NFL Week 12

Week 12 is here already. Where is the season going?

Bet of the week for me is the Patriots at Denver. I’ve taken them -3 in the Supercontest and -2.5 with some actual money. New England is clearly still the best team and I’d take them to cover those points, despite Denver’s HFA, great defence and Brock Rottweiler at QB.

Yet again I’m opposing the Minnesota Vikings. Call me Mr Unimaginative but I’m taking Atlanta in a pick ’em at home to those lot. Even though I said last time Atlanta were the worst team with a winning record…

Biggest bet in terms of actual money is the Steelers at Seattle. They opened up +5.5, which was a stupid line. They’re +3.5 in the Supercontest, which I’ve taken as well and I’m on them on the ML at  3.0 (+200 US). Steelers are slightly underrated and Seattle are still overrated. Steelers are coming off a bye week, which as mentioned before has an advantage although not as much as what the betting market generally perceives. Pus Seattle have some injury concerns, notably Marshawn Lynch, even though he’s just a RB, he’s one of the very best.

Last Supercontest pick is the one I’m least happy with: Houston -3 at home to the Saints. It took me ages to decide on this last pick. Jets -3.5 at home to the Dolphins got some serious consideration, but in the end that’s clearly a square line, especially with Revis out. I like them to win outright, but I don’t like being the wrong side of a key number in this one. Arizona -10.5 at 49ers was another one, but I hate laying double digit road teams.


Supercontest Picks:

  • Panthers +1.5
  • Jets -3.5
  • Falcons (Pick ’em)
  • Steelers +3.5
  • Patriots -3

Proper bets:


  • Steelers +5.5
  • Cardinals -9.5
  • Patriots -2.5


  • Eagles Evens (+100 US)
  • Panthers Evens (+100)
  • Texans 1.72 (-139)
  • Jets 1.60 (-167)
  • Bills 3.25 (+225)
  • Steelers 3.0 (+200)

NFL Update

Week 11 was a steady week with the Supercontest selections going 3-2 again and the proper bets finished up with 1.94pts.

Week 12 is already off to a decent start, while I unfortunately backed Philly to win (they er, came second), I also had Carolina to win outright and +1.5 in the Supercontest.

While it’s easy to be wise after the event, Carolina were totally undervalued for me yesterday. The betting market must love Tony Romo, although after about 60 seconds yesterday Twitter was awash with these:

Romo TOs
“It’s still funny, every time” – said no one.

I’ve updated the NFL Power Rankings for the 2nd time this week after the 3 games yesterday. As we’re getting towards the business end of the season let’s have a look at who’s who:

Superbowl contenders

I think every single Power Rankings has the top 4 teams being:

  1. New England Patriots (33%)
  2. Arizona Cardinals (13%)
  3. Cincinnati Bengals (8%)
  4. Carolina Panthers (18%)

Maybe not in that order. The implied chances of winning the Superbowl are the percentages to the right, using the most common odds available. So the betting market believes that there is a 73% chance that the eventual Superbowl winners will be one of those 4. Anyone but the Patriots is fine with me because:

  • Tom Brady can be accurately be described as a “whiny lying bitch”.
  • The Patriots have won it too many times, so I’d like to see someone else win it.
  • The Patriots organisation as a whole lies somewhere between “doing anything to get an edge” and being a “bunch of dirty low-down cheating bastards”

The Patriots lead at the top of the rankings is the lowest it’s probably been since I started. There’s only about 2.5 points between them and the Cards now. Then around a point between each of the next 3 teams.

On the Panthers, after the first 4 games where they beat some of the worst teams by small margins I said:

“Their 4 wins have come against Jacksonville, Houston, New Orleans and Tampa Bay. Any average team could turn up with hangovers and severe diarrhoea all round and still be 4-0 after playing those lot”

A bit harsh in retrospect as they’ve still not lost a game! They’ve been climbing the rankings every week since.

One thing to note on the Panthers, their TO differential is the best in the league at +16. They’re winning the TO battle on average by 1.45 TOs a game! I doubt they’re going to have it this good for the rest of the season.

Best Team without a Winning Record

Kansas City Chiefs.

They’ve sneakily risen to 5th in the Rankings. They’ve currently played 4 home games and 6 on the road.: check out their remaining fixtures:

KC games

Easy. The best team they have left to play is the Bills this weekend. The rest are all below average. They can easily get to 9 wins and make the playoffs.

Worst Team with a Winning Record

Atlanta Falcons

It started so well for them going 5-0 and then they lost 4 of the next 5. Tampa Bay are the worst Team without a losing record. How the hell are they 5-5?!

Full NFL Week 12 post tomorrow.

NFL Week 11

Week 10 was a much improved week’s betting. Supercontest selections went 3-2 and the proper bets finished up with 2.43pts.

Lets look ahead to what madness the NFL season has for us this week:

Remember a few weeks ago when the Broncos hosted the Packers? Those were the days. Two undefeated teams. Two Superbowl contenders. Now those two teams are viewed with the same sort of disdain you look at your illegitimate ginger son. What the hell happened?

Well Green Bay have lost 3 straight games. The Mugs who used to say “Never bet against Aaron Rodger, bro” are probably saying the exact opposition now. Remember a couple of week ago in my Reflections post when I spoke of flukey wins? If you don’t remember or are late to the party here at Winners Win here it is:

Without taking into account team strength or who’s playing at home (yes I know these are both important) if a team has more offensive yards, and wins the TO battle they win 92.3% of the time!

Now check out the box score from the Packers Lions game last weekend:


If you just look at those stats you’d have to ask how in seven hells Green Bay lost! Yes I know it doesn’t show you the context during the course of the game, but 372-287 offensive yards and 1 TO to nil. 22-16 1st downs as well!

So the Packers now stand at 6-3 with one loss a flukey loss, and the Vikings are 7-2 with two flukey wins. Green Bay are the slight dogs in this game at +1. If they hadn’t managed to find a way to lose against the Lions they wouldn’t be +1, they’d be favoured by 3 points or so. Enough, first Supercontest pick is the Packers +1. Even though I’ve said that the Packers have been overrated for most of the season, people are too down on them now, and I still have the Vikings as being an average team (slightly above average now).

Next up: backing the Broncos. It’s always interesting to see how Superstars perform late into their 30s. Generally speaking, sportsmen’s performance gradually declines past their mid-twenties and some time past 30 it falls off a cliff. Peyton Manning’s performance has fallen off a cliff, and plummeted deep into the earth’s core where it is kept company by the performance of Kobe Bryant. I suppose when you’re had 17 neck surgeries, have no feelings in your finger tips and have a  torn plantar fascia it’s hard to play QB. Anyway in a lot of respects Manning has been amongst the very worst QBs in the league, which is weird, but true. To some extent, Denver are sitting at 7-2 in spite of him. So he’s out this weekend and is replaced by Brock Osweiler. You’re probably wondering who is Brock Osweiler, and why would any mother call their son ‘Brock’, but I make the line to be too much of an overreaction and am on the Broncos ML and +1 in the Supercontest.

3rd pick in the Supercontest is the weekly injury-related easy to make pick: Jets -2 at the Texans. Brian Hoyer will either be out, or start and obviously not be 100%.

4th pick is me putting my faith in a team that has burned me plenty this season: the Baltimore Ravens. -2 at home to the Rams is the right side of a key number, and more importantly value in my book. I even backed them outright to win the match. At the risk of repeating myself from weeks gone by: they’re better than their record, and have been very unlucky which is partly due to currently having the joint worst TO differential. They have only received 5 turnovers in their favour, which is the fewest in the league. The Rams struggle on offence and I doubt Case Keenum at QB will make much of a difference.

Final pick is Miami at a pick ’em at home to the Cowboys. Dallas have Romo back at QB which is the reason for the line. He hasn’t played for a long time and he’s not going to solve all of the Cowboys’ problems.

Other thoughts:

  • Backed the Patriots -7 at home to the Bills. Surprised this isn’t double digits. It isn’t as Julian Edelman is out. The Pats are still going to be awesome.
  • Arizona was a big winner for me last week, winning in Seattle. Barring an epic collapse they should go on to win their division and land me another winner. But I think the value is on the Bengals ML this weekend, odds of 3.00 or 2/1 or +200 or whatever you want to call it is too big considering how good Cincinnati are too.
  • All aboard the fickle Philly bandwagon! -5 at home to Tampa Bay. I still like Philly even with the Sanchez at QB, and Tampa are still a bad team.


Supercontest Picks:

  • Ravens -2
  • Jets -2
  • Miami (Pick ’em)
  • Denver +1
  • Green Bay +1

Proper bets:


  • Chiefs -3
  • Patriots -7
  • Eagles -5


  • Colts 3.30 (+230 US)
  • Redskins 4.00 (+300)
  • Broncos 1.90 (-111)
  • Raiders Evens (+100)
  • Bengals 3.00 (+200)
  • Green Bay Evens (+100)
  • Ravens 1.83 (-120)

NFL Week 10

…and Week 10 is already off to a bad start with the Jets losing mid-week against the Bills. I choose the Jets -2.5 in the Supercontest, they lost the TO battle 4-0 and lost to the returning Rex Ryan. Great.


Jets at -2.5 at home to the Bills is effectively saying that on a neutral field, this was a pick ’em. To me, that’s BS.

There’s plenty that I like this week… I’ve said that the last few weeks though…

Ok the bet of the week is the Steelers to beat the Browns. I’m on them ML, ATS (-4 ) and in the Superconest at -4.5. The Steelers really should have covered last week against Oakland, this week they’re against Johnny Manziel and the Browns. Johney Manziel currently has completed 51.8% of his passes this season. Smallish sample size warning, but he’s terrible. I think the Steelers are a little bit underrated as they’ve played a lot of matches without Big Ben, and they’re so much better with him at QB, as mentioned last week.

2nd best bet of the week IMO is another underrated team in the Arizona Cardinals at Seattle. Check out a recent post on the Cards for the reasons I’ve backed them outright to win this game, and also +3 in the Supercontest.

Dallas opened up at +2 at Tampa, I took that. Took them on the ML too. Dallas have lost their last 6 games, but let’s remember that they’re playing Tampa Bay this weekend. And Tampa Bay suck. Cowboys at +1.5 on the Supercontest too.

Final Supercontest pick was Kansas City +6 at Denver. +6 was definitely too high as it’s currently down to +4 on Pinnacle. I backed Kansas City ML early in the week at a massive price too.

Some ATS bets that were in the consideration for Supercontest picks were:

  • Patriots -7 at Giants. Looks like a Mug/Square pick on first glance. But I make that the Pats should be favoured by more even though they’re on the road as they’re just that good. Also check out the Giants TO differential: +12! So the limited success they’ve had this season is partially attributed to a totally unsustainable TO diff. And the Pats turn it over the least in the league.
  • Washington +1.5 at home to New Orleans. The Saints defence is just horrendous, the worst in the league.


Supercontest Picks:

  • Jets-2.5 FFS
  • Steelers -4.5
  • Cowboys+1.5
  • Chiefs +6
  • Cardinals +3

Proper bets:


  • Panthers -4.5
  • Steelers -4
  • Cowboys +2
  • Ravens -5.5
  • Redskins +1.5
  • Patriots -7
  • Rams -6.5


  • Cowboys 2.10 (+1.10 US)
  • Chiefs 3.75 (+2.75)
  • Arizona 2.5 (+1.50)
  • Steelers 1.45 (-222)


Ok, another bad week for me in the NFL, I went 1-4 in my Supercontest, while my actual bets went for a loss of 4.08 pts.

And how should I respond to these turn of events?

  • Throw my toys out of the pram, claim it’s a stupid game anyway and I’m taking no further part?
  • Stay calm as I’m “due a good week”
  • A period of reflection

Option 1 was pretty tempting. I don’t believe in the Gambler’s Fallacy so that rules out option 2. I think I’ll go with option 3.

Am I making square bets? Or am just on the receiving end of some bad variance?

Let’s have a look at my Supercontest picks this past week.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles -2.5 at Dallas Cowboys – Win

The only win this weekend, and it came in overtime.

  1.  Chargers -4 v Chicago Bears – Loss

The Bears were the better team and deserved to win, no arguments here on that one.

Now check out these next results

  1.  New York Jets -6.5 v Jacksonville Jaguars – Loss

While the Jaguars did have 146 more offensive yards, they turned it over 4 times more than the Jets. The Jets didn’t turn it over at all and still “only” won by 5 points.

  1.  Pittsburgh Steelers -4 v Oakland Raiders – Loss

This one’s even worse: The Steelers had 157 more offensive yards and had 2 less TOs than the Raiders, yet they only won by a last second FG.

  1. St. Louis Rams +1.5 at Minnesota Vikings – Loss

The way things are going, if I oppose the Vikings every week, they’ll end up winning the SuperBowl! This was the biggest shafting of the weekend. Check out the stats: The Rams had more offensive yards and won the turnover battle, yet still managed to lose the game.


Do you know how rare that is?

Without taking into account team strength or who’s playing at home (yes I know these are both important) if a team has more offensive yards, and wins the TO battle they win 92.3% of the time!

This is only the 3rd such game this season. The first was the Colts beating the Jags in week 4, and then in week 6 when the Minnesota Lucky Bastards Vikings beat Kansas City. I’ve been saying for a few weeks that the Vikings are average/overrated, they’re very fortunate to be 6-2, they’ve had 2 victories that using some broad stats suggest they should lose 92.3% of the time.

BUT the above is looking at the outcomes rather than the process.

Pointing at the Vikings’ lucky victory isn’t the best argument to make to say that Rams +1.5 was a good bet. (By good I mean +EV). There’s a range of possible outcomes. It’s not as if Minnesota fluking a victory in that fashion was the only outcome that could have happened. I’m positive that out of all the possible outcomes, betting St Louis +1.5 would be a winner the majority of the time.

While I assure you that my numbers said that my picks were value, I’m not going to run you through them to check my maths. But we can compare the lines I chose compared to the closing line at Pinnacle. The closing lines at Pinnacle will be very close to the true probability. Beat the closing lines at Pinnacle, and you’re doing well.

Supercontest Picks:

  • Rams +1.5 (Closed +1.5)
  • Steelers -4 (-5.5)
  • Eagles-2.5 (-3)
  • Jets -6.5 (-7)
  • Chargers -4 (-4)

Proper bets:


  • Bills -3 (-4)
  • Steelers -4.5 (-5.5)
  • Giants -2.5 (-1.5)
  • Eagles-3 (-3)
  • Chargers -4 (-4)
  • Jets -7 (-7)
  • Denver -3.5 (-4)
  • Atlanta -4.5 (-7.5)


  • Rams 2.20 (2.11)
  • Panthers 2.20 (2.15)

The only play that was worse than the closing line was the Giants, and that was one of the few winners! As I mentioned before, +EV bets are not guaranteed winners. I’ve had a bad few weeks on the NFL and I’m down, but over a much larger sample of the last few seasons, I’m up.

It’s time to employ a stiff upper lip and carry on.