I wrote a computer program called Zoltar that predicts the results of NFL football games. For the season, through week 12, in head-to-head predictions, meaning just predicting the winner of a game (which isn’t really useful), Zoltar has gone 138-39 for 78% accuracy. Bing Predictions is 111-65 for 63% accuracy.
Zoltar’s point spread predictions for week 13 of the 2015 NFL season are:
Zoltar favorite = lions by 0 underdog = packers Zoltar favorite = bills by 0 underdog = texans Zoltar favorite = bears by 6 underdog = fortyniners Zoltar favorite = bengals by 12 underdog = browns Zoltar favorite = dolphins by 0 underdog = ravens Zoltar favorite = vikings by 0 underdog = seahawks Zoltar favorite = panthers by 5 underdog = saints Zoltar favorite = giants by 5 underdog = jets Zoltar favorite = titans by 0 underdog = jaguars Zoltar favorite = cardinals by 5 underdog = rams Zoltar favorite = buccaneers by 4 underdog = falcons Zoltar favorite = chiefs by 4 underdog = raiders Zoltar favorite = broncos by 5 underdog = chargers Zoltar favorite = patriots by 11 underdog = eagles Zoltar favorite = steelers by 4 underdog = colts Zoltar favorite = redskins by 0 underdog = cowboys
Notice that six of the predictions are a tie game. When this happens, just in order to calculate a head-to-head winning percentage, Zoltar uses its internal ratings to predict the winner. I used to make Zoltar predict the home team as winner when the predicted margin of victory is 0, but using the internal ratings gives more accurate predictions.
Zoltar’s predictions are close to the Las Vegas point spreads, but there are 5 games where Zoltar sees a theoretical betting opportunity:
* Zoltar says the Lions and Packers are evenly matched but Vegas says the Packers are favored by 3.5 so Zoltar recommends betting on the Vegas underdog Lions.
* Zoltar says the Bengals will win by 12 over the Browns but Vegas says the Bengals will win only by 7, so Zoltar recommends betting on the Vegas favorite Bengals.
* Zoltar says the Dolphins and Ravens are evenly matched but Vegas says the Dolphins will win by 4.5, so Zoltar recommends betting on the Vegas underdog Ravens.
* Zoltar says the Giants will win by 5 over the Jets but Vegas says the Jets will win by 2, so Zoltar recommends betting on the Vegas underdog Giants.
* Zoltar says the Redskins and Cowboys are evenly matched but Vegas says the Redskins are favored by 4 so Zoltar recommends betting on the Vegas underdog Cowboys.