Monday, December 31, 2007

Week 17 Result and Regular Season Summary

All my picks 6 wins 9 losses 1 tie

For the entire 2007 regular season:

All my picks 116-129-11 47.5%
My home overdogs 31-29-2 52%
My home underdogs 25-27-2 48%
My road underdogs 43-53-6 45%
My road overdogs 17-20-1 46%
Spread a factor 23-15-11 58%
Lady G’s best bets 18-40-3 32%
Readers’ choice 2-12-2 19%

A disappointing conclusion to a disappointing year for Lady Godiva – my second-worst annual result in seven years of playing a friendly office pool. The only good thing about week 17 is that the poor internet connection at toy boy Archibald’s dad’s house meant that I could not post best bets, which were truly dismal in 2007.

Almost everything went wrong in 2007that could go wrong. I finished the year with 10 consecutive weeks without a winning week. I would expect to finish out of the prizes in a year such as 2007 when overdogs beat the point spread in 52% of the games. It is still the case that underdogs have won 52% of all games from 1992 through 2007. Accordingly, I pick underdogs except when my value indicators tilt me to the overdog. I ended up taking 100 overdogs this year – a relatively high 39% of all 256 games. And, yet I finished below 50% with my overdog picks in a year when overdogs ruled.

As a result, my 47.5% record was a touch below the 48% to 56.5% range where I expect to end up two out of every three years. I am still averaging a 52.4% winning record for the full seven years since 2001 – just above the 52% record for a dead-simple, all-underdogs strategy.

One issue for pool players to think about before the 2008 regular season kicks off is whether information about underdogs’ past winning record is finally starting to affect point spreads. If we look at the most recent 10-year, 5-year and 3-year periods and exclude the 1992-97 period of unbroken underdog dominance, we do see diminishing returns for a bet-all-underdogs strategy. But, it is still the case that an all-underdogs approach rules in every 3-year period except 2003-2005. A 52% winning rate for overdogs in 2007 is not outside historical norms for random variation around a 48% annual average.

There is some further statistical analysis that I could do if I have time before September 2008. However, at this point, I do not see any reason to change my strategy next year. If we do see over the next several years that the past record of underdog dominance is not continuing, only then will we have evidence that the tried-and-tested pool strategy of going heavy on the underdogs is no longer working.

For those of you who play in pools that include the playoffs, I will be providing a full set of playoff picks this Thursday and every Thursday until the Super Bowl.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

NFL Week 15 Results

All my picks 8 wins 8 losses
My home overdogs 3-3
My home underdogs 1-0
My road underdogs 2-1
My road overdogs 2-4
Spread a factor 1-2
Lady G’s best bets 1-2
Readers’ choice (Indy-10.5 over OAKLAND) 0-1

For the season so far:

All my picks 102-112-10 48%
My home overdogs 30-28-2 52%
My home underdogs 18-23-2 44%
My road underdogs 38-43-5 47%
My road overdogs 16-18-1 47%
Spread a factor 16-15-10 51%
Lady G’s best bets 17-37-3 32%
Readers’ choice 2-11-2 20%

Typical of a tough year that I would back 12 of 16 overdogs in a week when underdogs finally came to the fore at 10-6 leaving me disappointed to end up 8-8. I’ve fallen back to even-steven with a plain-vanilla, all-underdogs strategy, the safest approach most years based on historical data.

I have now gone 8 consecutive weeks without recording a winning week. To avoid a losing 2007, I need to pick winners in 2/3 of the final 32 games over the next two weeks. To be honest, my goal now is to stay ahead of my 2002 record of 47.3%, my only previous losing year since I started playing in an NFL pool back in 2001.

Ex-boyfriend Reginald lorded it over me during 2002 and he's ribbing me by e-mail this year. Fortuntately, I'm still well ahead of Reginald when we compare our records over 7 years.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

NFL Week 14 Results

All my picks 7 wins 9 losses
My home overdogs 3-0
My home underdogs 0-2
My road underdogs 2-5
My road overdogs 2-2
Spread a factor 0-1
Lady G’s best bets 1-3
Readers’ choice (SAN FRAN +9 over Minnesota) 0-1

For the season so far:

All my picks 94-104-10 48%
My home overdogs 27-25-2 52%
My home underdogs 17-23-2 43%
My road underdogs 36-42-5 46%
My road overdogs 14-14-1 50%
Spread a factor 15-13-10 54%
Lady G’s best bets 16-35-3 32%
Readers’ choice 2-10-2 21%

Mama told me there would be years like this. 7-9 for Lady Godiva in a week when underdogs went 4-12. Overdogs won 13 of 16 outright with only one game turning on points. At 48%, I’m just a touch ahead of my 2002 record of 47%, my only previous losing year. I haven’t had a winning week since week 7. Since then, I’ve gone -18 or 41%. That’s one long and deep losing streak. Let’s not even discuss Lady G’s best bets.

At least, I’m two wins ahead of a plain-vanilla, all-underdog strategy, the safest approach most years based on historical data. To avoid a losing 2007, I need to pick more than 60% winners over the final 3 – not impossible, but pretty unlikely. I will be sticking to my underdogs-first strategy that worked well 5 out of the past 7 seasons until week 8 of this year.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

NFL Week 13 Results

All my picks 6 wins 10 losses
My home overdogs 3-3
My home underdogs 1-2
My road underdogs 2-4
My road overdogs 0-1
Spread a factor 0-2
Lady G’s best bets 1-3
Readers’ choice (CHICAGO +1.5 over New York Giants) 0-1

For the season so far:
All my picks 87-95-10 48%
My home overdogs 24-25-2 49%
My home underdogs 17-21-2 45%
My road underdogs 34-37-5 48%
My road overdogs 12-12-1 50%
Spread a factor 15-12-10 54%
Lady G’s best bets 15-32-3 33%
Readers’ choice 2-9-2 23%

Another losing week for underdogs and even worse for Lady Godiva. Underdogs have won only 1 of the past 8 weeks and are now -6 or 48% for the season to date – 1 win ahead of yours truly. Only 4 weeks left for Lady G to avoid my first losing season since 2002. I need a 56% winning percentage over the final 4 – not impossible, but too high to count on achieving consistently. I will be sticking to the strategy that worked well 5 out of the past 7 seasons until week 5 of this year.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

NFL Week 13 Selections

Condolences to the family, friends and fans of Washington Redskin Sean Taylor and to those nearest and dearest to all victims of violence. Football is a game of violence contained by rules. Too bad we all can’t do a better job in real life of following the rule of law.

This week Lady Godiva fancies:

Green Bay +7 over DALLAS
Atlanta +4.5 over ST. LOUIS
WASHINGTON -5.5 over Buffalo
MINNESOTA -3.5 over Detroit
Houston +4 over TENNESSEE
INDIANAPOLIS -6.5 over Jacksonville
MIAMI -1 over New York Jets
KANSAS CITY +5.5 over San Diego
Seattle +3 over PHILADELPHIA
San Francisco +3 over CAROLINA
Tampa Bay +3 over NEW ORLEANS
ARIZONA 0 over Cleveland
OAKLAND +3.5 over Denver
CHICAGO +1.5 over New York Giants
PITTSBURGH -7 over Cincinnati
New England -20.5 over BALTIMORE

6 HOME FAVOURITES, 3 HOME DOGS, 6 road dogs, 1 road fave

I’m taking ARIZONA @ HOME in the the “pick’em” game and placing the Cards in the home overdog category on the grounds that home teams win the majority of games. My value system spit out a high number of overdog selections this week. We shall see.

Scroll down to the bottom of screen for this week's best bets (which admittedly have been anything but so far this year; continued proof that the smaller the sample, the larger the volatility).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

NFL Week 12 Results

All my picks 8 wins 8 losses
My home overdogs 2-1
My home underdogs 1-3
My road underdogs 4-4
My road overdogs 1-0
Spread a factor 2-0
Lady G’s best bets 0-3
Readers’ choice (CAROLINA +3 over New Orleans) 0-1

For the season so far:

All my picks 81-85-10 49%
My home overdogs 21-22-2 49%
My home underdogs 16-19-2 46%
My road underdogs 32-33-5 49%
My road overdogs 12-11-1 52%
Spread a factor 15-10-10 57%
Lady G’s best bets 14-29-3 34%
Readers’ choice 2-8-2 25%

I’m satisfied to have finished 8-8 thanks to a 3-1 record with my overdog picks. Another losing week for underdogs with overdogs winning 14 of 16 games outright and only 2 games turning on points. After 12 weeks, an all-overdog strategy is +4 or 51%. Underdogs dominate in the historical data, but overdogs did overcome the point spread 55% of the time over the 2005 season and at a 52% rate in 2003. I’m going to stick with my when-in-doubt-take-the-underdog approach for the remaining 5 weeks of 2007 and then examine the data during the off-season. One hypothesis is that the information about underdogs’ historical dominance has become better known to professional gamblers and point spreads have narrowed as a result.

It’s a good thing I limit my stake to playing a friendly $100 per season office pool. I remain convinced that ex-boyfriend Reginald is mistaken in his blind faith that it’s possible to make a living picking NFL winners against the spread. Sure, he claims a 59% winning record after week 11 this year, but I remember all too well his losing seasons when we were together. If he were really making a profit now, he surely would have repaid the $500 he still owes me to cover his losses after the 2003 Super Bowl thereby forestalling a unpleasant house call by his unfriendly creditors.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

NFL Week 12 Picks

Lady Godiva fancies pardoning all turkeys for an all-vegetarian Thanksgiving as well as:

Green Bay -3.5 over DETROIT
New York Jets +14 over DALLAS
ATLANTA +11.5 over Indianapolis
CHICAGO -1.5 over Denver
CINCINNATI +1.5 over Tennessee
Buffalo +8 over JACKSONVILLE
KANSAS CITY -5.5 over Oakland
CLEVELAND -3.5 over Houston
ST. LOUIS +3 over Seattle
Minnesota +7 over NEW YORK GIANTS
CAROLINA +3 over New Orleans
Washington +3 over TAMPA BAY
San Francisco +10.5 over ARIZONA
Baltimore +9.5 over SAN DIEGO
Philadelphia +22 over NEW ENGLAND
Miami +16 over PITTSBURGH

3 HOME FAVOURITES, 4 HOME DOGS, 8 road dogs, 1 road fave

Best bets at the bottom of the screen this week.

It would have been nice to have an extra half-point for Baltimore, but I’m taking them anyway.

These are my first picks as a 30-year-old. Ex-boyfriend Reginald sent me an e-mail for my birthday and took the opportunity to boast about his 59% winning record so far this year compared to my paltry 49%. This will be the first time since 2002 that Lady Godiva goes down to defeat against Reginald over a full season.

Reginald issued the following challenge -- if he betters my record over the final 6 weeks, I must accompany him to the first home game next year of his beloved Jets and make an appearance at half time at the infamous Gate D.

I replied setting the following conditions:

1) The bet extends between now and the next time the Jets host the AFC championship game. If Reginald, who picks each game individually based on his technical analysis of team statistics, betters my record between now and then, I will be Reginald’s date at the AFC championship.

2) However, Lady Godiva will only be taking her kit off at Gate D if my age on that day is below my bra size and if the game-time temperature exceeds my age.

I’m confident that neither Reginald nor anyone else will ever be seeing Lady Godiva at Gate D.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

NFL Week 11 Results

All my picks 4 wins 10 losses 2 ties
My home overdogs 1-0
My home underdogs 0-4-1
My road underdogs 3-5-1
My road overdogs 0-1
Spread a factor 2-0-2
Lady G’s best bets 1-2-1
Readers’ choice (Pittsburgh -9 over NEW YORK JETS) 0-1

For the season so far:

All my picks 73-77-10 49%
My home overdogs 19-21-2 48%
My home underdogs 15-16-2 48%
My road underdogs 28-29-5 49%
My road overdogs 11-11-1 50%
Spread a factor 13-10-10 55%
Lady G’s best bets 14-26-3 36%
Readers’ choice 2-7-2 27%

4-10-2 taking me below 50% for the year. Ouch! Week 11 was unusual with overdogs winning 14 of 16 games outright. Taking two games on points and tying two others provided small consolation.

I was +9 after 3 weeks and was still hanging in at +8 after 7 weeks, but have since gone -12 over the past 4 weeks. Double ouch!!

After three other bad weeks with only 5 wins, 4-10-2 in week 11 cancelled my sole really good result in week 3. Triple ouch!!!

Still two wins behind a plain-vanilla, all-underdogs strategy and now three wins behind an all-road-teams strategy.

Six weeks left for Lady Godiva to avoid my first losing season since 2002. I have to admit that Lady Godiva is looking like a bit of a turkey as we head into Thanksgiving. Nevertheless, I will be sticking to the system that produced 5 winning seasons out of the past 6.

Speaking of Thanksgiving turkeys, current toy boy Archibald has been boring me by telling me about his favourite Thanksgiving movie – a cheesy 1980s comedy about Pilgrims subject to hallucinations transforming their turkeys into voluptuous vixens. But, he can’t remember the title or who were the lead actors. And, on another 1980s movie topic, Archibald and I disagree about whether Melanie Griffith vacuumed topless in Working Girl. I remember her as topless, but Archibald insists that she was wearing a skimpy bra. We’ve made a friendly bet with the loser committed to vacuuming the house topless. Can anyone out there help Archibald and me with answers to these burning questions about late 20th century cinema?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

NFL Week 10 Results

All my picks 5 wins 8 losses 1 tie
My home overdogs 0-3
My home underdogs 0-1-1
My road underdogs 4-3
My road overdogs 1-1
Spread a factor 0-1-1
Lady G’s best bets 1-3
Readers’ choice (Detroit +1 over ARIZONA) 0-1

For the season so far:

All my picks 69-67-8 51%
My home overdogs 18-21-2 46%
My home underdogs 15-12-1 55%
My road underdogs 25-24-4 51%
My road overdogs 11-10-1 52%
Spread a factor 11-10-8 52%
Lady G’s best bets 13-24-2 36%
Readers’ choice 2-6-2 30

5-8-1 in a week when my base package of all-underdogs went 8-5-1. Ouch!

I was +9 after 3 weeks and have gone -7 over the past 7 weeks. Double ouch!!

Three bad weeks so far with only 5 wins and only one really good week with 10 wins. Triple ouch!!!

Two wins behind a plain-vanilla, all-underdogs strategy.

But, playing a football pool is very similar to playing the stock market. You have to expect bad stretches over short periods. The worst thing to do is to lose heart after a string of losses and abandon your approach before the long-term wave picks you back up.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

NFL Week 10 Picks

Lady Godiva fancies:

Jacksonville +6.5 over TENNESSEE
Denver +3.5 over KANSAS CITY
MIAMI +3 over Buffalo
PITTSBURGH -9.5 over Cleveland
NEW ORLEANS -11.5 over St. Louis
Atlanta +4 over CAROLINA
Philadelphia +3 over WASHINGTON
Minnesota +6 over GREEN BAY
BALTIMORE -4.5 over Cincinnati
OAKLAND +3 over Chicago
Dallas -1 over NEW YORK GIANTS
Detroit +1 over ARIZONA
Indianapolis -3.5 over SAN DIEGO

San Francisco +10 over SEATTLE

3 HOME FAVOURITES, 2 HOME DOGS, 7 road dogs, 2 road faves

I’m sticking with mostly underdogs despite 4 consecutive weeks of overdog dominance.

All teams have played at least 8 games, so here are my halfway mark predictions for who will make the playoffs.

AFC top 2 seeds: New England, Pittsburgh
Other AFC divisional winners: Indianapolis, San Diego
AFC wild cards: Tennessee, Jacksonville
NFC top 2 seeds: Dallas, Green Bay
Other NFC divisional winners: Tampa Bay, Seattle
NFC wild cards: NY Giants, Detroit

Not much change from my ¼ poll predictions except for the NFC wild cards.

Godiva readers predict that Pittsburgh will stop New England's bid for a perfect reg ular season.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

NFL Week 9 Results

All my picks 7 wins 7 losses
My home overdogs 2-0
My home underdogs 3-1
My road underdogs 2-5
My road overdogs 0-1
Spread a factor 1-1
Lady G’s best bets 1-3
Readers’ choice (TAMPA BAY -3 over Arizona) 1-0

For the season so far:

All my picks 64-59-7 52%
My home overdogs 18-18-2 50%
My home underdogs 15-11 58%
My road underdogs 21-21-4 50%
My road overdogs 10-9-1 53%
Spread a factor 11-9-7 54%
Lady G’s best bets 12-21-2 37%
Readers’ choice 2-5-2 33%

“Homer Rules!” was the theme last week with visitors clocking in at 3-11. Overdogs finished 8-6 marking the 4th consecutive week of underdogs submitting to overdogs – a reversal of the usual betting hierarchy. How long can this last?

Under the circumstances, I’m happy with my steady as she goes 7-7 record for week 9. My record for the year is one win ahead of a plain-vanilla, all-underdogs strategy. So far, I’ve had 5 weeks with more winners than losers, two 50/50 weeks and only two weeks as a net loser.

At 37% for the year so far, I’ve thought about giving up on best bets. But, it’s a fun feature for weekly polls, so I will stick with it. The poor record to date of best bets demonstrates the greater volatility of smaller samples. I can’t help but note that the same problem applies to men – e.g., my ex-boyfriend Reginald.

I’ve got a busy Thursday coming up taking current toy boy Archibald’s dad to the doctor in the morning and then off to see the Police in concert in the evening with Archibald. So I may not post my week 10 picks until Friday.

Scroll to the bottom of the screen for this week's poll on who has the best chance of stopping the Patriot juggernaut.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

NFL Week 8 Results

All my picks 5 wins 8 losses
My home overdogs 1-3
My home underdogs 0-3
My road underdogs 2-1
My road overdogs 2-1
Spread a factor 0-2
Lady G’s best bets 1-3
Readers’ choice (New York Giants -9.5 over MIAMI) 0-1

For the season so far:
All my picks 57-52-7 52%
My home fave picks 16-18-2 47%
My home dog picks 12-10 55%
My road dog picks 19-16-4 54%
My road fave picks 10-8-1 55%
Spread a factor 10-8-7 54%
Lady G’s best bets 11-18-2 39%
Readers’ choice 1-5-2 25%

A tough week for Lady Godiva at 5-8 or a 38.5% winning percentage. I achieved my absolute minimum target of keeping my weekly winning percentage ahead of my bra size, but that’s not as big a comfort for me as for current Godiva toy boy Archibald.

3rd consecutive week that favourites came out ahead. That’s unusual. Just as 3 swallows don’t make a spring, 3 weeks of fortune favouring overdogs do not overthrow the long-term historical trend backed by decades of data indicating that underdogs are generally the best bet.

I’m certainly hoping there aren’t any more 5 wins or less weeks waiting for me now that I’ve racked up 2 in the first half of the season. But, as a realistic student of Bayesian probability, I won’t be surprised if I have to swallow one or two more hard lessons in humility before the year is out. But, the laws of probability also tell me that there should be at least one more week of 10+ wins for Lady Godiva over the second half of the season.

For the year, my record is dead even with plain-vanilla strategies of all-underdogs or all-road-teams. No evidence yet of either value added or value subtracted by Lady Godiva in 2007. On to the second half we go sticking with the value selection approach that has paid off for me over for the past several years of playing a weekly office pool.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

NFL Week 8 Picks

Lady Godiva fancies:

ST. LOUIS +3 over Cleveland
CHICAGO -4.5 over Detroit
Indianapolis -6.5 over CAROLINA
New York Giants -9.5 over MIAMI
TENNESSEE -7.5 over Oakland
MINNESOTA +1 over Philadelphia
Pittsburgh -3.5 over CINCINNATI
Buffalo +3 over NEW YORK JETS
Houston +10.5 over SAN DIEGO
TAMPA BAY -4 over Jacksonville
SAN FRANCISCO +3 over New Orleans
NEW ENGLAND -16.5 over Washington
GREEN BAY +3 over Denver

4 HOME FAVOURITES, 3 HOME DOG, 3 road dogs, 3 road faves

I’m playing with fire this week with my picks divided every which way. I feel more comfortable if there's a stronger theme to my weekly picks -- mostly underdogs or mostly home teams.

It's a bit of stretch calling Miami a home underdog playing in London, England. My annoying boyfriend Archibald says the only reason to pay good English pounds to see the Dolphins play is to see their cheerleaders.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

NFL Week 7 Results

All my picks 8 wins 6 losses
My home fave picks 2-1
My home dog picks 1-1
My road dog picks 3-3
My road fave picks 2-1
Spread a factor 2-0
Lady G’s best bets 1-3
Readers’ choice (OAKLAND -2.5 over Kansas City) 0-1

For the season so far:

All my picks 52-44-7 54%
My home fave picks 15-15-2 50%
My home dog picks 12-7 63%
My road dog picks 17-15-4 53%
My road fave picks 8-7-1 53%
Spread a factor 10-6-7 59%
Lady G’s best bets 10-15-2 41%
Readers’ choice 1-4-2 29%

Another week when favourites ruled at 8-6, which is exactly where I finished even though I selected only 6 overdogs.

Lady Luck continued to smile on Lady Godiva with 2 of my 8 underdog picks winning on points.

Steady as she goes -- 54% winners so far this year with only 1 losing week out of 7 places me 1 win ahead of a plain-vanilla, all-underdogs strategy.

If you scroll down to the bottom of the screen, I’m trying a new poll about the baseball World Series. A boring game in my opinion, but at least it’s a shorter waste of time than cricket. All my English boyfriends were mad about cricket, which is one aspect of jolly olde England that I don't miss. One of the best things about North America is that cricket is unknown except as an insect

But, now that I think about my English boyfriends and their love of cricket, maybe that's a better hobby than exotic dancers for my first North American boyfriend Reginald and NFL cheerleaders for current toy boy Archibald.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

NFL Week 6 Results

All my picks 6 wins 5 losses 2 ties
My home fave picks 3-2
My home dog picks 1-2
My road dog picks 1-1-2
My road fave picks 1-0
Spread a factor 0-0-2
Lady G’s best bets 1-2-1
Readers’ choice (Tennessee +3 over TAMPA BAY) 0-0-1

For the season so far:

All my picks 44-38-7 53%
My home fave picks 13-14-2 48%
My home dog picks 11-6 65%
My road dog picks 14-12-4 53%
My road fave picks 6-6-1 50%
Spread a factor 8-6-7 55%
Lady G’s best bets 9-12-2 43%
Readers’ choice 1-3-2 33%

Week 6 was the rare week when favourites were the best bets at 7-4-2.

7 ties in 6 weeks seems like a lot.

53% winners so far this year places me 1% behind a plain-vanilla, all-dogs strategy.

To stay humble, check out this article on the woman who won $444,000 on a $5 lottery ticket for going 13-0 on Sunday in week 5. I calculate that the odds of picking all 13 games correctly are 8,192 to 1. Her payoff was so excellent because the weekly winner of this particular lottery takes home a percentage of total wagers. However, as a general rule, l doubt that it’s a paying proposition to participate in a government-run sports lottery or lottery of any kind.

My boyfriend Archibald read this article and kidded me that I too will have to record a perfect week before we can get married. Some kidder, that Archibald. To remind Archibald of who’s boss in our relationship, I am suspending from my site Archibald’s goofy polls on Mary Ann vs. Ginger vs. NFL cheerleaders. For the time being, my polls will all be football related.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Week 6 Picks

Lady Godiva fancies:

KANSAS CITY +3 over Cincinnati
JACKSONVILLE -6.5 over Houston
CLEVELAND -4.5 over Miami
CHICAGO -5.5 over Minnesota
NEW YORK JETS +3 over Philadelphia
BALTIMORE -9.5 over St. Louis
Tennessee +3 over TAMPA BAY
Washington +3 over GREEN BAY
Carolina +4 over ARIZONA
New England -4.5 over DALLAS
Oakland +10 over SAN DIEGO
SEATTLE -6.5 over New Orleans
ATLANTA +3.5 over New York Giants

5 HOME FAVOURITES, 3 HOME DOGS, 4 road dogs, 1 road fave

A split ticket this week with 7 underdogs and 6 favourites – aiming for 8+ wins but running the risk of 8+ losses.

All teams have played at least 4 games or ¼ of the season. Here are my ¼ poll predictions for who will make the playoffs:


Top 2 seeds: New England, Pittsburgh
Other divisional winners: Indianapolis, San Diego
Wild cards: Tennessee, Jacksonville


Top 2 seeds: Dallas, Green Bay
Other divisional winners: Tampa Bay, Seattle
Wild cards: Washington, Arizona

Boyfriend Archibald’s poll on AFC East cheerleaders remains open for voting at the very bottom of the screen. Dallas Cowgirls took the honours in the NFC East. Archibald plans a playoff system leading to his own cheerleader Super Bowl. If you need to consult the team websites before casting your vote, join Archibald in spending the day linking from the following website:

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Week 5 Picks

Lady Godiva fancies:

NEW ORLEANS -3 over Carolina
KANSAS CITY +2 over Jacksonville
Detroit +3.5 over WASHINGTON
TENNESSEE -8.5 over Atlanta
HOUSTON -5.5 over Miami
PITTSBURGH -5.5 over Seattle
NEW ENGLAND -16 over Cleveland
Arizona -3.5 over ST. LOUIS
New York Jets +3.5 over NEW YORK GIANTS
INDIANAPOLIS -10 over Tampa Bay
San Diego +1.5 over DENVER
SAN FRANCISCO +3 over Baltimore
GREEN BAY -3 over Chicago
Dallas -10 over BUFFALO

7 HOME FAVOURITES, 2 HOME DOGS, 3 road dogs, 2 road faves

This is a rare week when I’m picking more favourites than underdogs. Many point spreads don’t seem to offer enough value for running with the hounds this week.

Boyfriend Archibald’s poll on NFC East cheerleaders remains open for voting at the very bottom of the screen. If you need to consult the team websites before casting your vote, go to

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Week 4 Results

All my picks 7 wins 7 losses 50%
My home fave picks 0-2
My home dog picks 5-2 71%
My road dog picks 1-2 33%

My road fave picks 1-1 50%
Lady G’s best bets 0-4
Readers’ choice (SAN FRAN over Seattle) 0-1

For the season so far:

All my picks 33-24-5 57%
My home fave picks 7-8-2 47%
My home dog picks 9-3 75%
My road dog picks 12-9-2 57%
My road fave picks 5-4-1 55%
Spread a factor 7-2-5 68%
Lady G’s best bets 7-7-1 50%
Readers’ choice 1-2-1 38%

Underdogs won 9 of 14 games last week – not so surprising if all we were talking about was against the spread, but pretty unusual when you think that dogs won those 9 games outright with no help needed from the point spread. You won’t see underdogs going 9-5 straight-up every week.

After 4 weeks, my record of 57% winners is dead even with a plain-vanilla, all-dogs strategy, so I can’t claim to be providing value-added yet.

Neither I nor the all-dogs strategy is likely to pick 57% winners over the rest of the season. If I pick 55% winners the rest of the way and finish a bit ahead of the all-dogs strategy, I will be pleased.

Boyfriend Archibald suggests that Lady Godiva’s readers will be interested in his new poll on NFL cheerleaders. If you need to consult the team websites before casting your vote, go to

At least current toy boy Archibald’s interest in cheerleaders is a step up from ex-boyfriend Reginald’s obsession with exotic dancers. My friend Elizabeth's comment about Archibald’s cheerleader hobby: “Don’t worry about where he gets his appetite, so long as he eats at home.”

Speaking of Archibald’s tastes, don’t forget to vote in his poll at the very bottom of the screen pitting Mary Ann of Gilligan’s Island against 1960s movie stars.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Week 4 Picks

Lady Godiva fancies:

Oakland +4 over MIAMI
ATLANTA +3 over Houston
CLEVELAND +4 over Baltimore
DETROIT +3 over Chicago
Green Bay -1.5 over MINNESOTA
St. Louis +13 over DALLAS
NY Jets -3.5 over BUFFALO
CAROLINA -2.5 over Tampa Bay
SAN FRANCISCO +2 over Seattle
ARIZONA +6 over Pittsburgh
SAN DIEGO -11.5 over Kansas City
Denver +10 over INDIANAPOLIS
NY GIANTS +3 over Philadelphia
CINCINNATI +7 over New England

Summary: 2 HOME FAVOURITES, 7 HOME DOGS, 3 road dogs, 2 road faves

I feel good picking 10 of 14 underdogs and am hoping for 3-1 with my 4 favourites.

Boyfriend Archibald is gobsmacked by the backing for Mary Ann of Gilligan’s Island in his polls on 1960s TV stars. All his favourites – Ginger, Catwoman and Jeannie from I Dream of – have gone down to Mary Ann’s subtler charms. Scroll down to the very bottom of the screen and vote in his latest poll matching small screen against big screen -- Mary Ann vs. 1960s film goddesses.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Week 3 Results

All my picks 10 wins 4 losses 2 ties 69%
My home fave picks 4-2 67%
My road dog picks 5-1-1 79%
My road fave picks 1-1-1 50%
Spread a factor 3-0-2 80%
Lady G’s best bets 1-2 33%
Readers’ choice (Detroit over PHILADELPHIA) 0-1

For the season so far:

All my picks 26-17-5 59%
My home fave picks 7-6-2 53%
My home dog picks 4-1 80%
My road dog picks 11-7-2 60%
My road fave picks 4-3-1 56%
Spread a factor 7-2-5 68%
Lady G’s best bets 7-3-1 68%
Readers’ choice 1-1-1 50%

A readers’ choice finally went down to defeat – by more than four touchdowns.
Lady G’s loyal readers picked Detroit as a 6-point visiting underdog against Philadelphia as the best bet of last week.

I’m chuffed (Jolly Old England expression meaning “pleased”) to have recorded a 10-win week so early in the season. It’s nice to be safely on the plus side as insurance against the “five wins or fewer” weeks that all experienced NFL pickers must expect every now and then.

Another 5 games turned on points last week. I have picked almost as many favourites as underdogs so far this year, but have a 68% success rate in games where the spread was a factor. Lady Luck has truly been smiling on Lady Godiva so far in 2007.

Boyfriend Archibald is keeping his Catwoman vs. Mary Ann poll open for voting until Thursday if you scroll down to the bottom of the screen.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Week 3 Picks

This week Lady Godiva fancies:

Indianapolis -6 over HOUSTON
San Diego -4.5 over GREEN BAY
KANSAS CITY -2.5 over Minnesota
Detroit +6 over PHILADELPHIA
NEW ENGLAND -16.5 over Buffalo
Miami +3 over NY JETS
PITTSBURGH -9 over San Francisco
Arizona +8 over BALTIMORE
TAMPA BAY -3.5 over St. Louis
DENVER -3 over Jacksonville
Cincinnati +3.5 over SEATTLE
Cleveland +3 over OAKLAND
Carolina -4 over ATLANTA
WASHINGTON -4 over NY Giants
Dallas +3 over CHICAGO
Tennessee +4 over NEW ORLEANS

Summary: 6 HOME FAVOURITES, 7 road dogs, 3 road faves

I’m wary of picking 3 road favourites when history shows home dogs to have been the pool picker's best friend. But, I see value in all 3 road faves.

Check out boyfriend Archibald's latest poll on 1960s TV starlets at the bottom of the screen. The readers selected Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island as our favourite 1960s TV sweetheart and Catwoman as our favourite 1960s vixen. Now Archibald has set up a classic battle -- sweetheart vs. vixen. Mary Ann or Catwoman -- who gets your love?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Week 1 Results

All my picks 8 wins 6 losses 2 ties 56%
My home fave picks 3-1-1 70%
My home dog picks 2-1 67%
My road dog picks 2-4-1 36%
My road fave picks 1-0 100%

Spread a factor 1-0-2 75%
Lady G’s best bets 4-0 100%

Readers’ choice (NE over NYJ) 1-0 100%

A rare week when favourites ruled at 9-5-2.

Good start to the year for Lady G. I would take 17 straight weeks like this. The reality is that over a long season I will probably see about 9 more “average” weeks like this with between 6 and 9 wins. Any NFL picker should count on at least 3 disappointing weeks with 5 wins or less. If I stick to my system, I’m hoping for 4 really good weeks with 10+ wins to carry me through to a good record for the entire season.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Counting Down to Kick Off

With a few days to go to the opening kick off on Thursday the 6th of September, many American football fans are ignoring friends and family to spend all waking hours combing through annual guides for inside information on which teams to back this year with their weekly pool selections.

If you feel you must bone up on football before the season, I recommend consulting award-winning University of Chicago Professor Steven Levitt's article:

Professor Levitt is also the co-author of the best-seller, Freakonomics.

On another subject, I want to respond to questions about the on-line poll that appeared on this blog last month. How could a Coventry lass like myself born in 1977 possibly know about a cheesy show on American telly during the 1960s?

You have my new boyfriend Archibald to thank for our August Gilligan's Island survey. Archibald is a historian of popular culture who has just completed his doctoral thesis at the University of Syracuse, The Transatlantic Transmogrification of the Court Jester Archetype from British High Culture to American Low Culture: Falstaff to Connecticutt Yankee to Dobie Gillis. I can't believe anyone other than dear Archibald would be interested in such a topic, but he's now received a Bradley Foundation post-graduate fellowship to pursue his passion for telly history.

Archibald advises me that almost all football fans reading my blog will be interested in debating such weighty matters as Gilligan's choice between Ginger and Mary Ann. I've handed Archibald the task of coming up with a season's worth of poll topics on popular culture. During the footie season I will be polling my readers from Thursday to Sunday morning on which of my picks you think has the best chance to be a winner. Each Sunday to Wednesday, the poll question will be a TV quiz devised by Archibald.

In closing, I should mention that Archibald was taken aback by Mary Ann's overwhelming victory over Ginger. In fact, if Archibald had not himself voted twice for Ginger (his bad joke being that Ginger deserved at least a pair of votes) even the Professor would have finished ahead of Ginger in the hearts of Lady Godiva readers.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Introducing Lady Godiva's Weekly NFL Picks

Greetings, fans of gridiron or football as you call it here in North America.

I am Dr. Veronica (Ronnie) Gipp. Born and raised in Coventry, England, I know nothing about American football rules or strategy.

Despite my ignorance of your brand of footie, over the past six National Football League (NFL) seasons I have averaged a 53% winning percentage picking winners against the point spread in a non-profit office pool. I won first prize in 2005 for picking winners in 57% of the games and finished 4th last year with 55% winners.

I call myself the Lady Godiva of football picking. Like the original Lady G, I hail from Coventry, am naked (of football knowledge in my case) and have a pack of foolish lads trailing behind me wondering how I get away with it.

To pick NFL winners, I ignore all team and individual stats. Instead, I exploit persistent patterns in home team and road team winning percentages against the spread.

I might not finish first every week. But, I fancy my chances against any self-proclaimed football expert over a full season.

On Thursday, September 6, the NFL season will start and I will post a full set of picks for all 16 NFL games that week. I will continue every Thursday until the Super Bowl in February 2008.

You will NOT be able to use my picks to make a living betting on football. To cover the commissions charged by bookmakers and gaming houses, you need to win 55% of your bets just to break even. Only con artists promise a betting system that can consistently win at a 55% rate.

You WILL be able to use my picks to improve your odds of winning a friendly, not-for-profit NFL office pool where everyone chips in a modest entry fee at the start of the season and the person with the best record at the end of the year takes home the pot.

My picks should be of special interest to women as well as those few sensible men who have no interest in football, but have been pressured into participating by the office jock in charge of your local football pool.

How did I become a sporting Nostradamus? While doing graduate work at the Indiana Institute of Technology (IIT), I wasted many hours in front of the boob tube watching football with Reginald, my first North American boyfriend. I could never make out why those fat slobs wearing colourful hard hats were deliberately crashing into each other.

Reginald insisted that I join the NFL pool run by one of his student buddies. According to Reginald: “The more women in the pool, the more money for me to win.”

I accepted Reginald’s challenge after putting in a small amount of research. I discovered convincing academic work identifying consistent historical patterns in football betting. The data are freely available, but few professional gamblers make use of useful information. Most gamblers are learned fools like Reginald poring over meaningless team statistics, injury reports and something that I never understood that he called “key match-ups”.

Sadly for Reginald, he never twigged to the Scottish gambler Macbeth’s advice that a computer full of football data amounts to no more than:

… a tale told by an idiot
Full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.

Reginald devoted so much time to analyzing each game in minute detail that he lost everything – first yours truly and then his IIT scholarship. The last I heard, Reginald was living in Las Vegas supporting a retired exotic dancer and his gambling habit on his modest salary as a teaching assistant at the University of Nevada.

Reginald is long gone from my life, but he did leave me with an abiding passion to beat the pants off men at their own game – the football pool.

So, let the word go forth. Lady Godiva will be here each week from September to the Super Bowl with a full set of NFL picks.