The 2021 NFL regular season gets started on Thursday night. But there’s still plenty of time to get in all your futures bets. What if I told you that here at Pickswise we’ve come up with a computer model that can do most of the work for you?
The Pickswise data science team has built a robust predictive machine learning model that makes use of a proprietary dynamic rating system to predict outcomes for the upcoming NFL season. The model analyzes various in-house metrics, and also factors in situational spots such as rest weeks, home advantage, and time-zone differentials.
After simulating the 2021 season 10,000 times and comparing each outcome’s probabilities to current consensus market prices, the model has picked its best and worst spots for value. Let’s dive into those spots:
Pickswise computer model’s best and worst Super Bowl value bets
Our model thinks the Packers have the most value at their current price, followed closely by the Saints. The computer gives Green Bay a 9.93% chance to win it all, while their current betting odds imply a win probability of 6-7%. Meanwhile, it’s got New Orleans winning the Super Bowl 6.06% of the time.
The Saints’ current odds are around 35/1, which implies a win probability of only 2.8%. That means the computer thinks there’s a few points of free value on both the Packers and Saints at their respective prices. Those teams may or may not surprise you, but who the computer has as the worst value definitely will.
Believe it or not, the model says the Chiefs have the least value of any team. Kansas City has odds around +600, which would be a win probability of around 14%, but our model gives them only an 8.98% chance to get Patrick Mahomes another ring. Clearly our computer isn’t buying the hype around the Chiefs’ new-look offensive line.
The Browns, another of the AFC’s most popular picks, are the next least valuable team according to our projections. Cleveland is as low as +1600 at many shops, which would be an expected win probability of around 6.0%. The Pickswise model says they only have a 2.43% chance of winning the Super Bowl. Our numbers aren’t budging in the face of all the Baker Mayfield hype carrying over from last year.
Best and worst season win totals
Looking away from the Super Bowl now, our Pickswise model also has projections on season win totals for all 32 teams. The computer thinks the Washington Football Team have the most value… but on the under. Washington’s win total is set at 8.5, and our model gives the under 8.5 a 72.4% chance of cashing.
Clearly, our computer thinks the NFC East isn’t going to be quite as pitiful as it was last year. It’s fair to point out that even with the NFC East being the worst division in football, Washington managed to go only 7-9 last year despite their talented defense. Another value under bet is on the Jaguars under 6.5 wins. Our model gives Urban Meyer’s team a 74.3% chance of winning fewer than 6.5 games, but that’s less value than on Washington since to go under on the Jags you have to lay some significant juice.
As for the best over bet? The Pickswise computer thinks it’s the Texans at 4.5, as crazy as that might sound. Our numbers give Houston a 55.7% chance to win more than 4.5 games, and you can get that over at +120 or better. Clearly our model thinks that months of the public and media bashing the Texans has created some value in the opposite direction. It’s a fair hypothesis, and I can’t wait to see who is right. There are only a couple of days left until the Cowboys play the Buccaneers. And don’t forget to check out our free full game preview for that one, with picks on the side and total.