Every year during pro football season, I use a prediction program I wrote in C# to predict the outcomes of games. The prediction system is called Zoltar (as a reference to the fortune telling machine). Zoltar needs a numerical optimization module to determine the values of constants such as how much the home field advantage is worth.
There are many numerical optimization algorithms. Most are based on calculus derivatives (gradients) but some are modeled on the behavior of biological systems. This year I used an obscure algorithm called roach infestation optimization for Zoltar’s optimization module.
Without further ado, here are Zoltar’s predictions for week 5 of the 2015 NFL season:
Vegas Zoltar Favorite Spread Spread Underdog =================================================== Oct. 8 Indianapolis -1 -1 Houston Oct. 11 Tampa Bay -3 -6 Jacksonville Oct. 11 Buffalo -3 -4 Tennessee Oct. 11 Baltimore -7 -9 Cleveland Oct. 11 Atlanta -8 -7 Washington Oct. 11 Kansas City -10 -6 Chicago Oct. 11 Philadelphia -5 -6 New Orleans Oct. 11 Green Bay -10 -11 St. Louis Oct. 11 Cincinnati -1 -6 Seattle Oct. 11 Arizona -3 -1 Detroit Oct. 11 New England -8 -1 Dallas Oct. 11 Denver -6 -8 Oakland Oct. 11 NY Giants -7 -4 San Francisco Oct. 12 San Diego -3 -1 Pittsburgh
In all games, Zoltar agrees with the Las Vegas betting line. But there are three games that Zoltar identifies as betting opportunities.
1. Because Vegas says the Kansas City Chiefs will win by 10 or more points over the Chicago Bears, but Zoltar says the Chiefs will win by only 6 or more points, Zotar suggests betting on the underdog Bears. You’ll win if the Bears win the game, or if the Chiefs win, but by less than 10 points.
2. Zoltar says bet on the Cincinnati Bengals to beat the Seattle Seahawks by more than 1 point.
3. Zoltar says bet on the underdog Dallas Cowboys to beat the New England Patriots (or lose by fewer than 8 points).