NFL 2015 Week 12 Predictions – Zoltar Recommends Four Underdogs

Predicting NFL football games is a really fascinating problem. I wrote a program called Zoltar that does just that. For the season, Zoltar is 68% accurate against the Vegas point spread. When picking only the winner of a game, Zoltar is currently 117 correct and 43 wrong = 73% accuracy. Microsoft Bing is 101 correct and 59 wrong = 63% accurate.


Zoltar’s point spread predictions for week 12 of the 2015 NFL season are:

Zoltar favorite =       lions  by    4  underdog =      eagles
Zoltar favorite =    panthers  by    3  underdog =     cowboys
Zoltar favorite =     packers  by   11  underdog =       bears
Zoltar favorite =     falcons  by    0  underdog =     vikings
Zoltar favorite =     bengals  by   11  underdog =        rams
Zoltar favorite =       colts  by    6  underdog =  buccaneers
Zoltar favorite =      texans  by    6  underdog =      saints
Zoltar favorite =     jaguars  by    0  underdog =    chargers
Zoltar favorite =      chiefs  by    5  underdog =       bills
Zoltar favorite =        jets  by    0  underdog =    dolphins
Zoltar favorite =      titans  by    0  underdog =     raiders
Zoltar favorite =    redskins  by    0  underdog =      giants
Zoltar favorite =   cardinals  by    5  underdog = fortyniners
Zoltar favorite =    seahawks  by    2  underdog =    steelers
Zoltar favorite =     broncos  by    0  underdog =    patriots
Zoltar favorite =      ravens  by    1  underdog =      browns

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 predicts the home team will win.

Zoltar’s predictions are close to the Las Vegas point spreads, but there are four games where Zoltar sees a theoretical opportunity:

* Zoltar says the Lions will win by 4 over the Eagles but Vegas says the Eagles are favored by 1 so Zoltar recommends betting on the Vegas underdog Lions.

* Zoltar says the Jaguars and Chargers are evenly matched but Vegas says the Jaguars will win by 4 so Zoltar recommends betting on the Vegas underdog Chargers.

* Zoltar says the Cardinals will win by 5 over the 49ers but Vegas says the Cardinals will win by 10, so Zoltar recommends betting on the Vegas underdog 49ers.

* Zoltar says the Ravens will win by 1 over the Browns but Vegas says the Browns will win by 2.5, so Zoltar recommends betting on the Vegas underdog Ravens. (There’s a key injury to the Ravens quarterback that Zoltar discounts).

Update Tuesday, 12/01/2015: In week 12, Zoltar went 4-0 against the Vegas point spread (Lions beat the Eagles 45-10; Chargers beat the Jaguars 31-25; Cardinals beat the 49ers but only by 6 points, 19-13; Ravens beat the Browns 33-27 on a fluke play).

In just head-to-head (meaning only predicting the winner, which isn’t very useful), Zoltar went a very good 12-4.

This entry was posted in Machine Learning. Bookmark the permalink.