Week 10 NFL Machine Learning Point Spread Picks

We stick to two basic philosophies this week: 1) weak teams get beat out badly by strong teams with single digit spreads and 2) spot recency bias with strong teams that didn't perform last week. Let's dig in.

Let's be honest, the top picks weren't good last week. We hit 1 of 4 with Green Bay on TNF being the only win. The Monday morning QB in me should've known better. McCaffrey was coming back to Carolina and Thomas to New Orleans changing those teams offenses significantly. Both should've been stay away games. The more you know... The next games based on confidence covered (BUF, LV, BAL) which made me this week at least come back to these honorable mentions. 

As we know and was reinforced from last week, not everything is analytical. The analytics help detect possible opportunities, but digging deeper into the factors below and know how many of them go to the side that the anlytics point is important. Here are other factors that I like seeing agreeing with the models:

  • Injuries - This is the #1 issue. Is the team the model is picking better or worse off injury-wise when compared to previous weeks?
  • DVOA - Does the matchup make sense? A good passing offense vs a weak passing defense? etc.
  • Captain Class - We talked about this a lot last year. It's based on a book. But essentially I'm trying to see if the QB for the team we're on is a significantly better player and leader
  • Trends - Are there any significantly biased ATS trends for the situation or the team? I'm not talking 3-0 ATS in last 3 games, a bigger sample. 
  • Strength of Schedule - Analytics maybe biased if teams have had a significantly different schedule. We look at teamrankings.com for this info.
This will also help me structure the analysis around the models. I don't like long paragraphs and articles. I'm a straight to the point kind of person. Maybe one day I'll have more visual tables with check marks, for now I'll stick to bullet points. Here we go!

Baltimore -7
Quick review: Strong team vs a weak ass Patriots team who should've lost against the Jets last week. 
  • Injuries - Mark Ingram will play. The list for the Ravens is much smaller for the Patriots. Advantage: Ravens
  • DVOA - Baltimore is #1 against the run which is all the Patriots can do. 
  • Captain Class - I'll take the 2019 MVP any day over Cam.
  • Trends - The Ravens are 14-5 (73%) ATS since 2018 on the road
  • SOS - Baltimore has had a tougher schedule.
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