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.