DPD Bettor’s Guide: Week 14 “Regression to the Mean Edition”
Math may not be our resident handicapper’s strong suit, but he is starting to grasp the meaning of the term “regression to the mean” in the NFL.
Even though I never took high school calculus, and I conned my way out of Northwestern’s math/science requirement. But I’ve always loved the term “regression to the mean.”
Now after paying big money for our son, Brian, to earn his physics degree, (Attn: Browns front office, he’s pursuing a data analytics career) I hear “regression to mean” regularly over dinner – without having a clue what it means.
I think it’s when stuff happens just like it’s supposed to happen – and now that each NFL team has played 12 games – 75 percent of the season – my handicapping after last week’s 1-3 card “regressed” my season to the mean of .500. Just like last year, and every year prior when I was betting.
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In this snoozer of an NFL season, that regression includes several “who would watch this?” Week 14 matchups like the San Diego Chargers vs. the Carolina Panthers, the New York Jets vs. the San Francisco 49ers and, yes, Dawg Pound Daily readers, the Cincinnati Bengals vs. the Browns. We wouldn’t bet those games with your money.
But the NFL’s “regression to the mean” playoff scenarios and flex scheduling have created a few match-ups featuring desperate teams fighting for survival – as opposed to the Jags, Niners, Jets and Browns, who are all now just playing for the 2017 draft position.
With that in mind, here are the games worth keeping an eye on – and placing a wager on – this weekend:
- Philadelphia Eagles +1 vs. Washington Redskins – Washington needs it, but Philly gets the win just to annoy Browns fans.
- New York Giants + 3.5 vs. Dallas Cowboys – Keep hoping for that Bad Dak Prescott game, but it hasn’t happened yet.
- Houston Texans +6 at the Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck is back, but that Monday Night Football blowout was more J-E-T-S q-u-i-t.
- Baltimore Ravens +7 at the New England Patriots (MNF Special) – We’ve seen this movie before. Joe Flacco & Co. always play New England tough, and Baltimore’s late-season roll is starting right on schedule.
Last week 1-3. Season record 28-28-2.