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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

NFL Week 2: Seattle Seahawks @ Green Bay Packers: FPI Vs. Elo Ratings

Seattle Seahawks +4.0 (-120) @ Green Bay Packers

Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin

September 20, 2015, 7:30pm CDT

The Green Bay Packers will entertain the Seattle Seahawks this evening after knocking off the Bears in Chicago last week in a fairly closely contested game. Aaron Rodgers was ridiculously accurate, completing 18 of 23 attempts, including three touchdowns. In so doing, Rodgers claimed the #2 spot in ESPN's QBR lineup, and the Packers retained top seeding in ESPN's FPI rankings.

The Seattle Seahawks will visit Lambeau Field after a stunning road loss as 3 point favorites last week. Seattle came up just short in overtime at the Rams and ultimately fell, 34-31. The upset defeat cost the Seahawks a point on the FPI scale, but Seattle managed to hold the #3 spot.

Of note, another reputable power rankings system that we respect and monitor, based on the work of physicist Arpad Elo and maintained by FiveThirtyEight, pits these team in the reverse order as FPI: Elo ratings list Seattle as #1 and Green Bay at #3. So, in addition to continuing the rivalry that was perhaps spawned by the Seahawks win over the Packers in the 2014 NFC Championship game, tonight's contest also represents a sort-of statistical grudge match between FPI and Elo.

Of particular interest, both FPI and Elo systems regard the 4 point spread as far too much for Green Bay to lay, and therefore highlight substantial value Seattle's way. Per FPI, the #1 and #3 spots are mere 1.2 points apart, while Elo suggests a 0.9 point advantage to Green Bay after accounting for home field advantage. Supplemental power rankings approaches that we follow also favor the road dogs this evening, as does one of our two primary simulation routines.

In addition to quantitative assessments and computer predictions, the narrowing of the betting line and clustering of public opinion around the favorite also support the underdog. Per SportsInsights, 66% of spread wagers are on the Packers, while the betting line has tightened from Green Bay -3.5 at the open to -3.0 currently.

Given this confluence of indications in favor of Seattle, we are forced to conclude that the market is overreacting 1) to Seattle's bad game last week and 2) the absence of Seahawks Safety, Kam Chancellor. We are taking the 4 points and siding with Seattle.

Happy betting!!

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