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Friday, 14 September 2012

NFL Week 1 Review - Patriots @ Titans

My preview:
Patriots -4.5 @ Titans: I am glad that this line has moved towards the Titans. There are concerns about the Patriots O-Line but I think they are more depth concerns. The offence did not look great in pre-season but Welker is back now and they have so many options once they go no huddle. On defence they were middle of the pack and finally look to have hit in the draft on the defensive line with Chandler Jones. I hope I am not overlooking the Titans who people seem to have forgotten were in contention for a playoff spot last season and Jake Locker has impressed me when I have seen them but this appears to be a very-strong Patriot's team.

Take the Pats.
One of my favourite sites to follow is coldhardfootballfatcs.com. I feel as if they have their heart in the right place when it comes to quantitive analysis without the technique to be dangerous. One example would be be their attempt to better judge the value of field goal kickers where the kicker received negative points for making a field goal inside 25 yards.

On Tuesday I noticed they were offering a deal to join Spreadapaedia, which I had not heard of but is a database of all results against the spread. I followed Spreadapaedia to Twitter and I was delighted with what I found - it is the perfect representaion of information without knowledge. For this game they were offering this nugget:
Super Bowl losers, opening up on the road in week 1 are 3-14 ATS, 4-13 game record, with the last ATS win coming in 1989.
Which may seem viable to some but tracking spreads over the long term goes against the core of successful gambling. Here I can suggest that since people have been running out the SuperBowl runner-up's curse for a while the perception has changed. The real problem is to have not looked at what the Patriots have been doing.

Last year the Pats made a surprise run at the SuperBowl. This then caused people to look back on their dratf. What had been a draft for the future was now looked on as a missed opportunity to supplement a SuperBowl team. The pats selected the high-upside project LT Solder in the first round and an injury-prone CB Dowling in the second. Either of those picks could have helped last year but did not.

The key to last year's draft was the 2nd and 3rd round picks of RB's Vereen and Ridley. Neither of those picks was expected to contribute much last year. This is because pass protection is a key element of a Patriot's running back's job. They knew there was no upside to keeping BJGE so they took two upside picks to give them a year's training before they became key cogs in their offensive machine.

For the Titans I continue to be impressed with Locker and it is a shame that he was injured. On the other hand since they next play the Chargers it gives me a guilt-free play on the Chargers.

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