Friday, January 23, 2015

Free Basketball Analysis by Dr. Bob

My Thursday Free Analysis was 1-1 with opinions on Appalachian State (won) and Weber State (lost). My Free Analysis is 45-36-7 for the season (16-17-2 on Free Best Bets and 29-19-5 on Free Opinions). In the previous 7 seasons I was 92-74-4 on my Free Basketball Best Bets and 690-633-28 on my Free Basketball Opinions.

I was 1-1 on my Thursday Best Bets for a small loss but I'm 31-9-1 the last 12 days. My Basketball Best Bets are now 135-110-4 for the season (67-46-2 in the NBA and 68-64-3 in College, although 19-4-1 recently in college).

I have a Friday NBA Best Bet/Opinion below and I have 3 Friday Night Best Bets, 2 in the NBA and 1 in College, for just $15 ($20 if you are not logged in). My NBA Best Bets are 37-15-1 recently and 137-93-5 (59%) since early last season and I’m 19-4-1 the past 12 days on my College Best Bets.

Opinion – PHILADELPHIA (+12 ½) over Toronto

04:00 PM Pacific Rotation: 802
Regular season home dogs of 11 points or more that are coming off a loss are 122-80-5 ATS the last 25 seasons in the NBA and Philadelphia is 4-0 ATS this season as a home underdog of 11 points or more. The fact that Toronto is coming off a loss at Memphis actually doesn’t matter based on history, as the record for home dogs of 11 or more off a loss is 38-21-2 ATS if the visiting team is also off a loss. Philadelphia also applies to a 175-89-4 ATS big underdog situation and the Raptors have been struggling (3-8 straight up and 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 games). My ratings based on current lineups do favor the Raptors by 13 points, so there isn’t any line value here, but I’ll still lean with Philadelphia based on the historically good situation.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Free College Football Analysis by Dr. Bob

The Week 14 free analysis was 28-21-1 on sides and 22-26 on totals. The record on the Free Analysis sides in which my predicted margin was 4 points or more away from the line was 10-8 and those are now 189-157-7 ATS (55%) since the beginning of last season and all Free analysis games are 498-422-13, which is very good picking nearly every game over 2 years. Totals on the Free pages are now 241-218-1 for the season. The Free Strong Opinions are 17-12 for the season.

I will post all plays in the Free Analysis section this week. The Thursday night game is in the American Athletic Conference page.

Oregon (-14 ½) 45 Arizona 30

Fri Dec-05-2014 at 06:00 PM Pacific Rotation: 105 Over/Under 72.5 - Matchup Stats
I'll try to find time later today to post an analysis of this game. The brief version: My math model favors Oregon by 17 points but conference championship underdogs from 10 to 20 1/2 points are 16-4 ATS. I'll pass.

Iowa St. vs #4 TCU (-33.5)

Sat Dec-06-2014 at 09:00 AM Pacific Over/Under 67.5 - Matchup Stats
I have not completed my analysis for this game. Please check back later.

Oklahoma St. vs #18 Oklahoma (-20.0)

Sat Dec-06-2014 at 12:30 PM Pacific Over/Under 59.5 - Matchup Stats
I have not completed my analysis for this game. Please check back later.

#1 Alabama vs #14 Missouri (14.5)

Sat Dec-06-2014 at 01:00 PM Pacific Over/Under 48.5 - Matchup Stats
I have not completed my analysis for this game. Please check back later.

*Kansas State (+7 ½) 32 BAYLOR 31

Sat Dec-06-2014 at 04:45 PM Pacific Rotation: 117 Over/Under 66.5 - Matchup Stats
Kansas State Money Line Play at +250 for 0.5 Stars
Kansas State continues not to get the respect that they deserve despite their 8-1 ATS record over their last 9 games and coach Bill Snyder’s 154-101 (60.4%) ATS record in all games since 1990 (his second season in his first stint with the Wildcats). 

The Wildcats have played just one bad game all season, a 20-41 loss at TCU, as their other loss was 14-20 loss to Auburn in a game they should have won. Even that TCU loss wasn’t that bad, as the Wildcats averaged 7.0 yards per play and allowed 6.7 yppl in that game. Kansas State is every bit as good as Baylor is from the line of scrimmage and the Wildcats are much, much better in special teams.

Baylor’s strength is obviously their offense, which has averaged 569 yards and 47.8 points in 10 games against FBS opposition. However, this season’s Bears aren’t quite as explosive when you look at it from a yards per play perspective, as they’ve averaged 6.3 yppl against teams that would combine to allow 5.6 yppl to an average team. While being 0.7 yppl better than average is good, it’s actually not as good as Kansas State’s offense, which has averaged 6.5 yppl against FBS teams that would combine to allow 5.4 yppl to an average team. 

If I assume that Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty plays (he’s questionable with concussion symptoms but had a full practice on Thursday and said he expects to play), and throw out his not so good game 1 performance against SMU when he was struggling with an injury, then Baylor’s offense would rate at 1.0 yppl better than average, which is still not quite as good as Kansas State’s +1.1 yppl rating. Baylor actually does have an overall edge offensively because the Bears run a lot more plays than their opponents but that edge is not as significant as the edge that Kansas State has on defense.

Kansas State’s defense has yielded only 5.1 yards per play this season to FBS opponents despite facing a schedule of teams that would combine to average 6.2 yppl against an average FBS defense and while the Wildcats didn’t play well against TCU and Oklahoma, they did hold Auburn’s prolific attack to just 5.0 yppl and 20 points and also kept the very good offenses of Texas Tech and West Virginia in check (just 13 point for Texas Tech and 5.1 yppl and 20 points allowed to West Virginia). 

The Wildcats’ defense has been a lot better than a Baylor defense that rates at 0.5 yppl better than average, allowing 5.3 yppl to teams that would average 5.8 yppl against an average defensive team. 

The numbers aren’t quite as good if I only use Big 12 games, which excludes the 67 total yards and 1.0 yppl they gave up when they overwhelmed SMU’s pathetic offense in week 1, but even if I include that SMU game I still rate Kansas State’s defense at 0.6 yppl better than the Baylor defense. 

The Bears have had a particularly tough time defending quality pass attacks, as they allowed an average of 349 passing yards at 8.5 yards per pass play to TCU, West Virginia, Kansas, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech over the last 7 weeks (they performed well against Oklahoma, but only because the Sooners were without their star WR Shepard). 

Kansas State’s Jake Waters is a more efficient passer than Baylor’s Bryce Petty, as Waters has averaged 8.3 yards per pass play against FBS opponents that would allow 5.7 yppp to an average quarterback (Petty is 2.1 yppp better than average). I just don’t see Baylor’s suspect secondary stopping Waters given that the Bears’ pass defense is 0.6 yppp worse than the average of the teams that Waters has faced this season.

Kansas State has a clear advantage on a yards per play perspective, as the Wildcats are slightly better in that regard offensively and much better defensively. Baylor makes up for that difference by controlling the ball, as they have averaged 17.8 more plays per game than their opponents and are projected to have a 17.7 play advantage in this game. 

However, Kansas State is one of the best teams in the nation in special teams with a 2.9 yards edge in net punts and a 6.5 yards advantage in net kick off yard line average (their average starting yard line on a kickoff is 30.9 yard line and their opponent’s is the 24.4 yard line), which matters in a game with a lot of kickoffs expected. 

Baylor is just average in those categories and the field position due to special teams is a hidden advantage for Kansas State. Kansas State is a better overall team and Baylor may be a bit overrated due to being +9 in fumble margin in their 10 FBS games. 

That positive fumble margin is random and has benefitted Baylor an average of 3.2 points per game – points that aren’t likely to translate going forward. Baylor does have a strong home field advantage, as they are 18-3 ATS at home since 2011, but the Bears have won by more than 7 points just twice in 8 home games since 2011 when not favored by 10 points or more. 

Baylor is a bully that doesn’t play as well against other good teams while Kansas State is at their best as an underdog (53-28 ATS as a dog under Snyder since 1990, including 3-1 ATS this season). I do have a couple of general situations that favor Baylor but neither is strong enough to keep me off of Kansas State here – although I will make this a smaller rated play than the math merits (Kansas State is a 57% play based solely on the math). I’ll take Kansas State in a 1-Star Best Bet at +7 points or more. I also will play 0.5 Stars on Kansas State on the Money Line at (+250 or so).

#2 Florida St. vs #12 Georgia Tech (4.5)

Sat Dec-06-2014 at 05:00 PM Pacific Over/Under 60.5 - Matchup Stats
I have not completed my analysis for this game. Please check back later.

#11 Wisconsin vs #6 Ohio St. (4.0)

Sat Dec-06-2014 at 05:15 PM Pacific Over/Under 52.5 - Matchup Stats
I have not completed my analysis for this game. Please check back later.

*BOISE STATE (-21) 46 Fresno State 19

Sat Dec-06-2014 at 07:00 PM Pacific Rotation: 130 Over/Under 68.5 - Matchup Stats
Boise State only won by 10 points, 37-27, when they hosted Fresno State earlier this season but Fresno applied to a 51-18-3 ATS situation for that game, which kept me from playing the Broncos. This time there is nothing to keep me from playing Boise State, as Fresno actually applies to a 39-108-1 ATS road dog situation that is 0-2 ATS when applying to a team playing as the visitor in their conference championship game. I’m not playing this game based on that situation but rather based on my math model, which gives Boise a profitable 54.4% chance of covering at -21 points based on the historical performance of my model.

Boise State’s offense had a down game in their first meeting with Fresno, as the Broncos should have gained more than 498 yards at 6.2 yards per play given that they have an offense that is 1.0 yards per play better than average (6.7 yppl against teams that would allow 5.7 yppl to an average team) and Fresno’s defense would allow 6.4 yppl on the road to an average FBS attack (0.6 yppl worse than an average team). 

Fresno’s average defensive rating is actually worse than that, as the Broncos have allowed 6.3 yppl to teams that would combine to average just 5.3 yppl against an average defensive team. However, that average is skewed by a horrendous game against sub-par Wyoming offense in which the Bulldogs gave up 694 yards at 9.9 yppl. 

My model adjusts for outliers, which is why I have Fresno’s defense rated at 0.6 yppl worse than average instead of 1.0 yppl worse than average. The math projects 593 yards at 7.5 yppl for Boise State in the rematch, as quarterback Grant Hedrick should average more than the 9.0 yards per completion that he averaged in the first game (his lowest average of the season) given that Hedrick averages 12.4 ypc for the season and Fresno has allowed 14.1 ypc this year. Hedrick completed 70% of his passes in that first game against the Bulldogs, so it’s not like his receivers weren’t getting open.

If Fresno would have allowed their normal 14 yards per completion in that game then Boise would have had 594 total yards, which is the same as what’s projected for this game by the math model. Even with their better than normal result against Boise State in their first meeting the Bulldogs still allowed an average of 49.3 points to the 3 good offensive teams that they faced this season (USC, Nebraska, and Boise) and Boise State has rung up 50 points or more in 5 of their last 7 games and should approach that number in this game.

It will be a challenge for Fresno’s offense to keep up, as the Bulldogs sub-par attack (5.6 yppl against teams that would allow 6.0 yppl to an average team) is up against a better than average Boise State defense that rates at 0.4 yppl better than average after adjusting for outliers. 

Boise’s average defensive rating is just 0.1 yppl better than average but they allowed New Mexico’s option attack to gain 627 yards at 9.7 yppl, which skewed that average upwards. Fresno doesn’t run any option, so Boise’s problems defending the option won’t surface in this game and the Bulldogs are projected to gain a modest 343 yards at 4.7 yppl in this game. 

Fresno gained 313 yards at 5.3 yppl in the earlier meeting but that yppl average was skewed by a 76 yard run and the Broncos averaged just 4.1 yppl in their other 58 offensive plays that game while one of their other touchdowns was after Boise turned the ball over at their own 5 yard line. 

Fresno actually only had two scoring drives of more than 2 plays in that game, both resulting in field goals, and I don’t see them having any consistent success offensively this time around either (6 of their 13 drives in the first meeting were 3 and out).

The first meeting between these teams was very misleading and it should ensure that Boise State is focused more than they would be had that first game been the blowout that this game is likely to be. There is value on the side of Boise and the situation is favorable this time around and I’ll make a small play on the Broncos. I’ll take Boise State in a 1-Star Best Bet at -21 points or less.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Week 4 NFL Trends from Dr. Bob

Two High Percentage Week 4 NFL Trends

For the first 3 games of the season teams that have struggled generally don’t perform well when installed as home favorites in game 4. Even more so if they are not coming off a bye week. In fact, as far back as 1983, Game 4 home favorites of more than one point with a losing record that played the previous week are just 27-69-2 ATS.

Play against Washington (Thursday), Indianapolis, and San Francisco

Kansas City’s 34-15 win last week at Miami should increase their confidence after a 0-2 start and game 4 underdogs of more than 1 point are 45-15-3 ATS if they won their first game of the season the previous week. It’s just 5-6 ATS on dogs of more than 8 points, so the record is 40-9-3 ATS when applying to underdogs from 1 ½ to 8 points.

Play on Kansas City and NY Giants (Thursday)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mike O'Connor NFL Recap Saturday

Updated: Sunday, September 07, 2014 

Week 1 NFL Analysis 
There are no NFL Best Bets for Week 1. All of the analysis can be found on the NFL Free Analysis page. 

Mike O’Connor’s NFL 2013-14 Season Recap 
Mike O'Connor's 2013 NFL Best Bets finished 38-32-5 and +2.2 Stars after some horrible luck led to a 22-24-3 start to the season (he was 16-8-2 from week 13 on). Mike's level of handicapping was actually as good, or better, than his 58% Best Bet percentage over his 8 years as a public handicapper (326-234-18) and Mike's performance in 2013 cannot be judged on his record, which is actually pretty good considering how unlucky he was, as an average handicapper would be at 47% with the kind of luck Mike endured. 

I have always kept a ledger to grade my Best Bets honestly and over time my graded percentage is the same as my actual winning percentage because the luck tends to even out over an extended time period. However, there are seasons in which variance plays a role in making a handicapper's record considerably better or considerably worse than it should be. I did not handicap the NFL this season but I kept a log of Mike O'Connor's NFL Best Bets and graded those games too. Anyone that followed Mike’s plays in 2013 probably already realize this, but Mike's record should have been much better than 38-32-5 given the bad luck he's had, as his handicapping has been just as good as it's been over his eight years hitting 58% while his results this year have been heavily influenced by negative variance. 

I had 35 of Mike's games graded as being on the right side and he was 30-5 on those games, which is 5 unlucky losses. I had 22 of Mike's games graded as being on the wrong side and he was 1-20-1 on those games, so he's had just 1 lucky win and a lucky push. I had 18 of Mike's games graded as toss up games that could have gone either way and he was 7-7-4 on those games. The complete list of lucky wins and losses and toss up wins and losses is listed below if you want to verify my grading. 

The net of it is Mike's handicapping has graded out at 13 games above .500 yet he was only 6 games above .500. If he won the 35 games that he was on the right side of, lost the 22 games he was on the wrong side of and split the 18 toss-up games then he would have been 42-29-4 rather than 38-32-5. I graded Mike's handicapping for the 2013 season at 58.7%, which is actually a bit better than his long term average, but he simply had horrible luck early in the season (but ended the season on a 16-8-2 run). I know Mike’s subscribers are not getting paid on what Mike's record should have been but rather on what his record is, but the point I tried to make mid-season is that you should not lose faith in Mike's methods given how good they've been for 8 years and how solid his handicapping actually was, even in the first half of the season when his record wasn't good. Despite the bad luck Mike still had his 8th profitable season in 8 years as a public handicapper by finishing strong once the bad luck stopped, and I expect him to be back in the 57% to 60% range next season if he handicaps at the level he did in 2013. 

The lesson is to not judge a handicapper prematurely nor solely on his short term record, but rather on his long term record and the circumstances of his short term record should be taken into account, as short term results are subject to variance, both positive and negative, while the variance evens out over time. The season Mike had reminds me a lot of my 2011 College season, in which I suffered a great deal of negative variance with fumbles (-19) and close games (won just 30%) and finished just 1 game above .500 rather than being 58%, which is what I graded myself at that year. The very next season I was 58.5% handicapping at the same level I did in 2011 but without the negative variance. Variance works both ways and there are years in which Mike or I have won at a higher rate than we handicapped at. 

I'm not making excuses for Mike's 54% record this season but rather just stating the facts that his handicapping was as good as it always has been. If Mike continues to handicap at the level he did in 2013, and over his 8 year career as a public handicapper, then he will win going forward just as he's won in the past. 

Regardless of whether you think there has been bad luck or not, Mike O'Connor is certainly still likely to win going forward given his 58% career win percentage in 8 years as a public handicapper, so don't overreact just because he was barely profitable last season. 

Regardless of whether you think there has been bad luck or not, Mike O'Connor is certainly still likely to win going forward given his 58% career win percentage in 8 years as a public handicapper, so don't give up on him just because he is barely profitable this past season (although he's won 67% that final two months of the season after the bad luck stopped). 

Mike O'Connor's 2013 NFL Grading 
I have 8 categories for grading games. Most games are deserved wins or deserved losses, which are games that turn out the way that they should based on the stats. There are games that are considered toss up wins and toss up losses, which are games that could have gone either way based on the stats or how the game played out. Then there are undeserved wins and undeserved losses, in which the outcome was decided purely by variance. Undeserved wins are games that shouldn't have won but did and undeserved losses are games that should have won and didn't. There are also deserved and undeserved pushes. 

Here's my list with some details on why each game is in the category I put them in. 

Undeserved wins (1) 
Week 2 Tampa Bay (+3) 14-16 over New Orleans: 273 yards at 4.9 yppl to 371 yards at 5.3 yppl and an 85 yard interception return for a touchdown. This could have gone in the toss up category since the yards per play was pretty close, but it was the closest game Mike has had to an undeserved win so I decided to call it such. 

Undeserved Losses (5) 
Week 4 Houston (+1 ½) 20-23 vs Seattle: Houston was up 20-3 at the half and 20-6 with under 8 minutes left in the game and still had a 7 point lead with less than 3 minutes when Matt Schaub threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown to tie the game. Houston lost in overtime despite gaining 475 yards and allowing Seattle just 274 yards of offense. 

Week 5 Jacksonville (+11 ½) 20-34 vs St. Louis: Jacksonville, a huge underdog, outgained the Rams 363 yards at 6.2 yppl to 354 yards at 5.1 yppl but the Rams had an 82 yard interception return for a touchdown and later in the game the Jags took a made field goal off the board and then threw an interception from the 2 yard line. Overall, the Jags were -3 in turnovers and still nearly covered in a game they might have won straight up otherwise. 

Week 6 Green Bay (-2 ½) 19-17 vs Baltimore: The Packers led this game 16-3 in the 4th quarter despite losing 2 of their top 3 receivers to injuries early in the game, leaving Aaron Rodgers with just 2 healthy wide receivers for 3 ½ quarters. Green Bay still outgained Baltimore 440 yards at 7.0 yppl to 360 yards at 5.9 yppl and Baltimore's spread covering touchdown with just over 2 minutes left in the game was possible because of a conversion on 4th and 21 yards. Green Bay, up by 2, ended the game with 1st and goal at the Baltimore 9 yard line and took two knees to end the game. Brutal loss. 

Week 9 Buffalo (+3) 13-23 vs Kansas City: Buffalo outgained Kansas City 470 yards at 6.1 yppl to 213 yards at 4.2 yppl but were -3 in turnovers with two of those turnovers being returned for touchdowns (one for 100 yards). Buffalo was a great bet. 

Week 9 Houston (+2) 24-27 vs Indianapolis: Houston led 21-3 at the half but lost their play caller, head coach Gary Kubiak, who collapsed heading off the field at the half. Houston still outgained the Colts 483 yards at 7.2 yppl to 314 yards at 5.4 yppl but the Texans missed 3 field goals and ultimately lost by 3 points as a 2 point dog. An underdog that dominates the yardage like that should win and the game and is clearly the right side. You could argue that this game belongs in the toss-up loss category but the week 2 Tampa Bay win that I put in the undeserved wins category could just as easily been put in the toss-up wins category since the yards per play was pretty close in that game. 

Underserved Pushes (1) 
Week 11 San Francisco (+3) 20-23 vs New Orleans: The Niners were outplayed 3.5 yppl to 5.8 yppl but were +2 in fumbles. 

Toss Up Wins (7) 
Week 3 Miami (-2 ½) 27-23 over Atlanta: Turnovers were even and Miami had 5.3 yppl to 5.5 yppl for Atlanta. 

Week 3 Kansas City (+3) 26-16 over Philadelphia: KC was outgained 395 yards at 5.3 yppl to 431 yards at 6.8 yppl but was +4 in turnovers (the 5th turnover was on the final Philly play on a desperation lateral so that doesn't really count). The turnovers led to 10 Kansas City points (a field goal after a -7 yard drive and an interception returned for a TD. This was not a lucky win since Michael Vick was expected to throw more interceptions that Alex Smith and the game would been even without the turnovers. Plus, teams that are -4 in turnovers average a spread loss of 14 points and KC covered by 13 points, which puts that in the toss-up category, as I think this game could have gone either way if Philly was -1 in turnovers rather than -4. 

Week 6 Buffalo (+7) 24-27 (OT) vs Cincinnati: Buffalo fought back in the 4th quarter to tie this game with a touchdown with 1:08 left and lost in overtime and while having a 7 point dog go to overtime would normally be considered a solid win, this one goes in the toss up category because Cincinnati out-played the Bills from the line of scrimmage 6.0 yppl to 4.8 yppl, which would normally lead to a win over around 7 points. Plus, Buffalo was down by 7 points and this game was looking like a push when they scored with 1 minute left in regulation. While this was a borderline call to put as a toss-up it was included because I included Oakland as a toss-up loss the same week based on their yardage stats. 

Week 15 Buffalo (-2) 27-20 vs Jacksonville: The Bills gained 368 yards at 5.3 yards per play while Jacksonville had 354 yards at 4.9 yppl so Buffalo was the better team but the +2 in turnovers helped. 

Week 15 NY Jets (+10 ½) 20-30 vs Carolina: The Jets +10 1/2 looked pretty solid most of the game with the Jets down 13-16 and with the ball late in 3rd quarter. However, Carolina blocked a punt that set them up at the 14 yard line and that short field was converted into a touchdown for a 10 point lead (but NYJ was still covering). A few plays later Carolina had an interception return for a touchdown and it looked like a solid play was going to be put in the bad luck loss category. However, New York drove the ball down the field for the covering score in a 20-30 loss. New York gained 297 yards at 5.0 yppl while Carolina had 394 yards at 6.6 yppl. However, 72 yards came on one short pass that turned into a long TD and Carolina had trouble moving the ball otherwise. This one is tough to grade but the margin probably would have been 6 or 7 points without the randomness of the blocked punt and if Carolina kicked a field goal rather than being stopped on 4th and goal earlier in the game. If you watched the game then you know this game was competitive throughout. But, I don't want to appear at all biased in my grading so I'm going to put this one in the toss-up win category even though I do feel it was a solid play. 

Week 17 Green Bay (-2.5) 33-28 over Chicago: This game went back and forth with the Packers scoring last to cover by a couple of points. 

NFC Championship Game Seattle (-4) 23-17 over San Francisco: The yardage in this game was even and Seattle was down most of the game before a second half comeback that got them the 6 point lead to cover by 2 points. The game basicially ended with an interception in the endzone as San Francisco was trying to take the lead. I don't think Seattle was a good play but this game goes in the toss-up category. 

Toss Up Losses (7) 

Week 5 Tennessee (+2 ½) 17-26 vs Kansas City: The total yards were very even at 340 yards at 5.2 yppl for Tennessee and 353 yards at 5.3 yppl for Kansas City, but the Chiefs scored a touchdown on a fumble and had two 4thquarter interceptions in the final minutes that resulted in made field goals despite not moving the ball on those drives. This game was directly affected by the turnovers and ultimately that touchdown on the fumble was the difference between covering and not. 

Week 6 Oakland (+8 ½) 7-24 vs Kansas City: Oakland outgained Kansas City 274 yards at 3.9 yppl to 216 yards at 3.5 yppl but Raiders' quarterback Terrell Pryor threw 3 interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown late in the game that made the look more lopsided that it actually was. Pryor has only thrown 4 totals interceptions in the other 7 games combined this season, so throwing 3 in one game is negative variance and this game was a 7 point game with the Raiders covering with 2 minutes left despite an earlier interception setting up the Chiefs at the Oakland 23 yard line. It's a godo bet when an 8 ½ point dog outgains the favorite and is covering with couple minutes left despite being negative in turnovers. 

Week 9 Cincinnati (-3) 20-22 vs Miami: This one could easily go in the undeserved losses category given Miami's 94 yard interception return for a touchdown and Andy Dalton's uncharacteristic (i.e. unlucky) 3 interceptions, but the stats, with the variance excluded, would project a single digit win for the Bengals so I'll put this in the toss-up loss category instead even though they outgained Miami by 120 yards. 

Week 11 Green Bay (+6) 13-27 vs NY Giants: The Packers outgained the Giants 394 yards at 7.3 yppl to 334 yards at 5.3 yppl. Normally, a 6 point dog with those stat would not only cover but win the game by more than a touchdown straight up. However, Green Bay was -2 in turnovers and one of those was returned for a touchdown to turn a 7 point deficit into a 13-27 loss. A case could be made that this was an unlucky loss the way the Packers dominated the yards per play but it was really more of a toss up loss. 

Week 11 Cleveland at Cincinnati Under 41: This game featured the randomness of 3 non-offensive touchdowns (interception return, fumble return, and blocked punt return) and those 21 points was the difference as the offenses scored 40 total points. The two teams combined for only 555 total yards and 4.1 yards per play (despite 74 yards coming on one play), which would normally result in about 34 total points, so this actually was not a bad play at all and probably would have won had it not been for the randomness of 3 non-offensive touchdowns. 

Week 11 Baltimore at Chicago Under 40 ½: This game went over in overtime, so that certainly qualifies as a toss-up. 

Week 17 Arizona (+1) 20-23 vs San Francisco: San Francisco got up early 17-0 but the Cardinals fought back to tie the game at 20 before the Niners kicked the game winning field goal as time expired in a 20-23 loss. Arizona outgained San Francisco 483 yards at 6.9 yppl to 375 yards at 6.4 yppl but they were -2 in turnovers and the first turnover set up the Niners for an easy score that helped them take a 17-0 lead. I think the Cardinals were the right side based on the stats and to be tied late with a -2 in turnovers is an indication that they outplayed the Niners in this game. But, I'll call it a toss-up loss rather than an undeserved loss. 

Toss Up Pushes (4) 

Week 11 Tennessee (+3) 27-30 vs Indianapolis: The Titans actually outplayed the Colts 6.3 yards per play to 5.6 yppl (not including kneel downs) but lost a possession when they fumbled a kickoff that resulted in a quick touchdown for the Colts right after Indy had scored to pull within 4. So a 17-6 lead turned quickly turned into a 17-20 deficit. Tennessee scored late in the 4th quarter to gain the push but this was a pretty solid play given that Tennessee averaged more yards per play and pushed the spread despite a negative turnover differential. 

Week 11 Chicago (-3) 23-20 vs Baltimore: Chicago was up by 3 late before the Ravens kicked a game tying field goal as the 4th quarter clock expired but the Bears won with a field goal in overtime to get the push. Chicago was a solid play here given that the Bears averaged 5.7 yppl to Baltimore's 4.2 yppl but I decided to put it in the toss-up category. 

Wild Card Playoff Green Bay (+3) 20-23 vs San Francisco: This was a close game that went down to the final play when the 49ers kicked the game winning field goal. 

Divisional Playoff Seattle (-8) 23-15 over New Orleans: Seattle scored in the middle of the 4th quarter to go up by 15 but New Orleans came right back and scored to put the final margin at 8 points in a 23-15 win. 

Other Games 
There have been other games that have been within 7 points of the spread that weren't really toss up games. 

Week 2 Buffalo (+3) 24-23 over Carolina: 436 yards at 6.0 yppl to 308 yards at 4.1 yppl and won despite -1 in turnovers. 

Week 3 Jets (-2 ½) 27-20 over Buffalo: Outgained the Bills 513 yard at 7.3 yppl to 328 yards at 4.4 yppl and won despite a -2 in turnovers. 

Week 7 Jets (+4) 30-27 over New England: This game went to overtime when the Patriots scored late but the Jets were covering for all but 33 seconds of the 2nd half and overtime and outgained the Pats 384 yards to 295 yards. 

Week 8 Green Bay (-7) 44-31 over Minnesota: This game ended as a 6 point spread win but Green Bay led by 20 points with 1 ½ minutes left in the game despite Minnesota returning a kickoff for a touchdown. Not nearly as close as the final score makes it appear to be. 

Week 9 Minnesota (+10) 23-27 vs Dallas: This game ended up being a 6 point cover but Minnesota was up by 3 point (covering by 13 points) until Dallas scored with 35 seconds left to win the game. Plus Minnesota outgained the Cowboys 393 yards at 5.8 yppl to 350 yards at 5.6 yppl and covered easily despite being -1 in turnovers. 

Week 11 Denver (-7) 27-17 vs Kansas City: The Broncos led 27-10 before giving up a touchdown with 5 minutes left in a 27-17 win. Denver outgained Kansas City 427 yards at 5.6 yppl to 344 yards at 4.7 yppl, although they really only averaged 4.4 yppl when you take out the 25 yard run at the end of the first half when Denver had most of their defenders sitting on the goal line waiting for the hail Mary pass. The stats project an 11.4 points win so Denver was a solid play. 

Week 12 Miami (+4 ½) 20-24 vs Carolina: Carolina scored in the final minute to come from behind to win the game but the spread decision was never really in doubt since Miami was covering by 7 ½ points before that final Panthers' drive. Miami also outgained Carolina 332 yards at 5.4 yppl to 295 yards at 4.3 yppl and were certainly the right side. 

Week 13 Denver (-5 ½) 35-28 vs Kansas City: Denver outgained Kansas City 538 yards at 8.5 yards per play to 452 yards at 6.7 yppl and covered the spread despite having a kick off returned for a touchdown by the Chiefs and being -1 in turnovers. Kansas City scored late to get within 7 after Denver had built a 14 point lead. 

Week 16 Washington (+3) 23-24 vs Dallas: The Redskins lost 23-24 but they led 23-14 midway through the 4th quarter before the Cowboys rallied to win straight up. The spread was never in doubt since the Cowboys scored with a minute left to go ahead by 1. 

NFL Free Analysis 
As most of you know, Dr Bob has posted informative and profitable NFL analysis in his Free Analysis section for years. This season I will post Free Analysis on NFL games that are not part of my Best Bet package.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Recap Monday, July 14, 2014

It's our 4th consecutive net positive day on the strength of 6 wins in our last 8 plays, and after 3.5 months of betting baseball, we look forward to several days off before resuming our fine 2014 MLB season. 

Our Sunday split featured just a modest gain, but we'll happily add to our season tally. 

The Cardinals (+107) play at Milwaukee was just a flat-out bad call on my part, as the Brewers rolled up 19 hits and got a stellar outing from Wily Peralta (7IP, 0ER, 1R, 3H, 5SO, 0BB) in an 11-2 rout. As has been the case this season more often than not, though, we coupled that quickly with an equally solid win, as the Twins (+114) scored 5 in the 1st at Colorado, then broke open a tight lead in the late innings to blow out the Rockies, 13-5, racking up 18 hits in the process.

That brings us home into the Break with a +20.86 units/stars season in progress. 

By month... 

April: 33-25-2 (56.67%) +13.46 units/stars 
May: 37-29-2 (55.88%) +16.71 units/stars 
June: 31-34-2 (47.76%) -14.63 units/stars 
July (partial): 14-11-1 (55.77%) +5.32 units/stars 

Only the chronic splits of June have prevented this from being an epic season. As it stands now, we'll simply have to settle for being on pace for a great season. In addition to our daily plays, of course, we have our season win totals and futures plays pending, as well. I'll send out a status report email during the Break on all of those. 

I have every expectation that our season will continue its upward trend when we resume Friday with our daily plays, continuing through the end of the regular season and postseason. As mentioned in my email back in March, the strategy would be to tread lightly at the outset of the season and right after the All-Star Break when results have historically been more squirrelly with my analytics. That approach served us very well in April and I intend to see that through when we get back before opening it up again late this month. 

In the meantime, enjoy the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game... 

Sunday: 1-1-0 (+0.28 units/stars) 
2014 MLB Regular Season: 115-99-7 (53.62%) (+20.86 units/stars) 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Baseball Recap Tuesday, July 01, 2014

It's no secret that June wasn't nearly as fun as April and May were. Here's our month-by-month breakdown: 

April: 33-25-2 (56.67%) +13.46 units/stars 
May: 37-29-2 (55.88%) +16.71 units/stars 
June: 31-34-2 (47.76%) -14.63 units/stars 

Judging by some of the emails I received, you'd have thought we had dropped 146 units this past month, but, really, while still bad, June was more of a protracted splitfest than anything else. And again, if those two White Sox grand slam losses on June 7th, up 5-0 in the 8th, and June 28th, up 4-0 in the 8th, go our way, it's just a -5.53 units month. Oh well. They happened. Just putting things in perspective, though. 

Onward to July... 

Monday: 2-0-0 (+5.30 units/stars) 
2014 MLB Regular Season: 101-88-6 (53.33%) (+15.54 units/stars)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

NBA Playoffs Analysis

My Free Best Bet on Orlando lost last Wednesday and the one on Charlotte won. For the season I am 18-18-2 on my Free Best Bets and 72-60-4 on my Free Opinions and the free analysis has been really good lately.

I am 74-56-2 in the previous 6 seasons on my Free Best Bets and 614-566-24 on my Free Opinion.

To get analysis for the NBA Playoffs, go to Dr. Bob Sports