Sunday, January 16, 2011

The computer goes to 5-1 against the spread in the playoffs; Today's Seahawks/Bears and Jets/Patriots picks

With Pittsburgh's and Green Bay's wins yesterday, the computer is now 5-1 picking games against the spread in the playoffs.  In fact, it is doing better against the spread than winners, 5-1 vs 4-2, although picking winners it is handily beating Vegas which is only 2-4.

Last week, the computer went 3-1 barely missing on only Kansas City +3 (computer had Baltimore by 2.8), but nailing Seattle +11.5 (complete analysis actually showed a good chance of a Seattle win), Green Bay +3 (computer did pick the upset in fact), and the Jets +3 (also picked the upset).

In today's games New England is a 10 point favorite but the computer likes them by only 7.4, and Chicago is up to a 10-11 point pick but the computer says that isn't enough having it at 11.6.

Could Seattle pull the upset again?  After all, they won in Chicago earlier in the year!

Their performance chart shows the 2nd Saints game continued their earlier trend of being good or bad, no individual game performance overlapping their current rating.  So, it is reasonable to think that they will again play very well or very bad.  The problem this week is that 6 of their 8 road games were bad, the good ones being at Chicago and Arizona.  Of their 8 good games, 6 were at home.  So it is less likely that the "good" Seattle shows up this week than the last two.

But if the good Seattle shows up, that team has an average rating of 86.9, they are playing a Chicago team with an 84.8 rating so perhaps they have a chance.  Especially since Chicago has played worse at home than on the road with 3 of their 4 losses at home and an average rating of 81.9 at home vs 87.4 on the road.

New England on the other hand has been far and away the best team the latter part of the year, only getting better each week the last 7 weeks.  The Jets have been good, but can clearly have a down game as happened last time they visited the Pats and the following week hosting Miami.

At home the Pats rating averages 90.6, right about their overall rating and the Jets on the road are 85.9, just below their overall rating.  So nothing other than a worse than normal Patriots and a great game by the Jets points to a Jets win.  But that is why they play the game.