Tag Archives: NFL Supercontest

NFL Week 2

Week 2 in the NFL could be called “Overreaction Week”. After only one round of games the media and fans have been quick to decide who’s finished, who’s the next big thing, which team is definitely going to the Superbowl and which teams are ball-achingly bad. It’s understandable; under-reactions don’t sell newspapers or get those clicks, do they?

Last post I mentioned how the main area of overreaction was to Peyton Manning’s poor game against an excellent defence. While I bet on Denver on the ML, I didn’t pick them +3 in my supercontest. I hope that won’t be a decision I regret…

Joe Flacco played worse than Manning in the low scoring game between their 2 sides last Sunday. I am siding with the Ravens -5.5 at the Raiders. Those points aren’t enough to show the disparity between the 2 teams here. The Ravens are somewhat underrated coming into this game, and Flacco should at least play closer to his mean level of performance considering the defence he’s against this week. Oakland have a injured QB in Carr who should start against one of the league toughest defences, even without Suggs. The betting market now has the Ravens at -6.5.

Another overreaction has been to the debut of Marcus Mariota. Yeah he may be the next “elite” QB but let’s remember that he played Tamp Bay. I reckon I could throw a couple TD passes against those mugs… but I do have an arm like a traction engine, honest. The Titans are at -1 at Cleveland. I’m leaving that game alone as I don’t know how good Mariota or the Titans really are yet. But if I had to pick a side it would be the Titans, simply because Johnny Manziel will start and he looks terrible.

He looks terrible, even nowhere near a football field

Following the result between the Titans and Tampa Bay there’s been a strong reaction in the opposite way for Tampa. They were expected to be around +7 at New Orleans, but after getting walloped they’re +10. This isn’t the New Orleans team of a few years ago, Superstar Jimmy Graham suits up for another team now so I’m not touching this game with a cattle prod. But if I had to, it would be TB +10.

Dallas +5.5 at Philly is my second choice this week. The market seems to love Philly and “Chip Kelly’s offense blah blah blah”. Dallas won a game against the Giants that they should have lost. But they did win a game where they lost 3 TOs and didn’t win 1 themselves. Yes Philly’s a good team but so too are Dallas and 5.5 points is too much, so give them to me thank you.

I backed Minny last week at San Fran. The 49ers had the audacity to beat them 20-3! Prior to that game some people were saying that the 49ers were the worst team in football. Plenty of money was on the under 6.5 games too. One good result and the 49ers are “only” +5.5 points at Pittsburgh?! I’m taking the Steelers at -5.5.

The Buffalo Bills had an impressive win against the Colts last Sunday. For me, one of the most important stats from that victory between 2 good teams was the 3-0 TOs to the Bills. The Bills are a good team, but not as good as the Patriots. -1 on the Patriots doesn’t seem enough. One good game and Rex Ryan goes from roundly mocked to universally praised? Have people forgot that he has a tattoo of his wife wearing a no.6 Mark Sanchez Jets jersey for Christ sakes?!

What sort of a man would do such a thing?!

Final selection is the Colts -7 at home to the Jets. They had a bad game away to a good team. The Jets beat up a team with Johnny Manziel  at QB. If this was the first game of the seeason that line would probably be -9.5. I know, it’s not the first game of the season. There’s the information of the first game that has now been taken into account…too much so I reckon.

Update:  3-2. Dallas won at Philly. The Patriots and Steelers covered in their wins. But Baltimore lost at Oakland, and the Colts lost to the Jets.

Easy Money

Week one of the NFL is in the books. I got off to a good start in my Supercontest going 4-1, with the Vikings letting me down at San Francisco. Nice start, but I’m sure some nightmare weeks will come.

I sided with 5 favourites this week all between -3.5 and -2.5, it was generally a good week all round for the favourites, going 8-5 ATS on Sunday. As a result there’s been plenty of stories about how Vegas had a terrible weekend on the NFL. Favourites winning is usually bad for bookies. Their worst hits coming with Green Bay and Miami winning ATS.

A story about Vegas losing money?

Boo. Hoo.

Don’t shed too many tears, they’ll be millions in profit soon enough. These stories are great PR for bookies though. With the implication being that gambling is a get rich-quick scheme that everyone should be taking part in. Quite often you’ll read an article about some bloke who won thousands on a parlay/accumulator, which attracts more people to join the masses who fill out these out every weekend and never win anything.

Generally speaking, gambling stories are about people winning money. The bookies don’t want to promote stories about losers. In the media I think you’re far more likely to hear when bookies have a bad event than a good one. This is definitely the case in real life interactions with people. Whenever your friends/work colleagues/random guy at the bar start talking about gambling, it’s always about how much money they’ve won.

“Hey, I made $ betting on the football this weekend” (I’m a winner!)

You’ll never hear this:

“I lost $ on the football this weekend” (what a loser I am!)

It’s understandable. If you’ve lost money, you’ve not going to want to talk about it. Spend a game day on Twitter and you’d think everyone makes money!

Quick tip: I like Denver at Kansas City on Thursday night. ML around 2.45 (+145 US) or +3 on the spread. Sure Manning has had 17 neck surgeries, has no feelings in his finger tips and played poorly against Baltimore (who have a great defence)… but he’s still a good QB and there’ll be some reversion towards to mean, hopefully immediately. Kansas City beat a poor team in Houston. They got a great defence too but an average QB at best in Alex Smith. It’ll be a low scoring game but I think the value’s on the Broncos.

Update: Peyton Manning played better and Denver beat Kansas City 31-24.

Almost There

The sporting dark days of summer are drawing to a close and the best time of the year is within sight: Autumn! (Or Fall if you prefer).

Why’s Autumn/Fall the best season?

Because that’s when all the decent sports are back on:

  • In 2 days’ time we have some proper basketball on with EuroBasket (5th September)
  • A week today the NFL season starts (10th September)
  • In 2 weeks’ time the Rugby World Cup starts (18th September)
  • In a month’s time the European basketball season starts (3rd October)
  • In ~2 months’ time the NBA season starts (28th October)

Yep, this is what we want: tall guys throwing a ball through a hoop, and big guys colliding over a funny-shaped ball.

Eurobasket starts on Saturday, with a whopping 24 games on over the weekend. If you only watch one game make it Spain v Serbia on Saturday at 5pm BST, which is noon Eastern time. Most of the big name bookmakers will have streams on their sites of all the games. There’s plenty of value to be found in international basketball competitions if you’re willing to put in the research. The only bets I’m giving away for free on this blog are Spain to win their group at 1.90 or better, and Team Lithuania to win theirs at 1.57… barring the Jeb Bush bet, these are the first bets I’ve placed for a long time, It’s good to be back in the swing!

The NFL season starts next Thursday, with the Steelers travelled to meet a Tom Brady-less Patriots. I’ve got a post about the lopsided NFL schedule that I’ll get out before then. (It focuses on the Seattle Seahawks)

As previously mentioned, I’ve entered a NFL supercontest, so I’ve got some work to do on that next week…

Trivia Question of the Week Fortnight

Many moons ago I asked:

In soccer, which is the only club that has won the Champions League/European Cup more times than it has won it’s domestic League?

And the correct answer is Nottingham Forrest. Very nice.

Next question and it’s probably the only cricket one I know, and it’s a decent one:

Which cricketer has scored the most test runs and has never scored a test century?

I’ll rephrase it in case there’s any doubt: out of all the players to never score a test century, who has scored the most test runs?

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?

2015 NFL Supercontest

If, like me, you’ve already updated your trusty NFL database with the 2014 data and you’re looking ahead to the next season. Well there’s only about 7 weeks till the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to play the New England Patriots to kick off the 2015 NFL season. During which I’ll be taking part in my first NFL Supercontest!

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.

These Supercontests are gaining in popularity. The most famous one being the at Las Vegas Hilton. Check out these numbers from their last 4 contests:

LVH Supercontest

Now I’m not taking part in the LVH. I’m not travelling to Las Vegas to register and don’t want to pay $1,500 for a contest that I consider a bit of fun, because the reality is that I’m unlikely to win. Call me a pessimist, I call myself a realist. Plus I’ll be putting on plenty of my own bets during the season anyway.

The one I’m taking part in is organised by a chap named Fitz and it only costs $115. A much more reasonable amount by comparison. If you fancy joining in too; the rules are here:

2015 Fitz NFL Supercontest Rules

and any questions contact the man:

Fitz.Supercontest at gmail.com

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