NFL Point Spread Picks - Week 3

Great week last week overall! As I said in my previous post, the next few picks will be available here but from week 5 forward they're going to Rokfin.

There are 4 games this week with backup QBs. There is not one analysis I can do to figure it out. So I'm going to give you the qualitative view for a few of these games in case you want to sprinkle them (bad idea!).

- The Chargers D will get to DeShaun Watson many times.
- Carolina bounces back with a win over Arizona. Sharps agree not the public.
- Keep fading the Bears, especially if Trubisky is road favorite
- The Rams are the better team and 3 points relies too much on Cleveland hype.
- The backup QB for PIT Mason Rudolph grinds according to ESPN. He'll figure out a way to win.
- Mariotta as a road favorite on TNF vs Mineshew who isn't that bad. Play contrarian go with JAC.

GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
HOUSTON @ LA CHARGERS -3 -13.2 -10.20 62.18
CAROLINA @ ARIZONA -1.5 1.0 2.46 61.00
CHICAGO @ WASHINGTON 4 -7.2 -11.24 59.36
LA RAMS @ CLEVELAND 3 7.5 4.55 58.15
BALTIMORE @ KANSAS CITY -6.5 3.0 9.48 54.67
OAKLAND @ MINNESOTA -8.5 -10.0 -1.46 54.90
ATLANTA @ INDIANAPOLIS -1.5 3.2 4.74 53.85
DENVER @ GREEN BAY -7.5 -3.8 3.73 53.62
DETROIT @ PHILADELPHIA -6.5 -2.5 3.97 53.62
NY JETS @ NEW ENGLAND -23 -9.9 13.14 53.14
MIAMI @ DALLAS -21.5 -9.3 12.16 53.14
CINCINNATI @ BUFFALO -6 -3.1 2.88 50.65
NY GIANTS @ TAMPA BAY -6.5 -10.5 -3.99 49.15
TENNESSEE @ JACKSONVILLE 1.5 -3.9 -5.40 48.67
PITTSBURGH @ SAN FRANCISCO -6.5 1.8 8.28 NA
NEW ORLEANS @ SEATTLE -4 -4.1 -0.09 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.

Joining Rokfin

Rokfin is the first platform to pay creators the full value of the digital network. While other digital networks like Netflix, Spotify, YouTube hoard the value of network effects, Rokfin shares the value of the network with creators. Users pay $9.99/month to access ALL the premium content from on the site from ALL creators including NFLPickles, fighter Ben Askren, comedian Adam Hunter, progressive Niko House and my favorite magician Tom Interval.

Rokfin uses the RAE token in order to pay creators the value of the network. Blockchain technology is ideal to share the value, but also by putting all the data in a blockchain, everyone can see what's going on. Digital networks nowadays control all the data and creators don't have all the cards when they are at the negotiating table. We're all somewhat involved with bitcoin in this world, and Rokfin has found a valuable way to use blockchain to run a real business. Find out more about the RAE token here.

By endorsing my channel on Rokfin, you:

1) help me continue doing my passion.
2) get access to all the cool stuff on the site.
3) access post season NFL Pickles picks

Please help me continue doing what I love...




NFL Point Spread Picks - Week 2

We continue this week by sprinkling here and there merely to make watching the games interesting. We continue to gather data to make these algorithms more reliable. Regardless, last week was an unofficial 2-1 ATS which isn't bad. This week I like the big underdogs to cover, and teams with much hype to come back to reality.

- Tampa makes this a game and covers on primetime.
- New England's historic 19 points on the road is faded
- Arizona is horrible but Baltimore doesn't deserve 14 points, this is an over-reaction to week 1
- Dallas is hyped up and 85% of the bets are going to it. Play contrarian.
- Chicago's offense is horrible and won't cut it on the road vs Denver
- Even without Hill, KC dominates. Oakland is week-1 hyped.

GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
TAMPA BAY @ CAROLINA -6.50 2.50 8.99 71.79
NEW ENGLAND @ MIAMI 18.50 10.40 -8.13 70.59
ARIZONA @ BALTIMORE -13.50 -4.60 8.94 66.67
DALLAS @ WASHINGTON 5.00 -11.00 -15.97 59.56
CHICAGO @ DENVER 2.50 2.50 -0.00 58.82
KANSAS CITY @ OAKLAND 7.00 8.10 1.13 25.00
MINNESOTA @ GREEN BAY -3.00 1.30 4.34 53.57
PHILADELPHIA @ ATLANTA 1.50 3.70 2.18 53.33
SAN FRANCISCO @ CINCINNATI -1.50 -1.60 -0.08 52.50
NEW ORLEANS @ LA RAMS -2.50 -6.10 -3.61 50.00
INDIANAPOLIS @ TENNESSEE -3.00 -0.90 2.06 48.29
SEATTLE @ PITTSBURGH -4.00 0.70 4.73 47.94
LA CHARGERS @ DETROIT 2.50 0.20 -2.26 46.66
BUFFALO @ NY GIANTS 1.50 -2.80 -4.28 45.46
CLEVELAND @ NY JETS 6.00 -8.90 -14.94 NA
JACKSONVILLE @ HOUSTON -9.00 2.90 11.89 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 1

2018 started rough and all the way through until the playoffs. Hopefully this year we pick up better on trends we enjoy riding. The playoffs was a lot about experience, we ran that and it paid off. There's a lot going on and a lot of changes. As always, we let the first few weeks sink in some data. But if you do want to bet a few with emotion, at least here is what the model spit out based on last year.

GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
BALTIMORE @ MIAMI 7.0 3.20 -3.76 65.22
HOUSTON @ NEW ORLEANS -7.0 -5.40 1.57 59.65
LA RAMS @ CAROLINA 2.0 9.70 7.66 55.00
TENNESSEE @ CLEVELAND -5.5 0.20 5.67 55.56
DENVER @ OAKLAND 2.5 -1.20 -3.69 55.10
CINCINNATI @ SEATTLE -9.5 -7.20 2.27 54.10
GREEN BAY @ CHICAGO -3.0 -0.50 2.51 52.17
NY GIANTS @ DALLAS -7.0 -0.90 6.09 52.17
WASHINGTON @ PHILADELPHIA -10.0 -1.30 8.67 51.72
KANSAS CITY @ JACKSONVILLE 3.5 10.50 6.95 50.00
BUFFALO @ NY JETS -3.0 -5.40 -2.42 49.67
DETROIT @ ARIZONA 2.5 -2.90 -5.40 49.65
ATLANTA @ MINNESOTA -4.0 5.80 9.80 44.78
PITTSBURGH @ NEW ENGLAND -5.5 3.20 8.65 44.78
SAN FRANCISCO @ TAMPA BAY -1.0 -2.40 -1.40 41.82
INDIANAPOLIS @ LA CHARGERS -6.5 -6.70 0.75 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.

Super Bowl 53 Point Spread Pick

Super Bowl Pick: Patriots -2.5 correct NFL point spread pick

So happy I didn't participate in the Rams-Saints game and went all in on the Patriots! I would've actually cared about the missed call. Now I'm happy that a very young QB and coach, who may not deserve to be there, are only 2.5 underdogs to the greatest NFL dynasty. Listen, I don't always bet on the Patriots, last year the spread was too big and I predicted the Eagles to win. I've posted my Super Bowl picks for the last 10 years and I'm 9-1 ATS with the only loss the 2010 Super Bowl win by the Saints. Again, kind of happy they didn't make it.

Goff has thrown for what like 1 TD during the whole playoffs? Todd Gurley hasn't played well in the last like 8 games. The Rams defense will be hit by a good run offense from Michel, White, and Patterson. When they think they will figure out then Tom Brady will call an audible and connect with Edelman and Gronk. The Patriots are so unpredictable, so strategic, so smart. You might hate them and sure we'd like most times for the underdog to win, but the numbers aren't there. I don't know either what the qualitative analysis would be to side with the Rams. The public and sharps money is on the Patriots. The books have taken enough from us this year, it's time to level things out. All in on the Patriots!

GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
LA RAMS @ NEW ENGLAND -2.50 -10.40 -7.95 58.54


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 Championship

Pick 1: Patriots +3 correct NFL point spread pick

A disappointing week on the divisional playoffs to say the least. Should've stayed away from a few of those games and bet against the Chargers offense who hadn't demonstrated they had what it takes to play against a top offense. The models this week have one game somewhat confidence an another that doesn't pass the threshold. That means I'm going all in on Patriots. I love betting Patriots just like the public, but when the number point it I'm salivating. Underdogs? I don't think so... The first time playoff QB in Mahomes will show against a fierce Bellicheck strategy. The Patriots can score, we know that, and KC doesn't have a great defense even though the Colts couldn't score last week.

As for the Saints game, it's just a toss-up. The confidence isn't there to back up a pick. I'm staying on the sidelines for this one. Hopefully, I'll enjoy it. The numbers are pointing Saints but although the Saints haven't looked good in a while, they still find a way to win. It's gonna be Brees vs Brady Super Bowl and that's probably what the NFL wants (for those thinking conspiracy theory).

GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
NEW ENGLAND @ KANSAS CITY -3.00 1.40 4.45 59.57
LA RAMS @ NEW ORLEANS -3.50 -7.30 -3.83 50.00


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 - Divisional Playoffs 2018

Pick 1: Indianapolis +5 incorrect NFL point spread pick
Pick 2: Dallas +7 incorrect NFL point spread pick
Pick 3: Philadelphia +8  correct NFL point spread pick

What a wild Wildcard playoff week it was! All picks cashed in and if you caught Dallas early at less than two (I didn't) then you got 4 correct picks from these computer-based predictions. It was 3 road dogs and this week I expect road dogs to also bark loud. During the season, home teams did better than the usual average of a 3-point margin which might be bringing these spreads higher. Same argument as last week, road dogs have won 55% ATS in the last 5 years. The models' output this week is slightly different in that there's not one pick that is super confident (green). We go below our threshold to make 3 picks of the week and leave out the New England game because I'm not ready to pick against the Patriots in the playoffs just yet.

Indi all in again: Love this pick and follows the trend that first playoff appearance QBs are like 30% ATS. Last week all 3 first playoff QBs not only lost against the spread but straight up (Trubisky, Watson, and Jackson). KC is scary but their D sucks (2nd worst in passing yards allowed) and their offense is not as dominant as it was when Hunt was on the lineup. Indi is on a roll at 7-3 ATS in the last 10 games and it's just fun to watch Andrew Luck. Indi's running game with Mack will burn the clock down. Colts +5

Foles' magic: This guy is mentally strong and continues to prove so under pressure. After a terrible first half, the guy went to the locker room and idk what he did but he came out ballin'. The models using only the data for the last four weeks (removing the NO/CAR week 17 game) projects a potential upset. If left as usual and weighing recent games more, the models have the Saints winning by a field goal. Regardless, we bet against the spread: Eagles +8

Dallas D: The Cowboys stopped the best running offense in the NFL last week. This week they face probably the best running back (although supposedly Gurley is slightly hurt) and will make Goff throw the ball. Goff hasn't performed that well as of late. I do think the Rams will find a way to win, but it'll be harder than they think and 7 points seem too big. This year, the Cowboys are 6-1 ATS when they're underdogs. Cowboys on the road doesn't excite me and their pass rush will hurt Dak and potentially cause turnovers. The Rams running D isn't great either and Elliot is a beast. It's gonna be close. Cowboys +7

Patriots Win: Gordon is not playing and the models estimate the Chargers to win. The confidence is so low that you can make an argument to bet the other side. I usually don't and leave the game out. Patriots mentality and strategy is so good that I'm not betting against them but because of the models' output, I'm not going to go against them either. They are 12-3 ATS in the last 15 home games and 61% ATS in the playoffs (13 games) during the last 10 years. Patriots -4

Anyways, lets make it interesting! Here are 2018 divisional playoff computerized statistical picks:

GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
INDIANAPOLIS @ KANSAS CITY -5 4.00 9.00 58.15
DALLAS @ LA RAMS -7 -3.70 3.33 57.07
PHILADELPHIA @ NEW ORLEANS -8 -3.0 5.01 56.00
LA CHARGERS @ NEW ENGLAND -4 2.5 6.51 41.94


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 - Wildcard Playoffs 2018

Pick 1: Indianapolis +1.5 correct NFL point spread pick
Pick 2: Philadelphia +6 correct NFL point spread pick
Pick 3: LA Chargers +2.5 correct NFL point spread pick

Finally a winning week! Just what we needed coming into the playoffs. The wildcard week has some ugly picks I don't like (Cowboys, Chargers), but that's where the numbers are at.

Indi all in: Andrew Luck will surely throw an INT but he'll put 3 or 4 on the board. If the defense figures out that all they need to do is rush the QB and double team Hopkins, it should be an easy win. This game came out the highest confidence probably bc of where the spread is and the model predicting the visiting team. Looking forward to the winning ticket here.

Eagles champs: Looks like the 6 point spread is too big for my Bears. Analyzed only the last few weeks to remove the Carson Wentz data and with him in it and both time the Bears fall short. The Super Bowl champions look solid in the last few weeks and if Foles has a game like he had with Houston, it's over for the Bears. The defense will keep them in the game, but Trubisky is going to blow the cover. It's going to be a very defensive game (maybe under at 41 is a better bet?). Hate to bet against my Bears, but I have to remove my emotions or stay away or rude for a 3 point win.

Chargers charge: Immovable Rivers worries me but their offense is healthy now and should perform. The Chargers' schedule wasn't great, they beat the Broncos, Bengals, Steelers, Chiefs, Raiders, 49ers among others. Looking at it now, Baltimore's schedule wasn't great either losing vs the Chiefs, but they beat the Chargers at home by 12. Why isn't the spread at least 3 for Baltimore? Because the money is going to the Chargers which worries me. Bet here is mostly fading the youngest rookie QB in the playoffs.

Seattle Wilson: Boy I didn't want to bet against Pete Carrol and Russel Wilson. Although I backtest for years of data, the predictions only use the last n weeks played. That takes away from the coaching and chemistry the Seahawks have built over the years. In the last 3 years, the visiting team covers 55% of the time when the spread is between 1 and 2.5 for the home team. For playoffs, since 2010 it's 8-3-1 73% ATS. There are 3 games this week with that spread. I looked to weigh more recent games and the outcome didn't change. My only worry is Seattle can't cover Amari Cooper, Dallas' D plays like they did against the Saints and Ezequiel runs wild. I'm probably staying away from this game.

Anyways, lets make it interesting! Here are 2018 wildcard playoff machine learning picks:

GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
INDIANAPOLIS @ HOUSTON -1.5 3.1 4.6 63.2
PHILADELPHIA @ CHICAGO -6.0 -3.4 2.6 57.2
LA CHARGERS @ BALTIMORE -2.5 1.3 3.8 56.6
SEATTLE @ DALLAS -1.0 -5.2 -4.2 52.5


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.

NFL Point Spread Picks - Week 17 2018

Pick 1: Chicago +4.5 correct NFL point spread pick
Pick 2: Kansas City -13.5 correct NFL point spread pick
Pick 3: Seattle -13 incorrect NFL point spread pick

There's nowhere to go but up. Yes, I just saw Mary Poppins and that's how I feel about this year. It can't get worse. I've had forty some percent years before but not as low as this week. My models have tended to favor visiting teams and home dogs are like at 57% this year. In reality, they should adjust over the course of the season and they haven't so idk yet what's behind all this but I'm determined to figure it out. Maybe it's the luck of the draw, injuries, the bugs at the beginning, whatever no excuses. At least I'm feeling a bit optimistic for the playoffs bc traditionally even in bad years the picks are solid. For week 17 most years I shy away from making picks, but this year we need at least some momentum going into the playoffs. There are a few games that teams are playing for bye or for their spot that came out with decent confidence. Here are week 17 NFL machine learning picks:

GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
CHICAGO @ MINNESOTA -4.5 -3.30 1.17 59.09
OAKLAND @ KANSAS CITY -13.5 -16.30 -2.83 58.17
ARIZONA @ SEATTLE -13.0 -21.30 -8.33 57.85
MIAMI @ BUFFALO -3.5 -2.30 1.17 55.52
NY JETS @ NEW ENGLAND -13.5 -7.30 6.83 55.06
CINCINNATI @ PITTSBURGH -14.5 -10.30 4.23 52.17
DALLAS @ NY GIANTS -6.0 1.00 5.04 51.28
JACKSONVILLE @ HOUSTON -6.5 -10.80 -4.27 50.06
CLEVELAND @ BALTIMORE -6.0 -7.30 -1.33 50.00
ATLANTA @ TAMPA BAY 1.5 -1.30 0.22 50.00
DETROIT @ GREEN BAY -8.0 -6.70 1.30 48.37
DENVER @ LA CHARGERS -6.5 -12.00 -5.50 48.37
SAN FRANCISCO @ LA RAMS -9.5 -14.70 -5.21 45.29
CAROLINA @ NEW ORLEANS -7.5 -14.70 -7.21 NA
PHILADELPHIA @ WASHINGTON 7.0 -3.70 -10.67 NA
INDIANAPOLIS @ TENNESSEE 3.0 6.50 3.50 NA

NFL Point Spread Picks - Week 16

Pick 1: New Orleans -5.5 incorrect NFL point spread pick
Pick 2: Detroit +6 incorrect NFL point spread pick
Pick 3: Arizona +14.5 incorrect NFL point spread pick
Pick 4: Washington +10 correct NFL point spread pick
Pick 5: Miami -4.5 incorrect NFL point spread pick

Very tough week. Rough on not only bets but on confidence in the whole process. I'm hoping things turn around not only this week but that we get a wildly successful playoff run and continue or 7 year streak predicting the Super Bowl right. Not even going to bother explaining why the picks below will turn the tide this week. Let's just post them.

GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
PITTSBURGH @ NEW ORLEANS -5.5 -10.00 -4.49 62.63
MINNESOTA @ DETROIT 6.0 -3.12 -9.12 61.66
LA RAMS @ ARIZONA 14.5 10.00 -4.48 59.00
WASHINGTON @ TENNESSEE -10.00 -2.80 7.21 58.67
JACKSONVILLE @ MIAMI -4.50 -7.20 -2.69 57.09
CHICAGO @ SAN FRANCISCO 4.00 12.20 8.19 55.58
BALTIMORE @ LA CHARGERS -4.50 -7.00 -2.48 55.17
CINCINNATI @ CLEVELAND -7.00 -2.80 4.16 53.07
NY GIANTS @ INDIANAPOLIS -9.50 -11.10 -1.58 52.17
GREEN BAY @ NY JETS 3.0 2.80 0.21 50.43
KANSAS CITY @ SEATTLE 2.50 -1.20 -3.65 50.12
TAMPA BAY @ DALLAS -7.00 -8.30 -1.26 49.00
DENVER @ OAKLAND 3.00 7.90 4.94 45.82
HOUSTON @ PHILADELPHIA -1.00 4.20 5.21 NA Foles
BUFFALO @ NEW ENGLAND -12.50 -24.60 -12.08 NA Gordon
ATLANTA @ CAROLINA -3.00 -1.80 1.21 NA Newton