5 for 5 - Week 11, 2018
We have been on a slide for a while now, and my concern with this format is that I'm finding teams based on personal bias and then finding data to fit that pick, as opposed to reviewing the data and letting that guide the pick.
Therefore, to improve our data-driven aspect, the majority of picks going forward will use the same data metrics to rank the match-ups with minimal focus on me finding other data.
The metrics we will start with are DVOA, Yards Per Play (YPP), and First Half Scoring (FHS). For DVOA, we will use the overall DVOA per team and review the difference for each matchup to find the biggest gaps. For YPP and FHS, we will be using offensive and defensive stats from each team to create an overall YPP and FHS for each team and then finding the difference between each matchup to find the largest differences. Finally, we will throw in a few other nuggets as appropriate and maybe sneak in a different game so we go blind to these metrics.
Using the Westgate Super Contest lines:
Using this stat-based layout, six games pop out from having all three in favor of one team:
These will have to reviewed against the spread and used to guide our picks. Worth noting that four of those games are some of the highest on the board (which makes sense that better teams have the stats in their favor).
1. Sea -2.5 (GB)
2. Bal -6.5 (Cin)
3. Pit -5.5 (@ Jac)
4. Car -4 (@ Det)
5. Ari -5.5 (Oak)
1. Seattle Seahawks -2.5 (GB)
1 - The line was only -2.5, which I thought was low, so I jumped on this Thursday night game quick.
2 - Mike McCarthy's poor clock management (using hindsight as a reason is not how I want this blog to work, but because of his punt late in the fourth I had to call it out)
3 - Sea's run game is ranked 7th in DVOA and GB's rush D is 26th
4 - Sea's D has been playing better than when it started the year
5 - Short week, on the road, not getting a full FG is enough for me to go against the road team when both teams are pretty equal teams, and having Wilson versus Rodgers mitigates some of the Rodgers magic (but not all...)
2. Baltimore Ravens -6.5 (Cin)
1 - Lamar Jackson expected to start! I think that will energize the entire Dal team
2 - Cin has given up over 500 yards in three straight games (this has a hint of counterpoint to it, after being embarrassed by NO last week when they scored on every singe relevant drive, you have to think Cin is going to work harder to not let that happen again)
3 - The stats: this game is one that popped out in reviewing DVOA, YPP, and 1H Scoring
4 - Bal has one of the biggest DVOA gaps over Cin of any game this week, averages 1 YPP more (based on how I calculate it), and has 4.8 FHS advantage (again, based on these calculations, which can be improved)
5 - The most important one: Hue Jackson nows works for Cin!!!
3. Pittsburgh Steelers -5.5 (@ Jac)
1 - The Stats will drive the first three of this game, starting with a huge gap in DVOA
2 - Pit has a 0.90 yard per play difference advantage
3 - Pit has a 10.7 FHS advantage
4 - Jac beat Pit both times last year in Pit (including the playoffs), but since Jac is trending down this year and I don't think has the same mojo, I put this as a "revenge game" for Pit
5 - Roethlisberger has not been under pressure and has been dealing because of it, while Bortles still plays for Jac
4. Carolina Panthers -4 (@ Det)
1 - The standout in all three of the reviewed metrics, starting with DVOA of 33%, the largest gap this week
2 - YPP advantage of 0.9 for Car
3 - FHS gap of 3.3 for Car
4 - Det is back home after getting crushed in two road division games where they gave up 10 sacks to Min and 6 to Chi. Det is better at home in the dome but their O-line and protections are in trouble
5 - Det is 25th in run D DVOA while Car's offense is 3rd in rushing DVOA
5. Arizona Cardinals -5.5 (Oak)
1 - Oak is going to cover one of these games, but let's wait at least one more week
2 - The stats are reasonably close on these two teams but I think that is misleading for Ari, as their D is starting to play better after switching schemes this offseason and under a new O-Coordinator
3 - Gruden is still the coach in Oak
4 - David Carr has now realized what some others have already known, he's not good (he actually has an average yards per attempts while Rosen is near the bottom, but I'll defer to new O-Coordinator on that one)
5 - As Warren Sharp has pointed out, Oak is 1-10 in their last 11 road games and only have 2 covers in that stretch
And one more, a stay away that I really want to pick, but numbers say otherwise:
6. Minnesota Vikings -2.5 (@ Chi)
I think Min is better and Trubisky has done well against bad teams, however not getting a full 3 and Chi standing out FHS compared to the Vikings (11 point difference, the largest of the week).