NFL Point Spread Picks - Week 11

Pick 1: Arizona -4
Pick 2: Kansas City +3.5
Pick 3: Tampa Bay +1
Pick 4: Seattle -2.5

Last week we almost swept, so close! I'm not going to complain about a 3-1 week, but do hope for a sweep soon since I almost tasted it. I'm even more confident of the models and the process this year. Here's what we got going for NFL spread picks this week:

1) Fade Oakland once again.

2) Why isn't KC a pick? Wrong home field advantage. Now in LA, still ok.

3) I know it lost, but we gotta keep fading the Giants. Tampa can score more than SF.

4) Seattle is under-rated again. Their D will keep them and win this game.


GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
OAKLAND @ ARIZONA -4.0 -15.00 -11.00 61.89
KANSAS CITY @ LA RAMS -3.5 3.70 7.17 59.64
TAMPA BAY @ NY GIANTS -1.0 3.20 4.20 58.60
GREEN BAY @ SEATTLE -2.5 -10.00 -7.50 58.54
MINNESOTA @ CHICAGO -3.0 4.00 7.00 55.92
TENNESSEE @ INDIANAPOLIS -2.5 4.00 6.50 55.56
DENVER @ LA CHARGERS -7.0 -11.30 -4.33 54.90
HOUSTON @ WASHINGTON 3.0 -2.70 -5.67 54.84
PHILADELPHIA @ NEW ORLEANS -9.0 -6.10 2.85 52.81
DALLAS @ ATLANTA -3.5 -4.00 -0.50 50.00
PITTSBURGH @ JACKSONVILLE 5.5 6.00 5.10 50.00
CAROLINA @ DETROIT 4.0 0.70 -3.33 50.82
CINCINNATI @ BALTIMORE -4.00 -10.70 -6.67 NA

How to read the table:
  • Vegas Line: A NEGATIVE number implies the point spread favors the HOME team
  • Estimate: NFL Pickles' point spread prediction
  • Pred-Vegas: Subtraction: POSITIVE implies VISITING team will cover point spread.
  • Confidence: The probability that the point spread pick is on the correct side.

NFL Point Spread Picks - Week 10

Pick 1: San Francisco -3 incorrect NFL point spread pick
Pick 2: Seattle +10 correct NFL point spread pick
Pick 3: New Orleans -5.5 correct NFL point spread pick
Pick 4: LA Chargers -10 correct NFL point spread pick

Another 50% week thanks to the top two picks. I'm tempted this week to put a parlay on SF and Seattle! We need to start banking here and hopefully this week we will. Here's the deal:

1) We probably should keep fading Oakland, but the model didn't find it highly secure to bet against a 10 point home dog. Instead the other team I love fading, the NY Giants, are only a 3 point dog on the road so I'm glad that's the first pick.
2) Seattle isn't that bad unless there's an injury I'm missing. LA Rams as good as they are have been 4-4 ATS. Should be a closer game according to the models.
3) Update: sorry, I can't bet Cleveland. I love Baker Mayfield as a 5 point home dog against a weak defense. Sure Atlanta will score a lot of points, but so will Cleveland. The Browns are also 5-4 ATS which makes me more comfortable making this bet.
4) I'm not betting against the Saints again like we did last week. That was dumb. At less than a TD, I'm taking this NFL champion to the bank.
5) Keep fading Oakland.

Here is the rest of the machine learning NFL spread picks for week 10, 2018:

GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
NY GIANTS @ SAN FRANCISCO -3.0 -7.00 -4.03 63.41
SEATTLE @ LA RAMS -10.00 -3.50 6.50 60.14
NEW ORLEANS @ CINCINNATI 5.50 -2.50 -7.99 58.38
LA CHARGERS @ OAKLAND 10.0 13.20 3.20 54.67
ATLANTA @ CLEVELAND 5.00 -2.40 -7.40 59.62
CAROLINA @ PITTSBURGH -4.00 -2.00 1.99 53.33
NEW ENGLAND @ TENNESSEE 6.5 3.50 2.50 52.62
DALLAS @ PHILADELPHIA -7.00 -3.00 3.99 52.62
ARIZONA @ KANSAS CITY -16.50 -12.50 3.96 52.62
DETROIT @ CHICAGO -6.50 -5.10 1.37 50.17
WASHINGTON @ TAMPA BAY -3.00 -5.90 -2.86 49.67
JACKSONVILLE @ INDIANAPOLIS -3.00 3.60 6.60 48.10
BUFFALO @ NY JETS -6.50 -8.30 -1.84 NA
MIAMI @ GREEN BAY -9.50 -8.90 0.62 NA

How to read the table:
  • Vegas Line: A NEGATIVE number implies the point spread favors the HOME team
  • Estimate: NFL Pickles' point spread prediction
  • Pred-Vegas: Subtraction: POSITIVE implies VISITING team will cover point spread.
  • Confidence: The probability that the point spread pick is on the correct side.

NFL Point Spread Picks - Week 9

Pick 1: San Francisco -2.5 correct NFL point spread pick
Pick 2: New England -5.5 correct NFL point spread pick
Pick 3: LA Rams +1.5 incorrect NFL point spread pick
Pick 4: Tampa Bay +7 incorrect NFL point spread pick

Although officially it was a 50% ATS, it was a good week. Cinci should've covered that game, unfortunately, it didn't fall our way this time. The Bears and New Orleans were solid bets. Baltimore was bad but luckily when I went to bet, it had climbed to 2.5 so I forgot to bet it later to see if it had come back down. Anyways, there's a good indication here that the models are getting better.

For week 9 of the NFL 2018 season these are some trends we're betting:
1) Keep fading Oakland, especially on the road.
2) Keep betting Brady/Bellicheck magic. It's only going to get better when Edelman, Gronk, and Gordon all sync
3) The LA Rams on paper are better than New Orleans. Tough game to bet, but the Rams should win.
4) Too many points for Carolina when they are so inconsistent. Hoping for inconsistency and some Fitzmagic
5) Waiting to see if Josh Allen plays. If he does, 9 points for the Bears on the road is giving them way too much credit especially with Buffalo's pass D.

Here is the rest of the machine learning NFL spread picks for week 9, 2018:

GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
OAKLAND @ SAN FRANCISCO -2.5 -5.60 -3.07 66.67
GREEN BAY @ NEW ENGLAND -5.5 -7.40 -1.89 60.00
LA RAMS @ NEW ORLEANS -1.5 8.10 9.60 59.00
TAMPA BAY @ CAROLINA -7.0 0.70 7.70 58.67
ATLANTA @ WASHINGTON -1.5 -2.50 -0.97 56.77
HOUSTON @ DENVER -2.5 -7.10 -4.65 54.76
KANSAS CITY @ CLEVELAND 9.0 5.30 -3.68 53.22
PITTSBURGH @ BALTIMORE -3.0 1.30 4.31 52.00
LA CHARGERS @ SEATTLE -1.5 -3.30 -1.76 50.67
DETROIT @ MINNESOTA -4.5 -7.50 -3.01 50.78
TENNESSEE @ DALLAS -6.5 3.50 9.02 NA
CHICAGO @ BUFFALO 9.5 7.80 -1.66 NA
NY JETS @ MIAMI -3.0 -9.70 -6.75 NA

How to read the table:
  • Vegas Line: A NEGATIVE number implies the point spread favors the HOME team
  • Estimate: NFL Pickles' point spread prediction
  • Pred-Vegas: Subtraction: POSITIVE implies VISITING team will cover point spread.
  • Confidence: The probability that the point spread pick is on the correct side.

NFL Point Spread Picks - Week 8

Pick 1: New Orleans 0 correct NFL point spread pick
Pick 2: Chicago -7 correct NFL point spread pick
Pick 3: Baltimore -1 incorrect NFL point spread pick
Pick 4: Cincinnati -4 incorrect NFL point spread pick

Update: Added Cincinnati as a pick for the week based on the discrepancy between the spread and the estimate and not having a significant player injury.

Terrible ending to what could've been my happiest 50% ATS week. Eli Manning is garbage and ruining his reputation after every play. I will make that bet again any day. Still feeling strongly about dominant teams vs weak teams and how they can blow them out when the spread isn't in double digits. We saw it last week with Rams and Chiefs.

This week we have 3 great NFL spread picks; 2 visiting teams and 1 home team. New Orleans are a close 2nd IMO on the NFC and seems undervalued here against an inconsistent Vikings team. The spread opened at +2.5 and quickly moved to pick, hoping it reverses a bit to bet it. The spread for the Texans seems too high given they aren't that great, Jacksonville and Bortles are back to their 2015 season and made Houston look good. At +7.5 analytics believes Miami will cover, but given Tannehill isn't playing I downgraded this game as a no bet. Chicago, my Bears, looking ok. It's great to see a great D post-Urlacher and they did a pretty good job with the Patriots even though they allowed +40 points. At home, this playoff team will show they want a chance at the postseason and weak teams like the NYJ are not going to get on their way. Finally, Baltimore's D is good and should make Cam Newton run for its money. I'm not so sure about Flacco on the road, but the models seem to give BAL a lot more points (probably due to the difference of stats in Defense). Oakland was attractive too, but idk what they're offense is going to do without Coooper so staying away from that bet as well. Here is the rest of the machine learning NFL spread picks for week 8, 2018:

GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
NEW ORLEANS @ MINNESOTA 0 8.70 8.17 68.82
NY JETS @ CHICAGO -7.0 -10.30 -3.31 59.90
BALTIMORE @ CAROLINA 1.0 11.90 10.95 58.00
TAMPA BAY @ CINCINNATI -4.0 -15.00 -10.99 NA
INDIANAPOLIS @ OAKLAND 1.5 -0.80 -2.25 57.14
GREEN BAY @ LA RAMS -9.0 -6.30 2.72 55.81
SEATTLE @ DETROIT -2.5 -6.90 -4.38 55.10
JACKSONVILLE @ PHILADELPHIA -3.0 -7.40 -4.40 55.10
DENVER @ KANSAS CITY -10.0 -11.60 -1.59 52.17
CLEVELAND @ PITTSBURGH -7.5 -8.90 -1.39 50.00
NEW ENGLAND @ BUFFALO 14.0 14.50 0.50 50.00
WASHINGTON @ NY GIANTS 1.0 -1.00 -1.98 50.00
SAN FRANCISCO @ ARIZONA -1.0 0.10 1.11 49.17
MIAMI @ HOUSTON -7.5 -2.20 5.25 NA

How to read the table:
  • Vegas Line: A NEGATIVE number implies the point spread favors the HOME team
  • Estimate: NFL Pickles' point spread prediction
  • Pred-Vegas: Subtraction: POSITIVE implies VISITING team will cover point spread.
  • Confidence: The probability that the point spread pick is on the correct side.

NFL Point Spread Picks - Week 7

Pick 1: Atlanta -6 incorrect NFL point spread pick
Pick 2: Buffalo +7.5 incorrect NFL point spread pick
Pick 3: Kansas City -5.5 correct NFL point spread pick
Pick 4: Arizona +2 incorrect NFL point spread pick

Great week last week. Put me in check with my betting rules and emotions after being overly excited about the initial 3-0. TNF was an easy win with Philadelphia and then up 2 more games after the 12pm CST games, the next two games bombed and finished 3-2 for the week. The model did well at finding visiting teams that were undervalued (e.g. Philadelphia), but when the spread is more than a TD we should be more careful.

This week we have 3 home teams and one visiting, including one homedog. KC on SNF to continue it's ATS winning streak to 7 this week (see ATS Standings), Arizona homedog on TNF will be a crazy one and win outright. Atlanta's offense and ability to score is undervalued and the spread against a Giants team that is horrible should be at least 7.  Finally, we double dip on Buffalo against a bad team for which they aren't that different. Here is the rest of the machine learning NFL spread npicks for week 7, 2018:

GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
NY GIANTS @ ATLANTA -6.0 -13.90 -7.94 63.13
BUFFALO @ INDIANAPOLIS -7.5 -3.00 4.50 60.55
CINCINNATI @ KANSAS CITY -6.0 -7.20 -1.18 59.10
DENVER @ ARIZONA 2.5 -7.50 -9.50 58.56
TENNESSEE @ LA CHARGERS -6.5 -3 3.51 56.79
CAROLINA @ PHILADELPHIA -4.5 -3.40 1.11 55.00
HOUSTON @ JACKSONVILLE -5.0 -6.00 -1.00 52.10
CLEVELAND @ TAMPA BAY -3.0 -1.70 2.71 50.54
LA RAMS @ SAN FRANCISCO 9.5 11.50 2.00 50.00
NEW ORLEANS @ BALTIMORE -2.0 0.40 2.38 49.29
DALLAS @ WASHINGTON -2.0 -3.90 -1.91 49.29
NEW ENGLAND @ CHICAGO 3.5 0.60 -2.88 48.66
MINNESOTA @ NY JETS 3.0 7.30 4.30 44.82
DETROIT @ MIAMI 1.0 6.20 5.15 NA

How to read the table:
  • Vegas Line: A NEGATIVE number implies the point spread favors the HOME team
  • Estimate: NFL Pickles' point spread prediction
  • Pred-Vegas: Subtraction: POSITIVE implies VISITING team will cover point spread.
  • Confidence: The probability that the point spread pick is on the correct side.

NFL Point Spread Picks - Week 6

Pick 1: NY Jets -2.5 correct NFL point spread pick
Pick 2: Philadelphia -2 correct NFL point spread pick
Pick 3: Buffalo +9.5 correct NFL point spread pick
Pick 4: Jacksonville -3 incorrect NFL point spread pick
Pick 5: LA Rams -7 incorrect NFL point spread pick

Not a great start going 1-2 on the picks last week. Lots of home teams won last week, which made me think twice about this week's picks. 3 bets are going after a better visiting team underrated because they are visiting and when you're so much better home field advantage lessens. Only one bet for the visiting team is for the underdog, Buffalo. This bet worries me and I thought of pulling it but I couldn't come up with a reasonable reason besides 'hunch'. Finally, Jets at home catching 2.5 against a struggling Colts team, I'm in. Here are all the spread predictions for week 5 NFL games:

GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
INDIANAPOLIS @ NY JETS -2.5 -1.00 1.54 62.11
PHILADELPHIA @ NY GIANTS 2.0 10.8 8.81 59.06
BUFFALO @ HOUSTON -9.5 0.40 9.88 58.34
JACKSONVILLE @ DALLAS 3.0 6.20 3.16 58.12
LA RAMS @ DENVER 7.0 16.0 8.97 56.50
SEATTLE @ OAKLAND 2.5 7.20 4.72 55.10
TAMPA BAY @ ATLANTA -3.0 -6.90 -3.93 54.55
KANSAS CITY @ NEW ENGLAND -3.5 -7.00 -2.50 52.50
ARIZONA @ MINNESOTA -10.5 -11.00 -0.5 50.72
BALTIMORE @ TENNESSEE 3.0 10.60 7.61 50.06
SAN FRANCISCO @ GREEN BAY -9.5 5.90 15.44 50.14
PITTSBURGH @ CINCINNATI -2.5 -3.90 -1.37 50.03
LA CHARGERS @ CLEVELAND 1.5 3.00 1.50 49.8
CAROLINA @ WASHINGTON -1.0 -3.50 -2.50 49.8
CHICAGO @ MIAMI 3.5 5.10 1.59 47.5

How to read the table:
  • Vegas Line: A NEGATIVE number implies the point spread favors the HOME team
  • Estimate: NFL Pickles' point spread prediction
  • Pred-Vegas: Subtraction: POSITIVE implies VISITING team will cover point spread.
  • Confidence: The probability that the point spread pick is on the correct side.

2018 NFL Point Spread Picks - Week 5

Pick 1: LA Chargers -5.5 correct NFL point spread pick
Pick 2: Baltimore -3 incorrect NFL point spread pick
Pick 3: Jacksonville +3 incorrect NFL point spread pick

I'm back baby and with a vengeance. Spent some time during the summer going through the machine learning models and making a few tweaks here and there. Didn't change that much since last year was a great year after a big overhaul that included transferring all the code to Python. I am going to make a few changes to how we bet. The main change is that we're not varying the percent of bankroll throughout the year, we're going 22% all year every week. A couple of betting rules to follow (more of a personal note):
  • Only bet the games selected on this blog
  • If a week doesn't go well, don't double down on SNF or MNF
  • Stay the course, 22% every week
  • Check injury reports every week
We're starting with a fake balance of 10K for tracking ROI purposes which means this week we split 2200 in 3 for each game. Here are week 5 machine learning powered NFL picks against the spread:

GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
OAKLAND @ LA CHARGERS -5.50 -16.20 -10.75 61.9
BALTIMORE @ CLEVELAND 3.00 8.90 5.90 59.4
JACKSONVILLE @ KANSAS CITY -3.00 4.80 7.75 58.9
ARIZONA @ SAN FRANCISCO -4.50 -8.50 -4.00 57.0
DENVER @ NY JETS -1.00 -5.50 -4.50 54.5
MIAMI @ CINCINNATI -6.50 -18.10 -11.65 52.9
WASHINGTON @ NEW ORLEANS -6.50 -2.70 3.75 51.0
GREEN BAY @ DETROIT 1.00 -5.20 -6.25 50.8
ATLANTA @ PITTSBURGH -3.00 1.10 4.10 50.5
MINNESOTA @ PHILADELPHIA -3.00 1.00 4.00 50.5
DALLAS @ HOUSTON -3.00 0.50 3.51 50.0
TENNESSEE @ BUFFALO 3.50 8.90 5.40 49.3
NY GIANTS @ CAROLINA -7.00 -15.70 -8.75 48.1
INDIANAPOLIS @ NEW ENGLAND -10.00 -16.10 -6.10 45.2
LA RAMS @ SEATTLE 7.00 8.00 1.00 45.0

How to read the table:
  • Vegas Line: A NEGATIVE number implies the point spread favors the HOME team
  • Estimate: NFL Pickles' point spread prediction
  • Pred-Vegas: Subtraction: POSITIVE implies VISITING team will cover point spread.
  • Confidence: The probability that the point spread pick is on the correct side.

2018 NFL Point Spread Picks

Hello my dear fans,

What a wild ride last year was! NFLpickles had a great regular season posting a solid 62% ATS. I had some solid picks during the post-season including our 7th year in a row predicting correctly the Super Bowl against the spread. This year I'm focusing less on improving the algorithm because as you remember we did an overhaul last year that included moving all the code from SAS to Python. The focus will be on a better/winning betting strategy. I'm not sure what the answer is yet but will review the data and lay it out. It could be that we distribute pool evenly across weeks (regular and playoffs), or starting with higher constant % of the bank. I'm not sure yet, but once I finish the analysis I'll be sure to post it and follow it. If you have any solid scientific ideas, let me know.

This year, I will start publishing NFL machine learning spread picks in week 5. Usually, I post "unofficial picks" the first 4 weeks to give time for the data to sink in and then start, but that will just entice me to invest on games that I shouldn't be betting on in the first place. As always, picks will be free during the regular season and if I deliver above 55% then the playoff picks will be (like last year) available only to premium subscribers.

Ok, that's all for now and I'll see you in week 5.

2017 NFL Super Bowl Point Spread Pick

Super Bowl Pick: Philadelphia +5 correct NFL point spread pick

It's sad, depressing and disappointing that last week's game didn't go our way. I was feeling so confident up til now that I almost bet the farm on those games.  Sticking to the system (percent of bankroll) "paid off".

I really wanted to back the Patriots and fade Foles. Last year, the Patriots helped my wife and I win a free vacation (to Vegas) after that huge comeback to cover -3. So I ran the machine learning models and all were pointing at the Eagles. Ran the models with only Nick Foles games and without, but all situations point at Eagles +5. Historically, this blog has done very well in the Super Bowl going at 9-1. You can see all my Super Bowl picks.

Then I looked Super Bowl point spreads historically. In the last 20 years (only 20 games, small sample I know), the underdog has covered 13 times. Of the 7 Super Bowl games the Brady Patriots have been, they have covered 3 times. The last 2 which were miraculous last minute wins and the first one in which they were 12 point underdogs. I'm not a big fan of trends, but it seems like every trend that I look for points at the Eagles.

For the last week, we'll go 25% which mainly means we're betting here to go break even or make some decent money. At +60% ATS for the year this doesn't seem right. It might make sense to re-evaluate for next year how to better assign bankroll to each game throughout the season. Have a great Super Bowl!

GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
PHILADELPHIA - NEW ENGLAND -5 -2.80 2.25 59.56

How to read the table:
  • Vegas Line: A NEGATIVE number implies the point spread favors the HOME team
  • Estimate: NFL Pickles' point spread prediction
  • Pred-Vegas: Subtraction: POSITIVE implies VISITING team will cover point spread.
  • Confidence: The probability that the point spread pick is on the correct side.

NFL Point Spread Picks - Conference Playoffs

Pick 1: Minnesota -3 incorrect NFL point spread pick
Pick 2: New England -9 incorrect NFL point spread pick

Coming off a perfect week! New England was a good wise pick that was secure early on (except they didn't score first) and covered 13.5 with a dominating 35-14 win. Minnesota should have cleared that game easier than with a last second TD win and cover 3.5. They are a gooood team and that defense is legit (unlike Jacksonville's). Philly's defense is also legit, but their offense bleeds bad QB blood. "Homedog" sometimes is attractive, but not when your captain is Nick Foles. Yes, he had 1 game with 4 TD but the other 5 or 6 were pretty terrible. I ran the numbers as usual and from week 14 onwards (only Foles), Vikings is the bet here as they cover on both situations with good confidence. Keenum is 3rd in DBOA, holds the record for most NCAA yards (love that) and is pumped after that game winning TD!

As for the second game, JAC @ NE home favorite by 9 we are basically placing the same bet. There is a huge difference in QB talent between the two teams. This position is extremely important and cannot have such gaps I'm sorry it's over. The numbers are close but so they were for Tennessee. Close but slightly for the home team when the home team is favorite performs well with my algorithm. Go Patriots, do it again!

These are the two top teams in ATS Standings this season. Minnesota went 11-4-1 and Patriots 11-5-0. You'd think that Vegas would have caught on but not yet.

With a current backroll of about $17.7K, we keep the betting pool at 30%. That means that we'll bet $2,650 for each game this week. Lets win!

GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
MINNESOTA @ PHILADELPHIA 3.0 9.60 6.69 60.56
JACKSONVILLE @ NEW ENGLAND -9.0 -10.00 -1.00 55.56

How to read the table:
  • Vegas Line: A NEGATIVE number implies the point spread favors the HOME team
  • Estimate: NFL Pickles' point spread prediction
  • Pred-Vegas: Subtraction: POSITIVE implies VISITING team will cover point spread.
  • Confidence: The probability that the point spread pick is on the correct side.