NFL

# NFL Week 15 Best Bets—A Pissed Atlanta is a Good Atlanta

Matt MoscardiAnalyst IDecember 13, 2007

So this week, I'm taking some risks.

Some big risks. Calculated, but big.

I'm betting almost 100% of my bankroll. My bets total \$110 of my \$136 bankroll.

My reasoning is based on the following statistics: cost per bet (which I fixed), and win percentage. While these are inexorably linked mathematically, I'm risk averse, so I don't quite trust my own winnings. I wanted to give myself a weekly shot at the big ticket win without risking much percentage-wise.

My theoretically best bet combination, which I'm sure will change as I get more data points, looks like this (with "asset allocations"):

1.) Four Individual Spread Bets - 70.5%
2.) "Top 2" Team Parlay (with "Wacky Friday" vig if I can get it) - 18%
3.) "Top 7" Team Parlay - 7%
4.) "Top 9" Team Parlay - 4.5%

I'm well diversified, though there is a lot of duplication in the parlays. I've given some serious thought to switching out the seven team parlay with a seven team, six point teaser (you'll see why in the win percentages below)—but the payouts are just not compelling.

I may change my tune in a big down week, but for now, I should stick to my guns. Here are the Box's win percentages since Week 1 of 2006 ("Tease" is six point teasers):

 Parlay Tease Ind 1 Team Bet 0.00% 0.00% 87.10% 2 Team Bet 67.74% 83.87% 81.45% 3 Team Bet 45.16% 67.74% 75.81% 4 Team Bet 35.48% 51.61% 76.21% 5 Team Bet 25.81% 41.94% 70.65% 6 Team Bet 22.58% 32.26% 70.43% 7 Team Bet 19.35% 22.58% 71.43% 8 Team Bet 9.68% 12.90% 69.76% 9 Team Bet 6.45% 12.90% 66.31% 10 Team Bet 3.23% 9.68% 64.52% 11 Team Bet 0.00% 6.45% 62.61% 12 Team Bet 0.00% 6.45% 60.88% 13 Team Bet 0.00% 6.45% 59.77% 14 Team Bet 0.00% 3.23% 58.07% 15 Team Bet 0.00% 3.23% 57.65%

Not so bad, I would say. Those results are through Week 14 of 2007.

It clearly delineates what you would expect: it's easier to pick single teams (since your chance of victory is hypothetically 50/50), teasers add a nice edge to straight parlays, and parlays are longshots but high payouts. With these sort of win percentages, the "cost per bet" as outlined previously should have looked like the below chart—I found a few errors in parenthesis, and actually I was pointing to the wrong odds in some places:

 Prog 6 Pt Tease 6.5 Pt Tease 7 Pt Tease Chp Parl Reg Parl Ind Bets 1 Team Bet \$0.66 2 Team Bet \$0.60 \$0.54 \$0.48 \$1.57 \$1.44 \$0.55 3 Team Bet \$0.90 \$0.76 \$0.63 \$2.34 \$2.16 \$0.45 4 Team Bet \$1.24 \$1.06 \$0.81 \$0.55 \$4.15 \$2.90 \$0.45 5 Team Bet \$2.04 \$1.31 \$1.10 \$0.89 \$6.23 \$5.71 \$0.35 6 Team Bet \$3.41 \$1.26 \$1.10 \$0.94 \$11.42 \$8.26 \$0.34 7 Team Bet \$7.52 \$1.48 \$1.26 \$1.03 \$19.90 \$13.71 \$0.36 8 Team Bet \$5.83 \$1.06 \$0.68 \$0.42 \$19.42 \$13.61 \$0.33 9 Team Bet \$8.21 \$1.71 \$1.06 \$0.68 \$25.58 \$18.42 \$0.27 10 Team Bet \$7.88 \$1.52 \$1.03 \$0.55 \$24.97 \$21.61 \$0.23 11 Team Bet -\$2.04 \$1.32 \$0.68 \$0.35 -\$1.00 -\$1.00 \$0.20 12 Team Bet -\$0.88 \$2.29 \$1.32 \$0.68 -\$1.00 -\$1.00 \$0.16 13 Team Bet \$3.90 \$2.29 \$1.32 \$0.14 14 Team Bet \$2.26 \$1.45 \$0.65 \$0.11 15 Team Bet \$3.87 \$2.26 \$1.45 \$0.10

The light green highlight:

a.) straight parlays with 20% or better win percentage

b.) teasers with 50% or better win percentages

c.) individual bets with 75% or better win percentages.

That to me was the money spot, where the payouts were high but the risk was low(er). Again, I decided to stay away from teasers, as it's just obvious how much less they payout. With the payouts as they are and the win percentages I have, if I hit a 15 team, six point teaser, I'd be compensated the same as if I hit a four team regular parlay because of the payout structure.

So don't fool yourself: you PAY for those points. And you pay big.

Hypothetically, I'd be best off putting big dollars on the number one individual pick and bet like so:

 Best Bets Progressive 9 Team Bet 6 Pt Teaser 13 Team Bet 6.5 Pt Teaser 13 Team Bet 7 Pt Teaser 15 Team Bet Cheap Parlay 9 Team Bet Regular Parlay 10 Team Bet Individual Bets 1 Team Bet

And yes, if I did that, my winnings would be very, very nice. But when I lose, not only do I lose—I lose 100% of my bet. It's hard to swallow, despite the winning trend. Maybe when I grow a pair next year, this is exactly how I'll bet. For now, I'm content with a more diversified approach.

That said, going into this week, here's how my top picks look, followed by a list of my bets this week:

 1. ATL +13.5 v. TB Away 2. HOU +1 v. DEN @Home 3. OAK +10.5 v. IND @Home x2! 4. JAC +3.5 v. PIT Away 5. KC +4 v. TEN @Home 6. WAS +4.5 v. NYG Away 7. CHI +10 v. MIN Away - Bet Soon 8. NO -3.5 v. ARI @Home 9. BUF +5.5 v. CLE Away 10. DET +10 v. SD Away - Bet Soon 11. SF +8.5 v. CIN @Home 12. CAR +7 v. SEA @Home - Bet Soon 13. MIA +3.5 v. BAL @Home 14. STL +9.5 v. GB @Home 15. PHI +10 v. DAL Away - Bet Soon 16. NYJ +23.5 v. NE Away

and my bets:

 Bets for Week 15 Spread: HOU +1 (-110) v. DEN - \$20.19 to win \$18.35 Spread: ATL +13.5 (-110) v. TB - \$23.42 to win \$21.29 Spread: JAC +3.5 (-110) v. PIT - \$16.75 to win \$15.23 Spread: OAK +10.5 (-110) v. IND - \$17.14 to win \$15.58 Parlay: ATL +13.5 (-110) v. TB, HOU +1.5 (-110) v. DEN - \$20.00 to win \$52.00 Parlay: KC +4 (-115) v. TEN, WAS +4.5 (-110) v. NYG, JAC +3.5 (-110) v. PIT, ATL +13.5 (-110) v. TB, OAK +10.5 (-110) v. IND, HOU +1.5 (-110) v. DEN, CHI +10 (-110) v. MIN - \$7.50 to win \$671.33 Parlay: KC +4 (-115) v. TEN, WAS +4.5 (-110) v. NYG, JAC +3.5 (-110) v. PIT, ATL +13.5 (-110) v. TB, OAK +10.5 (-110) v. IND, NO -3.5 (-110) v. ARI, HOU +1.5 (-110) v. DEN, BUF +5.5 (-110) v. CLE, CHI +10 (-110) v. MIN - \$5.00 to win \$1644.39
 Bet Totals: \$110.00 Potential Winnings: \$2,438.1

I love the Atlanta pick.  They will be absolutely pissed with Petrino gone. I expect them to go out and smack the mouth of the first team to tango with 'em.

That team? An overrated Tampa Bay. The Houston pick is great, too—at home against a schizophrenic Denver team, I'm surprised they aren't favored.

I think Jacksonville is another great pick—statistically, Gerrard and the offense are positively humming.  Few mistakes so far...if they can keep that up, they could easily pull an upset over a fairly rattled Steeler's team.

The Oakland pick?  Well...what can I say, the Box does what it does, and I am but a meaningless drone.

Are my bets redundant? Yes.

Ridiculous? Absolutely.

Winners? Of course...not?

I don't know, but the bets are in, and we shall see. Don't let me down now, Box!

Where can I comment?