Intelligence Index
This story originally published on ScoutNFLNetwork.com
Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick
Cold, Hard Football Facts
Posted Oct 10, 2013


Smart Picks, Dumb Teams: NFL “Mental Mismatches” Perfect 8-0 ATS

The Cold, Hard Football Facts Intelligence Index rates each NFL team by how well they play in situational football.

“Smart” teams do all the little things right on both sides of the ball: they win the turnover battle, play well in the red zone, convert third downs, excel on special teams and rarely suffer those dumb, drive-killing penalties (or drive-extending penalties if playing defense). “Dumb” teams do all those little things wrong.

More importantly, smart teams consistently win games and beat the spread. Dumb teams consistently lose games and lose against the spread.

Consider this: the four “dumbest” teams in football according to the CHFF Intelligence Index are an unbelievable 0-19 ATS (Steelers, Giants, Texans, Jaguars; see chart below).

The Top 6 on the Intelligence Index includes all three undefeated teams and are a combined 27-3 straight up and 20-10 (.667) against the spread.

More specially, we highlight each week the NFL’s “Mental Mismatches.” These are games in which a smart team squares off against a dumb team.

We’ve cited eight Mental Mismatches so far this year. They are a perfect 8-0 both straight up and against the spread. Not only that, our smart teams have won easy, by an averageof 24.0 PPG (34.2 to 8.2).

We have three new Mental Mismatches this week below.

The Kansas City Chiefs continue to be hands down the smartest team in the league, at an unsustainable +13.36 right now. They’ll come down to earth a bit, just because they have to, but they’d need some real brain farts to get down to No. 2 Indianapolis (+7.87).

The Intelligence Index through Week 5

Rank

TEAM

BEND

SCORE

INT. INDEX

Record

vs. Spread

last week

1

Kansas City

26.97

13.61

+13.36

5-0

4-1

1

2

Indianapolis

20.91

13.04

+7.87

4-1

3-2

4

3

New Orleans

22.63

15.11

+7.52

5-0

4-1

6

4

New England

24.64

18.07

+6.57

4-1

2-3

5

5

Seattle

18.74

13.37

+5.37

4-1

4-1

2

6

Denver

14.99

10.65

+4.34

5-0

3-2

7

7

Tennessee

16.91

13.83

+3.08

3-2

3-1-1

8

8

Carolina

20.79

17.78

+3.01

1-3

1-3

3

9

Miami

16.79

13.89

+2.9

3-2

3-2

10

10

Dallas

15.04

12.41

+2.63

2-3

4-1

9

11

Minnesota

14.01

12.19

+1.82

1-3

2-2

14

12

Detroit

15.97

14.54

+1.43

3-2

3-2

15

13

Arizona

18.07

16.82

+1.25

3-2

4-1

21

14

San Francisco

15.43

14.24

+1.19

3-2

3-2

24

15

Baltimore

15.25

14.14

+1.11

3-2

3-2

13

16

Chicago

13.45

12.71

+0.74

3-2

1-3-1

11

17

Cincinnati

18.21

17.56

+0.65

3-2

3-1-1

17

18

Cleveland

16.05

15.69

+0.36

3-2

3-2

23

19

Green Bay

15.45

15.36

+0.09

2-2

2-2

18

20

Oakland

16.85

16.85

0

2-3

4-1

20

21

San Diego

15.74

16.06

-0.32

2-3

3-1-1

12

22

Buffalo

14.52

15.56

-1.04

2-3

3-2

16

23

Washington

15.73

17.18

-1.45

1-3

1-3

22

24

St. Louis

13.56

15.13

-1.57

2-3

1-4

25

25

Atlanta

13.89

16.04

-2.15

1-4

1-4

19

26

Philadelphia

13.65

16.84

-3.19

2-3

2-3

26

27

N.Y. Jets

12.89

17.89

-5

3-2

4-1

30

28

Tampa Bay

18.99

24.98

-5.99

0-4

1-3

27

29

Pittsburgh

11.7

19.78

-8.08

0-4

0-4

28

30

N.Y. Giants

10.86

20.55

-9.69

0-5

0-5

31

31

Houston

9.36

21.01

-11.65

2-3

0-5

29

32

Jacksonville

11.65

24.69

-13.04

0-5

0-5

32

 

THIS WEEK’S MENTAL MISMATCHES

Last week, we made one pick and it came through with ease -- San Francisco -8 at home against the Texans won 34-3.

Our eight Mental Mismatches are not only 8-0 both straight up and against the spread, they've all been easy victories, with an average score of 32.4 for the smart teams and 8.4 for the dumb teams.

This week, we're going to go with three picks, all spread out across the week as it turns out.

The biggest Intelligence mismatch this week is fairly obvious – Jacksonville +26.5 at Denver. So, are we picking it? No. That is a big old ass-load worth of points, and being judicious with this indicator is part of the reason we’re 8-0 thus far.

This is also a Jacksonville team that had its first “smart” game of the season last week, aided by the return of Justin Blackmon and the eventual (and merciful) absence of Blaine Gabbert. Denver may well win by 80, but not on our dime.

We like Chicago (-8) at home Thursday night over the Giants. While “they’re due” is all well and good, the fact is that this number is a good half-touchdown too low based on the on-field play thus far. Chicago is of average intelligence, but they’re a whole heck of a lot smarter than Big Blue right now. Add a short week to prepare and a road trip? We’ll be a bit shocked if we’re not 9-0 Friday morning.

There are a few matchups between teams at the bottom of the Index that we’re staying away from, including Houston/St. Louis and Pittsburgh/NY Jets.

But we are going to recommend Philadelphia (-1) at Tampa Bay. The Eagles (-3.19 on the index) are coming off a brainy effort, Tampa (-7.99) is doing the opposite.  We’ve seen that teams with coaches on the hot seat (KC and Philly last year, KC in 2012) were really dumb, and Greg Schiano is on the hottest seat in the league right now.

And finally, Indianapolis (-1.5) at San Diego on Monday night. The Chargers aren’t that dumb (just -0.32), but they’ve slipped each of the last two weeks while Indianpolis has gone from 8th to 4th to 2nd. Those trends are enough to make this our final selection.

Cold, Hard Football Facts Insider with Scout.com breaks down every NFL game against the spread through the prism of our 22 cutting-edge Quality Stats. CHFF Insiders have gone .500 or better ATS in 72 percent of NFL weeks since the start of 2009. CHFF Insiders with Scout.com also get access to betting trends, key prop plays (9-2 in 2013), inside interviews with Vegas bookmakers and detailed team stat profiles. Become a CHFF Insider with Scout.com today. 

 

 





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