Saturday, January 21, 2012

Baltimore at New England 2012 Playoff Preview - New England to win, Baltimore to cover but it is close

Baltimore plays at New England on 1/22 in the AFC Championship.

Baltimore is ranked #5 by the computer with a 13-4 record and a rating of 85.745 against a schedule strength of 80.597. Their performance chart can be found below and shows they were pretty consistent except in their losses, their worst game being at San Diego and best game being against Pittsburgh. They are 8-8-1 against the spread this year and the computer is 6-10-1 picking their games against the spread and 11-6 picking winners in their games.



New England is ranked #1 by the computer with a 14-3 record and a rating of 89.360 against a schedule strength of 80.764. Their performance chart can be found below and shows they were up and down but pretty good late, their worst game being against NY Giants and best game being at Philadelphia. They are 10-7 against the spread this year and the computer is 6-11 picking their games against the spread and 13-4 picking winners in their games.



The teams are separated by 2 degrees as follows:


2 Baltimore-->Indianapolis-->New_England
2 Baltimore-->NY_Jets-->New_England
2 Baltimore-->NY_Jets-->New_England
2 Baltimore-->Pittsburgh-->New_England
2 Baltimore-->Pittsburgh-->New_England
2 Baltimore-->San_Diego-->New_England


The spread is New England by 7.5 and the computer agrees but by less picking them by 6.6. Here is the pick using the format from the newsletter:

.Baltimore +7.5 over *x New England 6.6 0.9 0.707 0.529

But digging deeper, looking at their last 4 games, even with the down game against Miami, New England averages 92.3 ratings points, higher than their 89.4 rating for the year.  With that rating, we'd expect New England to cover as well as win.

Even if we look at Baltimore's last 3, they are a tick up from their season rating at 86.9, but with having to go to New England it is hard to see how one would pick the upset and even taking the 7.5 may be iffy.

Enjoy!


Newsletter pick format:

The x denotes the home team. The * denotes the pick to win the game. The . is just a place holder. The number before "over" is the best line I've found typically from Maddux Sports. The team on the left is the pick against the spread. The first column after the second team is what the computer predicts the winning team will win by. The next column is the difference between the Vegas line and that prediction. The next column is the confidence of my pick to win. The last column is the confidence of the pick against the spread.