Tuesday, September 4, 2012

NFL 2012-13 Recap

For all you non-profit pool players against the spread (ATS) out there, I was glad to win my Super Bowl (SB) pick of

Baltimore +4 over SF

After 47 Super Bowls, underdogs are 23-22-2. Professor Leavitt of Freakonomics fame claims that the SB underdog is one of the best bets in sports because the tendency for bettors to overestimate the overdog ends up being fully reflected in the SB spread.

Despite losing this year, NFC is still up with XXV wins to XXII for the AFC after XLVII Super Bowls.

I went 4-7 ATS in the playoffs this year: 2-3 with road underdogs (counting SF as the home overdog in the Super Bowl on the grounds that they play in New Orleans twice a year), 0-2 with home underdogs, 2-2 with home overdogs. 2013 was my 9th losing record in the last 10 playoff years. I have sorted out a consistent system and expect to start doing better, but bad luck in a small sample size worked against me this year.

I finished 127-122-7 or 50.98% over the regular season: 46-47-2 with home underdogs, 1-1 with home overdog favourites and 80-74-5 with road underdogs.

So, my full season record including playoffs fell to 131-129-7 or 50.4%: 46-49-2 for home underdogs, 3-3 for home overdogs and 82-77-5 for road underdogs.

Incredibly, 11-4-1 in week 3 was good enough to win one of my two pools (only 66 players), but 12-2 in week 6 was not good enough to win either pool. I won one regular season pool and finished 3rd out of 92 players in the other.

In both pools, I won most of the ties in the official point spread and took advantage of some other pool anomalies, so I did better than 51% in both. The fact that I did so well picking almost all underdogs shows that most pool players have an unwarranted bias toward picking overdog favourites.

I have a 51.7% record ATS from 2001 to 2012, but am just barely above 50% from 2007 through 2012. So here's hoping that next season 2013-14 will be more like the first few years of the millenium and less like the past six. I do expect that my method of mostly underdogs with a smattering of value overdogs will be proven out over a statistically significant sample of 1000 years of NFL matches. In the past 21 years since 1992, there have only been 4 years when a simple all-overdogs strategy exceeded 50%.

No comments: