Man vs Machine: Pickswise expert vs the computer model NFL Week 11 best bets

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Andrew Ortenberg


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I'm an NFL handicapper 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. For Andrew Ortenberg media enquiries, please email
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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

Colts +7 over Bills

The Bills are being overrated, as they’ve played one of the softest schedules in the league. They haven’t faced a ground game like Indy’s, and I expect the Colts to keep having success with Jonathan Taylor. The Colts’ offensive line wasn’t healthy early in the year, but now that it is it’s an absolute wrecking crew.

Vikings +2 over Packers

Minnesota is 4-5, but that’s highly misleading. If they hadn’t caught so many tough breaks, they could easily be a 7-2 team. The Vikings are getting healthier in their secondary, and they looked great defending Justin Herbert last week. Green Bay is without Aaron Jones, a massive blow to their offense.

Ravens -5 over Bears

If Lamar Jackson doesn’t play, we might as well tear up these tickets. But I think Jackson is going to play, and if he does the Ravens should dominate. Chicago’s defense has quietly been one of the worst in the league for weeks, and their offensive line won’t be able to handle the Ravens’ pressures.

Chargers -5.5 over Steelers

On paper this one should be a blowout. Pittsburgh has an extremely anemic offense, and their defense has been only middling. Now that defense will be playing without TJ Watt, Joe Haden and Minkah Fitzpatrick, arguably its three most important players. Justin Herbert should have a field day.

Giants +11 over Buccaneers

Give me the Giants on Monday Night Football. Daniel Jones always plays better on the road, and New York defensive coordinator Patrick Graham had a really good plan for Tom Brady when these teams played last year. The Bucs are coming off back-to-back losses, and are really banged up on defense.

Computer picks

Texans +10 over Titans, Lions +12.5 over Browns, Jaguars +6.5 over 49ers, Bengals -1.5 over Raiders, Cardinals +1.5 over Seahawks

The computer and I are on completely different games this week. Our machine isn’t too concerned about the potential absence of Kyler Murray, and it has full confidence in Colt McCoy. It’s also going with two double-digit ‘dogs in the Texans and Lions. The computer and I are both coming off weeks in which we went 3-2. Hopefully we both make it 5-0 in Week 11…

2021 season results

Pickswise Expert (24-26)
Pickswise Computer (28-21-1)

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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