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Implied SRS Ratings of each NFL Team

On Wednesday, Jason Lisk came up with a set of power rankings based on the point spread for nearly every game this season (spreads for the games in the final week of the season have not yet been released).

We can use the SRS to come up with the implied ratings for each team (this is what Lisk did, although I don’t think he used the SRS). So how do we come up with the SRS ratings? The point spread in each game provides an implied strength margin (“ISM”) between the two teams: When the Jaguars are 14-point underdogs in Denver, that implies that Denver is 11 points better than Jacksonville. If we treat each ISM like we would margin of victory, then we can use the SRS to come up with team ratings. For those who need a primer on what the SRS is, you can read about it here; the rest of you can skip to the ratings:

1Denver Broncos5.4-0.94.5
2Seattle Seahawks4.8-0.44.5
3New England Patriots4.10.24.3
4San Francisco 49ers4.3-0.14.2
5Green Bay Packers2.20.93.1
6Atlanta Falcons20.62.6
7Baltimore Ravens1.60.52.1
8New Orleans Saints1.60.52.1
9Pittsburgh Steelers1.8-0.11.7
10Houston Texans2.3-0.91.4
11New York Giants0.90.31.3
12Chicago Bears0.70.61.2
13Cincinnati Bengals10.11
14Washington Redskins0.20.50.8
15Minnesota Vikings-
16Dallas Cowboys0.30.30.6
17Detroit Lions-
18Miami Dolphins-0.50.2-0.3
19Carolina Panthers-10.6-0.4
20San Diego Chargers-0.2-0.8-1
21Tampa Bay Buccaneers-1.50.5-1
22Philadelphia Eagles-1.30.1-1.2
23Indianapolis Colts-0.4-0.8-1.2
24St. Louis Rams-1.80-1.7
25New York Jets-1.8-0.1-1.9
26Kansas City Chiefs-1.1-1.1-2.3
27Buffalo Bills-2.8-0.2-3
28Cleveland Browns-3.50.2-3.2
29Arizona Cardinals-3.60.1-3.5
30Tennessee Titans-3.3-0.9-4.2
31Oakland Raiders-4.3-0.7-5
32Jacksonville Jaguars-5.4-0.9-6.3

One interesting way to use the SRS is to see which teams have the hardest schedules. Pre-season strength of schedule is essentially meaningless when based on last year’s record, but the SOS ratings here are based on the perceived strengths of each team. In my opinion, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better set of strength of schedule ratings in May than what we see here (other than the fact that they exclude week 17).

Peterson will be running against a hard schedule in 2013.

Peterson will be running against a hard schedule in 2013.

As always, the table is sortable, making it easy to see that the Vikings have the hardest schedule in the league. Only three of Minnesota’s opponents have negative SRS ratings, and frankly, I’m probably higher on all three of those teams (Carolina, Philadelphia, Cleveland) than most. Green Bay’s games against the Eagles and Browns are the only ones that come in below average in terms of opponent strength. Minnesota and Green Bay have much harder schedules than the rest of the league because they face the AFC North and NFC East, the other NFC North teams, and one each of Seattle/San Francisco and Atlanta/Carolina (while the Vikings escape Atlanta, their schedule is harder than the Packers because they have to face Green Bay twice and the Packers final game is at Chicago (while Minnesota’s last game is home for Detroit)).

Meanwhile, the teams in the AFC West and AFC South have very easy schedules: that’s because they play each other. Ten of the Jaguars opponents are below-average this year, although the other five are Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, and two games against the Texans. Jacksonville’s 16th game is against the Colts, who — despite Andrew Luck, the 11-win season from last year, and the Irsay/Grigson campaign to sign every mediocre free agent out there — are graded as 1.2 points below average.

The table below shows each game in the first sixteen weeks of the 2013 season and some useful information. For example, here’s what the Broncos/Jaguars line says: In week 6, Denver hosts Jacksonville. The line is -14, which means the Broncos are 14-point favorites. Denver’s SRS is 4.5 while the Jacksonville’s SRS is -6.3. Therefore, the line predicted by the SRS would be Denver -13.8 (since the Jags are 10.8 points worse than the Broncos and on the road). The difference between the actual line and the SRS line is -0.2 points. By definition, the sum of all the differences between the actual lines and SRS lines must be 0, since the SRS lines were generated from the actual lines.

WkTeamOppH/RLineTm SRSOpp SRSSRS LineDiff
6Denver BroncosJacksonville JaguarsHome-144.5-6.3-13.8-0.2
3Seattle SeahawksJacksonville JaguarsHome-144.5-6.3-13.8-0.2
3Denver BroncosOakland RaidersHome-13.54.5-5-12.5-1
6Seattle SeahawksTennessee TitansHome-114.5-4.2-11.70.7
8San Francisco 49ersJacksonville JaguarsLond-10.54.2-6.3-10.50
14Denver BroncosTennessee TitansHome-104.5-4.2-11.71.7
12Houston TexansJacksonville JaguarsHome-101.4-6.3-10.70.7
6San Francisco 49ersArizona CardinalsHome-104.2-3.5-10.70.7
10New York GiantsOakland RaidersHome-91.3-5-9.30.3
16Seattle SeahawksArizona CardinalsHome-8.54.5-3.5-112.5
14New England PatriotsCleveland BrownsHome-8.54.3-3.2-10.52
2New England PatriotsNew York JetsHome-84.3-1.9-9.21.2
11Denver BroncosKansas City ChiefsHome-7.54.5-2.3-9.82.3
11Houston TexansOakland RaidersHome-7.51.4-5-9.41.9
7Green Bay PackersCleveland BrownsHome-7.53.1-3.2-9.31.8
13San Francisco 49ersSt. Louis RamsHome-7.54.2-1.7-8.91.4
4Denver BroncosPhiladelphia EaglesHome-7.54.5-1.2-8.71.2
2Houston TexansTennessee TitansHome-7.51.4-4.2-8.61.1
3New Orleans SaintsArizona CardinalsHome-7.52.1-3.5-8.61.1
3San Francisco 49ersIndianapolis ColtsHome-7.54.2-1.2-8.40.9
2Baltimore RavensCleveland BrownsHome-7.52.1-3.2-8.40.9
3New England PatriotsTampa Bay BuccaneersHome-7.54.3-1-8.30.8
1Pittsburgh SteelersTennessee TitansHome-71.7-4.2-8.91.9
13Dallas CowboysOakland RaidersHome-70.6-5-8.61.6
9Seattle SeahawksTampa Bay BuccaneersHome-74.5-1-8.51.5
10Pittsburgh SteelersBuffalo BillsHome-71.7-3-7.70.7
8New England PatriotsMiami DolphinsHome-74.3-0.3-7.60.6
5Atlanta FalconsNew York JetsHome-72.6-1.9-7.50.5
2Atlanta FalconsSt. Louis RamsHome-72.6-1.7-7.30.3
10Green Bay PackersPhiladelphia EaglesHome-73.1-1.2-7.20.2
1Indianapolis ColtsOakland RaidersHome-7-1.2-5-6.9-0.1
7San Francisco 49ersTennessee TitansRoad-74.2-4.2-5.4-1.6
1Denver BroncosBaltimore RavensHome-74.52.1-5.4-1.6
1New England PatriotsBuffalo BillsRoad-74.3-3-4.3-2.7
15Denver BroncosSan Diego ChargersHome-6.54.5-1-8.52
8New Orleans SaintsBuffalo BillsHome-6.52.1-3-8.21.7
5St. Louis RamsJacksonville JaguarsHome-6.5-1.7-6.3-7.61.1
3Minnesota VikingsCleveland BrownsHome-6.50.6-3.2-6.80.3
10San Francisco 49ersCarolina PanthersHome-64.2-0.4-7.51.5
11Cincinnati BengalsCleveland BrownsHome-61-3.2-7.31.3
12Baltimore RavensNew York JetsHome-62.1-1.9-7.11.1
11Seattle SeahawksMinnesota VikingsHome-64.50.6-6.90.9
8Denver BroncosWashington RedskinsHome-64.50.8-6.70.7
7Atlanta FalconsTampa Bay BuccaneersHome-62.6-1-6.60.6
14New York JetsOakland RaidersHome-6-1.9-5-6.10.1
7Seattle SeahawksArizona CardinalsRoad-64.5-3.5-5-1
5San Francisco 49ersHouston TexansHome-
16San Diego ChargersOakland RaidersHome-4.5-1-5-7.12.6
6Houston TexansSt. Louis RamsHome-4.51.4-1.7-6.11.6
13Cleveland BrownsJacksonville JaguarsHome-4.5-3.2-6.3-6.11.6
13Indianapolis ColtsTennessee TitansHome-4.5-1.2-4.2-6.11.6
14Washington RedskinsKansas City ChiefsHome-4.50.8-2.3-6.11.6
8Cincinnati BengalsNew York JetsHome-4.51-1.9-61.5
5Green Bay PackersDetroit LionsHome-
6Kansas City ChiefsOakland RaidersHome-4.5-2.3-5-5.81.3
9Houston TexansIndianapolis ColtsHome-4.51.4-1.2-5.61.1
9St. Louis RamsTennessee TitansHome-4.5-1.7-4.2-5.51
4Tampa Bay BuccaneersArizona CardinalsHome-4.5-1-3.5-5.51
12Green Bay PackersMinnesota VikingsHome-
4New Orleans SaintsMiami DolphinsHome-4.52.1-0.3-5.40.9
2Green Bay PackersWashington RedskinsHome-
3Dallas CowboysSt. Louis RamsHome-4.50.6-1.7-5.30.8
14Cincinnati BengalsIndianapolis ColtsHome-4.51-1.2-5.20.7
1Washington RedskinsPhiladelphia EaglesHome-4.50.8-1.2-4.90.4
1St. Louis RamsArizona CardinalsHome-4.5-1.7-3.5-4.80.3
14Houston TexansJacksonville JaguarsRoad-4.51.4-6.3-4.70.2
8Pittsburgh SteelersOakland RaidersRoad-4.51.7-5-3.7-0.8
7Miami DolphinsBuffalo BillsHome-4-0.3-3-5.81.8
9New England PatriotsPittsburgh SteelersHome-44.31.7-5.61.6
5New York GiantsPhiladelphia EaglesHome-41.3-1.2-5.41.4
13Philadelphia EaglesArizona CardinalsHome-4-1.2-3.5-5.31.3
6New England PatriotsNew Orleans SaintsHome-44.32.1-5.21.2
9Green Bay PackersChicago BearsHome-43.11.2-4.90.9
10New Orleans SaintsDallas CowboysHome-42.10.6-4.50.5
1San Francisco 49ersGreen Bay PackersHome-44.23.1-4.10.1
13Denver BroncosKansas City ChiefsRoad-44.5-2.3-3.8-0.2
7New England PatriotsNew York JetsRoad-44.3-1.9-3.2-0.8
8Seattle SeahawksSt. Louis RamsRoad-44.5-1.7-3.2-0.8
8Atlanta FalconsArizona CardinalsRoad-42.6-3.5-3.1-0.9
4San Francisco 49ersSt. Louis RamsRoad-44.2-1.7-2.9-1.1
4Washington RedskinsOakland RaidersRoad-40.8-5-2.8-1.2
5Seattle SeahawksIndianapolis ColtsRoad-44.5-1.2-2.6-1.4
4Baltimore RavensBuffalo BillsRoad-42.1-3-2.2-1.8
14New Orleans SaintsCarolina PanthersHome-3.52.1-0.4-5.52
13Seattle SeahawksNew Orleans SaintsHome-
10Tennessee TitansJacksonville JaguarsHome-3.5-4.2-6.3-5.11.6
14Pittsburgh SteelersMiami DolphinsHome-3.51.7-0.3-51.5
15Minnesota VikingsPhiladelphia EaglesHome-3.50.6-1.2-4.81.3
9Washington RedskinsSan Diego ChargersHome-3.50.8-1-4.71.2
16San Francisco 49ersAtlanta FalconsHome-
14Baltimore RavensMinnesota VikingsHome-
11Pittsburgh SteelersDetroit LionsHome-
7Carolina PanthersSt. Louis RamsHome-3.5-0.4-1.7-4.40.9
12Detroit LionsTampa Bay BuccaneersHome-3.50.2-1-4.20.7
3New York JetsBuffalo BillsHome-3.5-1.9-3-4.10.6
3Baltimore RavensHouston TexansHome-
7Denver BroncosIndianapolis ColtsRoad-3.54.5-1.2-2.7-0.8
7San Diego ChargersJacksonville JaguarsRoad-3.5-1-6.3-2.4-1.1
9Baltimore RavensCleveland BrownsRoad-3.52.1-3.2-2.4-1.1
4Indianapolis ColtsJacksonville JaguarsRoad-3.5-1.2-6.3-2.2-1.3
1Seattle SeahawksCarolina PanthersRoad-3.54.5-0.4-1.8-1.7
14Tampa Bay BuccaneersBuffalo BillsHome-3-1-3-5.12.1
15Atlanta FalconsWashington RedskinsHome-32.60.8-4.81.8
15Carolina PanthersNew York JetsHome-3-0.4-1.9-4.61.6
16Green Bay PackersPittsburgh SteelersHome-33.11.7-4.41.4
2Oakland RaidersJacksonville JaguarsHome-3-5-6.3-4.31.3
16New York JetsCleveland BrownsHome-3-1.9-3.2-4.31.3
3Philadelphia EaglesKansas City ChiefsHome-3-1.2-2.3-4.11.1
10Baltimore RavensCincinnati BengalsHome-32.11-4.11.1
10Chicago BearsDetroit LionsHome-31.20.2-41
11Miami DolphinsSan Diego ChargersHome-3-0.3-1-3.70.7
7New York GiantsMinnesota VikingsHome-31.30.6-3.70.7
14Chicago BearsDallas CowboysHome-31.20.6-3.60.6
13Carolina PanthersTampa Bay BuccaneersHome-3-0.4-1-3.60.6
14Green Bay PackersAtlanta FalconsHome-33.12.6-3.50.5
1Chicago BearsCincinnati BengalsHome-31.21-3.20.2
13Atlanta FalconsBuffalo BillsRoad-32.6-3-2.6-0.4
10Denver BroncosSan Diego ChargersRoad-34.5-1-2.5-0.5
15San Francisco 49ersTampa Bay BuccaneersRoad-34.2-1-2.2-0.8
12Pittsburgh SteelersCleveland BrownsRoad-31.7-3.2-1.9-1.1
10Houston TexansArizona CardinalsRoad-31.4-3.5-1.9-1.1
11New England PatriotsCarolina PanthersRoad-34.3-0.4-1.6-1.4
4Cincinnati BengalsCleveland BrownsRoad-31-3.2-1.3-1.7
1Kansas City ChiefsJacksonville JaguarsRoad-3-2.3-6.3-1.1-1.9
1Houston TexansSan Diego ChargersRoad-31.4-10.6-3.6
6Minnesota VikingsCarolina PanthersHome-2.50.6-0.4-41.5
8Kansas City ChiefsCleveland BrownsHome-2.5-2.3-3.2-3.91.4
12New York GiantsDallas CowboysHome-
15Pittsburgh SteelersCincinnati BengalsHome-2.51.71-3.71.2
2Chicago BearsMinnesota VikingsHome-
3Washington RedskinsDetroit LionsHome-
10Indianapolis ColtsSt. Louis RamsHome-2.5-1.2-1.7-3.51
3Pittsburgh SteelersChicago BearsHome-
12Atlanta FalconsNew Orleans SaintsHome-
16Cincinnati BengalsMinnesota VikingsHome-2.510.6-3.40.9
13Baltimore RavensPittsburgh SteelersHome-
2Seattle SeahawksSan Francisco 49ersHome-
6San Diego ChargersIndianapolis ColtsHome-2.5-1-1.2-3.20.7
16Washington RedskinsDallas CowboysHome-
6Chicago BearsNew York GiantsHome-
2Philadelphia EaglesSan Diego ChargersHome-2.5-1.2-1-2.80.3
14San Francisco 49ersSeattle SeahawksHome-
1Detroit LionsMinnesota VikingsHome-
1Dallas CowboysNew York GiantsHome-
6Cincinnati BengalsBuffalo BillsRoad-2.51-3-1.1-1.4
5San Diego ChargersOakland RaidersRoad-2.5-1-5-1.1-1.4
5Denver BroncosDallas CowboysRoad-
2Detroit LionsArizona CardinalsRoad-2.50.2-3.5-0.7-1.8
7Houston TexansKansas City ChiefsRoad-2.51.4-2.3-0.7-1.8
3San Diego ChargersTennessee TitansRoad-2.5-1-4.2-0.3-2.2
15New England PatriotsMiami DolphinsRoad-24.3-0.3-1.6-0.4
6Tampa Bay BuccaneersPhiladelphia EaglesHome-1.5-1-1.2-3.21.7
12Miami DolphinsCarolina PanthersHome-1.5-0.3-0.4-3.11.6
9Dallas CowboysMinnesota VikingsHome-
10Minnesota VikingsWashington RedskinsHome-
5Cleveland BrownsBuffalo BillsHome-1.5-3.2-3-2.81.3
6Dallas CowboysWashington RedskinsHome-
12New England PatriotsDenver BroncosHome-
7Washington RedskinsChicago BearsHome-
7Pittsburgh SteelersBaltimore RavensHome-
1New Orleans SaintsAtlanta FalconsHome-
13Washington RedskinsNew York GiantsHome-
13Minnesota VikingsChicago BearsHome-
8Tampa Bay BuccaneersCarolina PanthersHome-1.5-1-0.4-2.40.9
10Tampa Bay BuccaneersMiami DolphinsHome-1.5-1-0.3-2.30.8
9Buffalo BillsKansas City ChiefsHome-1.5-3-2.3-2.20.7
7Detroit LionsCincinnati BengalsHome-1.50.21-2.20.7
16Detroit LionsNew York GiantsHome-
11Buffalo BillsNew York JetsHome-1.5-3-1.9-1.90.4
15Chicago BearsCleveland BrownsRoad-1.51.2-3.2-1.4-0.1
4Pittsburgh SteelersMinnesota VikingsLond-
9New Orleans SaintsNew York JetsRoad-1.52.1-1.9-1.1-0.4
9Philadelphia EaglesOakland RaidersRoad-1.5-1.2-5-0.9-0.6
15New Orleans SaintsSt. Louis RamsRoad-1.52.1-1.7-0.8-0.7
6Pittsburgh SteelersNew York JetsRoad-1.51.7-1.9-0.6-0.9
4New York GiantsKansas City ChiefsRoad-1.51.3-2.3-0.6-0.9
12San Francisco 49ersWashington RedskinsRoad-
5New England PatriotsCincinnati BengalsRoad-1.54.31-0.3-1.2
5Carolina PanthersArizona CardinalsRoad-1.5-0.4-3.5-0.1-1.4
2New Orleans SaintsTampa Bay BuccaneersRoad-1.52.1-1-0.1-1.4
1Miami DolphinsCleveland BrownsRoad-1.5-0.3-3.20-1.5
13Green Bay PackersDetroit LionsRoad-
2Dallas CowboysKansas City ChiefsRoad-1.50.6-2.30.1-1.6
1Tampa Bay BuccaneersNew York JetsRoad-1.5-1-1.92.1-3.6
8Detroit LionsDallas CowboysHome-10.20.6-2.61.6
2Cincinnati BengalsPittsburgh SteelersHome-111.7-2.31.3
16St. Louis RamsTampa Bay BuccaneersHome-1-1.7-1-2.31.3
15Tennessee TitansArizona CardinalsHome-1-4.2-3.5-2.21.2
12Oakland RaidersTennessee TitansHome-1-5-4.2-2.21.2
5Chicago BearsNew Orleans SaintsHome-11.22.1-2.11.1
6Baltimore RavensGreen Bay PackersHome-12.13.1-2.11.1
4Detroit LionsChicago BearsHome-10.21.2-21
16Kansas City ChiefsIndianapolis ColtsHome-1-2.3-1.2-1.90.9
9Miami DolphinsCincinnati BengalsHome-1-0.31-1.70.7
12Kansas City ChiefsSan Diego ChargersHome-1-2.3-1-1.70.7
14Philadelphia EaglesDetroit LionsHome-1-1.20.2-1.60.6
4San Diego ChargersDallas CowboysHome-1-10.6-1.50.5
13New York JetsMiami DolphinsHome-1-1.9-0.3-1.30.3
11Atlanta FalconsTampa Bay BuccaneersRoad-12.6-1-0.6-0.4
6Detroit LionsCleveland BrownsRoad-10.2-3.2-0.4-0.6
15Buffalo BillsJacksonville JaguarsRoad-1-3-6.3-0.3-0.7
2Denver BroncosNew York GiantsRoad-14.51.3-0.2-0.8
15Seattle SeahawksNew York GiantsRoad-14.51.3-0.2-0.8
4Seattle SeahawksHouston TexansRoad-14.51.4-0.1-0.9
11Indianapolis ColtsTennessee TitansRoad-1-1.2-4.2-0.1-0.9
12Chicago BearsSt. Louis RamsRoad-11.2-1.70.1-1.1
9Atlanta FalconsCarolina PanthersRoad-12.6-0.40.1-1.1
3Atlanta FalconsMiami DolphinsRoad-12.6-0.30.1-1.1
2Carolina PanthersBuffalo BillsRoad-1-0.4-30.3-1.3
15Green Bay PackersDallas CowboysRoad-
8Green Bay PackersMinnesota VikingsRoad-
5Baltimore RavensMiami DolphinsRoad-12.1-0.30.6-1.6
4New York JetsTennessee TitansRoad-1-1.9-4.20.7-1.7
3New York GiantsCarolina PanthersRoad-11.3-0.41.4-2.4
2Indianapolis ColtsMiami DolphinsHome0-1.2-0.3-2.12.1
11Chicago BearsBaltimore RavensHome01.22.1-2.12.1
4Atlanta FalconsNew England PatriotsHome02.64.3-1.31.3
7Philadelphia EaglesDallas CowboysHome0-1.20.6-1.31.3
14Arizona CardinalsSt. Louis RamsHome0-3.5-1.7-1.21.2
11New York GiantsGreen Bay PackersHome01.33.1-1.21.2
10Atlanta FalconsSeattle SeahawksHome02.64.5-1.11.1
15Detroit LionsBaltimore RavensHome00.22.1-1.11.1
11Philadelphia EaglesWashington RedskinsHome0-1.20.8-1.11.1
5Tennessee TitansKansas City ChiefsHome0-4.2-2.3-11
13San Diego ChargersCincinnati BengalsHome0-11-11
3Cincinnati BengalsGreen Bay PackersHome013.1-11
11New Orleans SaintsSan Francisco 49ersHome02.14.2-0.90.9
16Jacksonville JaguarsTennessee TitansHome0-6.3-4.2-0.90.9
16Baltimore RavensNew England PatriotsHome02.14.3-0.80.8
14San Diego ChargersNew York GiantsHome0-11.3-0.80.8
12Arizona CardinalsIndianapolis ColtsHome0-3.5-1.2-0.70.7
16Philadelphia EaglesChicago BearsHome0-1.21.2-0.60.6
8Philadelphia EaglesNew York GiantsHome0-1.21.3-0.60.6
16Carolina PanthersNew Orleans SaintsHome0-0.42.1-0.50.5
15Indianapolis ColtsHouston TexansHome0-1.21.4-0.40.4
15Oakland RaidersKansas City ChiefsHome0-5-2.3-0.20.2
16Buffalo BillsMiami DolphinsHome0-3-0.3-0.20.2
11Jacksonville JaguarsArizona CardinalsHome0-6.3-3.5-0.20.2
16Denver BroncosHouston TexansRoad04.51.4-0.10.1
13Houston TexansNew England PatriotsHome01.44.3-0.10.1
  • We can sort the table by the “difference” column to see some outlier games. The biggest outlier games are in weeks 1; as Lisk noted, the lines build in some risk of injury (or simply risk of not knowing what’s going to happen in the future): if Tom Brady or Peyton Manning miss time with an injury, it’s more likely to be later in the season than in week one. Additionally, if Vegas feels more confident in the early games than the late games, that will lead to some games appearing as outliers in week 1.
  • The Chargers (SRS of -1) host Houston (+1.4) in week 1; we would expect from those ratings that San Diego would be 0.6-point favorites. Instead, the Chargers are 3-point underdogs. Similarly, the Jets are projected as just 0.9 points worse than the Bucs. At home in week 1, we would expect New York to be 2.1-point favorites; instead, Darrelle Revis and the Bucs are 1.5-point favorites.
  • Two weeks later, the Chargers travel to Tennessee. San Diego (-1) should be a slight favorite over the Titans (-4.2), but in fact are 2.5-point favorites. That’s even weirder when you consider that it’s a 1PM game; if anything, you might expect Tennessee to be a 1-point favorite.

Finally, a quick reminder that I’ve created wallet-sized and iPhone-friendly color-copies of the NFL schedule here.

  • Chase Stuart

    The 49ers and Seahawks are each only underdogs in one game: when they face each other. So why is Seattle ranked higher in the SRS?

    When both teams host the Cardinals, the 49ers are bigger favorites (10 to 8.5)
    When both teams host the Rams, the 49ers are bigger favorites (3.5 to 0)
    On the other hand, SF is only -6 at home vs. Carolina while Seattle is -3.5 at Carolina
    And when SF is home against Houston, they’re at -5.5; Seattle is -1 on the road vs. the Texans.
    Against the Colts, SF is -7.5 at home, Seattle is -4 on the road.
    The Jaguars situation is roughly neutral (SF is -10.5 in London, Seattle is -14 at home)
    One big difference is against NO: Seattle at home is -3.5, while the NO/SF game is a pick ’em in San Francisco.
    Both teams are -4 on the road against the Rams.
    Seattle at home is -7 vs. TB; SF is -3 on the road; similarly, the Seahawks are -11 vs. the Titans at home, SF is -7 at Tennessee

    Pretty even, but some spikes in the data.

    • Richie

      When both teams host the 49ers, the 49ers are bigger favorites (3.5 to 0)

      I’m assuming that should be: the Rams?

      • Chase Stuart

        Yeah, thanks.

        • George

          I’m taking a tentative guess at why Seattle rank higher than San Francisco in the SRS, you’ve touched on it before and I think it is Home Field Advantage, and possibly distance travelled by both teams and opponents. I think the on paper at a neutral venue guess is that SF are the better team, but Seattle have the stronger HFA and aren’t that far off SF in terms of outright strength. I would be interested to see who’s logging up what kind of mileage before playing who and seeing if that accounts for some of the anomalies and quirks.

          E.g. just looking at it crudely, assuming the Seahawks fly home between the Arizona and St Louis games they are logging approximately 2800-ish miles (Assuming starting at Arizona – otherwise add about 1100 miles). For the 49ers to fly to St Louis they are only logging about 1800 over the same stretch. Does this account for a correction of 3 points though? Prior to both games St.Louis I have as flying between 500 – 600 miles so I’d say that’s fairly consistent number from their point of view. Perhaps it is suggesting 1000 miles travelling extra over a two week period is worth about 2-3 points? There’s probably something really obvious I’ve missed here but anyhow….

          • Chase Stuart

            Take a look at the lines for each Seattle game (the top table) and San Francisco game (the bottom table). The far right column shows what the SRS would be based off of each game. For example, since Carolina has an SRS of -0.4, and Seattle is a 3.5-point road favorite against the Panthers, that would mean the Panthers are treated as a +6.1 point team. That’s the highest rated game for either SEA or SF next year:

            Wk  Opp                  H/R    Line   OppSRS  SRS
            1   Carolina Panthers    Road   -3.5   -0.4    6.1
            5   Indianapolis Colts   Road   -4     -1.2    5.8
            10  Atlanta Falcons      Road    0      2.6    5.6
            7   Arizona Cardinals    Road   -6     -3.5    5.5
            4   Houston Texans       Road   -1      1.4    5.4
            8   St. Louis Rams       Road   -4     -1.7    5.3
            15  New York Giants      Road   -1      1.3    5.3
            3   Jacksonville Jaguars Home  -14     -6.3    4.7
            14  San Francisco 49ers  Road    2.5    4.2    4.7
            6   Tennessee Titans     Home  -11     -4.2    3.8
            2   San Francisco 49ers  Home   -2.5    4.2    3.7
            11  Minnesota Vikings    Home   -6      0.6    3.6
            9   Tampa Bay Buccaneers Home   -7     -1.0    3.0
            13  New Orleans Saints   Home   -3.5    2.1    2.6
            16  Arizona Cardinals    Home   -8.5   -3.5    2.0
            Average                     -4.6   -0.4    4.5
            Wk  Opp                  H/R    Line   OppSRS  SRS          
            7   Tennessee Titans     Road   -7     -4.2    5.8
            4   St. Louis Rams       Road   -4     -1.7    5.3
            12  Washington Redskins  Road   -1.5    0.8    5.3
            11  New Orleans Saints   Road    0      2.1    5.1
            15  Tampa Bay Buccaneers Road   -3     -1.0    5.0
            2   Seattle Seahawks     Road    2.5    4.5    5.0
            8   Jacksonville Jaguars Lond  -10.5   -6.3    4.2
            1   Green Bay Packers    Home   -4      3.1    4.1
            14  Seattle Seahawks     Home   -2.5    4.5    4.0
            5   Houston Texans       Home   -5.5    1.4    3.9
            6   Arizona Cardinals    Home  -10     -3.5    3.5
            3   Indianapolis Colts   Home   -7.5   -1.2    3.3
            16  Atlanta Falcons      Home   -3.5    2.6    3.1
            13  St. Louis Rams       Home   -7.5   -1.7    2.8
            10  Carolina Panthers    Home   -6     -0.4    2.6
            Average                     -4.7   -0.1    4.2

            [You might wonder why if Seattle’s average line is 0.1 point lower than SF’s, and SF has a slightly harder set of opponents, how the heck can Seattle have a higher SRS rating? That’s because Seattle has 8 road games and 7 home games (average of +0.2 adjustment) while SF has 8 home games, 6 road games, and 1 neutral game (average of -0.4 adjustment).]

            • George

              Cool. I didn’t realise the SRS grade would imply that in the circumstances re: Carolina being a +6.1 team, I just figured that was the game grade (maybe I misunderstood the metric where I usually do things in a Winston fashion). I just figured that Carolina were -0.4 points worse than an average team and with the SRS line for the game being almost 2 different from the spread or ISM it reflected a good win for Seattle (hence the higher SRS grade than some of their other games). Good stuff either way.

              • Chase Stuart

                Well the SRS is just an average of all the games. So we get to Seattle being at +4.5 because they’re at +6.1 against Carolina, +5.8 against the Colts… +2.0 against Arizona.

  • Richie

    Why wouldn’t they post lines for week 17? I know that week 17 can sometimes have unusual situations due to incentives, but nobody knows what those might be now.

    • George

      They didn’t last year either. This all came about last year (as far as I am aware – I believe others had put up week 1 lines early in the past, nobody had gone 16 weeks before) as a result of Cantor Gaming taking over various properties and sportsbooks in Vegas, investing in their “Midas” algorithm and essentially generating action (as sportsbooks that weren’t taking this approach were now behind the curve and potentially losing “clients” due to reduced opportunities).

      My gut reaction as to why they didn’t do week 17, is at Cantor’s flagship book in Vegas (which I believe is the M Resort) as I understand it they will take bets of any size once they know who you are (e.g. the Floyd Mayweather 6 figure ticket stories). Let’s assume like last year that Denver’s SRS should be around 10 – 12 (on average). They have it at 4 or 5 to take into account a variety of other things (mentioned by Chase above etc.). Given the unpredictability of week 17 (e.g. possibility of Denver having a one-seed spot locked up) and playing at Oakland (who may be trying to lock up a specific draft slot or could be chasing a Wild Card – optimistically) who knows what could happen. Is Peyton still playing (SRS of around 10ish through-out the game), does he play a series and then they pull the starters (SRS of around 5?), is he injured but they have also locked up the one seed and the Raiders are having a good season and have a shot at a Wild Card spot (Oakland would be a slight favourite)? If they are taking $100,000 against the spread bets on something like that you could probably end up building up frankly horrific liabilities against your book before the season has even started. Worst case they could be middled (or however you want to put it) and post up a line of say Denver -7 before the season, and post Denver +3 in week 17 – giving all manner of outs.

      I expect the risk factor against this is just too high for them to be comfortable for the action that a line may generate with that number of unknowns. A point to consider is that lines are sometimes set to maximise profit from the bookmakers point of view by exploiting bias of gamblers (the Steven Levitt paper in 2004). From what we know (from the past) it is likely that some of the implied SRS ratings from the lines above – are too high or too low (assuming a healthy season for all concerned – or not). By generating lines on this basis there is probably opportunities for both sides and it is just down to how people interpret them (and may give both sides opportunities with the lines posted in season which will differ – e.g. hedging opportunities). Sorry if the above is a bit…, had something in mind on this for a while and it may be a touch off topic.

      • Richie

        This all makes sense to me, but why the magical week 17 cutoff? I guarantee that there will be at least one team that most people expect to be a playoff team, that will be eliminated by week 16. There will also be one that everybody has written off, that will have clinched (or in good position to clinch) by week 16.

        My point is that there is a LOT of uncertainty between now and Week 16. Between now and week 15, etc.

        Usually, the only thing exceptional about week 17 is that there are a handful of meaningless games. But is there any way those games could be predicted now? And if you knew today that Denver-Oakland was going to be a meaningless game in week 17, how could you take advantage of that?

  • George

    I expect that its because the margin of the unknown in week 17 is greater than in the preceding 16 weeks by a potentially bigger number (given the potential significant games and the potential insignificant games). Taking Denver vs Oakland, last year we knew Denver were the better team by about two touchdowns across the season (just off the top of my head). Taking the numbers above, you’d have Denver at Oakland in Week 17 as being around Denver -7.5-ish? That seems a bit low to me based on what we know. Now let’s assume, Denver have a number one seed locked up going into week 17 (and what that may entail, Peyton possibly injured, Peyton playing just one series etc.) would you take Oakland +7.5? Let’s assume it the other way, Denver need to win to lock up the number one seed would you take Denver -7.5 (when you know theoretically that the number should be at least 10 assuming two reasonably full sides). More to the point that’s the number now – what does that line look like in December? Would if offer the middling/hedge opportunity?

    I’d say there is just too much potential volatility and risk due to the unknowns for a bookmaker to be comfortable in taking potentially $100,000+ ATS bets on this and hence that is why they are not offering up a line.

    The thing that I think does need to be looked at is how much did the game day/week lines, vary from the numbers Cantor put up last May? Then you may be able to put more reasoning into this possibly and maybe extrapolate things out?

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