Using Analytics to Inform Gambling Picks (Week 4)

Last Week’s Results

We’re back in the green for a weekend, and were pretty dang close to having a remarkable weekend. We wagered 19 units on 16 matchups, and came away with a profit of 5.04 units there. And we wagered 120 more units by pairing all 16 matchups in two-game parlays, which resulted in a profit of 31.83 units, and an overall profit of 36.87 units for the week.

That’s nothing to sneeze at, but doesn’t make up for the previous two bad weekends. I have to point out that Florida State (+230) and Georgia Southern (+500) both squandered late 4th quarter leads. Had those two hung on, not only would we have profited 7.3 more units straight up, but it would have resulted in 11 additional two-game parlays cashing for us. All in all, if those two teams win we would have profited 256 units this week instead of 36.87. That’s a difference of $21,913 if wagering $100 units, and illustrates how this system multiplies itself with each additional win when you’re parlaying every single matchup.

But “almost” only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades so we walk away with a much more modest profit.

  • Last Week: +36.87 units (+$3,687 if betting with $100 units)
  • YTD: -116.07 units (-$11,607)


Week 3 Bad Beats

This probably isn’t a traditional “bad beat”, but we had the North Carolina money line against Wake Forest on Friday night. The Heels tried to run out of bounds with one second left so they could try a hail mary on the final play of the game. The refs didn’t stop the clock so UNC never got a chance to throw to the end zone and try to win the game. The ACC admitted their officials made a mistake. Unlikely that UNC would have converted anyway, but still hard to stomach.

Depending on where bettors got the Alabama vs. South Carolina line (it ranged from Alabama -21 to -26 throughout the week), one might have fallen victim to a brutal backdoor cover. Trailing 47-16 in the 4th quarter, the Gamecocks scored a meaningless touchdown with 11 seconds left and cut their margin of defeat to 24 points. If you got Bama early in the week at -21 you avoided the bad beat, but if you had them at -25 or -26, ouch.


Biggest Movers in Vegas

Last Week: 5-7, YTD: 12-14-1

The bettors beat the house last week in some games with larger line movements. Here are this week’s big movers:

  • Tulane opened -1 and is now -4.5 vs. Houston
  • Tulane and Houston’s total opened at 63.5 and is now 56
  • USC vs. Utah opened as a “pick ’em” and is now Utah -4
  • Nebraska opened -7.5 and is now -13 vs. Illinois
  • Temple opened -10.5 and is now -14 vs. Buffalo
  • Michigan and Wisconsin’s total opened at 51.5 and is now 43
  • Toledo opened -5.5 and is now -9.5 vs. Colorado State
  • Georgia State opened -1 and is now +3 vs. Texas State
  • LSU opened -19 and is now -23 vs. Vanderbilt
  • TCU opened -13.5 and is now -9.5 vs. SMU


From The Hip

Last Week: 5-1, YTD: 11-6

Look who’s smarter than the super computers so far this year! This week’s picks:

  • Cal +2.5 vs. Ole Miss
  • Texas A&M -3.5 vs. Auburn
  • Oklahoma State +6 vs. Texas
  • West Virginia -4.5 vs. Kansas


Week 4 Picks Using Analytics

FPI identified eight underdog money lines that would be good betting values. Of those eight, seven were also good values per Adam McClintock. That much overlap hasn’t happened this season and either means Vegas knows something the models don’t, or the analytics are a step ahead this time. Here are this week’s picks:

  • Bowling Green +330 vs. Kent State
  • San Diego State +160 vs. Utah State
  • South Carolina +280 vs. Mizzou, 2u
  • Stanford +310 vs. Oregon
  • Houston +175 vs. Tulane
  • Western Michigan +175 vs. Syracuse, 2u
  • Notre Dame +475 vs. Georgia, 2u
  • Northwestern +310 vs. Michigan State
  • Louisville +210 vs. Florida State
  • FIU +240 vs. Louisiana Tech, 2u
  • UTSA +800 vs. UNT
  • Tennessee +475 vs. Florida
  • UMass +550 vs. Coastal Carolina
  • UCLA +750 vs. Washington State
  • Louisiana +140 vs. Ohio, 2u
  • UConn +1500 vs. Indiana
  • USC +160 vs. Utah, 2u
  • UTEP +475 vs. Nevada, 2u
  • Colorado +250 vs. Arizona State
  • Pitt +375 vs. UCF
  • Rutgers +260 vs. Boston College
  • Wisconsin -165 vs. Michigan
  • New Mexico -190 vs. New Mexico State
  • North Carolina -155 vs. Appalachian State

As with the past few weeks, I hate some of these picks and I think they’ll get us into trouble. But this is an experiment to see how the models perform without my input, bias, or veto authority, so let’s see how it plays out.

I count 24 matchups and 31 units being wagered. This will be the most units wagered using this system so far this season. Fingers crossed!


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