After an offseason of tirelessly working on improving our already-successful model, we’re ready to unveil our picks for Week 1. Improvements include adjusting for nonlinearities in yards gained per play, doing a better job of distinguishing luck from skill in turnovers, and using a more sophisticated (and Bayesian!) method of adjusting for opponent. The other big improvement is that we now are able to better distinguish the value-added from a QB from the team’s offense as a whole. This will greatly help us in dealing with QB injuries midseason. We think these changes will make our ratings even more accurate this year.
In general, for every point differential between the Massey-Peabody line and the actual game line, we predict a 1.6% increase in probability of covering the spread. This means that we expect a game with a 5-point edge to cover 58% of the time, while a 2 point edge will cover 53.2% of the time. Here are this week’s picks. Lines reflect the widely available line as of 2:45 pm EDT, available at at least two of the following books: Pinnacle, Bookmaker, 5Dimes.
- Jacksonville +3.5 vs. Kansas City [MP= -2.4]
- Oakland +10 at Indianapolis [MP= +5.4]
- San Diego +3.5 vs. Houston [MP= -1.1]
- Washington -3.5 vs. Philadelphia [MP= -7.2]
- Minnesota +5 at Detroit [MP= +1.2]
- Carolina +3.5 vs. Seattle [MP= +0.4]
- Green Bay +4.5 at San Francisco [MP= +1.9]