You are a HUGE football fan. Every week you pick winners in an NFL pick-em' league. Somehow, all that fan experience doesn't translate into consistently winning your league. Perhaps you need a more systematic approach that takes some of the emotion out of it.
Where to start? Betting spreads provide a consistent and robust mechanism for encapsulating the variables and predicting outcomes of NFL games. In a weekly confidence pool, spreads also perform very well as opposed to intuition-based guessing and "knowledge" from years of being a fan.
Can we do better? In this talk, we will discuss an approach to use machine learning algorithms to make improvements on the spread method of ranking winners on a weekly basis as an exercise in winning your friendly neighborhood confidence pool.