NFL 2016 Week 16 Predictions – Zoltar Likes the Rams over the 49ers

Zoltar is my NFL prediction computer program. Here are Zoltar’s predictions for week 16 of the 2016 NFL season:

Zoltar:      giants  by    3  dog =      eagles    Vegas:      giants  by  2.5
Zoltar:       bills  by    1  dog =    dolphins    Vegas:       bills  by  3.5
Zoltar:     packers  by    5  dog =     vikings    Vegas:     packers  by    7
Zoltar:    patriots  by   15  dog =        jets    Vegas:    patriots  by 16.5
Zoltar:      titans  by    4  dog =     jaguars    Vegas:      titans  by  4.5
Zoltar:    redskins  by    4  dog =       bears    Vegas:    redskins  by  3.5
Zoltar:    chargers  by    4  dog =      browns    Vegas:    chargers  by  6.5
Zoltar:    panthers  by    5  dog =     falcons    Vegas:     falcons  by  3.5
Zoltar:     raiders  by    6  dog =       colts    Vegas:     raiders  by    4
Zoltar:  buccaneers  by    0  dog =      saints    Vegas:      saints  by    3
Zoltar:        rams  by    7  dog = fortyniners    Vegas:        rams  by  3.5
Zoltar:    seahawks  by    6  dog =   cardinals    Vegas:    seahawks  by  8.5
Zoltar:      texans  by    5  dog =     bengals    Vegas:      texans  by    2
Zoltar:    steelers  by    6  dog =      ravens    Vegas:    steelers  by    5
Zoltar:      chiefs  by    6  dog =     broncos    Vegas:      chiefs  by  4.5
Zoltar:     cowboys  by    6  dog =       lions    Vegas:     cowboys  by    7

Zoltar theoretically suggests betting when the Vegas line is more than 3.0 points different from Zoltar’s prediction. For week 16 Zoltar has just one suggestion, meaning that Zoltar and Las Vegas agree very closely this week.

1. Zoltar likes the Vegas favorite Rams against the 49ers. Zoltar thinks the Rams are 7.0 points better than the 49ers but Vegas says the Rams will win only by 3.5 points.

In week 15, Zoltar went a bad 3-5 against the Vegas point spread. It could have been worse except for a late change in the Vegas line for the Steelers-Bengals game.

For the season so far, Zoltar is 37-25 against the Vegas spread, for 60% accuracy. Historically, Zoltar is usually between 62% and 72% accuracy against the Vegas spread over the course of an entire season.

Theoretically, if you must bet $110 to win $100 (typical) then you’ll make money if you predict at 53% accuracy or better. But realistically, you need to predict at 60% accuracy or better.

Just for fun, I track how well Zoltar and Cortana/Bing Predictions do when just trying to predict just which team will win a game. This isn’t useful except for parlay betting.

In week 15, just predicting winners, Zoltar was a good 12-4. Cortana/Bing had the exact same predicted winners as Zoltar and so Cortana/Bing was also 12-4 just predicting winners.

For the season, just predicting winners, Zoltar is 152-70 (68% accuracy). Cortana/Bing is 140-82 (63% accuracy). There have been two ties this season, which I don’t include.

Note: Zoltar sometimes predicts a 0-point margin of victory. In those situations, to pick a winner so I can compare against Cortana/Bing, in the first four weeks of the season, Zoltar picks the home team to win. After week 4, Zoltar uses historical data for the current season (which usually ends up in a prediction that the home team will win).


A small part of the sports betting area at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas

Race and Sports Book interior at MGM Grand

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