Tuesday, January 1, 2008

NFL 2008 Wild Card Round Selections

SEATTLE -3.5 over Washington
PITTSBURGH +1.5 over Jacksonville
TAMPA BAY -3 over New York Giants
SAN DIEGO -8.5 over Tennessee

There is no contradiction between my underdogs-first approach to regular season selections and my 3 home overdog picks in the first playoff weekend. Both are based on data analysis.

From 1992 to 2007, overdogs won almost 7 out of 10 playoff games outright and took 54% against the spread. Overdogs have historically performed better in the playoffs than during the regular season when they win about 2/3 of all games outright. About 20% of all regular season results are overturned by the point spread.

With overdogs winning a higher percentage of playoff games outright and with fewer results turning on the point spread, it makes sense to back overdogs.

I don’t have data on home underdogs in the playoffs. And even if I did, the sample size might be too small for the record to tell us anything. So, I’m going with the Steelers based on regular season data tipping home underdogs as the best bet for any pool picker.

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