Simulating Wild Card Weekend

The NFL Playoffs are upon us, and Wild Card weekend features exciting rematches and great match-ups. Only one team is favored by more than 3 points (Bears), which means this weekend should be filled with toss-ups and close games. Given this, I decided to run simulations of all four games to see which teams may be overvalued or underrated.

For the simulations, I used strength of schedule adjusted points scored and allowed per game for each team. Then, I averaged the expected performance of one team’s offense and the other team’s defense to arrive at a projected score for each team. Using a 10% home field advantage, I simulated each match-up 1000 times. Here are the results:

Colts @ Texans (-1) T: 48

Game:

Colts Texans
Average Score 22.2

23.4

Chance of Winning

45.5% 54.5%
Chance of Covering 49.2%

50.8%

Totals:

Average Total

45.6
Chance of Over

41.8%

Chance of Under

58.2%

Value Picks:
Total Under 48

Seahawks @ Cowboys (-2) T: 43

Game:

Seahawks Cowboys
Average Score 22.2

22.9

Chance of Winning

45.7% 54.3%
Chance of Covering 56.2%

43.8%

Totals:

Average Total

45.1
Chance of Over

57.5%

Chance of Under

42.5%

Value Picks:
SEA +2
Total Over 43

Chargers @ Ravens (-3) T: 42

Game:

Chargers Ravens
Average Score 21.2

23.5

Chance of Winning

40.0% 60.0%
Chance of Covering 51.5%

48.5%

Totals:

Average Total

44.7
Chance of Over

58.5%

Chance of Under

41.5%

Value Picks:
Total Over 42

Eagles @ Bears (-6) T: 41

Game:

Eagles Bears
Average Score 19.8

24.3

Chance of Winning

34.6% 65.4%
Chance of Covering 54.6%

45.4%

Totals:

Average Total

44.1
Chance of Over

60.8%

Chance of Under

39.2%

Value Picks:
Total Over 41
Eagles ML +235

Summary:

These simulations prove that all four match-ups  will likely be very close and could go either way. The simulations favor the home team in all four games, but favor the away team with the the spread in 3 out of 4 games (Texans). Additionally, they only found value in one spread (SEA +2) and one straight up pick (Eagles +235). Where the simulations found the most value was in the O/U, where there was value in every game. 3 out of four simulations favored the over, while one favored the under (IND @ HOU). All told, there are 6 value picks this weekend:

  • IND @ HOU Under 48
  • SEA +2
  • SEA @ DAL Over 43
  • LAC @ BAL Over 42
  • PHI @ CHI Over 41
  • PHI ML +235

2 thoughts on “Simulating Wild Card Weekend

  1. Love checking in on your models and picks. Going to do a 1u round robin on these percentage picks just for fun to see how it all works out. Keep up the good work

    Like

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