3 Great NFL Point Spread Sites

In recent weeks, I have become acquainted with 3 people writing blogs and/or sites that add great value to making prediction to NFL games against the spread. I want to take this opportunity to share these sites with you and give you a brief overview of what they do. Notice that they have been added to my recently new section, the Blogroll.

Project Point Spread
President and Co-founder Jeff Wayne and I started conversing at the end of 2008. I first emailed Jeff to tell him that I loved his site. I mentioned to him that "Finally, handicappers are going to be put in the hot seat. Many claim up to 75% ATS record year by year, now your site will show the true good handicappers." He replied saying that "what you mentioned is at the heart of my philosophy and one of the main motivations for the site".

He also believes "There's a lot of predictive power in crowdsourcing but none of the big players have done it right yet so the results haven't been very good." Because Project Point Spread is a sports pick'em community where you can challenge friends, follow experts, enter contests, and trade picks with other members they track and show you how successful the collective knowledge is. These guys are on to something and as they keep collecting data, they will definitely provide valuable tools for us all.

They've got a contest to win tickets to the NFL to whomever gets the most correct picks against the spread. I will not win since I only enter the picks you see in this site. I did suggest to Jeff to have a "Pick 3" contest next year. You can track my picks at project point spread as well, I'm StatDawg.

The Prediction Tracker
While Project Point Spread tracks the masses, The Prediction Tracker tracks computer based football prediction. Todd Beck runs the site and I've recently exchanged emails with him. He lives in Chicago so I hope one day to get together for coffee.

The Prediction Tracker is an amazing site. Basically, Todd reads in point spread forecasts from more than 50 sites (plus I think many of his own computer based NFL predictions) and tracks not only ATS record like we do here, but other statistical measures of accuracy like absolute error, mean square error, and bias. This site also puts handicappers (or at least those that want to publicly be held accountable) in the hot seat. Todd has given me the honor to be part of this great site, and starting this week, you can see how my point spread estimates fare with other computer based NFL prediction methodologies.

Best of Blog.net

Best of Blog is more like this blog. A free site to get NFL picks against the point spread (and over under). My friend Jim and I have been talking about our systems many times this year. He also adds a lot of value to this blog by adding many comments to it. He also has a page on his site that benchmarks my bankroll, his bankroll, and the S&P 500. Here is a brief description of his system in his own words.

The Adjusted Cumulative Distribution Function is the key to my system. I use it to identify my bets for each week, to compute the probabilities for each week, and to measure actual
results vs expectation values for the season. As far as gamblers are concerned, I'm a farily conservative fellow. As a result I include over under bets in my weekly picks. This increases the number of bets, narrowing the distribution around the expectation value, which tends to be
around 110% if using a 10% juice book. Those of you have have been through the highs of 2007 & 2009 or the occasional lows of 2008 with Jaime understand the standard deviation. To that end I consider setting realistic expectations for sports betting to be of the utmost importance.


Thanks a lot to all three of you.

2009 NFL Point Spread Picks Week 8

Pick 1: Jacksonville +3 incorrect NFL point spread pick -$90
Pick 2: Miami +3.5 correct NFL point spread pick + $63.64
Pick 3: New Orleans -10 incorrect NFL point spread pick -$90 BS!
Pick 4: Minnesota +3 correct NFL point spread pick + $63.64

We (yes, you who follow my picks and I) are crushing the sports books. The hundreds of readers I get to this NFL spread picks blog daily apparently are taking advantage of these outrageously successful free NFL picks. The theory of the huge disparity of teams is hurting the sports books in Vegas according to Bad Teams Turn Sports Books into Losers and in part it could be my fault :)

Week 8
"Forecasting future events is often like searching for a black cat in an unlit room, that may not even be there." - Steve Davidson

That is how I felt this week. Before I run my NFL statistical models of the point spread, I usually just do what any other regular person would do: look at spread for each game. Based on pure judgement, then I start thinking which games might be good opportunities. Usually, like this week, I end up with a completely different set of picks after running the stats. But this week I could not pinpoint a game where I was very confident (like last week Indi pick) that it would be a good pick and if the model confirmed even better. For example, this week I thought Giants should beat the Eagles, Houston will cover, and Bears suck so no way they'll win by more than two TDs, although none of them I was completely excited about.

This week, since the confidence levels are a bit lower, according to Kelly's formula the bankroll will decrease as well. We'll be using 18% of bankroll weighted close to probabilities.

Then, I ran the stats and soon after these 4 picks showed up I was a bit skeptic, but the more I think about them the more I like them. Here is why:

JAC @ TEN $90 - Ok so Vince Young is starting, does that mean they're better? No, if not he would have started at the beginning of the season and would have led the team last year to a 13-3 record.

ATL @ NO $90 - Who can bet against the Saints? If you did last week, at the 3rd quarter you were probably thinking of banking the money, oops. This team is amazing and so fun to watch, can't wait to see them Monday night at home. They are undefeated both straight up and against the spread.

MIA @ NYJ $70 - Miami beat them this year and will beat them again. Don't judge this game by their W/L records, Miami has had a slighter tougher schedule. Chad Henne is playing relatively well and Ricky Williams is rocking. Mr. Sanchez will throw a couple of INTs.

MIN @ GB $70 - Will Favre be playing at home or away? Who will everyone at Green Bay cheer for? In any case, I think it is Mr Peterson who will dominate. He's been quiet the past few weeks, due for a break out game.

Below our NFL week 8 point spread estimates and confidence percentages:

GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
ATLANTA @ NEW ORLEANS-10-13.8-3.858%
MIAMI @ NY JETS-32.75.756%
DENVER @ BALTIMORE-3.5-1.61.952%
HOUSTON @ BUFFALO3.59.25.750%
ST LOUIS @ DETROIT-4-5.7-1.748%
CLEVELAND @ CHICAGO-13.5-22.5-9.046%
CAROLINA @ ARIZONA-10-19.6-9.643%
OAKLAND @ SAN DIEGO-16.5-12.54.042%
SEATTLE @ DALLAS-9.5-3.36.242%

2009 NFL Point Spread Picks Week 7

Pick 1: Indianapolis -13.5 correct NFL point spread pick + $81.82
Pick 2: Chicago +1.5 incorrect NFL point spread pick -$75
Pick 3: Arizona +7 correct NFL point spread pick + $68.18
Pick 4: Philadelphia -7 correct NFL point spread pick + $81.82

"I have seen the future and it is very much like the present, only longer." --Kehlog Albran. With reference to NFL games, I insist on my belief of the huge disparity of teams this year. Using statistical modeling to predict scores uses historical data not only to predict the future, but to explain the present. So far, it has paid well. Last week we banked on Tennessee, but lost on Oakland. This week, I have two picks that will continue to validate this theory.

As you can see from the table below of NFL point spread predictions with confidence estimates, I have decided to stay away from the top pick of the week. QB Trent Edwards suffered a concussion and will probably not play Sunday, therefore the Bills pick is off. Minnesota might be a good pick this week, but since coincidentally we have 4 picks above 60% (all visiting teams), it will not be officially a pick.

This week, we are using 22% of the bankroll and will weigh the two highly disparate team games higher. Lets briefly go over the picks:

IND @ STL $90 - This spread should be lingering around 17. Indi has won the last 3 games by more than 17 points. Coming off a bye week, they come to destroy the Rams. Bulger is back! Last week he threw 213 yds with 1TD and 1 INT, are you worried?

CHI @ CIN $75 - At first I did not want to go with my beloved Bears. Their offensive line gave Cutler less than 3 seconds to pass the ball and they could not open holes when they were two yards away from the goal. But the model said so, you gotta pick'em? Well sometimes I mix gut feeling with statistics. But once I saw that the Bengals pass rush will be deteriorated this week with DE Antwan Odom out for the season, what the heck, lets go with the model. What do you think?

ARI @ NYG $75 - Probably many of you will disagree with this pick. New York, at home, Eli, etc. Look at the teams NY has beaten: WAS, DAL, TB, KC, OAK tough schedule. Arizona's WR Boldin is questionable, but his replacement Steve Breaston has shown confidence that he can take the No. 2 role.

PHI @ WAS - $90 I don't care that Philadelphia lost against Oakland nor that McNabb got sacked 6 times last week. Washington has officially joined the tomato cans of the NFL after last week's lost against KC. Now, the coach is not even calling the plays and many players and coaches are not happy about this. Philadelphia by 59 :)

Without further adieu, here are the 2009 Week 7 point spread picks:

GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
BUFFALO @ CAROLINA-7-6.30.769%
ARIZONA @ NY GIANTS-73.410.464%
NY JETS @ OAKLAND63.9-2.148%
ATLANTA @ DALLAS-43.87.846%
NEW ORLEANS @ MIAMI6.57.20.742%

Unbelievable Results - Thanks to You

All your support, comments, and encouragements has led NFLpickles to a remarkable start in 2009. Last year, when the picks were not working out even when we had success in 2007, you the readers kept encouraging me to continue, thank you. Keep up your comments and opinions as they are highly valued and provide a great way for others to judge sentiment on various NFL picks. This summarizes the success of NFLpickles' free NFL picks against the point spread this year:
  • 5 straight winning weeks
  • 73% success rate against the point spread
  • 50% return on investment
I have a huge work project to finish so I expect the week 7 NFL picks to come out late Thursday or Friday. Again, thanks for your support.



2009 NFL Point Spread Picks Week 6

Pick 1: New England -9 correct NFL point spread pick + $90.91
Pick 2: Philadelphia -14 incorrect NFL point spread pick -$100
Pick 3: Denver +4 correct NFL point spread pick + $90.91

Should we keep banking on weak teams? Today I read an article (that I couldn't find on the Chicago Reader website) about how 2009 is geared towards having the most number of teams with less than 3 wins for the season. In marketing, we would classify NFL teams into 3 buckets: great, average, terrible. Michael Lombardi wrote an interesting article on this phenomenon of a huge disparity between best and worst NFL teams.

In a market, these obvious opportunities shouldn't exist right? Only those that believe in the efficient market hypothesis would agree. The market should at least adjust. This week the Rams are a 14 point underdog, while last week it was 10 points. For Oakland, they are a 14 point underdog at home while they were 16 point last week, considering home field, market adjusted one point (assuming its opponents on both weeks belong to the above average group).

The question is: has the market adjusted enough? Has it made adjustments to all below average teams? Yes and no as my NFL week 6 picks show.

"Forecasting is very difficult, especially if it's about the future", but that will not stop us finding 'under priced' games.

Tennessee @ New England $100 - Tennessee is having quarterback insecurities. Its defense is suffering. The Patriots are returning to their old selves (except for last week's lesson with Denver). Randy Moss did not practice this week, but apparently not due to any injuries. No serious injuries leads to our first pick, the Patriots demolish the Titans at home.

Philadelphia @ Oakland $100 - The Eagles can score and they've shown it even without Westbrook. Oakland had a good game at home their first week against the Chargers, but that is all I've seen. Eagles by more that 3 TDs.

Denver @ San Diego $100 - I hated on Denver on last week's post comments. Afterwords, I read an article on Sports Illustrated about their defense, their 25 new players, and how Orton fits well with their play. This week, the model picks Denver and I'm going with it. By the way, Denver is 1 of 3 teams that is perfect against the spread. See the Point Spread Standings.

At the current bankroll, 20% of it gets us at $100 per game for this week. Good luck!

Other games to stay away:
Pittsburgh cannot run the ball without Parker and has yet to beat a team this year by more than 10 (and they even played Detroit). Cutler and Chicago's running game have to be proven before I feel comfortable with their pick. Rams may stand no chance in this game, but I still can't figure out in which slot does Jacksonville belong to after last week's debacle in Seattle.

Without further adieu, here are the 2009 Week 6 point spread predictions:

GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
CHICAGO @ ATLANTA-32.45.457%
DENVER @ SAN DIEGO-43.07.057%
BUFFALO @ NY JETS-9.5-11.0-1.554%
HOUSTON @ CINCINNATI-4.5-3.80.753%
ARIZONA @ SEATTLE-37.510.550%
NY GIANTS @ NEW ORLEANS-3-4.5-1.547%
DETROIT @ GREEN BAY-13.5-10.03.544%
CAROLINA @ TAMPA BAY3.58.65.143%
ST LOUIS @ JACKSONVILLE-10-16.7-6.741%

2009 NFL Point Spread Picks Week 5

Pick 1: Arizona -5.5 correct NFL point spread pick + $59.09
Pick 2: Minnesota -9.5 (-110) correct NFL point spread pick + $77.27
Pick 3: NY Giants -16 (-110) correct NFL point spread pick + $50
Pick 4: Indianapolis -3.5 correct NFL point spread pick + $63.64

Crunching the numbers is the easy part, making the pick is the hard part. But "Do not put your faith in what statistics say until you have carefully considered what they do not say". They do not say who will cover, but who has the most chance to cover.

For this week we have 4 NFL favorites undermined by their power to destroy their weak opponent. Distributing $275 on the four games which is approximately 23% of the bankroll, putting more weight on the Vikings and Indianapolis game.

CIN @ BAL - Baltimore's linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has been put on the injured list. I'm staying away from this game, won't regret it regardless of what happens.

MIN @ STL $85 - Should we keep banking on the Rams losing streak, why not? There is no respect for the Vikings with a spread of 9.5 or even 10. After Monday Night's game, Favre and Peterson could be a killer combination if both are on. The Viking defense is not bad either.

HOU @ ARI $65 - I smell 'underratedness' for the NFC champs. Coming out of a bye week and a slow start, the Cardinals come to their senses and have a comfortable win at home.

OAK @ NYG $55 - I admit I almost backed out of this one because of the 16 point spread. The confidence is high and the prediction is two points above spread. The Giants can score and lead the league in the least yds allowed per game.

IND @ TEN $70 - Tennessee's defense will not be able to stop red hot Manning.

GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
MINNESOTA @ ST LOUIS9.511.41.963%
HOUSTON @ ARIZONA-5.5-9.0-3.559%
OAKLAND @ NY GIANTS-16-18.8-2.857%
PITTSBURGH @ DETROIT10.515.04.553%
DALLAS @ KANSAS CITY8.55.6-6.151%
ATLANTA @ SAN FRANCISCO-2.5-2.9-0.450%
NY JETS @ MIAMI2-9.2-11.240%

ATS Standings 2009

NFL Team standings against the point spread.
Updated: 08/22/2010

GREEN BAY115168.8%
NY JETS118057.9%
NEW ORLEANS109052.6%
SAN DIEGO88150.0%
NY GIANTS79043.8%
ST LOUIS79043.8%
TAMPA BAY610037.5%