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, October 6, 2014

BIG TEN FOOTBALL ATS WHAT HAPPENED WEEK 6


WHAT HAPPENED 

I was a half a point – a missed PAT – away from a clean 3-0 sweep last Saturday but instead ended up 2-1. Maybe a little aggravating, but I’m used to such things by now, and as long as I’m moving in the right direction overall, I’m content. My predictions and pre game comments can be found on my previous post, dated 10-1 (ATS Predictions - Week 6).
My Record:  4-1


THE PLAYS
Purdue 38  Illinois 27   (Illinois -9)
I predicted Purdue to win, 33-29. And I was the only one among the contestants (and most others) to pick the Boilermakers, so I gotta admit, I’m kinda proud of this one.
I was a bit annoyed when I saw that Purdue HC Darrell Hazell decided to replace his starting QB at this point in the season, but it turned out to be the right move as new starter Austin Appleby played well and probably earned the starting position for at least the next couple of games. But the praise will have to come with the disclaimer that he was facing an awful Illinois defense.
It was the defense, and the Illini’s penchant for shooting itself in the foot, that had me leaning towards the Boilermakers. Illinois obliged in both ways as the Purdue offense scored from over 40 yards out on three occasions. And a dropped swing pass in the red zone that was revealed by replay to actually be a lateral and a Purdue recovery was critical.
I said in my prediction write-up that I felt Purdue was turning a corner, and Hazell’s first Big Ten victory certainly represents a corner turned. But let’s not get carried away; so far the Boilermakers have only proved that they aren’t the worst team in the conference.

Ohio St. 52  Maryland 24   (Ohio St. -7)
I predicted Ohio St. to win, 42 to 25. Almost didn’t get a line on this one as the oddsmakers were waiting to find out if Maryland QB C.J. Brown was healthy enough to play. We found out soon enough that Brown would start and that my prediction would qualify as a “play” and eventually turn out to be a winner. I was a little light with Ohio St.’s score, but almost spot on with Maryland’s. The scoring by quarters was nothing like I expected, though.
Ohio St. came out of the gates quickly and jumped on the Terps before they knew what hit ‘em. Give credit to HC Urban Meyer and his staff; both arguably the best in the conference. Game by game they’re molding QB J.T. Barrett into a viable replacement for the injured Braxton Miller. And the defense is starting to come around as well.
Brown was able to play for Maryland, but he eventually was replaced by his backup, C.J. Rowe, who played well against Indiana the Saturday before this game. Neither played well in this game as the two combined for four interceptions against a rabid Buckeyes defense. And as I indicated in my prediction write-up, I considered the Terp’s solid defensive performance against Indiana to more of an anomaly than a barometer. Maryland’s defense is weak against the pass.

Rutgers 26  Michigan 24   (Rutgers -2.5)
I predicted Rutgers to win, 24-14. Dangit! A blocked extra point put me on the ATS losing side of this one. Oh well. That’s the way it goes in the ATS world. Good and bad luck evens out in the long run.
I actually had a chance for things to work out as I predicted; Rutgers scoring a late “security” touchdown after stopping Michigan on downs. But I ran out of time and field position as Michigan started deep in their territory with six minutes left in the game, but drove past midfield before missing a field goal with three minutes left and no time outs. I dunno, from the couch a 56 yard field goal attempt on fourth and 8 seems like a cop out, but what do I know?
I suspected Gardner would start and play well. He did start and for the most part, did play well. But not exceptionally better than usual. I still say he’s better than his backup, though.
Rutgers QB Gary Nova was criticized for five turnovers in the Penn St. loss, but I could see he’s not a bad passer and figured him to take care of the ball better in this game. He had no turnovers and passed for three touchdowns and over 400 yards.
I never would have thought the Scarlet Knights would be 5-1, but here they are. The schedule gets tougher, but more wins is still very possible for this team.


THE NON-PLAYS
Northwestern 20  Wisconsin 14   (Wisconsin -7.5)
I predicted Wisconsin to win, 34-21. Obviously I didn’t see a Northwestern victory coming. Neither did any of the contestants. I was a bit surprised by both teams.
Northwesterns’ offense and QB Trevor Siemian played much like I envisioned, but the defense proved to be more physical than I’ve been giving them credit for. I’m still a bit hesitant, though, because for the second week in a row I believe they’ve faced an overrated offense.
Say what you will about former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema (and most Badgers fans won’t hesitate), but this program has been slowly regressing since his departure. Up until this game it’s been at a subtle, barely noticeable pace. This is still a respectable team, and a weak conference will allow for more wins, but I’m just sayin’; not improving upon the previous regime.

Michigan St. 27  Nebraska 22   (Michigan St. -7.5)
I predicted Michigan St. to win, 35-25. This one wasn’t as close as the score would indicate as Nebraska made a late charge at the end of the game. The ‘Huskers actually had a chance to win, but for the most part, Michigan St. was in control.
Much of what I said in my prediction write-up (ATS Predictions - Week 6) came to fruition:
Although they were well below their scoring average, the Spartans were moderately successful offensively. And QB Connor Cook did throw an interception.
The Michigan St. defense loaded the box and shut down Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah and forced ‘Huskers QB Tommy Armstrong into two interceptions and a subpar performance.
The Spartans were up by more than two touchdowns early in the fourth quarter.

Notre Dame 17  Stanford 14   (Stanford -2.5)
I predicted Notre Dame to win, 19-17. Man, it’s great to be an Irish fan. They always play good teams and through the years have provided several exciting finishes. Add this game to the list as Notre Dame QB Everett Golson threw a game-winning 23 yard touchdown pass - on fourth and eleven, no less - with one minute remaining in the game.
I called for a late game winning field goal in my prediction write-up, but with the Irish down by four, a touchdown was necessary. Golson struggled at times, especially early in the game, but the kid’s a winner. The Notre Dame schedule is tough, but as long as Golson stays healthy, the Irish have a chance. So far I think this year’s defense is better than the highly regarded defense of 2012(when the Irish went to the National Championship game).
But don’t think because I’m a fan that my predictions are skewed. ATS is no time to put your heart where your head is. I’ll wager against the Irish in a heartbeat if I think it’s the right choice. I won’t like it, but I’ll do it.



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 (conference games only) 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.

I moved up a spot in the standings to second place as I was one of only three contestants to come out on the plus side last Saturday. Steven Lassan from Athlon moved up to the top spot as he won one game while his colleague, Braden Gall, dropped out of first place with a 1-2 Saturday record. With 13 games in the books, Kevin Ryan from 247 Sports has yet to submit a prediction that qualified as a play. This could mean that he’s using Vegas to help him make his predictions, but not necessarily. There’ve been times when I’ve gone a few weeks in a row without making a play. This system, like all successful wagering, requires patience. 

ATS  PLAY STANDINGS
LAST SATURDAY
TOTAL
FTC $
W
L
T
W
L
T
STEVEN LASSAN (athlon)
1
0
0
3
0
0
$150
FROM THE COUCH
2
1
0
3
1
0
$95
BRADEN GALL (athlon)
1
2
0
4
2
0
$90
TOM DEINHART (btn)
2
0
0
3
2
0
$40
KEVIN RYAN (247sports)
0
0
0
0
0
0
$0
MITCH LIGHT (athlon)
0
1
0
2
2
0
-$10
STATRAT (pubhole)
0
2
0
3
4
0
-$70
BRENT YARINA (btn)
0
2
0
1
3
0
-$115
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
0
3
0
1
4
0
-$170
DAVID FOX (athlon)
1
2
0
2
5
0
-$175



 DETAILS 

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






SEASON STATS

SPREAD RECORD
W
L
STRAIGHT UP
W
L
BRADEN GALL (athlon)
9
4
FROM THE COUCH
9
4
FROM THE COUCH
8
4
STEVEN LASSAN (athlon)
9
4
MITCH LIGHT (athlon)
7
5
KEVIN RYAN (247sports)
8
5
TOM DEINHART (btn)
7
6
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
8
5
STEVEN LASSAN (athlon)
6
6
DAVID FOX (athlon)
8
5
KEVIN RYAN (247sports)
6
7
BRADEN GALL (athlon)
8
5
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
6
7
MITCH LIGHT (athlon)
8
5
STATRAT (pubhole)
5
7
STATRAT (pubhole)
7
6
BRENT YARINA (btn)
4
9
TOM DEINHART (btn)
6
7
DAVID FOX (athlon)
4
9
BRENT YARINA (btn)
6
7
WITHIN 7
W
L
CLOSEST
W
L
MITCH LIGHT (athlon)
6
7
FROM THE COUCH
8
4
KEVIN RYAN (247sports)
5
8
MITCH LIGHT (athlon)
7
5
STEVEN LASSAN (athlon)
5
8
BRADEN GALL (athlon)
7
6
FROM THE COUCH
4
9
STEVEN LASSAN (athlon)
6
6
STATRAT (pubhole)
4
9
STATRAT (pubhole)
5
7
TOM DEINHART (btn)
4
9
KEVIN RYAN (247sports)
5
8
BRENT YARINA (btn)
4
9
TOM DEINHART (btn)
5
8
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
3
10
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
4
8
DAVID FOX (athlon)
3
10
DAVID FOX (athlon)
4
9
BRADEN GALL (athlon)
3
10
BRENT YARINA (btn)
3
10


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 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 as the oddsmakers. 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 considered a tie when calculating the “closest” and “within 7” category. The actual score will be used, however, for the other two categories.


NOTRE DAME

I predict Notre Dame games along with the Big Ten conference games. Other than the occasions when Notre Dame plays a Big Ten team, these predictions aren’t included in the standings/comparisons as my competition doesn’t make predictions for Notre Dame vs non-Big Ten conference games. Listed below are my stats for Notre Dame games that aren’t included in the standings. 

PLAYS
SPREAD RECORD
CLOSEST
WITHIN 7
STRAIGHT UP
W
L
T
W
L
W
L
W
L
W
L
1
0
0
2
0
2
0
2
0
2
0



3 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. What happened to this blog? Football season is right around the corner.

    ReplyDelete