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.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

BIG TEN FOOTBALL ATS PREDICTIONS WEEK 3

Two games to look at this week. One of ‘em is a conference game so the ATS comparisons begin.
My current record: 0-1


CRYSTAL BALL
WEEK OF 9-19-2015

GEORGIA TECH
31
NOTRE DAME
26
PENN ST
20
RUTGERS
14

As I pointed out in previous posts, my method is to make my predictions on Sunday - before I look at the spreads - to keep from being influenced subconsciously. Any prediction that varies from the game time spread by seven or more points is considered a “play”. 50 FTC dollars will be wagered on each “play”. That’s the system. Seven points or more differential, play it; less than seven, back off. I do make one disclaimer: If a report comes out during the week (after Sunday) that there is an issue involving the starting quarterback (an injury I might not have known about) or the coach (health issues, scandal, etc.), I won’t count the game.  Occasionally I might predict a tie, which is the equivalent of a “pick em”. (For a more detailed description of what constitutes a “play”, see the “FTC $ Q&A” tab at the top of this post.)

1
2
3
Final
NOTRE DAME
0
14
20
26
GA. TECH
10
17
17
31

This game is at Notre Dame so calling for a Georgia Tech victory is a bit risky. But ND is breaking in a redshirt freshman QB who was third on the depth chart until former starter Everett Golson bolted for Florida State a few months ago. This would have been a tough game for the Irish even if this season’s starter, Malik Zaire, hadn’t have been lost to injury. Georgia Tech is projected by many to win the ACC’s Coastal Division. The Yellow Jackets are an option team, and option teams have always been difficult for Notre Dame to defend. And opposing QB’s usually play one of their better games against ND, and Georgia Tech has a good one in Justin Thomas. He’s known for running the option, but is also capable as a passer. And given what I saw from ND’s secondary, if the Irish defense gets sucked up to the line trying to stop the option they may be vulnerable to giving up big pass plays. The unknown here is how good Thomas and Georgia Tech is this season. They opened the season pummeling two cupcakes and Thomas hasn’t really had to throw much at all. Certainly not in a crucial situation. Notre Dame isn’t bad against the run so they could win this one, but without their starting QB, my hunch is that they lose a close one here.
As of the date of this post, the line sits at Georgia Tech by 2, so there is virtually no chance that this prediction will qualify as a play.

1
2
3
Final
PENN ST
0
7
14
20
RUTGERS
0
7
14
14

Once again I’m feeling a bit deprived of information here because neither of Rutgers’ two games has been televised on a channel that I can access. But I’m still way better off than last week now that I have two games of recaps to review, one of which was against a legitimate opponent in Washington State. The Scarlet Knights lost that one in heartbreaking fashion. And don’t get me wrong, Washington St. isn’t exactly a powerhouse. Rutgers has had some off the field issues recently – HC Kyle Flood is under scrutiny and several players have been dismissed for disciplinary reasons. And they’re not a great team to begin with. They’re breaking in a new QB, Chris Laviano, although he did put up some decent numbers against Washington St. But Rutgers still may have a shot in this game because, speaking of “not great teams”, Penn St. has continued to struggle on offense. Just a bad offensive scheme. The Nitanny Lions suffered ten sacks in their opener against Temple mainly because the OC had no answer for a simple blitz. Last week’s opponent, Buffalo, didn’t record any sacks, something that is cause for celebration among Penn St. fans, but hey, it’s Buffalo. Penn St. still struggled to win the game; at home, no less. But the Nittany Lions did seem to turn a bit of a corner in the second half as the offense looked its best all season, and the defense isn’t bad at all. This game is at Happy Valley and on paper, Penn St. should win this one easily, but I can’t bring myself to trust the Nittany Lions’ offense to win by any more than a touchdown against a Big Ten opponent.
As of the date of this post, the line sits at Penn St. by 9 1/2, so it is unlikely that this prediction will qualify as a play.
**LATE EDIT** - Ok, I’m gonna have to pull the plug on this one. The first conference game of the season and already I have to use my disclaimer and not count this game. Since I handicapped this game last Sunday, Rutgers star wideout Leonte Carroo has been suspended and now just recently HC Kyle Flood has been suspended also. The boys at BTN already had their picks submitted before the news on Flood broke as well. Bummer. I was looking forward to this game as a kickoff to the ATS contest here. Now we gotta wait until October for the conference season, and the ATS contest, to start in full. Sheesh…Nice addition to the Big Ten, Rutgers. It’s like a friggin’ penitentiary out there.

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. 

Nothing to compare yet, but things get started this week as Rutgers travels to Penn St for an oddly placed conference game. 

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 is 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
0
1
0
0
1
0
1
0
1
1
0




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