Man vs Machine: Pickswise expert vs the computer model NFL Week 10 best bets

Adam Thielen Vikings
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Andrew Ortenberg

NFL· 2 weeks ago

Show Bio

I'm an editor here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up.

Man vs Machine

Welcome to the 2021 edition of Man vs Machine. This NFL season, I’ll be making my five best NFL bets each week. Our Pickswise supercomputer will make its best five bets, and then we’ll compare. May the best man (or machine) win.

Our computer model gives probabilities and projections for the main NFL betting markets (spread, total & money line), best bets for spread, total, money line, and same game parlays. It also features prop bet probabilities for first and anytime touchdown scorer, plus individual player projections for passing, rushing, receiving yards, and touchdowns for betting and fantasy use.

For more information on how the supercomputer works and how it generates picks, scroll down to the bottom of this page. Now let’s look at the picks:

My 5 best bets

Lions +8 over Steelers

The Lions are coming off a bye, while the Steelers are on a short week after playing on Monday Night Football. Pittsburgh always plays down to their level of competition, and there’s no way I could lay this many points with the current state of their offense. Even though they beat the Bears last week, they got convincingly outplayed by Chicago.

Falcons +8.5 over Cowboys

I took the Falcons last week, and they came through for me. Now I’m going right back to the well with Atlanta. The Falcons got off to a rough start, but that’s understandable considering they were implementing new schemes on both sides of the ball. They’re starting to hit a stride, and just torched the Saints’ stout defense.

Buccaneers -9.5 over Washington

Tampa’s defense is starting to get a lot healthier, and their offense has been one of the league’s best units this year. The only team that has even kind of slowed them down recently was New Orleans, and even then the Bucs scored 27 points. Tom Brady is going to have success against a disappointing Washington defense, and I don’t think Taylor Heinicke will be able to keep up. Washington scored just 10 points their last time out.

Vikings +3.5 over Chargers

The Vikings are a bit of a mess right now, but if there’s one thing they do it’s keep games close. They’ve already played in three overtime games, so getting more than a field goal here is too good to pass up. Los Angeles bounced back with a win over a mediocre Eagles team last week, but they had looked terrible in their previous two games.

Panthers +10 over Cardinals

It looks like Kyler Murray is going to miss this one, so give me the Panthers catching double digits. I wasn’t as impressed with Colt McCoy as everybody else last week, the 49ers just played terrible. I don’t see Arizona scoring much here against a very solid Panthers defense.

Computer picks

Jets +12.5 over Bills, Vikings +3.5 over Chargers, Seahawks +3.5 over Packers, Eagles +2.5 over Broncos, Chiefs -3 over Raiders

The computer and I are aligned on Minnesota. Other than that, we’re on different picks. Our model prefers the return of Russell Wilson to the return of Aaron Rodgers. The computer and I are both coming off weeks in which we went 2-3. Hopefully we both improve in Week 10…

2021 Season Results

Pickswise Expert (21-24)
Pickswise Computer (25-19-1)

Don’t forget to check out our free picks on the side and total for every NFL game. You can also view all of our computer picks here.

How are the pre-game win probabilities calculated?
The Pickswise supercomputer creates pre-game probabilities using machine learning techniques as inputs to a Monte Carlo approach. This means we simulate a sporting event 10,000 times, catering for the deep range of outcomes and probabilities within a given event. We first predict the performance of each individual player based on hundreds of algorithmic variabilities, which we use to run our event simulations.

Why do the win probabilities and predictions change over time?
The probabilities are dynamic in nature and get updated as new information becomes available. This includes but is not limited to team news, weather conditions, and moves in the betting market.

What does a ‘value bet’ mean?
A value bet is where we’ve identified that the probability of the event occurring is more likely than the listed sportsbook odds. Taking these bets gives you an increased chance of being a successful gambler.

How is the change in win probability calculated during a live game?
Live win probability is a statistical metric that projects the team’s likelihood of winning at any given point by simulating the remainder of the game. Based on the performance of historical teams in the same situation and the current state of the game, the model updates in real-time following every major event during the game.

Pickswise is the home of free NFL Picks and NFL Odds. Check out the latest NFL Prop Bets and NFL Parlays as well as expert NFL Underdog Picks and NFL Computer Picks.

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