o Analyze results, identify trends and predict outcomes for NFL, NBA, WTA and ATP matches.

o Assign player fantasy sports value, measure player efficiency, and compare and rank teams across eras.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Week 12, 2011: Raiders vs. Bears by EvenMoney

Oakland Raiders vs. Chicago Bears highlights a week where we are very wary of picking underdogs. So, we go to two seemingly evenly-matched teams that were not on our radar this season. Both, especially the Oakland Raiders, are having better than expected seasons. Since they are matched up in pivotal games for each of them, we figured it is time to look into the numbers. From there, project just how serious a threat they are come playoff time.
If they lose and the Denver Broncos win today, the Raiders will find themselves in a tie with the Broncos for the AFC West lead. This loss could also put their playoffs hope in jeopardy as the AFC second tier of playoff teams is crowded, with 5 other teams trying to secure 2 slots.

The Raiders need this win to convince many, including themselves, that they truly belong atop their division. A loss today could be the start of a four-game losing streak, or they can hold pace and finish by splitting their remaining 6 games for a 10-6 record.

Ironically the Raiders are facing what I see as their NFC counterpart, a team that has benefitted from a major slide by the Detroit Lions. This has allowed the Bears to climb into second place in the NFC North, behind the undefeated Green Bay Packers. But, unlike the Raiders, the remainder of the Bears schedule is relatively weak. A win today and they can easily win 4 of the 5 other remaining games, to finish the season at 12-4.

Besides benefitting from weak schedules, what are the Bears and Raiders doing correctly? They both put up lots of points and have enough strength in both the running and passing game. They do not rank highly in any individual category, with Oakland being the better statistical team, specifically in rushing (4.9 vs. 4.3 yards per rush; and 5.5 more rushes per game).

Defensively, they’re even with the Bears being a run-stopping, low-scoring defense, while the Raiders are a bend but don’t break model.

Raiders (-3) Over (41) – Though not a highlight of our analysis, the absence of Bears QuarterBack Jay Cutler will be the deciding factor because the Raiders will now be able place more emphasis on stopping the run.

11/27 4:05 ET     At Oakland         -3            Chicago                41

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week 11, 2011: Quick Underdogs

These underdogs teams will not win but are very bad matchups for the favorites.

Courtesy of SportsAddict2324

At Atlanta
At Baltimore
At Detroit
At San Francisco
At New England
Kansas City

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week 10, 2011: Quick Underdogs

Quick Underdog Picks That Can Trick You!

At Cincinnati
Bengals and Steelers meet twice in the second half of the season, and are likely to split games. So go with the Home team.

At Dallas
Both teams give up a lot of points and score as many. The line is the concern, though ‘Boys are likely to win.

At Chicago
Bears are too up/down, and Lions need to get back on track.
 At San Francisco
NY Giants
A defensive struggle but Eli is really making the case that he’s a Top-ranked QB in the league.

At NY Jets
New England
Toss up game because it’s at the Jets, but Patriots offense still can put up 24 on a bad day.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Week 9, 2011: Steelers vs Ravens by EvenMoney

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens is our featured game for this week. Though there are two other AFC games that made a case to be the focus, these two teams face a similar situation, in that they can end the season with only one more loss. That loss would be to the Cincinnati Bengals, which they both play two more times. Even if either team loses to another team on their schedule, this week’s game will most likely determine the winner of the AFC Central division.

Add to that, barring a total collapse by two teams in the AFC East division, only 2 teams from the Central will make the playoffs. The Steelers lead the division but they got shellacked (35-7) by the Ravens in Week One. Another loss to this same team and with the risk of finishing in a tie, the Steelers must win this game. They happen to be catching the Ravens at a very good point of the season.

Courtesy of 82PeRK

The Ravens won their last game, after trailing the Arizona Cardinals by 21 points and lost (the week before) to the Jacksonville Jaguars in a game that exposed their offensive ineptitude. The Ravens win because of their top-ranked (#1 overall, #3 passing and rushing) defense. The defense doesn’t give up points or too many yards, and places the offense in short-field positions to start drives. Unfortunately, QuarterBack Joe Flacco is having a down year (pretty much across the board), specifically in Pass Percentage (53.8%).

Courtesy of Slim47247

The Ravens take this unbalanced show on the road against a Steelers team that just finished outmuscling the New England Patriots. The Steelers have won four in a row and boast the league’s 2nd ranked defense, which happens to be ranked 1st against the passing game. The key factor will be whether they can out-tough the Ravens.

Sacks: Ravens 25; Steelers 20
INTs: Ravens 7; Steelers 2
Fumbles: Ravens 14; Steelers 3

Sacks: Ravens 16; Steelers 25
INTs: Ravens 7; Steelers 6
Fumbles: Ravens 3; Steelers 2

Offensively, the teams are evenly matched in the punishment they dole out and are willing to take to protect the ball. But, defensively, the Ravens dish it out much more and are much more opportunistic.

Ravens (+3) Under (42) – Look for the Ravens to refocus, now that the competition is on their level.

11/6 8:30 ET At Pittsburgh -3 Baltimore 42