Week 1 - Week 2 - Week 3 - Week 4 - Week 5 - Week 6 - Week 7 - Week 8 - Week 9 - Week 10 - Week 11 - Week 12 - Week 13 - Week 14 - Week 15 - Week 16
This week's update could just as well be last week's, as the top five against-the-spread value picks continued their solid performance in Week 15, and the top five moneyline value picks stayed super hot. I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop or a big losing streak to even things out. But we haven't seen it yet.
After going 3-2 (+90) against the spread (ATS) in Week 15 — the fourth straight 3-2 week — this column's against-the-spread picks are now 41-31-3 (+690) on the season, and they've finished in the black in seven of the last eight weeks. That's a winning percentage of 56.9% ATS and a return on dollars risked of 8.4%.
Moneyline value plays have been even hotter. Powered by Philadelphia's +500 upset of the L.A. Rams — last week's top moneyline value play, and the third straight week this column won with an underdog of at least 5-to-1 in its top two picks — moneyline value plays are 26-49 (+2414) on the season. They've been positive in five of the last six weeks. and the +2414 net gain equates to a return on dollars risked of 32.2%.
All but two moneyline picks have been solid to heavy underdogs, hence the high profit via a losing record.
Probabilities to cover and win are sourced from the 50+ models on The Prediction Tracker. Against-the-spread expected values assume bets to win $100. Moneyline expected values assume bets that risk $100.
I. Against the Spread — Top 5 Value in Week 16
Note the mix below between even-money wagers (risk 100 to win 100), -110s (risk 110 to win 100), and -120s (risk 120 to win 100). These prices impact expected value. If all of these games were -110, the top-five order would move around a bit, the Giants would fall out of the top five, and Jacksonville would sneak in (+4.0 at Miami), with a 54.3% chance to cover according to the models, good for a $4.12 expected return.
1. DET +6.0 vs. MIN, EV, 58.6% chance to cover, $17.2 expected return on $100 wager
2. CIN +8.5 at CLE, -110, 58.5%, $12.9
3. CHI -4.0 at SFO, -110, 55.2%, $6.0
4. NYG +9.0 at IND, EV, 52.9%, $5.7
5. DEN -1.5 at SFO, -120, 57.1%, $5.6
TOP 5 VALUE
Last Week: 3-2 (+90), Season: 41-31-3 (+690)
II. Money Line — Top 5 Value in Week 16
Again, all the usual here about how this works. The models think the Bengals have a 38.1% chance to win at the Browns, but their +350 moneyline odds pay out like it's a 22.2% chance. The models think that the Cardinals have a 19.3% chance to beat the Rams, but their +700 moneyline odds pay like it's a 12.5% chance. And so on and so forth for the other games. If you believe the models, there could be value.
Along with Washington's now weekly "manual removal" — most models still think they're pretty good, resulting in false value relative to their point spreads and moneylines — I've taken Carolina out this week as well. Panthers' QB Cam Newton has been sidelined for the remainder of the season, and backup Taylor Heinicke will be starting in his place. Most models don't know that, and most people don't know who the hell Heinicke is, so Carolina would look misleadingly attractive as +160 underdogs at home against Atlanta.
1. CIN +350 at CLE, 22.2% prob to win (odds), 38.1% prob to win (models), $71 expected return
2. ARZ +700 vs. LAR, 12.5%, 19.3%, $54
3. DET +220 vs. MIN, 31.3%, 44.9%, $44
4. NYG +375 at IND, 21.1%, 29.3%, $39
5. BUF +650 at NEP, 13.3%, 18.3%, $38
TOP 5 VALUE
Last Week: 2-3 (+320), Season: 26-49 (+2414)
All but two selections have been underdogs
III. Searching for Value in NFL Futures Bets
I thought maybe I'd update the futures board this week, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. (Sorry, day job gets crazy this time of year.) I last gave the futures board a proper update in Week 14, and almost every single result carried negative expected value, so I doubt we're missing much. Hopefully I can get one posted ahead of the playoffs. Want to keep reading? I invite you to check out The Lost Art of the Shitter Read.
Moneyline odds via the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook (December 19). Point spreads and probabilities via The Prediction Tracker (December 19).