Friday, May 16, 2008

NBA Playoff and Inter-league MLB Picks

Lady G fancies:

UTAH -4 over LA
CLEVELAND -2.5 over Boston
NO over SA with whatever the USA Today point spread is.

My results so far against the spread:

All my picks 36 wins 28 losses 1 tie
My overdog picks 35-23-1
My underdog picks 1-5
Spread a factor: 1-7-1

A plain-vanilla, "homer rules" strategy leads the way at 41-23-1 followed closely by all-overdogs at 40-24-1.

In this post, I also look ahead to the dog days of summer after the conclusion of the NBA finals and the start of the NFL regular season -- the 2nd dullest period for North American sports fans, 2nd in tedium only to the weeks in February and March after the Super Bowl and before the NCAA basketball tourney.

Yes, there’s major-league baseball (MLB) during July and August. But, be honest. Is there anyone out there who can really enjoy an entire mid-season baseball game?

To my English eyes, the only good thing about baseball is that it doesn’t last as long as cricket.
But, during the summer MLB is the only game going for participants in friendly, non-profit office pools. If you are in a pool based on picking the winners of each game with points awarded based on odds posted for those fools who wager on sports, I propose conducting the following experiment.

Continue following your own head-or-heart approach for picking intra-league games. But, for inter-league games between American League (AL) and National League (NL) teams, use your head and always pick the AL team. Over the past 3 seasons, AL teams have won a significant majority of all inter-league games.

What I am interested in knowing is whether oddsmakers and their customers correctly value AL dominance. For the rest of the baseball season, I will report my simulated running total for a strategy placing $1 on an AL team to win more than $1 on those rare occasions when an AL underdog is facing a NL overdog and placing more than $1 to win $1 in the more common case when an AL overdog meets a NL underdog. Logic says the commission built into odds should result in a small net loss for any strategy. But, let’s see whether this is really true for a full season of inter-league play.

I will report my results next week.

In the meantime, keep taking the overdogs in the NBA playoffs.

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