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This Week’s Bets

Posted by mrformula on October 26, 2008

Record, year to date: 10-8-1

Houston -9.5

NE -7

Pitt -3

Bal -7

TB +1.5

Was -7.5

Also, Tenn is -4 right now, if it moves to -4.5 by tomorrow night, we will bet that too.

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Why 10+ Point Favorites are a Crapshoot

Posted by mrformula on October 25, 2008

Ok, so this is our theory as to why we don’t bet favorites of more then 10. Well first off, the data shows that it is not a good idea. But we think there is a good (ok, reasonable) explanation for this:

In thinking about the TB push and the Giants near push last week, it gives me a theory as to why you don’t bet favorites of more then 10. Basically, if you think of this from the underdog or favorites point of view, it should still make sense. If the underdog has the ball late, going for a score, the only way the defense is going to relax and not worry as much about a garbage TD is if it’s a 3 score game. In a 2 score game, I don’t think defenses would be lettting up at the end of games with the obvious implication that they are just one lucky bounce on an onside kick away from having a chance to tie the game. Hence, the lead would have to be 17 or more (16 would still be 2 scores), so if they do give up a garbage time score they’d still be winning by at least 10. This is exactly what happened in the TB game last week. If that lead had been 16 instead of 17, I don’t think you would have seen the same relaxed approach on defense that TB took.

If the favorite has the ball late, they will be pushing to make it a 2 score game. This was evident in the Giants game, where they played conservatively for the FG knowing it would put them up 2 scores and basically seal the game, with a 10 point lead. While we got lucky that JT O’Sullivan kicked the ball out of his own end zone for the cover, the idea still holds. So basically, we think that the winning team plays late in the 4th quarter to maintain at least a 2 score lead, which more often then not translates to a 10 point lead. This is why it’s risky and can’t really be predicted when the line is more then 10. Because often times the team that has more then a 10 point spread might play ‘more then 10 points better then the other team’, but their strategy late in games is to maintain at least a two-score lead. Thus betting on these games is a crapshoot because it often comes down to who scores in garbage time.

On another note, we are going to start posting every bet we make before the games on Sundays, so that people can see what lines we were able to get games. Last week alone, two lines moved into our range on late Saturday night-Early Sunday morning, that we grabbed and I’m not sure if we had time to post. But from now on we will make this post every Sunday, with our record to date included. If a Monday night game could possibly move into our range but hasn’t yet as of Sunday, we will update that post if it does and we bet it.

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Monday Morning – Week 7 Recap

Posted by deck104 on October 20, 2008

We didnt get a chance to post this up yesterday but on Sunday morning the Tampa Bay spread moved into our range and we took it. We also got the Steelers spread on Saturday night really late but I don’t remember if I posted that up yet or not, but there ya go.

The Wizard was a little worried about having 9 bets on the table this week, clearly more than we were expecting for any given week of the NFL season but with the new model comes about 3 more bets per week and I had faith that we wouldn’t completely bottom out and we didnt.

We’re 4-3-1 so far with the push coming late, late last night to the point I’m kind of pissed off about it. So far we haven’t been burned by junktime scoring and we weren’t exactly burned by it last night either, but Obviously I’d rather be 5-3 than 4-3-1. I’ll go backwards and cover the games

Tampa Bay -10 vs. Seattle – Push

The Bucs were off and running early when I was flipping between the two Tampa Bay games of the night (the other being the Sox game). 17-3 late in the game and I was really confident that we finally had a game we weren’t going to sweat out (it seems that either we know we’ve lost early, or we’re sweating it out til the end). Of course, Julius Jones hadn’t done shit all day and then all of a sudden in the final drive with less than five minutes late he looks like he hadn’t taken a handoff all night. He had about 50 yards on two runs and set the Seahawks up for an easy rollout touchdown pass and the Push was on.

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An Update To The Formula

Posted by deck104 on October 16, 2008

In an effort to make our betting model better and more innovative, the Wizard has been trying to tweak some stuff. Because we’re actually investing a lot of time and money into the model this year (where in previous years we would talk about it on and off, but it wouldn’t dominate our time like it does now), we’ve been able to actually see how things work on a week to week basis and make some observations. For example, I’ve postulated in both weeks about why the model would have us take a team giving nearly a touchdown to the underdog, but when the line is that same team getting points, we wouldn’t take them. In addition to that, the Wizard really didn’t like the ways some of the components of the model were weighted and wanted to play around with parameters and see what he could come up with.

The results were oustanding. Where our original model won 119 of 186 (64%) games over the last five seasons (between weeks 5 and 14 only), the new model picked far less games, but won 67 of the 91 games picked for a 73.6 win percentage (the new model picks games most successfully between weeks 6 and 15). Not only that, but the new model provides a much smaller spread range in addition to a minimum betting range. So for example we might take a team at -5 to -7.5 but also at anything better than +1 (so we wouldnt bet between an EVEN pick and -4.5 but within our range or our team getting at least 1).

The Wizard thinks that Mr. Formula 2.0 working like this could take into account things like major injuries to major players. Not in the way it outputs the model, but in the way that it eliminates wonky spreads that are better than our range, but not so good that the percentage signifies a payoff. So in the above example, Mr. Formula would love us taking a team giving between 5 and 7.5 but anything better than that could signify there’s something going on that can’t be explained mathematically, and then once that team starts getting a full point, screw what linemakers think– this team can win anyway.

With all that explained, things get even more out of hand. In games that BOTH models picked over the last five years the formula has won 80% of it’s games. Yes. 80%. Now it’s only picked 30, but it’s 24 for 30. Thats 6 games a year, winning 4.8 of them. So if you bet $1100 to win $1000 on those games, you’d have won $19,800 since 2003. And that’s not including the New Orleans/Oakland game in week 6 that we would’ve given you.

So from now on we’ll be presenting games with a confidence number from 1-3. The games with a confidence of 1 will be the games the original model outputs. This model gives us the most action, about 40-45 games per year, and we recommend betting all of these if you like making bets. If you’re going to bet games from this model we recommend betting every game we post because it’s designed to give you a profit over the course of a season and are not by any means considered “locks.” We will assign a confidence of 2 to games the second model picks. Again, the success rate of this model is higher than the first model but it produces about half the games the first model does. A confidence of 3 will be given to the games that both models pick.

Most people that I’ve talked to about this project ask me what the big money games are to get rich quick. I remind everyone that the goal of the model is to bet what your comfortable with but bet all the games if you want to win money. People can be underwhelmed by that because too many people look at gambling as a get-rich-quick type thing. If you want to put big money on any of the games, clearly I recommend those with the confidence 3 label. When the Wizard told me about the 80% thing, 24-6, that’s just pretty high.

Anyway, we hope you all like this new way of doing things, hopefully it makes us all a little richer.

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Updates – Spreads and Blog

Posted by deck104 on October 4, 2008

There’s some new spread action right now, reason enough to make a post to update everyone on what’s happening with the spreads as we head into the weekend.

First off, Atlanta/Green Bay finally has a spread, unfortunately (or fortunately, if you like money) it’s Atlanta +4 so we won’t be betting it.

Washington’s spread however moved from +5.5 to +6, so we’re checking this spread every couple hours to see if it moves another half a point to WSH +6.5 in which case we’d take it.

We’re still waiting on San Francisco to get more points, though we’re still looking at risking $100 to win $105 right now so that ain’t bad. We’ll probably bet this on Sunday but we are expecting this spread to move big over the weekend.

Also, we’re building the site as we go here, mainly because this is a work-in-progress anyway, but also because we’ve only recently begun to think about chronicling this whole project. We’re creating pages for every team with pertinent betting information: the team site, the team depth chart, the team injury reports and the team against the spread in numerous situations over the past 10 years in different increments. We’ve got all of the AFC East and some of the AFC North done (though the links for the Jets and Dolphins aren’t done because we can’t load flash on my work computers).

Anyhow, that’s the scoop around here. Bet wisely.

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What is the Helices Posit?

Posted by deck104 on October 1, 2008

Very simply, Mr.F spends most of his time calculating the power rankings. After, the numeric rating each team is given is then adjusted based on certain factors and then compared against the opponent. Eventually (and this is when it gets tricky and secretive), Mr. Formula will give a range of pointspreads that we want to target and bet on.

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