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.