NFL Supercontest Thoughts

In the last post I wrote about how I’m entering into a NFL Supercontest for this forthcoming season. Details if you want to enter too can be found here.

I mentioned that it’s unlikely that I would win the LVH, check out the resent stats:

LVH Supercontest

Picking 85 games and hitting 67%-72% is a combination of skill and luck. I would have thought that the entrance fee of $1500 would dissuade the dumb money. So you’re likely to have 1500 ‘smart’ contestants. And as there’s only 85 picks to be made, someone out of 1500 contestants is going to fluke a massive win total.

Obviously a 67%-72% win percentage against the spread (ATS) is totally unsustainable. Pro gamblers “only” hit about 54%-58%, and that’s obviously over a much large sample than 85 games.

So using some binomial distribution probability calculations: the chances of a 54% gambler having a win rate of 67% or above, over 85 games is 0.99%.

I’ve made a few assumptions there: I’ve excluded the chance of a push, and more importantly it’s not as if every bet ATS would have a 54% chance of winning

The question that I am wondering: what are my chances of winning the Supercontest that I am entering?

If there’s say 150 contestants, then my chances of winning are just 1/150. But that’s assuming each contestant is of equal skill.

My strike rate against the spread last season was 54%. Although I haven’t always had at least 5 picks per week, and I don’t bet that much till week 4 or 5 once I’ve got a better idea of the strengths of the teams.

So for arguments sake, if I predict 54% against the spread, what are my chances or finishing the Supercontest above a 50% gambler?



An important consideration is that in these Supercontests, once the line is released, it will not change. So if say the Broncos open up at -3. Then the next day Peyton Manning’s head falls off and the Broncos are now at +4 in the betting markets. The Supercontest line will still be at -3. And no matter how smart/dumb you are, you’ll be taking the other team at +3. So there’s no incentive to get your picks in early. You might as well wait to see if what the team news or weather is.

The only pressure I’ll put on myself is to finish above 50%, so that’s finishing with a score of 42.5 points. I’m looking forward to it!

Trivia Question of the Week

Last week time I asked:

During the open era who are the only 2 ladies to win the singles calendar Grand Slam (all four major tournaments in the same calendar year).

Margaret Court did it in 1970 and Steffi Graf did it in 1988. Graf also won the Olympic gold that year.

Maureen Connolly did it in 1953 but that was before the Open Era. Serena Williams has achieved the “Serena Slam” twice by holding all 4 majors simultaneously, but hasn’t won all 4 majors in the same calendar year (until she wins the US open in September).

New question:

Which sport is played on the largest playing field?

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