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Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 in Blog, Essays | 9 comments

NFL Week 7: Picks and Predictions

 

HanburgerAllen

 

NOLAN DALLA — 2015 NFL SEASON RECORD

23 WINS – 26 LOSSES — 2 PUSHES

STARTING BANKROLL:  $10,000.

CURRENT BANKROLL:  $9,227.

NET GAIN/LOSS:  – $773

BEST BETS OF THE WEEK:  4 – 3 – 1

LAST WEEK:  1 — 5 — 0 (-$1,685)

 

So, I’m in the red for the first time this season.  It’s certainly been a frustrating last two weeks.  I’ve now on a 3-10-1 slide.  I blame myself for missing two huge warning flags on games that were played last week (resulting in a loss of 3 units), which was unforgivable because I had solid information and then simply failed to apply it.

On my two wagers with Buffalo Bills plus the points, I recall that teams heading off to London in the very next game are something like 2-11 ATS in that preceding game as travel preparations for the long trip are being made.  How I could have disregarded such a potentially big factor is beyond explanation.  I had this factoid written up in my notes but simply didn’t catch it as I was doing the write up and making the two wagers.   Still shaking my head about how bad a play BUF turned out to be.

The other terrible play was touting the UNDER in the NWE/INDY game, which had the added incentives of NWE being on a holy mission against the conference rival who leaked the “Deflategate” information, combined with QB Luck as the last-minute starter for INDY, which was certain to energize the Colts’ offense.  Betting the UNDER in this situation was suicide.  Again, this was another terrible mistake in handicapping.

Obviously, readers are advised to tread lightly, if at all this week and as we move forward.  However, a down streak isn’t going to stop me from making several wagers this week, including what appears to be an ideal “teaser wheel” situation.

The “Teaser Wheel” strategy is a series of wagers I invented about 15 years ago, which is explained here:  BETTING THE TEASER WHEEL

Now, on to a new week.  I’m posting this early report on Friday evening, so I can catch a favorable number on the ARZ spoke of the teaser wheel.  This line is almost certain to climb and perhaps might hit -10 by game time.  So, since it’s such a crucial game and in order to get the best possible number, this must be bet now rather than later.  That why this report is going out at least 36 hours in advance.  Making 24 wagers, investing $5,280.

 

THIS WEEK’S BETS (lines current as of Friday, 5 pm PST):

Arizona plays at home on MNF versus Baltimore in a rare prime time nationally televised appearance.  This game sets up for an ideal teaser spot for the superior home team (4-2 SU) with motivation versus a poor 1-5 SU team that may have given up on the season and continues to struggle both offensively and defensively.  BALT has one win, which would have been a loss had it not been for a missed FG.  They looked terrible defensively, and simply do not have the wideouts to compete with a high scoring opponent like the Cardinals.  BALT is in their second straight coast-to-coast road game, and looks to be outclassed in every sphere of the game.  ARZ coming off their loss only adds to the motivation here, I believe.  They are the league’s best at yards-per-play and YPP differential, which is a key statistic in controlling the line of scrimmage.  Balanced attack with both run and pass, plus genuine deep threats.  This should be a double digit victory by the favorite.  However, the safer play appears to wheel them down under the FG.  Line is now ARZ -7.5 which I will tease across all the key numbers (3, 4, 6, 7) making this ARZ -1.5 (on the 6-point teaser).  We combine this first part of the two-teamer with the entire remainder of the board for the second half of the teaser, for $220/200 each.  Here’s the complete list of wagers and lines:

2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with BUF +1.5    — Wagering $220 to win $200

2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with JAX +10.5   — Wagering $220 to win $200

2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with CLEVE +12.5     — Wagering $220 to win $200

2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with STL -.5    — Wagering $220 to win $200

2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with PITT +9     — Wagering $220 to win $200

2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with KC +3    — Wagering $220 to win $200

2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with HOU +11    — Wagering $220 to win $200

2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with MIA +1    — Wagering $220 to win $200

2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with NYJ +13.5    — Wagering $220 to win $200

2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with NWE -1.5    — Wagering $220 to win $200

BEST BET:  2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with MINN +4.5   — Wagering $220 to win $200

BEST BET:  2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with DET +7.5    — Wagering $220 to win $200

2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with ATL PK    — Wagering $220 to win $200

2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with TENN +12    — Wagering $220 to win $200

2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with TBAY +9    — Wagering $220 to win $200

2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with WASH +3    — Wagering $220 to win $200

2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with NOR +10     — Wagering $220 to win $200

2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with INDY +2    — Wagering $220 to win $200

2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with OAK +10     — Wagering $220 to win $200

2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with SDI +2    — Wagering $220 to win $200

2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with DAL +9.5    — Wagering $220 to win $200

2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with NYG +2.5    — Wagering $220 to win $200

2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with CAR +3    — Wagering $220 to win $200

2-Team/6-Point Teaser:  ARZ -1.5 with PHIL +9    — Wagering $220 to win $200

 

 

SCORE PREDICTIONS:

JAX 24 – BUF 23

STL 23 – CLEVE 17

KC 20 – PITT 16

MIA 30 – HOU 16

NWE 34 – NYJ – 17

DET 31 – MINN 30

TENN 27 – ATL 24

WASH 23 – TB 19

INDY 38 – NOR 20

SDI 24 – OAK 17

NYG 27 – DAL 20

CAR 23 – PHIL 16

ARZ 37 – BALT 17

 

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS:

BEST BET:  Buffalo +3 vs. Cincinnati (-110) — $550 to win $500           LOST

First Half:  Buffalo +1 vs. Cincinnati (-110) — $275 to win $250          LOST

First Half Team Total:  Washington OVER 7.5 (-130) — $390 to win $300         WON

First Quarter:  Chicago +.5 at Detroit (-130) — $390 to win $300          LOST

New England / Indianapolis UNDER 54 (-110) — $440 to win $4o0          LOST

NY Giants +5 at Philadelphia (-110) — $330 to win $300          LOST

 

SEASON WIN TOTALS  — WAGERS

Pittsburgh Steelers UNDER 8.5 (+115) — wagering $2,000 to win $2,300    4-2

Philadelphia Eagles UNDER 9.5 (-110) — wagering $1,050 to win $1,000   3-3

NY Jets UNDER 7.5 (-120 /-135) — wagering $1,275 to win $1,000     5-1

Tennessee Titans OVER 5.5 (-150) — wagering $450 to win $300     1-5

Cleveland Browns UNDER 6.5 (-170) — wagering $510 to win $300     2-4

 

9 Comments

  1. This “Teaser Wheel” idea is beyond terrible. Adding something inherently negative Expected Value (-EV) to something positive EV only reduces EV, it never adds. The typical 6

    point teased game only covers about 67% of the time, but the typical “Wong teaser”(When you cross both the 3 and the 7) game covers more like 72% of the time. Without even

    getting into the fact that if you think this game is so good at 7.5 you should just bet it that way,(although teasing off of -120 definitely adds value, I think Wong Teasers

    are worth much less than in the past, mostly because of the new XP rule, but there are other factors.) I think you know as well as anyone nothing is guaranteed in sports. In

    the game you wheeled in the above referenced post, New England was down 10 points at halftime and the lead changed 5 times in the 2nd half before they finally pulled it out,

    winning by 3 on a late field goal, so you got fairly lucky there. In the other games, it looks like you went 17-6-1, which is a 70.8% win rate, which is pretty close to

    average, so as it turned out you had a very good day. But let’s get crazy and say your “anchor” teaser is about 10% more likely than the usual Wong Teaser, and therefore wins

    80% of the time, (Btw, a teaser side that wins 80% of the time has about a 22% ROI on its own). That obviously means that 20% of the time you are losing about 50% of your

    bankroll. The rest of the time, you will win about 67% of your bets.

    So:
    20% of the time: -4840 (22 x -220. Any reason why pit/kc wasn’t included?)
    80% of the time: +1351 (14.74 wins on average x 200 = +2948, 7.26 losses on average x -220 = -1597. 2948 – 1597= 1351)

    So, 4 out of 5 times you average +1351, 1 out of 5 times you lose 4840. To make things simple, let’s say you do this 5 times. The first 4 times you make 1351, the last you

    lose 4840.

    SIMPLE MATH TIME!
    1351+1351+1351+1351-4840 = +564. $564 is what you would expect to be up after 5 weeks of doing exactly this. Or $113 per trial, which is an ROI of 2.3%. Pretty paltry stuff,

    but still +ev, I guess, with a LOT of variance. Where did that 22% edge go? It got eaten up buy all those -10% edges against it.

    But wait. What if this is just a standard 72% winning Wong Teaser?

    28% of the time: -4840
    72% of the time+ +1351

    This time, we will just figure how much you win per week/trial.

    LESS SIMPLE MATH TIME!
    .28 x -4840 = -1355
    .72 x +1351 = +973

    -1355 + 973 = -382 Which translates to a -7.9% roi. That sucks balls. You actually don’t even hit +ev on this “teaser wheel” until the “hub” is winning almost 79% of the

    time!

    Let’s try something different. I’ll go ahead and tell you that at 72%, you will lose a slight amount on teasers at -110 (You need 72.4% to break even), so there’s little

    reason to show what happens if ALL the games are at 72%, but let’s say you’re right about the AZ game, and it IS going to win 80% of the time, and we wheel it ONLY with “Wong

    teaseable” games. There are currently two sure Wong games based off current lines,(Det and NE) and one close one,(Pit, which is basically +2.8, but I would tease it). So our

    Wheel only has 3 spokes/games. At a 72% win rate on those three games, we are winning 2.16 of them, losing .84. Let’s just bet the same amount, $220, and see how that shakes

    out.

    LESS SIMPLE MATH WE ARE MORE FAMILIAR WITH THIS TIME TIME!

    20% of the time: -660
    80% of the time: +247 (2.16 x 200 = 432, .84 x 220 = -185. 432 – 185 = 247

    .20 x -660 = -132
    .80 x +247 = +198

    198 – 132 = +66. This one’s gonna be easy: a 10% ROI! Not too bad! Not 22%, but also not 2.3%. We make 58% as much betting 3 games at $220 each as we do betting 22 games at

    $200 each. If we risk $1150 total, or about $383 per game, we have the exact same expected $ win as if we risked $4840, obviously with a LOT less variance. We haven’t risked

    over half our bankroll, AND we have made more profitable bets. There is also a problem with teasing both sides of a game in that a game HAS to fall within a 12 point window

    of the spread, 6 points each way. Now, intuitively, it seems like that is covered within the 67% win rate of teasing all teams, but I remember quite clearly Stanford Wong in

    his book Sharp Sports Betting, from whence this betting strategy was popularized, saying it was a bad idea for more reason than that, but alas, I can’t find my copy at the

    moment. Hopefully you haven’t actually already placed these bets.

    Now, I’m not a math guy, and I am doing this at 4am, so there is a possibility I messed up some of the numbers, or overlooked something, but I proofread it as best I can before falling over, and I still have NCAAF lines to grind. I hope this prevents you from ever making this mistake again in the future. My heroes are not allowed to be openly and obviously fallible.

    P.S. Here is a link to a 2+2 thread inspired by my teaser exploits about 8 years ago that you may find enlightening:

    http://archives1.twoplustwo.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=11979246&page=0&fpart=all&vc=1

    • Sorry about how badly that formatted. I typed it up in notepad first so I could see all my numbers while I was writing and it obviously came out a mess.

      • … and whoever had a bet on the first appearance of a teaser wheel before week 11.5 cashes. Two losing weeks (which happens) and we’re on tilt.

        Aaron: First, trying to do formatted text on this blog software will tilt you enough to, well, start thinking that teaser wheels are a good idea. As someone who understands, I don’t blame you for the formatting.

        I didn’t check the details of the math, and there are a few points where you play a little fast and loose (for example, based on Wong’s numbers an NFL team with 6 extra points covers about 67% of the time, but pushes 2% of the time, which matters, plus these numbers are a little out of date) but the basic logic is spot on. Also, I won’t take the time to post it here, but you’re right about it being worse to tease both ends of the same game. Wong explains why on page 274 of the book you reference.

        You’re not the first person who has tried and failed to talk Nolan out of the teaser wheel strategy.

    • Nolan Replies: Good work. Thanks for all the time you put into this. And for posting.

      — ND

  2. Aaron that’s a lot of maths to show an estimate of juice. I could just tell you its close to 5% on the dollar on a normal bet, and on parlays either 10% or more.

    These bets are fun to read about and enjoy the authors emotional repercussions, but to critically analyse a guy making juiced bets into algorithmically based lines being tweaked by genius’ who bet millions and move numbers into shape…. for shame.

    • First off, Nick, I love your work. I have about 300 books on gambling and Vegas and I’m pretty sure I have checked to see if you have a review on 98% of them. As far as for the numbers, I used wizardofodds.com for those, which are slightly out of date, but I fudged them a tiny bit because, sadly, I am intimately familiar with how bad Wong Teasers have been over the last 1.4 years of NFL games. I may not be the first to try to talk Nolan out of these, but I would LOVE to be the last.

  3. Teaser wheels are the clearest signal of a foozball junkie on tilt. I do recall a similar “three-legged pinball machine” moment last year… It resulted in a full-bore melt-down. Still love you Nolan but this crap is like a baccarat maven chuckin’ the car payment on “banker” cause, well, cause he can.

  4. Hey.

    You’re rrr hangin in there…

    Tell me. Does it stress you? These bets?

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