NFL Week 12: Preview & Analysis
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HOUSTON TEXANS @ DETROIT LIONS
In a matchup of star WRs, Calvin Johnson is projected for 7 more yards, but Andre Johnson and the Texans are the slight 50.4% favorite. Arian Foster is averaging nearly 100 rushing yards. If the Lions can hold Foster to under 4.5 ypc then Detroit is the 65% favorite, but if he averages 4.5 ypc or more the Lions only have a 38% chance. Matthew Stafford is projected for 291 yards vs 265 for Matt Schaub, but Schaub is the more efficient passer completing 67% of his passes vs just 58% for Stafford. There is only a 21% chance Stafford completes a higher percentage than Schaub but if he does Detroit is the solid 73% favorite.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS @ DALLAS COWBOYS
Dallas is the 59% favorite even though they are only averaging 85 rushing yards per sim with DeMarco Murray out again this week. Tony Romo is projected for a huge game with over 300 passing yards and an average of 2.2 TDs per sim vs just 1 INT. There is a 69% chance that Romo has more TD passes than INTs and if he does the Cowboys are heavy 72% favorites. Alfred Morris is being held to just 3.8 ypc in simulations. If he averages at least 4.5 ypc and Robert Griffin III completes over 65% of his passes then Washington is the 59% favorite.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS @ NEW YORK JETS
If Rob Gronkowski were not hurt the Patriots would be 72% favorites winning by 9 points per sim, but without him the Patriots are now 66% favorites winning by 6 points per simulation. Even without Darrelle Revis the Jets defense is ranked 4th against the pass holding the opposing to just a 56% completion percentage. But the Jets only have 17 sacks. If the Jets can pressure Tom Brady, sack him 3 or more times, and hold him to 57% or less then the Jets are 54% favorites. But if Brady is sacked under 3 times and completes over 60% then the Patriots are heavy 78% favorites.
OAKLAND RAIDERS @ CINCINNATI BENGALS
Carson Palmer has thrown 9 INTS in his past 6 games and has at least 1 INT in each of them. He is averaging as many INTs as TDs in simulations and Cincinnati is the 71% favorite. There is a 31% chance that Palmer has no INTs and in these sims the Raiders chances improve to 46%. If Palmer has no INTs and completes over 60% of his passes then Oakland is the 54% favorite. Andy Dalton is averaging 2 TDs per sim and just 0.8 INTs. There is just a 14% chance that he has more INTs than TDs but if he does the Raiders are the 58% favorite. There is a 64% chance Dalton has more TDs than INTS and the Bengals are heavy 81% favorites in these simulations.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS @ CLEVELAND BROWNS
It looks like the Steelers are down to 3rd string QB Charlie Batch. Fortunately for Pittsburgh the combo of Jonathan Dwyer and Rashard Mendenhall are averaging over 4.0 ypc vs just 3.0 for Trent Richardson and as a result the Steelers are 60% road favorites. Dwyer and Mendenhall are both averaging nearly 60 rushing yards. There is only a 28% chance that Cleveland rushes for more yards than Pittsburgh, but if they do the Browns are the 70% favorite. But if the Steelers defense gets 3 or more sacks and intercept Weeden at least once then Pittsburgh is the heavy 80% favorite.
BUFFALO BILLS @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Andrew Luck and Ryan Fitzpatrick are both averaging 1 INT per simulation and the Colts are slight 52% favorites. If Luck has no INTs then the Colts are heavy 67% favorites. Luck is also averaging 270 passing yards vs 220 for Fitzpatrick. If Fitzpatrick has more passing yards and he throws no more than 1 INT then Buffalo is the 52% favorite. Buffalo has around a 10 yard per game edge running the ball. If CJ Spiller averages 6.0 ypc with at least 12 rushes then Buffalo has a 73% chance of winning.
TENNESSEE TITANS @ JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
With Chad Henne starting for Jacksonville, the Jags have just over a 50% chance of winning. Henne is completing 63% of his passes for 222 yards. There is a 58% chance he completes at least 60% of his passes and if he does Jacksonville is the 58% favorite. But if Henne completes under 60% then Jacksonville only has a 43% chance. Chris Johnson is only averaging 3.5 ypc. If Johnson has a big game with at least 75 rushing yards on 4.0+ ypc then Tennessee is the 69% favorite. If Jalen Parmale, starting for Jacksonville, rushes for more yards than Chris Johnson then the Jags are the solid 73% favorite.
DENVER BRONCOS @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Even though Willis McGahee is out the Broncos are heavy 72% favorites because Peyton Manning is averaging 2.3 TDs vs just 0.8 INTs per sim. There is only a 10% chance that Manning throws more INTs than TDs, but if he does the Chiefs are the 68% favorite. There is a 33% chance that Manning has 3 or more TD passes with no more than 1 INT and in these cases the Broncos win 90% of the time. With the Chiefs QBs projected for 2 INTs vs just 1 TD pass KC needs to dominate running the ball. If Jamaal Charles can have 100+ yards and at least 1 rushing TD then KC actually is the 55% favorite.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS @ CHICAGO BEARS
The Bears are 61% favorites because the defense is making things tough on Christian Ponder. Ponder is averaging 1.3 INTs per sim vs just 0.7 TD passes. There is only a 22% chance that Ponder has more TDs than INTs but if he does the Viking are the 66% favorites. But if the Bears sack Ponder 3 or more times and intercept him at least once then Chicago is the 75% favorite. Adrian Peterson is forecasted for a big game with nearly 5 ypc. If Peterson rushes for 80 or more yards then Minnesota is the 55% favorite, but if Peterson has under 80 rushing yards then Minnesota only has a 25% chance.
ATLANTA FALCONS @ TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
The silver lining to Matt Ryan throwing 5 INTs is that the Falcons can still win even though they threw 5 INTs. There is a 26% chance that Ryan has another multiple INT game and if he does Tampa Bay is the 67% favorite, but if he has no more than 1 INT the Falcons are 60% favorites. Tampa Bay is getting another strong 86 yard per sim performance from Dough Martin. If he has 80+ yards and at least 1 rushing TD the Bucs are 65% favorites, but if he has under 80 rushing yards the Bucs only have a 32% chance. Josh Freeman is projected for 260 yards and 2 TDs. In simulations where TB wins Freeman averages 2.1 TDs and just 0.7 INTs, but in simulations where TB wins Freeman averages 1.6 TDs and 1.3 INTs.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS @ MIAMI DOLHPINS
The Seahawks are 52% road favorites even though the Dolphins defense is holding Marshawn Lynch to just 3.2 ypc. The main reason for Seattle having the edge in interceptions. Russell Wilson has just 2 INTs in the past 5 games while Ryan Tannehill has 5 INTs in his past 2 games. There is a 66% chance that Tannehill has at least 1 INT and when he does Miami only has a 38% chance. Wilson is throwing an INT in 55% of simulations and Miami wins 58% of these cases. If Miami gets a good game from Tannehill (1+ TDs, no more than 1 INT) then Miami is a 66% favorite.
BALTIMORE RAVENS @ SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Baltimore was crushed last year in their visit to San Diego, but Baltimore is a 55% road favorite in simulations. Philip Rivers is struggling with a league high 14 INTs this season. He is averaging 1.4 INTs per sim. There is a 30% chance that Rivers does not throw an INT and if he doesn't the Chargers are the 64% favorite. Joe Flacco has struggled on the road with just 3 TDs and 4 INTs in 5 road games. If Flacco can complete 60% of his passes the Ravens are solid 65% favorites, but there is a 33% chance that he completes under 55% and if he does the Ravens only have a 42% chance.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
The Saints are hot and are slight 54% favorites at home vs the 49ers who dominated Chicago. Four turnovers killed the Saints in last year's playoffs. There is a 21% chance that Drew Brees throws 2 or more INTs and if he does the 49ers are the heavy 67% favorite, but if Brees has no more than 1 INT the Saints are the 60% favorite. New Orleans is allowing a league worst 158 yards per game. SF is averaging 160 rushing yards per sim. If the Saints can hold SF to under 150 rushing yards they are the 75% favorite, but if SF rushes for 150+ rushing yards then they are the 69% favorite. In simulations, the 49ers chances are virtually the same with Colin Kaepernick or Alex Smith starting.
SAINT LOUIS RAMS @ ARIZONA CARDINALS
Beanie Wells should be back for Arizona and they are the 56% home favorite. The Cardinals defense is holding the Rams to 3.8 ypc. If the Rams average 4.5 or more ypc then St. Louis is the 54% favorite, but in the 63% of simulations where they average under 4.0 ypc the Rams only have a 38% chance of winning. The Cardinals QBs (John Skelton, Ryan Lindley) both have low simulation passer ratings in the 60s. There is just a 34% chance that Arizona passes for more TDs than INTs an Arizona wins 76% of these simulations. But if the Rams defense gets 4 or more sacks the Rams get the 52% edge.
GREEN BAY PACKERS @ NEW YORK GIANTS
The Packers are the slight 54% road favorite even though the Giants defense is averaging 3.6 sacks and intercepting Rodgers once per sim. In the simulations where they win the Giants defense sacks Aaron Rodgers 4.2 times and intercepts him 1.2 times, but when GB wins Rodgers is sacked just 3.2 times and he averages 0.7 INTs. Eli Manning is expected to bounce back from a terrible stretch of games with 270 yards and a 54% chance of passing for at least 2 TDs. If he has 2 or more TDs the Giants win 55% of the simulations. But if Manning has no more than 1 TD then the Giants only have a 36% chance.
CAROLINA PANTHERS @ PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
The Eagles are 55% favorites but much depends on if Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy can play. The Eagles are 31st in the league with just 16.2 points per game, but they are averaging over 23 per simulation. If the Eagles have at least 250 passing yards and 120 rushing yards the Eagles are heavy 68% favorites. Cam Newton is completing just 53% of his passes and is averaging slightly more INTs (1.1) than TD passes (1.0). If Newton completes 60%+ of his passes and has more TD passes than INTs the Panthers have a 72% chance, but if Newton has more INTs than TDs (a 35% chance) then Carolina only has a 25% chance of winning.