No picks last week so our YTD records are still 50-43-2 (53.8%) and 33-26-1 (55.9%) in the WSJ.
This week we have a pretty big edge on the Seahawks at Atlanta. One thing we do not consider is the value of the first-round bye. Actually, we consider it but don’t find much evidence of an advantage (as opposed to regular-season byes). In our small (12-year) sample, the advantage to a first-round playoff bye (after controlling for team quality, homefield, etc.) is zero. So we’re not putting in a bye factor. If you believe in one, there’s probably still enough of an edge on this game to like Seattle.
We have a lean on the Texans, but it doesn’t quite reach the threshold for a pick. At this point in the season we look for edges of 2.5-3 points before considering it a pick. We like the Pats by 6.8 while Vegas favors them by 9. In case you’re in the market for another pick.
As always, our lines are calculated directly from our power rankings – we don’t consider non-QB injuries, weather, matchups, etc. Lines are from Bookmaker (via sbrodds.com) as of Tuesday, 1/8, 2:30pm EST. “Big Plays” are games with at least 4-point edges, while “Other Plays” are those with 2.5- to 4-point edges.
Big Plays (20-17-1 YTD)
SEA (+3) at ATL [MP= -1.2]
Other Plays (30-26-1 YTD)
None this week.
DEN 28, BAL 18
SF 25, GB 22
SEA 24, ATL 23
NE 29, HOU 22