NFL Predictions – Divisional Round

The article below gives our models’ predictions for divisional playoff matchups for the 2017 NFL season.

Win Probability and Spread Predictions

For each game, the table below shows our predicted win probability for the home team (284 Home Win Prob), the Vegas Spread, our predicted spread (284 Spread), and our predicted probability that the home team covers the Vegas Spread (284 Home Cover Prob). For the Home Win Prob predictions, figures below 50% predict that the away team will win. Note that all of these figures are from the perspective of the home team (e.g., -9 means the home team is favored by 9 points and +9 means the away team is favored by 9 points). For our 284 Home Cover Prob, figures above 50% point to the home team covering, while figures below 50% point to the away team covering. I would consider > 60%  a high mark (strongly favoring the home team) and < 40% a low mark (strongly favoring the away team). Note that each model is generated separately, so there will be games where the predictions don’t agree with each other. The point of having multiple models is to get different perspectives on the game, so focusing on games where all the models are in agreement is a good place to start. Last note: the 284 Home Cover Prob model is slightly more accurate than the 284 Spread model on historical predictions.

HomeAway284 Home
Win Prob
Vegas
Spread
284
Spread
284 Home
Cover Prob
PHIATL0.422.52.30.56
NETEN0.90-13.5-20.50.56
PITJAC0.79-7-9.30.60
MINNO0.77-5-9.30.77



Over/Under Predictions

For each game, the table below shows the Vegas Total, our predicted total (284 Total), and our probability that the game goes OVER the Vegas Total (284 Over Prob). For those who are not familiar, these “totals” represent the total points scored between both teams (e.g., if one team wins 24-20, the total for the game would be 44 points). For our over probabilities, figures above 50% point to an over, while figures below 50% point to an under. I would consider > 60%  a high mark (strongly favoring the over) and < 40% a low mark (strongly favoring the under). As a quick explanation of how to interpret these numbers: the Vikings/Saints Vegas total is currently 46.5 points, while our 284 Total is 49.9 points (favoring the over), and our 284 over probability is 46% (favoring the under). Based on historical predictions, our 284 Total prediction accuracy increases when it is 2 points different from Vegas’s Total, and our 284 Over Prob accuracy increases when probabilities are above 60% or below 40% (i.e.,  far enough away from 50/50), and the 284 Over Prob model is slightly more accurate than the 284 Total model on historical predictions. Most importantly, focus on games where both models agree with each over (i.e., they both favor the over or they both favor the under). Each model is generated differently, so they do not always agree with each other. If they are saying two different things, I wouldn’t feel too good about hammering the over.

HomeAwayVegas
Total
284
Total
284 Over
Prob
PHIATL4041.60.46
NETEN48.551.10.46
PITJAC4151.90.77
MINNO46.549.90.45

Updated 10 AM CT Sunday (1/14)

Model Accuracy Year-To-Date

Here is the accuracy of each of our NFL models for Week 1 – Week 18, with prediction accuracy graded against closing numbers:

  • 284 Win Prob: 178-82 (68%) – Last Week: 2-2
  • 284 Spread: 126-127 ATS (50%) – Last Week: 2-2
  • 284 Cover Prob: 126-127 ATS (50%) – Last Week: 1-3
  • 284 Total: 129-128 (50%) – Last Week: 1-3
  • 284 Over Prob: 132-125 (51%) – Last Week: 4-0