Statsational Week 2 Picks

By | September 12, 2012

1 week in the books and we put a couple of bucks in the wallet.  We finish the week 8-5-1 if you bought the half point on Minn or 8-6 straight up.  Either way a profitable week.  The top 4 picks were all winners.  Looking at the LVH Supercontest only 10 entries went 5-0 last week.  63% of the contest were 2-3 or worse.  A lot of very good handicappers struggled a bit last week.

Several people have asked about various office pools that they participate in and how to use the games in them.  I will go over a few pools and how you can use the plays to your advantage.

6 out of 6
This is a pool that you are forced to take 6 games and must win all 6 to win the pot.  It is essentially a 6 team parlay.  I would play the top 6 plays on my board each week.  If you have another system that is successful you may want to combine plays that agree from mine and the other system.  Last season in one of my emails I went over the math.  I will copy past that below.

For each game we can either agree or disagree on the game.  That leaves us 4 possible scenarios for each game

1. We both are correct
2. I am correct and you are incorrect
3. I am incorrect and you are correct
4. We both are wrong.

So lets take a scenario where you want to match my games with yours or another system that is hitting at 55%.  My games are 60%.  Using the numbers for each scenario above here are the calculations

1. 55%*60% = 33%
2. 60%*(100%-55%) = 27%
3. 55%*(100%-60%) = 22%
4. (100%-60%)*(100%-55%) = 18%

So in scenario 1 and 4 we would agree.  Add 1 and 4 and get 51%.  Then divide the 33% we are both right by the 51% total in games we agree and you get 64.70%.  That would be what you would expect to hit if both systems continued at the same percentage and you only played games that agreed.  Put this in excel and see the numbers for yourself.  Essentially taking two systems that produce over 50% and combining them will get you a higher percentage of winners than each does individually.  Also remember if you have a system that performs poorly that can be just as valuable as one that performs well.  Picking 40% winners is just as good as 60% winners.  Just fade the system.  And if you are matching it to mine then use 60% as your percentage as well.

Survivor Pool
Also called an eliminator pool, this is a pool in which you pick one team a week straight up.  If they lose you are out.  You may only take each team once.  In this pool I try not to go against any game in which I have the underdog as a play.  And conversely I will look at all the favorites I have as plays and decide which I like from that group.  If I do not like any I may go to a game that was not picked by the system.  Week 1 I took Houston for instance.  Remember the average game falls about 10 points from the line.  That means the average 7 point underdog that wins ATS wins the game outright by 3.

Pick ‘Em Pool
This pool requires you to pick the games straight up with no point spread.  I actually find this pool the most difficult.  Firstly I would take all of the favorites the system likes.  Then I would take every double digit favorite regardless of whether the system likes the dog or not.  I would then take any underdog under a td the system likes.  Every dog the system likes from +7 to +10 I would take on a case by case basis.

Underdog Pool
This pool requires you to pick one team who is the underdog that week.  If they win outright you get the point spread for your points.  Last week I took Arizona and gained 3 points in the pool.  My strategy here is to obviously only take underdogs the system likes.  I would be conservative early, especially if the pool is not large, and take teams who are +3 to +5.  As the season goes on you will know if you need to take teams that are a bit longer like +7 or greater.  But I like to keep myself in the game as long as possible and make the tougher choices later in the season.  This holds true with survivor pools as well.  I am not a fan of taking risks early when I do not know as much as I will late.


There is generally an overreaction in Week 1 with certain teams.  Either negatively or positively.  Now that reaction is based solely on what our expectations were coming in to the new season.  That does not mean the public won’t be right with some of these.  The overreaction is usually when we see what we expected to see, not what we didn’t.  For instance Atlanta and Baltimore were getting a lot of love this off season.  Both came out and won big this week.  That will fuel a bigger reaction than say the Saints losing at home.  The public will give the Saints a pass for now.  But when looking at week 2 games what is interesting is teams that lose in Week 1 and are Underdogs in Week 2 win ATS 54% of the time.  That tells me the books tend to skew games toward the favorites in Week 2 knowing the public is now betting on what they saw in Week 1.  This differs from Week 10.  In Week 10 the public is looking at Week 9 but it also has Week 1-8 to think about.  So overreactions early in the season are much more common.

With that said this weeks games have a bit of an underdog bias.

Week 2 Picks

1. Kansas City +3……………….90%
2. Seattle +3………………………80%
3. Tampa Bay +7.5………………76%
4. Denver +3………………………67% MNF
5. Tennessee +6…………………63%
6. Oakland -2.5…………………..62%
7. Jacksonville +7.5……………..61%
8. Carolina +2.5………………….61%
9. Detroit +7..,……………………..57% SNF
10. Baltimore +2.5………………57%
11. New England -13.5………….56%
12. Green Bay -6…………………54% TNF
13. Cleveland +7………………….54%
14. Indianapolis +1.5……………….54%
15. Washington -3………………..54%

The 90% on KC is the most I have ever seen.  I have a ton of trends that all favor KC here.  So I fully expect KC to cover this game.  That does not mean I am going to do anything silly and risk my bankroll on one game.  I mention this all the time but the key to any business (and this is a business) is to stay in business.  Then make a profit.  You can not make a profit tomorrow if you are closing the doors to the store today.  So be smart with the money management.  We had an 87% game in week 16 last year that did not win.  So nothing is perfect.  The strength of the system is that it will find the edges on the schedule and over time pick at a high percentage.  Short term we can always get some swings either positive or negative.

Once again the rule on the half point buys is only if you are getting them at 10% juice do you make the buy.  A lot of places give 20% which gives us no edge.  Anything over that and it becomes a negative to us.  If you can get 10% then move all games on or off the 3, 7 and 10.  Since a small number can actually get the 10% I am going to post the plays as they are without any point buying.  You will have to use your own judgement as to whether you are buying the half points or not.