Hey all! I thought that the rankings were getting a bit crowded, so I decided to split out this weekend’s predictions into it’s own post. I didn’t go over it last week, so here’s the methodology if it wasn’t clear:
1.) If one team has a beatpath to its opponent, pick them
2.) Otherwise, pick the team with the higher ranking
All clear? Let’s get to it then!
New York Jets versus New England Patriots: This one is clear. The Patriots, besides being the number one team in the league, have a beatpath to the Jets through Chicago. It’s a clear pick for the Patriots.
Baltimore Ravens versus Pittsburgh Steelers: This one is less clear. Neither of these teams have any beatlosses. In my mind, that makes any pick risky, because it means that they’re essentially equal, and their relative positioning is based on tiebreakers. Essentially, you’re only judging them by strength of schedule. Still, we have those tiebreakers for a reason–this reason, in fact. The Ravens are ranked #3, while the Steelers are ranked #6. That’s pretty close, and you could argue that the home field advantage should neutralize it. But that’s not how I roll. It’s a close call, but the pick is the Ravens.
Green Bay Packers versus Atlanta Falcons: Another one without any beatpath relationship. The Falcons have no beatlosses, and the Packers are only under the Patriots. The rankings are clearer, however. The Falcons have a fair amount of support, enough to have them ranked at #7, while the Packers have only 4 teams below them and are ranked #14. The pick is the Falcons.
Seattle Seahawks versus Chicago Bears: Back to a beatpath pick! The Bears have a direct beatpath to the Seahawks. It looks pretty long in the graph, but there are hidden paths (specifically, either NYJ=>HOU or IND=>KC) that shorten it a bit. In any case, the call is clear: the Bears.
So, that’s two beatpath picks (New England over New York and Chicago over Seattle) and two weaker rankings picks (Atlanta over Green Bay and Baltimore over Pittsburgh). The Ravens pick is probably the weakest. Personally, I can’t wait to see how it all shakes out! Enjoy the weekend!