Wednesday, November 6, 2013

NBA Heavy Underdogs 55% ATS 2013-14 Regular Season Recap

Official Godiva toy boy and fiance Archibald runs a non-profit pool picking NBA winners against the spread (ATS) over the full season. Players have the right to select 82 games including playoffs. I focus on with picking heavy underdogs with more than 12 points.

I finished 38-31-1 for the regular season or 55% ATS. From 2008-9 through 2013-14, I am 55.26% ATS with heavy underdogs.

Over a long run of the past two decades NBA heavy underdogs have been one of the most reliable picks for non-profit sports pool players. Archibald turned me on to the academic work on NBA heavy underdogs. Ex-Godiva toy boy Reginald believes in wasting his time analysing each and every game before making picks based on subjective hunches. Yet another reason why Reginald is my ex and Archibald is my xxx-man.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

NFL 2013-4 Recap ATS

In the non-profit pool that I swim in naked (of all football knowledge other than Professor Levitt's lessons about gaming market anomalies), I finished 129-129-9 against the spread (ATS) after correctly picking Seattle +1 over Denver in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Underdogs are now 24-22-2 in Super Bowls to date ATS. Professor Leavitt believes that the Super Bowl underdog is the best pick in sports ATS. I would expect underdogs to take 55% of Super Bowls ATS over 1000 matches.

4-7 with my play-off picks combined with my 125-122-9 record for the regular season:

2-3 play-offs and 75-82-5 regular season with road underdog picks;

0-2 play-offs and 44-36-4 regular season home underdogs;

6-4 with my regular season attempts to identify home overdogs with value and 1-2 in the play-offs.

A simple all-homer strategy would be in the top half of most pool parades at 4-6 play-offs and 132-115-9 regular season. An all-underdogs strategy finished 123-124-9 for the regular season and 5-6 in the play-offs. This was only the 5th season out of the last 22 to end up with underdogs as a net loser.

I played in 2 pools and finished tied for 13th out of 62 in one and tied for 16th out of 98 in the other. My pool records are better than my record here on this blog because I take advantage of anomalies in the pool spreads whenever they arise. But, the fact that I did relatively well in both pools even though I was all-even with my base package of picks shows that most pool players tend to ignore pool spread anomalies.

Dearest Godiva toy boy and fiance Archibald points out that the NFC won the inter-conference rivalry against the AFC this year 35-30 straight-up thanks entirely to the NFC West's 14-3 record against the AFC. Against the rest of the NFC, the West went 17-7 in the regular season and 3-0 in the play-offs. Arch would have backed Arizona, 3rd best in the NFC West, against Denver in the Super Bowl (SB) on the grounds that he believes Arizona is the 3rd best team in the entire league. It would be interesting to know whether there is any correlation between which conference wins on Super Sunday and which conference wins regular season bragging rights, as was the case this year.

Arch predicts that next year in 2015 the NFC will extend its SB lead over the AFC to 27-22 straight-up and 6-2 over the last 8 and that the victor will be a team from the NFC West. The streakiness in the SB interconference rivalry is striking. After splitting the first 6 SBs with the NFC, the AFC won 8 of the next 9; the NFC then won 15 of the following 16 SBs including 13 in a row from 1985 through 1997; AFC took 8 of the next 10; and NFC has now won 5 of the past 7.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Canadian Football League CFL 2013 Recap

To humour my Canadian toy boy and fiance Archibald, I participate in his non-profit CFL pool against the spread (ATS). My Grey Cup pick lost ATS for the 1st time in 5 years of picking.

Losing the Grey Cup left me at 36-38-3 for the season -- my first losing season in 5 years of picking. I finished 25-20-3 with road underdog picks, 6-12 home underdogs, 3-5 home overdogs and 2-1 road overdogs. I am still 54.5% over the past 5 years picking CFL winners ATS starting with 2009 -- not enough matches to be statistically significant, but nevertheless I am proud of my good fortune up until this year. Of course, it's the same record over 5 years as a simple all-underdogs strategy.

Arch pointed out that western teams were 20-14 straight-up against eastern teams in 2012 including losing the Grey Cup. This year in 2013 the west was even stronger at 21-12 against the east straight-up and 18-15 ATS. Arch was confident that the west would win the Grey Cup especially with SASKATCHEWAN hosting. Last year in 2012, Toronto won the Cup outright lifting the east to even-Stephen 17-17 ATS vs. the west in 2012. SASKATCHEWAN is now 4-15 in Grey Cup finals -- a losing record in championships rivalled only by the Brooklyn Dodgers 1-10 record in the World Series.

Friday, April 19, 2013

NBA 2013 Playoffs Recap

After losing my game 7 pick of Santonio +6 over MIAMI, I finished 45-40 against the spread (ATS) for the playoffs this year or 52.9% including 4-3 with my underdog picks.

I played netball as a lass in England while experimenting with sexual orientation with lovely, tall and slender Penelope. But, as an adult on the straight and narrow, I do not watch basketball even though official Godiva toy boy/fiancé Archibald can't get enough roundball.

Each spring dearest Archibald organizes a friendly, non-profit office pool for the NBA playoffs. The winner is the contestant who picks the most winners ATS over all playoff matches. All matches are weighted equally.

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

I take most overdog favourites. I finished well out of the prizes this year. But, over 6 years since 2008 of swimming naked (of roundball knowledge) in Archibald's pool, I am 54.7% ATS.

But, before I get carried away and start billing myself as the NBA playoff Nostradamus, just by picking all overdogs in every NBA playoff game for the past 6 years starting with 2008, you would be sporting a 54.9% record ATS. Archibald disagreed with my Spurs pick. I agreed with Archibald that Miami would likely win the championship. I believe Miami would win 2 out of every 3 game 7s at home against the Spurs if they could play 100 times in the same circumstances. But, I do not believe that Miami would win 50% of game 7s by more than 6 points. Oddsmakers and bettors tend to undervalue the underdog in a high-profile match like game 7 of the NBA finals. Miami covered the point spread by 1 this year, but I still believe that the Spurs offered better value.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Major League Baseball (MLB) 2013 Inter-league Recap

(Updated 30 October 2013)

American League (AL) teams finished 159-148 this year vs. National League (NL) teams including the AL's 2013 All-Star game and World Series (WS) triumphs after 3 consecutive years of NL wins from 2010 to 2012 in both cases.

The NL dominated 40-28 over the last 68 statistically insignificant matches of the regular season.

Official Godiva toy boy/fiancé Archibald organizes a non-profit pool picking winners of at least 250 matches each year. Points are calculated based on the posted odds. I take all AL teams in all inter-league matches based on AL dominance over the past decade. I finished 28th -- far from a prize but at least ahead of Arch, my dim-witted hunkasaurus.

The AL's 51.8% winning rate against the NL this year was well below the AL's 54.6% average (including World Series and All-Star games) from 2004 through 2013 and just within the 51.6% to 57.6% range that we can expect 2 out of every 3 years. The AL has recorded a 10th consecutive triumph in annual inter-league contests, but the 52.7% average over the past 4 years is well below the 55.9% average from 2004 through 2009.

My prior toy boy Reginald now lives in Vegas where he has heard that AL dominance from 2004 to 2009 reflected the greater prevalence of steroid use in the AL, not better team management, and that the NL is catching up now because the steroid crackdown has diminished the AL advantage. Another factor weakening the AL record this year is Houston's switch from NL to AL.

Nevertheless, I expect the AL to continue winning 6 out of every 10 WS as has been the case over the past 3 decades. Boston's victory over St. Louis was even more decisive in total runs scored 27-14. St. Louis was fortunate to win 2 games. 4th WS appearance by the Cards in the last 10 years including 2 wins vs. 3rd appearance and 3 wins for BoSox who for now have bragging rights as team of the 3rd millenium. Cards a rare NL bird with a clued-in team management -- 7th WS appearance for Cards in past 31 years.

Arch's beloved Blue Jays a rare AL clueless bird -- no playoff appearance in past 20 years. By the way, I have told loyal BJay fan and reigning Godiva toy boy Arch that I expect to see the Houston Worstros, NY Mets, ChiCubs and Florida Marlins all make the playoffs sooner than Toronto. Toronto is struggling in the AL with a NL-style team management whose theme song should be the Straw Man's introductory solo in the Wizard of Oz: "If I only had a brain."

Monday, March 18, 2013

NCAA March Madness 2013 Recap ATS

I myself do not watch American college basketball, but official Godiva 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, players in his pool 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 67 matches including the play-in games. All matches are weighted equally.

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).

I finished 30-36-1 on the road to the final. I was pleased to get the final right by picking with overdog favourite Louiville -4 over Michigan.

Over 6 years since 2008 of swimming naked (of roundball knowledge) in Archibald's pool, I am losing at 190-196-7.

Just by picking all overdog favourites in every NCAA tournament game for the past 6 years, you would have finished ahead of me every year and would be sporting a 201-185-7 or 52% record ATS starting with 2008. I tried something different this year by going with Cincinatti Professor Michael Magazine's tip that his statistical model shows the No. 11 seeds as underseeded by the selectors and undervalued by oddsmakers and bettors. But, those picks went 0-3.

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

He got UNC right as the 2009 winner. After a tough time in 2010 and 2011 with none of his final 4 picks coming through, he correctly picked 5 of the elite 8 this year and 6 of 8 in 2012. Not too shabby. When he picks upsets in the early rounds, I can identify games where Lady Godiva and the Baracketer-in-Chief disagree. In Obama's first 5 years in office, I am 15-26 womano-a-mano against the Baracketer. I won 5-3 in 2009 and 2-1 this year, but the President can boast that he defeated Lady G 22-8 from 2010 through 2012.

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