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 9, 2015

BIG TEN FOOTBALL ATS WHAT HAPPENED WEEK 10


WHAT HAPPENED

This is my weekly “What Happened” post but the truth is I don’t know what happened. Well, I know what happened the same as any other schmuck … what I read and what I saw on the highlights. But I didn’t watch the games Saturday ‘cuz my nephew plays QB for the local high school team. I’m so happy for the kid- he made All-Conference in leading his team to an undefeated season and a conference championship. The games have been on Friday night all season but the second game of the state playoffs was last Saturday. His games are one of the few things that take precedence over College Football Saturday so I took the road trip with his parents (my sister and brother in law) and his grandpa (my dad) to watch him. Shortly after halftime they carted him off on a stretcher and put him in an ambulance. Still some more tests to do but it appears as though he’s gonna be alright, but he’s done for the season. It’s always hard to witness something like that but when it’s one of your own it’s a frickin’ nightmare. I love that kid.
Anyway, all I saw of the games last Saturday was snippets of the Indiana-Iowa game while in the waiting room, so this week’s comments will be based mostly on media reports and replays. I went 1-3 last Saturday. My confidence is shaken now as this is shaping up to be my worst season ever.
My predictions and pre-game comments can be found on my previous post, dated 11-4 (ATS Predictions - Week 10).
My Current Overall Record:  5-14




THE PLAYS
Michigan 49  Rutgers 16   (Michigan -24)
I predicted Michigan to win, 38-7. This game was my only win for the week. Michigan scored even more than I predicted. Rutgers just might be the worst in the league right now, but they did beat Indiana so…. It appears as though QB Jake Rudock had a good game. If he can step it up a notch and connect on a deep pass or two, Michigan will have a good shot at winning a trip to the conference championship game. 

Nebraska 39  Michigan St. 38   (Michigan St. -5.5)
I predicted Michigan St. to win, 31-17. I also caught bits and pieces of this game. I saw Nebraska QB Tommy Armstrong throw one of the “poor decision” interceptions I call for every week. It was in the red zone so I figured I was in good shape with this one. And I was in good shape with less than three minutes to go in the game as Michigan St. had my cover and a win in hand. But Armstrong brought the ‘Huskers roaring back to pull off the upset. I did check out a clip showing a good portion of Michigan St. HC Mark Dantonio’s post-game press conference. I’ve been kinda lukewarm on Dantonio personality-wise, but I gained a lot of respect for him after watching the clip. He didn’t complain about the controversial finish, gave a lot of credit to his opponent, and pointed out that his team still controls its destiny to win the conference. A good way to identify a winner is to see how he behaves in defeat.

Illinois 48  Purdue 14   (Illinois -3)
I predicted Purdue to win, 28-24.  These two teams are killin’ me. I zig, they zag. I bob, they weave. Illinois was coming off a 39-0 thumping. Didn’t score a point and now 48. Purdue was coming off an upset victory over Nebraska in which the Boilermakers scored 55 points. 55 points and now only 14.

Wisconsin 31  Maryland 24   (Wisconsin -10)
I predicted Wisconsin to win, 31-14. I mentioned in my prediction write-up that Wisconsin may be a little flat so my margin might be a bit wide. I just didn’t figure Maryland to score much. I still had a good shot at covering but got “back-doored” when Maryland scored a touchdown in the last two minutes of the game.



THE NON-PLAYS
Iowa 35  Indiana 27   (Iowa -6.5)
I predicted Iowa to win, 45-33. The scoring came in a little lower but otherwise it appears as though things went much like I predicted.

Northwestern 23  Penn St. 21  (Northwestern -1.5)
I predicted this game to go into overtime at 17. I figured this one would be close and it was. I am a bit surprised Northwestern was able to score 23 points with a backup QB against a good Penn St. defense. I didn’t predict a winner but I’m glad Northwestern won. I like Pat Fitzgerald. James Franklin, not so much. 

Ohio St. 28  Minnesota 14   (Ohio St. -22.5)
I predicted Ohio St. to win, 35-17. I wasn’t too far off on this one. The recap says Ohio St. QB Cardale Jones didn’t play so good, but his numbers look fine to me. Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner only threw one interception. I called for “some”.

Notre Dame 42  Pitt 30   (Notre Dame -8)
I predicted Notre Dame to win, 24-19. I thought Pitt’s defense was supposed to be good, what with HC Pat Narduzzi being a defensive guru and all. I saw some highlights. It looks like Notre Dame’s offense is still getting better. Kizer to Fuller for a touchdown on the third play of the game. How does a guru let that happen? I would think stopping that combo would be the first priority. Recaps say this game wasn’t as close as the score indicates. So much for Notre Dame always having a hard time with Pitt.






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.

I can take some comfort in knowing I wasn’t the only one who did poorly last Saturday. In fact I was the only one to pick a winner. All four of us are now in the hole financially.
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)
0
3
0
4
5
0
-$75
TOM DEINHART (btn)
0
1
0
5
6
0
-$80
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
0
2
0
2
6
0
-$230
FROM THE COUCH
1
3
0
5
12
0
-$410





DETAILS

THIS WEEK'S PLAY DETAILS
WINNERS
LOSERS
WEBSITE
FROM THE COUCH
MIC,
MSU,
PUR,
WIS,
TOM DEINHART (btn)
WIS,
BRENT YARINA (btn)
MSU,
PUR,
WIS,
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
RUT,
WIS,

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. I gained some ground last Saturday in most of the categories but no changes at the top of the overall lists.
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)
17
16
BRENT YARINA (btn)
27
7
FROM THE COUCH
13
21
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
27
7
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
13
21
TOM DEINHART (btn)
27
7
BRENT YARINA (btn)
9
24
FROM THE COUCH
23
9
WITHIN 7
W
L
CLOSEST
W
L
TOM DEINHART (btn)
12
22
TOM DEINHART (btn)
14
19
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
11
23
SEAN MERRIMAN (btn)
12
22
FROM THE COUCH
10
24
FROM THE COUCH
11
23
BRENT YARINA (btn)
10
24
BRENT YARINA (btn)
9
24


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
0
7
0
8
3
5
6
2


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For this season’s archives by title, click hereArchive by Title





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