Saturday, October 3, 2009

2009 Week 4 NFL Preview

The full predictions each week are at http://sites.google.com/site/computerratings/nfl-football/nfl-predictions but below is a discussion of some of the interesting games.  These games all picked by on the current computer ratings here.

The game where my computer differs the most from the Vegas line is the Dallas (#11) at Denver (#4) game.  If you buy into Denver being an untested 3-0 team that is going to fade over their next few games, you would be with the Vegas line that has Dallas by 3.  But the computer is giving Denver enough credit (2 wins on the road, 2 convincing wins, a narrow win over a 2-1 team), they are playing at home, and is critical enough of Dallas (their 2 wins over winless teams) to pick Denver by 6.3.  Which is correct, cold numbers or the "feeling" that Denver isn't that good and Dallas is better?

With Brett Favre hosting his former team, all eyes will be watching to see how he does, and Vegas apparently thinks he won't perform that well as even being at home, the line is Minnesota (#5) by only 3.  However, the computer has Minnesota by 10.2 by being 3-0 against a tougher schedule than Green Bay's (#19) 2-1.

In a battle of AFC powers, or should I say "should be" powers, San Diego (#12) visits Pittsburgh (#14) with Pittsburgh the 7 point favorite according to Vegas.  That seems pretty big considering Pittsburgh is 1-2 with all their games decided by 3 points, and the computer agrees, picking Pittsburgh but only by 2.3.

In the marquee (according to my ratings) game of the week, and a game to decide which team stays "hot" and to likely test Mark Sanchez's ability to put some points on the board, the Jets (#3) visit New Orleans (#1) with Vegas picking New Orleans by 6.  In this case, the computer says the Jets will falter in large part to being on the road with New Orleans picked by 9.3.  The contrast in styles will be interesting, and New Orleans did only score 27 last week.

Last, in the next test to see if Tom Brady and New England (#10) are back and the Jets game was an aberation, they host Baltimore (#2) with Vegas making the line New England by 2.  The computer agrees it will be close, but picks Baltimore by 0.8.  Combined with some of the above games, New England could find themselves 2 games back of the best record in the AFC or tied for that best record.

Enjoy the games.