Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lions season outlook, week 6

Yet again, first-half struggles followed by second-half dominance. It's good as long as you can repeat it, but when you can't ...

We start with Massey projections:
Week 6: San Francisco, favorite (moved down)
Week 7: Atlanta, overwhelming favorite (moved up)
Week 8: at Denver, heavy favorite (moved up)
Week 9: bye
Week 10: at Chicago, favorite (moved up)
Week 11: Carolina, overwhelming favorite
Week 12: Green Bay, slight underdog
Week 13: at New Orleans, slight underdog (moved up)
Week 14: Minnesota, overwhelming favorite
Week 15: at Oakland, slight favorite
Week 16: San Diego, heavy favorite
Week 17: at Green Bay, heavy underdog

Tossups are 50%; slight favorites are up to 3-2 (60%), then favorites up to 3-1 (75%), then heavy favorites up to 5-1 (86%), then overwhelming favorites. Slight underdogs are down to 2-3 (40%), then underdogs down to 1-3 (25%), then heavy underdogs down to 1-5 (14%), then overwhelming underdogs.

Again, there was a lot of movement this week, with four games moving up and the San Francisco rout moving that game down into "favorite". Note that three of the improvements are road games, including the game at New Orleans, which I think is interesting. Massey has that at 40% for Detroit, most likely a three-point loss.

The Playoff Odds report is below:
Mean wins: 10.8, unchanged
Playoffs: 89.9%, up 5.9 points
Division title: 31.5%, down 3.2 points
Top seed: 17.8%, down 2.5 points
NFC title: 11.9%, down 1.8 points
Super Bowl win: 5.5%, down 0.5 points
15-1 record: 0.8%, up 0.1 points

The playoff movement is a reaction to the win plus losses by possible competitors, while the other movement is due to Green Bay's refusal to look like anything other than a juggernaut. (The 15-1 thing, well, I can't really explain that.)

Massey gives Detroit about a 7-point edge over San Francisco. Vegas shows them as 4- to 4.5-point favorites. I think the Lions will win, but the 49ers are coming off a big win and may be a little tougher to handle than Detroit would like. The team will be prepared for this game; the one to watch is the next, where overconfidence could be an issue. Detroit, 27-24.

Last week: predicted 31-16, actual 24-13.

Current mood: cautiously optimistic

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