PITTSBURGH @ CLEVELAND
The Steelers pass defense is struggling without Troy Polamalu and is ranked in the bottom half of the league. Brady Quinn is showing signs that he can be a legit starter passing for 270+ yards in two of his last three games. There is a 16 percent chance Quinn has 2+ TDs and no more than 1 INT and if he does this the Browns chances improve from 19 to 35 percent. If the Browns 27th ranked defense can force 2+ Steelers turnovers, sack Ben Roethlisberger 3+ times, and Quinn plays well, the Browns are actually 54 percent favorites winning by an average of 1 point.
DENVER @ INDIANAPOLIS
The Broncos are playing well again, but they are heavy underdogs this week vs the Colts. The Broncos are the 2nd ranked pass defense based on yards allowed, but they only have 10 INTs in 12 games. Peyton Manning is still averaging 290 yards, nearly 2 TDs and under 1 INT per simulation. The Broncos need to intercept Manning at least twice and if they do their chances jump from 24 to 45 percent. If the Broncos do not turn the ball over more than once while intercepting Manning twice, Denver is the 57 percent favorite.
CINCINNATI @ MINNESOTA
The Bengals are the #2 ranked run defense and the Vikings are #3. Both Cedric Benson and Adrian Peterson are averaging under 75 yards per simulation. There is a 34 percent chance that Cedric Benson has 75+ rushing yards and if he does the Bengals are the 57 percent favorite. However, if Benson has under 75 the Bengals only have a 20 percent chance. Brett Favre has a 58 percent chance of passing for 2+ TDs and Carson Palmer has a 44 percent chance of passing for 2 TDs. This edge in the passing game is the key to Minnesota winning. Brett Favre threw a few INTS this week, but there is only an 18 percent chance of Favre throwing 2+ INTS this week. If he does the Vikings chances drop to just 46 percent.
NEW YORK @ TAMPA BAY
The Jets are the #1 rated pass defense based on yards allowed and have 12 INTs in 12 games. Josh Freeman is going through a typical rookie QB season with a 7 TD to 10 INT ratio. There is a high 53 percent chance that Freeman has 2+ INTs and if he has these problems there is just a 25 percent chance of Tampa Bay winning. Mark Sanchez also has had plenty of INT problems. If he is healthy to play there is a 35 percent chance Sanchez has 2+ INTs and Tampa Bay has a 59 percent chance of they can force Sanchez turnovers. If both QBs put up similar stats the advantage goes to the Jets because Thomas Jones is projected for 90 yards on 4.5 ypc.
BUFFALO @ KANSAS CITY
The Bills pass defense has been good this season and Matt Cassel is averaging just 160 yards, under 1 TD and 1 INT per sim with a passer rating of just 62. If Cassel manages to throw no more than 1 INT and has at least 1 TD pass the Chiefs are 58 percent favorites. The Bills run defense has not played well. While Jamaal Charles has lost 2 fumbles the past 2 weeks he is projected for nearly 100 rushing yards. If Charles has 75+ rushing yards and 1+ TDs the Chiefs are the 65 percent favorite.
GREEN BAY @ CHICAGO
Jay Cutler is averaging 1.7 TD passes per simulation but he is throwing 1.7 INTs as well. If Cutler throws no
more than 1 INT the Bears are actually the 55 percent favorite, but if he has 2+ INTs the Bears have just a 26 percent chance. The Bears run defense is ranked in the bottom 3rd of the league. If Ryan Grant can average over 4.5 yards per carry the Packers are 71 percent favorites, but if the Bears hold Grant to under 4.0 ypc, Chicago is the 53 percent favorite.
DETROIT @ BALTIMORE
The Ravens should win this game easily as Joe Flacco is completing over 70 percent of his passes against the
Lions who have allowed opposing QBs to complete just under 70 percent this season. There is a 42 percent chance the Ravens have over 400 offensive yards and if they do the Ravens are heavy 95 percent favorites. For Detroit to pull off the upset they need to hold Baltimore under 325 yards, force at least 2 Ravens turnovers, and commit no more than 1 turnover themselves. If all three things happen the Lions are 60 percent favorites.
MIAMI @ JACKSONVILLE
In the games Chad Henne started and the Dolphins won, Henne never threw more than 1 INT. There is a 77 percent chance that Henne throws 1 INT or none and if he takes care of the ball Miami is the 56 percent favorite. However, if Jacksonville can limit team turnovers to no more than one and Maurice Jones-Drew averages at least 4.0 yards per carry Jacksonville is the 65 percent favorite. Jacksonville needs to limit Ricky Williams. When Williams is held under 75 rushing yards Miami is winning just 37 percent of the simulations vs 70 percent when Williams has 75+ rushing yards.
CAROLINA @ NEW ENGLAND
Despite their recent losses the Patriots should win the rest of their games starting with an 'easy' win over the Panthers. Assuming Matt Moore is starting for Carolina he is projected for just 1.0 TDs vs 1.5 INTs. For Carolina to upset New England they need Moore to throw zero interceptions and the Panthers RBs need to average over 5.5 yards per carry. If this happens Carolina is a 64 percent favorite, but there is only a 10 percent chance of this particular scenario happening. Tom Brady threw 2 INTs in each of the Patriots past 2 games (both losses). There is only a 20 percent chance he throws 2+ INTs this week, but if he does the Patriots go from heavy favorites to just 54 percent favorites.
SEATTLE @ HOUSTON
The Seahawks pass defense has allowed QBs to complete 66 percent of passes for 22 TDs and just 10 INTs. Matt Schaub should be healthy enough to play and he is projected for a big game completing well over 70 percent of his passes for 280 yards and 2 TDs. There is a 29 percent chance Schaub has 300+ yards and 2+ TDs and the Texans are 70 percent favorites as a result. Seattle can upset Houston if their RBs can average over 5.0 yards per carry. If they run well the Seahawks pull slightly ahead winning 52 percent of the simulations.
ST. LOUIS @ TENNESSEE
Despite the loss to the Colts the Titans will still put up maximum effort and look for a huge game from Chris Johnson against the 29th ranked run defense. Johnson is averaging an unbelievable 160 rushing yards per game. Given his home run ability there is a 28 percent chance that Johnson has his second 200+ rushing yard game. For St. Louis to upset Tennessee they need to hold Johnson to under 100 rushing yards and Steven Jackson needs to have over 100 rushing yards. If Jackson can steal the spotlight from Chris Johnson, the Rams are the 60 percent favorite.
WASHINGTON @ OAKLAND
While Bruce Gradkowski put up huge numbers vs the Steelers the Redskins actually have the superior pass defense allowing just 13 Pass TDs in 12 games this season. Gradkowski only has a 15 percent chance of passing for 2+ TDs this week, but if he does the Raiders are the solid 67 percent favorite. If Gradkowski has 1+ TDs and no more than 1 INT and the Raiders RBs average 5+ yards per carry Oakland is the heavy 81 percent favorite, but if Washington holds the Raiders to under 300 total yards the Redskins are the 61 percent favorites.
SAN DIEGO @ DALLAS
The Chargers passing offense looks unstoppable these days and Dallas has allowed 17 TDs while forcing just 8 INTs from opposing QBs. Philip Rivers has a better than 3 to 1 TD to INT ratio per simulation. If Rivers has 2+ TD passes and no more than 1 INT San Diego is the 56 percent favorite. For Dallas to win they need to pick off Rivers at least once and the Cowboys running game needs to average 5+ yards per carry. When they do this the Cowboys are the 75 percent favorite winning by an average score of DAL 31, SD 23. However, if the Cowboys average under 4.0 ypc Dallas has just a 44 percent chance.
PHILADELPHIA @ NEW YORK
The Giants can salvage their season by beating another NFC East rival at home. The Giants are heavily favored if Eli Manning has no more than 1 INT and the running backs average over 5.0 ypc. In these simulations the Giants are 6 point favorites winning 68 percent of the time. If the Eagles defense shuts down the Giants running game and holds them to under 4.0 ypc, Eli Manning averages over 1.2 interceptions and the Eagles win over 70 percent of the time.
NEW ORLEANS @ ATLANTA
The Falcons chances obviously hinge significantly on the health of Matt Ryan and Michael Turner. If Turner can play and has at least 50 rushing yards Atlanta is just a 45 percent underdog, but if he and Ryan are out the Saints are heavy 78 percent favorites. The Falcons are in the bottom third of the league on both run and pass defense. The only way they can upset New Orleans is for the lowly ranked defense to force 2 or more turnovers and the Falcons offense needs to commit zero turnovers. A +2 turnover margin advantage lifts Atlanta to a 58 percent favorite.
ARIZONA @ SAN FRANCISCO
The Cardinals run defense started the season well, played poorly in the middle of the season, but last week they shut down Adrian Peterson. Frank Gore is projected for 76 yards on a strong 4.8 ypc. There is a 44 percent chance that Gore rushes for 75+ yards and if he does this the 49ers are 62 percent favorites. However, if Gore is held under 75 yards the Cardinals are the 72 percent favorite. Both Kurt Warner and Alex Smith are playing well with passer ratings of 95+ in simulations. If Smith throws zero INTs the 49ers are slight 51 percent favorites.