Good day for basketball

UNC (ranked #24) over-powered OSU (#12) inside to win 82-74. Indiana held Butler (#23) to poor shooting inside and outside and won 82-73.

And Kentucky (#1) held UCLA to 7 points in the first half in route to an 83-42 blowout. Smothering defense.

Big wins for all three of my favorite teams, even if the losers were my 4th, 7th, and 9th favorite teams.

uk ucla

Betting on Underdogs

This week the lines-makers seem to have gone a little too far for almost every NFL game. My model picks the underdog in each matchup (against the spread, obviously), except the Titans-Jags game. Surprisingly, it picks the favorite, the Jaguars, in that game (and they covered).

According to oddsshark.com, underdogs are 110-111-4 against the spread this season. So it seems unlikely that the line-makers are consistently off. Perhaps my model is over-regulated and holding predicted scores too close to the mean score. I will do more analysis, but know that this is a model that would win almost 53% of its bets over the past 30 years if it bet on every game.

Book Review- Superman Versus the Ku Klux Klan

Superman Versus The Ku Klux Klan
by Rick Bowers, 2012

superman versus the kkk

You’ll learn some fun facts about Superman and some terrifying facts about the KKK in this book. Take, for instance, the fact that two Jewish boys from the Cleveland suburbs created Superman, and the artist was 5’2″ and 112 pounds. Or the way that Superman was kept from overpowering the Germans and ending World War II: Clark Kent took his physical to join the Army and accidentally used his X-ray vision to read the eye chart in the next room over; the Army labeled him practically blind and therefore 4F, unfit for military service. (Captain America to the rescue?) The book chronicles the early days of Superman and the three revivals of the bigoted hate group the Ku Klux Klan. Following initial success in comic books and radio programs, a run of Superman radio episodes was broadcast in 1946 in which Superman takes on the KKK. He exposes their tactics and secrets to the young audience of the program, in the hope that they will grow up without such hate in their mind and hearts.

The book is a fast read or listen. I think it was a good book to listen to on tape, about 3 hours long.

NFL Picks- Week 16 of 2014

Overall: 52-48
Week 15: 7-9
Week 14: 6-9
Week 13: 10-6
Week 12: 8-6
Week 11: 9-5
Week 10: 6-7
Week 9: 6-6

1-2 in games highlighted last week. 10-11 overall.

Here are my week 16 predictions, with the current line in parentheses:

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.0): Predicting 19.3-22.8. Bet on the Jacksonville Jaguars.
San Diego Chargers at San Francisco 49ers (-2.0): Predicting 18.9-20.5. Bet on the San Diego Chargers.
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins (+7.5): Predicting 27.4-23.1. Bet on the Washington Redskins.
Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers (-4.0): Predicting 20.1-22.1. Bet on the Cleveland Browns.
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (+7.5): Predicting 23.1-20.1. Bet on the Chicago Bears.
Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans (+5.5): Predicting 21.5-22.2. Bet on the Houston Texans.
Minnesota Vikings at Miami Dolphins (-7.5): Predicting 18.3-24.0. Bet on the Minnesota Vikings.
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-7.0): Predicting 24.7-28.1. Bet on the Atlanta Falcons.
New England Patriots at New York Jets (+11.5): Predicting 28.1-19.0. Bet on the New York Jets.
Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.0): Predicting 22.8-24.7. Bet on the Kansas City Chiefs.
Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+11.5): Predicting 28.0-21.6. Bet on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
New York Giants at St Louis Rams (-5.0): Predicting 20.1-24.5. Bet on the New York Giants.
Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys (-2.5): Predicting 26.0-26.6. Bet on the Indianapolis Colts.
Buffalo Bills at Oakland Raiders (+5.5): Predicting 23.4-18.0. Bet on the Oakland Raiders.
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (+9.5): Predicting 18.9-19.6. Bet on the Arizona Cardinals.
Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals (+3.5): Predicting 24.2-23.0. Bet on the Cincinnati Bengals.

Each week I’ll show all the predictions, as above, and I’ll pick three games that I feel most confident about, as I look at my model and think about what I’ve seen watching football. Here are the 3 teams I would actually bet on ATS (against the spread):
Cardinals, Buccaneers, Texans

Book Review- Washington’s Secret Six

Washington’s Secret Six
by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger, 2014

George-Washington-Secret-Six

George Washington was a spy in the French and Indian War. Therefore, I’m pretty sure he told a lie or two in his day.

This book centers on a spy ring Washington set up in New York City during the Revolutionary War. NYC was taken by the British pretty early in the war and held throughout. The spy ring provided (somewhat) timely information to the general about British activities in the city. They helped thwart a plot to print and devalue patriot currency, helped keep Benedict Arnold from turning over West Point to the British, and provided opportunities for small fort captures and supply seizures on the outskirts of the city.

It was an interesting book about an area I did not know about in the Revolutionary War. Washington did not really outfight the British, he simply outspied them. The tradecraft used by the spy ring (dead drops, invisible ink, codes, 100% secrecy) are taught as a case study to new CIA agents nowadays.

I listened to this book on CD. I believe the first author was also the reader. I wish they had gotten a professional reader; the book was read too forcefully and loudly.

NFL Picks- Week 15 of 2014

Overall: 45-39
Week 14: 6-9
Week 13: 10-6
Week 12: 8-6
Week 11: 9-5
Week 10: 6-7
Week 9: 6-6

2-1 in games highlighted last week. 9-9 overall.

Here are my week 15 predictions, with the current line in parentheses:

Arizona Cardinals at St Louis Rams (-4.5): Predicting 19.6-21.6. Bet on the Arizona Cardinals.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Atlanta Falcons (+1.0): Predicting 26.3-27.0. Bet on the Atlanta Falcons.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Baltimore Ravens (-14.5): Predicting 14.9-28.8. Bet on the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Green Bay Packers at Buffalo Bills (+4.5): Predicting 24.4-24.3. Bet on the Buffalo Bills.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (-3.0): Predicting 19.7-25.0. Bet on the Carolina Panthers.
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (-1.0): Predicting 18.9-22.3. Bet on the Cleveland Browns.
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (-9.5): Predicting 16.3-21.8. Bet on the Minnesota Vikings.
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-7.5): Predicting 22.2-27.5. Bet on the Houston Texans.
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-11.5): Predicting 15.1-26.7. Bet on the Kansas City Chiefs.
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-9.0): Predicting 20.7-27.4. Bet on the Miami Dolphins.
Washington Redskins at New York Giants (-7.0): Predicting 20.1-26.7. Bet on the Washington Redskins.
Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers (+4.0): Predicting 25.1-24.3. Bet on the San Diego Chargers.
New York Jets at Tennessee Titans (+1.0): Predicting 21.3-22.9. Bet on the Tennessee Titans.
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (-10.5): Predicting 15.5-23.8. Bet on the San Francisco 49ers.
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (-3.0): Predicting 23.6-28.9. Bet on the Philadelphia Eagles.
New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears (+2.5): Predicting 26.2-26.7. Bet on the Chicago Bears.

Each week I’ll show all the predictions, as above, and I’ll pick three games that I feel most confident about, as I look at my model and think about what I’ve seen watching football. Here are the 3 teams I would actually bet on ATS (against the spread):
Panthers, Vikings, Dolphins

NFL Picks- Week 14 of 2014

Overall: 39-30
Week 13: 10-6
Week 12: 8-6
Week 11: 9-5
Week 10: 6-7
Week 9: 6-6

1-2 in games highlighted last week. 7-8 overall.

Here are my week 14 predictions, with the current line in parentheses:

Dallas Cowboys at Chicago Bears (+3.5): Predicting 24.9-24.1. Bet on the Chicago Bears.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals (-3.0): Predicting 21.8-24.8. Line is correct; do not bet.
Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns (+3.5): Predicting 24.8-23.1. Bet on the Cleveland Browns.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions (-10.5): Predicting 14.9-23.9. Bet on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (+5.5): Predicting 23.5-18.8. Bet on the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins (-2.5): Predicting 21.3-24.6. Bet on the Miami Dolphins.
New York Jets at Minnesota Vikings (-7.0): Predicting 16.3-23.8. Bet on the Minnesota Vikings.
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-11.0): Predicting 21.3-29.2. Bet on the Carolina Panthers.
New York Giants at Tennessee Titans (even): Predicting 23.4-23.9. Bet on the Tennessee Titans.
St Louis Rams at Washington Redskins (+2.5): Predicting 23.8-23.4. Bet on the Washington Redskins.
Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals (even): Predicting 19.1-20.8. Bet on the Arizona Cardinals.
Buffalo Bills at Denver Broncos (-10.0): Predicting 21.3-26.6. Bet on the Buffalo Bills.
San Francisco 49ers at Oakland Raiders (+9.5): Predicting 21.7-18.3. Bet on the Oakland Raiders.
Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles (even): Predicting 23.0-26.2. Bet on the Philadelphia Eagles.
New England Patriots at San Diego Chargers (+3.5): Predicting 26.0-23.5. Bet on the San Diego Chargers.
Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers (-13.0): Predicting 21.5-31.2. Bet on the Atlanta Falcons.

Each week I’ll show all the predictions, as above, and I’ll pick three games that I feel most confident about, as I look at my model and think about what I’ve seen watching football. Here are the 3 teams I would actually bet on ATS (against the spread):
Buccaneers, Cardinals, Bills

NFL Picks- Week 13 of 2014

Overall: 29-24
Week 12: 8-6
Week 11: 9-5
Week 10: 6-7
Week 9: 6-6

1-2 in games highlighted last week. 6-6 overall.

Here are my week 13 predictions, with the current line in parentheses:

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (-7.0): Predicting 17.0-23.7. Bet on the Chicago Bears.
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (-3.0): Predicting 26.0-27.9. Bet on the Philadelphia Eagles.
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (-1.5): Predicting 20.7-20.9. Bet on the Seattle Seahawks.
San Diego Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (-7.0): Predicting 18.7-25.0. Bet on the San Diego Chargers.
Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills (-2.5): Predicting 18.1-22.7. Bet on the Buffalo Bills.
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans (-7.0): Predicting 17.0-25.5. Bet on the Houston Texans.
Washington Redskins at Indianapolis Colts (-10.5): Predicting 19.5-29.6. Bet on the Washington Redskins.
New York Giants at Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5): Predicting 22.5-21.7. Bet on the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings (-2.5): Predicting 18.2-23.7. Bet on the Minnesota Vikings.
New Orleans Saints at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5): Predicting 24.4-28.4. Bet on the New Orleans Saints.
Oakland Raiders at St Louis Rams (-7.0): Predicting 19.4-24.1. Bet on the Oakland Raiders.
Cincinnati Bengals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.5): Predicting 23.3-20.5. Bet on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons (+2.5): Predicting 22.6-21.7. Bet on the Atlanta Falcons.
New England Patriots at Green Bay Packers (-3.0): Predicting 27.2-28.7. Bet on the New England Patriots.
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (even): Predicting 22.9-25.6. Bet on the Kansas City Chiefs.
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets (+7.0): Predicting 25.9-18.7. Bet on the Miami Dolphins.

Each week I’ll show all the predictions, as above, and I’ll pick three games that I feel most confident about, as I look at my model and think about what I’ve seen watching football. Here are the 3 teams I would actually bet on ATS (against the spread):
Bears, Saints, Dolphins