NFL Oracle Rankings – Week 10
Let’s call Week 9 a (slightly) humbling experience for Oracle; after selecting games at a 75% success rate over the prior two weeks, Oracle was only 7-6 in projections this past week. If we were forced to pick one of those incorrect projections that was a surprise, on first glace it would be (26) Houston Texans losing at home to (28) Indianapolis Colts, as Houston was favored at nearly 78%. However, as was noted last week, these projections – and their respective confidence levels – were finalized only hours before Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson suffered a torn ACL, seriously evening the playing field on Sunday. Two of the other incorrect picks were each decided by a mere three points, (21) Baltimore Ravens losing to the (11) Tennessee Titans who keep finding ways to narrowly win football games, and (14) Seattle Seahawks coming back with too little too late against (20) Washington Redskins. That leaves (2) Kansas City Chiefs, (9) Buffalo Bills, and (17) Green Bay Packers, who averaged a 12.3 deficit in their combined losses this past weekend. The highest confidence level Oracle had in any of these games was the Bills at about 61% over (18) New York Jets, so it’s not like blowouts were anticipated in the wrong direction. That being said, the fact that all three of these games were kept within two possessions is somewhat reassuring, although it doesn’t change the outcome. In fact, as you will see below with updated trends, the Ravens and Packers had the least-friendly movement in the new rankings (-6).
With some of these unprecedented outcomes, check out how the playoff picture has changed from a week ago:
NFL Oracle Postseason Chances – Week 10
|Rk||Team||Rk Change||Exp. Wins||Playoffs Chance||Division||1st Round Bye||Super Bowl|
Should we even be surprised that (1) Philadelphia Eagles flip-flopped again with Kansas City? As noted above, the Chiefs dropped courtesy of their loss to the (12) Dallas Cowboys, unable to prevent them from scoring in each quarter. As a reward for overpowering the formerly-top-ranked team, the Cowboys experienced our largest positive trend (+7). Flying back atop their comfortable perch overlooking the NFL landscape, the Eagles provided one of two 51-point games this week, easily breaking the (23) Denver Broncos and leaving that mile-high defense panting for breath. The other 51-point bludgeoning came from (8) Los Angeles Rams, making the (30) New York Giants cower and quiver on their own turf.
Last week’s divisional-favorites remained the same this go around, but there has been some jostling for position in the wildcard race. Previously, the Seahawks and Ravens were in position to receive the first wild card in the NFC and second wild card in the AFC, respectively. With that loss to the Redskins – among other factors – not only did the Seahawks lose that first wild card positioning to (6) Carolina Panthers, but they self-destructed to the point of conceding the second wild card in the NFC to those Cowboys on the come-up. On the AFC side of the coin, after losing to the Titans on Sunday, the Ravens ever-so-graciously shook their opponents’ hands, giving Tennessee that second wild card seed for the time being. Remember, none of this is anywhere close to being in the bag, but don’t think these games won’t ultimately matter down the stretch when comparing head-to-head records.
The Eagles and (4) Pittsburgh Steelers are still the favorites for a first round bye in each conference, just as the Rams and (10) Jacksonville Jaguars are still our projected Super Bowl LII contestants. The Eagles are still hot on the tails of both teams, while the Chiefs stumbled and subsequently lost precious ground, although it is still more than possible to atone for that error.
Now that we’ve had our fun, back to reality for the Week 10 predictions, with the addition of our Impact game of the Week and Swing games of the Week.
NFL Oracle Predictions – Week 10
|Thu Nov 09 2017||(14) SEA @ (24) ARI||(14) SEA||68.37%|
|Sun Nov 12 2017||(3) NO @ (9) BUF||(3) NO||60.16%|
|Sun Nov 12 2017||(18) NYJ @ (29) TB||(18) NYJ||60.90%|
|Sun Nov 12 2017||(17) GB @ (22) CHI||(17) GB||54.01%|
|Sun Nov 12 2017||(4) PIT @ (28) IND||(4) PIT||74.58%|
|Sun Nov 12 2017||(27) CIN @ (11) TEN||(11) TEN||63.33%|
|Sun Nov 12 2017||(7) MIN @ (20) WAS||(7) MIN||60.39%|
|Sun Nov 12 2017||(25) LAC @ (10) JAC||(10) JAC||73.16%|
|Sun Nov 12 2017||(31) CLE @ (19) DET||(19) DET||79.27%|
|Sun Nov 12 2017||(26) HOU @ (8) LAR||(8) LAR||64.14%|
|Sun Nov 12 2017||(12) DAL @ (15) ATL||(12) DAL||62.27%|
|Sun Nov 12 2017||(30) NYG @ (32) SF||(30) NYG||63.93%|
|Sun Nov 12 2017||(5) NE @ (23) DEN||(5) NE||59.98%|
|Mon Nov 13 2017||(16) MIA @ (6) CAR||(6) CAR||62.71%|
Impact game of the Week: CIN @ TEN
Among all games in the week, the results of this game will have a significant impact on the Playoff Odds acorss the largest number of teams.
|If CIN wins||If TEN wins|
|DAL 56.28% ▲||DAL 56.27% ▼|
|BUF 64.04% ▲||BUF 58.63% ▼|
|BAL 50.03% ▲||BAL 45.89% ▼|
|CIN 6.04% ▲||CIN 0.63% ▼|
|TEN 49.74% ▼||TEN 77.53% ▲|
We’re all looking at this table shown above – great. How should you interpret this data? The percentages displayed here are purely for the odds of each team in each of the two situations making the playoffs. In addition to this, it is important to recognize that these playoff odds are how they would be impacted by the outcome of this particular game, not accounting for the outcome of other games. With that in mind, let’s dig deeper.
Dallas doesn’t really care what happens between (27) Cincinnati Bengals and Titans; instead, the Cowboys can turn their attention to their own game against (15) Atlanta Falcons. As Buffalo and Tennessee are presently competing for the top wild card in the AFC, the Bills would greatly appreciate it if the Bengals could find a way to win this game in order to provide some breathing room. However, even if the Titans win (by three) again, the Bills are still more likely than not to make the playoffs. Sitting at 40% odds of making the playoffs at present, Baltimore could also use a Bengals victory to have a better chance at the second AFC wild card over the Titans. As for the two teams actually playing in this match-up, the Titans could go a long way towards securing a playoff spot, whether that be via the division by breaking the tie with Jacksonville for sole possession of the AFC South lead, or keeping pace and shooting for a wild card at the bare minimum. Cincinnati, your season has pretty much been over for a while now, so tuck your tail between your legs and hope for a better 2018 campaign.
Swing games of the Week:
These are the the games where the results will have the largest swing on the Playoff Odds of at least one of teams involved:
Dallas Cowboys @ Atlanta Falcons
|If DAL wins||Curr. Odds||If ATL wins|
|DAL 65.90% ▲||DAL 57.28%||DAL 37.55% ▼|
|ATL 3.51% ▼||ATL 10.29%||ATL 13.52% ▲|
Dallas, didn’t we tell you to focus on Atlanta? There’s a reason we said that. With a win, you could leave your fate in your own hands for Week 10 and jump by over 8% in playoff chances, while a loss would be a crushing blow to “America’s Team,” nearly a 20% skydive. The Falcons are essentially clawing for any remaining hope, shocking after appearing for 3/4 of last year’s Super Bowl.
Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals
|If SEA wins||Curr. Odds||If ARI wins|
|SEA 55.63% ▲||SEA 37.10%||SEA 28.83% ▼|
|ARI 0.12% ▼||ARI 4.37%||ARI 1.64% ▲|
The Rams are still our NFC Super Bowl favorite, are now a game above their division-rivals in Seattle, and have a favorable match-up against the Texans this upcoming week. As such, Seattle basically needs to win this game against (24) Arizona Cardinals to remain relevant in the wild card race, if not the division. Like many other teams at this point, the Cardinals can really only play spoiler
Sure-fire picks (give or take)
Well, last week we told you the Texans over the Colts was our sure-fire picks (give or take)…looks like it was more of the “give or take” than “sure-fire.” We won’t spend too much time on this though, as we’ve already discussed at great lengths the quarterback injury Houston suffered.
This week we are pleased to welcome back (31) Cleveland Browns to this category. In Week 10, the Browns will face-off against (19) Detroit Lions, the Lions favored at over 79%. Unsurprisingly, the Browns have 0.00% chance of making the playoffs as things currently stand (we wanted to provide decimal places to show you we weren’t rounding unfavorably), and this likelihood will not change, regardless of who wins this game. But here’s where things get interesting: heading into this match-up, the Lions have 30.4% odds of making the playoffs. Should the Browns somehow win on Sunday, the Lions odds would logically drop, in this case to 13.24%. Even if reality plays out as is easily-predictable and Detroit wins, their playoff odds would still drop, in this case to 27.50%. Here’s where we’d like to remind you that these odds, as represented here, are purely based off the outcome of this game. So, if the Lions odds will drop no matter what happens in this game, that is indicative of the fact that Detroit’s fate is largely out of its owns hands for Week 10. Ideally (from the Lions’ perspective) the (7) Minnesota Vikings will lose to the Redskins, diminishing the NFC North lead the Vikings currently have.
Flip a coin
The flip a coin match-up for Week 9 involved the team we just put in our sure-fire picks (give or take) for Week 10: the Detroit Lions. Last week, they were considered the underdogs against the Packers, who were favored at roughly 56%. However, as was mentioned at the beginning of this piece, the Lions pounced on the wounded Packers for an easy-enough 30-17 win.
It seems that Week 10 is putting the NFC North under the microscope, as the flip a coin game this week is the Packers against the (22) Chicago Bears. Once again, the Packers are favorites, by a slight edge of 4% in the latest edition of the NFL’s longest-running rivalry. Interestingly enough, should Chicago force Green Bay into a tie for last-place in the division, the two teams would have nearly identical playoff odds of 7.61% and 6.88% respectively. However, the Packers have the edge for now, as they currently have 11% odds to the Bears 2.21% odds coming into this battle. As such, should the Packers win as Oracle projects, they could elevate their odds to 24.41% while practically crushing whatever remaining hope the Bears have of making the playoffs. Think of it this way: if the Packers win, there’s still some life for them and, should they manage to tread water and find a way to limp into the playoff hunt, what’s stopping Aaron Rodgers from suiting up and giving his team that spark (besides his recovering broken collarbone)?
Thanks for checking in. We’ll see you again in one week’s time. Hopefully there will be just as much to write about, with fewer injuries and incorrect predictions.
Written and published by Tyler Caldwell