All posts by Thomas McDermott

2018 SRS Ratings Through Week 9

Below are the SRS ratings through Week 9; as noted last week, the offense and defense ratings do not include “non-offense” scores. This ranking is telling us that on a neutral field, the spread for a Chiefs/Bills matchup would be Chiefs -26. That’s an insane spread, but pretty reasonable considering what our eyeballs tell us about these two teams. Is Chicago really a better team (albeit only slightly) than New England? Probably not. This rating (and PFR’s) includes all games and gives all games equal…

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2018 SRS Ratings Through Week 8

If you like using points per game as a reference for team strength (SOS), it makes sense to adjust for strength of opponent. Pro Football Reference has been doing this for years with their Simple Ranking System; in fact, the term “SRS” is now commonly used to refer to a team’s point differential that has been adjusted for SOS. PFR goes even further by giving us offensive and defensive ratings – OSRS and DSRS – which are pretty handy for seeing where a team’s strength…

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2017 WEEK 17 PICKS

Followed up my horrible 6-10 week by going 8-8 in Week 16, and that’s including the back-door cover Christmas gift in the Eagles-Raiders game. So I’m happy that I was able to at least “improve” on my crappy Week 15, but here’s what burns me up (and I KNEW this would happen): I tweaked The Machine by giving certain playoff-hopeful teams a single point to address the fact that they “had to win”, and I lost two of the three games where this adjustment flipped my…

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2017 WEEK 16 PICKS

Horrible, horrible week my friends. Only 6 correct picks, and I think I was lucky to get even that. My spreads were so close to the ESPN Pigskin Pick’Em (PP) spreads that had I nudged 4 of my games by even 1 point, I would have caught those games: Game My Spread ESPN Spread Diff BAL@CLE +7 +7.5 0.5 NYJ@NOR -16 -15.5 0.5 TEN@SFO -1 -1.5 0.5 NWE@PIT +2 +2.5 0.5 I say this not to complain about the losses (although obviously I’m not happy),…

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2017 WEEK 15 PICKS

I continue my slow and steady descent into mediocrity: I went 8-8 for the second week in a row. Somewhat symbolic of this “balanced approach” to picking games, is the fact that while I was a victim of a bad beat with the CLE/GNB game – the Hundley-to-Adams 25-yard touchdown in OT blew my Browns to cover pick – I got lucky when Bills RB LeSean McCoy ran in for a score in OT against the Colts, giving me the Bills cover. That being said,…

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2017 WEEK 14 PICKS, RANKINGS

Another mediocre week, 8 correct picks against the spread. I should be doing better at this point in the season, because – theoretically – I now have enough data to accurately gauge team strengths. While my picks haven’t taken a nose dive, I’m certainly struggling. No sense going back and complaining about lost games, but I do have one gripe: I did pretty well with my Super Hot Picks, getting 2 out of 3 correct, but I could have (and should have) gone 3-0 if…

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2017 WEEK 13 PICKS

What a bummer. I went from having 10 correct picks last week to 6 this week; and my Thanksgiving and Super Hot picks were both 1-2. Some quick comments: 1. The rash of QB changes going on in the league right now is really throwing me and The Machine. Not only am I having a heck of a time keeping track of it all, but I don’t yet have a way of estimating the difference, in points, between one QB and another. The difference between…

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2017 WEEK 12 PICKS

After four weeks of mediocrity, I finally had a good week: 10 correct picks and I hit 2 of my 3 Super Hot Sizzling Picks. What does this mean moving forward? Nothing really. I could have easily lost a few games, most notably, the Browns/Jaguars game. I took Jacksonville, favored by 7.5, and it didn’t look good towards the end – the Browns had the ball with 1:24 left, down by 6 on their own 20. What should have happened is maybe a stalled drive…

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2017 WEEK 11 PICKS, RANKINGS

Boy, was I feeling great on Sunday before the afternoon slate of games. I caught the back-door cover on the Thursday night Seattle/Arizona game (SEA -6.5), and then won 5 out of the 8 morning games. Sitting at 6-3, I was thinking, “All I’ve got to do is win two games, and I’ll be above 0.500”. But it was not to be: I picked up the Carolina/Miami game, but lost the other four, leaving me at an even 7-7. No time to recap this week,…

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2017 WEEK 10 PICKS, WEEK 9 RECAP

Well, it’s official: I’m in a slump. I was cruising along pretty well for the first 6 weeks, going 54-37 (59%), but since then my record is 18-22 (45%). Now, this isn’t horrible, and I don’t yet think it’s time to start panicking and tweaking The Machine. But it is worrisome that The Machine isn’t getting better as the season goes on, which, obviously, it should be. In any event, this isn’t a good look – after all, I’m writing a weekly post in which…

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