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Simulating NFL Week 12 and beyond: How oddsmakers and computers see 2015 season playing out

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We look into some simulations, odds and trends heading into Week 12

With back to back losses you would assume the Bengals would have seen their odds to win the Super Bowl plummet, but that hasn’t been the case. This Sunday’s loss might have actually solidified them as a contender in the eyes of Vegas. Think about that game and I’m sure you can count five to six things that if they had went the other way, the Bengals would win. I know I can think of plenty, a non-call here, a call there and they are 9-1 and we are all pounding our chests again. Either way, Vegas saw that the Bengals can play on the big stage, with a top flight team, and in a hostile environment; so, they didn’t take a big hit for that loss.

This week, we take a look at some of the odds that stood out to me from fivethirtyeight.com win predictor and futures predictor. The good news for Bengals fans is that they have the second highest win probability this week, so let’s hope the two game losing skid will come to an end. Five Thirty Eight site does 20,000 simulations of the game to come up with the win probabilities. For some games, it might shock you who is favored like the Colts this week against the Saints. Now its not shocking that they are favored at home, but they have almost a 3-1 win probability. That was shocking to me. On the other side of that, the Patriots only have 59 percent win probability against the Brock Lobster and his Denver Broncos. It seems that the Broncos might be ready to send that old Stallion Manning off to the glue factory for good, though, I’m not sure that’s the best idea for the playoffs, if he is healthy.

As you might assume the Patriots are the most likely simulated team to win the Super Bowl with a 33% chance according to the simulator, followed by the Panthers at 18%. After that they have four teams with similar odds to win the Lombardi trophy and the Bengals are in that second tier. To me, that’s very encouraging news that the Bengals will at least win a playoff game this year. The simulator also expects the Bengals to get a first round bye. Keep in mind that the simulator only has 10 teams that it thinks can possibly win the Super Bowl, so the company the Bengals share is rare.

Here’s one odd that changed this week that I thought was telling of how the outside world views the Bengals and how much money must be coming in on the Steelers. The Steelers are actually 21-4 to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, slightly better odds then the Bengals who are at 7-1. Now the reason this is so rare is because the Bengals are 1-8 to win the AFC North and the Steelers are 4-1 to win the division. This just shows that with the Bengals lead, they know they will likely win the division, but they still don’t trust them to get over the hump and win a few playoff wins. Just some food for thought, people are still pumping money in on the Steelers over the Bengals to go all the way.