Week 7

In green you will see games where the prediction confidence is at its highest, 65%-70%. In orange, the confidence is at the second highest level 55%-65%. Notice that my Vegas Line and point spread predictions take the home team as reference. That is, when the Vegas line is negative, then the home team is favorite. For example, the Arizona @ Washington game has Washington favorite by 8 points and the computer generated point spread prediction is 2.1 points more than the Vegas spread which falls into this year's low confidence category (see previous posts) and hence the row is kept white. Other games where the difference is too high, confidence is low since other factors not included in the model may be affecting the estimate.

This week we have 2 games with high confidence and 2 games in 'medium' confidence. The San Francisco @ NY Giants, the estimate is favoring the home team by more than 4 points. The Tampa Bay @ Detroit game, the prediction is giving the visiting team a slight advantage. In orange we have Dallas covering the spread by more than two points and New Orleans beating Atlanta but falling short of the 8.5 points.


In the coming weeks, I will be exploring how outliers may be affecting my estimates and weigh those observations differently. As for now, let's explore the data concerning the Atlanta @ New Orleans and the New York @ San Francisco games:

Atlanta @ New Orleans
A first look at the passing yards difference between each team and their opponents in the last 5 games shows both teams averaging less yards than their opponents in the past 5 games. Atlanta is averaging about 30 passing yards and about 38 rushing yards less than their opponents. New Orleans is not performing that well either against opponents, averaging around 12 passing yards and 15 rushing yards less than their opponents..


Evaluating the data on how each team has performed against the Vegas line, we plot the number of points above or below the Vegas line in each team's past few games. We clearly see how New Orleans started very badly by being 20 point or more below the Vegas line. Remember in New Orleans lost by 17 against Tennessee on week 3, by 17 against Tampa Bay, and by 31 against Indianapolis on week 1. They rebounded last week by beating Seattle by 11. Besides last week's lost by 21 (16 points below the spread) against the Giants, Atlanta has been bouncing around the spread with its highest peak on week 4 with a 10-point win over Houston. So do you think Atlanta will rebound from last week's loss and New Orleans will continue its streak? Considering that last year New Orleans beat Atlanta twice by more than 20 points, probably but my model does not think so. Tough pick: Atlanta +8.5


San Francisco @ NY Giants @
The graphs clearly support the model's decision that 9.5 points is not enough. The passing game, the rushing game, and past few games show that the Giants are playing much better. You be the judge:


Tampa Bay @ Detroit


Good luck!