Archive for October, 2015

NFL Week 8 Picks

October 29th, 2015 No comments

My current record is 17-11 (60.7%).  I expect that to increase over the next few weeks as the model’s accuracy improves over time.

Dolphins @ Patriots (NE by 18.34) – Thursday 8:25PM EST

Lions @ Chiefs (KC by 10.28) – Sunday 9:30AM EST

Buccaneers @ Falcons (ATL by 18.09) – Sunday 1PM EST

Cardinals @ Browns (ARI by -11.92) – Sunday 1PM EST

49ers @ Rams (STL by 12.24) – Sunday 1PM EST

Giants @ Saints (NO by 0.429) – Sunday 1PM EST

Vikings @ Bears (MIN by -4.7) – Sunday 1PM EST

Chargers @ Ravens (BAL by 6.92) – Sunday 1PM EST

Bengals @ Steelers (CIN by -0.188) – Sunday 1PM EST

Titans @ Texans (HOU by 3.15) – Sunday 1PM EST

Jets @ Raiders (NYJ by -8.03) – Sunday 4:05PM EST

Seahawks @ Cowboys (SEA by -3.16) – Sunday 4:25PM EST

Packers @ Broncos (DEN by 0.53) – Sunday 8:30PM EST

Colts @ Panthers (CAR by 10.49) – Monday 8:30PM EST

Categories: NFL Picks Tags:

NFL Week 8 Power Rankings

October 29th, 2015 No comments
  1. Patriots -14.37455701
  2. Cardinals -10.75322665
  3. Bengals -9.556232098
  4. Jets -9.174867123
  5. Packers -7.034601794
  6. Steelers -6.367833781
  7. Eagles -5.241887278
  8. Broncos -4.564489054
  9. Falcons -4.516774385
  10. Seahawks -3.805418314
  11. Panthers -2.973959389
  12. Rams -1.813875553
  13. Giants -0.432202264
  14. Bills -0.319707254
  15. Ravens 0.029670411
  16. Vikings 0.374108832
  17. Chiefs 0.953946185
  18. Dolphins 0.9670512
  19. Raiders 1.850827279
  20. Redskins 1.909178628
  21. Saints 2.138596115
  22. Cowboys 2.356827538
  23. Chargers 3.952989289
  24. Browns 4.168553483
  25. Colts 4.522459696
  26. Texans 6.7521899
  27. Titans 6.899741907
  28. 49ers 7.430051697
  29. Bears 8.074624605
  30. Lions 8.236078873
  31. Jaguars 9.735786958
  32. Buccaneers 10.57694935
Categories: NFL Power Rankings Tags:

NFL Week 7 Picks Recap

October 27th, 2015 No comments

I only had a 1-game swing in correct picks this week, but an increase is an increase:

Record for this week: 9-5 (64.3%)

Overall Record: 17-11 (60.7%)

Correct Picks:

Seahawks over 49ers
Redskins over Buccaneers
Falcons over Titans
Vikings over Lions
Rams over Browns
Dolphins over Texans
Patriots over Jets
Giants over Cowboys
Cardinals over Ravens

Incorrect Picks:

Bills over Jaguars
Colts over Saints (NSC was actually -0.38 in favor of Saints)
Steelers over Chiefs
Chargers over Raiders
Eagles over Panthers

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

NFL Week 7 Picks

October 22nd, 2015 No comments

Here is a quick recap of my 2013 picks from when the model was originally used:


If you notice, the numbers increase around Week 6 where teams really start to show who they are.  By then, coaches know what to expect from each team week-to-week and can game plan effectively.


“NSC” is Neutral Site Calculation – the projected spread at a neutral site.  In close games, the favor sometimes switches to the other team.  I mention NSC a few times below.


Seahawks @ 49ers (SEA by -3.21) Thursday 8:25PM EST

No objection to the model.  The Seahawks are a better team than their record and the 49ers are not what they once were.  This used to be a game fans looked forward to watching.

Bills @ Jaguars (BUF by -11.87) Sunday 9:30AM EST

Since this game is played in London, the NSC is actually -14.87 in favor of the Bills.  With Tyrod and McCoy returning I don’t see how the Bills can lose this game.  Plus they win every other game and they lost last week, so there’s that.

Buccaneers @ Redskins (WAS by 18.68) Sunday 1PM EST

The Redskins will win and I’m starting their defense in a fantasy league this week.  DeSean Jackson will probably not play but the Skins will get Jordan Reed back to help Pierre Garcon catch errant passes from Kirk Cousins.  The Bucs run game is good though – I don’t think this game will be a blowout.  I think it will be closer than a 18 point beating, and the model will lower the Redskins in next week’s Power Rankings.

Falcons @ Titans (ATL by -12.23) Sunday 1PM EST

Titans will be starting Zach Mettenberger as Mariota has a sprained MCL.  I don’t think Zach Mettenberger can beat Dan Quinn’s defense.  I also have my doubts about the team facing the Matt Ryan/Julio Jones/Devonta Freeman trio on offense.  I am also starting the Falcons in two Fantasy leagues.

Saints @ Colts (IND by 2.62) Sunday 1PM EST

This will be close, as the NSC is -0.38 in favor of the Saints.  Both teams are playing middling offense and defense.  The Saints did beat the Falcons and have had a few more days rest.  I could go either way, but I will default to the model here.

Vikings @ Lions (MIN by -3.8) Sunday 1PM EST

The Vikings are finally playing as a balanced team on offense.  The Lions have one win this year against the Bears.  If the Lions get their running game fixed they can beat Minnesota.  I don’t think they do it this week though.

Steelers @ Chiefs (PIT by -10.75) Sunday 1PM EST

The Steelers are one of the top rated teams from the Power Rankings.  They have been able to win some games without Big Ben, and their defense is playing better.  I think this game could be closer than the model suggests, and I don’t know how Landry Jones will be able to handle Arrowhead Stadium.

Browns @ Rams (STL by 6.85) Sunday 1PM EST

The Browns were almost able to beat the Broncos last week, and I believe if they can somehow stop the run (Todd Gurley) they could pull out a W.  However, St. Louis is coming off a bye and Cleveland’s offense is mediocre.

Texans @ Dolphins (MIA by 7.53) Sunday 1PM EST

The Dolphins woke up last week, and played lights out defensively.   Let’s see if they can continue that momentum into this week.  Dan Campbell is relying more on the running game than Joe Philbin ever did.  I think Houston is a great team on paper they just can’t figure it out on game day.

Jets @ Patriots (NE by 8.31) Sunday 1PM EST

Billed as the first big test for the Tom Brady “we’ll show YOU guys” winning campaign, I think the Patriots come out with the win here.  I don’t think the Jets can offensively keep up with the Patriots.  The only solution would be a heavy dose of Chris Ivory to keep Brady off the field as much as possible.  Couple that with blitzing and mid-field coverage of Edelman and Gronk and it could happen.  Unfortunately for the Jets, they can cover outside receivers extremely well – the Patriots don’t throw to their outside receivers 90% of the time.

Raiders @ Chargers (SD by 5.02) Sunday 4:05PM EST

The Chargers are number 1 in Passing and Overall Offense.  The Raiders are 31st in Passing Defense.  I don’t know how the Raiders can win this game without forcing a bunch of turnovers.  Philip Rivers is an every week starter in daily fantasy leagues and this week is no exception.

Cowboys @ Giants (NYG by 6.15) Sunday 4:25PM EST

This would be a much better game if Tony Romo or Dez Bryant was playing.  Since I am assuming Dez will play it safe and not play, the Giants will win this matchup.  It will be interesting to see if Matt Cassel can keep it close.

Eagles @ Panthers (PHI by -6.84) Sunday 8:30PM EST

I think the model hates the Panthers because even though they are undefeated they are middle of the pack in the Power Rankings.  I would personally pick the Panthers here as they are playing well and Sam Bradford is not.  This is the model’s only upset pick this week against Las Vegas odds.

Ravens @ Cardinals (ARI by 15.68) Monday 8:30PM EST

It’s too bad the NFL cannot flex Monday Night Football games because this would have been flexed out.  I don’t think the Ravens have a shot here, although I am starting the Elite (?) Joe Flacco in one fantasy league where Aaron Rodgers is on bye.

Categories: NFL Picks Tags:

NFL Week 7 Power Rankings

October 20th, 2015 No comments


  1. Patriots (-15.61895161) (5-0)
    Another week, another win.  The Pats continue to dominate.
  2. Cardinals (-12.24076718) (4-2)
    The Cardinals lead the league in scoring (203).
  3. Jets (-10.30503224) (4-1)
    The Jets Defense leads the league in point against (75).
  4. Steelers (-9.717099233) (4-2)
    The Steelers are able to put up a win against a top offensive team without their starting QB.  Their defense has improved week-to-week.
  5. Bengals (-8.807970255) (6-0)
    The Bengals are undefeated, but according to the Model, they are not the division’s top team.
  6. Eagles (-8.541597059) (3-3)
    The win over the Giants brings the Eagles into the Top 10.
  7. Falcons (-6.917216753) (5-1)
    The Falcons stay in the top 10 despite their big loss to the Saints.
  8. Packers (-6.474181877) (6-0)
    The Pack continues to win despite injuries.
  9. Broncos (-3.793382515) (6-0)
    The Broncos continue to win despite Peyton Manning.
  10. Giants (-2.66861433) (3-3)
    Although the Giants are 3-3, the model believes they are a better team than most others.
  11. Bills (-2.121872911) (3-3)
    Two big losses in three weeks doesn’t keep the Bills out of the top 12.  They win every other game so this week should be a W.
  12. Seahawks (-1.149933232) (2-4)
    The model must be a Seahawks fan.
  13. Redskins (-0.968014649) (2-4)
    Statistics show that this team is better than most people think, including me I guess because I don’t think they belong here.
  14. Rams (-0.90996486) (2-3)
    A bye week does not affect the model directly, but other teams move down so the Rams get bumped up.
  15. Ravens (0.444226034) (1-5)
    I think the Ravens belong much lower on the list than the model thinks.
  16. Cowboys (0.477146243) (2-3)
    The Cowboys need Romo and Dez back if they want to have any chance at the playoffs.
  17. Vikings (1.016991168) (3-2)
    The Vikings offense demonstrated some balance this week.  It’s starting to look like a Norv Turner offense.
  18. Panthers (1.302895546) (5-0)
    I know – an undefeated team this low.  I disagree but the rankings are what the model calculates.
  19. Chargers (1.963276534) (2-4)
    The Chargers are a better team on both sides of the ball than their record states.
  20. Dolphins (2.53445584) (2-3)
    The Dolphins get a big win but they have a long road ahead.
  21. Browns (2.935443717) (2-4)
    The Browns bump up because they almost beat the undefeated Broncos.
  22. Saints (3.132426125) (2-4)
    The Saints jump up from last week due to their win over the Falcons.
  23. Colts (3.514553121) (3-3)
    The Colts do not know how to run a trick play, although the model doesn’t account for this.
  24. Raiders (3.988229537) (2-3)
    This is right about where the Raiders should be.  They have a chance to move up if they can beat San Diego this week.
  25. Chiefs (4.028350178) (1-5)
    Kansas City is lost without Jamaal Charles.
  26. 49ers (5.060145931) (2-4)
    This team is in rebuilding mode even with a win over the Ravens.  They will, however, continue to be a tough opponent for the rest of the season.
  27. Texans (7.065740106) (2-4)
    This team may be able to win the division despite their current losing record.
  28. Lions (7.826622199) (1-5)
    The Lions finally win a game, although their losses were close.  Otherwise this team would
    be ranked lower.
  29. Titans (8.315262489) (1-4)
    The Titans return to Earth.  They will have to continue without their rookie QB for the next few weeks.
  30. Bears (9.163079306) (2-4)
    The Bears gave the Lions their first win of the season.
  31. Jaguars (12.7520801) (1-5)
    The Jaguars are rebuilding but show promise on Offense.
  32. Buccaneers (14.71367453) (2-3)
    The Buccaneers need a lot of help.
Categories: NFL Power Rankings Tags:

NFL Week 6 Picks Recap

October 19th, 2015 No comments

Past analytics have shown that Week 6 is the first week where my Excel model predictions start to work.  I will also calculate a running total.

Record for this week: 8-6 (57.1%)

Overall Record: 8-6 (57.1%)

Correct Picks:
Jets over Redskins
Vikings over Chiefs
Bengals over Bills
Lions over Bears
Broncos over Browns
Texans over Jaguars
Packers over Chargers
Patriots over Colts

Incorrect Picks:
Falcons over Saints
Cardinals over Steelers
Titans over Dolphins
Seahawks over Panthers
Ravens over 49ers
Giants over Eagles

Categories: NFL Picks Tags:

Overview: Excel Solver-Based NFL Rankings

October 18th, 2015 No comments


In the Fall of 2014, my term project for NYU’s Decision Models course was a NFL Power Ranking spreadsheet that ranked NFL teams based on scoring.  This is not a new theory – it is borrowed heavily from Wayne Winston’s Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling team rankings chapter.

The theory is based around Home Team Advantage.  If two teams are even, the Home Team will have a 3-Point Advantage.  This is normally built into a betting spread.  There are three outcomes once a game has been played:

  1. If two teams play each other and the home team wins the game by 3, then the teams are assumed to be even.
  2. If two teams play each other and the home team wins by more than 3, then the home team is a better team than the away team.
  3. If two teams play each other and the away team wins, then the away team is better than the home team.


When we look at a series of games, we can rank all 32 NFL teams and update that expected spread.  For example, in NFL Week 6 (2015), my Excel sheet calculated that the Jets had a 11.94 expected spread against the Redskins.  The actual final score was 34-20 (a difference of 14).  This means that the rankings between these two teams is actually further apart than what the model thinks.  In the following week, the rankings will demonstrate this.  I use the GRG Nonlinear Solving Method to minimize the total square differential between the actual score differentiation and my calculated expected differentiation.

The other fun thing about this ranking system is that it allows me to predict interesting things about the NFL.  With 2013 data, I was able to correctly predict 10 out of the 12 (83%) playoff teams.  Although the Las Vegas official spread of the Seahawks/Broncos was -2 in favor of Denver, I had the Seahawks favored – and of course correctly predicted to win.

In December of 2014 I was able to use my model to predict the NFL Postseason, and I correctly predicted that the New England Patriots would defeat the Seattle Seahawks.  My calculated spread was -5.897 in favor of the Patriots.

After every week, I will post my weekly rankings and predictions for the following week, as well as my prediction results from the previous weeks.

Updates will be posted on Tuesdays.

Categories: NFL Power Rankings Tags: