2010 NFL Point Spread Picks Week 3

NFL Statistics Models are liking the big spreads this week. New England looks very tempting, Minnesota not quite until we see Favre do something or have Rice back, and Baltimore not really until they can show that they can score more than 10 points.

Pittsburgh can destroy Tampa, but having Ben out is bringing this spread down. Also Tampa is 2-0 against mediocre teams. Can the defense and the running game be enough to take this pick? I wouldn't take the risk and would put my money elsewhere.

NC is a disaster right now and although Cinci is 1-1, they are playing good enough to handle a mediocre team. Houston is a close one, and I usually do not like to take risks when the prediction is so close to the spread. Do you believe in momentum? At home? I don't, but it might work. This young Houston team will show its Texas counterpart that the stars are bright in Houston.

Unofficial Pick 1: New England -14 incorrect NFL point spread pick
Unofficial Pick 2: Minnesota -10.5 correct NFL point spread pick
Unofficial Pick 3: Cincinnati -3 correct NFL point spread pick
Unofficial Pick 4: Houston -3 incorrect NFL point spread pick

GameVegas LineEstimatePrediction-VegasConfidence
BUFFALO @ NEW ENGLAND-14-15.1-1.158.1%
DETROIT @ MINNESOTA-10.5-22.5-12.057.9%
PITTSBURGH @ TAMPA BAY2.510.47.957.8%
DALLAS @ HOUSTON-3-4.4-1.456.3%
OAKLAND @ ARIZONA-4-15.3-11.355.8%
TENNESSEE @ NY GIANTS-31.84.855.3%
ATLANTA @ NEW ORLEANS-4-13.4-9.451.7%
SAN DIEGO @ SEATTLE5.56.91.451.4%
CLEVELAND @ BALTIMORE-10.5-17.1-6.648.6%
NY JETS @ MIAMI-20.42.446.8%
INDIANAPOLIS @ DENVER5.52.8-2.746.1%
GREEN BAY @ CHICAGO36.13.145.0%
WASHINGTON @ ST LOUIS3.58.04.545.0%

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


DDW said...

Week 2 was definitely one of those weird weeks in the NFL. Let's see how this week unfolds. My picks vs yours are:

BUF +14
DET +10.5
CIN -3
HOU -3

Good luck.

Jaime said...

DDW, we don't agree on the big spreads. I just received an email from Statfox that argued in your favor. Here is a snippet:

"There are three double-digit home favorites this weekend, and all three of them present handicappers with the same solid play. The FoxSheets make a compelling case to play against home favorites of 10.5 or more points versus division opponents off an upset loss as a favorite."

DDW said...

My numbers show that NE is favored by 7 and MIN is favored by 5. My model relies heavily on stats from last season, so I think I have been somewhat lucky in the first 2 weeks. Then again, stats are only stats and we must always have some luck in our picks.

dtBy said...

From the other side of the world...

403 Browns +10.5
422 Broncos +5.5
413 Lions +11
404 Browns/Ravens UNDER 37

These lines were from Tuesday your time, I think.

George said...

I appreciate what you provide here and hope you don’t mind me posting my plays. This is my first statistical model that I’ve been working on this since January. Your insights have been very inspirational to my cause. I to am waiting for more current season data. This week I’m using a 60-40 split of last years vs. this season.

KC +2.5 – My best play
Houston –3
Washington –3.5
G-Bay -3

HappyBreathNet said...


I'm curious how you show a 58% confidence in a pick where your projection differs from the spread by only 1.1 point (the NE / Buffalo game). It seems to me like (by your projection) that one is pretty much a toss up. My projection is NE by 13.2, which I also view as a coin toss against a 14 point spread.

Am I misunderstanding the meaning of your confidence figures? Is that the probability of beating the spread?


- Happy

Jaime said...

I think DDW, dtBy, George, and NFLpickles all went 2-2 this week. At week 5, I might start tabulating you :)

dtBy said...

Sadly, I was 1-3. I haven't gotten a total pick correct, yet... but I still somehow believe there is value in those picks.

Ah, the joys of self-delusion.

HappyBreathNet said...

I'm doing awful in 2010 so far. I wish I had the good sense to wait until week 4 or week 5 to start making picks. The OU have save me somewhat, still three games under .500 for the year.

Still hope to bounce back to 2009 levels soon. We'll see. I (as a person) have disagreed with my model more this year than last.

I think next year I may try to find a way to incorporate my own intuition into the system. Right now it seems like a dangerous and slippery slope that I'm not ready to slide down.

East Coast NoaH said...

I would love to know what software you use to create your modules. I have a couple idea's id like to incorporate into the stats. Like the difference in the spread before the game and the actual outcome of the game. Another one would be finding a trend in the public betting percentages versus the actual outcome.

Jaime said...


You did great last week, no need to panic yet. If you put your intuition, you will put your emotions and it stops being a system and rather one in a million professionals making picks announcing 9-3 last week every week :)

Jaime said...


Those two suggestions you make are great ideas. I have read in a journal article that changes in spread alone can capture some 54% of correct picks. Correlated with other statistics, then I suspect it would become a much more efficient statistic.

Trends in public sentiment, I have looked at last year and just compared with my picks. That varies by season, last year giving the public the win. I posted a Yahoo article once about how Vegas was losing during the first few weeks of the 2009 season.

The problem with all this is not the software, but access to the data (historical and current). Any model build would need to be back-tested and verify its accurateness. I would need to find the historical data for spread open and close and the public opinion. Then an easy way to get that week by week. If a casino hires me then I can definitely have time/resources to figure this kinks out. Any ideas? I know my friends at projectpointspread are capturing public opinion.

In terms of software I use R, an open-source statistical software.

dtBy said...

Perhaps my biggest bit of cognitive dissonance is that I think the sports betting market is essentially efficient (I freak out when there's a late line move against a pick)... but I also have reason to believe I can beat the market.

Ah, well, I'm at 50% and stuck half a unit, so time to get the models running to find the soft spots for week 4. Historically, weeks 4-12 are my money weeks.