Simulating Divisional Matchups

Wild Card weekend certainly lived up to it’s name last weekend. 3 out of 4 games were decided by less than one possession, and 3 out of 4 underdogs came out on top. The divisional round features more great match-ups that are sure to be just as exciting. Given this, I decided to simulate each divisional game 1000 times.

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 @ Chiefs (-5) T: 57

Game:

Colts Chiefs
Average Score 25.2

29.9

Chance of Winning

36.0% 64.0%
Chance of Covering 48.6%

51.4%

Totals:

Average Total

55.2
Chance of Over

44.8%

Chance of Under

55.2%

Value Picks:
Total Under 57
Colts ML +190

Cowboys @ Rams (-7) T: 49.5

Game:

Cowboys Rams
Average Score 21.4

27.9

Chance of Winning

30.2% 69.8%
Chance of Covering 51.9%

48.1%

Totals:

Average Total

49.4
Chance of Over

51.9%

Chance of Under

48.1%

Value Picks:
None

Chargers @ Patriots (-4) T: 47.5

Game:

Chargers Patriots
Average Score 22.7

24.8

Chance of Winning

43.2% 56.8%
Chance of Covering 57.2%

43.2%

Totals:

Average Total

47.4
Chance of Over

52.2%

Chance of Under

47.8%

Value Picks:
LAC +4
LAC ML +170

Eagles @ Saints (-8) T: 51.5

Game:

Eagles Saints
Average Score 21.4

27.3

Chance of Winning

33.0% 67.0%
Chance of Covering 56.0%

44.0%

Totals:

Average Total

48.7
Chance of Over

42.3%

Chance of Under

57.7%

Value Picks:
Eagles +8
Total Under 51.5
Eagles ML +315

Summary:

These simulations show just how wide open these playoffs are. It found no value in favorites (both ML and Spread), and found value in 3 out of the 4 underdogs in some way. Additionally, it found the two highest O/U to be too high, picking the under in each of them. All told, there are 7 value picks for this weekend:

  • IND@KC u57
  • IND ML +190
  • LAC +4
  • LAC ML +170
  • PHI@NO u51.5
  • PHI +8
  • PHI ML +315
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