Week 16 Review

Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts
Pick: Texans 27-20, Against The Spread: Texans (-5.5), Result: Colts 19-16

Denver Broncos @ Buffalo Bills
Pick: Broncos 27-21, Against The Spread: Broncos (-3.5), Result: Bills 40-14

Arizona Cardinals @ Cincinnati Bengals
Pick: Bengals 23-20, Against The Spread: Cardinals (+4.5), Result: Bengals 23-16

Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens
Pick: Ravens 28-17, Against The Spread: Browns (+13.5), Result: Ravens 20-14

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans
Pick: Titans 24-18, Against The Spread: Jaguars (-7.5), Result: Titans 23-17

Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs
Pick: Chiefs 20-17, Against The Spread: Chiefs (-0.5), Result: Raiders 16-13 OT

St. Louis Rams @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Pick: Steelers 27-13, Against The Spread: Rams (+15.5) , Result: Steelers 27-0

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots
Pick: Patriots 27-22, Against The Spread: Dolphins (+10.5), Result: Patriots 27-24

Minnesota Vikings @ Washington Redskins
Pick: Redskins 24-16, Against The Spread: Redskins (-6.5), Result: Vikings 33-26

New York Giants @ New York Jets
Pick: Jets 24-23, Against The Spread: Giants (+2.5), Result: Giants 29-14

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers
Pick: Panthers 30-20, Against The Spread: Panthers (-7.5), Result: Panthers 48-16

San Diego Chargers @ Detroit Lions
Pick: Chargers 30-27, Against The Spread: Chargers (+2.5), Result: Lions 38-10

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
Pick: Cowboys 27-26, Against The Spread: Eagles (+2.5), Result: Eagles 20-7

San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
Pick: 49ers 19-17, Against The Spread: 49ers (-2.5), Result: 49ers 19-17

Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers
Pick: Packers 27-17, Against The Spread: Bears (+12.5), Result: Packers 35-21

Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints
Pick: Saints 27-24, Against The Spread: Falcons (+6.5), Result: Saints 45-16

Week 16:
Non-spread: 9-7, Against The Spread: 6-10

Overall record:
Non-spread: 159-81
Against The Spread: 92-84

AFC versus NFC

When NFL and AFL merged in 1970, teams of the new National Football League were divided in two conferences, AFC (american football conference) and NFC (national football conference). Since the merger in 1970 AFC teams won more interconference games, and if we include 2011 season, AFC holds 1160-1041-11 record.

Since the NFL realigned the divisions within each conference prior the 2002 season, NFL teams are scheduled to play 64 interconference regular season games. After almost a decade of AFC domination over NFC, in the 2011 season NFC teams finally turned the tables and ended regular season with more wins than AFC (33-31).

Since the merger, NFC now has 9 winning seasons, AFC has 25 with 8 ties when AFC and NFC teams split those interconference games, the last time that happened was in 2007 NFL regular season.

Over those years since the merger the best team in interconference games have been the Miami Dolphins (AFC), they hold a 98-55-0 record against teams from opposite conference. The worst winning percentage (.383) hold the Arizona Cardinals (NFC), with a 53-86-2 record.

After regular season is over teams that qualify for playoffs in each conference battle out for the right to represent their conference in the game of all games – The Super Bowl. We saw that AFC teams hold the edge over the NFC teams when it comes to regular season interconference games, but in the biggest game of all – Super Bowl, it is the NFC who’s been more dominant, thanks to a 13-year winning streak from 1984-1996 season. After this season, NFC teams hold a 25-21 overall record, and a 23-19 record since the 1970 merger.

Week 16 NFL picks

Saturday games, Sunday Night and Monday Night Football game are subject to change. I’ll revise my picks based on available information during the week (injury report). 

Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts, Thursday 8:20 PM (ET). That was an ugly game from Texans last week. There was no sign of tough Houston’s defense. Texans have a chance to regain momentum against a bad Colts team who got themselves first win of the season last week.This one also won’t be pretty, but Houston shows enough to bounce back with a win on the road.
Pick: Texans, 27-20
Against The Spread: Texans (-5.5)

Denver Broncos @ Buffalo Bills, Saturday 1:00 PM (ET). Denver Tebows had their share of reality check last week against the Patriots. They are still a solid team, especially on defense, and they will bounce back against Buffalo Bills. Bills can’t find a way to win, they’ve lost 7 straight, 8 straight coming up against Denver.
Pick: Broncos: 27-21
Against The Spread: Broncos (-3.5)

Arizona Cardinals @ Cincinnati Bengals, Saturday 1:00 PM (ET). Early on in the season Cardinals lost some very close games, lately they’ve managed to win a few of those close games. Fighting for playoffs, Cardinals now have to travel East facing Bengals, a team who also have their chances to make the playoffs. This time Arizona falls short and lose another close game, ending their hopes for the playoffs.
Pick: Bengals, 23-20
Against The Spread: Cardinals (+4.5)

Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens, Saturday 1:00 PM (ET). Baltimore Ravens showed again how inconsistent they can be, especially on the road. Facing division rival – the Browns they’ll focus again and bounce back after last week’s loss. With a win at home Ravens stay on top of AFC North division.
Pick: Ravens, 28-17
Against The Spread: Browns (+13.5)

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans, Saturday 1:00 PM (ET). Disappointing game from the Titans team last week, I expected them to win against winless Colts. Jaguars aren’t much better than the Colts and Titans get to play them at home. Titans win again with another good game from RB Chris Johnson.
Pick: Titans, 24-18
Against The Spread: Jaguars (-7.5)

Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs, Saturday 1:00 PM (ET). Great performance by the Chiefs last week. They stay at home on a short week to face the Raiders who have to travel East. With good QB play from Kyle Orton Chiefs have a chance to win second straight at home.
Pick: Chiefs, 20-17
Against The Spread: Chiefs (-0.5)

St. Louis Rams @ Pittsburgh Steelers, Saturday 1:00 PM (ET). Maybe it would be a wise thing to do to sit QB Big Ben for the rest of the season and give him time to get healthy now that the Steelers probably lost all chances to secure themselves a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs. With or without their starting quarterback Pittsburgh will win at home against the Rams who will be again without their starting QB Sam Bradford.
Pick: Steelers, 27-13
Against The Spread: Rams (+15.5)

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots, Saturday 1:00 PM (ET). Patriots showed some improvement on defense last week, Dolphins on other hand have been playing solid on defense almost all year. Still, Patriots have enough offensive weapons to beat the Dolphins especially their air-attack will cause Miami big problems.
Pick: Patriots, 27-22
Against The Spread: Dolphins (+10.5)

Minnesota Vikings @Washington Redskins, Saturday 1:00 PM (ET). Redskins have been an up and down team,  lately they are playing good football again, after beating division rivals Giants they now face Vikings team who got embarrassed last week by the Saints. Redskins won’t embarrass the Vikings but they’ll do enough to beat the Vikings at home.
Pick: Redskins, 24-16
Against The Spread: Redskins (-6.5)

New York Giants @ New York Jets, Saturday 1:00 PM (ET). Without playoff implications this would be a huge game, both teams want to punish the other. This year both teams are still in the hunt for the playoffs which makes this game even more interesting. Giants always show up in meaningful games, but Rex Ryan will have his team ready.
Pick: Jets, 24-23
Against The Spread: Giants (+2.5)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers, Saturday 1:00 PM (ET). Cam Newton and Company will probably be able to decide this game before halftime. It’s obvious that the Bucs gave up on the season. Panthers score 30 and take a win at home.
Pick: Panthers, 30-20
Against The Spread: Panthers (-7.5)

San Diego Chargers @ Detroit Lions, Saturday 4:05 PM (ET). Chargers showed many faces in this year’s NFL season, they played well in September, horrible in October and November and are playing great in December. They will continue with great performances, this time against good Detroit team who is looking to clinch playoff spot.
Pick: Chargers, 30-27
Against The Spread: Chargers (+2.5)

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys, Saturday 4:15 PM (ET). Can’t decide on this game. Cowboys… Eagles… Cowboys… A healthy Michael Vick should cause problems for Dallas, but my gut instinct tells me Cowboys take a close game at home ending Philadelphia’s dreams.
Pick: Cowboys, 27-26
Against The Spread: Eagles (+2.5)

San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks, Saturday 4:15 PM (ET). Important game for both NFC West teams. 49ers need this one in order to stay in the hunt for first-round bye in the NFC playoffs, Seahawks on other hand are still fighting for Wild-card playoff spot. Like many other games this will be decided on the line of scrimmage. Who controls the line gets the win, I’ll take the 49ers’ D-line over Seattle’s O-line.
Pick: 49ers, 26-20
Against The Spread:  49ers (-2.5)

Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers, Sunday 8:20 PM (ET). So much for the perfect season from the Packers. Last week Chiefs showed the way how it can be done against Green Bay Packers. Packers will again face tough defense when Bears come in town. But Bears, without QB Jay Cutler and RB Matt Forte, will have hard time scoring points even against not so good Packers’ defense. Packers get  a win and a home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs.
Pick: Packers, 27-17
Against The Spread: Bears (+12.5)

Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints, Monday 8:30 PM (ET). Another great game on Monday Night. Falcons will try hard to get a revenge for a Week 10 overtime loss at home. Saints QB Drew Brees needs 305 yards to surpass Marino’s all-time single season passing record. He might get the record, but more important, with a win Saints will clinch NFC South division.
Pick: Saints, 27-24
Against The Spread: Falcons (+6.5)


Passer & Rusher Rating Differential – Update Through Week 15

Here’s an update on the passer & rusher ranking differentials (differential rankings are explained in this post →  Passer & Rusher Rating Differential) , through Week 15 in the NFL.

OPR – offensive passer rating, DPR – defensive passer rating
ORR – offensive rusher rating, DRR – defensive rusher rating 

Despite their first loss this past Sunday,Green Bay Packers are still top ranked team based on Passer Rating Differential and San Francisco 49ers still hold No.1 ranking in Rusher Rating Differential thanks to their efficient rushing defense.

Week 15 Review

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Atlanta Falcons
Pick: Falcons 27-16, Against The Spread: Jaguars (+11.5), Result: Falcons 41-14

Dallas Cowboys @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pick: Cowboys 31-17, Against The Spread: Cowboys (-6.5), Result: Cowboys 31-15

Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills
Pick: Bills 27-21, Against The Spread: Bills (-0.5), Result: Dolphins 30-23

Seattle Seahawks @ Chicago Bears
Pick: Bears 20-17, Against The Spread: Seahawks (+4.5), Result: Seahawks 38-14

Cincinnati Bengals @ St. Louis Rams
Pick: Bengals 24-16, Against The Spread: Bengals (-4.5), Result: Bengals 20-13

Green Bay Packers @ Kansas City Chiefs
Pick: Packers 27-13, Against The Spread: Packers (-13.5), Result: Chiefs 19-14

Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts
Pick: Titans 27-18, Against The Spread: Titans (-6.5) , Result: Colts 27-13

New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings
Pick: Saints 30-21, Against The Spread: Saints (-7.5), Result: Saints 42-20

Washington Redskins @ New York Giants
Pick: Giants 27-23, Against The Spread: Redskins (+7.5), Result: Redskins 23-10

Carolina Panthers @ Houston Texans
Pick: Texans 25-17, Against The Spread: Texans (-6.5), Result: Panthers 28-13

Detroit Lions @ Oakland Raiders
Pick: Lions 34-30, Against The Spread: Lions (-1.5), Result: Lions 28-27

Cleveland Browns @ Arizona Cardinals
Pick: Cardinals 24-20, Against The Spread: Browns (+6.5), Result: Cardinals 20-17 OT

New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos
Pick: Patriots 24-10, Against The Spread: Patriots (-6.5), Result: Patriots 41-23

New York Jets @ Philadelphia Eagles
Pick: Jets 27-23, Against The Spread: Jets (+2.5) , Result: Eagles 45-19

Baltimore Ravens @ San Diego Chargers
Pick: Ravens 31-27, Against The Spread: Ravens (-2.5), Result: Chargers 34-14

Pittsburgh Steelers @ San Francisco 49ers
Pick: 49ers 24-17, Against The Spread: 49ers (-1.5), Result: 49ers 20-3

Week 15:
Non-spread: 8-8, Against The Spread: 8-8

Overall record:
Non-spread: 150-74
Against The Spread: 86-74

Week 15 NFL picks

Sunday games and Monday Night Football game are subject to change. I’ll revise my picks based on available information during the week (injury report). 

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Atlanta Falcons, Thursday 8:20 PM (ET). Falcons need to keep on winning in order to secure themselves a playoff spot. Jaguars are the team without any playoff chances and have to travel to Atlanta on a short week. Atlanta’s air attack will be too much to handle for otherwise solid Jacksonville defense.
Pick: Falcons, 26-17
Against The Spread: Jaguars (+11.5)

Dallas Cowboys @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Saturday 8:20 PM (ET). It’s December and Cowboys are performing the way we’ve seen them perform in the month of December in the recent years. Luckily for Dallas, they’ll face a Buccaneers team which’s falling apart. Cowboys bounce back after tough loss last week with a win against Tampa.
Pick: Cowboys: 31-17
Against The Spread: Cowboys (-6.5)

Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). Miami could be without QB Matt Moore, that leaves them with J.P.Losman at quarterback which means Dolphins will struggle to get anything going on offense. Stout Miami defense won’t be enough for the second straight week as Bills get to win after a long time.
Pick: Bills, 27-21
Against The Spread: Bills (-0.5)

Seattle Seahawks @ Chicago Bears, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). Bears’ defense continues to play well but without QB Jay Cutler and RB Matt Forte Chicago is an average team on offense at most. I expect from Bears to play another close game in front of home crowd. With a win they’ll keep their playoff hopes alive.
Pick: Bears, 20-17
Against The Spread: Seahawks (+4.5)

Cincinnati Bengals @ St. Louis Rams, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). That was a tough loss to swallow for Cincinnati last week against Houston. Good news for Bengals, they play the Rams next. The Rams are bad on offense and with key injuries on defense they just don’t have a chance against talented team from Cincinnati.
Pick: Bengals, 24-16
Against The Spread: Bengals (-4.5)

Green Bay Packers @ Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). Packers will stay on path leading them to a perfect 16-0 season, they will get their 15th win against Kansas city Chiefs who fired Todd Haley as their head coach. With a win Packers will secure home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs.
Pick: Packers, 27-13
Against The Spread: Packers (-13.5)

Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). Just like Packers, the Colts will also stay on their path, their course dough is completely different. With another loss they’ll come within one game to finish 0-16 for the season.
Pick: Titans, 27-18
Against The Spread: Titans (-6.5)

New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). Saints are fighting for 2nd seed in NFC playoffs. Vikings are playing for pride and will try to ruin Saints’ plans, with healthy RB Adrian Peterson their chances get considerably bigger. They might come close but in the end Brees and Company will be too much for Viking’s pass defense.
Pick: Saints, 30-21
Against The Spread: Saints (-7.5)

Washington Redskins @ New York Giants, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). Redskins beat the Giants in Week 1, that’s a long time ago and now it’s time for the Giants to have their revenge. Giants will build on momentum gained with a win at Dallas last week with another win, this time at home against Washington.
Pick: Giants, 27-23
Against The Spread: Redskins (+7.5)

Carolina Panthers @ Houston Texans, Sunday 1:00 PM (ET). Texans continue to play good despite their injuries on offense. They play good enough on defense and QB T.J.Yates is playing above expectations. Seems like Panthers QB Cam Newton’s play regressed in recent weeks and it shows again against Houston defense.
Pick: Texans, 25-17
Against The Spread: Texans (-6.5)

Detroit Lions @ Oakland Raiders, Sunday 4:05 PM (ET). Ndamukong Suh will be back for the Lions after 2-game suspension which might spark the whole Lions team. In order to be successful Lions must establish running game with RB Kevin Smith. Could be a high-scoring game with Lions coming out with an important win on the road.
Pick: Lions, 34-30
Against The Spread: Lions (-1.5)

Cleveland Browns @ Arizona Cardinals, Sunday 4:15 PM (ET). At 6-7 the Cardinals still have a slim chance to make the playoffs, with the way their defense is playing recently they shouldn’t have problems beating the Browns at home. Arizona keeps on winning, staying alive in playoff race.
Pick: Cardinals, 24-20
Against The Spread: Browns (+6.5)

New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos, Sunday 4:15 PM (ET). Maybe Bill Belichick can finally crack the code of Tebow Magic. Patriots defense has surrendered way to much yards through the air, but that shouldn’t be the problem against Denver and Tim Tebow’s offense. On the other side, Patriots posses weapons on offense and they’ll be able to score against tough Denver defense.
Pick: Patriots, 24-10
Against The Spread: Patriots (-6.5)

New York Jets @ Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday 4:15 PM (ET). Theoretically Eagles are still in the hunt for the playoffs, that might change after this game against the Jets. Jets are also playing for playoff spot and with QB Mark Sanchez finally playing some consistent football they might just have enough on offense to beat the Eagles.
Pick: Jets, 27-23
Against The Spread:  Jets (+2.5)

Baltimore Ravens @ San Diego Chargers, Sunday 8:20 PM (ET). Ravens have been able to run the ball efficiently over the past few weeks, they’ll face a bad rushing defense in San Diego and that could be the difference in this game, Ravens being able to run on the Chargers, and Chargers struggling to stop the run.
Pick: Ravens, 31-27
Against The Spread: Ravens (-2.5)

Pittsburgh Steelers @ San Francisco 49ers, Monday 8:30 PM (ET). Big game for both teams, 49ers will be looking to bounce back after a loss in Arizona last week, and Pittsburgh will try to stay in contention for AFC North division title. A lot will depend if, and in what state, QB Ben Roethlisberger will play on Monday Night at San Francisco.
Pick: 49ers, 24-17
Against The Spread: 49ers (-1.5)


Week 14 Review

Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Pick: Steelers 27-16, Against The Spread: Browns (+13.5), Result: Steelers 14-3

Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers
Pick: Falcons 28-23, Against The Spread: Falcons (-2.5), Result: Falcons 31-23

Houston Texans @ Cincinnati Bengals
Pick: Bengals 20-17, Against The Spread: Texans (+3.5), Result: Texans 20-19

Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions
Pick: Lions 30-25, Against The Spread: Vikings (+7.5), Result: Lions 34-28

New Orleans Saints @ Tennessee Titans
Pick: Saints 27-20, Against The Spread: Saints (-3.5), Result: Saints 22-17

Indianapolis Colts @ Baltimore Ravens
Pick: Ravens 31-13, Against The Spread: Ravens (-16.5), Result: Ravens 24-10

Kansas City Chiefs @ New York Jets
Pick: Jets 23-10, Against The Spread: Jets (-8.5) , Result: Jets 37-10

Philadelphia Eagles @ Miami Dolphins
Pick: Dolphins 24-21, Against The Spread: Eagles (+3.5), Result: Eagles 26-10

New England Patriots @ Washington Redskins
Pick: Patriots 28-17, Against The Spread: Patriots (-7.5), Result: Patriots 34-27

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Pick: Buccaneers 27-23, Against The Spread: Buccaneers (-1.5), Result: Jaguars 41-14

Chicago Bears @ Denver Broncos
Pick: Broncos 16-13, Against The Spread: Bears (+3.5), Result: Broncos 13-10 OT

San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals
Pick: 49ers 23-20, Against The Spread: Cardinals (+3.5), Result: Cardinals 21-19

Buffalo Bills @ San Diego Chargers
Pick: Chargers 31-23, Against The Spread: Chargers (-6.5), Result: Chargers 37-10

Oakland Raiders @ Green Bay Packers
Pick: Packers 33-24, Against The Spread: Raiders (+11.5) , Result: Packers 46-16

New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys
Pick: Giants 26-23, Against The Spread: Giants (+3.5), Result: Giants 37-34

St. Louis Rams @ Seattle Seahawks
Pick: Seahawks 23-13, Against The Spread: Seahawks (-6.5), Result: Seahawks 30-13

Week 14:
Non-spread: 12-4, Against The Spread: 12-4

Overall record:
Non-spread: 142-66
Against The Spread: 78-66