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.