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And that means there could be some futures value on a couple longer shots. But the D is still as good enough to keep them in any game and Big Ben has plenty of receivers who can make plays on a big stage and give them a chance. They also have a trump card in Sean McVay, who can always pull out a perfect play design when his team needs it the most. The Rams play great defense, are coached well and run the ball.
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Best bets for every game. Profitable data-driven system picks. Top Offers. Bet Over 0 in Lakers-Nuggets. Follow Us On Social. Sportsbook Reviews. Sports Betting Calculators. There are two main base defensive schemes used in the NFL: the and the Currently, there are 16 teams that use the as their base defense, 12 teams who use the , and 4 teams who use a combination of both i.
Let's start by discussing the basic defense: Defense Overview alignments also known as use four down defensive linemen and three upright linebackers in the front seven with a right and left cornerback, a free safety, and a strong safety in the secondary. This defensive scheme utilizes both 1-gap and 2-gap principles in the front seven. However, 1-gap principles are currently the most widely used in the NFL and come in both the under and over varieties.
The "under" alignment is based around the defensive line shading towards the weakside. The nose tackle is in the 1-technique on the strongside A-gap, The DEs are both aligned on the outside shoulders of the OTs, and the undertackle is aligned in the B-gap on the weakside and playing a 3-technique. The middle linebacker is lined up over the center and about 5 yards back.
The "over" alignment on the other hand is based around the defensive line shading towards the strongside. The nose tackle is playing the 1-technique in the weakside A-gap. The undertackle is lined up in the strongside B-gap and playing a 3-technique. Both DE's are lined up on the outside shoulders of the OTs like in the "under" alignment. In a 2-gap alignment, the defensive tackles are lined up head up with the offensive guards.
The defensive ends are lined up in identical spots on the outside shoulders of the OTs. The middle linebacker is lined up directly in the middle of the formation and about 5 yards back. The CBs are lined up directly across from the WRs. Teams such as the Eagles, Redskins, Bengals and Jaguars have imposed this type of system over the last few seasons, but it's use is quickly dwindling.
The original cover-2 scheme was very successful in its day. But as the NFL passing game continued to evolve with bigger and speedier receivers, teams were able to test the weak or "soft" zones in the deep middle between the safeties and down the sidelines behind the corners. By the mids, the cover-2 was relegated to part time use by most NFL teams.
In the s, then Tampa Bay Buccaneer defensive coordinator and current Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy, who played for the Steelers under Bud Carson in the s, and his defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, adapted the cover-2 scheme to address these deficiencies. Dungy's variation drops the middle linebacker straight back in zone coverage to help cover the deep middle zone, which allows the safeties to hedge outside and more easily take away the soft zones behind the corners and along the sideline.
The two corners and two outside linebackers now divide the intermediate zones into fourths. Tampa-2 ends don't have to be as active in run support on the edge. Since the scheme requires quick, instinctive linebackers, the ends need only turn the play outside where the bigger corners and speedy backers can flow to the play.
With this being said, many ends in this system are often undersized, speed rushers e. Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. These players will often put up higher than average sack totals, but sometimes at the expense of their tackle numbers. Defensive Tackles The Tampa-2 is also partly responsible for the rise in value of some defensive tackles in IDP leagues. While most defensive tackles are responsible for plugging gaps in run support, the Tampa-2 aligns one of its tackles in a 3-technique responsibility.
This player is often referred to as an undertackle. His responsibility is to penetrate his gap and get up field to either disrupt a running play or get to the quarterback. Think Warren Sapp in his prime. These type of players are usually the most valuable fantasy defensive tackles, so scout wisely. Fantasy Implications: Defensive Ends The defensive ends in a scheme have less responsibilities than their counterparts.
If we assume that the best teams in the NFL are about After that it's just a matter of adding in the appropriate adjustment for home field advantage usually 3 points, although it's averaging quite a bit above that this year , and you have a reasonable line to compare to the published lines. The obvious question though is how applicable your derived line is given the injury situation of the teams involved. Making that change improves DVOA's overall performance last year by a few games, but brings its Best Bets record down from to It does do a better job with straight-up upsets, however, going instead Varlos, week 8 DVOA numbers for are in the archive.
Just not in one huge table. I believe that Reno's observations in 16 are exactly correct: use DVOA to bet the money line and for the most part ignore the point spreads. It's one thing to expect the superior team to win and quite another to predict by how much -- recall TMQ's citations of how rarely prognosticators ever get the actual score correct. As Mr. One issue Reno didn't mention is that using DVOA makes some parlay bets much stronger than would usually be the case -- especially when the Vegas odds favor the "wrong" team as with DET this week.
SF or PHI vs. SF whenever they are available. The caveat is that such moneyline wagers on heavy favorites often have to be made early in the week as they tend not to be available later and even if they are, the likely return will be smaller. Unfortunately, these are not always available e.
STL has been closed all week , so one has to seize such opportunities when they exist. So, at least for now, DVOA seems to allow for significant arbitrage. How long that remains the case is a different matter, since there is no reason that oddsmakers can't factor it into their betting lines. So long, however, as the majority of wagerers make less rational decisions, the opportunity for arbitrage probably will continue to exist, since the odds are set to encourage equal opportunity wagering on both teams as well as to set an expectation for a probable outcome.
This year SF is at I suppose they could significantly improve; but just to achieve average bottomness  they both have to play at a nearly average level for a number of games. When either plays even an averagely good team on the road, it has little chance of winning. One interesting thing about this thread is the different ways in which people can interpret the same data. Despite the huge difference in total DVOA, my entirely DVOA reliant methodology actually likes Detroit though with very little confidence against the spread, and likes Carolina to win, but not overwhelmingly so.
Yuck, it's just not the kind of game that inspires much confidence in me one way or the other. It's not a game that I'm going to place a wager on. I wouldn't be suprised at all if they blow Detroit out of the water like Total DVOA says they should, but also won't be at all suprised if Detroit plays them close and wins it by a field goal. Week 9 of last year turned out to be one of the strongest for DVOA. Actually, he said to use DVOA rankings only to bet the money line; the main point of his post was that the DVOA ratings could be used to bet against the spread very effectively.
Actually what I do is kind of a combination. I use DVOA to come up with an expected margin of victory, but then what I do is bet the money line based upon that. DVOA does well against the spread, but not with the same predictability it does against the money line. I keep track of my wins and losses, and start betting in week 5. The actual record against the spread on games I would've wagered on isn't nearly as atrocious, but due to weighting my bets, I would've gotten killed.
I've never done this at the end of a season to see how things would've gone if I'd bet the spread the way I do the money line in terms of how I'd do in real money terms. The point spread is just not something I like betting on - the potential for coaching decisions on 2 point conversions and field goal attempts, the prevent defense, running out the clock, etc.
The intention behind my original post was more about suggesting improved methods of evaluating DVOA performance vs. I like betting on wins rather than victory margins because it rewards me for identifying the teams that are most likely to do what they're ostensibly trying to do - win football games.
I've never really understood the appeal of betting against the spread, especially since as most readers of this site likely know, points scored isn't necessarily the greatest indicator of a team's on-field performance. This is why we love DVOA and its high correlation efficients so much, it seems silly to forget one of its most basic lessons when it comes to playing with your money.
I'll chart how I would've done against the spread for the rest of the season, along with how I do betting money lines. Lastly, since I've been reading this site for a couple of years now and my first posts have been about what a degenerate gambler I am, I feel like I should thank the FO crew for really and truly helping my understanding of and appreciation for the game as a FAN who still never bets against his beloved Raiders, no matter what the numbers tell me or how mediocre they are.
You guys are doing great work and making a really wonderful contribution to sports journalism, heck, are actually engaging in sports journalism something most so-called practitioners don't do. I appreciate that this isn't a gaming website, and am sorry if all this "DVOA in action" chatter feels cheapening in some way.
Oh, and hate to be like Carl, but I had the wrong line for Lion-Panthers, I obviously don't think its going to be a tie. After getting carted weeks in my high dollar pick against the spread pool. Integrate DVOA into my process for making the picks.
The process before was dropping my bloody mary, running to the computer and punching in whatever I could before the site locked me out. At this point I just compare offensive vs. After reading this thread I'm going to have to look for some adjustments to DVOA to account for ball control vs. I'll try and keep people posted on how it works for me. Reno, I fully agree about betting the money line rather than betting the spread.
I find it much easier to formulate the probability of each team winning, rather than the point spread. Although once you get that probability of a win, it is simple enough to match it up with a correlating spead. But I think that is just taking it one step more than necessary and dilutes the bet essentially. Email me at bethehouse gmail. Maybe we can help each other out. Re: 18, 19 and 24 on Home Field Advantage as well as numerous discussions on previous mailbag posts.
If you are trying to incorporate and calculate HFA for predictive purposes, it is my belief that it is not a simple linear situation. HFA does measure to somewhere between 3. However and I am basing this on my research before I was married and working full time it is more like a bell curve. HFA tends to be greatest when the home team is considered "slightly worse" than the road team points on a neutral field. If you look at point spread performance of home underdogs of 4 or less, you should find that this group of home teams has "outperformed" other groups over the last 10 years.
The bell curve then decreased as you moved away from that peak in either directions. I first noticed this in NCAA games. I noticed HFA was closer to 5 in the slight home dog situation, decreasing to barely 1 point when the line was 30 or more. Also, and DVOA would be an even better way of measuring this, home teams that rush the ball better than their visitor opponents greater than 25 yds more per game and stop the run better than the opponent at least 25 yds fewer per game tend to perform well against the spread at home, particularly when an underdog or slight favorite.
Chicago met that criteria this week, and covered handily. There was an old site called www. I also think the home underdog HFA is greater when the home team is at least decent playoff caliber, and is good defensively. Chicago vs Detroit is one that I suspect at season's end will fit this bill, and also Dallas whipping Philadelphia at home last week. The perception that you are being "dissed" when playing a similar or competitive opponent at your place can be a powerful motivating factor. A good defense will keep a crowd in the game, and be better able to feed off the crowd.
Similarly, if home team can run the ball significantly better than the opponent, the opposing team will be more likely to face long yardage situation where crowds can have an impact on offensive line communication and audibles. In looking at the results this year, so far home dogs of 4 or less are ATS and straight up. Total Points scored in those games are H to A. You could also look at the list and see that a few plays going the other way late in games would have made the home dogs show even better, and DVOA may reflect some of that.
Cincinnati's top ranking on this site is justified, and is even more impressive considering they are as a slight road favorite, where road disadvantage tends to be strongest. As an aside, they also played Houston in a letdown, high favorite game where HFA is generally less If you exclude Cincinnati, the other slight road favorites are against the spread.
I think you just want to make yourself sound smart, when in reality you dont know what you are talking about. Masocc, in your experience working for "the bookies in Las Vegas", do they take their coffees black or with cream? I thought the line of Sea As I noted in the thread on Dr. I was completely confident that the line would move enough that I could middle 10 or even 11 by kickoff if I needed to hedge. Instead, what floored me even more than the opening line was that over the course of the week, the line dropped to 9 at the two houses I use; only one had it back up to 10 at kickoff.
Houston did cover a similar line against Cincy, but I thought that line was a joke as well. Houston got a massive boost when Cincy had to go to their third-string center, but Houston was so ineffective on offense that my teased plays on Cincy were still able to survive that day.
Sure, Seattle was out its top two receivers, but the backups did fine in St. Any info to pass on? Thanks for that, farker! Do VarlosZ and Aaron run this site? Why does everyone try to calibrate their analysis with those 2? I find it impossible to use DVOA to figure out what lines to bet on? VarlosZ does talk about it a little bit earlier but I dont his math as in 11, 13, Forget the spread, has anyone used the DVOA to predict the winners each week?
Wonder what the results might be? I suspect money went on Houston for the same reason that money will go against Indy in the next few weeks- because the odds tend to catch up with both winless and undefeated teams around now. If I'd taken the same methodology and bet the spread accordingly, I would've posted a For the season, I'd be at That I would've bet on two less games signifies their lines being very close to DVOA's expected margin of victory. Percentage wise, this was a slightly better week than normal for DVOA on win bets, and as I haven't started looking at it until this season, I have no idea how aberrant the spread showing is.
DVOA's straight up record against the spread for the season is about where I'd expect it to be. That there's a negative return so far means that DVOA's been pretty poor when it comes to "best bets" against the spread. This isn't terribly shocking to me, given my previously noted angst with betting point spreads. I also don't have any doubt that for the season, DVOA vs.
I also think that it'll continue to lag behind the money line. DVOA's so incredibly efficient at picking the winning team, most especially on its "locks," that I think its high winning percentage will more than make up for the disadvantage it gets in odds it usually only likes one to three underdogs a week. I know that everyone's going to cry "small sample size! I don't really have the time or desire to go back through last year's DVOA ratings, spreads, and results to come up with results.
I'll stick by my belief that betting on wins is better than betting on margin of victory, though. If people want me to post weekly updates on this, I will, though I kind of doubt anyone's interested. Oh, and I recognized Masocc's joke, and laughed all the harder because it's not entirely untrue. A Vegas oddsmaker would make me feel very, very stupid when it came to talking about betting on sports. I've got enormous respect for them, I'm almost positive that they're aware of and incorporate DVOA in more effective ways than I do.
Hell, I wouldn't be suprised at all if they've had tools like it for years. A The Vegas oddsmaker isn't trying to come up with statistically accurate measures of winning probability and margin of victory. Argh sorry for the triple post. I bet each game seperately, and also tease on the side. These are just the individual game bets, because I didn't want to have to work out teases for spread bets I wasn't making.
In case anybody is still reading this interesting thread: I had my best week ever, winning six bets with no losses. Since specifics are always useful, here are the wagers: 1 Seattle to win: 40 units, return of 8. Return here means "amount won. The large bet on the lock pick protects against anticipated losses with some less confident wagers though that didn't happen this week.
INDY was my second lock, but the money line wager wasn't available. It's useful to be able to include road teams in parlays, since the return is higher. One needs, though, to be very careful doing it, since the risk is higher as well. The 5 team parlay was an unusual, almost throw-away wager that I didn't expect to win.
Actually it was originally a 7 team parlay, but that just seemed too crazy to go with even though in fact both other teams also won. I have, however, already won two 5 team parlays this year. I should add that I don't use spreadsheets or statistical apparatus other than DVOA, but make intuitive -- really aesthetic -- judgments after steeping myself in the statistical data.
I should also add that being able rationally to wager on sports contests requires great discipline and, at least in my case, a tuition of spending about 5 years losing money by doing everything wrong. It's a skill like playing a musical instrument: one improves with practice and mistakes are ultimately the best form of learning. Anyone who thinks that they're just going to jump in and start making the big bucks wagering on sports contests is probably deluding himself.
Even a sophisticated statistical armamentarium doesn't by itself suffice -- e. The statistical inferences and generally outstanding essays at FO provides the great benefit of an objective, abstract model that is divorced from the gritty reality of the games themselves. So far this year, beginning with week 2 admittedly a tad early , I've had one losing week week 2, of course.
Since then, I've lost one wager a 3 team parlay with PHI picked over DAL -- a bet that, looking back at it, shouldn't have been made since I knew that Philly in Dallas that week was a "trap game". John, The only thing wrong with this is that the week when your "Sure winner" doesn't win, the whole deck of cards comes crashing down along with all the those ML Parlays you played with all those units.
If you been around sports gambling long enough you know there is NO "sure winner" no matter WHAT statistical measure says it will be. Trying to turn big ML favorites into better payouts by parlaying is a dangerous game to be playing. They have some pretty smart people working for them to make sure they don't for long. I'm not sure, but you might be me. It's not just that I go by Reno on a few other sites Magnetic Fields reference , but I'm also a huge Raiders fan and degenerate gambler.
I feel as though my identity has been stolen. Anyway, I wanted to let you know that I'd be interested in weekly gambling updates. How about a best bets of the week post on Fridays? I know that the FO staff is sensitive about gambling, so I'd also be happy to take the discussion offline. My DVOA-based system had a pretty good week against the spread, incidentally.
The best bets were:. Chicago -3 2. Seattle -9 4. Pittsburgh -3 7. Cincy -3 8. These bets went A couple of things it got wrong were through no fault of its own; DVOA didn't know that Hines and Roethlisberger were out, for example, but if you'd exercised a bit of common sense you wouldn't have been steered wrong.
I only just began tracking results this week, as up until now DVOA numbers fluctuate wildly. This week, we were overall, best bets. We were picking upsets if you include Carolina, which opened as a 1-point underdog. Otherwise, on upsets Giants and Browns. Of course Budman is correct in there are no "sure" bets and over a long enough stretch several things are certain to happen: 1 a run of just plain bad luck big favorites losing, for example ; 2 just as Budman suggests, one or more weeks were the interlocked wagers built on one or two hypothesized victors result in large losses.
So, one has to be prepared for both eventualities. This is partly a deep-pockets issue; partly an emotional issue one has to be prepared for such occasional losses ; and partly an issue of money management -- of not risking too much in any one week in relation to the pool of money available for wagering.
There is also the danger that one is having what economists call "a random walk" -- an above average performance that in fact has nothing to do with the reasons one thinks are responsible for the success e. Of the three factors I mention, the deep pockets issue may be the most important -- assuming one's approach to the other two is reasonable. After all, this is one of the areas of gambling where skill actually makes a difference and where it is known to be possible to generate above average results.
Sportsbook wagers entail not just facts about the world but opinions about future facts that are themselves entangled with the opinions that others hold, which is a feasible arena for Bayesian analysis, which can assign probabilities to probabilities.
I think that that is about what I am doing by using a combination of inductive reasoning and what C. Peirce called abduction, which more or less means using inductive inference to reach a correct conclusion, even though the inferential chain does not warrant the conclusion i. Very interesting approach. Anything statistical and innovative strikes my curiousity bone.
This is very 'living on the edge', but it has worked so far for you for last three weeks. How many units are you up with this approach so far this year? I am also curious as to your dvoa plays this week as there seems to be more closer matchups.
Re Fair enough request from Budman we two may be the last people bothering with this thread. I'm not sure I should post any choices publicly beforehand though -- one of my business consultants suggests that I'm being stupid writing publicly about the reasoning behind my approach, since I'm only increasing the likelihood that the arbitrage opportunities I'm taking advantage of will disappear.
Should have followed my own reasoning, which figured that it was a dangerous and risky game to bet on. The rule is simple: if I can't call a clear winner meaning, of course, a team that should win and not necessarily the team that does win, given the vagaries of luck, official's calls [see BAL-DET], and so on , then I don't wager.
There are many factors involved in making such judgments. Relative DVOAs play an important role -- in fact without them as a basis for making inferences I'd probably be floating in the typical gambler's ocean of uncertainty. But one also has to take account of injuries especially in positions that are important for the prior success of a particular team.
One has to factor in home field advantage, which then has to be weighted -- so, for example, I expected STL to play fairly well at IND for the Rams, that is since they were playing in a dome. Without Bulger's injury the Rams may well have covered the spread. The Ravens, on the other hand, are terrible playing in a dome now , I think and always find some way to lose indoors.
One has to account for what one might call "momentum:" teams that display signs that they are or will be better or worse than their current DVOA suggests. Which leads to a comment about DVOA: it is a snapshot, a synchronic view of a dynamic system that, like most real-world systems, is constantly changing. If one views any week's DVOA rankings this way, then it's very much like describing a living language, which is changing into something else the very moment you write down your description.
Just as any such linguistic description is, at the least, incomplete, and at the worst seriously wrong, so with DVOA. As with any statistical model, DVOA does not and cannot express the truth about the world of professional football, which is why Mr. Schatz is constantly refining it. It constructs an abstract model -- a kind of map -- that perforce must omit much because by definition a model or map cannot have a one-to-one relationship to what is being modeled or mapped.
DVOA helps one to comprehend fundamental relationships in a way similar for me, anyway to reading a drive-by-drive account of a football game, as opposed to watching the game. There are many reasons for this and for the similarity I'm suggesting : not least, the fact that any game is mostly full of redundancy and the human mind is evolutionarily built to factor out redundancy and to attend to the exceptional e.
But often it is just the apparently redundant e. Instead, we attend to spectacular plays -- long touchdown runs and the like. My preliminary sense after only a quick scan of the forthcoming games is that I may have a very light possibly nonexistent wagering week. Even before doing any detailed analysis, most of the games seem too close to call, from my point of view.
I'll certainly post any calls I make -- I just don't know yet whether I'll post them before Sunday. Unrelated comment: One should look at certain kinds of grammatical errors in email messages a bit more charitably than did Mr. Schatz in a recent posting. Homonyms "their" for "they're" or "our" for "are" or "to" for "too" for example are commonly confused in email, much more so than in more formal writing.
This is because writing email notes is a fusion of speaking and writing, which use different parts of the cortex. In speaking there is no difference between "to" and "too. One finds such errors even in the prose of educated writers, though a bit of editorial revision should eliminate most of them. I'd be surprised to learn that Mr. Schatz himself doesn't have to correct a few in his writing for FO.
Even with such a longish note I neglected to answer Budman's direct question. As of right now, I am up So, if you count those two wagers, I'm up I'm not counting the lovely bonus given for depositing funds into my online gambling account, though perhaps I should.
That would add 7. Several of the parlay wagers and one straight bet involved the St. So a purist would have to subtract two or three wagers from my total, sinced they involved baseball. Just a comment on why this might not be the best week to rate the DVOA system on. I might be violating some law of statistics, but I'm trying to help:. Underdogs went only against the spread. Before this week, dawgs were against the spread. Some variance is to be expected, but this seemed like an unusually easy week to pick games.
Just wanted to pop in and say the comments have been excellent in this thread, and have certainly gone well above and beyond the complexity of the article itself. See, all I had to do was write an article with gambling implications and the lurkers come out of the weeds. I also wanted to re-appear and say that I'm keeping track of comments on this thread, with much interest. Play on. Was Chi PK vs. Bal 3. Cin PK vs. Pit 4.
Cle Det 5. Mia -2 vs. Now, eliminating based on common sense: Cincinnati can't stop the run, and Pitt's DVOA is probably skewed down because of last week's game. If Roethlisberger plays, I don't bet that one. Chicago and Baltimore are both kind of flaky teams high DVOA variance , so that one has a lower confidence interval.
I'd take the remaining 5 plays, though:. Det 3. I've always wondered at what point do you throw out the preseason DVOA rankings in the analysis? But I think it must be factored into the analysis somewhere. Springing from the weeds once again for a few preliminary comments. His was an extraordinarily interesting and incisive account of the predictive powers of DVOA, from which I, and clearly many others, learned a great deal.
No surprise that it has elicited a number of worthwhile responses. His essay and several early notes especially Reno's forced me to think about what I was actually doing when wagering on football games. Few weeks have choices that are so clear-cut. It was like a license to print money. My mistake was only to wager 40 units instead of or 4, I'm curious whether another such opportunity will present itself this year.
I'd also be curious for one of our statistical mavens to run a few hundred simulations of that game to see how many times HOU wins in, say, tries. Not many. I don't like much of what's available. Impressionalistically i. Even the enticing under The real action should be on whether the two defenses will create enough exciting plays for more than 30 seconds of lowlights on NFL Prime Time.
It looks like a quiet, possibly wagerless, week for me. I was going to bore everyone with my week 7 picks, but a clever glitch seems to have thwarted me: the paragraph breaks got taken out, and my discrete game capsules got turned into a single, impenetrable stream-of-consciousness-style paragraph. I just tried to start a new paragraph here, but it's still not working. Is this going to be a consistent problem with the posts after the system update?
If so, Carl is going to have to go back to individual posts for each point in his weekly TMQ rebuttal. Or maybe the paragraph breaks do show up after all. For now at least, the previews don't match the posts. Triple post on a dead thread. Well, if my Week 7 picks suck, at least fewer people will see them.
Well, I saw that movie on Tuesday, came home, set my own lines for Week 7 games in the space of about 5 minutes, looked up the actual numbers, and had most of my bets for the week in soon after. So, I totally understand if anyone wants to go contrarian on me and bet the opposite way in the games below. In fact, several lines have moved as of this posting, all to the benefit of the contrarian.
If you go that way, please extend the courtesy of posting your intent beforehand rather than gloating after the fact. I did my homework the rest of the week, and I still like these picks. Like a lot of people from the sound of it, I had a good week last week, and I can afford to take a couple of risks this week. Philly Yes, I know Philly has deeper problems on special teams, but at least Philly now has a kicker with more than one hamstring. The hook always scares me, so this is a 3 unit play.
Cincy pick over Pittsburgh. Already Cincy is ATS this season. Those close calls actually help by keeping the Cincy lines much cheaper than they would be if Cincy had the exact same stats and were a more established team. Cleveland The fun thing about gambling is that the garbage games can mean just as much as the must-see contests, and they can be much more lucrative. Both are 4 unit picks. Seattle -3 over Dallas. With the steep vig, this is basically a risk 3.
Arizona -3 over Tennessee. Simply put, this game is ugly, and if the line moves any more, I just might hedge off it. But by how much? I set my own lines before checking out the actual numbers, and for this one, I thought the absolute most Arizona could lay would be 3. Surely enough, the line was an expensive 3 when I checked it out, and now you have to lay the hook, or even as much as 4. Louis and Carolina, although in both games, I liked the visiting team going in.
I thought Tennessee would be a bad, overachieving team this year, with just enough solid veteran play and coaching to steal them a few wins against more talented foes. As it stands, this is also a risk 3. NY Giants Denver ran the ball well for two drives and dominated the clock. This is my only road pick of the week. At the start of the season, I saw Oakland as a talented team with absolutely no leadership.
But like I said, the Bills have some momentum now and at least some competent play at the QB position. If the Bills are guilty of looking ahead to New England next week, then this game is still an excellent chance to go into next week a half game up. A half a game up, that is, before they either get blown out next week or give the game away at the end. Lousy Bills. Terrific, informative post from Astro Boy, which stirs me to report, as I sort of almost promised to do, what I've wagered for week 7.
Firstly, after almost skipping the week, I decided to put some money into play, but not a lot. Here they are:. Couldn't resist, since who else is going to win the NFC West? Louis with their 27th ranked DVOA? Not bad. This, of course, is a loony wager with little expectation of realization. But it's a 1 unit wager with a possible return of So, essentially no risk with a very high return should the Football gods really be smiling on me this week.
I am, however, tempted by SEA to win in SEA and may yet place a bet on it probably in a small parlay to up the return. What scares me about it is Dallas's not very predictable performance record. That opening day win on the road against a very good SD team is a big red flag. On the other hand, as Astro Boy pointed out, no running game and the missing left tackle doesn't augur well for Bledsoe.
As everyone on this list knows, Bledsoe sans pass protection As Astro Boy wrote, there's often more opportunity in wagering on unsexy, low-interest games. This is a team with a lot of talent albeit with some of it sliding over the hill towards retirement. As I've analyzed the team's performance, its two major problems so far have been a completely ineffective offensive line and Jamal Lewis's inability to run the ball, suggesting that he really hasn't yet recovered from his ankle injury.
As a consequence of offensive ineptitude, the defense has been on the field too often and too long. There aren't many options for improving offensive line performance, but already last week Chester Taylor had more touches running the ball. Those who have followed the Ravens know that Taylor is potentially a Priest Holmes in waiting.
On the other hand, the Ravens's passing game actually shows some promise. Heap and Mason are dangerous receivers. Whether the Ravens can, however, either pass or run against the superb Chicago defense Thanks a lot for responding. I know all too well how those wagerless weekends go. Week 5 should have been a wagerless weekend with all the tossup contests, but I took the plunge and lived to regret it. Parlays do have advantages, as you pointed out: an almost inconsequential risk can get translated into a significant payout.
The other advantage is that you can spread the bets out over time and create hedging opportunities. Take your throwaway wager that pays about Suppose all the plays on Sunday pull through for you. The only thing between you and a payout is a Seattle division win. As you noted, this is an expected result. But it would be a shame if you lost your parlay here having made it through the hard part. What you can do is hedge, guaranteeing yourself at least some kind of payout, and set up the possibility for a middle.
But Seattle is favored to win; Green Bay has been eliminated from the playoffs, and Favre is unable to play. So Seattle is favored by 7. What you can do is bet 10 units on Green Bay against the spread. If Seattle covers, you lose the 10 unit ATS bet, but the parlay gives you a net gain of 8 units. That way you win the 18 unit parlay and the 10 unit ATS bet.
You get a 28 unit return, and your risk never exceeded the single unit. Pretty good, no? I agree with you on the Seattle over Houston money line bet. As I noted, the spread was way out of whack in that game, and that meant the money line was off as well. As much as I loved that game, the way I played things last week left me with a higher risk total on Seattle than I was comfortable with for a single game, and I had to hedge off some of that risk.
Meaning the analytical types like us. Public sentiment ruled the day. Two big public favorites ended up pushing Phil and SEA if you got in on them before the crowd sharps. But those pushes hurt when they are needed to be wins. Alot of big NFL bettors I know got pummeled today.
I am starting to believe Random Walkness is prevalent in sports gambling. I have just been on the wrong side of luck lately. I can't list all the 'beats' I have seemed to have taken lately. ALL those Random events that occur that effect the outcome Against the Spread ventually even out in long run, but then you have paid vig.
We are fools blinded by good luck when winning and when it regresses usually hard it blinds us some more. Maybe it isn't luck. Maybe the oddsmakers really do have knowledge way beyond what the public can gather. I am sure they can get gameplans and such that make huge difference. Maybe the oddsmakers DO take sides and lure the public to their choosing by phycological manipulation at every chance they get, Then just split the action on the rest?
I read a study that proved they took sides. I also read some that the sports betting markets are efficient. Both done by major colleges. So I don't know who to believe. But my wallet continually tells me more in favor of an inneficient world we try to reason otherwise. DVOA is just another ranking system that is most likely already factored into the line.
Not to mention if someone DID find an advantage it wouldn't be freely available on the internet. I will post those links if anyone interested or still reading this thread. Some very interesting stuff. I just have to dig them up again. This was a tough week if you were using DVOA as a major tool in your picks.
In a pick'em league I am in, I got 2 out of 13 right. Thats tough to do. One pitch later, Podsenik homered. I think I know how Tim McCarver felt. Yeah, ATS totally sucks, and no one goes far with results like that. But the fact remains that proper money management can mitigate a lot of the damage in a crappy week and lock in success in a good one.
That turned a push into a win. If you can find room. The point is that those extra hedging opportunities were there. Your ability to capitalize on those opportunities matters just as much as your picks when it comes to your ultimate success in playing the lines. Both done by major colleges Please, if you don't mind, look them up. Posts draw me in once again, despite not really having time for this.
The comments are just too interesting not to throw a few more cents atop this week's loser's pile. Firstly, not unexpectedly, I had my first losing week since week 2. I knew and wrote that I should stay away from this week's games. Like most of this week's games, I saw the probabilistic outcomes as muddy, anywhere within a range of losing or winning by a few points or by some fortuitous, you-see-it-once-everyyears occurrence [See PHI vs SD].
Really, that's the only wager I should have made. Recall the mantra about what the road to hell is paved with. Asto Boy comprehends my attitude about parlays exactly. But with an increased vig, one must be very very careful with them. Hyperambition spells guaranteed failure. I started fantasying, since this was so easy, about doing this full-time. Then came the decline. For the next month I couldn't win a wager. Not one, literally. Down went the account, just about to zero.
I was betting on wild 6-team parlays, several of which nearly won lucky they didn't, even though the payouts would have been huge, since I would have [see below] drawn exactly the wrong inference. All along I had known that it was possible that, during the winning streak, I was having a fabulously lucky random walk equivalent to correctly calling, say, 15 or 20 successive coin flips. Until, that is, I had the exactly corollary negative walk that one right off the plank into the ocean with my hands tied behind my back.
So, believe me, I know whereof budman writes. Anent budman's remarks in 70, I do not regard the oddsmakers as enemies, but more as potential allies. As I see it, one has to identify opportunities. When they're just not there, then one really has to stay out of the action the past week shoulda, coulda, didna. When they are there e. HOU in Seattle, with the consequent too-large payout for the money line wager , one has to pounce. In general I now favor few but large wagers over many small ones.
Astro Boy's brief comment in 72 about money management is right on target. In a way, it's the key to everything. There may be one game that qualifies, or none, or several. I'm also trying to wager amounts that reflect my degree of confidence in the outcome. Not a disaster, but still not really a very good wager by my standards.
They are probably the only teams for which I'll break my rule about betting on the spread. Unless, of course, the spreads actually catch up with the two teams's futility. Any middling good team playing at home against SF is probably going to be a very good wager, even if you can't play the money line. Regarding budman's comments in 71 to return to them : Remember what initiated my participation in this discussion: Reno's comments in 16 about wagering on the money line rather than the spread.
Very very tough consistently to beat the spread. In order to do that you need to spend a massive amount of time more than I can afford to take and, as Astro Boy suggested, constantly keep your eye on moving lines. Figuring out who you think is going to win is hard enough.
Consistently calling the winning margin is much tougher. So why take the harder and more likely losing route? Especially in contests that you expect to be close, too many random events can impinge and produce the "wrong" result. That's why I usually prefer lopsided contests, where the better team will probably win even if things go wrong.
Which leads to my next comment. Over an extended 3 or 4 game series the better team almost always wins, though it may lose any one game. And so I did very very well in last year's NBA playoffs, especially in the early rounds, with 2- and 3-team parlays.
My one, completely stupid error was wagering on Detroit to win its second home game against Indiana. I won every parlay on the teams but lost back 30 units on the one game -- still finishing up about units during the stretch of the second NBA season.
That loss, which reduced my winnings substantially, illustrates how important one really dumb wager can be in its effect on one's final return. Here's where the money management really comes into play. Under no circumstances should I have made a bet that large on so uncertain an event as the outcome of a single game in the series -- shouldn't have wagered at all, but in any case it should at most have been a wager of 5 units, the loss of which would not have substantially reduced the total winnings.
No doubt, as budman writes, FO's statistics or their equivalent are already factored into betting lines though I think it's more likely that Sagarin's ratings are what get most used. If betting lines were only about assessing probable outcomes, then arbitrage opportunities probably wouldn't exist, since one must assume that this market is reasonably efficient, in an economic sense .
But they're not just that; more importantly they are an attempt to match wagers roughly evenly on possible outcomes, collecting a commission along the way. As in many forms of gambling, you pay the commission when you win in the form of a reduced payout higher for parlays, as Astro Boy wrote. All that money coming in on the Giants kept the line artificially low. Unfortunately, that was before I was wagering on sports contests, so I made no money from it. These days I would have placed a bundle on the Ravens.
Anyway, that's why I suggested in an earlier note that a Bayesian analysis may be a better fit than a frequentist probabilistic approach. Think game theory, where you have to take account not just of the logic of your move, but the logic of your opponent's move as well. Sorry, I forgot to ask that I should very much like budman to post the links he mentioned in Forgot to note that the wagers I didn't make one because it went against the team I root for were SEA to win vs. BAL, both at home -- both came out.
Just in case anyone else might still be interested in the Ravens, let me add that 1 as I forget who wrote last week MDS? It is clear that, at least right now, Jamal Lewis has zero acceleration. The offensive line does have problems, but I tried to watch what the line was doing fairly carefully and concluded that there are holes, they just aren't there by the time Lewis gets to them and he can't change direction and accelerate as he used to do.
With no running game at all, Baltimore's passing game, not exactly Indy's or Seattle's to begin with, had little chance to be effective, even though once again it showed some promise against a very good pass defense. So the question is, why did Billick or Jim Fassel not give Taylor more carries? Right now this team has no power running game except for 3rd or 4th and 1 , so why keep pretending that it does?
And this is not the Super Bowl Ravens defense. DVOA looks to have it just about right at high second tier or bottom of the top tier. There is still a lot of talent on the defense though Ray Lewis has slipped a lot as he heads for football old age , but it's now concentrated more in the defensive backfield. This team cannot stuff the run as the great Ravens defense did, against everybody, thus making every team they played one-dimensional.
I didn't get hosed at all this week. It wasn't sterling, but so far , it's been a winner. If Atlanta loses tonight, I'll take a significant but acceptable loss for the week. I've followed the conversation but haven't had time to sit down and write a post touching on all the fascinating things said. It's been very illuminating for me to read other bettors' wagering strategies most especially John Gach's.
I also wasn't crazy about the games this week. I was, however, able to get a money line on Washington at on Tuesday. I normally wouldn't bet on such small odds, but I had Washington as an even bigger favorite than that. That was the parlay action for the week for me. So far those teams have gone for a modest gain, with everything essentially hinging on Atlanta tonight. Interestingly, every one of the nine teams I bet including, ultimately, Cleveland was a favorite.
My reading of DVOA vs. I'm not writing this to gloat I hate guys who do that , but merely to again point out that there myriad ways for different individuals to interpret the same data set, and that everyone obviously has different wagering strategies.
Mine is both more and less conservative than John Gach's, which is really fascinating to me, and as has those of others in this thread has given me a lot to think about. I'll continue posting money line vs. I'm simultaneously surprised and not that this thread has had such staying power.
I'd also love it if budman would post the links. I'm in complete and full agreement with John's general philosophy of not placing wagers that you aren't extremely confident in. It's also very possible that one day the bottom will fall out, but I like to think that I've won enough already that I'll be able to walk away in the black. Lastly I'll agree completely with John about the difficulty of placing sports wagers or any other kind dispassionately. It's hard to do, and should only be done if you can afford it and by afford it, I mean afford to lose every bet.
I'm really interested to read budman's articles, the question of market efficiency in this case seems to be more one of perspective. I have no doubt that the market's extremely efficient for the casinos - it practically has to be, given its nature.
I also believe that the potential for arbitrage occasionally arises. DVOA provides such an opportunity an opportunity that diminishes, by the way, each time someone from FOX clicks a link, even moreso each time someone reads this thread. The key will be a willingness to get off the train when it stops running the market adjusts. The percentage that do will undoubtedly rise over time, and I'm impressed enough with the broader FO project that it wouldn't suprise me at all if at some point in the near future GMs and talking heads are talking about DVOA the way their baseball counterparts now talk about OPS.
This strikes me as being, on balance, a very good thing for football, and when it comes down to it, I'm a big football fan, and betting on football is more of a hobby and means I use of trying to understand the game better. Personally, I've never paid any attention to it until recently, but this thread has gotten me thinking about it. The low return on the good record is due largely to a significant bet on Cleveland. The season percentage doesn't correspond with my earlier post in this case due to an error I'd made calculating these bets I didn't make.
This was a down week for DVOA percentage-wise against the money line, though to call a positive return "down" is a testament to its strength. Again, I don't have a base of experience from which to comment on its line performance. It's worth noting that if I'd followed VarlosZ's lead and not begun "betting" on the spread until week 6, DVOA would've posted two very nice positive returns and be substantially in the black with a gorgeous win percentage. My early and completely groundbreaking hypothesis is that DVOA can pick out which teams are good and which teams are bad at a relatively early point in the season, but takes a while to figure out just how good and bad they are relative one another.
Oh, and speaking of markets, football, better football statistics, etc. It would be fun to do an FO challenge. Re: getting a Protrade thing together it's free! If you're interested but not joined yet, let me refer you! I was thinking a second half of the season thing, weeks Have you ever posted your methodology before in the past where I might have missed it?
Or have you sort of kept it to yourself? Like your WASH wager where you risked ! With as much parity as there seems to be in todays NFL where anyone seems to be beating anyone that would scare the crap out of me. A loss would take you eight wins to get back! Sort of like trading on margin. Sure the lieklyhood of the loss is high, it exists nonetheless. Schemes are put in place to defend against a suspected offensive play, which differs by situation — an offense will have a different tendency on 1st and 10 than it will on 3rd and long.
It is a strategic battle, back and forth, throughout the contest. To better understand this, the best place to start is at the beginning, or at the defensive Front , as it were. The front is the first line of defense against an opposing offense. The players closest to the line of scrimmage are called—appropriately enough—defensive line men. Slightly off the line of scrimmage, just behind the linemen, are the linebackers. They back up the linemen. The alignment of these players determines the defensive front.
Traditional defensive fronts are named according to the number of defensive linemen, followed by the number of linebackers. The , for example, has three defensive linemen on the line of scrimmage and four linebackers behind them. The front has four defensive linemen and three linebackers. Defensive linemen in this front are commonly grouped into two categories: Defensive tackles and defensive ends.
Defensive tackles are usually aligned somewhere from the outside shoulder of the center which would be called a 1 technique to the outside shoulder of the offensive guard which would be called a 3 technique. The Defensive ends typically align anywhere from the inside shoulder of the offensive tackle to the outside shoulder of the tight end.
Coaches will often vary the alignments of the defensive linemen to confuse the offense's blocking schemes. A defensive scheme will often include the ability to shift from one front to another — shifting from a to a has become common practice, allowing a defense to bring another player down on the line of scrimmage. This is the standard and most common way to call a defensive front. That said, one should be wary of inventions that do not follow this standard, as they can throw off even experienced football fans.
For example, the 46 defense, made popular by Chicago Bears' defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan during the championship season, has nothing to do with the alignment of players. The 46 defense was named after Doug Plank , who wore the jersey number 46—this was named after a style of play rather than a defensive alignment. Defensive coverages are dictated by the assignments of the defensive backs.
Linebackers have coverage responsibilities as well, but the schemes of the defensive backfield dictate the call. Man coverage, for example, is perhaps the most obvious: Defensive players match up man-to-man with offensive players. Most coverages are identified by how the deepest part of the field will be defended. For example, a Cover 2 defense features two deep safeties, where each is responsible for their deep half of the field.
Two people cover deep. In this case, the cornerbacks and linebackers divide up areas of the field closer to the line of scrimmage, with the two safeties serving as the last line of defense. In Cover 4, the corners drop back and are responsible for a deep quarter of the field, along with the safeties. Now, the deepest part of the defense is divided into 4 parts, with each zone covered by a different player.
Again, there are always adjustments to the rules as defensive and offensive coordinators try outsmart one another. For example, the Nickel defense is named so because a 5th defensive back is subbed into the game. This is usually an extra safety subbed in to cover a slot receiver or tight end, though they can be used in any number of ways.
The pass-heavy modern offense has turned the Nickel defense into one of today's most common personnel packages. A coordinator might also call a combo coverage, where more than one coverage strategy is used. Cover 3 Lock, as a completely hypothetical example, might include three deep players with the backside corner playing man coverage, "locked" on the backside receiver.
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For example, the offense might have a tendency to throw deep on a 3rd and long situation. In that case, a defensive play will be called with deep routes in mind. A coordinator will select fronts, coverages and pressure packages in hopes of stopping an offensive attack. The coordinator will then adjust the defensive scheme based on tendencies of the offense and adjustments made by the offense over the course of the game. Game plans are based entirely on prediction—predicting what formations an offense will line up in, what sort of personnel they will use, and what sort of plays they will run.
Schemes are put in place to defend against a suspected offensive play, which differs by situation — an offense will have a different tendency on 1st and 10 than it will on 3rd and long. It is a strategic battle, back and forth, throughout the contest. To better understand this, the best place to start is at the beginning, or at the defensive Front , as it were.
The front is the first line of defense against an opposing offense. The players closest to the line of scrimmage are called—appropriately enough—defensive line men. Slightly off the line of scrimmage, just behind the linemen, are the linebackers. They back up the linemen. The alignment of these players determines the defensive front. Traditional defensive fronts are named according to the number of defensive linemen, followed by the number of linebackers. The , for example, has three defensive linemen on the line of scrimmage and four linebackers behind them.
The front has four defensive linemen and three linebackers. Defensive linemen in this front are commonly grouped into two categories: Defensive tackles and defensive ends. Defensive tackles are usually aligned somewhere from the outside shoulder of the center which would be called a 1 technique to the outside shoulder of the offensive guard which would be called a 3 technique. The Defensive ends typically align anywhere from the inside shoulder of the offensive tackle to the outside shoulder of the tight end.
Coaches will often vary the alignments of the defensive linemen to confuse the offense's blocking schemes. A defensive scheme will often include the ability to shift from one front to another — shifting from a to a has become common practice, allowing a defense to bring another player down on the line of scrimmage. This is the standard and most common way to call a defensive front.
That said, one should be wary of inventions that do not follow this standard, as they can throw off even experienced football fans. For example, the 46 defense, made popular by Chicago Bears' defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan during the championship season, has nothing to do with the alignment of players. The 46 defense was named after Doug Plank , who wore the jersey number 46—this was named after a style of play rather than a defensive alignment.
Defensive coverages are dictated by the assignments of the defensive backs. Linebackers have coverage responsibilities as well, but the schemes of the defensive backfield dictate the call. Man coverage, for example, is perhaps the most obvious: Defensive players match up man-to-man with offensive players.
Most coverages are identified by how the deepest part of the field will be defended. For example, a Cover 2 defense features two deep safeties, where each is responsible for their deep half of the field. Two people cover deep. In this case, the cornerbacks and linebackers divide up areas of the field closer to the line of scrimmage, with the two safeties serving as the last line of defense. In Cover 4, the corners drop back and are responsible for a deep quarter of the field, along with the safeties.
Now, the deepest part of the defense is divided into 4 parts, with each zone covered by a different player. Again, there are always adjustments to the rules as defensive and offensive coordinators try outsmart one another. But I expect a wonky postseason with lots of upsets and strange results because this season has been odd and unpredictable. And that means there could be some futures value on a couple longer shots. But the D is still as good enough to keep them in any game and Big Ben has plenty of receivers who can make plays on a big stage and give them a chance.
They also have a trump card in Sean McVay, who can always pull out a perfect play design when his team needs it the most. The Rams play great defense, are coached well and run the ball. Sports Betting. Best Books. Credit: Getty Images. Action Network Staff. Download App. Two additional teams. Only two first-round byes.
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