What the Data Saw: NFL Week Four

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What the Data Saw- NFL Week Four

The Model’s Day

The model went 2-1 against the spread this week, and 0-2 in player props. The model also took a quarter unit flyer on Washington -12.5 at +400 which lost. 

The gauges below break down the model’s performance to date. After a hot start to the season, the model has come back down. Currently, it is 59.09% against the spread. 

J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets!

The Jets pick up their first win of the season, and Zach Wilson gets the first of his career. The model ranked Wilson at 33 last week, but had the following encouraging note:

Wilson should continue to play better and better as the season progresses.

Carolina Defense

The model expected Carolina to regress and their defense in particular. Both did. Carolina had given up a total of 30 points through their first three games. Dallas dropped 36 on them. The model looks for this to continue as the Panthers face the 4th most difficult remaining schedule. Darnold threw two interceptions to a suspect Dallas defense

Diggs in Dallas

Diggs is having a dream year. He is an athletic corner that likes to gamble. He may be responsible for two wins. 

Still, the Dallas defense remains highly suspect and they need to get Lawrence back. When the Dallas offense is healthy (Collins and Gallup) they might be unstoppable. 

Arizona v Los Angeles

Murray is the most exciting player to watch, and Sunday he was one of the most efficient. This Murray is nearly unstoppable:

Brady v Belichick

The model knew Mac Jones was good under pressure, it had no idea he was this good. They may have lost the game, but the Patriots, and Mac Jones, were the big winners. 

The Patriots have the 11th easiest remaining schedule. When Stephon Gilmore returns the back end of their defense will be able to buy their front seven a little more time to get home and this team could string together some wins.

Tampa Bay is starting to show some red flags. Brady’s numbers were sensational against Dallas and Atlanta, two teams with suspect defenses. He and the team struggled against the Rams and the Patriots. There is no question that the team is stacked from a talent standpoint, but Leftwich is reverting to the early season form that got them in trouble last season – way too much running on early downs, early in the game. It became gross on Sunday Night. Tampa Bay was:

87% RUN RATE ON 1ST DOWN FOR 3.3 YARDS A CARRY

Teams that can stop the run are going to keep them behind the chains. That is a bad approach to football, and Tampa was lucky to win this game.

About the author:

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I write about data and sports. I created my first model in 1997 using nothing more than Excel. Currently, I have data-driven models for the NFL, NBA, and World Cup Soccer.

Mathematics is the music of reason.
— James Joseph Sylvester, English mathematician

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