Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl XLIV Preview

Here is the full Super Bowl XLIV preview that was sent to newsletter subscribers awhile ago and is now on the web-site.  Previews for all of the 2010 NFL playoffs here.

The Saints and Colts will meet in the Super Bowl on February 7 in Miami.

The Saints are ranked #1 by the computer with a 15-3 record and a rating of 87.906 against a schedule strength of 80.664.  Their performance chart can be found below and shows that apart from the 3 game stretch where they were perhaps not playing to win they were pretty consistent and were the clear #1 all year.  However, the Arizona game rated up where they'd been all year but the game against Minnesota didn't as much.  They are 9-8-1 against the spread this year and the computer is 9-8-1 picking their games against the spread and 14-4 picking winners in their games.

chart?chs=800x375&cht=lc&chco=000000,0000FF,00FF00,FF0000&chxt=x,y&chls=0,1,0&chdl=Current|Weekly|Win|Loss&chdlp=t&chds=50,110&chtt=1 New_Orleans 87.906&chd=t:-1,82.559,100.240,96.004,96.085,-1,94.417,93.932,89.826,91.529,78.682,93.884,99.777,83.831,90.626,75.850,70.826,73.929,-1,97.934,86.971|82.778,83.176,90.354,95.099,96.652,95.581,95.163,95.306,94.940,93.846,91.091,91.421,92.317,91.565,91.529,90.327,88.801,87.593,87.461,88.060&chxl=0:||DET|@PHI|@BUF|NYJ|bye|NYG|@MIA|ATL|CAR|@STL|@TAM|NWE|@WAS|@ATL|DAL|TAM|@CAR|bye|ARI|MIN|1:|50|60|70|80|90|100|110&chm=o,00FF00,0,01,22,1|o,00FF00,0,02,42,1|o,00FF00,0,03,38,1|o,00FF00,0,04,38,1|o,00FF00,0,06,32,1|o,00FF00,0,07,39,1|o,00FF00,0,08,36,1|o,00FF00,0,09,36,1|o,00FF00,0,10,28,1|o,00FF00,0,11,36,1|o,00FF00,0,12,38,1|o,00FF00,0,13,35,1|o,00FF00,0,14,42,1|o,FF0000,0,15,43,1|o,FF0000,0,16,43,1|o,FF0000,0,17,43,1|o,00FF00,0,19,34,1|o,00FF00,0,20,38,1|x,0000FF,1,-1,8,1|t12,0000FF,1,01,15,1|t1,0000FF,1,02,15,1|t1,0000FF,1,03,15,1|t1,0000FF,1,04,15,1|t1,0000FF,1,05,15,1|t1,0000FF,1,06,15,1|t1,0000FF,1,07,15,1|t1,0000FF,1,08,15,1|t1,0000FF,1,09,15,1|t1,0000FF,1,10,15,1|t1,0000FF,1,11,15,1|t1,0000FF,1,12,15,1|t1,0000FF,1,13,15,1|t1,0000FF,1,14,15,1|t1,0000FF,1,15,15,1|t1,0000FF,1,16,15,1|t1,0000FF,1,17,15,1|t1,0000FF,1,18,15,1|t1,0000FF,1,19,15,1|h,000000,0,0.63,1,1

The Colts are ranked #2 with a 16-2 record and a rating of 86.548 against a schedule strength of 80.619.  Their performance chart can be found below and shows they too, except for the dip when they rested players, were consistently very good and ranked #2 much of the year.  They are 11-5-2 against the spread and the computer is 9-7-2 predicting them against the spread and 14-4 picking the winner in their games.

chart?chs=800x375&cht=lc&chco=000000,0000FF,00FF00,FF0000&chxt=x,y&chls=0,1,0&chdl=Current|Weekly|Win|Loss&chdlp=t&chds=50,110&chtt=2 Indianapolis 86.548&chd=t:-1,77.400,88.532,97.648,86.858,96.644,-1,86.682,83.323,83.794,84.577,90.833,93.394,88.244,89.323,85.000,71.685,65.404,-1,97.233,95.485|86.135,84.077,83.051,86.074,89.427,90.919,91.548,91.372,89.373,89.121,89.265,89.560,89.780,89.614,90.044,89.288,87.074,84.925,84.953,85.885&chxl=0:||JAC|@MIA|@ARI|SEA|@TEN|bye|@STL|SFO|HOU|NWE|@BAL|@HOU|TEN|DEN|@JAC|NYJ|@BUF|bye|BAL|NYJ|1:|50|60|70|80|90|100|110&chm=o,00FF00,0,01,31,1|o,00FF00,0,02,40,1|o,00FF00,0,03,41,1|o,00FF00,0,04,28,1|o,00FF00,0,05,40,1|o,00FF00,0,07,30,1|o,00FF00,0,08,35,1|o,00FF00,0,09,36,1|o,00FF00,0,10,39,1|o,00FF00,0,11,43,1|o,00FF00,0,12,42,1|o,00FF00,0,13,34,1|o,00FF00,0,14,34,1|o,00FF00,0,15,37,1|o,FF0000,0,16,43,1|o,FF0000,0,17,43,1|o,00FF00,0,19,38,1|o,00FF00,0,20,39,1|x,0000FF,1,-1,8,1|t11,0000FF,1,01,15,1|t13,0000FF,1,02,15,1|t8,0000FF,1,03,15,1|t3,0000FF,1,04,15,1|t2,0000FF,1,05,15,1|t2,0000FF,1,06,15,1|t2,0000FF,1,07,15,1|t2,0000FF,1,08,15,1|t2,0000FF,1,09,15,1|t2,0000FF,1,10,15,1|t2,0000FF,1,11,15,1|t2,0000FF,1,12,15,1|t2,0000FF,1,13,15,1|t2,0000FF,1,14,15,1|t2,0000FF,1,15,15,1|t3,0000FF,1,16,15,1|t8,0000FF,1,17,15,1|t7,0000FF,1,18,15,1|t5,0000FF,1,19,15,1|h,000000,0,0.60,1,1

The teams did not play head to head but are separated by 2 degrees in 6 ways as follows:

2 New_Orleans-->Arizona-->Indianapolis
2 New_Orleans-->Buffalo-->Indianapolis
2 New_Orleans-->Miami-->Indianapolis
2 New_Orleans-->New_England-->Indianapolis
2 New_Orleans-->NY_Jets-->Indianapolis
2 New_Orleans-->St_Louis-->Indianapolis

Against Arizona, Indy won early in the year 31-10 on the road (when the Cardinals were playing better on the road than at home) and the Saints won 45-14 just last week at home.  The Saints beat Buffalo 27-7 on the road early and the Colts lost 30-7 on the road when mailing it in week 17.  Against Miami Indy won 27-23 early on the road and New Orleans won 46-34 also on the road mid-season.  The Colts eked out the 35-34 win at home over the Patriots while the Saints won 38-17 at home.  Indy played the Jets twice losing 29-15 when mailing it in but winning 30-17 when it mattered while the Saints won 24-10 early.  And the Colts beat the Rams 42-6 on the road mid-season and the Saints won narrowly 28-23 a few weeks later.

From the results alone, edge would seem to be the Saints just because they won every one of the common opponents games and the Colts lost 2.  But those 2 were when the Colts rested players and the Saints bad games just weren't against common opponents.  Apart from those 2 losses, the common opponents is pretty close with NO an edge with Miami and the Pats and Indy the edge with the Rams.

The early spread is all over the place, all picking the Colts, but ranging from 2.5 to 6 points.  With the computer picking the Saints by 1.4 the pick on the surface would be to get grab the +6 right away.  Here is the pick using the format from the newsletter:

*New_Orleans           +6.0 over ..         Indianapolis  1.4  7.4 0.541 0.712

However, if we dig a bit, we can look at a few scenarios.  First, we clearly know that the Colts rested players the last 2 weeks.  What effect would winning those 2 games of had on their rating?  Let's make both games 20-17 wins for the Colts.  That would have put the Colts #1 and the pick by 1.7.  Had they won each game 27-17 instead, the pick would be Colts by 2.5 which reaches the lower end of the current spread range.

But, perhaps the Saints were resting too.  Let's assume the Dallas game was valid but then they rested the last 2 weeks and would have won 20-17 in each game.  Coupled with the larger Colts wins scenario above, this would shrink the pick to Colts by 0.5.

So, even with the scenarios, the strongest pick would continue to be Saints plus the 6, although some scenarios clearly have the Colts the pick to win rather than the Saints.  Use the information as you will, and let me know if you have any questions or other scenarios you'd like run.