2017 NFL Oracle – Week 11

NFL Oracle Rankings – Week 11

Bounce back! A week after posting a 7-6 projection mark, Oracle returned to form by going 11-3 for Week 10 of the 2017 NFL season. Those three incorrect picks were linked to the (16) Dallas Cowboys, (20) New York Jets, and (30) New York Giants. Just looking at the respective rankings for each of those teams can tell you that all three were, to some degree, in different tiers of the NFL landscape. The Cowboys were favored over the (12) Atlanta Falcons with 62% confidence, but ultimately lost 27-7. Without running back Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys offense struggled to manufacture points; it also didn’t help that Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn produced an Atlanta-record six sacks against Dak Prescott and the Dallas offensive line. We gave you this game as one of our two swing games last week, as the result would have the largest swing on the Playoff Odds for at least one of the two teams. With this loss, the Cowboys single-handedly dropped their Playoff Odds 20%, which was then dropped an additional 3% due to the outcomes of other games, bringing their current Playoff Odds to 34% (see below). A tier below the Cowboys in the playoff hunt, the Jets had been playing well and trending in the right direction, until their uneventful match-up against the (27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a game that saw only one touchdown. The Jets had been given nearly 61% odds to win this game, particularly since Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston was sidelined as he continues to rest his ailing shoulder. Instead, it was the veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick who led the Bucs to an unconvincing win. With this loss, the Jets have effectively removed almost any possibility of making the playoffs, not that their odds were great to begin with. In the final tier are the Giants, a team ravaged with injuries to pretty much their entire receiving core. Still, New York was slotted up against the winless (31) San Francisco 49ers, giving the Giants 64% odds to scrape together a win. Surprisingly, there was plenty of offense in this game, as the scoreboard read 31-21 by game’s end. The only catch was that those 31 points belonged to the no-longer winless 49ers, who had an even bigger lead until Eli Manning connected for a touchdown in garbage time. Neither team had any chance of making the playoffs, so this game was ultimately inconsequential, but nonetheless, shame on the Giants and good job 49ers.

After a week of some tightly-played football games, check out how the playoff picture has changed from a week ago:

NFL Oracle Postseason Chances – Week 11

Rk Team Rk Change Exp. Wins Playoffs Chance Division 1st Round Bye Super Bowl
1 NO 2 11.2 91.3% 71.8% 32.4% 14.1%
2 PHI 1 12.3 97.8% 91.4% 67.0% 11.4%
3 CAR 3 10.3 70.0% 24.9% 7.6% 2.5%
4 NE 1 11.5 97.1% 87.5% 61.5% 11.2%
5 MIN 2 11.2 91.3% 80.9% 39.0% 5.7%
6 PIT 2 11.3 97.8% 93.7% 55.4% 5.3%
7 KC 5 10.6 94.2% 91.2% 31.7% 5.9%
8 LAR 11.6 93.6% 81.8% 46.5% 21.2%
9 JAC 1 10.5 94.6% 63.1% 35.1% 15.0%
10 TEN 1 9.6 77.0% 35.9% 10.3% 1.9%
11 SEA 3 9.3 43.8% 17.8% 3.6% 0.9%
12 ATL 3 8.1 16.5% 3.3% 0.7% 0.3%
13 GB 4 8.1 13.5% 3.2% 0.2% 0.2%
14 BUF 5 8.6 51.7% 11.5% 4.2% 1.0%
15 DET 4 9.0 35.4% 15.6% 1.5% 0.6%
16 DAL 4 9.0 34.0% 8.4% 1.4% 0.8%
17 OAK 4 7.3 16.8% 6.5% 0.3% 0.3%
18 MIA 2 6.5 6.9% 0.9% 0.1% 0.1%
19 WAS 1 8.0 10.6% 0.2% 0.0% 0.1%
20 NYJ 2 6.7 5.6% 0.1% 0.0% 0.1%
21 BAL 8.2 44.2% 6.2% 1.3% 1.0%
22 CHI 6.3 0.6% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0%
23 ARI 1 6.7 1.2% 0.4% 0.0% 0.0%
24 DEN 1 6.3 5.0% 1.5% 0.0% 0.1%
25 LAC 5.8 1.9% 0.7% 0.0% 0.0%
26 HOU 6.3 4.9% 0.9% 0.0% 0.1%
27 TB 2 5.7 0.5% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
28 CIN 1 5.8 1.6% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0%
29 IND 1 5.1 0.8% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0%
30 NYG 3.5 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
31 SF 1 3.1 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
32 CLE 1 2.5 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

What jumps out first is that, within the top-10, the (8) Los Angeles Rams were the only team that maintained their previous position in the rankings. With a 47-10 blowout win over the (14) Buffalo Bills, the (1) New Orleans Saints are the new king of the hill, impressive when considering they started the season 0-2 but have now gone on for seven straight wins, and counting. Trending-wise, this loss dropped the Bills in the rankings (-5), tied for the worst move with the (7) Kansas City Chiefs, a team affected by last week’s bye.

The favorites to win each of the eight divisions remained the same, although each and every favorite successfully increased their odds of winning their respective division heading into Week 11. That said, there was some movement in the wild card picture in both conferences: a week ago, we gave you, in order, the (3) Carolina Panthers and Cowboys in the NFC and the (10) Tennessee Titans and Bills in the AFC. As of today, the (11) Seattle Seahawks have replaced the Cowboys as the top-dog for that second wild card. For their part, the Panthers odds of making the playoffs rose from 62% to 70%. In the AFC, the wild card seeding remained the same, but the Titans now have a 77% chance of making the playoffs, up from 64% a week ago. On the other hand, the Bills are flirting with danger, dropping to 52% odds, a little too close for comfort to the (21) Baltimore Ravens who are sitting at 44% odds.

With regards to the 1st round bye, the (2) Philadelphia Eagles remain unchallenged in the NFC, but the (4) New England Patriots flip-flopped with the (6) Pittsburgh Steelers as the favorite for the AFC 1st round bye, as if the Patriots need an easier path to the Super Bowl. Get this though: the Rams increased their Super Bowl odds from about 18% to just over 21%, and their nearest competition in the NFC at present are the Saints at 14% (last week it was the Eagles at almost 16%, so the spread is more favorable for the Rams now). The (9) Jacksonville Jaguars are still the favorites to win the AFC at 15% (down from about 19%), but those Patriots are inching closer, now at 11%.

Now that we’ve had our fun, back to reality for the Week 11 predictions, with the addition of our Impact game of the Week and Swing game of the Week.

NFL Oracle Predictions – Week 11

DateGamesOracle_PicksConfidence
Thu Nov 16 2017(10) TEN @ (6) PIT(6) PIT54.11%
Sun Nov 19 2017(27) TB @ (18) MIA(27) TB50.11%
Sun Nov 19 2017(8) LAR @ (5) MIN(8) LAR58.14%
Sun Nov 19 2017(15) DET @ (22) CHI(15) DET57.55%
Sun Nov 19 2017(9) JAC @ (32) CLE(9) JAC87.38%
Sun Nov 19 2017(19) WAS @ (1) NO(1) NO68.72%
Sun Nov 19 2017(21) BAL @ (13) GB(21) BAL54.92%
Sun Nov 19 2017(23) ARI @ (26) HOU(26) HOU64.45%
Sun Nov 19 2017(7) KC @ (30) NYG(7) KC75.54%
Sun Nov 19 2017(14) BUF @ (25) LAC(14) BUF60.63%
Sun Nov 19 2017(4) NE @ (17) OAK(4) NE62.30%
Sun Nov 19 2017(28) CIN @ (24) DEN(24) DEN55.62%
Sun Nov 19 2017(2) PHI @ (16) DAL(2) PHI57.18%
Mon Nov 20 2017(12) ATL @ (11) SEA(11) SEA52.75%

Impact game of the Week: BAL @ GB
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 BAL wins If GB wins
DAL 33.21% DAL 29.91%
BUF 45.06% BUF 55.16%
BAL 61.96% BAL 36.06%
TEN 79.33% TEN 84.26%
GB 13.80% GB 31.70%

Coming into this game, the Ravens are favored over the (13) Green Bay Packers at 55%, with both teams fighting for a playoff spot. As we just told you, the Ravens are poised to steal that second wild card spot in the AFC, and a win here could seriously help them do that, increasing their playoff odds to 62%. A loss, and Baltimore would seriously hurt their chances of making the playoffs, although it wouldn’t be the final nail in the coffin by any means. While the Packers are nowhere near being as much in the hunt as the Ravens, we’ve been telling you that Green Bay has an opportunity to tread water to remain relevant, in case Aaron Rodgers is able to strap on that helmet before season’s end. Pulling out a win in Week 11 would help keep the Pack afloat, whereas a loss would basically end their season.

Logically, the Bills will be scoreboard watching this one, as the Ravens are their primary threat for that last wild card spot, so Buffalo will be rooting for their distant neighbors in the north. Likewise, a Packers win would go a long way in solidifying the Titans in that first wild card spot, even though a Ravens win wouldn’t necessarily hurt Tennessee’s chances.

Swing game of the Week:
This is the game where the results will have the largest swing on the Playoff Odds of at least one of the teams involved:

Atlanta Falcons @ Seattle Seahawks

If ATL wins Curr. Odds If SEA wins
ATL 25.35% ATL 16.59% ATL 7.76%
SEA 32.15% SEA 43.78% SEA 65.28%

There were a few games this week that were worthy of consideration for the swing game of the week, but we ultimately chose this match-up due to the current standing of both teams. It also doesn’t hurt that this is the Monday Night Football game for Week 11. Oracle favors the Seahawks at roughly 53%, making this a potential flip a coin game in its own right. As you can see, Seattle has far better odds of making the playoffs as things stand, and we already touched on their positioning in that second wild card spot. A win here would do wonders to not only separate the Seahawks from the lurking Cowboys, but also close the gap on that first wild card spot with the Panthers. A loss would not necessarily be devastating, but it would keep things tight and interesting between Seattle and Dallas, especially depending upon what the Cowboys are able to do against the Eagles.

On the other sideline, Atlanta doesn’t necessarily have great odds at present, but that can change if they prove to be the better team on Monday. Let’s face it, 25% odds aren’t going to cut it when it comes to making the playoffs, and that’s the best case scenario for the Falcons, at least from this game. That 25% could rise to 30% depending upon how other games turn out, and Atlanta has to look at this long-term; it’s impossible for them to jump to the top of the wild card list in Week 11, but a strong performance here could lead to another in Week 12, then Week 13, etc. With all of that out of the way, should the Falcons remain shaky and lose this game, any hope of building towards a playoff spot would fade away.

Sure-fire picks (give or take)

Last week’s sure-fire picks (give or take) was a reunion with the (32) Cleveland Browns, the (15) Detroit Lions favored at 79%. Shockingly – no, that’s not sarcastic – this was a close and exciting game; the two teams exchanged blows through the first three quarters before the Lions stopped playing with their food and put up 14 points in the fourth quarter, giving Detroit a 38-24 victory. Not as shocking was the fact that there were several controversial calls made by Browns head coach Hue Jackson, including a quarterback sneak from beyond the 2-yard line with no timeouts and less than 15-seconds left in the first half. Guess what? Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer couldn’t extend the ball 2+ yards and time expired before he could call another play.

Now we’re going to be mean and throw the Browns right back into the ring as the Week 11 sure-fire pick (give or take) as they get ready for the Jaguars, who are favored at an insane 87%. Making matters worse for the Browns is that Kizer suffered a ribs injury in last week’s game against the Lions. While Kizer plans to suit up and start this weekend, don’t think that lethal Jaguars defense isn’t aware of that injury and looking to take advantage of it.

Flip a coin

The flip a coin game for Week 10 was between the (22) Chicago Bears and Packers, the Packers granted the slight advantage. Green Bay backed this up, producing a 23-16 win in a freezing game that has seemingly defined this rivalry.

With several games projected to be close, the one we’ll label as our flip a coin match-up is the Buccaneers and (18) Miami Dolphins. Despite the fact that Miami has the better ranking (+9), Oracle is giving Tampa Bay the better chance of winning this game at 50.11%. Going back to Week 7, both teams are 1-3 with each teams earning that lone win against the Jets. In that same time, both teams lost to the Panthers. Looking at the side-by-side, the Dolphins put up 31 points to the Buccaneers 15 in the wins against the Jets, and the Dolphins put up 21 points to the Buccaneers 3 in the loss against the Panthers. Still, Miami has lost three straight, whereas Tampa Bay is coming off a win. However you slice this, it is projected to be a close game, so we feel confident making this your flip a coin match-up.

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

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