NFL Algo Picks for Week 16

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By Gerry Love - SPM Staff

We’re getting back on the horse.

For the past 15 years we have continued to develop an algorithm that predicts the results of NFL, NBA and MLB games. During that time, we have compiled quite a track record for ourselves; picks that our software determined had a win probability of 65 percent or better have made our high-end clients thousands of dollars annually with a return on investment well above any other more conventional investment options.

We have been very selective over the years, providing our investor-level clients only with games that met specific criteria. We might go two or three weeks without providing a pick, but the picks we gave them were accurate nearly 65 percent of the time and proved to be a safe and lucrative investment option for them.

In recent years, we began studying how the selections that our software determined to be strong picks, but not quite at the level of what we would be comfortable giving to our clients, performed. Over time we found that those picks also were correct more than 60 percent of the time. With a lot more free time on our hands during quarantine, we took an even deeper dive and looked at all of our program’s picks that had better than a 55 percent win probability. Those picks also have been remarkably accurate, and we started tracking them in December while also adding NCAA football and basketball to our repertoire.

The results have been amazing:

Results of 55%-plus Win Probability Straight-Bet Picks – December 2020

NCAA Basketball 24-14 53% Up 6.65 units

NCAA Football 14-5 74% Up 7.55 units

NFL 12-4 75% Up 7.5 units

Overall 50-23 68% Up 21.7 units

So, as we continue to tweak and study our formulas and numbers, we wanted to start making some more information available to the public while we determine how we are going to market and sell this valuable data. We are creating packages and a new website so that we can begin selling our picks and information and help making YOU money.

In the meantime, below is a taste of the information we have for you in the NFL this week. The games in our breakdown below were determined to be 55 percent or better win probabilities by our algorithm based on the early lines.

Please take a look. We will have more information available about daily, weekly and monthly packages that can be purchased in the very near future.

NFL Week 16 Early Line 55% or Better Win Probability

Washington Football Team -2.5 vs. Carolina Panthers – Sunday, 4:05 p.m.

WFT is home but has had a week of turmoil with the Dwayne Haskins strip-club situation and trying to determine if Alex Smith and Antonio Gibson would be able to play. The good news for us and you is that the line is now -1, but we still don’t know if Smith and Gibson will play. WFT is more likely to succeed with Smith and without Gibson than vice versa as Haskins cannot be counted on. With Smith and Gibson playing at 100% this would be a no-brainer pick at -1 as WFT can clinch the NFC Least this week with a win and Giants loss. At full strength, Washington is better and would be a recommended pick. Smith was a full participant in Friday’s practice. Gibson was limited. Keep an eye on this one and make your decision accordingly, but there is no way of knowing how close to full strength these players will be. WFT’s defense gives them a chance every week, so they can win even without the injured players, but it’s not something we would recommend taking a chance on if those players are not in the lineup. Washington is 8-5-1 vs. the spread this year and Carolina is 8-6, and Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater has been very successful in his career as an underdog.

Chicago Bears -7.5 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars – Sunday 1 p.m.

This line has held steady at -7.5 throughout the week after initially opening at -3.5. Early on Chicago was getting all of the money at the sportsbooks, but now at the inflated spread, the big money and sharp money has been all over Jacksonville. This line is heading back toward -7 at most books with Jacksonville having done a good job most of the year covering large numbers. Obviously at the original number of -3.5 we would have loved this, but above the key number of 7 it’s a definite pass. However, monitor the line and if it gets below 7 the Bears might be worth a look. Chicago is 6-8 ATS this season, while the Jags are 7-6-1. No real edge there. Jacksonville is home, so them playing in the Chicago wind and cold will not be an issue. Gardner Minshew definitely gives Jacksonville its best chance at QB, but do the Jags really want to win with Trevor Lawrence on the line? They will compete and likely not win. This is a great game to look at as half of a potential two-team teaser, dropping the Bears down to -1. As I’m typing this, Mike Glennon has been announced as the starting QB for Jacksonville. With 91 percent of the money so far on the Jags at the inflated line, it might be time to quickly jump on the Bears.

Dallas Cowboys +1.5 vs. Philadelphia Eagles – Sunday 4:25 p.m.

A Dallas win at home keeps the team’s NFC Least title hopes alive and eliminates the Eagles. An Eagles victory keeps both teams’ hopes alive, although they both could be eliminated with a WFT victory over Carolina. So, they both have something to play for, and both teams have been playing better of late. The Eagles have received a jolt from exciting rookie QB Jalen Hurts, while Dallas’ defense has improved (it had to), and the Cowboys have gotten steady play at QB from Andy Dalton. Tony Pollard also stepped up with a big game at RB last week with Zeke Elliott hurting and continuing to have a subpar season. This line initially was a pick ‘em but has moved all the way to -2.5 in favor of the Eagles. That seems to be a good sign for us given that our initial pick of Dallas +1.5 had better than a 55 percent win probability. Dallas is 8-6 vs. the spread this season, while Philly is 6-8, and frankly the Eagles right now are playing just well enough to lose close ones. We think Dallas has the potential to be a top underdog money-line selection this week. The public has been all over the Eagles in terms of bets and money, but with the line at 2.5 that has started to shift back toward the Cowboys.

Baltimore Ravens -9.5 vs. N.Y. Giants – Sunday 1 p.m.

The Giants have to win at Baltimore to stay alive in the NFC Least race, but the Ravens have to win to keep their AFC wildcard hopes alive and have been playing with a purpose the last two weeks. The coaching staff has turned Lamar Jackson’s legs loose more than earlier in the season, and that has opened up the passing game with Marquise Brown picking up his production in recent weeks as Jackson and J.K. Dobbins have been effective on the ground. The Ravens are 9-5 ATS, while the fading Giants are 5-9. New York was considered the NFC Least favorite after an upset of the Seahawks on the road three weeks ago, but they have not been competitive in losses the past two weeks with starting QB Daniel Jones dealing with an injury and not in the lineup full time. This line has moved away from us to -10.5, and we never like to go above that key number of 10 when -9.5 was the original high-probability selection. We like the Ravens as a potential teaser pairing.

Cleveland Browns -9.5 vs. N.Y. Jets – Sunday 1 p.m.

Ever since losing a heartbreaking thriller to the Ravens the Browns have been playing with a chip on their shoulder and now have 10 wins for the first time in who knows how many years and are actually looking at possibly playing for the AFC North title in Week 17 if the Steelers’ recent skid continues. Baker Mayfield has been outstanding over the last month, and Cleveland’s two-headed running monster of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt is the best in the NFL. Unfortunately, the Browns’ defense is not strong, but their ability to grind the clock and possess the ball gives them a chance every week if Mayfield doesn’t throw interceptions. The one-win Jets have been playing much better of late, too, having knocked off the Rams in one of the NFL’s biggest upsets in many years last week after almost beating the Raiders a few weeks back. Sam Darnold is trying to prove that he is the QB of the future, and Adam Gase is trying to hold onto his job. The over may be in play here with two bad defenses, and the line has held steady. As long as it stays under 10, Cleveland is worth strong consideration. The Browns are 6-8 vs. the spread, while New York is 5-9.

Arizona Cardinals -3.5 vs. San Francisco 49’ers – Saturday 4:30 p.m.

This line has moved to -5.5 with C.J. Beathard starting at QB for a San Francisco team that is playing on the road but also at its new temporary home. Kyler Murray has turned it up a notch after there were whispers that he had been playing injured, and DeAndre Hopkins continues to be elite at WR. Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds provide a strong RB duo against a still-solid 49’ers defense. San Francisco has a deep group of RBs, many of whom have been and continue to be injured, and rookie Brandon Aiyuk is an emerging star at WR. The 49’ers also get a boost with All-Pro TE George Kittle back in the lineup for limited snaps, but will it be enough? At -3.5 Arizona was a great pick. At 5.5 it still may be a solid selection, but this line seems likely to move to 6 at which point we might pass. If it goes to 6, 6.5 or 7, look at the Cardinals as part of a two-team teaser.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -9.5 vs. Detroit Lions – Saturday 1:00 p.m.

Matthew Stafford continues to battle through injuries to keep his team in games, but the Lions’ playoff hopes are long gone and right now guys are playing to impress whoever might come in to be the head coach next season. Tom Brady and the Bucs have picked up their play of late with big wins against the Vikings and Falcons the past two weeks, both of the come-from-behind variety, as they strive to grab the No. 5 NFC playoff seed. This spread has jumped to 11.5, and while Tampa has a good enough defense to turn this into a rout, Detroit and Stafford are the masters of garbage-time points and backdoor covers. Also, the Bucs often seem to just do enough to win. At the current number, Detroit might actually be a better pick at this point, but it looks like there is some buy back on the Lions right now and the line could move back toward Tampa. If you like the Lions, get it while you can! Otherwise, maybe take a pass on this one.

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