18 November 2010

NFL Win Total, Just Past Midway Update (AFC Edition)

Just before the season began, I picked against the win total lines. With the byes behind us, and all teams having played 9/16ths of their games, seems like a good time to evaluate which picks seem to be on track, and which teams I was way off on.

AFC North
my predictions BAL (over 10), CIN (under 8), CLE (over 5.5), PIT (under 9)
Baltimore needs to go 5-2 down the stretch to hit the over, and looking at their schedule, it's within reach, but they could just as easily slip to 9-7, so nothing is written in stone.
Cincinnati was even crappier than I expected, so no problem with them hitting the under.
Cleveland needs to go at least 3-4 to beat the over, and with CAR, BUF, and CIN on the schedule, should be possible, especially with how well Colt McCoy has looked.
Pittsburgh surprised me so far, they survived their time without #7, but with their makeshift offensive line, and a few tough road games left, their high side potential is probably around 10 wins, and it wouldn't be shocking if they slip to 8-8 by going 2-5 down the stretch, so I'm still hopeful that my picks are solid for this division

AFC South my predictions HOU (over 8), IND (over 11), JAX (under 7), TEN (over 8)
Houston sucks, they'll probably finish a disappointing 7-9 or 8-8.
Indy has been solid at home, but a bit shaky on the road, and would need to go 6-1 the rest of the way to have over 11 wins, not likely at this point.
Jacksonville already has 5 wins, so they'll probably get at least 2 more wins.
Tennessee has some solid wins, and confounding losses. They should go at least 4-3, but much better, or worse is possible.

AFC East my predictions BUF (under 5), MIA (over 8.5), NE (under 9.5), NYJ (under 9.5)
Buffalo has played well, yet they've only won one game, so feel pretty confident about them staying under 5 wins.
Miami has 5 wins so far, and with some easy games outside of their division 4 more wins are within their grasp, but they could also screw things up.
New England has done their smoke and mirrors thing and are tied for best record. On paper should have been a down year, but they do what they do. Damn, Belichick.
New York Jets season still might blow up, and all those close wins they've squeaked out for the first half, might become close losses down the stretch, still they'll probably make the over, and my picks for this whole division will probably be wrong.

AFC West my predictions DEN (under 7.5) KC (over 6.5) OAK (over 6.0) SD (under 11)
Denver looks to be the bottom dwellers of this crappy division, so the under feels pretty solid.
KC started well, but after two road losses within their division, they look a bit shaky, but will get at least two wins, so the over looks good.
Oakland might be pretty good this season, and should get at least two more victories.
San Diego seems to be doing their usual start slow, finish strong thing. They're putting up great stats, but have a mediocre record. They'd have to go 6-1 to hit the over, not impossible, but not probable, so I feel good about my pick.

The playoff picture is still pretty muddled in the AFC, Indy, Baltimore, NYJ and NE seem like locks, San Diego will probably rise up and sneak off with their division again, unless Oakland figures out how to win on the road and gets to 10-6. Pittsburgh or Miami will probably be fighting for the last wildcard spot. If I had to pick right now based on how the teams look at this moment, I think the division winners will be BAL, IND, NE, SD with NYJ and MIA getting the wildcard spots. It's going to be crazy down the stretch with a gazillion tiebreaker scenarios being the difference between division wins and being completely out of the playoffs for a few quality teams. 11-5 might be the best record, and 10-6 the worst that make it into the playoffs.

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