Week 7 NFL Picks

Games We Love

NY Giants (+4.5) vs. Dallas Cowboys

The NY Giants travel to Dallas fresh off getting absolutely embarrassed on Sunday Night Football by the Eagles. Now they have to take on (according to Michael Irvin) the “best team in the NFL right now”. The best team is not even favored by a touchdown, which means the Cowboys shouldn’t even break a sweat on Sunday, easily covering the spread that is much too low. I mean, the Cowboys should at least be 10 point favorites after being 10 point dogs traveling into Seattle and coming out with a win.

The pick: NY Football Giants, take the points

Cincinnati Bengals (+3) vs. Indianapolis Colts

The Bengals, after starting strong, have faltered the last two games. They’ve given up a gazillion points to the Patriots and the Panthers. Now they have to play the greatest offense outside of Denver. Andrew Luck is a machine and he should be able to throw TD’s at will. The Colts have covered the spread an amazing 5 out of 6 games thus far this year. Why are they only 3 point favorites, shouldn’t this line be at least 8.5?

The pick: Bengals, take the points

Games We Like

Miami Dolphins (+3) vs. Chicago Bears

It’s hard to figure this game out. What Dolphins team is going to show up in Chicago? On the flip side, the Bears offense is simply dominating teams, but they only have a 1-2 record in the last three. However, last week, in Atlanta, their defense finally stepped up to the plate, shutting down Ryan and Julio Jones. Now that the defense is playing like the offense, the Dolphins should have no chance. Bills barely beat the Bears in week 1, then dominated the Dolphins in week 2, therefore the Bears should mostly dominate the Dolphins in week 7. That sounds logical right?

The pick: Dolphins, take the points

Seattle Seahawks vs. St. Louis Rams (+6.5)

The Rams haven’t covered a spread since Ronald Regan was president and they just got embarrassed on National television on Monday Night Football. Austin Davis completed like one pass in the second half. The Seahawks did get beat last week, so naturally, they are angry and are going to bring their best defense in football into St. Louis and tear some shit up! They traded their disgruntled WR to the Jets, so it should be smooth sailing for the defending World Champs.

The pick: Rams, take the points

Games We Find Interesting

Atlanta Falcons (+6.5) vs. Baltimore Ravens

The Falcons just got beat at home, now they have to travel to Baltimore to play a very tough Ravens squad. Flacco threw a record 12 TD’s last game vs. Bucs. The Falcons secondary is just as bad as Tampa. Flacco could throw 15 in this game.

The pick: Falcons, take the points

Arizona Cardinals vs. Oakland Raiders (+3.5)

The Cardinals are only favored by 3.5 points on the road against a terrible Raiders squad. Doesn’t seem high enough right?

The pick: Raiders, take the points

Good luck!

This Weeks College Picks – 10.18.14

Games We Love

You’re going to notice something about all the games we love in college this week. Of course, they are all home underdogs about to face much superior (and in most cases ranked or formerly ranked) football teams. As you saw last week, we don’t care. There’s money to be made in not betting with what Joe Public thinks, but rather reading all the expert predictions and then doing exactly the opposite. On to this week’s picks.

UCLA vs. California (+7)

UCLA has been the Jekyll and Hyde team of the college football season. One week they are dominating opponents, the next week they are narrowly squeaking out wins and then the following week, they are getting trounced. Getting trounced is the most recent example, with a lackluster performance last week vs. the Ducks from Oregon. Now they show up as favorites on the road vs. their instate rivals. The thing is, Cal is not a good football team. They have narrowly won most of their games this season. Most recently, they got shellacked by a Washington squad at HOME who we will see later in this week’s picks.

The pick: Cal, take the points

Editor’s Note: Cal lost by 2

Nebraska vs. Northwestern (+6.5)

Another schizophrenic team rolls into Illinois as relative big favorites. Nebraska led by their all-American running back, has only lost one game this season and even though they were dominated for much of the game against Michigan State, they came roaring back to have a chance to win in the end. As such, nobody thinks the Wildcats will give them much of a game. Bo Pelini will surely roll.

The pick: Northwestern, take the points

Editor’s Note: Nortwestern got rolled after they were in the game at the start

Baylor vs. West Virginia (+7.5)

Mighty Baylor and their high octane offense rolls into West Virginia to take on Dick Trickle (my pet name for Clint Trickett, back when he played for FSU) and the upstart Mountaineers. Baylor of course is undefeated and ranked #4 in the nation. They are only giving 7 1/2 points on the road, which is surely a gift from the Vegas line makers. Baylor scored a gazillion points last week, going on a 100-0 run in the fourth quarter to come back and stun the TCU Horned Frogs. This probably won’t even be a contest.

The pick: West Virginia, gladly take the points

Editor’s Note: WVU won outright, Dick Trickle was sensational

Games We Like

Notre Dame vs. Florida State (-11.5)

The fine upstanding Catholics of the prestigious university of Notre Dame roll into Tallahassee to take on personified evil in rapist Jameis Winston and his merry band of thugs. For morality and the American way, we must see FSU vanquished from the ranks of the unbeaten and Mr. Winston groveling shamefully as Everett Golson displays what a true Heismann candidate should look and be like. I mean Mr. Golson has never signed anything in his life and Mr. Winston literally signs thousands of things for money. Assuming Mr. Winston plays in the game….

The pick: FSU, give the points, but say 4 “abba fathers” and 3 “hail Mary’s”

Editor’s Note: Easily the best game of the day, FSU won by 4 and did not cover

Michigan State vs. Indiana (+15)

Michigan State should just book their tickets to the Big Ten title game and save us all the trouble of watching them demolish their 6 remaining opponents.

The pick: Indiana, take the points

Editor’s Note: State looks like they will be a playoff team

Washington vs. Oregon (-20.5)

The Ducks just got beat at home two weeks ago and barely won on the road in UCLA last week. They are almost 3 touchdown favorites to a pretty decent Huskies team. The Huskies barely lost to a ranked Stanford Cardinal team! It’s safe to think they’ll lose, but probably only by a last second FG right?

The pick: The Ducks, give the points

Editor’s Note: Ducks won by 22

That will do it for the college slate this week. Stay tuned for the NFL picks coming later this weekend.

Editor’s Note: 3-3 this week, with games we love going 2-1

Thursday Night – Week 7 NFL Pick

NY Jets (+9.5) vs. NE Patriots

The Patriots are coming off their second straight dominant win. First dispatching the formerly undefeated Bengals and then going on the road and beating a supposedly tough Buffalo Bills squad. The bumbling Jets are well bumbling. Rex Ryan is feeling the coaching hot seat and Geno Smith is contemplating what it might be like to sell used cars with Josh Gordon. We are at the start of week 7 and there is only one team in the NFL this season who has yet to cover a spread. It’s of course, the NY Jets. They came within one Marty Morningwheg timeout of covering vs. the Packers in week 2, but instead of a cover, it led to a push. Naturally, nobody likes the Jets tonight…

The Pick: Jets, take the points

We might be temporarily delusional, I know, but the Jets have been awful for five games now. Only the Vikings have scored less points in their last 2 games than the Jets. We think that trend will end tonight (not the Jets actually scoring points because the weather is terrible, we mean the Jets covering), in a monsoon in New England.

Editor’s Note: J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS!!!! covered the spread, just like everyone knew they would right?

How’s this work?

Obviously, the biggest question that everyone wants to know is how this stuff works. It’s actually a pretty simple idea. The concept is that the public perception is generally wrong and wherever the majority of the public is putting their money, you want to put your money on the opposite side. We all know the casino’s in Vegas weren’t built by business men who love to pay out money, but rather rich business men who collected a lot of money from the gambling public. When 80% of bettors bet on one team to win a game and that team does win, who pays out the winnings? The gambling site/casino etc. Do you think it’s in their best interest to be on the side of paying the money out or on the side of collecting the money? Don’t you think the bookmakers would set a line to entice gamblers to bet on one side, so they can lose and then collect the majority of the bets on the other? If the favorite team always won, don’t you think everyone would just bet on the favorite every time? The opposite is also true, if the underdog won all the time, wouldn’t people just bet that way? Absolutely, which tells you that you’re never going to win with every bet, but if you choose the bets wisely, you can win most of the time. It’s just about what bets to place.

Obviously, we won’t predict every game right. We will have losing weeks and winning weeks. In addition, when we publish our picks, lines are still moving, bets are still coming in, so our analysis could be off. A good example is the Sunday night Philadelphia vs. NY Giants game. Early indications were that the Giants were the play because most of the public was taking the Eagles. However, during Sunday, money started to build on the Giants and by kickoff, most of the dollars were on the Giants, making the Eagles to team to bet on.

With that in mind, we have come up with the following hierarchy for classifying our bets.

1. Games We Love

These are games that show all the right indicators immediately. Public perception is definitely swayed on one side and we will almost certainly be placing a wager on these games at game time, unless there are late injuries or late unexpected line movements. In week 6 we bet both the college and NFL games that we loved.

2. Games We Like

These are games that seem to show the right indicators, but we need to study a little further to track line movements and how the money is being bet. We never bet all of these games or sometimes never bet any of these games. They show promise, but we might pass for a variety of reasons. Some of these games become games we love at game time. It just requires us to make sure the indicators moved correctly.

3. Games of Interest

These are games that are interesting because they could be great or the line might be set right, which means there is no play. These games have less of a chance for us to play them, but we still consider them because they have some potential.

Week 6 wrap up

In week 6, we ended up playing 3 plays on Saturday, both Mississippi games (which were games we loved) and the USC vs. #10 Arizona which emerged late as a great play because the public believed that Arizona (after knocking off Oregon the week prior) would easily handle the Trojans. The Trojans won and covered in a very compelling game.

We also ended up playing 5 NFL games, not counting Monday night. The Texans were an overwhelming play on Thursday night, but due to a missed FG by Bullock, did not cover the 3 points. The early Sunday plays were the Dolphins and Browns. The Dolphins line moved up to +3.5 just prior to game time, thus making that play a winner. Cleveland easily covered. The Sunday afternoon play was the Dallas game and the Sunday night play was the Eagles after the majority of the late money came in on the Giants. Excluding Monday night’s game, this leaves Mr. Sharp’s record at an outstanding 7-1.

Editor’s Note: St. Louis got blown out (but did have two chances late to tie) dropping the week 6 record to 7-2

Week 6 – NFL Picks

Games We Love

Packers vs. Dolphins (+3)

The Dolphins again enter week 6 as home dogs to the mighty Packers squad. The Packers, coming off a complete Thursday night shellacking of Minnesota on TNF, roll into SunLife Stadium on 10 days rest. Giving Aaron Rodgers extra rest is a recipe for destruction and the Packers are only giving 3 points which seems very low for a Packers offense that is absolutely cruising. Eddie Lacy finally woke up against the Vikings and the Dolphins are just more fodder in his way on the trail to absolute RB dominance. Expect the PACK to easily cover.

The Pick: Dolphins, take the points

Editor’s Note: The line actually moved to 3.5 just prior to game time, but at +3, this was a push…a lucky push, with Aaron Rodgers with a last second TD

SF 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams (+3.5)

The 49ers defense may not be as good as years past, but it’s still pretty damn good. The Rams led by Austin Davis (who is terrible) are going to get throttled. Zac Stacy is gimpy, Brian Quick is putting up numbers in garbage time and the Rams are one of the worst teams in the NFL. Frank Gore is revitalized and should run over and around the Rams pathetic front 4. To keep pace with the Seahawks, the 49ers need this game. Expect a Rams beat down!

The Pick: Rams, take the points

Editor’s Note: There used to be a time that MNF, home underdogs were 8000-12 ATS. Those times are over, but this is still an excellent time to take the underdog.

Editor’s Note #2: I guess this year is not that time…

Games We Like

Patriots vs. Bills (+3)

Last week, we bet the Patriots as home dogs. I mean, everyone knew the Patriots were going to get crushed by the Bengals and the Cincinnati D Line was going to throttle Brady. This week, we love the Joe Public overreaction to one good game by New England. All of a sudden, they hit the road as favorites to a pretty decent Buffalo squad that is now starting “unretired” QB Kyle Orton. Forget history that says Brady doesn’t play well in Buffalo. BRADY IS BACK AND HE IS GOD!!!!

The pick: Bills, take the points

Editor’s Note: Brady’s back

Ravens vs. Buccaneers (+3.5)

Nobody can get the 56-14 game out of their mind. The TB Bucs looked like a JV squad against the Falcons. Mike Glennon was not Lovie Smith’s first choice and if he’s backing up the great Josh McNown, he must be terrible. Ignore the fact, the Bucs have covered the spread the last two weeks…

The pick: Bucs, take the points

Editor’s Note: The Bucs are back

Steelers vs. Browns (-1.5)

How the fuck are the Browns favored in a football game? They are the Browns!!!!

The pick: Browns, give the points

Editor’s Note: The Browns not only won, they dominated start to finish

Cowboys (+9) vs. Seahawks

The defending SB champs, coming off a dominant road win vs. Washington where they should have scored another 3 TD’s if not for the officiating return home where they haven’t lost in 1,000 years because it’s 200 decibels in the stadium and the opposing team can’t play football in loud environments.

The pick: Cowboys, take the points

Editor’s Note: The Cowboys knocked off the World Champs

NY Giants (+2.5) vs. Eagles

The Eagles are wearing all black. The Eagles are unstoppable! Eli Manning is so done.

The pick: Giants, take the points

Editor’s Note: Eli’s back. What was interesting, is that the money moved from the Eagles to the Giants just prior to gametime, making the Eagles a much better play

Games we should love, but hate

Denver vs. NY Jets (+9)

This is the perfect setup. The Jets are terrible, the Bronco’s are awesome. We should be all over this game. The home dog Jet’s don’t get any more fleas than this….

Editor’s note: Geno made sure the Jets didn’t cover with a last second pick 6

The pick: Jets, take the points

Chargers vs. Raiders (+7)

See “The NY Jets”.

The pick: Raiders, take the points

Editor’s Note: David Carr > Geno Smith

Editor’s Note: We have instituted a perma-ban on the Raiders and the Jets until they show that they are actually competent NFL teams. Both dogs could win this week, but because they are both such a shit show, we’d rather just pass….

Lots of great plays this week.

Good luck!

Editor’s Note: 2-4-1, not a great week for the underdogs

This weeks College Football Picks – 10.10.14

Games We Love

#2 Auburn vs. #3 Mississippi St (+3)

Last week, we took Auburn at home, giving 7.5 points to an LSU squad. What idiot would give 7.5 points to LSU, when every time these two schools have faced each other, it’s been decided by a FG or two? As we already know, Auburn monkey-stomped LSU, easily covering the spread. This week, the Auburn Tigers, GO WAR EAGLES! travel to Mississippi State fresh off their victory over Texas A&M. Auburn and their dominant offense is giving 3 points on the road and they will surely roll Mississippi State!

The pick: Mississippi State, take the points

Editor’s Note: State cruised, easily covering

#3 Ole Miss (+2) vs. #14 Texas A&M

Ole Miss coming off their upset victory over Alabama, still gets no respect. They are 2 point underdogs to a Texas A&M squad that is a juggernaut on offense. Texas A&M scores about 1,000 points a game, so covering a 2 point spread is like a gift from the Vegas gambling gods. No way can Ole Miss hang with Texas A&M and the offensive machine.

The pick: Ole Miss, take the points

Editor’s Note: Mississippi played well, jumping out to a 21-0 lead and hanging on for the win

Hard hitting analysis, I know. Sorry, I’m not going to give you a sharps vs. public perception write up. That’s what ESPN is for.

Games We Like

#9 TCU vs. #5 Baylor (-8)

TCU travels to Baylor to take on a Bears squad that “hasn’t played anyone yet…”. TCU meanwhile is coming off a huge upset of a highly ranked Oklahoma squad. This is the same Oklahoma squad that both Sports Illustrated and ESPN projected to be in the bowl playoff at year end. TCU must be a powerhouse right? Baylor, even though they are ranked #5 in the nation is never going to be able to cover 8 points, even at home. Just about every website I’ve read is picking TCU to cover if not win outright.

The Pick: Baylor, give the points

This is only a game we like because it’s not a true Contrarian/Underdog pick. However, public perception shows the money is all on the Horned Frogs.

Editor’s Note: TCU dominated all game, but Baylor came roaring back. Sadly, Baylor did win, but didn’t cover.

Games of Interest

Texas (+14.5) vs. #11 Oklahoma

Nobody likes Texas getting 14.5 points traveling to Oklahoma, even though this same Texas team held in strong against a #18 ranked UCLA squad a couple weeks ago.

Pick: Texas, take the points

Editor’s Note: Texas lost, but easily covered

#12 Oregon vs. #18 UCLA (+2.5)

Nobody likes the Bruins at home, even though Oregon was badly exposed last week vs. Arizona.

Pick: UCLA, take the points

Editor’s Note: UCLA is indeed overrated, they got dominated.

Duke (+3.5) vs. #22 Georgia Tech

There’s really no money on the game, but everyone loves the Yellow Jackets fresh off their throttling of Miami. Meanwhile, Miami squeaked by Duke. Therefore Georgia Tech should easily beat Duke.

Pick: Duke, take the points.

Editor’s Note: Duke won. Maybe they had an off day against Miami..

We liked the Georgia vs. Missouri game, but unfortunately it came off the board with the Gurley suspension.

Editor’s Note: We picked 6 games, 4 covered, 2 did not, for a 66% win rate…

Hockey Futures

Prior to the start of the season, we did a little analysis on the best bet for who was going to win the Stanley Cup this season.

If you looked out west there were a number of teams that could potentially do it.

LA Kings
Chicago Blackhawks
St. Louis Blues
Anaheim Ducks

But who are you going to choose? At 6/2, the Blackhawks represent almost no value.

However, out east you have….

Boston Bruins

Nobody believes in the Penguins, Lightning, Canadiens or Rangers except homers of those squads.

So we have $20 and 10-1 odds on the Boston Bruins, future winner of the 2014-15 Stanley Cup.

Fan Duel-Week 6 NFL

This week’s fan duel team.  I restricted myself from actually doing fan duel, as I would probably wouldn’t do any work at work…

In a collaboration with my son, who loves Fan Duel because he just doesn’t have time for a regular fantasy team.

QB – Eli Manning
RB-Andre Ellington
RB-Branden Oliver
WR-Brandon Marshall
WR-Antonio Brown
WR-Anquan Boldin
TE-Martellus Bennett
K-Shaun Suisham
DEF-SD Chargers

I’ll post the results in the comments section.

Week 1 Picks

Here’s the week 1 picks…

Pick                    VS                                                   W        L

USC                   Stanford                                      1
Oregon            Michigan State                        1
Ohio State     V Tech                                                           1
Falcons            Saints                                            1
Bills                   Bears                                              1
Dolphins        Patriots                                         1
Dallas              49ers                                                             1
Giants               Lions                                                             1

The Good

I’m not going to add the point spreads, you can find them if you want.

Let’s start with the college games.

Who in their right mind, thought that USC, with it’s middling program would go into Stanford, who are impossible to beat at home and win?

What idiot would take the Ducks, who were double digit favorites at home, to beat the #8 ranked team in the country at the time by more than a TD?

As for the NFL games.

Falcons, Bills, Dolphins sounds like a murderers row of favorites.  All three won and covered, all 3 were underdogs to much more prestigious offenses.  In retrospect it doesn’t look so crazy.  Ok, I admit, the Bills winning in Chicago…that was a little crazy.

The Bad

I have no explanation for the Ohio State game, perhaps someone from Ohio can explain what happened there.

It seems funny to think how bad both Dallas and the NY Giants looked in week one, after their last 4 weeks of play.  Neither of these games were particular close on the field, although the Cowboys did make it a little interesting on the scoreboard.

Final Tally:  5-3 Against the Spread.  63% win rate.



The future of HockeyOutsiders….

I’m not going to say we’re back because we never really went anywhere.  We just kind of stopped caring about hockey so much and got caught up in life.  We changed jobs, we changed wives, we changed cars.  The kids grew up, the passion for hockey was less, the time to publish stories about fake trades and Flyers goalies fell by the wayside again, as other passions consumed our time.

What is going to change with HockeyOutsiders?  Well, pretty much everything.  It’s still our website, it’s still about sports and life and such.  It’s still run and edited by the brilliant minds from before.  It’s just that the brilliant minds have a new passion, a new endeavor and we needed a place to outlet this new venture.

What is this “new” venture?  It’s a documentation of our foray into the world of gambling, point spreads, game lines and such.  Our friend calls it the “contrarian” way.  We call it perfect sense.  Don’t take my word for it though.  Follow along for a few weeks or for a season (let’s hope we last a season).  See if it works.

For a year, friend of the website, Mr. Sharp (yes, we have to work on a better alias), had been touting his system.  As members of Joe Public (AI for short), we naturally doubted his perceived success.  Then last season, we decided to track the results.

Now let’s talk about some basics before I go on.  When you gamble on sports, you have to hit 52.4% of your bets to break even.  The 2.4% is essentially the “juice” or “vig” which very simplistically works out to the money that Vegas/Gambling websites/line makers charge you to gamble.

Mr. Sharp in season 1 of tracking hit 63.0%.  He wagered on 151 games.  He picked 87 correctly against the spread, had 13 “pushes” (which means nobody won) and lost 51.

This season, Mr. Sharp has picked 62.5% of the 43 games he’s wagered on.  Assuming you bet the same amount every game, this is a 70% return on your dollars.

Intrigued?  You should be.  A word of caution though. There is a system and it requires you to forget everything you think you know about football.  It requires you to put aside any emotion or bias to one particular team or another.  It also is extremely hard to comprehend, but when you do, like I said it makes perfect sense.  Is this some revolutionary new way of thinking?  Nope, it’s been around for decades.

So in conclusion, here is what we are going to try to accomplish with this new format.  We are going to attempt to track real results to determine the success or failure of this system.  We are going to see if we can apply this system to other sports such as hockey and basketball.  Currently, we are utilizing it for NFL and college football and college basketball.  We are going to share some of our other gambling accomplishments and wagers that made us look bad or good.

As always, this is for your entertainment and ours only…I’m not sure that’s a good enough disclaimer, somebody with a legal background advise me in the comments.