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 21, 2015

BIG TEN FOOTBALL ATS WHAT HAPPENED WEEK 3


WHAT HAPPENED

The Big Ten went 9-3 in nonconference games as Penn St defeated Rutgers in the lone conference game. The three losses aren’t surprising, although I expected Illinois and kinda, sorta expected Purdue to make better showings. Illinois’ performance wasn’t really below my expectations. It turned out that North Carolina was better than I expected. I didn’t have access to the Purdue game, but from what I saw of the highlights and in looking at the stats, it appears that the Boilermakers may have an issue at QB. Ohio St. and Minnesota won ugly against inferior opponents, Indiana is still outscoring cupcakes to start the season 3-0, Michigan St. is winning in business-like fashion, Michigan is baby-stepping their way into a legitimate contender, and Penn St. had its best game of the season. And so far, Northwestern and Iowa could be considered the most surprising teams of the conference as both are undefeated and playing above expectations.
I predicted two games last Saturday. One prediction – Penn St. and Rutgers – I had to rescind because of Rutgers HC Kyle Flood’s suspension. The other didn’t qualify as a play.
My current record: 0-1


THE NON-PLAYS
Notre Dame 30  Georgia Tech 22   (Georgia Tech -1)
I predicted Georgia Tech to win, 31-26. I wasn’t sure how redshirt freshman DeShone Kizer was gonna perform in his first start as the Irish QB. I also didn’t like what I saw of Notre Dame’s defense against Virginia in their previous game. I did know this one could go either way, though (week 3 predictions). As it turned out, Kizer did just fine and Notre Dame’s defense played lights out. I also let Georgia Tech’s preseason hype affect me some, too. So they were predicted to win the ACC’s Coastal division. BFD. The Yellow Jackets were outclassed here as the game wasn’t as close as the score indicates. 

Penn St. 28  Rutgers 3   (Penn St. -9)
I had to use my disclaimer on this game and discard my prediction as it was submitted before the news of Rutgers HC Kyle Flood’s three game suspension broke. After one full season as members, I’d mostly gotten used to the weird addition of Maryland and Rutgers to the conference. I’m starting to backtrack on that now. Rutgers wasn’t all that good to begin with and now they’ve suspended their Head Coach and what seems like half of the team. Penn St. had one of their best games of the season, but you have use an asterisk because the Rutgers program is a friggin’ trainwreck right now. Still, I liked what I saw from Penn St. They moved QB Christian Hackenberg around the pocket some, and the much maligned O-Line actually opened some huge holes in the running game. And the defense, assuming we can use Rutgers as at least a semi-legitimate barometer, looked very good. This makes about five and a half quarters in a row that the Penn St. offense has been moving in the right direction. The Nitanny Lions kind of turned a corner in the second half of the game prior to this one against Buffalo. I think they still rely on the bubble screen too much but it was effective in this game.


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.

The Rutgers-Penn St. game was supposed to kick off our competition here but as I said above, this game had to be disqualified. One more week of nonconference play and then the games begin as conference play starts in full on October 3. I noticed Mitch Light from Athlon didn’t submit any picks for last Saturday’s games so I’m eliminating him from the list of unsuspecting prognosticators that I’ll be using as competition. I want guys I can count on every week, which suddenly has become hard to find. A few seasons ago there were several.


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
2
0
2
0
2
1
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 final score differential. 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.




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