2016 NFL Week 3 Picks


First week in the SuperContest was poor, going 2/5, but last week was worse, going 1/5. I was feeling really good about my picks at kickoff too!

It’s pretty disappointing to only have 3 points, but it is only after 2 weeks. I usually write my NFL post on Saturdays, but I’m busy all weekend so I’m getting it out early.

I’ve only got one bet placed prior to kickoff, that’s on the Vikings at Carolina. I’ve found it a lot easier to spot value in play during the early part of the season so far.

Supercontest picks:

Buffalo Bills +4

This is Arizona’s first away game, and it’s outside in the cold at Buffalo. After only 2 weeks people overreacts to results, and the NFL is really random, and some teams have only played at home or away.

Arizona are currently 7-0 in turnovers which is unsustainable so some immediate reversion towards the mean would be appreciated!

New York Giants -4.5

The Giants are 2-0 despite being 0-4 in TOs. This is Washington’s first away game. I watched them last week and I wasn’t impressed.

Tennessee Titans -1.5

I’m making this pick as Oakland have given up approximately 5000+ yards in each of the first 2 games.

Update: I changed this pick last minute to Chicago +7.5, which was +6.5 on Pinnacle at the time whilst Tenn had drifted to +1.

Baltimore Ravens 0

This isn’t a pick’em game. The Ravens should be given up points.

Cincinnati Bengals -3.5

I’m not put off by the number, although I don’t know what I’m thinking taking 3 home favourites in a week! If we just look at the stats: Denver fluked a victory over the Panthers in week 1, and the Bengals were unlucky to lose to the Steelers last week. First home game for Cinci, first away game for Denver. I think Cinci is the better team and the spread should be a little higher.

2016 NFL Week 2 Picks


Trigger warning: this blogpost references the actual name of a professional football team in Washington. If “offensive” words on the Internet hurt your feelings, please find a safe space and sort your life out.  

Week 2 in the NFL is usually referred to as “overreaction week”. After the first game all the talking heads are quick to claim that one win proves that Team X has what it takes to reach the SuperBowl, or Team Y’s loss shows they are terrible and should sack their coach etc. Basically, more rubbish than usual is being spouted.

I’ve only backed Kansas & the Browns ML prior to kickoff. Last week I had more bets placed in play than prior to kickoff, so that will likely be the case again this Sunday.

Supercontest picks:

Seattle Seahawks -4.5

There’s wasn’t a betting line released for this game until late this week due to injury concerns over Russell Wilson. The Supercontest line released on Wednesday had the Seahawks -4.5. That line does not change. On Pinnacle it’s currently -7. I spoke about stale lines a few times last season. Taking Seahawks -4.5 is an easy pick to make. I’m sure that plenty of people in my league won’t make that pick, a couple may even choose the Rams. If it was late in the season and I was a few points off the top I would probably take the Rams from a game theory point of view. But in week 2 I’m playing it safe.

Cleveland Browns +6.5

Prior to Wednesday most bookies had the Browns at +7. I was hoping for that in the Supercontest. Unfortunately I’ve been done out of that important half point. Thanks LVH.

Last week I mentioned injuries can be overrated. RG3 isn’t that good, him being replaced by Josh McCown doesn’t make that much difference. I don’t think that the Ravens should be favoured by this many points. Although I am concerned that they kept Buffalo to only 160 yards of offence last week. Which is impressive despite it being against the Bills.

Kansas City Chiefs +3

Last season my final power rankings had the Chiefs ranked 4th overall, while the Texans were 15th. They were a far superior team last season and I would have expected the Chiefs to be clear favourites at Houston. This season they’re getting 3 points which is a big change so I’m going to oppose that.

Washington Redskins -2.5

“Did you just say “Redskins” instead of “Washington Football Team””?!!

I’m taking a home favourite. I don’t do that very often, as I think it’s the hardest spot to find value. However I think this is a good number and I have full confidence in Captain Kirk Cousins to guide them to victory…by more than 2.5 points.

San Francisco 49ers +3

Ok last and with the least conviction. I was going to go with the Jags +3 at San Diego… but I’ve gone for the 49ers +13.5 at Carolina. I’m just taking a punt on the 49ers not being as bad as the general betting public expects based on them beating the Rams 28-0 last week. Obviously the Rams are a bad team, I’m not sure how bad they are yet. But the 49ers comfortably beat them.

So are we to assume that the Rams are horrendous, the 49ers are better than them but still a bad enough team to justify being a 13.5 point underdog to Carolina?

I’m sceptical of that. 13.5 points is a lot, I’ll take it.

2016 NFL Week 1 Picks

Well it’s finally here, the first NFL Sunday of the season.

I don’t start fully betting on the NFL till week 4 or 5, when there’s more information to go on. Betting in week 1 is tough, looking at the prior season , pre-season and market expectations for this season…or just sticking your finger in the air. I’ve got small ML bets on the following dogs: Bears, Dolphins & Patriots. With the Patriots the only one which has moved against me.

I’ve got to make 5 Supercontest picks, so here they are:

Atlanta Falcons-2.5

A home team the right side of a key number, when both teams are projected to win 7.5 games.

New York Jets +2.5

The Jets have since moved to +1. This is probably the pick I’m least happy with, it is the Jets after all!

Jacksonville Jaguars +5.5

Jags are projected to be decent this season, and are generally unfancied while everyone expects great things from Green Bay. The public are firmly on Green Bay, unsurprisingly, while sharps have bets the Jags to +4.5.

Chicago Bears +6

The only away team I’m on this week. I don’t think Houston are that much better than the Bears.

New Orleans -1.5

This game has the highest total of the weekend. So I’m going to side with Brees at home to cover these points.

Looking at Rest in the 2016 NFL Season

Long-time readers of Winners Win will recall a similar post prior to the start of the 2015 season. To refresh your memory click here:


I showed how the Seattle Seahawks had a very tough schedule in terms of the rest between games compared to their opponents. Over the whole season they had a total of 22 days less rest from the previous game compared to their opponent. The win total for the Seahawks last season was 11 wins, they ended up a record of 10-6…so you heard that here first, obviously.

Ok, so let’s have a look at this season’s schedule.

As before I’m calculating the difference in days rest for each game of the season. For example:

  • The Broncos play on Thursday
  • The Colts play on Sunday
  • The Broncos host the Colts on the Sunday of week 2.
  • Therefore the Broncos will have 3 extra days rest for this game than the Colts.

I’ve set all week 1 fixtures to 0 difference in days’ rest, so I’ve ignored preseason games. And I’m not taking into account accumulative days’ rest. For each fixture, I’m just looking at the last time each team played. Looking at the total difference in days’ rest each team has compared to their opponents over the whole season, we get this:


Arizona and Philly have the toughest schedule in terms of rest difference, with 14 days less rest than their opponents over the course of the season. Green Bay are at the opposite end with 12 days more rest than their opponents.

Rest matters. I calculated that a team with 6+ extra days rest to their opponents is 2.5% more likely to win (wide confidence intervals though). More importantly, I have found that the market generally overrates a bye week…

Great! I’ll just bet against the team coming off a bye week!

Er no. Don’t do that. The market also generally overrates home field advantage, small samples sizes, injuries, travel etc it’s just a case of putting it all together to find a +EV bet.

2016 NFL Supercontest

It’s been a quiet couple of weeks since the end of the Olympics. I’ve actually only placed 1 bet in the time since! Fortunately this bout of cold turkey will finish this week with the return of the NFL.

The Broncos host the Panthers on Thursday night and my trusty NFL database has already been updated with the 2015 data. During this season I’ll be taking part in an NFL Supercontest again.

I finished last season joint 17th out of 122 contestants. The premise is simple: for each of the 17 weeks of the NFL regular season, you have to pick 5 games against the spread. So that’s 85 picks in total where you score 1 point for a correct pick, ½ point for a push and nothing for a loss.

The one I’m taking part in is organised by a chap named Fitz and it only costs $115. Which is very reasonable compared to some of the other ones out there. If you fancy joining in too; the rules are here:

2016 Fitz NFL Supercontest Rules

and any questions contact the man:

Fitz.Supercontest at gmail.com

Each week I’ll write a post detailing what the lines are, and what 5 picks I’ve gone for.