Man vs Machine: Pickswise expert vs the computer model NFL Week 6 best bets

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Andrew Ortenberg

NFL

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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

Chiefs -6.5 over Washington

Everyone is ready to hop off the Chiefs’ bandwagon, but the panic has turned into an overreaction. Kansas City just happened to lose to the Ravens, Chargers and Bills, three of the best teams in the entire league. The offense has still been beyond elite, and they should have a field day against a Washington defense that’s been quite porous.

Vikings -2.5 over Panthers

I love the Vikings this week. Minnesota is one of the most underrated teams in the league, and they easily could be 5-0 if a few balls had bounced their way. The Panthers are starting to fall apart, and it’s clear their 3-0 start wasn’t legit; they just had the benefit of playing both the Texans and Jets early on.

Chargers +3 over Ravens

Lamar Jackson’s performance last week was truly incredible, but it was against a Colts pass defense that had already been really bad and then suffered further injuries. Baltimore is on a short week and coming off an overtime emotional victory, so this is a prime letdown spot.

Giants +8 over Rams

Plug your nose and bet the Giants here. Quietly, Daniel Jones has been having a very nice season and has made a ton of progress. The Rams are being a bit overrated, and now is the time to sell high at the top of their market perception. Sterling Shepard will also return for New York, helping to offset some of their other injuries.

Broncos -4.5 over Raiders

I liked the Broncos this week well before the Raiders’ scandal hit. Denver just matches up well against them. Las Vegas’ offensive line is a complete mess, and now it is facing a pass-rush anchored by future Hall of Famer Von Miller. Derek Carr will be running for his life, and on the road that’s a recipe for disaster.

Computer picks

Jaguars +3 over Dolphins, Packers -6 over Bears, Washington +6.5 over Chiefs, Cardinals +3.5 over Browns, Seahawks +5 over Steelers

The computer and I aren’t on any of the same sides this week. This hasn’t happened much so far, but we’re actually on one opposing side. I’m on the Chiefs while the computer is on Washington. Our model is also going with the Jaguars, Packers, Cardinals, and Seahawks to round out their selections. After going 1-4 last week, I’ve now fallen to 14-11 on the year. The computer held steady at like 2-2-1 last week, and they’re now at 15-9-1. It’s a tight race, now let’s see if I can take the lead in Week 6….

2021 Season Results

Pickswise Expert (14-11)
Pickswise Computer (15-9-1)

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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