Man vs Machine: Pickswise expert vs the computer model NFL Week 12 best bets

Washington Football Team
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Andrew Ortenberg

NFL· 1 month ago

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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

Giants +4 over Eagles

This line is an overreaction to the Giants having one terrible game on Monday Night Football, and the Eagles stringing together a few wins over bad teams. There is just no reason for Philly to be this large of a road favorite here. Jalen Hurts might finally be asked to do something as a passer here, which is bad news for the Eagles.

Panthers -2 over Dolphins

I put the Dolphins in a similar category as the Eagles. They’ve strung together a few recent wins, but I’m still highly skeptical. They didn’t look too impressive last week against the Jets. Carolina’s defense is playing at a really high level, and shouldn’t have much trouble pressuring Tua Tagovailoa against this incredibly weak Miami offensive line.

Falcons -2 over Jaguars

Plug your nose and take the Falcons. Atlanta’s market perception is at an all-time low. The offense struggled mightily last week, but that was against an elite New England defense. Now they have had extra time to prepare and get to face a lifeless Jaguars team.

Rams -2 over Packers

I refuse to bet any team that isn’t -2. I’m kidding, but I do like the Rams this week. Green Bay’s defense was never as good as it seemed, and it got exposed by the Vikings last week. Jalen Ramsey will neutralize Davante Adams, and the Rams should have some success running the ball with Darrell Henderson.

Washington +1 over Seahawks

I’m not going to stop fading the Seahawks until oddsmakers catch up. This line indicates that the Seahawks are considered a significantly better team on a neutral field. I just don’t see how that’s based in reality. Their offense is in shambles, while Washington has quietly been playing much better on both sides of the ball of late.

Computer picks

Jets +2.5 over Texans, Buccaneers -3 over Colts, Vikings +3 over 49ers, Packers +2 over Rams, Washington +1 over Seahawks

The computer and I are on a couple of the same games this week. We’re on opposite sides of Rams vs Packers, but we both like Washington. Our system clearly is skeptical of the 49ers, since they were on the Jaguars last week and now the Vikings. It picked up a big win with the Texans +10 last week, but now it’s fading Houston this week. I went 2-3 last week, while the computer was an impressive 4-1. Hopefully we both make it 5-0 in Week 12….

2021 season results

Pickswise Expert (26-29)
Pickswise Computer (32-22-1)

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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