NFL Divisional Playoffs Picks

Quick Picks:
Green Bay -8

This week the statistical model is identifying one game with a great opportunity to bet on. Although the prediction favors Green Bay by 9 (only one point more of the Vegas spread), in 37 games dating back to 2000, this prediction favors the home team 70% of the time. That is, when the spread is between 6 and 8 points for the home team and the prediction favors the home team slightly (less than 2 points), betting for the home team has produced a 70% success rate. In this case, we are identifying games where the Vegas spread is under-rating the home team when they should be more heavily favorite. Favre's last chance at a Super Bowl ring, at a noisy Lambeu Field, no key injuries, I like this bet. The recent shaky performances by the Packers are keeping the spread at 8 and gamblers are split 50-50.

One other possible opportunity I have highlighted in yellow is the Indianapolis/San Diego game. Both team have playoff experience and a spread of 8 seems rather high to the statistics at hand. The defending champions will probably win the game, but the prediction states it will not be by more than a TD.

In last 2 weeks the model has performed very well and an overall season percentage of 59% ain't bad at all. Below I have included the usual table with predictions and success percentages. Disregard the Dallas game since TO, a key offensive player for the Cowboys, is out. If you read more, you will see graphs of these teams statistics against each other and their performance in the past 5 games.

NFL Divisional Playoffs Spread Picks

Seattle @ Green Bay
Below is a graph of the Vegas line and the outcome of games where these two teams have faced each other. The last game these two teams faced each other was in November 27, 2006 where the Seahawks were favorites by 12, but did not cover the spread since they won, but only by 10. How things have changed! At the time, GB was 4-7 and Seattle was 5-1 with Alexander at almost the top of his game. The previous game was on week 17 of the 2005 season where Favre's pass at the end made GB win by 6 and make the bet a push. At this point Seattle was already in the playoffs and the Packers were going home with a 4-12 record for the season.

In the past 5 games, both teams have outperformed their opponents in rushing and passing yards, Green Bay outperforming its opponents by a bigger number of yards. Seattle on average runs about 9 yards more than its opponents and passes about 15 yards more. Green Bay on the other hand is running on average more than 30 yards per game than its opponents and passing more than 12 yards.
This makes me more comfortable in saying that Green Bay will cover -8.