Saturday, December 31, 2011

NBA Heavy Underdogs 2012 Recap

Heavy underdogs with more than 12 points finished 18-20-2 for the 2012 regular season.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

NFL 2011-2 Recap

Updated 7 February 2012

For those of you playing in season-long pools picking winners against point spreads, I recommended mostly underdogs again this year. I finished 128-128-11 for the entire season, 124-121-11 for the regular season followed by 4-7 in the playoffs.

I was less than rapt to go an abysmal 7-14-1 with my efforts to identify "value overdogs" leaving me trailing a plain-vanilla all-underdog strategy leading the way at 135-121-11 or 52.6% -- a touch above the long-term average for all-underdogs over the past 20 years. Underdogs have finished over 50% in 7 of the past 10 years and 16 of the past 20.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

CFL 2011 Recap

The National Football League (NFL) is my principal interest (aside from toy boy and fiance Archibald), but just for fun I pick Canadian Football League (CFL) games against the spread (ATS).

After correctly picking BC -7 over Winnipeg in the Grey Cup, I was chuffed to finish 44-32-1 or 57.8% ATS for 2011.

I was 45-32 or 58.4% winners ATS in 2010 and am 55% to the good over 2009 to 2011 combined.

Official Godiva toy boy and fiance Archibald was totally wrong with his mid-year prediction that Montreal would triumph over Calgary in the Grey Cup. Spend more time in my boudoir and less time in betting parlours, Archibald, you handsome devil.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Major League Baseball 2011 Recap

Modified 1 November
American League (AL) teams won 134 of 260 interleague games in 2011 or 51.5%.

2011 is the 8th year running starting with 2004 that AL teams have won more interleague games than their National League (NL) rivals.

But, the NL has now taken 3 of the last 4 World Series contests and 6 of the last 11 as well as the All-Star game for 2 consecutive years. The NL's overall winning % of 48.5% in all 2011 inter-league games is the NL's best performance since 48.8% in 2004. Is the worm turning slowly away from this long period of AL dominance?

Monday, May 16, 2011

NBA 2011 Play-offs Recap

Modified 14 June 2011
Against the spread (ATS) I ended up 36-40-5 or 47.5% ATS in the 2011 playoffs.

Overdog favourites won 53 of 81 games straight-up -- a touch below my expectation that overdogs win about 2 out of every 3 contests over a large sample of 1,000 games. But, 18 of 81 games turned on points -- a touch above the long-run average trend of about 1 in 5 games decided by the point spread. As a result, my all-overdog approach (except for the final game) did not pay off this year for participants in friendly, non-profit NBA playoff pools based on picking winners ATS.

I should say that over the past 4 NBA playoff years starting with 2008 I am 53.7% ATS.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

NBA Heavy Underdogs: 59.5% ATS in 2010/11

For the past 3 years, I have followed what I call my Gibbs-Gipp system based on a Stanford undergrad economics essay, which in turn was based on data from 15,859 National Basketball Association (NBA) regular season games played between the 1993–1994 and the 2006–2007 seasons with a point spread greater than 12.

The statistically significant part of the Gibbs-Gipp system – backing all "heavy" underdogs receiving more than 12 points – came through with 59.5% winners over the 2010/11 NBA regular season after delivering 61.8% and 54.7% success rate against the points in 2009/10 and 2008/9 respectively.

Over the past 3 NBA regular seasons averaged together, I am 58%.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

NCAA March Madness 2011 Recap

I finished 27-38-2 or 42% against the spread (ATS) -- my first sub-50% performance in 4 years of applying my Gibbs-Gipp system to the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

Over 4 full years from 2008 through 2011, I am 129-125-5 or 50.8%.

I should admit that just by picking favourites in every NCAA tournament game for the past 4 years, you would have finished ahead of me every year and would be sporting a 138-116-5 or 54.25% record for 2008 through 2011.

Lady G vs. President Obama
President Obama picks winners straight-up with no point line for each bracket and round.

He had a tough time the past two years with none of his final 4 picks coming through. But, when he picked upsets in the early rounds, I could identify games where Lady Godiva and the Baracketer-in-Chief disagreed. In Obama's first 3 years in office, I am 9-19 womano-a-mano against the Baracketer. I won 5-3 in 2009, but the President can boast that he defeated Lady G 6-2 last year and 10-2 this year.

And, speaking of mano-a-womano, kudos to the President for also picking the women's NCAA brackets.

Lady G's System

I myself take no interest whatsoever in American college basketball, but toy boy fiancé Archibald can't get enough roundball. Every year he organizes a friendly, non-profit office pool for the NCAA men's tourney. Instead of picking bracket winners, the object of his pool is to pick winners against the point spread each and every day as the tournament unfolds. The winner of his winner-take-all pool is the contestant who picks the most winners against the spread over 64 matches. All matches are weighted equally starting with the play-in game to determine the 64th team.

To humour Archibald, I participate by relying on economists' studies showing that "heavy" underdogs win more than their fair share of college basketball games against the point spread, while "non-heavy" overdogs win slightly more than 50% (although this particular result is not statistically significant).

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 Super Bowl

Modified 9 February 2011
I am embarrassed to say that I finished 4-7 for the 2011 playoffs and have now lost the past 4 Super Bowls against the point spread. Combining both regular season and playoffs, I finished even-steven at 130-130-7 for the 2010-11 NFL season.

Sports fans like groundhogs have another 6 weeks to hibernate. Then, tune in for my March madness picks when I also match wits against Baracketer-in-Chief Obama.

To see why I picked Pittsburgh to win the Super Bowl, check out Freakonomics author Professor Steven Levitt's case for picking the Super Bowl underdog every year because Super Sunday bettors are less sophisticated than regular season punters and overvalue overdogs even more than regular season bettors.

Through 45 Super Bowls to date, underdogs are 21-22-2. Based on Professor Levitt's analysis, I would expect to see underdogs win on points in 54% of Super Bowls over a statistically significant sample of 1,000 Super Bowls or so. We will not live long enough to find out if Professor Levitt is correct. But, it is interesting to keep track of Super Bowl data as the years go by.

Part-time NFL analyst and full-time public policy pundit Gregg Easterbrook recommended taking all home teams in the quarter-final round of the NFL playoffs based on the 73% winning record straight-up of home teams in the quarter-final round over the full history of NFL playoffs in this format going back to 1990. ESPN blowhard John Kincade calls this advice lazy based on the last several years with home teams only winning 50%. 2-2 this year is too small a sample size to say who is correct on a consistent, long-term basis. We won't know for sure until 1,000 games have been played over the next 200+ years. But, this year Kincaid called it better than Easterbrook.

Condolences to long-suffering Jet fan and former Godiva toy boy Reginald who remains unlucky in all his love affairs -- with football and the ladies.