Sharing and comparing my method for trying to beat the spread

I live in the Midwest which is Big Ten country. Once conference play starts virtually every Big Ten game is televised in my region and I commit myself to try and watch all of them. I have three televisions set up as some games are being played at the same time. I have no bias or affiliation to any Big Ten team as I am a lifelong Notre Dame fan (I include ND games in my viewing schedule as well). My comments and reports are qualified only by my love of the game and an extreme commitment to watching and following Big Ten football.

Monday, September 8, 2014

BIG TEN FOOTBALL ATS WHAT HAPPENED WEEK 2


WHAT HAPPENED 

The Big Ten went 8-5 over the weekend leaving nearly half of the teams in the conference with at least one loss after two weeks of play. All of the conference victories this week were against opponents who were perceived to be of lesser quality -  or “not from a major conference”, as most would say - yet most of the games were much more competitive than anticipated. The television schedule was kind as I was able to get a good look at all but two teams. No conference games yet so I only had one Notre Dame game to handicap and it did not qualify as a play.
My Record:  0-0


THE NON-PLAYS
Notre Dame 31  Michigan 0   (Notre Dame -3.5)
I predicted Notre Dame to win, 28-24. As I said in my Crystal Ball write-up, I didn’t have much info to use for this game as both teams opened the season against weak opponents. So I’m not too surprised by the result because I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Rice was a much better test than App St., though, so I had a better read on Notre Dame and could see that the Irish were an improved team from last season. It starts with QB Everett Golson, but it doesn’t end there. The whole team appears to be better. If Golson stays healthy and continues to throw with the accuracy he’s displayed so far, this could be a special year for the Irish. Michigan isn’t as bad as this game makes it appear, I just think Notre Dame is good right now. That having been said, I don’t think Michigan is going to win the approval of its fans this season. QB Devin Gardner is still Devin Gardner, the RB’s are good, but not breakaway, and the Linebackers did not look very good in this game. But I still think the Wolves are capable of beating anyone in the conference. Not saying they will beat everyone, mind you. Just saying they’re capable in a conference that appears to be evenly matched.




ATS
FTC DOLLARS
In this section I track the results of my Crystal Ball selections that qualify as “plays” ATS (any prediction that differs from the closing line by seven or more points). I’ve also included the results of some unsuspecting prognosticators that I found on line. The standings are based on how many “FTC” dollars are won. For a more detailed explanation of this section, please refer to the “FTC $ Q&A” tab at the top of this post.

Only one game to predict last Saturday as we wait for conference play to begin. I’ll be including Notre Dame games in my “Crystal Ball” predictions, but won’t count them in the standings here unless the Irish are facing a Big Ten opponent, which was the case last Saturday. I’ve found nine other unsuspecting prognosticators on-line this season, only two of which carry over from the last two seasons. I’ll include links to their website in the “Details” section so their selections can be verified and to properly reference their work as a source. Only three contestants made predictions that qualify as a “play”, and all three lost with Michigan, thus leaving them at the bottom of the standings at 55 FTC dollars in the hole.

ATS  PLAY STANDINGS
LAST SATURDAY
TOTAL
FTC $
W
L
T
W
L
T
FROM THE COUCH
0
0
0
0
0
0
$0
TOM DEINHART (btn)
0
0
0
0
0
0
$0
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
0
0
0
0
0
0
$0
BRENT YARINA (btn)
0
0
0
0
0
0
$0
KEVIN RYAN (247sports)
0
0
0
0
0
0
$0
BRADEN GALL (athlon)
0
0
0
0
0
0
$0
STEVEN LASSAN (athlon)
0
0
0
0
0
0
$0
STATRAT (pubhole)
0
1
0
0
1
0
-$55
DAVID FOX (athlon)
0
1
0
0
1
0
-$55
MITCH LIGHT (athlon)
0
1
0
0
1
0
-$55


DETAILS 

THIS WEEK'S PLAY DETAILS
WINNERS
LOSERS
WEBSITE
FROM THE COUCH
KEVIN RYAN (247sports)
STATRAT (pubhole)
MIC,
TOM DEINHART (btn)
BRENT YARINA (btn)
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
DAVID FOX (athlon)
MIC,
BRADEN GALL (athlon)
STEVEN LASSAN (athlon)
MITCH LIGHT (athlon)
MIC,






SEASON STATS 

As you can see from the “Straight Up” category, there was an even distribution among the contestants as to who they thought would win this game. Gotta give credit to Merriman for correctly choosing against the conference he represents. 


SPREAD RECORD
W
L
STRAIGHT UP
W
L
FROM THE COUCH
1
0
FROM THE COUCH
1
0
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
1
0
KEVIN RYAN (247sports)
1
0
BRADEN GALL (athlon)
1
0
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
1
0
KEVIN RYAN (247sports)
0
1
BRADEN GALL (athlon)
1
0
STATRAT (pubhole)
0
1
STEVEN LASSAN (athlon)
1
0
TOM DEINHART (btn)
0
1
STATRAT (pubhole)
0
1
BRENT YARINA (btn)
0
1
TOM DEINHART (btn)
0
1
DAVID FOX (athlon)
0
1
BRENT YARINA (btn)
0
1
STEVEN LASSAN (athlon)
0
1
DAVID FOX (athlon)
0
1
MITCH LIGHT (athlon)
0
1
MITCH LIGHT (athlon)
0
1
WITHIN 7
W
L
CLOSEST
W
L
FROM THE COUCH
0
1
FROM THE COUCH
1
0
KEVIN RYAN (247sports)
0
1
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
1
0
STATRAT (pubhole)
0
1
BRADEN GALL (athlon)
1
0
TOM DEINHART (btn)
0
1
KEVIN RYAN (247sports)
0
1
BRENT YARINA (btn)
0
1
STATRAT (pubhole)
0
1
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
0
1
TOM DEINHART (btn)
0
1
DAVID FOX (athlon)
0
1
BRENT YARINA (btn)
0
1
BRADEN GALL (athlon)
0
1
DAVID FOX (athlon)
0
1
STEVEN LASSAN (athlon)
0
1
STEVEN LASSAN (athlon)
0
1
MITCH LIGHT (athlon)
0
1
MITCH LIGHT (athlon)
0
1


SPREAD RECORD-Simply displays the ATS record.
STRAIGHT UP- The outright winner, disregarding the spread.
WITHIN 7-This category tracks how many times a predicted point spread was within seven points of the actual spread (final score). Why does this matter? Because one can never lose in the play category if the prediction is within 7 points. 35 percent is about average in this category. Close to 50 percent is excellent.
CLOSEST - It’s possible to be on the correct side of the spread yet not be as accurate. EX: If I predict Michigan by 12, the spread is 6, and Michigan wins by 7, I get a win in the spread record category. I get a loss in the closest category because the spread (7-6=1) was closer than my prediction (12-7=5). 

Any games that go into overtime will be calculated as a tie for the “closest” and “within 7” category. The actual score will be used, however, for the other two categories.







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