Better thinking through technology

Current state of text-based projects



I don't post very often on the text-based machine-learning systems, and since that's been the focus of my recent efforts that largely means I don't post much at all. One of the big challenges with any sort of text-based machine-learning system is reading and comprehension. One of the reasons that system like IBM's Watson is considered a big deal is that it can scan a massive pile of texts and pull together all the ideas into a meaningful response.

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FBS, Week 10, 2016



I was shocked to see this morning that almost all the line movement was in the direction of the modeled picks. That's a rarity. We shall see what that actually amounts to.

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FBS, Week 9 , 2016



One thing worth noting this week is that I'm trying to creep back toward the more +value positions on the spreads. At the same time, I'm also trying to hug common spreads (betting around the -14 by taking the +14.5).

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FBS, Week 8, 2016



Pretty much doing the same thing as last weekend.

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FBS, Week 7, 2016



FTR, I'm trying to get back to what was working well a couple years ago. I think we can safely say the NFL-style QB model is an abject failure in FBS play.

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FBS, Week 5, 2016



If you've been following the last year, you're aware there's been a pretty massive split in performance between the NFL and FBS models, with college games doing badly while the NFL games are killing it.

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FBS, Week 4, 2016



Okay, we're now at the stage in the season where data should be getting priced in well enough to expect something from break-even to profitable on the day's bets. It's not quite adventure time, but it's getting close.

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TNF, Week 3, 2016, HOU@NE



Okay, this is obviously a game that's on the wrong side of some of the protocols I use. In other words, this is a mostly a "play for fun" kinda game. Also, I suspect no one is going to sway the Belichick believers anyhow.

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NFL Saturday games, Week 2, 2016



Not really in love with some of these higher lines, and that makes almost all of the alternate high lines a real stretch. Hopefully one of the juicier +300 type lines lands.


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FBS, Week 3, 2016



Week 3 is, if trends hold up from previous seasons, the week where the bot starts finding its mark. Typically as teams start playing opponents whose quality of play is relative and new information starts getting priced into the model, the hit rate improves. (Given last week, it'll be hard for the hit rate to not improve week-over-week.)

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TNF, Sept 15, Jets @ Bills



Occasionally there is a game that I'm not deeply interested in betting but that is still interesting to write about and analyze. This is one of those games.

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FBS, Thursday night game, Sept 15, Houston @ Cincy



This has been a fairly slow week for me, so I'm posting up early. I also want to get into some extended discussion about some changes I've made coming into this season.

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MNF, Week 1, 2006



Let's just get to it . . .

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FBS, Week 2, 2016



There are only two games that have me really suspicious here. The Washington State cover against Boise St I suspect purely because the bot has never gotten a handle on BSU. I'm also a little leery of the Rice cover purely because I'm not personally overly sold on Rice.

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TNF, Week 1, 2016



There are few sports bets that will ever boil down as simply as this first Thursday Night game of the season does.

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FBS, Week 1, 2016



Trying to not be overly selective, since that got me in trouble last night by skipping Toledo and taking Colo. St.

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NHL, Jan 19



Probably getting a little cockier here than I need to be, as this is turning into a fairly decent week. If I were to roll back the cockiness, I'd likely just be on the Flyers. Of the batch, however, on the Habs feel like a reach.

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NHL, Jan 18



This is probably a lot of exposition to discuss one game I'm playing and a bunch of others that I'm not, but . . . today's data is interesting.

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NHL, Jan 14



This is the first day with multiple non-shitty lines in more than a week. Looks like a lot of underdog value out there. The MTL pick is a little bit of an experiment, but my math suggests they're a little better than the sub-50-percent odds being given here.

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NHL, Jan 10



Probably getting a bit friskier than I need to be today. There are no "wow!" sorta games in the pile today, so I'm splitting the picks up into two groups. The first group is the teams whose numbers are good, not great. Two of the three, the Caps and the Wild, are the usual suspects, and the Jets keep trying to break through into that group too. The second group is games where there's nothing to commend the idea of betting on either team, and according to my data these games typically go about 60-percent of the time to the home team, hence the bet on them.

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Chess notes, Jan 8



I've posted a few brief remarks about chess on the Twitter account, but I haven't done much to really distill what I've been learning. This post is about that.

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NHL, Jan 7



This is a day where a lot of regularly favored team just didn't quite make it over the hump, so today's bet slip is mostly populated by the emerging favorites like the Flames and the Panthers.

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NHL, Jan 6



Nothing today quite as confident as yesterday's Caps or Panthers picks, and nothing remotely as juicy as the Flames were. Today is more just a case of continuing the work on NHL rather than an exciting day to be picking.

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NHL, Jan 5



The Caps and the Panthers represent the highest confidence here. The Jackets and Rangers are me dicking with some experimental stuff on home underdogs. The Flames are a slightly lower confidence pick, even though they are home dogs.

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NFL, Week 17



Firstly, let's get the public service notice out of the way. It's week 17, and in the NFL that means there will be wackiness. There should be less wackiness this season because a lot of good teams have something to play for, but remember that bad teams have dudes who want to put some great plays on film before they hit free agency. There's a such thing as a contract year boost for players, and there's damned well a "last game before contract time" boost too. Wear a rubber before you get your fuck on with this week's picks.

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NHL, Dec 29



There isn't anything tonight that quite represents the type of easy layup that the Caps were last night, but there's still some tolerable value out there.

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NHL, Dec 28



There's probably a little value on COL, VAN, and DET as dogs, but I'm not quite feeling any of those.

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NHL, Dec 27



While last night's more experimental pick (Coyotes) seemed like pretty decent value based on the result, I think I'm just going to stick with the games that have the tightest numbers today.

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NFL, Week 16



Not crazy in love with any of the action that's out there today, but there are a lot of stronger teams facing weaker opponents (Chiefs@Browns). Unfortunately, a fair number of them are road games. Also, despite that fact, the books aren't moving the lines downward. Clearly a lot of bettors believe that these road teams have more to play for.

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NHL, Dec 26



Boxing Day! Very Canadian, eh?

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NHL, Dec 22



This is shaping up to be a superb night to be the home fave in the NHL.

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NHL, Dec 21



This is an interesting day simply because there are a lot of strong teams that come into the day as road underdogs. Hockey doesn't usually produce this much underdog value.

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NHL, Dec 19



This is a more interesting day in terms of data gathering that anything that I might truly love or hate to play.

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NHL, Dec 18



Some data suggesting a Pens win tonight, but with the coaching situation a long way from settling down there, I see no value in that line against a Bruins team that already made them look less than stellar this week.

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NHL, Dec 17



Two doggish teams on the road tonight. A few of the usual suspects (the Wild and Hawks) and a sometimes favored team, the Kings. Sharks are a small surprise. Wild over the Rangers is slightly surprising simply because the bot rarely chooses between two teams that it likes and instead typically no plays.

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NHL, Dec 15



Re-reading last night's blog post was depressing. Not because of the losses (which do suck) but because re-reading it made it clear that I could have easily avoided three picks (Bruins, Kings, Wings) by simply admitting defeat on the lines and acknowledging the books got the better of the teams I wanted to play. The value assigned wasn't good, and I knew it, but I still played them anyhow.

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MNF, Week 14, Giants @ Dolphins



There are games that just don't quite look right, and this is one of them. The reason is pretty obvious, since both teams have a gift for pissing away games. And yet they have both done serious damage to opponents.

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NHL, Dec 14



The Jackets are the only value position tonight. You can make a pretty good argument that the books have vacuumed up all the value on the Bruins and the Wings, but in both cases I think there's just barely enough left to justify the bet. Kings vs Sens? I hate betting on a team that's that far from home, but the data suggests the Kings should win. I could see the -1 being a push.

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NHL, Dec 13



The Hawks are the only team that looks like a straight-up solid winner. The Devils line should be closer to +100, and the Avs ML should be between +100 and +140, depending on how you tilt the magic eight ball.

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NFL, Week 14



Another week where I'm not interest in the SNF game. SMFH.

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NHL, Dec 12



Caps are the only pick tonight that's not purely a value position. Probably an argument for also taking BUF tonight, but I would have liked to have seen a little more meat on that bone.

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NHL, Dec 11



All of the games tonight pass through the main filters I use to evaluate the bot's output. That's . . . interesting . . . especially when you account for the fact that there are so many road faves tonight. On the upside, a lot of these teams are the usual suspects (Rangers, Hawks, Stars).

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NHL, Dec 10



All of tonight's picks pass both the older filter (the one that constantly picks about five different teams) and the newer filter (which picks up a lot more dogs).

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NHL, Dec 8



Breaking these up into a few groups tonight . . .

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NFL, Week 13



FYI, I have no interest in the SNF game this weekend. Looks like a fun game, but not an investment.

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NHL, Dec 5



The Pens/Kings under already went tits up in that most impossible of scenarios, a period of NHL hockey with lots of scoring.

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NHL, Dec 4



Not taking an interest in a ton of stuff tonight. The Stars are pretty much an auto play. The Devils look pretty undervalued, and there's an argument for just taking the ML. The Sharks game is an utter mess, but I think the +110 is decent value for a team that most folks would consider the better team, not controlling for being on the road.

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NHL, Dec 3



Still powering through despite the poor week. None of the picks look particularly out of order by the model's standards. Usual Rangers and Stars auto plays. MIN shouldn't be too much of a reach, but it is hockey, so . . . there's always an argument against touching a game with a ML greater than -200.

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NHL, Dec 2



I wish there were a tad more value on the TOR +1 puck line tonight. Otherwise, looks like two unders plus the Bruins. This has been a tough week for the model (who didn't love that Dallas collapse last night?!), so . . . make of that what you will.

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NHL, Dec 1



I've stopped experimenting with the +EV positions, since they don't seem to do very very well based on the past week of NHL betting.

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NHL, Nov 28, late games



There are a few oddities in the pile today. The Blackhawks pick is a +EV position. The two teams look to play a very tight match in the numbers I'm seeing.

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NHL, Nov 27



The MIN line is just barely value. That's a very debatable play. The rest are pretty much the usual suspects for the model, NYR, MTL, and WSH.

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FBS, Week 13, Turkey Day



Yes, Oregon State again . . . the bot lervs frickin mindless running teams. Also, -35.5 is a tough get.

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NHL, Nov 25



The usual wall of faves.

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MNF, Week 11



Not deeply in love with this MNF game. There's a little value on the -9 position for NE and decent value on the -7. Small play.

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NHL, Nov 23



The Caps -1.5 line is more of a +EV position. My math pegs it just a shade below 50-percent probable.

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NHL, Nov 22



San Jose is a pure value pick at +115. The Canucks are probably the most tenuous pick, but the Devils have not looked great traveling through western Canada. The Canadiens looks like a spot where there's an argument for the -1.5, but there's enough value on the -1 that I'm not inclined to take on more risk.

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NFL, Week 11



Probably not going to do SNF, as that Seahawks line is very friggin high.

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NHL, Nov 21



This is a day to dust myself off and make sure that I don't try too hard to dig myself out of the results of yesterday's hole-digging session.

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FBS picks, Week 12



Lots of underdogs.

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NHL, Nov 20



I usually have little to say on hockey. Today's a bit different. Firstly, today's a day where the bot is pretty heavy on underdogs. Secondly, last week's results, while not profitable, were interesting to say the least.

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NHL, Nov 19



Would like to also be on the Blues -1, but that -125 line on it is ridiculously high for a team that's suffering right now.

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NHL, Nov 18



This is a night dominated by tolerable value rather than anything that jumps out as terribly undervalued. Road faves aren't typically obscene value, but the Caps are at least being given enough of a discount to get that line to something vaguely playable.

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NHL, Nov 17



I'm hanging my ass out a bit on the Stars -1.5, but I have that as a heavily mispriced line. As always, the NHL model largely tilts toward faves, but the Avs are a semi-sorta underdog pick.

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NHL, Nov 16



Not jumping on a ton of stuff tonight. The MTl and STL -1 positions are more decent value than anything else. There aren't any games tonight that have screaming winners jumping out of the data -- not always a terrible thing, since screaming winners tend to have -1 lines closer to -120, which isn't that great unless you're talking about a super consistent team like the Rangers, who are usually going to push at worse on that line.

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NFL, Week 10



Today looks like a good day to be the fave in the NFL. The only predictable upset for the week was the Bills -3 on Thursday. There will be upsets today, but they're going to come in game like MIN@OAK, which ought to be a hell of game for entertainment value, but isn't something where the data suggests an obvious winner.

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NHL, Nov 14



More o/u totals than straight-up picks tonight. Pens and Blues look like solidly undervalued lines, while Dallas is decent value on what should be a better than 50-percent chance of a victory. As always, the NHL bot is heavy on faves.

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FBS games, Nov 14



FYI, I'm trying to implement the same informational filters that I've been using successfully for NHL in FBS play. It works well enough for the NFL TNF game, and so far it hasn't looked terrible in testing on the early games this week.

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TNF, Week 10, Bills @ Jets



Tonight's data suggests a super-close, typical divisional game that the Bills should squeak past with a win. That said, the data is tight as hell, and this is not a highly playable that offers significant opportunities. I just happen to have a little bit of free time between now and the game, and I always ran the data, so fuck it, here's what I have.

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NHL, Nov 12



Depending on your perspective, this is either a great night or a shit night for hockey. Despite 12 games on the schedule, I only come away with one solid play (Blackhawks) and one value play (Rangers) after filtering everything. On the bright side, there should be some fun games tonight and I can easily see some live betting opportunities emerging with teams down two goal at the middle of the third period.

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NHL, Nov 10



A lot of games tonight with decent value, but only one that jumps out as being undervalued, and that's the Rangers.

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NFL, Week 9



Not loving the SNF or MNF games, so this is all the NFL I have for this week . . .

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NHL, Nov 7



Yesterday was the day that my long stretch of not having the -1 bet turn into a push caught up with me. Always funny how things like that come in clusters.

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FBS spreads, Week 10, Saturday games



Today looks like a hell of a day to be a fave.

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NBA, Nov 6



Not playing too much pre-match, and I'll be spending most of my evening running numbers on tomorrow's college football games.

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NHL, Nov 6



So friggin many road faves today . . . On the upside, we're talking consistent teams like the Rangers, a team on the rise in the Stars, and a team that seems to be getting it's shit together in the Pens.

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NHL, Nov 5



Firstly, yes, I am violating my self-imposed rule on playing NHL on nights when I also plan to do football analysis. The NHL model has been humming along nicely this year so far, so I'm hopeful that I don't have to pour too much mental focus into getting it right.

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NHL, Nov 3



Yes, a day with so little football on my mind that I can actually do some hockey.

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NFL, Week 8, Sunday day games



I'm tweaking the accelerated model a bit to get it to be more responsive. Early testing in college football play seems to indicate that it should e a little better solution than the old accelerated model formula, which tended to take until pretty late in the season for it to start spotting the lines that the books were missing on.

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FBS Week 9, Saturday Games



There are weeks that demands serious attempts at navigating rough terrain, and this is one of them. The bot is heavy on home dogs, which is a debatable strategy. There is a ton of really good road teams out there this week, and that leads to all kinds of weird shit. Look at the Louisville game, which I somehow doubt was the game the folks who set that -11 line had in mind.

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FBS Thursday night games, Week 9



Not enough time tonight to give the games the deluxe treatment. Only one dog tonight.

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Folks? It's time to call shenanigans on the NFL.



Before I get too far into this, let's be clear that I don't have an actual smoking gun. I have lots of circumstantial evidence and clear statistical view of the problem. In other words, I have a body and a potential perpetrator, but not enough evidence to stand it up in front of a grand jury.

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TNF, Week 8, Dolphins @ Patriots



Tonight's game doesn't have a great deal of value attached to it, but there is a little. As with last week, there's likely more value on the o/u total than anything else.

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NHL, Oct 28



Yesterday went about as expected. It was a +EV day on a losing record, yielding a little more than 3% profit on a 3-4 record. Could have been better if MIN had managed an EN at the end, but they didn't even come close to getting a chance.

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Autopsy of the NFL bot's awful week (Week 7)



Last week was indisputably the shittiest week the bot has had doing NFL. The baseline automated ML bot went 2-5 for a 61% loss. I managed in my spread and total positions that I too to make that worse, incurring a 74% loss (under on SEA-SF hit, and the CAR insurance bet hit while PHI pick missed).

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NHL, Oct 27



Philadelphia is the only really heavy value the bot sees tonight. It sees about 80 points worth of value on the ML and 55 on the -1.5 puck line.

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SNF, Week 7, Eagles@Panthers



This is shaping up to be easily one of the worst weeks of NFL I'd had. Who knew you couldn't depend on the Buccaneers to hold onto a one-TD lead? Go figure.

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NFL, Week 7, Sunday day games



Today has an interesting mix of lines, and somewhere in the pile there ought to be a few that are exploitable. The Chargers line, frankly, is all manner of wrong, at least as far as the bot is scoring things.

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NHL, Oct 24



Breaking my own rule by playing on a day with football running, so . . . take that under advisement.

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FBS, Week 8, Saturday games



Not seeing a ton of the big underdog ML upsets that re generally needed to make a great week. Most of the dog's MLs that look to hit at like +135 stuff. Not terrible, but not the kind of thing that makes the bot look great, either.

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NHL, Oct 23



There are a ton of games where I think the eventual winner is likely overpriced relative to the risk, so I'm not on much today. Would be interested in the Kings and the Caps if they were down and a reasonable +ML appeared on them, but I'm not big on live betting NHL, except for greater than +400 MLs late 2p and early 3p.

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FBS Week 8, Thursday night games



I'm including the charts below the positions, so you can see what I'm talking about.

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TNF, Week 7, Seahawks @ 49ers



There are games that just don't quite work in the model, and this is one of them. The under is looking like the most playable thing in this game, but on balance this is looking like a superb game to just play small and for fun.

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NHL, Oct 22



Yesterday's 0-2 performance was the type of regression that ought to be expected after a 5-0 performance. You can never speak to what the actual distribution of outcomes will be with a model. even if something is a candidate for regression, you can only keep playing toward the larger number of picks where those sorts of things iron out. Even now, at 5-2, it likely remains a candidate for regression, since even under the best circumstances I don't expect any model to exceed anything like a 66% record.

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NHL, Oct 21



As you might imagine, I'm not playing a ton of hockey tonight, since there isn't much hockey to play anyhow.

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Current state of the football models (Oct 20, 2015)



With today being a relatively boring day for football (I'm not quite loving that Ark St line tonight / wishing books offered higher lines on NCAA football), I figured this would be a good time to pause and discuss the state of the football models.

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NHL, Oct 20



Before we get too far into any of this, any work I've done on NHL is far from proven. Last year I took a stab at NHL, had a few good weeks, and then everything went to shit with the end of the season (last week of a season is often a bitch) and never really recovered in playoffs.

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MNF, Week 6, Giants @ Eagles



Any game involving Chip Kelly is almost by definition interesting, and that is the case with tonight's MNF game.

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NFL, Week 6, Sunday day games



A lot of today's games aren't cases where I'm deeply in love with a line. The only two that I strongly like for upsets and value are SF and HOU. The rest are pretty much cases of taking on extra risk in return for extra reward. They are more +EV positions than necessarily positions that I see covering at least 50-percent of the time.

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FBS, Week 7, Saturday Games



The only game I'm still waiting on is Alabama. I'd like to see that line come down at least to the -2.5, but I'm not exactly holding my breath on that.

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Want to donate?



Over the last year, a number of readers have expressed a willingness to donate to the upkeep of the site, especially folks who would prefer to donate using BTC. Users of the desktop version of the site will find the necessary information in the sidebar to the right. Users of the mobile version will find the necessary information in the site's footer.

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TNF, Week 6, Falcons @ Saints



If I can ever get my fine friends at 5dimes to actually pull their shit together and process something, I'd like to be on the Saints tonight. Whether that happens is quite the other question. SMFH.

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NFL, Week 5



This is a ton of faves (4 out of 5), which is not an ideal formula for success. I'm taking the higher juice on the lines, but as always there isn't much upside on offer for Sunday daytime games.

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MLB playoffs, Oct 10



Another day with SPs who haven't seen a ton of PAs against their potential opponents. I don't feel that yesterday's read was too awful, allowing for the fact the Stroman had a bad first inning and the HOU bet was covering until the Astros decided to send Oliver Perez (WTF?) to the mound.

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FBS, Saturday games, Week 6



This is not a complete list just yet. I'm still hoping some lines, such as Clemson -7.5 might come down a tad.

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FBS Friday games, Week 6



Both FBS games tonight look playable.

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MLB playoffs, Oct 9



Today is a trickier day than some to figure out because we have several pitchers who haven't seen a ton of PAs against some of the batter that they're likely to face.

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NL Wild Card game, Oct 7



Another day, another wild card game.

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AL Wild Card Game, Oct 6



This is somewhat new ground for me, placing this type of focus on a single baseball game. There isn't much that I use to model MLB games that suggests a need to give these games the "Sunday Night Football Treatment" (although right now NFL primetime games mostly entail saying, "Fuck this," and then moving along).

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MNF, Week 4, Lions @ Seahawks



Yes, that historic Seahawks-Lions rivalry . . . sure. Who schedules these games?

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NFL, Week 4, Sunday games



Another week, another round of lines that don't leave me feeling enthusiastic.

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MLB, Oct 3



As we get down to the last couple days of the season, I'm playing fairly conservative in most cases. Still haven't seen evidence of any extreme end of season issues like appeared in NHL or NCAA basketball. That said, the usual caveats apply. It's the end of a season, and weird shit should be expected to happen. (Say, a 0-0 game in the 7th blowing an under 8. Stupid Orioles and Blue Jays.)

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MLB, Oct 2



It's worth noting here that I'm trying to push the MLB model as far as it can go, and I'm very curious about end of season issues in MLB. While there continue to be enough weird games to discourage any aggressive betting, last week was just a shade under break-even, which is quite a bit better than the types of collapses in predictability that were seen at the end of NHL and NCAA basketball regular seasons.

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TNF, Week 4, Ravens @ Steelers



This game makes a more interesting conversation piece than an actual bet. In the strictest sense, the model says that it's playable and that the PIT ML is fine.

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FBS, Thursday Night, Week 5: Miami (FL) @ Cincy



This is the first Thursday game the bot has seen value in. Last week was the first week that the automated bot outperformed my human picking efforts, which is a good thing overall, as I was expecting it to get to that point for Week 5 rather than Week 4.

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FBS tables, Week 5



This is the usual post with just the tables.

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MLB, Oct 1



It's getting late in the season, so it will be interesting to see how far this can be pushed. This is by far the furthest into a league's season I've been able to go with running into major late season effects. How far that can go is an interesting question in its own right.

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MLB, Sept 30



For grins, I'm trying something a little different with the runline and ML picks. If you've followed the project much, you'll know that's not a big deal, as picking straight-up winners in MLB is a serious pain in the ass.

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MLB, Sept 29



Today's games don't have as many conflicting data points as yesterday's did, so there should be fewer headwinds. There aren't any difficult positions like the under 8.5 for OAKvsANA that missed (going into the game, they had two pitchers who were giving up over .300 BAs to the opponents but fewer runs than expected).

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MLB, Sept 28



Not a ton of great options today, but there are a few playable games. Was going to take the CLE -1, but the change in SPs has left me thoroughly unwilling to chase the line out of a desire to not run the data again.

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MNF, week 3, Chiefs @ Packers



This week's analysis includes some data regarding QB-specific information that's modeled along the way SPs are evalauted in the MLB model. (Fortunately, we don't have to worry that if the Packers are leading by 1 TD at the end of the 3rd that they'll bring in a 22-year-old left-hander from the Dominican Republic to handle the fourth quarter.) I'm placing the regular analysis first, and then I'll hit the QB-centric analysis.

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Clustering NFL games by starting QB



I haven't put much effort into tweaking the NFL since the season started. I'm a big believer that the smartest move at the beginning of a league's season is to play small and just monitor the situation. Also, I've been trying to squeeze what's left of value out of the MLB season.

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NFL day games, Week 3



As was the case last week, I'm not giving the day games the full treatment. There isn't much out there for lines this week, and the automated bot isn't thrilled by much of anything (it's only on 3 out of 16 games).

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MLB, Sept 27



Still have to do the NFL post, so not doing extended remarks on MLB today.

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MLB, Sept 26



This figures to be a tough day. There are a lot of road faves, and the books have priced all of the value out of the better home faves (TOR, NYY and WAS).

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FBS spreads, week 4



So far this year, the safest move has been to just take the most conservative version of whatever the automated bot has to offer. (Say a team +4 and has a +140 ML, the +4 has tended to be the safest bet.)

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MLB, Sept 25



Not a ton of lines are jumping out of the spreadsheet tonight. Only on two run lines and both are faves. Books have soaked up a lot of the value tonight on games (Dodgers, Rangers, Nats and Cards run lines have all been run up too high).

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TNF, week 3, Redskins @ Giants



The automated ML bot pretty much hates this entire week of games. It's tagging damned near everything as "no play," including tonight's game.

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MLB, Sept 24



This is an interesting day. We have a couple games with inexperienced pitchers who are both poorly suited to the prevailing air density conditions (Mets@Reds and Phillies@Marlins) along with a game with two experienced pitchers who are well suited to the AD conditions (White Sox@Yanks).

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FBS week 4, raw prediction tables



Just the raw data, as usual.

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MLB picks, Sept 23



Air density conditions continue to slowly ease off the ridiculous highs, but the dry, higher density fall air is becoming a daily fact of life in MLB. So far, the adjustments I've made to the weather model appear to be holding up well enough.

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MLB picks, Sept 22



Ended up on a lot more lines than I was expecting today. Air density conditions have eased off a bit from yesterday's absurdly high numbers, but they're still pretty high. Had another under nuked by a bad late inning (TB and BOS).

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MNF, week 2, Jets @ Colts



This is a good, not great game for my approach to betting. The Colts tend to be a team that finds a way to land right on the -7 line when they win, and the books are showing that with the prevailing line. That said, the Colts appear to have a decent chance of pushing that line a bit higher against the Jets tonight.

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MLB, Sept 21



This is a day littered with extremely high air density conditions. So far, the adjustments I've made to the model seem to be coping with this. One nice thing about today is that the AD conditions are start to hit or top 70 Neeley scale units, and that's past a point where the ball starts to die for the batters. We have a decent number of high unders today, so this shouldn't be a massive factor. But, as always, high AD conditions yield some interesting games.

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SNF, week 2, SEA @ GB



This looks suspiciously like it might be the first national game that might be worth trying to leverage. In other words, it's the Packers playing at home on a Sunday Night.

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MLB, Sept 20



Air density conditions are starting go into the slightly whacky range again. Yesterday's results, I feel, went well enough. It's hard to say the TORvsBOS under was a bad play, as it was holding up nicely for most of the game and got nuked in one inning. I'm chalking that up to baseball happening.

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NFL day games, Sept 20



As I did last week, I will not be giving the day games the full treatment, since I don't current have anywhere I can get the more exotic lines for them.

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MLB, Sept 19



With college football circulating, I don't have the time to really dig into detailed explanations here. AD conditions are once again picking up in a few places in the midwest, such as Milwaukee, which ought to offer a decent test of some of the modifications I've made to the weather model. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen. Still, today's AD forecasts are saner than what we were seeing in the middle of last week.

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FBS, week 3, positions taken



I had published picks yesterday without listing positions I had actually taken. Line movement managed to eat a couple from yesterday, so . . . saying good-bye to the Penn State (moved 3 points more fave) and San Diego (moved 8 points more fave) picks.

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FBS, week 3, 2015



Still waiting for a few lines, so I'm not copying and pasting anything that I want to actually play. Here's my worksheet, since it looks like it might be until morning before I'm in a happy place with anything that's available.

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MLB, Sept 18



I'm hoping that some of the adjustments I've made to narrow the analysis down to historical games with similar air pressure to today's games has yielded results. Yesterday was a small sample size, but it also represents one of the best days I've had capping baseball. More importantly, most of the predictions were fairly close, with most of the real world results being wobbly versions of what was predicted. (For example, BAL -1 on a prediction of a 5-3 win landed as a 4-3 win.)

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Thursday Night Football, Week 2: DEN @ KC



I'll give 5dimes this: they are so damned tight you could stuff coal up their asses and watch them shit out a diamond a minute later. I've been waiting for the prop spreads to to come, and surely enough 5dimes isn't offering a -2.5 line on the Broncos. SMFH. They offer a -1 for exactly +3 more units than the DEN ML (why even bother?) and a -3.5 (because fuck you, bettors, DEN wins by more than a FG or you can all go fuck yourselves).

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FBS week 3 raw tables



NOTE: There was an error with the scraper, where it used Florida instead of Florida State as the opponent for the game at Boston College.

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MLB, Sept 17



The air density conditions across the major ballparks appear to be settling back to numbers that are closer to what we'd expect if were simply stereotyping those locations. Hopefully that leads to a little less WTF and a little more predictability.

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MLB, Sept 16



Still appearing to have some issues with the high air density conditions emerging with fall weather. As I did yesterday, I'll include the AD data with each pick. Generally, games get hinky around the point where the air density deviate from the MLB average (62) by 5 units. Those are the games you want to watch out for.

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MLB picks, Sept 15



Yesterday was a nightmare, and managed to eradicate the entire week's worth of profit (I track my MLB weeks Friday to Thursday, BTW). I knew the high air density conditions with fall setting in weren't a good thing, but I wasn't expecting anything quite that awful.

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Monday Night Football, 2015 double header / season openers



Did someone say they wanted to give me two home underdogs tonight? In the NFL? Yes, please.

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MLB picks, Sept 14



The air in the northeastern U.S. is drying out as fall sets in, and that means we're getting more high AD forecasts. That's not a great thing, as high AD games tend to be more unpredictable unless you happen to have two very low movement starting pitchers in the game.

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State of the Bots, Sept 14



It's been a while since I've had much to say about the state of this whole enterprise, and a statment feels a bit overdue.

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SNF, Week 1, 2015, Giants @ Cowboys



Tonight I'm going to be taking a very aggressively split position on a small bet size. The type that a lot of folks hate when I post. Don't worry, I'll include the simplest version of the pick, too.

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MLB picks, Sept 13



Today's picks are pretty heavy on two things: automation and road teams. We're back playing a healthy number of unders.

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Raw tables for NFL week 1



This is just the raw table that covers all of the day games for Week 1.

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NFL day games, Sept 13



I'm going to present things for the NFL day games a little differently than I have in the past. Since 5dimes shutdown Pre-Match Betting Extra -- which was only the awesomest thing on Earth, and therefore, like many truly beautiful; things, it was not for this world -- I don't have access to more exotic lines for the main line of day games. That means, for the most part, I am compelled to bet them about the same way I do college football.

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MLB picks, Sept 12



To say the bot likes the over today would be an understatement. The weather data suggests that a number of pitchers are going to struggle with the weather changing across North America today.

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MLB picks, Sept 11



It's worth reminding folks here that I am trying to stretch some of the predictions a bit beyond the automated thresholds in order to test the limits of the model. I will try to note alongside those picks that that is the case when it is relevant.

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Some perspective, people



It's the beginning of the football season, and already the level of stupid I'm hearing from folks on Twitter and Reddit is starting to bother me. For that reason, let's put the new season in perspective.

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Chart of NCAA football results



This is a chart of NCAA football results in the database going from Sept 2011 through the first week of the 2015 FBS season. This does not include a lot of highly mismatched games (think Wofford goes to UGa).

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MLB picks, Sept 10



Yes, there is still baseball to be played.

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TNF, second look, PIT@NE, Sept 10



Now that the more exotic lines have been posted by the books, I wanted to come back to this one and give it a little more thorough of review. This is the original analysis.

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Thursday Night Football, Steelers @ Pats



Let's start with the raw data. If you haven't played this game before, the most important projections are in the upper-right of the chart. Those numbers reflect the rough range the game is expected to land in.

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FBS raw data table, week 2



This is the raw table of data for FBS week 2.

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MLB picks, Sept 9



Today looks like an interesting day, although not necessarily in the most positive sense. We're at the point in the year where teams are throwing younger SPs out there to see what they have. In terms of informational quality, this is forcing me to stretch a little bit. I will try to note such situations when discussing each game.

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MLB picks, Sept 8



A lot of games today that are either close to the average or just a shade on the low side when it comes to air density. There are a few more games that are targetable than there were yesterday. The insanely high AD conditions out west seem to be letting off, at least for today.

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MLB picks, Labor Day 2015 edition



There aren't a ton of games today where the air density conditions set up any type of unique advantages, so I'm not on a lot of lines.

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MLB picks, Sept 6



A couple of the o/u totals (TEX/ANA and MIN/HOU) require additional explanation, as they're a little outside the acceptable ranges that I use to pick games. I'll get to that when I get to them.

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FBS picks, Sept 5



It's dog city today. Only one fave in the pile, Notre Dame and that's on the ML.

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MLB picks, Sept 5



Only on o/u totals today. The straight-up picks that I like today, such as HOU, all have insanely high lines. No justification for that in MLB.

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MLB picks, Sept 4



A ton of totals today look reasonably playable. A couple of them have their own specific quirks, which I'll address as I get to them. There are also a lot of games today with extremely high air density conditions.

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MLB picks, Sept 3



The big ick factor with tonight's games is that there are a couple unders that rely upon SPs who aren't exactly at the peak of their profession.

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FBS Thursday, Sept 3 games



I had said earlier in the week that I wasn't likely to do spreads for FBS this week. Then I realized there was barely anything for MLB games today!

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MLB picks, Sept 2



Only one thing sucks about today's o/u totals. Almost every one of them depends heavily on one SP. That's usually not an issue, but it means that there should be a couple close calls in the pile.

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MLB picks, Sept 1



One of the unders (Reds-Cubs) is not like the others. I will explain in the section dedicated to that game.

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MLB picks, Aug 31



Despite a fairly large slate for a Monday, 12 games total, there's not a lot of targetable stuff. Stupid weather settling down.

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MLB picks, Aug 30



This is Sunday, and in MLB that means the usual caveats apply. The reduced number of plays, however, is a not a conservative response to that fact. Due to relatively moderate air density conditions, there are fewer playable o/u totals. Lots of games are being played in cities where the Neely scale AD figure is around 62 to 63 (near the league average), thereby not conceding much of an advantage to any pitcher.

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MLB picks, Aug 29



Today's picks require a lot more explanation than yesterday's picks. Yesterday was about as easy of a day as I'm likely to ever have with MLB, thanks to the absurd number of SPs pitching in environments that suited their styles along with the high unders.

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MLB picks, Aug 28



Only on two straight-up picks tonight. Would like to be on the Giants, but I prefer to wait until Wacha exits the game in order to see where things stand.

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MLB picks, Aug 27, late games



Early game straight-up picks went terrible as usual. Yay. Looks decent on at least two of the four early game o/t totals, so that should against be slightly profitable.

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MLB picks, Aug 27, early games



Lots of interesting options in the early games. All of the straight-up bets are on road teams, so that's likely to be less of a winner (the straight up bets tend to be tougher anyhow).

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MLB picks, Aug 26



Starting to filter the o/u total picks down to what I think are the best options, so not as many of those today.

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MLB picks, Aug 25



Another night when the team o/u totals look more appealing than the straight-up bets.

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MLB picks, Aug 24



Had posted the Cubs/Indians under on Reddit and Twitter earlier. Didn't feel the need for a blog post.

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MLB picks, Aug 23



Not a ton of time at the moment for explanations (1pm Eastern time games, yeah).

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MLB picks, Aug 22



Still messing around with trying to simulate games. Getting more aggressive. There isn't a lot of baseball left, so I'm either going to catch onto something or die trying.

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MLB picks, Aug 21



For those who've asked me why I'm not running simulations and just depending upon the clustering model, this is your day. I'll have more on that subject further down in the thread, including full predictions based on the simulations.

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MLB picks, Aug 20



Today is a weird, but not bad weird, kind of day. First off, there are only two games where the air density falls well outside norms, and one of those is at Coors, which is obviously expected for every single game there. Second, there aren't many SPs out there today who employ a ton of movement; Charlie Morton is the only really extreme one. Third, there aren't a lot of low movement guys out there today either; Jake Peavy and Jerome Williams are the only two.

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MLB picks, Aug 19



Not a lot of time for explanations today, so . . .

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MLB picks, Aug 18



Today is littered with game with middle of the road pitchers, in terms of movement and velocity. The air density forecasts are also mostly middle of the road, a bit on the low side but not anything alarmingly low like we say on Sunday.

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MLB picks, Aug 17



Today looks like a much saner day than yesterday. Sundays tend to be weird because of the way MLB teams rest starters. Also, playing in daytime makes a difference. And yesterday's games were dominated by an unusually high number of weather reports that included high air density forecasts.

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MLB picks, Aug 16



Lots of heavy favorites, and today is Sunday, so the usual caveats apply. As an added bonus, this is the most low air density games I've seen all year, and those tend to get weird. However, there are only two road pitchers with movement well outside the league-wide average, and there are only three home pitchers who meet the same criteria, so it's not an easy day to look at a game and pluck something like Cueto's runline out of the pile. This is a good day to be selective.

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Making sense of MLB pitchers' spin rates



If you've followed the MLB posts much lately, you've probably noticed that I am increasingly interested in how spin rates and air density interact. I started barking up this particularly tree while trying to make sense of why Johnny Cueto, a fairly heavy fastball pitcher, seems to be performing better in Kansas City than Cincy. He also managed to have a hell of a last outing as a Red when he went to Coors Field, where fastball pitchers go to die.

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MLB picks, Aug 15



Kansas City Royals -1 -104* vs Los Angeles Angels (M Shoemaker - R must Start J Cueto - R must Start)



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MLB picks, Aug 14



Because the Cubs/White Sox game is in the pile, I wanted to publish first and add commentary later. I will fill this in as time permits. FTR, this is the first day that I've started to heavily use the spin rate data in conjunction with the weather data, so this could be interesting to watch play out.

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MLB picks, Aug 12



I'm throwing two experimental picks into the pile. Those are separated with headings from the regular picks. An explanation follows in the section with the experimental picks.

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MLB picks, Aug 11



The bot's not overly enthusiastic about tonight's games. There are a lot of young pitchers with thin books on them, and that's just not enough to make click with a clustering model.

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MLB picks, Aug 10



Yes, despite the small slate, the bot actually has a couple games it wants to play.

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MLB picks, Aug 9



So many insanely high lines today. Ugh.

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MLB picks, Aug 8



The bot's not doing backflips about anything today. It does seem to be back to its usual heavy card of road teams, although I see the argument in most cases.

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MLB picks, Aug 7



For a long time the bot has been heavy on road teams, and I've been slowly trying to tweak that proclivity out of it. Well . . . that particular mission appears to have been accomplished. Today's ticket is waaaaay heavy on home teams and faves. Most of them are pretty decent teams, so I'm not feeling awful about that. It's just that a heavy ticket of faves is hard to profit on.

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MLB picks, Aug 6



Yesterday was the first day of losses with the tweaked version of the model, and it was pretty bad. Lots of stupid shit occurrences, such as the Nats deciding they should use their worst middle reliever and Lloyd McClendon somehow still believing Fernando Rodney could save my under.

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MLB picks, Aug 5



The bot seems to be trying a balanced diet of home and road teams today. Three faves and one home dog in the pile.

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MLB picks, Aug 4



It's good to see that no matter how much i tweak the bot, it will never fail to see value in road teams. I mean that jokingly. At least tonight's road picks are relatively non-shitty. Nobody looks like a perfect bet, but most are better than decent value.

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MLB picks, Aug 3



I'm currently retooling the model quite a bit. The intent isn't necessarily improvement as much as it is to reduce the amount of labor that's asked of me. You can be wrong without putting too much work into it, right? Assembling the output in Excel is a pain in the ass, and what I'm largely trying to do is to reduce amount of time I spend in Excel trying to stack different pieces together.

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MLB picks, Aug 2



It's worth noting that Sunday has been the bot's least favorite day of the week. I'm slowly trying to tweak it to deal with things like the increased sunlight that hits during day games. Today should be a good test of whether I'm getting anywhere with that, especially with o/u totals, which have been tricky as hell on Sundays.

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MLB picks, Aug 1



Not much time to do a write-up today.

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MLB picks, July 31



A couple of the overs look decent today.

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MLB picks, July 30



Did you say that you wanted to see a senselessly large pile of faves!?

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MLB picks, July 29



Wanted to get a number on the Dodgers and the over in that game, but the line was just pulled. Waiting to see what happens there. Not much time for a write-up today.

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MLB picks, July 28



The mixture of games is starting to look a little more sane as I continue to tweak the bot. How successful that will be is obviously up to the baseball gods. This slip includes three home faves and two road dogs. A lot of the hometeams tonight look good to win, and the books have high MLs on most of them. In some cases, those are perfectly justifiable, and that makes it hard to find significant value tonight.

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MLB picks, July 27



Today looks like a healthier mix that the bot's usual bet slip. Two home faves, one home dog and one road dog. Also chasing three o/u totals today.

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MLB picks, July 26



There are a lot of warning flags on games today, so I'm only pursuing about half as many matchups.

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MLB picks, July 25



An interesting mix of road faves (2) and home dogs (2) today. Seems like a fairly even distribution of games when you throw in one home fave and one road dog.

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MLB picks, July 24



The bot actually believes that every one of these picks is at least 1 run higher than I'm playing them.

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MLB late games, July 22



Seattle Mariners +128* vs Detroit Tigers  (M Montgomery - L must Start   A Sanchez - R must Start)



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MLB early games, July 22



As has become a bit of my custom, I'm running the MLB stuff very early since today's list of games includes a lot of early starts.

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MLB picks, July 21



The bots back to betting heavily on road pitchers. Today it looks largely to be a product of L/R matchups and specific weather conditions.

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MLB picks, July 20



Two home teams and one road team. On the one hand, I'm happy to see the bot getting more interested in home teams with the recent revisions to the clustering model. OTOH, change is always weird.

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MLB picks, July 19



Posting picks early in order to enjoy my day. Sunday games haven't been a big bucket of win for the bot, so . . . make of that what you will.

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MLB picks, July 18



The bot is certainly settling in with a couple teams with this first set of post-ASB series. Once again going after the Royals and the Pads.

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MLB picks, July 17



These are the late games. If you follow the Twitter feed, you should have caught the KC ML with Chris Young starting Game 1 of that series.

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MLB picks, July 12



Playing it pretty close to the vest today and only go after games that look like good value. It looks like in two out of three cases, I likely screwed myself out of some value by pulling the trigger too early this morning.

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Adjustments to the MLB clustering model



This is one of those cases where I'm comfortable talking about something, but the warning absolutely must be expressed that I don't have anywhere near the amount of data required to back up anything I'm stating. In other words, please try to treat this post as a discussion of a process that's in motion rather than a set of conclusions or findings.

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MLB, July 11



Posting waaaaay early.

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MLB, July 10



Good, not great value out there today. Fortunately, the lines are fairly low, so there's not a ton of risk tied up in any one game.

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MLB picks, July 8



The bot likes a lot of games today compared to what's been coming out the other end the last three weeks or so. Not much time for a write-up, my apologies.

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MLB picks, July 7



A few of these have some warning lights attached, but . . .

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MLB picks, July 6



Nothing looks killer today, but there's some decent value.

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MLB picks, Murka's b-day, July 4



St Louis Cardinals -1½ +115* vs San Diego Padres (O Despaigne - R must Start C Martinez - R must Start)

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MLB picks, July 3



Decent, not great value out there today.

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MLB picks, July 2



Finally got around to doing the actual blog post.

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MLB picks, July 1



Not feeling very inclined toward write-ups today.

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MLB picks, June 30



The Cubs and Orioles look like the most consistent lines tonight. There are no overwhelming winners in the pile, but there are a ton of games that tilt the right direction.

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MLB picks, June 29



Nothing looks great tonight, although the Reds and the Dodgers seem like decent bets. The bot has those two as very either-or games, so I'm betting at a higher target and hoping for the best.

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MLB picks, June 28



I will add some additional explanation as time permits. Right now, just trying to post before games start. This will be funny, since I'll likely be writing while games are unfolding. Best thing to remember is that run distributions are hard to predict, and falling behind early doesn't mean much as long as you keep it sane. Look at yesterday's SF pick.

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MLB picks, June 27



This is the first day in a while that the bot has perked its ears up at all. Should be interesting.

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MLB picks, June 26



The bot continues to have very little interest in any of this week's games.

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MLB picks, June 24



Not an awful day for value. Didn't love the early afternoon options, but the later games provide some interest.

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MLB picks, June 23



There are a number of games today with likely winners but no obvious value due to the high lines. The SF ML is a pretty obvious example. The low data levels on pitchers for SEA and PHI will keep me out of those game entirely.

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MLB picks, June 22



Today's games look a little less likely to generate wacky results than yesterday. Not a lot of games to go after, with just 7 on the calender.

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MLB picks, June 21



Except for the Giants, I'm not really lovin' the available value today. Not much time to write up much. Lots of road faves on a Sunday (batting lineups create problems on Sundays due to rest schedules and road faves tend not to be good bets).

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MLB picks, June 20, late games



Still not loving anything in the pre-match options. All 15 of today's MLB games carry at least one automated flag within my system, so . . . there's just not a lot to love.

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MLB picks, June 20, early games



I only like the pre-match value on one game . . .

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In defense of the optimistic future of the Internet



The Internet makes an easy target to hit for folks who like to criticize technology, and I've noticed a growing trend, especially among economists, to write or link to articles like this one: Same as It Ever Was: Why the Techno-optimists Are Wrong, by Martin Wolf. The thrust of the article sounds like something that someone from 1996 might say about the Internet: that it's a curiosity and it doesn't compare to previous technological revolutions. Essentially, the Internet is a joke because it doesn't achieve the same increases in standard of living that electricity or indoor plumbing achieved.

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MLB picks, June 19



Today is a day littered with tricky bets. There are a lot of games that I'd like to be on, but the book on at least one SP is just too thin. For example, Ross, pitching for the Nats, just isn't providing enough data to justify betting against him. The Pirates are playing really good ball, but I can't quite bring myself to pull the trigger there on a road fave that has been outperforming to an insane level for about a month now.

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MLB picks, June 18, late games



I'll be happy when this friggin back half of the 2-and-2 series is over. These damned games are generating way too many bets that favor the road team. Those are hard as hell to hit with any level of consistency.

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MLB picks, June 18, early games



Baltimore Orioles -159* vs Philadelphia Phillies (B Norris - R must Start S O'Sullivan - R must Start)



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MLB picks, June 17



There are a lot of games tonight where the bot thinks teams and/or pitchers are basically guilty until proven innocent.

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MLB picks, June 16, late games



The predictions are starting to get a little repetitive, but . . .

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MLB picks, June 16, early games



Not a terrible set of games, not a great set of games, either.

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MLB picks, June 15



There are so many games today that are just terrible value. The Orioles and Chen for -230 on the ML? Ouch.

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MLB picks, June 14



Only on one total today. Slowly getting a more automated set of protocols in place. Yesterday was painfully close on a lot of games (TOR win by one run, three other picks lost by half a run to one run).

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MLB picks, June 13



A lot of games today that I would have like to have played, but the books soaked up all the value. That PIT ML is simply insane. No way. The books also captured most of the value on the White Sox / Rays under.

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MLB picks, June 12



Lots of just so value games today. Probably pushing the issue a bit with SF and LA -1.5 run lines, but esp with the LA game, I see there being a chance that those games get a little out of hand for the weaker teams.

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MLB picks, June 11



Despite the abbreviated slate of games today, a decent number of them look playable. There's no screaming buy in the pile, but there are a number of games that are at least tolerable value.

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MLB picks, June 10



I don't have time to get into extensive write-ups today. Was not able to get through all of the data. Six games went without being processed, due to time limitations.

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MLB picks, June 9



Holy crap! There's value today! Some of today's MLB options look, dare I say, decently appealing.

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MLB picks, June 8



Not a ton of stuff to love today.

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MLB picks, June 7



I will fill in projections and commentary on games as time permits. Just wanted to get stuff posted. Okie dokie . . . adding five additional data points and removing one.

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MLB late games, June 6



Yeesh, this is a day that I'm just not lovin' the available value.

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MLB early games, June 6



The early games aren't offering a ton of pre-match value.

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MLB picks, June 5



This week, I'm trying to start pinning down sources of distortion in the model. A really obvious example is cases where a bet might be signaled for a pitcher who hasn't played a ton of games lately, such as the WAS pick with Taylor Jordan on the mound.

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MLB late games, June 4



Was hoping to have one more here, but the SP change in Arizona nixed that.

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MLB early games, June 4



Today looks to have some decent values.

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MLB late games, June 3



Not any really perfect bets tonight, but there might be a little bit of value lurking.

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MLB early games, June 3



Not a great slate of early games to play. Hoping that some of the weather data might yield a few buys.

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MLB late games, June 2



Starting to add some elements of weather reports into my plays. Right now I'm only playing games where the weather report dovetails well with what the data already shows.

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MLB early games, June 2



I intend to do two separate posts today. The first post is for the early Dodgers-Rockies and Nats-Jays games.

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MLB picks, June 1



Today is a truly strange day for the bot: it's on nothing but favorites. That should be interesting.

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MLB picks, May 31



Colorado Rockies/Philadelphia Phillies Under 8 +105* (J Lyles - R must Start J Williams - R must Start)



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MLB picks, May 30



We're far enough into this season that I'm comfortable starting to do Last 10 Game projections based on starting pitchers' performances, since the vast majority of SPs should have a decent number of games that took place within this season.

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MLB picks, May 29



As always seems to be the case, the bot sees value in road teams today.

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Why finding life on Europa, mathematically, wouldn't tell us much



Every so often I manage to read a part of Reddit that isn't dedicated to math, programming or gambling. Not often, but it do. When I do, I am almost always appalled by the innumeracy of the people posting claims that are, at the base of it, mathematical.

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MLB picks, May 28



Only playing one game today.

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MLB picks, May 27



The numbers are on a surprisingly large number of faves today. Some of these get a bit interesting.

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MLB picks, May 26



Washington Nationals -101* vs Chicago Cubs (J Zimmermann - R must Start K Hendricks - R must Start)



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MLB picks, May 25



I'll be posting early games (1 and 2pm US Eastern time starts), then analysis for those, then later games and analysis for those.

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MLB picks, May 24



This is another day with a lot of road teams as picks (one home fave, one road fave, two even money games, and four road dogs). As with any slip that's covered with road teams, a few of them are going to miss. The upside, however, is that the books left a lot of meat on the bones, so the ones that hit stand a decent chance of covering the cost of the ones that miss.

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MLB picks, May 23



I'd like to take a whack at that Giants Game 2, but I lack sufficient data on the pair of SPs to justify that bet, especially when I have more data-rich version sitting right next to it in the spreadsheet. Also, Game 1 offers a bit more value on the Giants.

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MLB picks, May 21



FYI: I will most likely not be posting picks tomorrow, unless I get a bit of free time in the afternoon early enough to handle running numbers. I'm likely to be too occupied, unless everything goes perfectly on a project I'm helping a friend with. That's not really that big of a deal, since nothing has been hitting even close to consistently enough to make it worth caring, but I figured I'd let folks know.

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MLB picks, May 20



Some interesting options tonight. No "wow" games, but a few road dogs with decent upside.

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MLB picks, May 19



Hard to feel bad about yesterday's picks, with all three games being one-run affairs. The interesting thing with these series to open this week is that the data looks good, and the games themselves just look tight. There are a ton of games where the bot's projections are in the -110 to -130 range. I prefer to see something closer to -140, and I especially prefer to see good numbers on the starting pitcher.

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MLB picks, May 18



Not a ton of betting options today. Would have liked to have been on TOR, but the pitcher data is really thin and the TOR advantage hinges heavily on their current overperformance at home. The Jays won two more games at home than they'd be expected to win, based on league averages for similar games. OTOH, they looked terrible on the road, but they did play four games against an Astros team that's improving. In short: too much noise.

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How computationally demanding is baseball?



I wanted to toss something out there for folks to ponder. The MLB model, which was built by allowing a computer system to assemble its own vocabulary by studying MLB data on its own, is a beast.

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MLB picks, May 17



I'm not inclined to discuss specific picks today (there are picks today, they're at the bottom of the page) as to talk about what's wrong with the model in general. Foremost, I think this set of series this weekend flat-out suck. Secondly, baseball betting is challenging because even great teams don't win a ton of games. Thirdly, I feel like the hidden art of betting baseball is to catch teams right as they're hitting their cold streaks. Fourth, I think baseball may be one of the most heavily analyzed sports on the planet, and that drains a lot of the value out of it.

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MLB picks, May 16



Let's call today the day that I learned to stop bitching about the line on the Dodgers and just buy it. It's time to just accept that the whole world knows the Dodgers are good and to simply take whatever value is sitting there.

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MLB picks, May 15



Yesterday was a proper beatdown (1-5), but the model was fractionally positive on straight ML bets for the betting week that ended Thursday. o/u totals were a disaster, ultimately dragging the model into its third loss in three weeks.

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MLB picks, May 14



I don't have time to dig into a more detailed explanation of the picks today. Also staying off of o/u totals, which is hardly a tragedy since those have been losing money.

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MLB picks, May 13



Today's matchups are looking less than ideal. We have several starting pitchers who look like they can be a drag on a better team. For example, Liriano doesn't look like a great matchup against the Phillies, and I'll hold off on the Pirates until I see if they can manage to fall behind early. I like them as a live bet on a +1.5 @ +110 more than I do as a pre-match ML.

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MLB picks, May 12



Yesterday's first day of using the new pitcher model, while it yielded some good data that will go toward building a "no play" protocol, did not do well. It clocked in at 2-4, although the KC pick was the only extremely far off pick in the bunch.

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MLB picks, May 11



Today requires a little more explanation than my usual post because I've changed the starting pitcher model. The pitchers' side of the equation has been the part that has detracted from the model, so, on balance, this should not be a net loss for the model.

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MLB picks, May 10



Today is a day littered with fair-ish value. That is to say that the whole slate is unlikely to overperform. It doesn't help that we have several pitchers today who are expected to dominate, such as Kershaw and Hernandez, which drains a lot of the value out of the lines. I think the Dodgers could be great value in live betting, however, if they fall behind and start getting a few hits.

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MLB picks, May 9



Another day where there's almost nothing interesting to go after. Once more, no screaming buys today. Out of boredom, I've started throwing o/u totals back in the pile. I think I have a sense of where they're going, but this is pretty untested. On balance, the MLB model is still in the experimental phase.

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MLB picks, May 8



Not a killer selection of bets to pursue today. There are a lot of games where both teams look close to 50-50, or the strength of the opposing pitching matchup sows some doubts.

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MLB picks, May 7



Straight-up picks were slightly profitable yesterday, although the two o/u total picks missed and dragged the bets into a loss. I intend to avoid o/u totals until I get a better handle on them. Even on the best days they're just looking noisy.

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An autopsy of the 2014-15 NBA bot



I'm pulling the plug on the NBA model for the 2014-15 season, as the two games a night that we now have aren't presenting very viable opportunities to do anything except piss away money. As we approach the finish line, there are signs that the model is breaking down as teams that are losing keep fouling to the finish and running up their opponents' spreads. It looks like the Nets upsets of the Hawks were the last good bets of the year, and I doubt there will be many more predictable upsets this season that are worth pursuing.

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MLB picks, May 6



In the annals of unforced betting errors, I've managed to lump a pile of them on in the last 24 hours.

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The role of attractors in basketball betting



Every sporting event has two strong attractors that pull it in opposite directions. Unsurprisingly, these two attractors represent how much each team is expected to try to pull the game toward their side of the spread. Basketball, however, has the unusual distinction of being a game where the score is constantly being refreshed. That is to say that the score in basketball is a constant reminder of how well the two teams are playing. As evidenced by the number of games where two teams have close rebounding and TO figures AND the score is close, we can reasonably assume that the score reflects a fairly honest telling of how teams are playing in terms of the traditional Four Factors model.

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NBA picks, May 5



Considering the penchant of the Wizards to fall behind in games, I'm probably overplaying my hand by going after the Wiz in pre-match. Seems reasonable, however, to expect the Hawks to recover here.

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MLB picks, May 5



This does not look like an easy night for pre-match betting in baseball. For that reason, I've moved two of my positions toward the 5-inning bet in order to set more of the value on the starting pitcher rather than the whole team. For example, the model shows strong potential for the Padres to get a lead and then find a way to squander it late.

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Restedness versus sharpness



Back in the middle of the NCAA men's basketball season, the /r/sportsbook section of Reddit had some discussion about whether resting or playing games to stay sharp was best for a basketball team. The general sentiment was that long rests were bad for basketball teams because they cut into execution.

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NBA picks, May 4



OK . . . I want to talk a bit about the Cavs pick tonight. The Cavs -5.5 is the only pre-match bet that looks like good value.

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MLB picks, May 4



Still a ton of games where the best bet is the road team . . . always a formula for problems in betting. It would be nice to get a stretch where the better teams were playing at home and see what the bot can really do. Oh well, at least we have the Cards and the Giants at home.

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NBA picks, May 3 (start of second round)



Liking the pre-match value on MEM@GSW, and I'm electing to get a little greed based on the data.

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MLB picks, May 3



This thing feels itchingly close, but . . . not quite there just yet. Also, Sundays tend to be weird days because of early starts and rested players. Should be interesting.

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MLB picks, May 2



Still trying to get a handle on MLB. As always, take these with a grain of salt.

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NBA picks, May 1



One game tonight. As strange as it sounds, the numbers are on BKN for this one. The Nets have played the Hawks well in BKN this year, and there isn't much reason to believe that will change.

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MLB picks, May 1



The MLB model is still a work in progress, so try not to get too overly invested in it just yet. Still gathering data, but right now the best analysis seems to be from a model that evaluates in this order:

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Models break down as incentives break down



One thing that hit me about tonight's CHI vs MIL NBA game was just how badly the Bucks broke down in that game compared to the model. This is a recurring theme in the basketball models at both the pro and amateur levels. Once a team has lost its incentive to keep fighting, everything that you might hope to model runs the risk of breaking down completely.

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NBA picks, Apr 30



It's all about the live bets tonight.

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MLB picks, Apr 30



Yesterday went decently. This is the end of the first week of MLB modeling, and it appears that, barring a massive success today, the bot should track toward a small loss for the week (somewhere between a 10-percent loss and a 5-percent gain).

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NBA picks, Apr 29



Another night when the live bet is a better choice, for the most part.

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MLB picks, Apr 29



The Yankees and Tigers bets are in-play bets, since I got a late start on running the model today. Since both games were 0-0 at the time, I don't think that prejudices things too awfully much for records-keeping purposes.

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NBA picks, Apr 28



Live bets look more fun that pre-match tonight.

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MLB picks, Apr 28



Yesterday's bets (fourth day of the project) finished just a millimeter below break-even, with several teams blowing leads late (DET -1.5 and TOR ML) and one team coming back (NYM ML).

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MLB picks, Apr 27



The MLB model is already showing sings of some of the early growing pains that the other models had. It seems unhealthily willing to pursue one or two particular teams against all reason, with TOR being the current fave to become the MLB version of the Nets (NBA bot's favorite bad team) or the Titans (NFL bot's favorite bad team).

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NBA picks, Apr 27



A decent batch of potential pre-match betting options.

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NBA picks, Apr 26



A handful of pre-match options are worth exploring. The Wiz number looks good not great, but given their propensity to fall behind against the Raptors, I'm inclined to play that one soft. If they go wire-to-wire and sweep the series, whatever.

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MLB picks, Apr 26



Let's see if we can get through a day without games being refunded because of suspended games or cancelled starters. (Yesterday would've been more profitable if the Tigs bet hadn't been cancelled due to a change of opposing pitcher.)

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NBA picks, Apr 25



Today's going to be a little bit of a pain in the ass. There are a lot of road faves today, and the usual "wait for the fave to fall behind" plan is in effect. The problem is that the attractors for the live bets (the actual recommended buy points) aren't going to give the faves a lot of territory to collapse down into.

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MLB picks, Apr 25



With the refund on the two picks from the suspended Royals game, yesterday was a profitable day . . . not the way I imagined getting to a profit, but not bad for a slate of picks that was heavy on road faves.

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NBA picks, Apr 24



Surprisingly, the computer loves a lot of tonight's pre-match betting options. Go figure.

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MLB picks, Apr 24



This is the first day of publishing MLB models for me. The computer for this model is essentially a second-generation system, using machine learning in and from the data mining process to inform decisions during the clustering process.

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NBA picks, Apr 23



Only one pre-match option looks particularly appealing. Once again, waiting for the lines to wobble a bit cheaper of the faves, especially CLE and GSW, looks like the winning plan.

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NBA picks, Apr 22



I only like one pre-match option tonight, and all of the o/u totals look reasonably well-priced. This does not seem like a night where there's going to be a ton of chances to grab value in live betting.

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Shutting down the NHL model



I'm not seeing anything in the data that suggests a high level of playability or value in continuing to play NHL games pre-match.

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NBA picks, Apr 21



There's nothing out there that screams to be bought pre-match tonight. All three games should present better opportunities in live betting.

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NHL picks, Apr 20



The MIN v STL game is a split position bet similar to last night's CGY v VAN game. This is the obnoxious aggressive bet on two different teams in one game. If you're looking for a single answer there, MIN is the answer that you want, but the math says there's a 73-percent chance that game ends in a two-goal win for someone.

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NBA picks, Apr 20



Not much out there tonight, and both faves look pretty solid.

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NBA picks, Apr 19



On balance, I don't like any of the pre-match options today. Everything is priced too tightly.

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NHL picks, Apr 19



For grins, I'm going to try playing one of my NFL-style bets on VAN@CGY. My numbers say that there's about a 70-percent chance that whoever wins that game wins by two goals, so I'm going to play both sides of that bet.

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NHL picks, Apr 18



Not a lot of value today in NHL outside of the Wild. TBL line squeezes too much of the return out relative to the risk.

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NBA picks, Apr 18



The live betting options look superior to what's likely to be available pre-match for the first playoff games.

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NHL picks, Apr 17



The computer appears to have lost its appetite for the NYI@WAS matchup. The data, while slightly pro-WAS, is too muddied at this stage. Certainly an interesting shift.

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NHL picks, Apr 16



Tonight looks like a much less volatile night than last night. The Jets appear to be the only true surprise in the pile.

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NHL picks, Apr 15 (Rnd 1, Game Ones)



You'll note that most of today's picks bear a suspicious resemblance to the series picks from yesterday. On balance, the model appears to be tilting toward the teams that stand a good chance of snatching a road win.

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NBA picks, Apr 15 (end of regular season)



This is the very end of the season, and a lot of weird stuff should be expected to happen. My advice: play small and play safe.

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NBA picks, Apr 14



Nothing overly exciting tonight, but the over has a decent chance of landing, and the under looks very good. It's the end of the season, so I would not recommend getting carried away.

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NHL first round series predictions



I have not attempted anything like this before, so please take this all with a grain of salt.

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What I learned from half a year of publishing sports picks



With the NBA regular season coming to a close, the bulk of my initial sports picking projects are now largely done. The pro and college football work was a clear success by the numbers, pro basketball was worth the effort and college basketball managed to turn very, very ugly toward the end. Less than four weeks of hockey picks only offered a glimpse of what might be worth pursuing. Overall, it appears that I will end up somewhere on the north or south side of a 50-percent profit to show for the work. That's not bad, especially given the fact that I had zero experience wagering on sports prior to this point.

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NBA picks, Arp 13



Once again not having anything specific overwhelm me. It's the end of the season, too, so be prepared for teams to quit like BKN did last night. Big bets are not advisable.

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NBA picks, Apr 12



Not loving anything in particular today. Nothing like last night's UTA@POR over to play. Dammit.

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NBA picks, Apr 11



Another season coming to an end, so . . . play safe. The only pick I feel truly comfortable with is the UTA@POR over.

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NHL picks, Apr 11



There's a pretty good argument against betting hockey today. However, with so much of the playoff picture settled, at least in terms of who's in and who's out, I want to test how the model performs with low, but even incentives between teams.

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NHL picks, Apr 10



Nothing too exciting tonight.

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NBA picks, Apr 10



Lots of options tonight. Also like the chances for several live bets to materialize.

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NHL picks, Apr 9



For grins, I'm playing around with the regulation wins (1st 60 min) bets. I've had some success buying these on my preferred teams at the end of 1p in 0-0 games (for example, I grabbed DAL 1st 60 min on a live play for +240 after the first period ended scoreless last night).

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NBA picks, Apr 8



Not loving any particular game more than any other, but the NOP@MEM and CHI@ORL overs were good enough that I tossed those two into a parlay. Some of them, like SAC@UTA over, should land, but I'm a little skittish by just how much they might hit by.

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NHL picks, Apr 8



Not seeing a ton of value tonight.

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NBA picks, Apr 7



Only two o/u totals for tonight, and the MIN@SAC under 213 looks to be the more interesting of the two.

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NHL picks, Apr 7



Taking a crack at a goal total for NYR@NJD. The PHI and WPG upset predictions look interesting, although WPG is likely the cumpter's endless hatred for Blues peeking out again.

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NHL picks, Apr 6



Another night of the computer mostly tilting toward the playoff-bound teams.

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NBA picks, Apr 6



Last night saw the first loss for the o/u total model that I've been using, but the GSW @ DAL one felt predictable, and I did try to warn folks of it.

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NHL picks, Apr 5



I'm working on dialing in the right way to approach hockey bets, and for that reason I'm dialing things back a bit until I get it sorted out. There are three road teams in this pile, so this ought to provide a fairly strong test of what I can and cannot detect with the model in its current form and with the signals that I believe are present.

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NBA picks, Apr 4



The current model of o/u total picks is starting to look promising. Of tonight's batch, if there was one to skip, it would likely be the GSW@DAL under. I certainly wouldn't stuff that bad boy into a parlay. The Warriors have a gift for screwing totals up by playing good defense or just doing random, zany shit at the end of a game.

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NHL picks, Apr 4



At least today has a decent number of home faves. Not a great day for profit, but the number of odd surprises ought to be low. Oh, wait . . . it's hockey.

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NBA picks, Apr 3



Expanding my attacks on o/u totals. There are a ton of unders tonight, so I'm not sure how well that will play out.

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NHL picks, Apr 3



Tonight's slate of picks doesn't exactly scream "deep insight" in the sense that everything basically amounts "play-off team will beat non-playoff team" or "mediocre team will be team that's tanking."

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NBA picks, Apr 2



Looks like a shit night for live betting options. This is also the first night of the new over/under total experiment where I have two unders in the model. That may be interesting to see how that plays out, especially with HOU@DAL. My guess is that with DAL on the b2b, HOU should be able to dictate a more defensive game.

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NHL picks, Apr 2



So ends what will be, no matter what, the worst of the three weeks of hockey betting for the computer. The best that can happen this week, if both -2 scenarios hit, is that the computer can make it back to just a shade under break-even for the week.

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NBA picks, Apr 1



Taking another crack at o/u totals on a couple of games.

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NHL picks, Apr 1



ANA looks like a decent option for a win tonight, but the line has drained almost all of the value out of that game. Leafs and Sabres have played too few games against opponents of similar quality to themselves to produce a prediction.

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NBA picks, Mar 31



I'm throwing in an over/under total pick, but be aware that I've had little success modeling these.

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NHL picks, Mar 31



It's been a relatively rough week so far for the NHL model. This is somewhat expected, as every computer model I've built has struggled with games in the last week or two of play for every league. So far the NHL model doesn't appear to be headed toward anything as bad as the NCAA men's basketball model did in its last week of regular season play, but you should be away of that end of season issues are expected at this stage.

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NBA picks, Mar 30



This looks like a surprisingly decent night for pre-match bets, and I also like the options available for live betting.

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NHL picks, Mar 30



The Kings pick looks like the most solid in the bunch. The Kings just don't lose a lot of road games to team like the Blackharks, and Hawks rarely win games against teams as strong as the Kings.

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NHL picks, Mar 29



Not quite willing to pull the trigger on WPG or CHI, but if either team falls behind early and there's a +200 or better ML sitting there, I like that bet, esp on the WPG side. I also like either team down a goal in live betting going toward the 11 to 8 min left in 3P mark.

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NBA picks, Mar 29



Not much value out there in pre-match options today.

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NBA picks, Mar 28



Not liking tonight's slate of games much, but UTA looks interesting.

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NHL picks, Mar 28 late starts



Early picks went pretty bad, yielding about a 66-percent loss. Fortunately, the late batch has a few more home teams in the pile, so the chances of a couple more hits should be better.

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NHL picks, Mar 28, early starts



Breaking up the NHL picks today into early and late starts.

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NBA picks, Mar 27



Nothing too exciting in the pile, but there are several small underdogs with a fighting chance tonight. As always, look for live betting options.

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NHL picks, Mar 27



The CBJ pick is the only interesting one in the pile. The Blue Jackets have played good hockey recently, especially on the road, and the model shows little evidence that the Blackhawks can beat a team as good as the Jackets.

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NBA pick, Mar 26



Only one game tonight, and the Pacers look badly mispriced in this one. With a little wobble late in the game, the Bucks might have a chance of winning this, but on balance the Pacers have only been losing to top quality squads in their recent road games and the Bucks have been feasting on garbage teams.

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NHL picks, Mar 26



Not quite willing to go there on the Pens vs the Canes with Malkin still out, although the Pens stand to win that game. They're a relatively heavy road fave with enough problems that there's just not much upside in that bet relative to the risk.

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NBA picks, Mar 25



A lot of tight lines tonight should offer some opportunities for back-and-forth play in live betting.

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NHL picks, Mar 25



Not quite willing to pull the trigger on CHI tonight. PHI does put up quality wins at home (Rangers, for example), so I don't see it as a wise move.

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NBA picks, Mar 24



Most of tonight's picks look insanely well-priced, but OKC and POR stick out from the pack. POR has a sighting chance of knocking off the ML win. That game looks like a tight GSW win (-1) without HCA assigned, and a slightly less tight POR win (-4) with HCA factored in.

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NHL picks, Mar 24



The only truly solid bet tonight is the set of TBL bets, and the pricing of the lines clearly shows that the bookies know that. MIN looks like good value for the price, as does MTL.

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NBA picks, Mar 23



Only one potential ML upset in the pile tonight. I have BOS@BKN as a game that can fall either way.

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NHL picks, Mar 23



This is not a night I'm wild about. Most of the value is gone from the lines tonight because so many low-quality home teams are hosting games. Also exacerbating the problem is that a lot of the road faves tonight don't look like strong candidates to ring up two-goal wins.

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NBA picks, Mar 22



Deeply unsexy slate of faves today.

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NHL picks, Mar 22



Not an overtly strong day for NHL games, especially with so many b2b games.

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NBA picks, Mar 21



Not a lot of action tonight.

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NHL picks, Mar 21



There are two games here that require a bit of additional explanation.

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NHL picks, Mar 20



Looks like the robot is back to betting faves with higher spreads tonight. Good . . . some of its picks were a little too adventurous yesterday.

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NBA picks, Mar 20



Tonight is shaping up to be a good night for live betting options.

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NBA picks, Mar 19



A fairly decent night of games to bet. I like the live play options tonight on both MIN@NYK (tilt toward NYK, but will need to see the numbers toward the end of 3Q) and NOP@PHX (tilt toward PHX if the late 3Q numbers look decent).

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NCAAM picks, Mar 19



At this stage, this should seen as more of a math experiment than a serious set of picks. I have no clue how well this will work in tourney play. There were issues at the end of the season.

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NHL picks, Mar 19



Lots of opportunities tonight. A definite test of the robot's willingness to go after underdogs, because it's taking bot the Leafs at home against the Sharks and the Canes on the road against the Canadiens.

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NBA picks, Mar 18



Not loving a lot of tonight's games in pre-match, but I think this will be a great night to grab live bets. Like PHI a lot if they fall behind, and I'm also interested in some back-and-forth play between ATL and GSW (though ultimately favoring GSW),

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NHL picks, Mar 18



Three games with relatively tight lines tonight. Probably pushing the issue a bit. On balance, none of these are overwhelming picks. They're simply cases where I'm following the computer to the stronger of the two teams.

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NHL picks, Mar 17



Only three games tonight look to have value. FTR, the PIT pick is more a result of NJD just flat-out sucking than the pens playing particularly good hockey right now.

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NBA picks, Mar 17



Not lovin anything tonight in NBA. Just dicking around with a few lines that look a little mispriced.

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NCAAM picks, Mar 17



Mississippi +135* vs BYU 0.17u

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NHL picks, Mar 16



Kind of a barfy night for hockey betting. Not liking the available options at the available prices.

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NHL picks, Mar 15



Continuing to raise the aggression level with the NHL picks. Yesterday showed some success targeting specific lines, and I'm hoping that wasn't just a blip.

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NBA picks, Mar 15



I'm experimenting a bit with buying 3q options on games today. OKC is the only one I bought pre-match, but I also like TOR, DEN, LAC, ORL, LAL, PHX and SAS as 3q plays once they make it to half.

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NCAAM picks, Mar 15



End of conference play. The robot had an awful day yesterday, with a pile of its picks finding ways to squandering leads. Be aware.

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NBA picks, Mar 14



It's another night of thoroughly underwhelming pre-match options . . . but that also means it's a great night to keep an eye on potential live bets.

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NCAAM picks, Mar 14



So far results have been fairly mixed in post-season games. On the bright side, that beats the giant shit fest that happened at the end of the season. On the downside, it doesn't amount to anything profitable in three days of conference play. Basically it's been one day of profit, one day of loss and one day slightly below break-even.

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NHL picks, Mar 14



I'm starting to push the issue a bit with some of these higher puck spreads. Keep this in mind, and bet lower if you're not comfortable with the lower probabilities on those games.

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NBA picks, Mar 13



Only one pre-match bet appeals to me tonight.

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NHL picks, Mar 13



I'm skipping the unit sizes on hockey because the NHL model seems to only offer advice regarding who's the better team. Better to chase value that way than to lose my mind trying to set perfect unit sizes for each bet.

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NCAAM picks, Mar 13



See the post from two days ago to read up on the difference between the post-season model and the regular model.

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NBA live play comments, Mar 12



I don't see any of the games tonight as having insane pre-match value, but four out of the five should have some live play potential.

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NHL picks, Mar 12



Finally had a positive night of picks last night. Hopefully, this can keep rolling, but this is all still experimental. Take it with a grain of salt.

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NCAAM picks, Mar 12, post-season model



Please read yesterday's post for notes about the change in methodology.

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NHL picks, Mar 11



Taking a second run at NHL picks . . . so far modeling NHL games has been a disaster, but I hold out some hope.

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NBA picks, Mar 11



There are no screaming buys, but the Brooklyn upset looks interesting. Not an exciting day when you're mostly looking for underdog covers.

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NCAAM picks, Mar 11, post-season model



Before you read through the picks, it's very important to note here that these are being produced using a different methodology than was employed through the regular season. It's also important to note that this is not the the same methodology that I employed to analyze the FBS bowl games.

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NBA picks, Mar 10



Only playing two games today. I'd like to play NOP, but their stats just don't scream for a buy, especially on the b2b. Also, while BKN hasn't looked great of late, you never quite know which Nets team you're getting.

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NBA picks, Mar 9



This is a night where there are decent pre-match options, but bettors should also be looking to snag more positions in live betting. Watch the o-rebs and TOs for trailing teams, as always, and try to make a move on trailing teams that are grabbing more offensive boards while not committing too many turnovers.

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NHL picks, Mar 9



Modeling NHL picks so far has not been successful, so please view this as an experiment.

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NCAAM picks, Mar 8



Still a bit tentative with end of the season issues (teams quitting, resting guys, etc.)

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NBA picks, Mar 8



Another day of mostly watching the live betting options and hoping for something to materialize! Who-hoo!

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NHL picks, Mar 8



Getting quite a bit more aggressive with these. The model went 0-1-1 in its first day, so please don't take any of this too seriously.

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NBA picks, Mar 7



Robot is only on one game tonight. Everything else looks noisy, but there ought to be some live betting opportunities, so keep an eye on those o-reb numbers and see who might have a chance to claw back into a couple games tonight.

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NHL picks, Mar 7



This is the first day of posting NHL picks. The NHL model looks good in regression testing, so . . . I feel decent about it. The criteria for a particular bet is to determine where the most value can be had on a ML that's mispriced by at least 100 basis points. In other words, we're looking for games where a -700 in the model is mispriced as a -200 on the market or a -150 in the model is priced as a +200 in the market.

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NCAAM picks, Mar 7



This is a heavy slate of faves . . . if you're willing to call a bunch of -1 and -2 teams "faves". On balance, the model considers those to be essentially tied games.

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NCAAM picks, Mar 6



The season is winding down, and based on the awful results from the last few nights, there's definitely something amiss. My best guess is that a lot of the underdogs that the robot prefers are essentially done with their seasons. A lot of dogs that should have at least been competitive based on pace of play are just falling completely flat at the end of the season.

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NBA picks, Mar 6



Going after lots of games today, but not hitting any particular one hard.

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NCAAM picks, Mar 5



Despite the terrible night that the computer model had yesterday -- augmented by me pushing it to go after games that should've been ruled out (see yesterday's comments on unit sizes and pushing the issue) -- the robot does have a fighting chance of getting back to break-even or profit for the week. It would require three of the bigger ML upset to hit, but North Texas has been good for the robot all season, so we shall see whether that holds up. The NT number looks interesting, but it should also be noted that the robot is not fond of UTEP (see the So Miss bet from earlier in the week).

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NCAAM picks, Mar 4



As I mentioned last night, I'm pushing the issue a bit on the remaining ideas that I'd like to test. Check the unit sizes if you're concerned about confidence levels, but remember that the primary goal here is to stay diversified.

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NBA picks, Mar 4



This is the night that likely decides whether the robot runs a profit for the week. Right now it's running a bit below 10-percent in the black, but this is a large slate of games and tomorrow offers no reprieve unless tonight's pile delivers a narrow result.

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NCAAM picks, Mar 3



The Wright State and Detroit picks represent cases where I'm pushing the model a bit. Running out of basketball, and I figure I'd prefer to see how far I can take this thing. Be aware of that.

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NBA picks, Mar 3



Nothing too exciting. The computer sees value in the Bulls, although i suspect some of that is simply a result of the difficulties that WAS has experienced lately. Knicks look like value against the Kings, also. Probably some home dog factoring into both of those picks.

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NBA picks, Mar 2



The robot isn't particularly enthusiastic about any games tonight, but sees some value in the NOP spread and ML.

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NCAAM picks, Mar 1



Only two games today meet the robot's criteria for being playable. Arizona State is a case where I'd prefer to place a smaller bet and aggressively seek more upside on what stands a decent chance of being a close game. More of a risk-reward type of bet.

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NBA picks, Mar 1



Computer wants at least a small piece of every game being played today. A lot of the potential underdog ML upsets are more +EV than 50-percent probably, hence the smaller unit sizes on some of them.

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NBA picks, Feb 28



BKN over DAL looks like the only significantly contrary prediction that the computer is chasing tonight.

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NCAAM picks, Feb 28



10 faves and 14 dogs today. Trying to refine the unit sizes, although I haven't had much success in NBA with this sort of thing. It tends to just scale up losses, so be aware of that and set your unit sizes with some regard to factors other than my number.

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NBA picks, Feb 27



Not heavy into anything, but spread out across a lot of games.

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NCAAM picks, Feb 26



For yet another night in a row, the computer is only on one ML upset.

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NBA picks, Feb 26



Only on one game tonight.

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NCAAM picks, Feb 25



Despite showing interest in a large number of games, the computer only wants to attack a single ML upset tonight. Some make pretty obvious sense, such as VT +16.5. Others, like ECU, are probably playing a bit safe.

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NBA picks, Feb 25



Only one ML upset in the pile tonight, and it's not much. All of the other games look a little too volatile to play. Still trying to arrive at how short of a time sequence should be used in the short-term model.

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NBA picks, Feb 24



No picks tonight really come out of the model screaming to be bought. TOR and DET have decent chances of lodging ML upsets, but are closer to just being +EV rather than over 50-percent probable.

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NCAAM picks, Feb 24



Nothing too sexy to play tonight. NC State doesn't quite look like good enough value to be a full ML upset pick, so I'm stuck hoping for Mizzou to hit.

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NCAAM picks, Feb 23



Two dogs and a fave tonight. No one looks overwhelming, but the two dogs have a fighting chance to at least cover. With St John's, I'm going down to the ML at -112 because 5dimes was offering the -1 for -108. I'd rather buy a point there and avoid a refund in a squeaker that goes SJU's way.

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NBA picks, Feb 23



With 5dimes shutting down the pre-match betting system, it now just got a lot harder to find the aggressive lines that I prefer. On the bright side, I take that as a proof that my betting philosophy is one that the books are not inclined to tolerate. I count that as a win.

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NBA picks, Feb 22



Another day without any screaming buys.

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NCAAM picks, Feb 22



Nothing overwhelming interesting to play, but there are three potential ML upsets that look interesting today.

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NBA picks, Feb 21



I'm pushing the issue a bit on the Charlotte pick. In the current form of the model, I have it configured to show data for long, short and very short views. I'm testing just how well the very short view works with this one. For example, if more emphasis had been placed on the very short view, last night's CLE@WAS pick would have been "no play" rather than a heavy bet on the Wizards cover and ML.

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NCAAM picks, Feb 21



9 faves and 10 dogs today. Despite the number of dogs, there is only one ML upset, North Texas, which can hardly be seen as a major upset at +108.

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NBA picks, Fen 20



A real slate of real basketball! Yay!

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NCAA picks, Feb 19



On five games tonight. The pile includes two faves, three dogs and two upsets.

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NBA picks, Feb 19



Only on one game tonight.

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NCAAM picks, Feb 18



A lot of faves tonight. If anything, the computer is likely a bit too heavy on the faves.

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NCAAM picks, Feb 17



None of tonight's games are particularly compelling.

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NCAAM picks, Feb 16



Only playing two games tonight.

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NCAAM picks, Feb 15



Only on four games today. Two dogs and two faves. Only Purdue looks like something that the robot wants to go after, although several of their covers in the model are a bit tight (-9).

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NCAAM picks, Feb 14



Large slate of faves today.

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NCAAM picks, Feb 12



The computer decided to chase another round of dogs like it did two nights ago. The dog trend seems to be becoming a thing.

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NCAAM picks, Feb 11



Looks like the computer is back to its usual pro-fave play.

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NBA picks, Feb 11



Last day with a real slate of games before the All-Star Break. Not heavy on anything particular, but a lot of games worth at least buying a piece of.

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NCAA men's BB picks, Feb 10



The robot is chasing an insanely large number of underdogs tonight. This should be interesting. Several upsets in the pile, too.

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NBA picks for Feb 10



I thought I'd offer a bit more in-depth analysis on each pick for tonight.

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NCAA men's BB picks, Feb 9



Only on three games tonight. Not that there's a lot of games tonight anyhow.

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NBA picks, Feb 9



Tonight's picks represent a fairly large difference in how I'm electing to read the model. As always, when I introduce a human element into the work, I feel that it's important to clearly state what's going on as best I can.

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NBA picks, Feb 8



Only on two games today. Everything else has live play potential for teams in the +10 to +14 range except for LAL. ATL is probably not touchable until +18 if Memphis locks them down.

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NCAA men's BB picks, Feb 8



Only on three games today. One underdog.

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NBA picks, Feb 7



There aren't many times where I trim a pick down relative to what the computer says, but . . . this is one of those times, and I feel that it would be intellectually dishonest to not overtly state here when that is the case. If you follow basketball, however, you'll get this one pretty quickly.

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NCAA men's BB picks, Feb 7



Looks mostly like a list of the usual suspects today. Unfortunately, there's only one ML underdog tonight that appears to be worth pursuing.

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NBA model YTD results



I actually held off on posting this until it hit a losing week for the current stretch that I'm tracking. The NBA model took forever to actually come together.

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NBA picks, Feb 6



A large slate of games tonight.

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NBA picks, Feb 5



Only one game that the computer wants to bet pre-match.

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NCAAM picks, Feb 5



The Houston U pick tonight is an interesting one. According to the scenario-based historical model, it's a very either-or game, but ultimately both the spread and the ML are +EV.

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NCAA men's BB picks, Feb 5



Heavier on dogs than I prefer to be in NCAAM. Going against KSU is a big surprise, as the computer loves K-State and isn't overly fond of Texas Tech.

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NBA picks, Feb 5



More faves than I generally prefer tonight. Experimenting with moving into some higher spreads again. I'm also experimenting with staggering the spread positions across multiple positions, similar to how I bet NFL games.

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Experimental NBA picks, Feb 3



These are more experimental picks, where I'm trying to predict more erratic +EV outcomes, similar to what I've done in the past with the NFL model.

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NBA picks, Feb 3



Only on two games tonight, but the PHI game is shown as a fairly probably cover and a better than 50-percent chance of an upset ML bet. In the computer's view of the world, that game is definitely +EV.

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NCAA men's BB picks, Feb 3



Four faves and a dog, including a ML upset.

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NBA picks, Feb 1



Only on one NBA game today.

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NCAAM BB picks, Feb 1



Three dogs today. Two of the dogs include positions on the ML.

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NBA picks, Jan 31



6 dogs and 4 faves tonight. Looks a bit more like the computer's usual pattern.

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NCAAM picks Jan 31



Saying good-bye to the low info model picks. At this stage, it seems to be better to just treat those as no play games the same way they're seen in the FBS model.

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NBA picks, Jan 30



A surprisingly large number of faves today from the robot. That's unusual in NBA play, as it tends to prefer betting on dogs.

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NCAA men's BB picks, Jan 29



A ton of faves tonight. This, BTW, is the end of the fifth betting week for tracking purposes for the NCAAM model.

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NCAA men's BB picks, Jan 28



8 faves and 6 dogs today. Actually a little heavy on dogs by the robot's standards. Not scaling up many bets today.

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NBA picks, Jan 28



More than most nights, this is a really good night to mind the unit sizes for each bet. There are a lot of bets tonight that have question marks attached to them, hence the smaller scales for many of them.

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NBA picks, Jan 27



It's dogsville tonight. That's usual for the robot on NBA, but there isn't a single fave to be seen.

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NCAA men's BB picks, Jan 27



Looks like the robot is on its more pro-fave tilt tonight in NCAAM. 4 faves and 3 dogs in the regular model along with one low info dog. It is hard to describe any of tonight's picks as extreme dogs, however. The most aggressive spreads the robot is going after are +5 and -5.

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NBA picks, Jan 26



There's only one pick tonight. There would have been two if the Knicks-Kings game had not been postponed.

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NCAA men's BB picks, Jan 25



Five faves and six dogs today. Not the robot's usual menu options.

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NBA picks, Jan 24



One fave, two dogs and one outright ML upset.

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NCAA men's BB picks, Jan 24



Regular model is on 24 faves and 7 dogs today. That's closer to its normal pattern in NCAAM, where it tends to not be fond of underdog picks.

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NCAA men's BB model YTD records



Week 1 for tracking purposes starts on Dec 26.

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2014 FBS model, final record



This is the final record for the FBS automated ML model for 2014.

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NBA picks, Jan 23



I'd actually like to have a small position on a -18.5 for GSW and an additional SAS position at -16, but 5dimes isn't offering anything like that. Pricks. Consequently, I'm a bit heavier on dogs than the model says I should be. Unfortunately, they're just not offering the spreads that it wants for those two games.

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NBA picks, Jan 22



Just two games look fairly playable tonight.

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NCAA men's BB picks, Jan 22



This is the end of my fourth week of picks based on the calendar that I use. Regardless of how tonight's games go, the low info model will be profitable for a third-straight week. Because of the large number of games tonight, the high info model has the potential to slide into a loss for the week (or landslide into a terrible loss) if tonight's games go poorly . . . or it could turn a large profit everything goes better than expected. On balance, I see it settling somewhere between a small loss and a small profit for the week. That's a significant reduction compared to the previous two weeks.

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NBA picks, Jan 21



Still testing and tuning with the NBA model. With a lot of the higher spread favorites, I'm trying to target specific games that are seen as volatile within the model and that might get of hand.

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NCAA men's BB picks



Heavy on faves today.

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NBA picks, Jan 20



Two dogs tonight. Not doing any unit sizes until I get that part of the model figured out.

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NCAA men's BB picks, Jan 20



Three dogs and three faves tonight. Rare even split for the robot. The Syracuse pick looks a bit tight, especially since the spread has gone up.

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NBA picks, Jan 19



Mixture of faves and dogs and +EV bets today. Nothing perfect to bet, unfortunately.

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NCAA men's BB picks, Jan 19



Robot is back to picking faves. Both picks today are regular, high information picks.

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NCAA men's BB picks, Jan 18



Pushing the low information model pretty hard today. Overall, the computer is very dog-heavy.

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NFL conference championship games analysis, Jan 18



From a betting standpoint, today is not an exciting day. You're looking at two faves covering, maybe by a decent margin, but with no killer +EV values to chase thanks to the relatively high spreads.

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NBA picks, Jan 17



Decided lack of faves today, but a lot of that looks like many of the computer's favorite faves are playing very volatile games today. ATL vs CHI and HOU vs GSW both have the potential to be crazy games with huge swings.

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NCAA men's BB picks, Jan 17



Big slate of games for the computer to chew through today.

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NBA picks, Jan 16



At this stage, the NBA model is screwed up enough that I'm just trying to see what works and what doesn't. Take all of the picks with a grain of salt.

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NCAA men's BB picks, Jan 15



Without regard to how tonight's games land -- even if they all go tits up -- the NCAAM model will be profitable for the week. OTOH, something bigger is riding on tonight. If tonight's picks are profitable, the model will have gone through an entire week without taking a loss in a single day.

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NBA picks, Jan 15



Both of these picks make me feel a little filthy . . . fortunately, there's lots of NCAAM BB tonight.

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NBA picks, Jan 14



Heavy on dogs in NBA. That's the typical pattern, but it's a little too heavy. Should be interesting to see how that plays out.

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NCAA men's BB picks, Jan 14



I'm tightening down the use of picks that only fall under the weighted or unweighted models. The evidence from yesterday suggests that avoiding large spreads that only one model approves is is problematic.

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NBA picks, Jan 13



Sticking with the more aggressively filtered model. Not much reason to deviate from this approach until the NBA model proves to be more successful. Yesterday was a good day, if you can really count one successful pick when betting one game to be a success.

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NCAA men's BB picks, Jan 13



Picks will be listed by the name of the model that produced them. I've been using this approach the last few days, and so far it seems to work decently.

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FBS national championship game, Oregon vs Ohio State



This game is far from a perfectly playable matchup. Normally, I'd look at the data here, call this a no play and move on. But it is the national championship game, and there are some expanded lines available from the books that make a few bets look potentially +EV. Also, the model right now has picked exactly 200 games. That seems like a terribly round number to leave it at for the season!

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NFL 2014 Divisional Playoffs: IND @ DEN



This is the awful either-or scenario that folks hate when I do my picks.

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NBA picks, Jan 11



It looks like I'm getting the issues ironed out in the reweighted version of the NBA model. Reweighting has worked well enough in NCAAM, but so far it's been a bit of a mess. Hard to look at yesterday's rests and learn anything. One or two baskets and here and there, and that's a large profit instead of a small loss. So, didn't really learn what I wanted to learn in NBA play.

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NCAA Men's BB picks, Jan 11



Yesterday's experiment went well enough to keep rolling with it. Reweighting the games was particularly helpful improving the hit rate of the low information picks. The late games performed very well while the evening games basically ran break-even.

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NBA picks, Jan 10



Yesterday's experiment with a more aggressive model was a pretty brutal failure. About a 60-percent loss. A lot of hinky games yesterday that landed perfectly on the books' opening lines.

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NCAA men's BB picks, Jan 10



In the interest of making the list of NCAAM picks a little more readable, I'm going to try doing this with a table layout.

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NBA picks, Jan 9



A fairly major reconfiguration of the NBA model is in order. The big new feature is reweighting of common game style clusters to account for disproportionate weighting toward a particular team's style of play. The idea here is to avoid walking into picks like last night's MIA pick, where the model was giving the dog too much credit against a better opponent.

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Current records by model



This page is dedicated to tracking the success rate of each model.

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NFL 2014 Divisional Playoffs: CAR @ SEA



This game hinges on whether you feel a particular cluster of Carolina games is applicable to the Seahawks. We do not.

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NFL 2014 Divisional Playoffs: BAL @ NE



Unfortunately, this is game where there's not a ton of +EV on the board. Like most of this year's playoff games, the bookies appear to have brought their A game. On the bright side, the bettors haven't.

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NBA picks, Jan 8



Just two picks tonight, both underdogs.

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NCAA Men's BB picks, Jan 8



The computer is on a surprisingly high number of dogs today. I don't think this is a big deal, since most of them are like Mizzou at a +135 ML, which isn't precisely a historic upset if it hit.

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Updated int'l BB league playability rankings



The data presented here is based upon /u/BuckNewman's int'l basketball league results posted on Reddit. That data can be found here.

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NBA picks, Jan 7



FTR, the computer believes that several of the sloppiest basketball games of the season are likely to be played tonight. The only game that looks close to a screaming buy is the MEM +3.5, and there we're also pursuing a bit of upside in the ML.

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NCAA Men's BB picks, Jan 7



The computer is on a large number of faves today, going after 10 favorites and 3 dogs with the regular picks as well as two favorites with the low info picks. This isn't terribly unusual in NCAAM play. The computer is not a fan of underdogs in college basketball.

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NBA picks, Jan 6



Two faves tonight. Staying small on both due to volatility issues, especially questions about how many o-rebs the Pistons might grab. That game wobbles a lot based on how well DET pulls in those boards. Same deal with PHX and their insane commitment to long-distance shooting. Too unstable of a game to load up on.

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NCAA Men's BB picks, Jan 6



The computer is up with 5 faves and 2 dogs tonight. None of the low information games look particularly appealing tonight. Nothing particularly contrarian to bet, either.

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NBA picks, Jan 5



As with today's NCAAM BB picks, I wanted to add an additional layer of analysis. It's a slow day, and it's not a bad idea to remind folks that this is a computer model, not a crystal ball.

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NCAA Men's BB picks, Jan 5



Since this is a slow day and there are only four picks, I figured I'd slow down and explain some of what the computer is seeing on these picks.

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NCAA Men's BB picks, Jan 4, 4pm and later US Eastern starts



The late games fulfill a much higher informational threshold. Apparently the US TV networks know what they're doing in terms of putting a quality product on the screen.

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NBA picks, Jan 4



Slowly working our way back into NBA. Fewer NCAA games today. May as well.

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NCAA Men's BB picks, Jan 4, 1pm to 3:30pm US Eastern starts



With the smaller slate of games today, I'm pushing the informational threshold a bit. Only a handful of the later games (4pm and later starts) are what I'd consider truly high information games.

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CIN @ IND wild card round analysis



Kinda burned out from churning data yesterday on . . . well, every damned thing on Earth as best I can tell. Analysis will be short today on this game.

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NBA picks, Jan 3



The model hasn't explicitly changed, but a more aggressive "no play" protocol is being implemented. This bring us down to picking just two games today.

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NCAA Men’s BB picks, Jan 3, 11pm US Eastern and later starts



This set of picks include input from the update "no play" protocol for basketball games. There is also a "low info, contrarian" pick at the bottom. I'll explain what's up with that when we get to that one.

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NCAA Men's BB picks, Jan 3, 11am to 4:30pm US Eastern starts



Got a lot orbiting around today, so not a lot of time for real analysis. Breaking picks in NCAA up into early and late starts.

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BAL @ PIT wild card round analysis



This game boils down to a single fact: the Ravens backed into the playoffs. They're not an improving team, and as best as my memory serves me the only team that backed into the playoffs and put together anything close to a serious playoff run was the Whisenhunt-era Cardinals.

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ARI @ CAR wild card round analysis



This is a game where a split position is going to be beneficial, since a lot in this game depends on how well the Cards can hogtie the Panthers offense. If they can't keep Carolina's O under control, then this ends up being a repeat of the ARI loss at SEA earlier in the season.

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NBA picks, Jan 2



Today I'm going to attempt to derive a bit of analysis from the model. The idea here is to look at concerns that the computer has about specific teams in order to produce some sense of what it's seeing that raises concerns. An eye is being kept especially on the idea of watching for trends that might offer live betting opportunities. There is an additional section below the "no play" picks that lists live bet opportunities.

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NCAA Men's BB picks, Jan 2



The computer has four games that it's willing to play. That's good, because yesterday's attempt at modeling low information games went about as poorly as one might have expected.

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FBS bowl game picks, Jan 2 to Jan 4



Nothing too sexy here. For the most part the model is sticking to the ML and skipping several plays.

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NBA New Year's Day picks



Both of today's NBA games are considered playable. It's dogsville or bust today, BTW. MIN is an outright upset pick.

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Experimental NCAA Men's BB picks, Jan 1



The model doesn't particularly like any of today's games, so for fun I figured we'd play around with the informational threshold and see just how well we do with the games that the robot considers to be too low info to play.

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NBA picks, Dec 31



Two dogs and two faves. The robot only really likes the MIA pick today. No surprise if you follow the model much.

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NCAA Men's Basketball picks, Dec 31, 12:00pm to 6:30pm US Eastern starts



We're starting to expand out into more picks now that the model is slightly profitable for the week and appears to be clicking on a regular basis. Since this is the case, I opted to break the pick up into two sections, 12pm and 7pm start times. This will allow me to handle NBA picks in the meantime, and then come back and publish the 7pm and later picks for NCAA.

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NBA picks, Dec 30



NBA model looks heavy on faves tonight. 3 "no play" games, 1 soft fave (ATL), 2 stronger faves, 2 dogs, 2 +EV faves and 2 +EV dogs. The +EV picks came back into the model with a vengeance today.

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NCAA Men's Basketball picks, Dec 30



No fancy changes. Robot was profitable again in Day Three, getting three out of four games.

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This week in "NHL analytics are fuckin garbage"



I don't discuss NHL much here. In part it's because I feel I need to leave myself something to enjoy. Also, I think the current stats revolution in the NHL is nothing but penis envy toward the NBA and MLB stats revolutions. (Don't worry, bitches, soccer has y'all's asses beat.)

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DET @ DAL wild card round analysis



The problem with this game boils down to a single issue: the spread is high, but not unreasonable. Likewise, the model displays a number of scenarios without pointing toward a specific one being the strongest, as you'll see in the probability table.

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NBA picks, Dec 29



3 dogs, 1 soft fave (ML only) and 1 fave.

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NCAA Men's Basketball Picks, Dec 29



Day Three of the men's BB experiment. Yesterday saw the robot get its first win (St Johns) and then its second and third wins and its first refund on a bet. That yielded a 14-percent profit on the day. Certainly better than the 0-5 performance it posted on Day One.

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NBA picks, Dec 28



2 dogs, 1 fave, 1 pick 'em and 2 no plays today. Model is currently operating at -33% for the last two days.

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NCAA Men's BB picks, Dec 28



Day Two, and we're still searching for a win in NCAA MBB play.

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SNF analysis, Dec 28: CIN @ PIT



Model 3 ML pick: PIT (66-percent probable, +EV from -200)

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NFL early games, Dec 28



None of the early games look exciting. On balance, we'll be looking for positions in NO, DAL, NE, MIA and KC.

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NBA picks, Dec 27



The computer doesn't like many of today's games. For example, based on restedness, it considers the GSW -17 to be a perfect spread (50-50 proposition). As always, a good spread for the books is a bad spread for the bettors.

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NCAA Men's BB picks, Dec 27



This is a first try at this. Please treat it as nothing but an experiment on my end.

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FBS picks, Week 18 (bowls Dec 27 thru Jan 1)



These are the picks for the second week of bowl games. There are many more "low information" and "no play" games this week.

[Read More]

NBA picks, Dec 26



Looks like we have 2 "no play" picks, 2 faves and 7 dogs today. Todya's big news is that it's off of the standard BKN pick.

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NBA picks, Dec 25



Holiday fun and lots of opportunities to test how the model performs against afternoon games. (NBA afternoon games are notoriously difficult to model.)

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NBA picks, Dec 23



Tonight's picks include an astonishingly large number of "no play" picks. Out of 11 games tonight, the model called 5 of the games available "no play."

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MNF analysis, Dec 22



This one is an interesting game to bet. On balance, most of the value is on the Cincy side of the bet, but we want to have a piece of some of the higher DEN positions to cover the Bengals' propensity to stall out.

[Read More]

NBA picks, Dec 22



Several picks yesterday missed by just a smidge (BKN -5.5 missed in a 5-point game and TOR -12.5 missed in a 12-point game), so not much cause for changing anything up.

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NFL afternoon games, Dec 21



I don't have time to handle a full analysis of the late games.

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NBA picks, Dec 21



The model is much heavier on faves today than usual, taking a total of six faves and three dogs.

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NFl early games for Sunday, Dec 21



I'll be blunt here: I'm shifting back mostly to the ML + spread for pop formula that was working better earlier in the season. On balance, I think the complex positions entail a lot of labor and stress, and frankly they take the fun out of football for me. I'm at my "fuck this" limit with football, largely because the NBA model looks to be clicking for a lot less labor, and this just looks like an obnoxious amount of energy to waste for a project that's barely performed profitably. (For reference, the NFL model is about 5-percent profitable, but all of that is on the strength of picks from weeks.)

[Read More]

NFL Saturday edition, part 2: SD @ SF



What to do when a game could go either way and both teams are playing cruddy ball? The answer: not much.

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NFL Saturday edition, part 1: PHI @ WAS



We always like to bet games where Chip Kelly is the coach, and this one is no different. His aggressive style lends itself to the split bet approach that we like, and this game is ripe for that type of pick.

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NBA picks, Dec 20



There are no +EV picks today. Every pick is considered a greater than 50-percent probability.

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NBA picks, Dec 19



I'm abandoning the restedness model. It doesn't apply to enough game to justify the labor that's going into. Recent play, particularly with regards to whether a team is improving its play relative to its opponent's play, has over the course of the three weeks that we've been seriously doing NBA here proven itself to be the most reliable predictor of pro basketball outcomes.

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NBA picks, Dec 18



Nothing new to report. Two faves and a dog. The HOU -4.5 is no surprise, as the Rockets are one of the model's most consistently favorite teams. It's a little iffy on the higher SAC spreads but sees the SAC ML as a consistently safe bet and also +EV at 85-percent probable.

[Read More]

TNF analysis, Dec 18



Nothing like starting the NFL week off with a bum fight, right?

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NBA picks, Dec 17



We're adding a "No Play" section in order to be clearer about the games that we're choosing to avoid each night.

[Read More]

Final results for FBS regular season using the automated ML model



The table below illustrates how the automated moneyline model did for the season, with picks starting in Week 9.

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NBA picks, Dec 16



No tweaks to report today. Only one +EV pick. One "no play" in MIN @ WAS.

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FBS bowls games, Dec 20 thru 26



This week's FBS bowl game picks look like a pretty typically list of the usual suspects that the model likes.

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MNF analysis, Dec 15



This is a game that we deeply dislike. If you're not wild about this game, you're welcome to skip it entirely. For our part, we aim to stay small and attack the +EV sweet spot.

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NBA picks, Dec 15



Since yesterday's total o/u pick experiment didn't lose enough money to put us in the hole, I thought today would be a great day to try something else!

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NBA picks, Dec 14



We've been making money this week, and if you've followed the modeling efforts much, you know what that means: it's time piss some of it away trying to bet o/u total picks again!!

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NFl early game analysis for Sun, Dec 14



The charts this week include elements that we've only been using in the NBA modeling work. In the upper-right corner of each chart, you'll find a set of average from the top three and top six scenarios. These allow you to look at how the model averages things out.

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NBA picks, Dec 13



We're largely settling on what we think are the most important factors in picking basketball games. Surprisingly, rest is not as big of an issue as might be expected, and its impact can be highly variable between teams. For example, a lot of teams appear to benefit from regular play, and rest creates problems.

[Read More]

NBA picks, Dec 12



Decent number of faves tonight; that's usually a good sign from the model. NOP is a fairly surprising pick, although the computer is not fond of the Cavs at all.

[Read More]

Building a complex position for the ARI@STL game piece by piece



This is a bit of an experiment where I'm trying to take the basic idea that we have, using the NFL prediction model to buy into pieces of both sides of a spread, and turn it into something insanely specific.

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NBA picks, Dec 11



Two games and two faves? OK, in fairness, the two faves, OKC and HOU, are teams that the model lervs. It would totally have their babies if it could. (The babies would be smart and be able to dunk. Harvard would have a great basketball 20 years from now.)

[Read More]

TNF analysis, Dec 11



We're adding some additional analysis at the end of the page. This is part of an attempt to more aggressively filter through random scenarios by using multiple processing passes through the data. We'll explain better when we get to that part of the data.

[Read More]

NBA picks, Dec 10



Still trying to make sense of the b2b and 3in4 scenario numbers. So far what we have amounts to: recent play is a far better indicator of expected performance.

[Read More]

NBA picks, Dec 9



First off, one of the picks is not like the others. You'll see in a second.

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MNF analysis, Dec 8



We wish the spread for this weren't so tough to negotiate. How dare the books hold back free money from us at an easier position?!

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NBA picks, Dec 8



This isn't a factor in tonight's picks, but we're experimenting with figuring out what the actually consequences of an NBA playing back-to-back games and three games in four nights are likely to be. So far, the math does not conform to the traditional view of how b2b and 3in4 situations should play out in the NBA.

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SNF analysis, Dec 7



There's no getting around it: this game is particularly tough to bet.

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NBA picks, Dec 7



Model is definitely not feelin' the faves today. 6 out of 7 dogs.

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Early Sun games, NFL week 14



Let's just cover the obvious suck of this week right up front . . . a week with lots of road favorites is going to burn bettors somewhere. This is a case where being in a number of games is the best insulation against the inevitable.

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NFL week 14 simple picks



In an attempt to provide a more sane way to read the NFL model and arrive at specific, individual spread picks, we're offering picks that are made using the same protocols as the NBA picks.

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NBA picks, Dec 6



The model sensed contradictory signals in two of the games, so there are only four picks.

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FBS Championship Week Sat picks



We don't really know the role that neutral sites are going to play in these games. On the upside, there are more aggressive spreads available today, and in many cases we're trying to take advantage of them.

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NBA picks, Dec 5



We're giving up on the o/u picks, at least for now. There doesn't seem to be a lot of upside in them, and ultimately they just create more work.

[Read More]

Innumeracy and dyscalculia are terrible reasons to criticize an idea



Something I've noticed over the life of this current set of projects in the betting world is a regular criticism that basically goes: "Your system amounts to betting both ways and pretending that you won."

[Read More]

NFL Thursday Night Football: DAL @ CHI



In the spirit of trying to not make the picks maddeningly difficult to follow, I've added a section called "simple picks". These are more simplified versions of the NFL picks that hew closer to what we produce for the NBA and FBS games.

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NBA picks, Dec 5



Just three games tonight.

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Raw NFL tables for Week 14, 2014



The new numbers at the top-right of each table are rough the spreads for the top-three and top-six scenarios.

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NBA picks, Dec 3



Interesting day from an academic standpoint. A lot of the games today provide strong contradictions between the near-term, medium-term and long-term view of each team's performance. This will allow us to get a better gauge on just how important the long-term history of NBA teams is in modeling these games.

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NBA picks, Dec 2



We're taking another crack at o/u picks. It's advisable to avoid them until you see some history of success with them. Our previous points models struggled to do much more than be random and noisy with o/u bets.

[Read More]

MNF analysis, Dec 1



This is not a game that we're really excited about, but the high spread offers us a chance to ensure a lot of positions with a single bet and then just play the higher spreads (-12.5 to -24.5) with small bets and hope something positive shakes out.

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NBA picks, Dec 1



Not a lot of options tonight. Three underdog picks and one "no play". We like the Clippers to win their game, but that -13 spread is close to perfect. A good line for the books is a bad line for the bettors.

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NBA picks, Nov 30



The closest thing to an overwhelming pick today is the ORL +10.5 position. The MIN ML is a +EV pick, meaning we expect them to lose, but relative to their chances of an upset, we consider the +800 payoff to be cheap.

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Afternoon NFL games, Nov 30



Only two NFL games to pick from in the 4 o'clock Eastern time slot.

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Easly NFL games, Nov 30



After two straight weeks with barely a game that we've liked, we come into this week with between three and five games that feel like our kind of games. In a reversal of the way previous weeks have gone, we're not waiting for the late games and the bigger spreads. This week, we feel like the real pop is in the early games.

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NBA picks, Nov 29



No adjustments to the current system today. It worked decently last night, so we just want to see if it will hold up over time.

[Read More]

FBS picks for Sat, Nov 29



These are the Saturday picks. Probability tables are at the bottom of the page. We've added numbers in the upper-right of each table that include the predicted spreads based upon the top-three and top-six scenarios for each game.

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NBA picks, Nov 28



We're working on refining the model in the hope of close the gap a bit between our losses and the books' lines. We have a good slate of games today to test this against, so . . .

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Positions



I've been asked several times to post what my positions actually look like. Today, I happened to get things set well before the CHI @ DET game, so I can post one in a timely manner.

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NFl Thanksgiving 2014 games



We're hoping to see more of the type of high spreads that we prefer to attack for these games.

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NBA picks, Nov 26



One "no pick" today, the LAC game. Instead of listing betting units, each pick represents a betting unit. If we liked a matchup (It has a +EV that was greater than 100 and the team was not a heavy underdog) then we bought an additional unit. If not, we stayed small, going with a single unit.

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Raw Probability Tables for NFL Week 13



A bit delayed. My apologies to anyone who relies upon them.

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Thurs and Fri FBS picks, Thanksgiving weekend



We're including a new scoring system with each pick that projects the +EV of each pick. This is how much we expect this pick to outperform the book's line should it hit. Every pick that we post is predicted to have more value than the line being offered, and most are considered at least 50-percent probable. Almost all are at least considered 35- to 40-percent probable.

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NBA picks, Nov 25



We're trying to be more selective with our picks this week, but today's picks are all within tight spreads and lines, so it's hard to simply say "pick this game and don't pick that one." Rather than get upset about that, we've decided to score today's games by their +EV and bet them accordingly. High +EV picks will either see a split position across the ML and spread, or we'll put more weight onto the better spread picks. We'll scale back our betting unit size if we find a game to have a lower +EV.

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NBA picks, Nov 24



We're attempting implement a "no pick" protocol today. Let's see how this plays out. Still experimenting. Last night was a case of close-misses against close-hits on a small sample, so not much to be derived from all of that.

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The actual MNF game for this week: BAL @ NO



It's time to set aside my perverse interest in the Jets - Bills game and move on to discuss the actual MNF game for this week.

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Jets vs Bills Snowpocalypse Make-up Game



As you can imagine, modeling the the Jets - Bills game is an interesting problem, thanks to the move away from Buffalo. We intend to treat this like we do the London games, and play it the way the NFL scheduled it, that is to say as a Bills home game, but with a lean toward the under. Fortunately, the lines for the o/u totals were already pretty low (they opened at 39 and moved to 42 when the game was relocated to Detroit). It's the simplest solution.

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Sunday Night Football, Nov 23: DAL @ NYG



This is a game that favors the Cowboys but requires some coverage on the Giants' side.

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NBA picks, Nov 23



We're going pretty light today due to having our attention on NFL games.

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NBA picks, Nov 22



Just a reminder: we're still experimenting with these. In fact, we did a fairly major rebuild of the points model this morning in order to try to get a better handle on the pace of play issues that the model is having. The hope is that this will yield better returns dealing with the o/u picks.

[Read More]

FBS late games, Saturday, Nov 21



The model appears to ease up on the anti-favorite tendency in the late games. You can find the raw table of probabilities here: http://blog.konosa.com/pages/main/raw-probability-tables-for-fbs-week-13.htm

[Read More]

NBA picks for Nov 21



We finally have two straight nights with a well-populated slate of games to test the model properly. Hooray!!

[Read More]

FBS early Saturday games, Nov 22, 12pm to 3:30pm starts



Early games are mostly spread picks and a few lotto ticket ML picks. Only the Louisville at ND pick is a straight upset pick. The model hasn't liked the Fighting Irish all season long.

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FBS games for Fri, Nov 21



Not a lot of joy. Here are the picks.

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NBA picks for Nov 20



Two games tonight, so not much to talk about.

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FBS games for Nov 20



After two days of MAC games that the model didn't want to touch, we have three opportunities to find some action tonight. The slate tonight even includes a ranked team, #12 Kansas State.

[Read More]

Thursday Night Football, Nov 20: KC @ OAK



This game is a bit of a pain to play. On the one hand, it's dangerously close to having one of the strongest signals available in the model, a top scenario that projects to a total of 3 decayed games in a 100-percent win scenario for KC.  On the other hand, a clear warning sign is present with a Raiders' win in the top three scenarios in the deck. Let's try to break the game down and devise a strategy for attacking it.

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NBA picks for Nov 19



These are the straight picks. The table of probable games will be below the picks. All of the moneyline picks are what we call "lotto ticket picks," meaning that we do not see them as above-50-percent probabilities, but we believe they are priced cheap relative to the team's chances if an upset. All of the spreads and o/u picks are considered to be be at least 54-percent probabilities or higher.

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Raw probability tables for NFL week 12



In the interest of promoting new insights based upon the prediction model, I'm going to publish the full table of probabilities for NFL games so other folks can browse through them and try to find relevant information that might help the larger community do a better job of targeting specific games.

[Read More]

Raw probability tables for FBS week 13



In the interest of promoting new insights based upon the prediction model, I'm going to publish the full table of probabilities for FBS games so other folks can browse through them and try to find relevant information that might help the larger community do a better job of targeting specific games.

[Read More]

NBA picks for Nov 18, 2014



We're gonna take another crack at these.

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How to Read the Table of Probable NFL games



With the modeling work for the NFL picks system now completed, this is a good time to discuss exactly what the table of probable games means and how you can use it while betting on games.

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Week in review



This week was the week that the points model, the insurance bets and the general strategy of scaling our risk in specific games paid off. That said, I'm a bad news first kinda guy.

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PIT @ TEN, MNF, Nov 17



HUGE NOTE ABOUT THE STATE OF THE MODEL: We're going to change things up a tad here tonight. Why? Initial experiments with taking even more aggressive betting positions during the Pats @ Indy game turned out very well. So, we'll be adding some additional information regarding our preferred higher positions in the spreads for both teams.

[Read More]

NBA picks, Nov 16



This is going to be a quick hit with no analysis. We're deep into NFL right now.

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SNF, Nov 16: NE @ IND



This one is a game that looks complicated, but we think we might have an answer to its complexities. Thanks to the wide number of spreads available for this game, we have some options to play around with.

[Read More]

Analysis of the three late games for Nov 16



There are just a handful of late games today. Let's take a look.

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Early NFL games for Sunday, Nov 16



This week is littered with games similar to the BUF @ MIA game from Thursday Night Football. On balance, we know who we like in most of these games, but we need to set up our positions in order to avoid complications if the other team does well. They're not easy positions in most cases, and we're simply trying to navigate this batch without having our lunch money taken from us.

[Read More]

NBA picks for Sat, Nov 15, 2014



We're making some revisions to the NBA model. It didn't do well in its first public picks, and we're still getting a sense of how to handle the points model. The NBA game depends a lot more on points than the NFL game, and we're trying to make adjustments to account for that difference.

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FBS picks for Saturday, Nov 15, 2014



Not a lot of sexy options this weekend. Washington U ML at +290 is probably the most aggressive pick in the pile, and really that's an arbitrage pick against the AZ U -9.5. Beyond that, the VT ML at +180 over Duke is probably the truest upset pick in the pile.

[Read More]

Breakdown of actual NFL win margins since 2009



This is a breakdown of the actual point differential of every regular season NFL game played since Sept 2009. A positive value is a home win, and a negative value is a road win.

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NBA picks, Nov 14



This is our first attempt at publishing picks for NBA games. We figure tonight is as good a night as any to start, since there are 10 games available, giving us a good selection to choose from.

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Thursday Night FBS games for Nov 13



We have one outright pick and another lotto ticket pick.

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Bills @ Dolphins, TNF, Nov 13, 2014



This one's a tricky game to handle. Let's take a look at the mixed position that we're going to try to use.

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Tuesday night MAC games, Nov 11, 2014



Another Tuesday night, and another two MAC games to enjoy.

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CAR @ PHI MNF game, Nov 10, 2014



This game is basically a poor man's version of the CHI @ GB game. While the CHI insurance bet was a cheap way to cover our asses on that game, here there's a pretty strong argument for grabbing at least a piece of the CAR insurance bet.In truth, this game is like the GB pick and the ATL pick from this week decided to go half on a baby.

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Nov 9 late NFL games



Here are the prediction tables for the Nov 9 games for Week 10 of the 2014 NFL season.

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Nov 9 early NFL games



Here is the points model analysis for the Week 10 early games of the NFL 2014 season.

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Sat FBS picks from the points model



Rather than lose my marbles trying to format a pile of different games to this format, I'm simply posting the picks as a copy-and-paste from my spreadsheet of actual picks.

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CLE@CIN postgame: why we use mixed positions



One of the biggest challenges in predicting NFL games is the simple fact that you're never really in a safe position when making a bet on pro football.

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TNF: CLE @ CIN, Nov 7, 2014



There are times when I really wish I could apologize for an analysis. This is one of those times. I went into this one hoping to see enough improvement from the Browns to tell their fans that this game was their chance to finally show up within the division. It is not.

[Read More]

MAC Weds, Nov 5, 2014



We have two MAC games tonight.

[Read More]

NFL points model tests perform well



One of the things we went into this week trying to do was to establish just how much arbitrage the points model allows us to achieve in picking NFL games. We also wanted to scale our bets to ensure that we were putting less money into less certain games and more money into more certain games. The results were solid enough that we'll be testing the same idea in the FBS games starting Tuesday night.

[Read More]

College is a time for experimentation: Tues night FBS games



This is our first attempt to apply the NFL points model to a set of FBS games. Please remember that we consider almost all FBS games to be low information contests, and that you should scale your bets down accordingly, just like we do with lower quality NFL games. Just remember, you scale down once for it being FBS, and then you scale it down further if the game is considered lower by FBS standards. For example, a 70-percent size position on FBS alone might become on a 49-percent size position on FBS + poor info quality.

[Read More]

IND @ NYG: MNF game to end week 9 of the 2014 season



This game is a ridiculously complicated game within the model, but we thing there are several arbitrage opportunities in the face of high-probability blowout scenarios for both teams that might wreck a spread bet, especially for the Colts.

[Read More]

Updating the protocols for NFL picks



This week's efforts to expand into the points data were interesting, if not peculiarly fruitful. First off, the strategy of using ML + high spread positions for maximum pop on a pick worked nicely with the NE and PIT games, which along with the CIN game were the most confident straight picks of the day. Whatever the fault's of the model, when it starts wanting to load up on a team, it's frequently right.

[Read More]

Dealing with a language-based model



A few years ago, I had made a rather failed attempt at building an article recommendation engine. That site, KrankyMind.com, is still up (using a new predictive model now). The rebuild was inspired largely by the recent apparent success that I've been having building predictive models. Also, frankly, I've crossed the point at which it has become a net benefit to me to have a machine find reading materials for me rather than hunting for stuff to read on my own every day.

[Read More]

Afternoon games + Sunday Night, Week 9, 2014 NFL season



The DEN @ NE game gets a post all to itself. Here are the other two late games along with the SNF game. Please bear in mind that this is the first week that we've been up with o/u and spread probabilities.

[Read More]

Why I built my newest scraper in .NET



One of the biggest challenges in gather data is finding data sources and dumping them to a database.

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2014, Week 9, early games



This is going to be a challenging week to pick NFL games, especially among the early games. The only early game that we strongly like is the JAC @ CIN, but you should read the analysis below to get a sense of how that might go.

[Read More]

Celebrate Brady-Manning Day with some analysis!



Spit out your Halloween chocolate and get ready for the only real holiday that will ever matter: Brady-Manning Day is nearly upon us. Let's take a look at the upcoming DEN @ NE game as told by our friends, the Konosa NFL models.

[Read More]

The Nobel Prize selection committee is most likely racist



I saw this little gem posted on Reddit this morning: Shocking Connection Between Eating More Chocolate And Winning The Nobel Prize. First off: the chocolate is an innocent bystander. Secondly: the selection process for Nobel Prize winners appears to be racist.

[Read More]

A breakdown of the shitty DAL pick from last week and the Accelerated Model that led to it



This game did not need to be a debacle. I became so obsessed with predicting the future of teams that I forgot that we should be more focused on modeling the present.

[Read More]

A preview of our points data model for NFL (NO @ CAR Thursday night game)



You guys asked for the points data, and here it is! Below you'll see the pick, Carolina, and its points data highlighted as CAR in order to permit easier reading. This is not going to look good on many smaller mobile devices because it is tabular data. I need to figure out just how we intend to deal with it.

[Read More]

Tuesday morning hangover: looking back on the FBS and NFL picks for Oct 21 to 27



There were good and ugly in the picking models this weekend. Let's just take a look.

[Read More]

WAS @ DAL: has a machine learned how to hate?



Tonight's upcoming Monday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins has caused me to wonder, only half jokingly, if I may have taught a machine how to hate.

[Read More]

Breaking down the late games for Week 8 of the 2014 NFL season



Three late games. The obvious marquee matchup is PHI @ ARI. The boring pick is OAK @ CLE. The interesting upset pick with an asterisk is IND @ PIT. Read on.

[Read More]

NFL Week 8 early games breakdown



Summary: this is the first week ever that the NFL model went aggressively after underdogs. It has six underdog picks, although a couple could be considered toss-ups, such as BAL @ CIN.

[Read More]

Breaking down the SD @ DEN pick for Thursday Night



The upcoming Thursday night game between the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers presents one of the first major tests for the models that we're using at Konosa. The big issue that makes this a test is that the various models have differing opinions about the probably winner.

[Read More]

The St. Louis Rams, or why diversified picking matters



For as much of a hoot as it was to watch the Rams beat the Seahawks, and for as much of an annoyance as it was to watch a solid pick in the Hawks flush a dollar down the drain, I think now is a good time to stop and realize that the SEA@STL game was an anomaly. The simple fact is that the Rams, at this point in their rebuild, are finding ways to lose football games, and Jeff Fisher knew this fact before he started trying to roll hard sixes. In fact, it's why we was rolling hard sixes with his play calling.

[Read More]

Lessons Learned from Building a Prediction Model for Gambling



Building the Konosa prediction model for picking pro football games has been a rapid eduction, and I wanted to share a few of the things that I've learned from the process.

[Read More]