NFL Simulations – Week 6 2012

14 games on the NFL schedule. 6 system plays: CIN/CLE Over 43.5, Lions +4, BUF/ARI Over 43, 49ers -6.5, NYG/SF Over 45.5, and Broncos +1.5. NFL system plays are 3-2-0 season to date.

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Bet of the Day – Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns, Jan. 2, 2011

Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5) at Cleveland Browns (+5.5), Over/Under 38

Yesterday’s bet, TCU vs. Wisconsin, was a push.  The Steelers are in the playoffs.  But a win today drastically changes their playoff seeding.  Cleveland has only pride to play for today but don’t expect them to roll over.  Both teams will come to play today; Cleveland will try to jump on Pittsburgh early.

The Steelers (11-4) can lock up the division, a bye, and second round home field with a win today.  Lose and they could play next weekend as a wild card team.  They average 5.7 yards per play (YPP) and 15.3 yards per point scored (YPPT) on offense.  On defense, they allow 4.9 YPP and 18.9 YPPT.  QB Ben Roethlisberger averages 7.96 yards per attempt (YPA) with 15 TDs and 5 INTs for a 94.3 QB rating.  He has also rushed for 2 TDs but has 3 fumbles.  The Steelers have a decent offense.  Their run defense is excellent but are vulnerable against the pass.  They will look to slow RB Peyton Hillis and put pressure on rookie QB Colt McCoy.  The Steelers won the first meeting by 18 and they don’t lack motivation today.

Cleveland (5-10) hasn’t had much to play for in the last few weeks.  Today is their third straight division game.  Now they play a good team that needs to win.  The Browns average 5.3 YPP and 16.8 YPPT on offense.  On defense, they allow 5.4 YPP and 17.8 YPPT.  They are a decent, efficient defensive team.  QB Colt McCoy averages 7.55 YPA with 5 TDs and 6 INTs for a 81.9 QB rating.  McCoy played well against the Steelers in their first meeting.  They will need another big game from McCoy, Hillis and their defense for a chance today.

The Sagarin Ratings have Pittsburgh 29.19 and Cleveland 18.74.  With the 2.08 home advantage, the fair line is Steelers -8.37.

My NFL model predicts Pittsburgh 21.79 and Cleveland 15.23 for 37.03 total points.  Pittsburgh gains more yardage and is more efficient on offense.  Both teams are good on defense.  Pittsburgh is better against the run and is more efficient.  The key variance contributor is Cleveland’s defensive yardage allowed.  Cleveland has to limit Pittsburgh’s yardage below their season average to cover and/or win the game.

Today I am taking the Steelers minus the points.  Here’s why.  Cleveland has played 3 straight division games and has no playoff hopes.  Pittsburgh has too much at stake to sleep on Cleveland.  Pittsburgh has the advantage in defense, game experience and quarterback.  Ultimately, the Steelers are a better team and will wear down the Browns’ defense.  I modeled the game at Pittsburgh -6.56.  Bet the Pittsburgh Steelers -5.5.

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