Off 3 Def 3 Def H

San Diego (#13, 9-8) 6 38 16 27.2 38.7 20.7 19.3 16
Pittsburgh (#1, 12-4) -6 38 22 21.7 19.3 13.3 14.4 21 Steelers

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tom Luginbill (Scouts Inc./ESPN) and I Agree Garrett Gilbert = God

That is right, I had the pleasure of watching a Lake Travis game in person this year and saw first hand how good Garrett Gilbert is. I plan on following his career now that he is going to Texas. So expect periodic updates on his status. I really felt like he was better than some college QB's I was watching this year, of course I was also stuck with watching Indiana games so I might be bias. The final disclaimer: I also was a big fan of Kevin Orie when he was on the Cubs and predicted big things for him.

Future holds national titles and Heismans for Class of '09

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Wild Card Weekend Results

The biggest regret I have for the weekend was the Cardinals game. They averaged 30+ points a game at home and I still talked myself into them scoring less points. This is where I probably would have done better to not think about who the teams were and just look at the numbers. Still, it was a good weekend I went 3-1 in my picks. I only used 40% of my total because it was only 4 bets I made.

(101) Atlanta Falcons -2½ Sat@3:30p Loss
(103) Colts vs. (104) Chargers Under 51 Sat@7:00p Win
(105) Baltimore Ravens -3½ Sun@12:00p Win
(107) Philadelphia Eagles -3 (-125) Sun@3:30p Win

Playoff Record: 3-1
Overall Record: 88-77-5 (53.33%)
Record since reverse engineering: 31-20-1 (62%)
Weekly Return: 16.12%
Cumulative Return: -56.88%

Saturday, January 3, 2009

First Round Actual Bets

(101) Atlanta Falcons -2½ Sat@3:30p
(103) Indianapolis Colts vs. (104) San Diego Chargers Under 51 Sat@7:00p
(105) Baltimore Ravens -3½ Sun@12:00p
(107) Philadelphia Eagles -3 (-125) Sun@3:30p