2017 NFL Oracle – Week 13

It was another strong showing for Oracle, posting a lovely 13-3 projection mark for Week 12 of the 2017 NFL season. Let’s inspect those three incorrect picks to see what happened, beginning with the (20) Dallas Cowboys. In this Thanksgiving-day match-up against the (19) Los Angeles Chargers, America’s team only had about a 5% edge, indicative of a high-likelihood that this game would come down to the wire. If you watched this game, you’d have guessed that the Chargers were the team that had been favored, and by a much larger margin than 5%; Los Angeles made short work of Dallas, coasting to a 28-6 win in Thursday’s Game 2. The next incorrect pick came with the (10) Kansas City Chiefs, a team that started the season as one of the hottest in the league, until the train started to come off the tracks in Week 11 with an overtime loss to the (30) New York Giants. In Week 12, the Chiefs were favored to pick up speed once again against the (12) Buffalo Bills, another team that has been very hot and then very cold. Unfortunately for Kansas City, Week 12 saw the train completely derail as they were forced to accept a consecutive close-loss. Like the Cowboys-Chargers game, the Chiefs-Bills game was anticipated to be close (Kansas City favored by 8%), and this was certainly far more competitive than the dismal performance by Dallas, but the fact remains that Oracle came up on the losing side. The third and final incorrect pick came with the former AFC-favorite to make the Super Bowl (spoiler alert) in the (9) Jacksonville Jaguars. Jacksonville would be facing a banged-up (22) Arizona Cardinals team, so Oracle treated the Jaguars as the hands-down favorite with 78% odds of winning, the best odds given to any team in Week 12. This game turned into a blow-for-blow battle, culminating in a career-long 57-yard field goal by Arizona kicker Phil Dawson as time expired, providing his team a 27-24 victory.

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

NFL Oracle Postseason Chances – Week 13

Rk Team Rk Change Exp. Wins Playoffs Chance Division 1st Round Bye Super Bowl
1 PHI 13.3 100.0% 99.9% 89.2% 26.3%
2 PIT 2 12.0 99.5% 94.7% 79.1% 8.1%
3 MIN 2 12.3 99.2% 97.0% 72.0% 7.4%
4 NE 1 12.3 99.5% 95.3% 84.6% 18.9%
5 NO 3 11.2 94.5% 68.6% 15.2% 6.8%
6 CAR 10.6 82.4% 25.4% 8.3% 2.2%
7 LAR 2 10.9 89.3% 74.1% 12.9% 11.0%
8 ATL 2 9.1 41.5% 6.0% 1.5% 0.8%
9 JAC 2 10.3 94.5% 57.1% 25.2% 9.5%
10 KC 2 9.2 77.6% 74.4% 2.9% 2.1%
11 TEN 9.7 78.9% 42.3% 4.1% 1.6%
12 BUF 2 8.6 42.8% 4.7% 2.2% 0.8%
13 SEA 9.4 45.0% 25.3% 0.8% 0.8%
14 DET 2 9.0 30.9% 2.7% 0.1% 0.4%
15 BAL 1 8.9 62.5% 5.2% 1.9% 2.1%
16 OAK 2 7.1 9.7% 8.1% 0.0% 0.1%
17 GB 2 7.4 4.1% 0.3% 0.0% 0.1%
18 WAS 2 7.7 5.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.1%
19 LAC 3 7.9 24.4% 17.4% 0.0% 0.6%
20 DAL 3 7.6 6.3% 0.1% 0.0% 0.1%
21 MIA 2 5.7 1.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
22 ARI 5 7.0 1.3% 0.5% 0.0% 0.0%
23 CIN 3 7.1 6.2% 0.1% 0.0% 0.1%
24 NYJ 3 6.0 1.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
25 CHI 1 5.4 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
26 HOU 1 6.3 1.8% 0.6% 0.0% 0.0%
27 TB 4 5.7 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
28 DEN 5.4 0.2% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0%
29 IND 4.8 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
30 NYG 3.8 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
31 SF 2.7 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
32 CLE 1.7 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

Not much has changed positioning-wise as far as the playoff-picture is concerned. As it stands, there are six teams that all have greater than 90% chances of making the playoffs, with one additional team just below that threshold. None of the projected division winners have changed since last week, although there continues to be shake-up in the Wild Card hunt. As a quick refresher, the Week 12 Wild Card projections had the (6) Carolina Panthers and (14) Detroit Lions out of the NFC, and the (11) Tennessee Titans and (15) Baltimore Ravens out of the AFC. Just like the previous week, the top Wild Card team in each conference has remained the same, but the second Wild Card has been claimed by a new team in the NFC. The (13) Seattle Seahawks have remained relevant, keeping their playoff chances alive at 45%. Although the division-rival (7) Los Angeles Rams have the clear edge at the moment, the Seahawks are at least keeping things interesting. The Titans and Ravens are still the top-two Wild Card teams in the AFC at present, with playoff chances of 79% and 63%, respectively. What’s interesting is that the Titans have a marginally better chance of making the playoffs than the Chiefs in the AFC, despite the fact that the Chiefs remain the favorite to win the AFC West and the Titans aren’t even projected to win their division, the AFC South. This tells us that it is more important to the Chiefs to win their division than it is to the Titans; Tennessee has remained competitive enough not only in the AFC South, but in the conference overall, to where they could capture a playoff-berth without having to worry about surpassing Jacksonville.

Which brings us to the Super Bowl projections. We kind of spoiled things earlier by suggesting that there has been some changes to the projected Super Bowl participants. While the (1) Philadelphia Eagles are the outright favorite in the NFC, the Jaguars loss to the Cardinals was a devastating blow to their odds of making the Super Bowl. In their stead, the (4) New England Patriots have quietly become the team to beat in the AFC, which shouldn’t be surprising to any of us purely because of the reputation the Patriots have built since the Brady-Belichick era began. The Eagles odds stand at roughly 26% compared to the Patriots’ 19%, the closest-competitors being the Rams and Jaguars, respectively.

Now that we’ve had our fun, back to reality for the Week 13 predictions, with the addition of our Impact game of the Week and Swing game of the Week.

NFL Oracle Predictions – Week 13

Thu Nov 30 2017(18) WAS @ (20) DAL(20) DAL56.08%
Sun Dec 03 2017(10) KC @ (24) NYJ(10) KC62.86%
Sun Dec 03 2017(26) HOU @ (11) TEN(11) TEN51.99%
Sun Dec 03 2017(14) DET @ (15) BAL(15) BAL58.15%
Sun Dec 03 2017(27) TB @ (17) GB(17) GB55.17%
Sun Dec 03 2017(29) IND @ (9) JAC(9) JAC80.17%
Sun Dec 03 2017(31) SF @ (25) CHI(25) CHI66.88%
Sun Dec 03 2017(4) NE @ (12) BUF(4) NE63.41%
Sun Dec 03 2017(28) DEN @ (21) MIA(28) DEN53.67%
Sun Dec 03 2017(6) CAR @ (5) NO(5) NO56.26%
Sun Dec 03 2017(3) MIN @ (8) ATL(3) MIN59.25%
Sun Dec 03 2017(32) CLE @ (19) LAC(19) LAC80.97%
Sun Dec 03 2017(30) NYG @ (16) OAK(16) OAK63.32%
Sun Dec 03 2017(7) LAR @ (22) ARI(7) LAR74.79%
Sun Dec 03 2017(1) PHI @ (13) SEA(1) PHI64.48%
Mon Dec 04 2017(2) PIT @ (23) CIN(2) PIT67.12%

With the Thursday Night Football game having already been played for Week 13, we are proud to inform you that Oracle has a 100% prediction rate thus far in the week, having given the Cowboys a 6% edge over the (18) Washington Redskins. The 38-14 victory marked the first time Dallas scored double-digit points since Week 9 against the Chiefs, and the fewest points allowed since Week 7 against the (31) San Francisco 49ers.

Impact game of the Week: DET @ BAL
Among all games in the week, the results of this game will have a significant impact on the Playoff Odds across the largest number of teams.

If DET wins If BAL wins
DAL 6.17% DAL 7.54%
BUF 43.16% BUF 38.13%
BAL 70.21% BAL 87.61%
TEN 73.14% TEN 67.37%
DET 35.82% DET 14.93%
ATL 43.11% ATL 51.02%

Coming into this game, the Oracle is giving the edge to the Ravens at 58% over the Lions. We’ve already shown you that Baltimore is projected to claim the second Wild Card in the AFC with their playoff chances at about 63%. In contrast, the Lions just lost their footing for the second Wild Card in the NFC, dropping their playoff chances to 31%. Unfortunately for Detroit, at this point in the season it will be hard to manage a comeback with odds so low, represented by the fact that a win in this game would only raise their playoff chances 5%. On the other hand, a loss would expedite and nearly ensure a missed opportunity to make the playoffs in 2017. As for Baltimore, they are in a very good place, as even a loss would keep them above 70% playoff chances, likely enough to keep them in the second Wild Card at the very least. Buffalo will naturally hope for the NFC Lions to beat the AFC Ravens, as doing so would give the Bills a better chance of making up ground in the AFC Wild Card hunt, the opposite being true for the (8) Atlanta Falcons in the NFC. Beyond that, the Titans would certainly prefer a Lions victory in order to enlarge the gap between the second Wild Card team and themselves.

Swing games of the Week:
These are the games where the results will have the largest swing on the Playoff Odds at least one of teams involved:

Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans

If HOU wins Curr. Odds If TEN wins
HOU 3.36% HOU 1.80% HOU 0.01%
TEN 52.41% TEN 78.80% TEN 85.38%

In both of the selected Swing games this week, the focus is on the ability for one of the teams (who already knows their fate) to play spoiler for the opposing team. For the first game, we’ve chosen the (26) Houston Texans against the Titans. In this case, the emphasis is not on Texans and their miniscule odds of making the playoffs, but the already-discussed Titans. Tennessee has a legitimate shot to contend for the AFC South Division title, but at the very least they are in the strongest position to earn a Wild Card. Beating the division-rival Texans would go a long way to solidifying the Titans in that first Wild Card spot, and leave them in a solid position to fight for the division lead based off how the Jaguars perform. Should the Titans blow this opportunity, they may find themselves back in the trenches with a handful of other teams, all battling for a chance to keep their season alive.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Seattle Seahawks

If PHI wins Curr. Odds If SEA wins
PHI 100.00% PHI 99.98% PHI 99.98%
SEA 24.99% SEA 44.80% SEA 57.92%

Whereas Houston’s fate is effectively sealed such that they will have to wait for 2018 to fight for a playoff spot, Philadelphia is in the opposite position: they have played their way into a very comfortable and sizable lead such that they can look forward to the 2017 playoffs. As such, even if the Eagles lose this game against the Seahawks, their playoff chances will remain unaffected. The same cannot be said for Seattle. The Seahawks are presently on the outside looking in, but not by much. Beating the best team in the NFL could give them a jolt that would make them a larger and more serious player in the NFC Wild Card hunt, whereas a loss (which Oracle believes will happen) would be one step above a death sentence to the Seahawks 2017 campaign.

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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