Saturday, January 14, 2012

Houston at Baltimore 2012 Playoff Preview - Baltimore to win, Houston to cover

Houston plays at Baltimore on 1/15 in a divisional playoff game.

Houston is ranked #10 by the computer with a 11-6 record and a rating of 83.763 against a schedule strength of 79.858. Their performance chart can be found below and shows they were very consistent mid-year but had some down times, their worst game being against Carolina and best game being at Tennessee. They are 11-6 against the spread this year and the computer is 10-7 picking their games against the spread and 11-6 picking winners in their games.



Baltimore is ranked #5 by the computer with a 12-4 record and a rating of 85.485 against a schedule strength of 80.531. Their performance chart can be found below and shows they were up and down, their worst game being at San Diego and best game being against Pittsburgh. They are 8-7-1 against the spread this year and the computer is 5-10-1 picking their games against the spread and 10-6 picking winners in their games.



The teams played head to head week 6 Baltimore winning 29-14 and are separated by 2 degrees as follows:


2 Houston-->Cincinnati-->Baltimore
2 Houston-->Cincinnati-->Baltimore
2 Houston-->Cleveland-->Baltimore
2 Houston-->Cleveland-->Baltimore
2 Houston-->Indianapolis-->Baltimore
2 Houston-->Indianapolis-->Baltimore
2 Houston-->Jacksonville-->Baltimore
2 Houston-->Jacksonville-->Baltimore
2 Houston-->Pittsburgh-->Baltimore
2 Houston-->Pittsburgh-->Baltimore
2 Houston-->Tennessee-->Baltimore
2 Houston-->Tennessee-->Baltimore


The spread is Baltimore by 8 and the computer agrees but by less picking them by 4.7. Here is the pick using the format from the newsletter:

.Houston +8.0 over *x Baltimore 4.7 3.3 0.639 0.598

But let's dig deeper.

Houston had 5 clear bad games, if we remove those their ratings average is 89.6.  Their problem is that we'd be removing 3 of their last 4 games.  The good news is their last game was their second best of the year.  Houston actually rates better on the road, an 85.7 average.

If we similarly drop Baltimore's 4 losses, their average rating is 90.1, a bit better than Houston's.  At home their rating average is 89.7, better than their road average.

So, it is probably hard to see how Houston has a great shot at the win, but it could be close.  Taking the points certainly looks promising.

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.