FiveThirtyEight Continues to Place Cowboys Atop the Odds to Win the Division

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Over at FiveThirtyEight, when they aren’t previewing the NBA, they’re continuing to breakdown the NFL. One of the ways they’ve chosen to do that this year is by adopting “Elo Ratings” — more commonly used in chess and modified for Association Football — to the NFL, and using those ratings to predict wins, losses, and playoff odds. The rating takes into account past success, win margins, history, etc. (more is explained over here if you want to read into it).

In weeks one through four, the ratings had the Eagles favored to win the division. But in Week 5, the birds and Cowboys switched spots, though the Eagles have never dipped below a 36% chance to win the division or a 51% chance to make the playoffs since then. Also over that time, the Eagles raised their projected wins from 9.6 to 10.6 (now back down at 10.1), while the Cowboys, who peaked at 12.0, are now just above the Eagles at 10.8.

About those playoff odds, Neil Paine at FiveThirtyEight said:

At any rate, Dallas’s upset loss had real implications for the NFC East derby. Despite the Eagles’ loss, the Cowboys’ odds of winning the division dropped from 66 percent to 53 percent. Philadelphia’s chances jumped from 33 percent to 42 percent. Meanwhile, both teams lost ground in the wild card race — Dallas’s odds fell by 2 percentage points, and the Eagles’ chances dropped by 14 percentage points, more than any other team in the league. Much of that lost wild-card probability was soaked up by the NFC West, where Arizona, Seattle and San Francisco’s chances increased by a combined 22 percentage points.

If both teams continue on this path, it could set up a Thanksgiving Day showdown for the ages. With that in mind, a part of me would love to see a 9-2 Eagles team face off against a 9-2 Cowboys team, but that’s the thinking part. The feeling part of me wants to see Dallas at 6-5 by then.

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10 Comments

  • jg October 29, 2014 at 11:10 am

    How can you not with the way Nick Foles is playing

  • Nick Foles is Bobby Hoying 2.0 October 29, 2014 at 11:14 am

    As much as I hate the Cowboys I agree wholeheartedly,and I’d be shocked if Foles isn’t benched by the Seattle game.

  • Your Mother October 29, 2014 at 11:41 am

    They’re about right. Unless the O line gets better really fucking quick this team is not better than the Cowpokers.

  • Informed October 29, 2014 at 11:51 am

    given the eagles remaining schedule versus the cowboys remaining schedule, it is understandable that the cowboys would have more favorable odds to win the division. however, with the cowboys having lost to a putrid redskins team on monday, i think they have been exposed and will down from cloud 9. that said, it is clear that a lot can happen between now and the season’s end. this is just me, but here is how i see things playing out the rest of the way……
    DALLAS
    vs Ari W
    @Jax W
    @Giants L
    vs Eagles W
    @ Chi L
    @ Eagles L
    vs Indy W
    @ Wash L
    10-6 record

    EAGLES
    @ Hou W
    vs Car W
    @ GB L
    vs Ten W
    @ Dallas L
    vs Sea L
    vs Dal W
    @ Wash W
    @ NY W
    record 11-5

    • Gary the no trash cougar October 29, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      You really think the Cowpukes will come off a Sunday NIGHT loss AT the ginas and then turn around and win 4 days later against the Eagles, who will have had played at home, at 1:00, against the Titans had much less travel and “much” more rest (I say “much” because one more full nights sleep will be important later into the season and with only 4 days between games).

      The tougher Dallas game will be the second one where we have back to back Seattle and then Dallas again. I’m betting that the birds will be spent and the Cowpokes will be coming off a second thursday night game (10 days rest) against an imploding bears team.

      I think the Eagles and Dallas will both go 11-5 but the Eagles win the division. I see it playing out like this:
      Dallas will lose against the Cardinals because Romo won’t play but I think the Cowboys beat the Bears as that will be one of the first times in NFL history that one team has has regular rest for a Thursday night game and the other team has only 4 days…
      The real difference is i don’t see Dallas losing to the Redskins twice.

      Eagles will win the Division based upon division record.

      • Gary the no trash cougar October 30, 2014 at 9:00 am

        Whoops… totally blew it on the schedule thing because the Bears play on Thursday too. Oh well, i think the Cowboys still beat the bears.

  • sean brace is the worst person in the world October 29, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Nobody gives a flying fuck about fivethirtyeight or any of your stupid ass meaningless predictions you fucktard. try posting something something relevent and knowledgable you dumb hipster fuck

  • Fuck It October 29, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Eagles will have the best odds when Romo finally succumbs to a season ending injury. We all know its coming. Hes a beat up old Cadillac already.

  • Matt from Morton October 30, 2014 at 8:52 am

    The Cowboys are going to lose this Sunday, and Romo will get knocked out again and may not return. Think the Washington D blitzed a lot? The Cardinals will double it just to make him move in the pocket and test his back. And that won’t go well. FiveThirtyEight is incredibly brilliant in prognostication, and I don’t argue with the odds where we stand today. But I think the eagles will be back on top after Sunday.

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