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, November 16, 2015

BIG TEN FOOTBALL ATS WHAT HAPPENED WEEK 11


WHAT HAPPENED

I went 1-0 last Saturday. I had another high school football playoff game to attend so I didn’t get to watch as much of the games as I’d have liked, so my comments will be brief. Even though my nephew was knocked out of play the prior Saturday with a season ending injury, I still felt a strange sense of obligation to attend the game last Saturday. I’d been to every game this season (all on Friday night except for playoffs) so it didn’t seem right to not show up for this one. I’m glad I went. The team got beat for the first time this season. Of course, it got emotional afterwards for my nephew, who is a senior, and the rest of the seniors. Probably more for the realization that their high school football days are done than for the loss. It was a heart-wrenching scene to watch, but also kinda cool.  Sports, baby. Love it.
My predictions and pre-game comments can be found on my previous post, dated 11-11 (ATS Predictions - Week 11).
My Current Overall Record:  6-14



THE PLAYS
Iowa 40 Minnesota 35   (Iowa -10)
I predicted Iowa to win, 16-13. Obviously much more scoring than I anticipated. Iowa is hitting on all cylinders offensively. Minnesota hung tuff and got me a backdoor cover late in the game while the Iowa fans were chanting something that resembled a high school cheer. I couldn’t make out what they were saying. 


THE NON-PLAYS
Ohio St. 28  Illinois 3  (Ohio St. -16.5)
I predicted Ohio St. to win, 38-24. Illinois hung tuff for a while but couldn’t put together much offense. Another below expectations performance from the Ohio St. offense despite the reinsertion of J.T. Barrett at QB. Now what? Back to Cardale?

Michigan 48  Indiana 41  O.T.   (Michigan -13)
I predicted Michigan to win, 38-21. Well, Indiana “almost” won again. I didn’t think Michigan’s defense would allow that to happen but I was wrong. Gotta hand it to Indiana’s offense, they can move the ball against anybody. No doubt there will be yet another round of kudos for HC Kevin Wilson and the Hoosiers for “almost” winning. “Wilson has them on the right track” they’ll say. He’s had ‘em on that same track for five years now.

Michigan St. 24  Maryland 7  (Michigan St. -14)
I predicted Michigan St. to win, 31-20. Michigan St. QB Connor Cook left this game with an injury but the reports are saying he will play this Saturday. Maryland just can’t seem to hang on the ball. Five turnovers in this one.

Northwestern 21  Purdue 14   (Northwestern -14.5)
I predicted Northwestern to win, 34-17. As I said in my prediction write-up, Purdue never seems to quit no matter how bleak things may appear. The Boilermakers bounced back from a thumping in the game prior to this one to make this score closer than most anticipated.

Nebraska 31  Rutgers 14   (Nebraska -7.5)
I predicted Nebraska to win, 35-24. Rutgers didn’t score quite as much as I figured but I see that Nebraska QB Tommy Armstrong remains predictably unpredictable. Armstrong served up his weekly dose of interceptions (three) but he matched ‘em with the same amount of touchdown passes.

Notre Dame 28  Wake Forest 7   (Notre Dame -26.5)
I predicted Notre Dame to win, 45-21. I was close with the spread but off on the scoring. I’m assuming this game was partially like my prediction write-up when I said Notre Dame would get a comfortable but at times sloppy win.







ATS
FTC DOLLARS
In this section I track the results of my predictions that qualify as “plays” ATS (any predicted point spread that differs from the closing line by seven or more points). I’ve also included the results (conference games only) 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 and the definition of a “play”, please refer to the “FTC $ Q&A” tab at the top of this post or click here→ FTC $ Q&A.
No change in the standings but a better overall performance from everyone compared to the previous Saturday’s disaster.
Links to last Saturday’s predictions from all contestants can be found in the “Details” section below.

ATS  PLAY STANDINGS
LAST SATURDAY
TOTAL
FTC $
W
L
T
W
L
T
BRENT YARINA (btn)
2
0
0
6
5
0
$25
TOM DEINHART (btn)
3
3
0
8
9
0
-$95
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
2
1
0
4
7
0
-$185
FROM THE COUCH
1
0
0
6
12
0
-$360





DETAILS

THIS WEEK'S PLAY DETAILS
WINNERS
LOSERS
WEBSITE
FROM THE COUCH
MIN,
TOM DEINHART (btn)
OSU,
MSU,
NEB,
IOW,
MIC,
NW,
BRENT YARINA (btn)
MSU,
NEB,
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
OSU,
IND,
RUT,

The full list of last Saturday’s predictions from each contestant can be found by clicking the link listed under “website”.







SEASON STATS
Listed below are this season’s stats for various categories that I’ll be tracking. Sean Merriman moved to the top of a couple of the overall categories after last Saturday’s results were added in. Merriman went an impressive 5-1 in the “within 7” category last Saturday.
Again, links to last Saturday’s predictions from all contestants can be found in the “Details” section.


SPREAD RECORD
W
L
STRAIGHT UP
W
L
TOM DEINHART (btn)
20
19
BRENT YARINA (btn)
33
7
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
16
22
TOM DEINHART (btn)
33
7
FROM THE COUCH
15
25
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
32
8
BRENT YARINA (btn)
14
25
FROM THE COUCH
29
9
WITHIN 7
W
L
CLOSEST
W
L
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
16
24
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
15
23
BRENT YARINA (btn)
14
26
TOM DEINHART (btn)
15
24
FROM THE COUCH
13
27
BRENT YARINA (btn)
13
26
TOM DEINHART (btn)
13
27
FROM THE COUCH
13
27

SPREAD RECORD- This category disregards my seven point “play” system and 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 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 – This category tracks the number of times a predicted point spread was more accurate than the Vegas point spread. This category differs from the Spread Record category because 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 Michigan by 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 oddsmakers’ point spread (7-6=1) was closer to the final score differential 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. My Notre Dame predictions aren’t included in the above standings and statistics because my competition doesn’t predict Notre Dame games. So I’ve separately listed the stats for my Notre Dame game predictions below. 

PLAYS
SPREAD RECORD
CLOSEST
WITHIN 7
STRAIGHT UP
W
L
T
W
L
W
L
W
L
W
L
0
2
0
1
7
1
8
4
5
7
2





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