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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.
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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

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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.

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