Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The National Point Spread Game

It's the NFL, of course. Like many a red-blooded American male, I have a system for deriving bets against the point spread of NFL games (and I would certainly respect any American female's doing so, too). I would claim it's a good one; it sure makes sense to me, anyway.

NFL games are the best ones to bet point spread. My system starts to kick in about week 6 or 7 (where we are now), and does not work past about week 12 (when it's more about competing for playoff spots, and some teams are motivated and some not). During this period, teams have played enough games, and should have played a good-enough mix of weak and strong teams, to have a fairly good estimate of average points scored and against.

I hate systems that produce a recommended bet in every game. Mine generally, but not always, identifies three or four games where the point spread seems out of line with what it should be. So I recommend those bets. Very simple.

This week, one game has no line (according to "Glantz-Culver"), Buffalo at Carolina. I guess a QB is doubtful--my system wouldn't even notice, but I'm grateful if they take it off due to some random variable. The one I'd say "no line" on is the New England "at" Tampa Bay, which is being played in London. This is an extremely weird one--a very good team against a terrible one, on a neutral field far, far away. The main variable would seem to be how much Tom Brady cares to run up the score for an interested but dispassionate crowd. I handicapped it as though there were no home team, and I'm glad my point spread estimate came close to the posted one, as I wouldn't want to bet it either way.

Rather than give away my proprietary information, I will illustrate the system by putting my rep on the line with real picks. We'll give ourselves an imaginary $5000. I will bet $2000 this week, as follows:
o) Take Minnesota, 4-point underdog at Pittsburgh ($300);
o) Take Kansas City, 4 1/2-point underdogs at home vs. San Diego ($600); and
o) Take Philly, 7-point underdog at Washington ($600).

The over/under bet on NFL is also a reasonably good one (I'd advise staying away from that one on NBA games like poison). My bets for this week are the following:

o) Bet under on Indy at St. Louis vs. 46 points combined ($400);
o) Bet under on Atlanta at Dallas vs. 42 points ($400);
o) Bet over on New Orleans at Miami vs. 47 points ($200).

To avoid taking up too much space on the blog, I will post results and future weeks' predictions (whenever I feel like doing them) as comments to this post. I have to say, I like these picks!

1 comment:

Chin Shih Tang said...

Monday night, and the last game just finished. I didn't do well, though I still don't think my picks were bad ones.

Three bad pieces of luck for me were that San Diego chose this week to wake up and play to its potential, and Minnesota had its first bad game (distinguished mostly by an inability of the offensive unit to make a tackle).
My under bet in Indy-St. Louis missed by two points. I must stop whining!

So, the results:
Minnesota-Pittsburgh--LOSER $300
Philly-Washington--WINNER $600
Under Indy-St.L.--LOSER $400
Under Atlanta-Dallas--LOSER $400
Over New Orleans-Miami--WINNER $200
Net--$900 down.

I'll try again one more time, at least.