This is a free 2012 NFL playoff preview. A full subscription to all playoff game previews is available which will deliver these previews to you via e-mail 5+ days in advance of the games. Without the preview subscription, these will only be available here on the blog shortly before game time.
Denver plays at Pittsburgh on 1/8 in a wildcard playoff game.
Denver is ranked #22 by the computer with an 8-8 record and a rating of 79.535 against a schedule strength of 81.923. Their performance chart can be found below and shows they were mediocre early, better mid-season, but finished poorly, their worst game being at Buffalo and best game being at Oakland. They are 8-8 against the spread this year and the computer is 12-4 picking their games against the spread and 9-7 picking winners in their games.
Pittsburgh is ranked #5 by the computer with a 12-4 record and a rating of 86.062 against a schedule strength of 80.935. Their performance chart can be found below and shows they were fairly inconsistent all year, their worst game being at Baltimore and best game being against Cincinnati. They are 7-9 against the spread this year and the computer is 10-6 picking their games against the spread and 12-4 picking winners in their games.
The teams are separated by 2 degrees through Cincinnati, Kansas City, New England, and Tennessee as follows:
The spread is Pittsburgh by 8 and the computer agrees but not my as much picking them by 3.5. Here is the pick using the format from the newsletter:
.xDenver +8.0 over * Pittsburgh 3.5 4.5 0.610 0.638
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.