The 2011 NFL season now has 10 weeks completed and those following my free picks are 25-16-2 for +12.49 units on profit. While this record is impressive in its own right, it doesn’t tell the full story. You see included in this is three large underdog plays where I went 1-3 for +3.0 units. This means on coin flip wagers of +105 to -128 my free picks have gone 24-13-2 for a 64.9% win rate and +9.49 units profit. Obviously it’s been a great season, but it’s not all luck. I’ve been a professional sports bettor for many years and every free pick I give you is backed by a four figure bet I’ve already placed with my own money. If you want true +EV betting picks that are more advanced than guess work, you can get them each week of the 2011 NFL season right here at thesportsgeek.com.
2011 NFL Week 11 Picks
Moving on to 2011 NFL week 11 I have somewhat light line up this week, having found just 3 bets on the early lines. These are however all mathematically +EV and important to jump on early so I decided it was better to make this post at 7:30AM Tuesday morning with just three picks, than to wait a couple days and maybe squeak out one or two more plays. Once again all three of these picks that I’m providing are wagers I’ve personally already made with my own money.
Tennessee Titans at Atlanta Falcons
This is a key matchup in week 11 with both teams sitting 5-4 and each having a few games they’ll be favored to win left on their schedule. The team that wins this game keeps their playoff hopes alive, and the loser has a very tough road to a final wild card seed. For much the same reason I bet against the Falcons last week, before even looking at the odds I had the same inclination this week. The Falcons wins this season have come against the Eagles (3-6), Seahawks (3-6), Panthers (2-7), Lions (6-3) and Colts (0-10). Due to starting off the season very high in the power rankings, beating the Lions when they were 5-1 and then blowing out the Colts, the Falcons have managed to stay respectfully rated, but I’ve yet to see them live up to this. Again, it’s not that I’m saying they are not legit, because maybe they are, it’s just unproven and therefore I find them overrated in the betting market.
The Titans on the other hand are a team very underrated. No one expected them to be much of a contender this year and after Kenny Britt was injured and they lost 3 of 4 games, they fell of the radar even further. This match here is a classic case of overrated versus underrated and as a result it makes sense to see if there is some value that can be squeak out betting the underdog.
Looking at the matchup there’s certainly an edge for Atlanta in this game. The Titans have talent in the run game, but haven’t got it done up the middle at all this season, where the Falcons are one of the best at stopping the run. The Titans will however have an edge in the passing game here and are going to need to be creative to open up some short plays substituting runs for screens and middle of the field slants. In all other categories there is a slight edge to the Falcons. Considering home field advantage, in my opinion a point spread currently set at 5.5 at 5Dimes.com is the correct line in this match.
After line shopping I noticed both Bet365 and Bodog were offering Titan +7 -125 which made it worth doing the math. If the odds with no vig are +5.5 +100 / -5.5 +100 which the 5Dimes’ lines suggest, here I can calculate that +7 is worth -128.8. I base this off the fact +4.5 to +6.5 underdogs should lose by 6 about 3.4% of the time, and by 7 about 5.7%. Considering 7 is a push not a win we can only take half credit for it so the math is 50%+3.4%+(5.7%/2) = 56.25% probability which in no-vig moneyline terms is -128.8. So if the true odds are -128.8 and I’m being offered -125 on a bet I felt there might already be value on this is an extremely easy choice.
2 Team 7-point NFL Teaser
My second pick is a math based play that I’ll walk you through. Pinnacle Sports (No US players) operates on the lowest margins (smallest bookmaker advantage) in the industry while also offering the highest betting limits. Due to reasons that the NFL betting market is near efficient, it’s possible to handicap chances of teams winning using their moneylines.
Right now they have they have a line of Cowboys -380 / Redskins +330. To remove the vig from this line we need to first calculate required break even win rates (known as implied probabilities) using the formula risk/(potential return)=(implied probability). At -380 if we risk $380 our potential return is $480 ($380 stake + $100 win). Therefore the math is 380/480= 0.7917 which is 79.17%. At +330 risk $100 has a potential return of $430 ($100 stake + $330 win) so the math is 100/430= 0.2326 which is 23.26%. Notice the probabilities 79.17% + 23.26% = 102.43%. The extra 2.43% is the bookmaker advantage known as vig. To calculate the true odds divide each by 102.43 as follows: 79.17/102.43=77.29% and 23.26/102.43=22.71%. You see 77.29% + 22.71% = 100%. Therefore the odds of Cowboys winning are a no-vig 77.29%. Google search for an “odds converter” or “moneyline converter” and plug in 77.29% and you’ll see the fair price with no vig on the Cowboys is -340.3 in American moneyline format.
Looking at another set of lines I see Pinnacle has San Francisco 49ers -490 / Arizona Cardinals +416. I won’t rehash the same math, but just tell you that with vig removed the 49ers have an 81.08% chance of covering. The move I’m contemplating here is a teaser that would take the 49ers to -2.5. So I need to add in the push probabilities of a 9.5 favorite winning by 1-2 points. I end up running historical data and figure the push rate for -1 is about 2.0% and for -2 is about 2.1% so my math is 81.08-(2.0+2.1)= 76.98%. Again Google search for an “odds converter” or “moneyline converter” plug in 76.98% and see that in American moneyline odds the fair price with no-vig for 49ers -2.5 is -334.4.
The bet I’m interested in is a 2-team 7-point teaser @ -130 on Cowboys -0.5 / 49ers -2.5. To calculate the odds this teaser gives me per team I need to start with calculating the overall implied probability. At -130 risking $130 wins $100 so the return is $230. Again using risk/return I see 130/230= 0.5652 which tells me both teams needed to win 56.52% of the time for my bet to break even. To see how often they must win individually I just calculate the square root of 0.5652 which is 0.7518. Therefore each individual team must win 75.18% of the time to achieve the 56.52% overall win rate. If I plug 75.18% into an odds converter I see in American moneyline terms this is -302.9. Therefore a 2-team 7-point teaser @ -130 is the same as a parlay where each team is -302.9.
I’m getting -302.9 on each team doing the teaser, and if you go back to the examples I already calculated the fair price on Cowboys -0.5 is -340.3, and the fair price on 49ers -2.5 is -334.4. Therefore this free pick has considerable positive expected value.
Line Shade Play of the Week
My final pick this week takes advantage of the way 5Dimes sets their lines, as well as their favorable teaser odds. Using Pinnacle’s lines Panthers are 50% likely to cover +7 and Bengals are 51.98% likely to cover +7. However 5Dimes has these teams both as shaded +8 point underdogs, and offers 2-team 6-point “ties win” teasers at -105. At -105 the breakeven for both teams is 1.05/2.05= 51.22%. To see it for each individual team we take the square root of .5122 which is 0.7157 or otherwise 71.57%.
From here it’s a matter of calculating the push rates for all points 7 to 14 for a 7 point underdog. Using some historical results I come up with:
+7 – 6.6%
+8 – 1.9%
+9 – 1.0%
+10 – 5.3%
+11 – 2.7%
+12 – 1.0%
+13 – 2.8%
+14 – 3.8%
I can only take half credit for the 7 point push because the other half credit goes to our opponents line of -7. So when I add these all up using 3.3% for 7 they total 21.80%. Therefore Panthers +14.5 has a 50%+21.8%=71.8% chance of covering, and Bengals +14.5 has a 51.98+21.8%=73.6% chance of covering. We’ve already determined we need each team to cover 71.57% of the time to break even so obviously once again we have a +EV play here.
As always I wish you the best of luck with your 2011 NFL picks.