Week 2 Survivor Final Update: Topsy-Turvy Edition

posted in NFL, NFL Survivor Pools

What a difference two days make.

As we mentioned in our Week 2 NFL Survivor column a few days ago, this year we’ll be following up our initial Wednesday articles with an additional post each Friday. In these, we’ll publish another Survivor data table with up-to-date spreads, win odds, and pick percentages, plus we’ll finalize our official pick for the week.

First, let’s take a look at the updated data table. As a reminder, this helps us answer the three main questions we ask ourselves about each team when making our Survivor pick:

1. How likely are they to win? (Vegas Line & TR Odds from our NFL win picks page)
2. How popular are they? (average public Pick % from sites like Yahoo! and OfficeFootballPool)
3. Should I save them for later? (number of future games with win odds of 75%+, from our NFL Survivor Tool)

Week 2 NFL Survivor Decision Factors

Teams are listed in order of how attractive we think they are as a choice this week. They’re also separated into rough tiers. If two teams are in the same tier, you may want to choose among them based on which pros and cons are more important to your particular situation.

TeamOpponentLineTR OddsPick %Future ValNotes
Tier 1: Top Options
Cincinnativs Cleveland-6.569%12.9%0best chance to use them?
Houstonat Jacksonville-7.077%9.2%6(PICKED), OK "safe" pick
NY Giantsvs Tampa Bay-7.071%12.4%3line dropped from before
New Englandvs Arizona-13.584%45.1%10highest immediate EV
Tier 2: Might Be Worth A Look
Pittsburghvs NY Jets-5.069%1.2%1Polamalu & Harrison out?
San Franciscovs Detroit-6.573%2.6%7
Tier 3: Avoid These Favorites
San Diegovs Tennessee-6.067%4.6%4
Buffalovs Kansas City-3.561%0.6%0
Washingtonat St Louis-3.558%4.0%4
Oaklandat Miami-2.552%1.7%0
New Orleansat Carolina-2.556%0.8%3
Dallasat Seattle-3.560%2.5%7
Atlantavs Denver-3.053%0.1%3
Minnesotaat Indianapolis-1.551%0.6%0
Philadelphiavs Baltimore-2.053%0.1%4

Teams We Already Picked: Houston Texans (WIN)

What Has Changed Since Wednesday?

This week there have been a couple big changes at the top of the table:

1. The line for our preliminary pick, the New York Giants, has dropped from -9 to -7, which makes them less attractive.

2. There are reports that Troy Polamalu will likely miss Sunday’s game for the Steelers. They are already without James Harrison, so this would be a second big blow to their defense. Probably in response to this news, the line for the Steelers has dropped from -6 to -5.

3. As will happen every week, our game winner projections have shifted a bit due to line changes and power ratings changes (the power ratings change slightly after any game, since all team ratings are interconnected).

As a result of those changes, there’s been a reshuffling of the top options. There is now a virtual  tie for the optimal pick, according to our numbers. And then just a hair behind, there is a tie for third place. (Actually, the Steelers should be included in that third place tie according to our numbers, but we’ve bumped them down to the second tier simply because our models don’t “know” about Polamalu’s injury, so they may be slightly overrating Pittsburgh’s win odds.)

These updated numbers have caused us to change our pick for the week….

Official Week 2 NFL Survivor Pick: Cincinnati Bengals over Cleveland Browns

Our original pick was the New York Giants, and we said it was a close call over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Well, for the reasons laid out above, both of those teams look less attractive now than they did Wednesday, while the Bengals have retained most of their value. As a result, the numbers are now telling us to go with Cincinnati as our official pick.

The Bengals are well behind the Patriots in terms of win odds, but so is every other team on the list. The difference is that Cincy has less future value than any other top option. It’s worth taking a slightly bigger risk this week (69% win odds compared to 71% for the Giants or 73% for the 49ers) in order to preserve our future options.

The Houston Texans are also a good pick this week. They have much more future value than Cincinnati, which is bad, but at this point they look like the second-safest pick after New England, which is definitely worth something in a rough week like this one. Of course, we already used them in Week 1, so we don’t have to make a tough decision between the Bengals and Texans.

Despite the line for the Giants dropping by a couple points, they are still a reasonable choice. However, their main advantage over Cincinnati had been their win odds and Vegas line. As those have fallen, that advantage has virtually disappeared. Because of their future value, it seems like saving them is now a better choice. The Bengals are roughly as safe and as popular, but won’t be as useful in the future.

The New England Patriots are an interesting option this week. For people in large pools, where you’ll likely need to survive through the entire season, we think it’s smart to save the Patriots. They are clearly the safest option this week, but there will be other weeks in the future where that is also true — but those weeks they’ll be less popular, which means we’d prefer to wait and use them later. However, for people in small pools, the future value is a bit less important, as you may not need to make it all the way to Week 17 to win. Therefore, in pools with less than 20 people the Patriots could be worth a pick, assuming your pool pick percentages are similar to what we have listed in the table above.

So to recap: we’re taking the Bengals in large pools, but in small pools the Patriots are a decent option. Of course, as always feel free to ask questions about your specific situation in the comments section.

  • Tony

    Looks like Revis is out on Sunday.

  • Jared

    The Jets recently ruled Revis out for this weeks matchup with the Steelers. Does that “re-balance” the Jets-Steelers matchup? Does that change your pick at all?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Wow, this is a rollercoaster.

    I’d say basically we can use the lines as our guide. If the line bounces back up to -6 at most books, then the Steelers look like a good play.

  • AL

    David: It’s likely
    a very complicated algorithm and 100% proprietary, but are the Line, TR
    Odds, Pick %, and future value weighed evenly?
    Or are they varied and do they change throughout the season as more data
    is collected and the projected outcome is matched with the actual outcome?

  • Anonymous
  • Mike

    The pool I’m in has 50 participants – one loss and you’re out. Is Cincy still a good pick? Thanks!

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Here’s the basic process:

    1. Line and TR Odds are weighted evenly to get an adjusted win%.

    2. Then that is used with Pick% to calculate expected EV for the given week (i.e. given the win% and pick% for all teams, what choices maximize win%*[1/expected number of opponents remaining])

    3. Future value is used to adjust the EV calculated in step 2 downward for teams that will be useful in the future.

    The first 2 steps do not change depending on the week, but the future value adjustment gets weaker as the season goes on, since there are fewer future weeks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.silberfarb Daniel Silberfarb

    With Revis officially out with a concussion, I wonder if the Pittsburgh line will start going up again…

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, that is annoying. (Link says Cincy’s leading tackler is out for the season). If the Ciny line drops a point, then I guess the Giants look like the way to go again (or HOU/NE).

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Well, there was just some injury news for Cincy (see below). And for the Jets, who are Pittsburgh’s opponent (see above). So this is getting crazy to follow. At the end of the day, if after all the line moves Cincy still has a larger line than Pittsburgh, I think they are probably the choice. But honestly this week is one of those where there are no “good” choices.

  • Tom

    I’ve got two entries in a standard 1,000 person pool – teams reset in the playoffs. Leaning right now towards Giants with one and Bengals/Steelers with the other. Or do we play conservative and slot the Pats into one pick with the riskiness of those first three teams?

  • JoeP

    Despite that I still think you have to go with the Bengals here… I have two entries in a rather large pool and went Cincy and NYG… (had to declare yesterday). Keep in mind the Browns are absolutely awful.

    They have little to no future value, worth the risk in my book.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I think at this point I would go CIN/NYG. If the CIN line drops, though, I might hold off and switch to PIT.

    In a huge pool, I still think NE has too much future value.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, at this point, I still like those 2 picks. If the Cincy line drops, I mayhave to re-evaluate, but like you said — the Browns are bad.

  • heynow

    with all the questions surrounding players maybe just play it safe and take NE this week. I get looking and saving for future value but if you get knocked out this week taking one of these teams with injury problems saving for future value won’t matter

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    In a small pool, I agree with you. But in a big pool, where you need to survive the whole year, New England will be by far the best pick in a later week (8, 10, 11?) but won’t be so popular.

    Still, I included them in that Top Options group today for exactly the reason you laid out — the alternatives are looking worse than they were a couple days ago, and there is now an argument for playing it safe. You should always go with the option that best fits your situation and philosophy, and this week any of the top 4 or 5 teams have big pros and cons.

  • Jeremy

    Now Cincy has lost Thomas Howard at LB. Seems like no one is safe.

  • Mike

    Cincy’s LB Howard and CB Kirkpatrick both out of Sunday’s game. How much has that affected the Bengals as far as this week’s pick?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    It may already be baked into the line; I’m not sure. The lines moved from -7 to -6.5 yesterday afternoon … around the time Howard it was revealed that Howard would be “limited” this week, but before he went on the IR.

    So, if the lines drop, our valuation of the Bengals will drop. Given that the top 5 are all really close together this week, that would encourage me to look elsewhere. But so far, the line has held steady today.

  • Mr Big Shot

    David, in a pool with over 150 but can repeat teams it’s NE right?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yep, definitely.

    Well … that’s assuming your pick percentages are the same. Once New England goes over about 55% (or about 5.5 times as popular as the Texans), then I think Houston becomes a better pick, due to the benefit you’d get from a fluke Zona upset.

  • Shane

    I’m in a pool of 13,000+, with a huge emphasis on future value due to having to pick multiple teams in weeks 15, 16 and 17. I split my 15 entries between Cincinnati and NYG, to preserve NE, Hou, and Pitt. I like Cincinnati but the NYG pick really pains me… gotta go with the numbers though. Good luck to all!

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I think that sounds smart, given your pool rules. Good luck!

  • Doug

    David I am kind of surprised the redskins aren’t getting much notice the rams haven’t been good in quite some time. I’m in a pool of over 10k. What are your thoughts?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I am surprised the Redskins *are* getting *any* notice. There doesn’t seem to be much reason to take a team that is only a 3.5-point favorite, at least not this early in the season. Especially given that they are actually more popular than Pittsburgh or San Francisco. It just seems like taking extra risk for no extra reward.

  • Brian

    Doesnt it seem awfully risky to pick division rivals in the 2nd week? Cleveland looked awful but so did the Bengals. Cleveland’d defense did look pretty good against a talented Eagles offense. The Bengals scare me big time.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I’m going to steal a quote from VegasWatch for the answer here (from

    do you think the betting market fails to account for this? If so, why? ”

    This column is not about handicapping the matchups — it’s about using the odds and data available to make smart, strategic picks. I start with the assumption that Vegas and our models to a decent job evaluating a team’s likelihood of winning.

  • Brian

    The early game between these two last year is stuck in my mind. A lot of people lost week one picking the Browns to beat the Bengals. I know I shouldnt let previous years affect me this one week but there is just that gut feeling there thats going to keep me from taking the Bengals. That and living in Cincinnati and knowing how bipolar that team can be.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Ha, yeah, it is tough to think rationally about your home town losers. I’m a KC fan, so I understand the general idea.

  • heynow

    Actually, the Bengals did not play that badly it was 17-13 midway through 3rd quarter. As far as Cleveland defense, Vick was terrible. He handed the game to the Browns. Philly rolled up over 450 yards of offense. So how good was Cleveland? A good defense doesn’t give up 450+ yards.

  • Bruce

    David, I’m in a small pool but no one gets elimated. Wins and losses with best record winning. Otherwise it’s survivor rules. One pick, pick a team once etc.

    Given the subtle twist in our rules should I use the small pool strategy or the large one?

  • Anon

    Why no love for SD? Seem at least on par with PIT. Looks like mostly just being down on them as a team. Still seem def better than SF.

  • Justin

    Ten person pool, but we have 3 strikes so we usually go pretty deep in the season. I think I’m going with the official pick to preserve New England’s future value.

  • Anonymous

    So. As I mentioned the last time, I have 3 entries in a casino “last man standing” contest where you can use teams as many times as you wish. Earlier in the week it looked like picking New England for two of my entries and the Giants or Steelers with the other was the way to go. After reading all this injury news, I’m now thinking that I should either pick New England with two picks and Houston with the third or else just use New England as my pick for all three entries. Curious to know what you would do?

  • James

    I was wondering the same thing. San Diego has more people picking them but it’s still less than 5% so when it’s that small i’m not sure it really matters. SD is actually a bigger favorite this week.

  • heynow

    Keep in mind Joe Haden the Browns shutdown corner begins his suspension this week as well.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    SD is lower than PIT primarily because we see more future value in SD than Pittsburgh, and the win odds for both teams are close enough. (Our models aren’t as high on SD as Vegas odds are.) But it’s close to a judgment call here. If you’re in a small pool and think PIT will be solid this year (i.e. more future value than we’re currently giving them), SD does have slightly higher win odds this week when TR models + Vegas implied odds are considered and would warrant consideration. At the very least, if you love San Diego and hate PIT this week, it’s close enough that you shouldn’t force yourself to make a pick you’re totally uncomfortable with based on our analysis.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    The characteristics of a pool like this blend a Survivor with a more traditional pick’em. If your pool is small, then if anything, you should hedge more conservative than aggressive, and absolutely not follow any advice we give for a large pool. Your best bet is to use our Survivor predictor tool (http://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/tools/survivor-predictor/), and create a path through the rest of the weeks that maximizes your expected wins. Try to pick the highest win odds each week given the “pick each team only once” constraint, and add up all those percentages to get total overall expected wins for the season. Repeat with a slightly different progression of picks and try to beat that total until you get the highest total you can. Then, repeat this process every week as future projection numbers update.

    This is a conservative approach to a small pool like this that should work well. If you’re at or near the top of the wins leaders toward the end of the season, you may need to get a little more tricky in your pick approach to maximize your odds to come in first place, but you can cross that bridge if and when you come to it.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    heynow, that information should definitely already be priced into the betting lines.

  • Caleb

    David. I have isolated a couple picks in a 2300 pick pool as ultra aggressive. I am thinking about BUF for these picks. They have basically no future value and no one is picking them. I picked Min with them last week. Am I totally crazy, any other suggestions? Love the site.

  • Bruce

    Really good advice David. I appreciate you taking the time to give such a detailed answer. I really enjoy your work. Thanks again.

  • nick

    how come you guys dnt give w/l records for teams playing on short weeks? Can u get that info or show me where i can get it??

  • Magoo

    So who is the “official” pick today??? :-)

  • Devastator

    I’m taking nyg, they are home, coming off a long rest, and lost their opening game at home so I expect a big bounce back game.

  • brice

    4 picks in lg pool we r thinking cincy new england giants and houston what do you think

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    The pick remains Cincinnati. The consensus line at -110 odds has actually moved a half point in the Bengals’ favor recently, and currently stands at -7 at most books. That’s enough to seal the deal — apparently the market does not think the Bengals having a couple defensive players out moves the needle significantly, or perhaps more concerns about the Browns have surfaced and balanced them out.

    The rest of the advice stands. If you’re in a small pool (maybe 10-20 people or so) or are willing to reduce your overall chances to win your pool in order to have a much better chance to make it through this week, then go Patriots. But if you’re truly playing to maximize your odds of winning your pool, and could care less whether you go out in Week 2 or Week 15 if you don’t win it all, then you need to pass on New England this week and be comfortable with the risk that you’ve got about a 3 in 10 chance of getting knocked out this week.

    If you just can’t get on board with the Bengals, then the Steelers and Giants, whose lines also have held steady over the last 24 hours or so, are the next best thing. The Giants are a slightly safer pick, but the Steelers have less future value knowing what we know after one game. Virtual dead heat there, all depends on if you agree that Pittsburgh has significantly less future value than NYG.

    Finally, if you’ve still got Houston, they’re a solid pick, better than Pittsburgh or NYG.

    As you can tell, this week remains crazy in terms of just how close all the picks are. Can’t remember a week like this.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    Go G-Men!

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    If you’re in a large pool, I think you need to get a little more risky.

    First, the best thing that can happen to you is a fluke upset of New England this week. Is it likely to happen, no, but it’s definitely not impossible either — about a 15% chance right now. But if you’re competing against 499 other people, let’s say, a 15% chance to knock off 200 or 250 contestants all at once sounds pretty darn good.

    Second, let’s say you pick four different teams this week, like you are suggesting, and for the sake of example they all have 75% win odds. The odds that all four teams will win and you move on to week 3 are about 32% (.75 ^ 4). If you pick three teams with 75% win odds and double up on one of them, the odds all four entries survive this week increase to 42% (.75 ^ 3), since you only need three teams and not four to win.

    Of course, in the latter case, your worst case scenario gets worse — if the team you’ve doubled up on loses, you lose TWO entries in Week 2. But these are the types of risks you should be taking in larger pools. However, it’s not really a “risk” but rather a conscious decision to use a more boom-or-bust strategy, which are appropriate for large pools. Mathematically, the average number of entries you expect to survive in both cases is the same, three.

    So you can probably guess where I’m heading with this. In a large pool, I would cut New England, double up on one of the other three teams, and hope the Cards play out of their minds on Sunday.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    That info is in our database, so we can pull it at some point — I’ll add it to the “future ideas” list. The question is whether that data set for the last 10 years or so (what we have in our DB) ends up being meaningful or not. Win/loss is usually a bad way to measure what’s likely to be a relatively subtle impact on performance; looking at something like spread margin (by how many points the team coming off the short week either over- or under-performed Vegas expectations) would probably make more sense, but still, the sample size of those games isn’t very big, so my guess is the results would end up being more “interesting information” than “clearly meaningful information that should drive your picking strategy.” And again, not to be a broken record, but you need to assume that at some level, sharp bettors and big players have looked into this topic and are using analysis of this angle in their handicapping, so to some extent the results should be priced into the Vegas odds already.

    As for other sources, Pro Football Reference is pretty much always the default reply…

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    I mean, Buffalo isn’t the worst survivor pick on the board this week (assuming you pool is traditional survivor rules, one loss and you’re out), so I’d say you’re only borderline crazy.

    My main question is, if the picking percentages in your pool are anything like our numbers above, why would you ever pick the Bills as opposed to say, Pittsburgh. The Steelers also have almost no one picking them (1.2% vs. 0.6% for the Bills, close enough), have little future value as of now, and are a significantly safer pick. It’s still really early, and while a 2300 pick pool is big indeed, a lot can change between now and a few weeks in the future. So the added risk of picking Buffalo doesn’t seem warranted to me right now.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    I don’t think I’d advise that. I’m not sure what your pool’s tiebreakers are, but the three strikes rule removes any chance that a fluke upset of the Pats will knock out almost half your pool this week, plus, your pool is tiny. In a situation like that I would play it ultra-conservative — the Pats are the dominant favorite this week, but in future weeks where they are still the best play, there are probably going to be other teams closer to them in terms of win odds than the Bengals are this week, so you’ll have better alternatives.

    The big caveat here is that in such a small pool, it all comes down to your guess or who you know your opponents are picking. If only two others are picking the Pats, they’re a great pick. If you live in Boston and 8 people are picking the Pats, then avoiding them is attractive even in your tiny pool.

  • Anonymous

    Tossing back and forth between teams. In two fairly small pools (50 & 75 players) with 2 entries in each…
    Thinking NE & CIN in smaller, pricier pool and CIN & NYG (or even NE & NYG) in slightly larger pool.

  • Justin

    Good advice, thanks. We live in KC so the only teams that see a slight boost in pick percentage are AFC West. I’m switching my pick to NE!

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    Sounds good to us. We consider 50-75 out of the “small pool” range (typically we’re thinking less than 50 people when we say small pool), though, so if you are set on going NE in the 50 as a conservative play, I would pass on them in the 75 and go NYG. In effect, you’d be trading some safety in 75 to preserve future value as well as the more longshot bet that if NE does get upset, you’ll be sitting pretty in that pool with 2 entries still alive and lots of people out.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    Quick update Sun morning at 12:20 pm ET: Looks like Giants are moving to -7.5 at some books, while Steelers are retreating to -4.5 at some, both at -110. In that case, Giants the better play of those two, even if you think Steelers have a little more future value than we listed in the table above. We will never change our official pick after Friday — that’s still the Bengals, and they still look like the top pick by the numbers anyhow.

    With that, we’re likely signing off for the day. Good luck to all!

  • Peter

    Had the Giants and the Steelers on my board. On your advice, I took the Steelers but it didn’t matter. 52% of my pool lost with the Patriots.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    Music to our ears. Congrats at doubling your odds to win the pool!

    I was sweating the Steelers at first because of the slow start, but then I remembered my golden rule (this is Tom not David, btw) — the more I watch a game, the worse the outcome for TR becomes. So I decided to make a Costco run instead, and the Steelers took care of business.

  • Shane

    I don’t think I could’ve imagined this week going any better than it did!

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    That makes all of us. :-) Definitely a day for the Survivor ages, especially with the way Pats-Cards ended, and both NYG and PIT fighting to come-from-behind wins. Man, can a Week 2 get any more exciting?

  • MagicMan

    Nice job with week 2. I was going to take CIN, and you guys confirmed it for me as the pick to take. So happy NE lost. Only 140 people left in my pool for some serious coin. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/LFroment Liz Froment

    Whoohoo went with the Steelers based on the advice above, saving the Giants for future value. My 150 person pool in suburban Boston was absolutely decimated by 50 people picking the home town favorites Patriots and losing. I will be sure to stay tuned for this weeks pick!

  • Justin

    Guess I should have stuck with Cincinatti!

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    Nice work. Although that is pretty funny / unexpected — in most pools, 40-50% of people chose the Pats, yet you’re in Boston and only 33% did. Maybe Bostonians are all just cranky pessimists after all. (Having grown up in the Boston ‘burbs myself I have full license to make a comment like that.)

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    Good to hear. We love us some coin!

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    Ha, yeah, I was thinking about you when the Cards pulled it off. I still think it was the right pick for your case. You can usually count on other people shooting themselves in the foot as the season goes on, so just keep making the most informed decision and eventually things will hopefully even out.

    You never answered the question about tiebreakers though…if someone with 1 strike and someone with 2 strikes survives the whole season, does the 1-striker win it all? Or do they split the pot?

  • rcc22

    ok…i know its early…2 of my 3 got through…
    CIN/SD…my safety pick got eliminated..lol…

    but on th good side..only half the pool is left …

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    Well, 50% lost, but 66% of your entries got through. Net positive for you at least, despite NE…

  • rcc22

    yup..in another pool..i took CIN..and went from 90 to 40 left…

  • Justin

    Sorry about that, it is a split pot among everyone remaining. We do 3 strikes since the pool is so small – the last 3 years it has gone very deep but never all the way to the last week.

    PS, I’m not mad, this site’s advice helped me win last season’s pool so you’ve got a seven year grace period until I break even 😉

  • Tyson

    Here’s a bit of research that I thought I’d share.
    I did some research this year into 2 common Survivor myths, not picking division games or primetime games. I looked at 7 point favorites dating back to 2002. I used 7 point favorites since typically we are only going to be picking teams favored by at least a touchdown. In the 830 games where a team was favored by 7 or more, there was 165 outright upsets (19.88%).

    I then looked at Division games. In that time, there was 320 division games with a spread of 7+ points, with 60 outright upsets (18.75%).

    I also looked at primetime games (all games not played on Saturday or Sunday), and also at SNF and MNF games separately. The percentages were 19.53%, 18.6%, and 20.34% respectively.

    Based on this, I’d say that not picking a team based on these factors is needlessly limiting your choices.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    Agreed. Those percentages seem right in line with what you would expect for 7+ point favorites. Hence our mantra: “It’s probably already priced into the Vegas line.” If an angle as obvious as division rivalries or primetime actually DID reveal a big inefficiency in the prevailing Vegas lines, bettors would have a field day with it, and the lines would adjust.

    Where did you get the data / do that research btw?

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.silberfarb Daniel Silberfarb

    So, who are we thinking for week 3? 49ers, Saints, Cowboys, and Bears are all favored by at least a touchdown, with Saints having the largest spread (-9). 49ers have the most future value. Saints currently have 30% of the picks and 49ers have 23%. Chicago seems like the pick with 11% of the public picking them. Only concern is they show more future value on survivorgrid.com then they do in the Survivor Predictor on this site. Also, Dallas only has 3% of the public picks. I’m still leaning Chicago. Thoughts?

  • Shane

    Its definitely right up there with Week 5 Giants-Seahawks and I think Week 10 Philly-Cardinals of last year…. although I don’t even think they were 2 touchdown favorites in those games. Pretty awesome!

  • http://twitter.com/LFroment Liz Froment

    Haha, it’s true we are, I blame the Red Sox! (grew up in the Boston ‘burbs as well). At least now I can use the Pats again later on in the season.

  • Tyson

    I found a series of spreadsheets with point spreads and results, combined them into one, and then started crunching numbers in Excel.

  • Tyson

    I was looking at the ranking tool and the point spreads in there. Do these get updated daily? It says Bears by 9, but the lines I see are closer to 7.5.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    Crazy busy day today, didn’t even have time to look into it yet, sorry. Preliminary pick and post is on schedule for tomorrow. As for your future value point though, we recently noticed that SurvivorGrid.com uses power rankings from Teddy Covers (guy on Covers.com) to project future value. We took a look at his NFL rankings for this past week and the rationale behind them and…yeah, well…let’s just say we weren’t too impressed. I think they are subjective rankings, or at the very least, if there IS an impressive algorithmic system behind them, then it’s hidden pretty well. :-) So we are reticent to trust their future value calcs.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    Actually I just took a look at the Teddy Covers Week 3 rankings and they don’t seem too bad this week. It looks like there is indeed a statistical basis to them, not sure how sophisticated, but the comments for each team just make it seem simplistic. Overall, all ratings (including ours) are going to be a bit wonky this early in the season, so it will probably be useful to continue to gut-check their future value calcs too, although I doubt it would cause us to change a pick we really like based on our own analysis.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    Which “rankings tool” are you referring to exactly? I didn’t get to responding for 12 hours or so, but I do see we’ve got Chicago -9 on the site right now.

  • Tyson

    Sorry, I meant the Survivor Predictor tool. Is that the spread that goes into your analysis?

  • Malachievol

    David!!! How we looking for todays prelim pick!! :) i gotta go to work soon and have to put in our pick before 6 :( … Lets make that paper brother!!! Hope you and the family are well … Lets Do This!!!

  • Dan

    I’m looking for a pick too, I have to get my pick in today! I’m probably going with the Bears, but the Saints are another option I’m seriously considering. Cowboys look decent too even though my Hawks blew them out last week :-)

  • Dan

    I should add its a 20 person pool and you get to pick every week no matter what. I’m 2-0 so far with with Lions and Giants (I know how to pick em)

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    Guys, we’ll see what we can do to get some sort of “preliminary preliminary” pick up, with no analysis, for the early birds. The problem is that a lot changes between Wed and Sun, but I guess all your opponents face the same handicap too.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com TeamRankings.com

    Ah. Those are Pinnacle’s spreads. For the Survivor analysis, we take the additional step of adjusting any Pinnacle spreads that are not at -110 payout odds to -110, so we would be using more of a consensus line (e.g. 7.5 for the Bears as of Thu/Fri morning)