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Last Updated: September 14, 2022

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Interesting NFL Promotion

Introduction

The first thing that I would like to do is give proper acknowledgement to SOOPOO, longtime WoV member, who created the following thread which I suggest everyone visit, unless that’s already where you came from.

It just so happens that I was already aware of that promotion prior to the thread, but SOOPOO is certainly the first to bring it up here on WoV and deserves proper acknowledgment.

What we are going to try to accomplish is two things:

  1. We want to determine some sort of base EV for this promotion.
  2. We want to determine if there is an optimal way to play this promotion, for instance, if it hadn’t been for every single game that week and, instead, you were restricted to a handful of games. (I could see future promotion where players can play it this way, but only for one or a few games.)

The Promotion:

Okay, the way that SOOPOO described the promotion is as follows:

Is this +EV? Make a money line bet on any NFL game, and if at any point your team is up 10 points you win the bet regardless of whether your team wins the game.

How often does a team go up by 10 and then lose?

Is it better to pick an underdog or favorite or irrelevant?

Remembering that I’m probably paying a 5% or so vig I ‘think’ this has got to be +EV.

Any thoughts? I can do this on EVERY game week one.

The explanation of how it works is short, sweet and spot on. The first thing that we will notice is that, for your MoneyLine bet to win, all your team has to do is lead by ten, at some point, even if they go on to lose the game.

SOOPOO also asks a few excellent questions, which reflect the two items above that we are going to try to accomplish with this one. The most immediate question is—how often does this actually happen? We know it happens sometimes, the Atlanta Falcons certainly know that it happens sometimes, but if, in theory, it NEVER happened, then there would be no value added, right?

With that, I am going to rely heavily on two sites, which I will give a brief description of:

The first is Sports Odds History, this is an excellent site that you can use to search for historical game odds. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to post MoneyLines, but we can convert the spread to a MoneyLine as often as applicable to get an idea.

The second site that I will be using is The Football Database, this site benefits my cause because I can quickly look at box scores to determine whether or not it was even possible, and sometimes, definitely happened or didn’t happen that the losing team, at any point, led by ten or more.

METHODOLOGY

It bears reiteration that this endeavor will consist of a substantial, but limited, sample size. The sample size is limited to the extent that I don’t suspect this actually happens that often. We also want as much data from as recently as possible to account for changes to the rules as well as for changes to the way the game is played over the years.

With that, the first thing that we are going to do is get a raw number, but for all applicable games, I will also be listing what the game’s spread would have been as well as the conversion to MoneyLine for our later purpose.

For data, we will be looking at every game for the 2017-2021 NFL regular seasons, so, in total, we will be covering five years and (256 *4) + (272 * 1) = 1,296 regular season games.

For our first piece of research, this sample size isn’t going to be all that bad, really. For our second piece, again, it will be somewhat limited as the event itself will not happen too often.

Okay, let’s do this week by week:

2017 Season, Week 1:

1.) Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots–How about that? First game of the season. In a 42-27 loss, the New England Patriots led 17-7 at one point in the second quarter.

The point spread appears to be NE -8 for that game, which appears to be a MoneyLine of about -366.

2.) Arizona @ Detroit–Well, we’re going to do it again in the second listed game. Arizona would jump out to a 10-0 lead going into the second quarter and would go on to lose.

This game would see Arizona at -2.5 and I actually did find a MoneyLine for it, which is -128.

2017 Season, Week 2:

3.) Arizona @ Indianapolis–Arizona had the opposite fortune in Week 2 as the Colts would jump out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter before going on to lose the game 16-13.

The Colts were actually getting seven in this game, which they’d ultimately cover, and translates to a MoneyLine of about +249.

2017 Season, Week 3:

4.) Cincinnati @ Green Bay-Despite Cincinnati going into the locker room with a 21-7 halftime lead, Green Bay would go on to win this in overtime.

I’m seeing a closing spread of Green Bay -7 for this game, so that would be roughly -319 on the MoneyLine.

2017 Season, Week 4:

5.) L.A. Rams @ Dallas–Despite leading 17-6 early in the second quarter, the Dallas Cowboys would go on to drop a close one at home.

Okay, we had the Rams getting either 5 or 5.5 going into this game, so let’s call it +5 and that translates to about +188 on the Moneyline.

6.) Washington @ Kansas City–Washington ends the first quarter up 10-0, but will eventually fall to Kansas City by a score of 29-20.

I did manage to find an actual ML for this one, which would have you laying -306 if you’d wanted the eventual winner.

2017 Season, Week 5:

7.) Seattle @ Los Angeles Rams–Despite the narrow 16-10 victory for the visitors, the Rams were in fact up 10-0 at one point in this game.

In this game, it appears Seattle was getting two points and were +114 on the ML.

8.) Green Bay @ Dallas–Despite eventually losing 35-31, Dallas had what would have appeared to be a commanding 21-6 lead more than halfway through the second quarter.

It appears that Dallas were 2.5 favorites in this game, so that translates to an ML of something in the region of -142.

2017 Season, Week 6:

9.) Miami @ Atlanta–In what must be a theme for the dirty birds, they appeared to have the Dolphins dominated going into the locker room with a 17-0 lead; Miami would do all the scoring from there and go on to win 20-17.

Miami appears to have been +638 on the MoneyLine, so someone would have had to sweat them actually winning the game; it was pretty apparent they wouldn’t be leading by ten. Atlanta bettors would save some money with this promotion as the favorite ML would be something like -819.

10.) New England @ New York Jets–The Patriots faithful must have been sweating the 14-0 deficit early in the second quarter, but Belichick and company would go on to pull out this division rivalry by a score of 24-17.

It appears that the Jets entered this game nine point dogs and getting +361 on the ML, so with that, we have our tenth entry.

11.) Indianapolis @ Tennessee–-Despite getting pounded in the fourth quarter of a 36-22 loss to the Titans, the Colts actually led this game, 19-9, early in the third quarter.

The Colts appear to have been getting a full seven points, so we’re looking at a ML of +249, or thereabouts.

2017 Season, Week 7:

12.) New York Jets @ Miami–While their seasons might have left something to be desired, the Jets and Dolphins had a barnburner in this one that would end with the fish grounding the planes 31-28, but not before the Jets would take a 28-14 lead with fewer than two minutes to go in the third quarter.

The Dolphins were giving up three going into this one for the push on the spread, but not on the Moneyline, which would have been around +135 for the Jets.

2017 Season, Week 8:

NOT APPLICABLE

2017 Season, Week 9:

13.) Atlanta @ Carolina–-Atlanta is so good at this! Despite jumping out to a 10-0 first quarter lead, they would fail to score again until the fourth quarter and ultimately lose 20-17.

Atlanta were 2.5 favorites in this one, which makes them about -142 on the Moneyline.

2017 Season, Week 10:

14.) Pittsburgh @ Indianapolis–The Steelers would win this game by a score of 20-17, but not before the Colts took a 10-0 lead in roughly the middle of the second quarter.

It looks like the Colts were +400 on the Moneyline, so that would be a nice little return for a team that went up by ten at one point, but then lost.

2017 Season, Week 11:

15.) Detroit @ Chicago–In this game, Chicago would go into the second quarter pitching a 10-0 shutout, but the Lions would come back, and then some, to win 27-24.

Online sources would have the Bears at +144 entering this game.

16.) Washington @ New Orleans–The Redskins would enjoy a 24-13 lead early in the third quarter, but it wouldn’t last as they would go on to drop this Conference game to the Saints by an overtime score of 34-31.

New Orleans was laying 9.5 for this one, so the estimated line for Washington would have been about +327.

2017 Season, Week 12:

17.) Tennessee @ Indianapolis–In this one, the Colts would drop a close one to the Titans by a score of 20-16, but not before briefly enjoying a 16-6 lead about midway through the third quarter.

The Colts were the Moneyline dog in this one and I am seeing an actual line of +151.

2017 Season, Week 13:

18.) Houston @ Tennessee–Despite jumping out to a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter, the Titans would fight back and eventually take this one by a score of 24-13.

Houston would have been getting seven points in this game, which translates to a line of about +249, or so.

19.) Kansas City @ New York Jets–The Chiefs would come out of the gate hot, establishing an early 14-0 lead in a game that they looked to be running away with, but the Jets would control the rest of the contest and emerge 38-31 victors.

Kansas City appears to have been a 3.5 point favorite in this game, which would translate to a Moneyline favorite of about -191, or so.

20.) Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati–Cincinnati led 10-0 to end the first quarter, but would fall to the Steelers by a score of 23-20; it’s always fun not to even have to open scoring summaries!

On the Moneyline, I’m seeing an actual of +187 for the Bengals in this one.

2017 Season, Week 14:

21.) Green Bay @ Cleveland–You can’t help but feel a little sorry for Hue Jackson and his hapless crew of misfits. Despite going into the fourth quarter with a 21-7 lead and feeling like their first victory of the season MUST be secure, the Browns would allow the Packers to tie it up and then get beaten in overtime.

I do have an actual on the Moneyline for this game, and surprisingly, it was only Browns +120.

22.) Baltimore @ Pittsburgh–Boy, was this an exciting game! The Steelers led 14-0 at one point in the second quarter, but the Ravens, who would eventually lose 39-38, actually led 31-20 going into the fourth quarter.

The Steelers would have been favored by 5.5, which makes the Ravens about +195 on the Moneyline, though I couldn’t find an exact close.

2017 Season, Week 15:

23.) Denver @ Indianapolis—You know the drill, Colts jump out to a 10-0 lead by the middle of the second quarter and proceed to get spanked 25-13.

It looks like the Colts were getting three points, which puts them at roughly +135ish on the Moneyline.

24.) Philadelphia @ New York Giants–The Giants would see an early second quarter 20-7 lead, but if you’re at all familiar with the Giants of the last decade, or so, a 13 point lead absolutely does not matter. The Eagles would go on to win 34-29.

The Giants were 7.5 point dogs, so you’re going to be looking at something like +268.

2017 Season, Week 16:

NOT APPLICABLE

2017 Season, Week 17:

NOT APPLICABLE

Season Week Game Losing Team +10 and MoneyLine Favorites Dogs
2017 1 KC @ NE -366  1 0
2017 1 ARZ @ DET -128 2 0
2017 2 Arz @ IND 249 2 1
2017 3 CIN @ GB -319 3 1
2017 4 LAR @ DAL 188 3 2
2017 4 WASH @ KC -306 4 2
2017 5 SEA @ LAR 114 4 3
2017 5 GB @ DAL -142 5 3
2017 6 MIA @ ATL -819 6 3
2017 6 NE @ NYJ 361 6 4
2017 6 IND @ TEN 249 6 5
2017 7 NYJ @ MIA 135 6 6
2017 9 ATL @ CAR -142 7 6
2017 10 PIT @ IND 400 7 7
2017 11 DET @ CHI 144 7 8
2017 11 WASH @ NO 327 7 9
2017 12 TEN @ IND 151 7 10
2017 13 HOU @ TEN 249 7 11
2017 13 KC @ NYJ -191 8 11
2017 13 PIT @ CIN 187 8 12
2017 14 GB @ CLE 120 8 13
2017 14 BAL @ PIT 195 8 14
2017 15 DEN @ IND 135 8 15
2017 15 PHI @ NYG 268 8 16

2017 SEASON PERTINENT BREAKDOWN

Okay, we have 32 teams who all played 16 games, but of course, they played all of these against one of the other teams, so we have 16 * 16 = 256 total games played that regular season. Let’s see what we can determine:

Total Games: 256

Total Number Lead by 10+ and Lose: 24

Frequency (Games): 0.09375 or 9.375%

Total Number of Favorites: 256*

Total Number of Dogs: 256*

*This does not account for Pick ‘Ems, but I don’t have the patience to try to find that out, even if I could.

Frequency, Favorites: 8/256 = 0.03125 or 3.125%

Frequency Dogs: 16/256 = 0.0625 or 6.25%

ANALYSIS:

We will have to do more work to make any absolute determinations, so we still have time to be surprised, but it would appear this happens more often for underdogs than it does for favorites. It’s honestly not much of a surprise because the Favorites are Favorites because they are good teams and good teams:

DO: Come back from a significant deficit sometimes.

DON’T: Give up double digits leads very often.

We can find a chart on Wizard of Odds here that shows the percentage of losses just blindly picking every favorite or every underdog. This data is based on 3,220 games and would see blindly betting favorites on the MoneyLine to lose 6.24% of all monies bet.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how much we would lose, based on those assumptions, to just bet 256 ML favorites at $250 each with that promotion:

256 * 250 * .0624 = $3993.6

With that, we would expect to lose almost $4,000 betting this way. Keep in mind that this is just putting $250 on every favorite blindly.

Keep in mind that we are swinging losses to wins with this promotion. For the 2017 season, for example, we save the $250 all eight of these games, which equates to total savings of $2,000. We will also get any winnings from these games, which based on this sample equates to:

ALL BETS ARE $250:

-366 = $68.31

-128 = $195.31

-319 = $78.38

-306 = $81.70

-142 = $176.06

-819 = $30.53

-142 = $176.06

-191 = $130.89

We will now sum these up and add to the $2,000 in bets that we didn’t lose:

68.31 + 195.31 + 78.38 + 81.70 + 176.06 + 30.53 + 176.06 + 130.89 + 2000 = $2937.24

Therefore, based on the average amount lost per $250 ML Favorite bet normally, what we find is that we would still lose an expected $3993.60 - $2937.24 or $1,056.36 even if we could make every $250 bet with this stipulation. Ultimately, all that does is reduce our loss rate to:

1056.36/(250*256) = 0.016505625 or about a 1.651% loss on all dollars bet.

Once again, this is based on a limited sample size and it could be that eight favorites only to lead by ten and lose is lower than normal, so that’s something that we are just going to have to figure out.

In the meantime, we are going to find that this promotion combined with underdogs is just winning. Once again, we are assuming bets of $250 on every team, and the historical loss percentage of 3.91%, so all else equal, we lose:

(250 * 256) * .0391 = $2502.40

Of course, we had sixteen games that have become WINS instead, so that’s an immediate $4,000 that we have saved right off the bat without even accounting for the fact that we also profited money on those games. Let’s go ahead and account for that now:

+249 = $622.50

+188 = $470.00

+114 = $285.00

+361 = $902.53

+249 = $622.50

+135 = $337.50

+400 = $1000.00

+144 = $360.00

+327 = $817.50

+151 = $377.50

+249 = $622.50

+187 = $467.50

+120 = $300.00

+195 = $487.50

+135 = $337.50

+268 = $670.00

The first thing that we should note is that you would be ahead $4000.00 - $2502.40 (if percentages hold otherwise) $1,497.60 just on NOT LOSING if your team goes up by ten points, or more, and still loses on these underdog picks. However, your bet is actually graded as win, so what you end up with here is:

1497.60 + 622.50 + 470.00 + 285 + 902.53 + 622.50 + 337.50 + 1000 + 360 + 817.50 + 377.50 + 622.50 + 467.50 + 300 + 487.50 + 337.50 + 670 = $10,177.63

Okay, so you are making 250 * 256 = $64000 in total bets for a return of $74,177.63, which reflects 74177.63/64000 = 1.15902546875 or gains of 15.903% if you could have this promotion on every single game of that season, again, assuming that the historical loss percentage generally holds.

Final Stats for 2017:

All Favorites: ($1056.36)

All Dogs: $10,177.63

All Offsets: $9121.27

2018 NFL SEASON

We clearly see from the 2017 results that this promotion has a lot of promise for profitable betting and, it would appear, some amount of promise for offsetting betting, so with that, let’s get right into it.

2018 Season, Week 1:

1.) Cincinnati @ Indianapolis–We’re going to start this off with the Indianapolis Colts once again, this time, blowing a late second quarter lead of 13-3 only to go on to lose 34-23.

The Colts were a very slight favorite in this game coming in at -110 on the Moneyline. Those who thought they were undervalued probably got pretty excited when they pulled ahead 13-3, but it was all for not.

2.) Chicago @ Green Bay–Chicago was actually pitching a 17-0 shutout going into the locker room, but fortunes would reverse as Green Bay fired back to take this one 24-23; the Packers actually scored 21 of those points in the fourth quarter.

Green Bay was a 6.5 point favorite in this one, which puts Da’ Bears at about +224 on the Moneyline.

2018 Season, Week 2:

3.) Oakland @ Denver–Oakland went into halftime ahead 12-0, but would ultimately lose this one by a score of 20-19.

This one was another game favoring the eventual winner by 6.5 points, so that implies a Moneyline of about +224 for the Raiders.

2019 Season, Week 3:

4.) New York Jets @ Cleveland–The Jets were probably feeling good about their 14-0 lead coming out of the first half, but Cleveland would rally back for a 21-17 win in this one.

Cleveland, the eventual winner, was favored to win by three, which translates to something like a +135 Moneyline for the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets.

5.) Oakland @ Miami–Two weeks in a row? This time, the Raiders grabbed a 17-7 lead late in the third quarter, but would go on to drop this one to the Fins by a score of 28-20.

I am seeing an actual Moneyline of +136 for the Raiders, so we’re going to go with that.

6.) Chicago @ Arizona–We have Arizona taking a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but they wouldn’t score again after that and ended up dropping this one 16-14.

Arizona were evidently 5.5 point dogs in this game, so they covered the spread. However, they lost on the Moneyline unless you had this promotion! They’d have been about +195.

2018 Season, Week 4:

7.) Philadelphia @ Tennessee–-The Eagles actually took a 17-3 lead in this one around the middle of the third quarter, but it was all for naught as they would go on to lose 26-23 in overtime.

I’ve got an actual Moneyline for this one that has the Eagles at -142, so we’ll go with that.

8.) Cleveland @ Oakland–Despite leading by a score of 17-7 somewhat early in the second quarter, this would turn into an offensive shootout that would see the Raiders pull out their first win of the year by a score of 45-42 in OT.

One interesting side note is that Oakland has been involved in three such games at this point in the season where a team led by ten and lost out of their four games.

Oakland was actually the 2.5 point favorite, so that equates to roughly -142 on the Moneyline.

9.) San Francisco @ L.A. Chargers–The 49ers led 14-0 late in the first quarter, but the Chargers would turn that around and send the 49ers back to the Golden Gate Bridge with a close 29-27 loss.

I have an actual Moneyline of +367 for the 49ers for this game, so that’s what we will use.

10.) Kansas City @ Denver—Despite leading by a score of 23-13 in the Mile High City in the fourth quarter, the home team would go on to allow two KC touchdowns for a final score of 27-23.

We have an actual Moneyline for this one that has Denver as the underdog at +162.

2018 Season, Week 5:

11.) Miami @ Cincinnati–Miami would take a 14-0 lead into halftime, but a lack of offense in the second half of the game combined with an outstanding Bengals fourth quarter ultimately resulted in a 27-17 Dolphins loss.

We have an actual line of Miami +231 for the ML on this one, so that’s what we’re using.

2018 Season, Week 6:

12.) Chicago @ Miami–Chicago led this one, 21-10, about halfway through the third quarter, but would go on to lose by a final score of 31-28 in OT.

Chicago was actually a 6.5 point favorite in this one, which equates to a ML of about -282.

2018 Season, Week 7:

13.) Carolina @ Philadelphia–Philadelphia actually took a 17-0 lead into the fourth quarter of this game, but the Panthers would produce 21 unanswered points to take the game 21-17.

The Eagles were actually a five point favorite in this game, so the Moneyline on them would have been something like -234.

14.) New England @ Chicago–Chicago decided to blow a ten point lead two weeks in a row as they had a 17-7 advantage over the Patriots early in the second quarter. They would end up losing 38-31.

I have an actual line for this game, which is Chicago +106 on the ML, which is surprising given the matchup.

15.) New Orleans @ Baltimore–Another blown 17-7 lead that week would include the Ravens up over the Saints by that score late in the third quarter. The Saints would come back to win a 24-23 nail-biter.

Baltimore was actually the favorite in this one with a -2.5 points spread, which comes out to something like -142 on the old moneyline.

2018 Season, Week 8:

16.) San Francisco @ Arizona: The 49ers appeared to be dominating on defense in the early fourth quarter of this one as they enjoyed a 15-3 advantage. Josh Rosen would come back to fire two touchdown strikes and a 18-15 SF loss was all she wrote.

San Francisco were 2.5 point favorites in this one, so that equates to another -142 on the moneyline.

17.) Green Bay @ Los Angeles Rams–Green Bay enjoyed a 10-0 lead in the early second quarter of this one, but would go on to lose by a score of 29-27.

As 7.5 point dogs, Green Bay would look something like +268 on the Moneyline, so that’s what we will go with.

2018 Season, Week 9:

NOT APPLICABLE

2018 Season, Week 10:

18.) New York Giants @ San Francisco–For some reason, the Giants beat the 49ers 27-23, though the 49ers briefly enjoyed a 20-10 advantage in the middle of the third quarter. Why they decided to lose to the hapless Giants, I have no idea.

The 49ers were actually three point favorites in this one, so you’d be looking at a line of roughly -164 for this game.

2018 Season, Week 11:

19.) Green Bay @ Seattle–In a game very unlike Aaron Rodgers, but very much like Russell Wilson, the Green Bay Packers were sitting pretty with a 14-3 lead before the end of the first session, but Wilson, the boys, and the 12th man came roaring back to take this one 27-24.

Green Bay was getting three points in this game, by spread, so the Moneyline would have been about +135.

20.) Pittsburgh @ Jacksonville–Despite a dominating first three quarters (one pass to Antonio Brown at the end of the third aside) and leading 16-0 with fewer than two minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Steelers would make a comeback and take this one 20-16.

Jacksonville were big time dogs in this one getting an actual +186 on the Moneyline.

21.) Denver @ Los Angeles Chargers–The Chargers briefly enjoyed a 19-7 lead around the middle of the third quarter, but the Broncos would go on to dominate the remainder of the afternoon to ultimately win 23-22.

The Chargers, at -305, were pretty big Moneyline favorites for this to have happened, but it did.

2018 Season, Week 12:

22.) New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles–The New York Giants actually held a superficially commanding 19-3 lead relatively late in the second quarter, but at the end of the day, the Giants did what they do best—lose. Eagles 25-22.

The Giants went into this game four point dogs, so they’d have been something like +171.

23.) Arizona @ Los Angeles Chargers–I’ll give this to the Cardinals, losing the game by a score of 45-10 is one hell of a unique way to have led by ten at one point.

Unsurprisingly, we have an exact Moneyline for the Cardinals in this one and it was +606.

24.) Miami @ Indianapolis–The Dolphins held a 24-14 lead in the fourth quarter, but seemed to just fall apart after that and would ultimately lose this one 27-24.

The Dolphins were nine point dogs in this one, which is going to translate to about +314 on the Moneyline.

25.) Tennessee @ Houston–In this one, the Titans jumped out to a very early ten point lead, but seemed to take the rest of that Monday Night off, losing 34-17.

Not because they were favored to win, of course. They were 3.5 point underdogs, so probably getting about +156 on the Moneyline.

2018 Season, Week 13:

26.) New York Jets @ Tennessee–The Jets might have enjoyed a 10-0 lead going into the second quarter, but that would soon evaporate into a 26-22 loss to the Titans.

The Jets were getting 10.5 points in this one, which translates to a Moneyline of about +389 if you wanted to pick them to win.

27.) Los Angeles Chargers @ Pittsburgh–The Chargers would go into the locker room facing a 23-7 halftime deficit, shades of a certain Super Bowl, almost, but they would dominate the second half and win 33-30.

The Chargers were getting three points in this one, so the Moneyline might have been something like +135.

2018 Season, Week 14:

28.) New York Jets at Buffalo–-At a glance, Buffalo led 14-3 at the end of the first quarter, and also at a glance, the final score was 27-23 in favor of the Jets.

Buffalo were 4.5 point favorites in this game, so that translates to a Moneyline of about -224, or thereabouts.

29.) New Orleans @ Tampa Bay–I like these quick glance ones. The Buccaneers had a 14-3 advantage at halftime and would ultimately lose the game 28-14.

The Buccaneers were ten point dogs because they weren’t particularly good then and the Saints were, so that translates to a Moneyline of about +356.

2018 Season, Week 15:

30.) Los Angeles Chargers @ Kansas City–Despite taking a 14-0 lead that they would carry into the second quarter, the Chiefs would lose 29-28. Interestingly, the Chiefs were up by 10+ three separate times in this game.

The Chiefs were 3.5 point favorites, so that translates to a ML of about -191.

2018 Season, Week 16:

31.) Green Bay @ New York Jets–The Packers would win this shootout by an overtime score of 44-36, though the Jets led by 10+ a few times: 14-0 early second quarter, 21-7 middle second quarter and 35-20 late third quarter.

It comes as no surprise that a team that blows three 10+ leads would be the underdog, and that the Jets were. We have an actual Moneyline on them of +139.

32.) New York Giants @ Indianapolis–-The Giants aren’t a team known for taking the lead very often, but they sure do love blowing those leads when they do. En route to a 28-27 loss, the Giants blew leads of 14-0, 17-7 and 24-14.

The Giants were ten point dogs in this one, so you’re going to see a Moneyline of about +356 on that.

2018 Season, Week 17:

33.) Atlanta @ Tampa Bay–I don’t know much, but I know the Buccaneers led 17-7 going into halftime and lost 34-32 by the time the festivities had concluded.

The Buccaneers were 2.5 point dogs going into this game, so that’s going to look like +117, or so.

34.) Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh–A last second field goal in the second quarter is what kept the Bengals from going into the locker room up 10-0, but they were certainly up by that margin briefly in this eventual 16-13 Steeler victory.

It was a good showing for 14 point dogs, truth be told, which looks like a Moneyline of about +573.

Season Week Game Losing Team +10 and MoneyLine Favorites Dogs
2018 1 CIN @ IND -110 1 0
2018 1 CHI @ GB 224 1 1
2018 2 OAK @ DEN 224 1 2
2018 3 NYJ @ CLE 135 1 3
2018 3 OAK @ MIA 136 1 4
2018 3 CHI @ ARZ 195 1 5
2018 4 PHI @ TEN -142 2 5
2018 4 CLE @ OAK -142 3 5
2018 4 SF @ LAC 367 3 6
2018 4 KC @ DEN 162 3 7
2018 5 MIA @ CIN 231 3 8
2018 6 CHI @ MIA -282 4 8
2018 7 CAR @ PHI -234 5 8
2018 7 NE @ CHI 106 5 9
2018 7 NO @ BAL -142 6 9
2018 8 SF @ ARZ -142 7 9
2018 8 GB @ LAR 268 7 10
2018 10 NYG @ SF -164 8 10
2018 11 GB @ SEA 135 8 11
2018 11 PIT @ JAX 186 8 12
2018 11 DEN @ LAC -305 9 12
2018 12 NYG @ PHI 171 9 13
2018 12 ARZ @ LAC 606 9 14
2018 12 MIA @ IND 314 9 15
2018 12 TEN @ HOU 156 9 16
2018 13 NYJ @ TEN 389 9 17
2018 13 LAC @ PIT 135 9 18
2018 14 NYJ @ BUF -224 10 18
2018 14 NO @ TB 356 10 19
2018 15 LAC @ KC -191 11 19
2018 16 GB @ NYJ 139 11 20
2018 16 NYG @ IND 356 11 21
2018 17 ATL @ TB 117 11 22
2018 17 CIN @ PIT 573 11 23

2018 SEASON PERTINENT BREAKDOWN

Okay, we have 32 teams who all played 16 games, but of course, they played all of these against one of the other teams, so we have 16 * 16 = 256 total games played that regular season. Let’s see what we can determine:

Total Games: 256

Total Number Lead by 10+ and Lose: 34

Frequency (Games): 0.1328125 or 13.28125%

Total Number of Favorites: 256*

Total Number of Dogs: 256*

*This does not account for Pick ‘Ems, but I don’t have the patience to try to find that out, even if I could.

Frequency, Favorites: 11/256 = 0.04296875 or 4.296875%

Frequency Dogs: 23/256 = 0.08984375 or 8.984375%

ANALYSIS:

On the surface, this should be a much better season than 2017 if we could always play with this promotion. The reason why, obviously, is because we have a greater percentage of applicable games. In fact, we have almost as many games of applicable underdogs as we had total games back in 2018.

I don’t think it’s going to apply here, but it’s important to keep in mind the practical reality of the lines vis-a-vis money actually won, so a season with one or two more than a different season could still end up being a worse season overall, particularly for underdogs, if none of these are hitting on big plus moneylines. Hitting one of these at +500, for example, is much better than hitting two of them that are both at +120.

Again, we are ignoring Pick ‘Ems simply because that would be too much of a pain in the ass to figure out, even if I could, so we are going to assume that all games had one favorite and one underdog. With that, the following still holds:

256 * 250 * .0624 = $3993.6

You will recall that the historical loss on favorites, according to Wizard of Odds, is 6.24% of all monies bet, so that is where that comes from.

In this case, we have eleven favorites that we didn’t lose the bet, due to the fact that they led by 10+ at some point in the game. Immediately, that saves us $2,750 simply by virtue of not losing those bets. Of course, the bets are graded as a win, so let’s figure out how much we made.

For myself to keep an easier track, I will be numbering this time as there are so many of them.

1.) -110 = $227.27

2.) -142 = $176.06

3.) -142 = $176.06

4.) -282 = $88.65

5.) -234 = $106.85

6.) -142 = $176.06

7.) -142 = $176.06

8.) -164 = $152.44

9.) -305 = $81.97

10.) -224 = $111.61

11.) -191 = $130.90

Okay, so let’s sum all these up and add them to the $2,750 that we didn’t lose:

(3993.6) - (2750 + 227.27 + 176.06 + 176.06 + 88.65 + 106.85 + 176.06 + 176.06 + 152.44 + 81.97 + 111.61 + 130.90) = -$360.33

Remember, we started that line with what would normally be the loss, so, in other words, betting all favorites this season would have profited us $360.33.

You might be wondering if three games really made that much of a difference and the answer is…sometimes. If you will recall the 2017 season, the most immediate thing that we notice is that we only saved $2,000 on not losing compared to the $2,750 in 2018, which is really the biggest part of it, because, by definition, you do not profit $250 if you are betting on a favorite (other promotions aside).

2017: (68.31 + 195.31 + 78.38 + 81.70 + 176.06 + 30.53 + 176.06 + 130.89)/8 = $117.155

2018: (227.27 + 176.06 + 176.06 + 88.65 + 106.85 + 176.06 + 176.06 + 152.44 + 81.97 + 111.61 + 130.90)/11 = $145.811

However, the other thing that happened in 2018 is that our wins gained much more in profits when we did win this way. The reason for that is because of the average spread that this event occurred on. In 2017, you will notice that we actually made less than $100 in profits on four separate games 4/8 = .5 or 50%; in contrast, we only had two games out of eleven 2/11 = .222 or 22.2% in which we garnered profits under $100.

I believe that we have sufficiently demonstrated that betting dogs is better than betting on favorites in this promotion, and if we haven’t by your standards-don’t worry, we will. That said, if someone is absolutely determined to bet on a favorite, then it would be best to bet on a small favorite. This makes superficial sense for a few reasons:

1.) The value added is based not only on what you save, but what you potentially profit. If you are betting huge favorites, then you are simply not setting yourself up to profit very much if you do win.

For example, suppose that the NFL had true bridge jumpers and you could bet a -10000 favorite to win a single game, even though that would only ever happen in live in-game betting if the computer hadn’t closed that line already.

So, we make this hypothetical -10000 bet, pre-game, on a single NFL team. Yeah, if they go up by ten and end up losing, then you get your $250 back, but your profits are only $2.50.

2.) The expectation is also generally that the big favorite is going to steamroll the opponent, so despite what we saw in 2017, I think 2018 is going to be something closer to expected in terms of this happening to smaller favorites, as opposed to larger ones. Remember, a -250 favorite with $250 bet on the moneyline still profits $100 if you win, and that’s already going to be in the range of a 5.5-6 point favorite.

With that, let’s go ahead and compile our stats for favorites:

2018 Frequency Favorites: 11/256 = 0.04296875 or 4.296875%

Bet All Favorites Results: $360.33 Profit

Total Amount Bet: $64000

Profit Percentage: 64360.33/64000 = 1.00563015625 or 0.563% Profits

With that in hand, let’s look at what happened with our underdogs:

The first thing that we notice is our Underdog frequency is much higher:

Frequency Dogs: 23/256 = 0.08984375 or 8.984375%

That’s going to be awesome for us, but much like with favorites, some of this comes down to how big the plus moneyline is going to be when this happens. Similar to favorites, one would expect this to happen most often when two teams are closely matched, but looking at some of the teams to have done this, maybe it doesn’t matter as much on the underdog side.

As we will recall, our normal expected loss betting every single dog on the ML would be:

(250 * 256) * .0391 = $2502.40

In other words, we are IMMEDIATELY profitable once again just on having 23 games that don’t lose us $250. By itself, that swings $5,750 back in our favor–which is just absurd.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at our dogs to have done it in 2018:

(All Odds are + Odds)

1.) 224 = 560.00

2.) 224 = 560.00

3.) 135 = 337.50

4.) 136 = 340.00

5.) 195 = 487.50

6.) 367 = 917.50

7.) 162 = 405.00

8.) 231 = 577.50

9.) 106 = 265.00

10.) 268 = 670.00

11.) 135 = 337.50

12.) 186 = 465.00

13.) 171 = 427.50

14.) 606 = 1515.00

15.) 314 = 785.00

16.) 156 = 390.00

17.) 389 = 972.50

18.) 135 = 337.50

19.) 356 = 890.00

20.) 139 = 347.50

21.) 356 = 890.00

22.) 117 = 292.50

23.) 573 = 1432.50

Okay, so now it’s time for us to go ahead and sum these up and determine our overall expected profit betting UD across the board:

(5750 + 560 + 560 + 337.50 + 340 + 487.50 + 917.50 + 405.00 + 577.50 + 265.00 + 670 + 337.50 + 465 + 427.5 + 1515 + 785 + 390 + 972.50 + 337.5 + 890 + 347.50 + 890 + 292.50 + 1432.50) - 2502.40 = $17,450.10 (Profits)

In other words, assuming the expected percentage loss for blindly betting every underdog under normal rules held, with this promotion, you would go from losing $2,502.40 to profiting $17,450.10.

We are betting the same $64,000 for a return of $81,450.10, so let’s get ourselves a profit percentage:

81450.10/64000 = 1.2726578125 or 27.266% gains.

With that, let’s get ourselves some running stats:

Year 2017 2018
Games 256 256
Games Betting Favorites 256 256
Games Betting Dogs 256 256
Promotion Swing % Favorites 3.13% 4.30%
Promotion Swing % Dogs 6.25% 8.98%
Gain(Loss) Favorites ($1,056.36) $360.33
Gain (Loss) % Favorites -1.65% 0.56%
Gain Dogs $10,177.63 $17,450.10
Gain % Dogs 15.90% 27.27%
Gain Offsets $9,121.27 $17,810.43
Gain % Offsets 7.13% 13.91%

 

Okay, so you guys might be wondering what, “Gain Offsets,” and, “Gain Percentage Offsets,” are for, let me explain:

When I use the term, “Offsets,” I am referring to two (or more) people playing the same exact promotion and simply picking opposite teams on the Moneyline. Normally, with something like a, “Risk-Free,” bet or cash back bet, the benefit is that one of you has to win and one of you has to lose. Of course, even for those, you’re going to find that just betting on underdogs is much superior for EV.

Also, when I typically look at offsets, I’m usually wanting to be able to do things in such a way that a profit is guaranteed, which is absolutely NOT the case with offsetting this. In fact, you’re going to lose money on every single game in which a team fails to lead by 10+, and lose, and will ONLY make money on the games where that does happen.

With that, the only time that I think offsets are positive is if we come to find that both sides (favorite and underdog) are generally positive anyway. If that doesn’t end up being the case, as it was in 2018 (but not 2017), then doing offsets is a net negative as you are betting more and hurting your value.

Granted, offsets in 2018 would have superficially hurt your percentage value, but since both sides would have been profitable anyway if you could have bet this promotion anytime, then offsets would have been more profitable.***

***Of course, two people just betting underdogs all the time would have been MUCH better than one person betting dogs and the other person offsetting that person.

In other words, I’m looking at offsets out of intellectual curiosity, but my general advice is NEVER OFFSET THIS PROMOTION UNLESS YOU COULD SOMEHOW PLAY IT FOR AN ENTIRE SEASON, EVEN THEN, TWO PEOPLE BOTH BETTING UNDERDOG IS BETTER.

However, you should especially not offset this promotion against someone else picking the opposite for just one game, because there is an 85%+ probability that the losing team will never have been up by ten, so then you could only lose.

For example, let’s look at the Moneylines for a Week 1 NFL game:

As I write this, Vegas Insider, has a consensus lines for New Orleans @ Atlanta, which are as follows:

New Orleans -233

Atlanta +193

Okay, so imagine both you and a friend bet on this game in an offsetting way and New Orleans wins:

250 - 107.30 = $142.70 (Loss)

If the Falcons win:

250 - 482.50 = 232.50 (Profit)

With that, we have to look at the implied probabilities of winning, which can be found here on BoydsBets. What we are going to do is look at the consensus spreads on VI and use WoO to convert to probability of winning:

Saints -5.5 = 69%

Falcons = 31%

Okay, so we have our possible financial results as well as our win percentages, so let’s see how that goes:

(232.50 * .31) - (.69 * 142.7) = -26.388

As you can see, the net expectation is that we will lose $26.388, which makes complete sense as $500 total is being bet, so that represents an expected loss of 5.2776% of all monies bet.

Okay, so if we change our probabilities a little bit to account for 2018 numbers, here’s what we end up with:

Saints Win, Falcons Never Lead by 10+: (.69 - .08984375) = 0.60015625

Saints Win, Falcons DO Lead by 10+: .08984375

Falcons Win, Saints Never Lead by 10+: (.31 - .04296875) = 0.26703125

Falcons Win, Saints DO Lead by 10+: .04296875

(232.50 * 0.26703125) + (589.80 * .04296875) + (.08984375 * 589.80) - (0.60015625 * 142.70) = $54.77528125

In other words, we are expected to profit $54.77528125 if we can offset with this promotion, which results in a percentage of about 10.955% expected gains, which comes out to a little less than our expected gain percentage, with offsets, from 2018, but that’s just because exact lines are going to vary sometimes on individual games.

The above equation might require a little explanation, so let’s go by sets of parentheses:

Set 1: This is the amount in profits offsetting if the Falcons win and New Orleans never leads by 10+ based on the adjusted probability.

Set 2: This reflects the Falcons winning and the Saints leading by 10+, at some point. The $589.80 represents the total in profits, which is derived from $482.50 if the Falcons win plus the $107.30 if the Saints win, because both bets are won.***

***You might be asking, “What about that $250 that we no longer lose?” It’s already accounted for because of the profit amount. Not losing $250 and gaining $250 are two different things, so $107.30 is the actual profit of the New Orleans bet, which otherwise would have been a loss, now winning.

***Now, you might be wondering, “Well, why do you put the $250 back that is not being lost in the main example?” The reason for that is because that $250 is, effectively, gains. When it comes to offsetting, ignoring ties, one $250 or the other is going to be lost—that’s the point of offsetting. That one bet or the other will lose and its opposite will win is the entire point.

Set 3: This is the same thing, just with New Orleans winning and the Falcons leading by ten, or more, at some point. Both bets win, you get the profits from both, which is the same as Set 2 profits.

Set 4: New Orleans wins, and the Falcons never lead.

Offset Breakdown–The breakdown on it is that we just lose $142.70 about 60% of the time because NO wins and ATL never leads by 10+. We win $232.50 when ATL wins without NO leading by 10+ at some point, which happens 26.7% of the time, but would be a totally pointless way of betting in any other context. About 13.28% of the time, and this is with offsetting, one team wins and the losing team led by 10+ at some point in the game, it really doesn’t matter which team did what (with offsets) because both bets just win.

Overall, we’ll see what the last three seasons of data bring us, but I generally recommend against offsetting for this promotion for the following reasons:

1.) I’m generally only ever in favor of offsetting if it absolutely guarantees that there will be a profit, or no possible way to lose money. Offsetting this doesn’t do that, depending on the lines, the two offsetters will still ultimately lose money the majority of the games.

2.) The underdog has, just, absurdly more value on this promotion than does the favorite. In fact, the favorite doesn’t even look to be, on average, positive right now. Maybe it will come out net positive, and it was positive for 2018, but the value is MUCH better just with two people both betting underdogs than with two people offsetting.

Okay, so I think we have a good idea of where this is headed; let’s move on to the next season.

2019 NFL SEASON

The 2018 season was much better for us than the 2017 season. Underdogs went from being phenomenal for this promotion to just otherworldly. Even favorites, which wouldn’t have had much promise pursuant to the 2017 results, became ever so slightly profitable with this promotion.

We took probably the deepest look that we are going to at offset betting, but we will address that possibility in the final sections of this page. Overall, I usually only advocate for offset betting when the probability of profit is exactly 100% no matter the result, but that’s generally not going to be the case here, which eliminates the entire purpose of offset betting, for me.

Beyond that, the value of underdogs with this promotion is just so ridiculously strong that it would be tough to even justify offsets even with a 100% probability of profiting something. Two different people just betting Underdogs is just THAT much stronger here.

2019 Season, Week 1:

1.) Buffalo @ New York Jets–The Jets lost this one by a score of 17-16 at the final, but were actually ahead by as much as 16-0 at one point in the third quarter.

The Jets were actually 2.5 point favorites to win, which equates to a Moneyline of something like -142 had you wanted them straight up.

2.) Washington @ Philadelphia—The Washington Whatever-The-Hells that year actually had a 10-0 lead coming out of the first quarter, but would go on to drop this one to the Eagles by a score of 32-27. In fact, Washington had a seemingly commanding 20-7 lead as the teams hit the locker room for halftime.

We have an actual Moneyline for this game, which would have been Washington +385, so that would have been quite nice if you had this promotion!

3.) Houston @ New Orleans–For the first Monday night game of the season, the Texans would take a 14-3 lead into the half, Deshaun Watson would (allegedly) get a massage and, quite possibly, help himself to a little more than that, then the Texans would come out and drop this with a final score of 30-28.

As 6.5 point underdogs, the Texans ultimately covered and would have been something in the neighborhood of +224 on the Moneyline.

2019 Season, Week 2:

4.) Kansas City @ Oakland–This was an interesting game in which all of the scoring was done in the first half. Oakland jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, but then KC put up 28 points in the second…and that’s your ballgame, folks.

As seven point dogs going into the game, the Moneyline on the Raiders would have been something in the neighborhood of +249.

***Oakland might have been Las Vegas this year, but the website that I am doing makes them always Las Vegas, and it doesn’t really change anything whether they were or not. I know that they are Las Vegas in 2020 and beyond.

2019 Season, Week 3:

5.) New York Giants @ Tampa Bay–-In the rare event the Giants win, I guess they like to do it from behind. In this case, TB was up 28-10 as the teams went into the locker room, but the Giants fought back on offense, held the Buccaneers to a single field goal on defense, and pulled this one out by a score of 32-31.

Laying five points in this game, the Buccaneers were pretty heavy favorites, so the Moneyline would have looked something like -234.

6.) Houston @ Los Angeles Chargers–This is an easy one, the Chargers led this contest 17-7 going into the half, but the (alleged) massage must have helped Watson this time and the Texans would come back to win 27-20. This will be the last Watson joke on this page; I promise.

Once again, the Chargers were the team laying the points, 3.5 of them, to be exact, which translates to an expected ML of -191, to be inexact.

2019 Season, Week 4:

7.) Philadelphia @ Green Bay–We’ve got the Packers with an early second quarter lead of 10-0, but the Eagles would mostly control after that and go on to win 34-27.

As 3.5 point underdogs, the Eagles would have been in the neighborhood of +156 on the straight bet.

8.) Kansas City @ Detroit–No scoring summary needed for this one! Detroit had a 10-0 lead coming out of the first quarter, but would eventually fall to the superior team 34-30. That’s honestly a really good showing for Detroit in that one.

Detroit covered the 7.5 that they were given and would also be winning with this promotion, the ML for which would be something like +268.

9.) Jacksonville @ Denver–Another one not requiring a score summary as the Broncos would take a 17-6 lead into the locker room, but would go on to fall by a score of 26-24. The third quarter was Jacksonville’s only winning quarter, but the 14-0 result of that quarter was enough.

We have an actual ML of -139 for Denver in this game, so that’s what we will use.

2019 Season, Week 5:

NOT APPLICABLE

2019 Season, Week 6:

10.) Seattle @ Cleveland–Despite missing a PAT, the Browns must have been feeling pretty good about the early 20-6 lead they had taken in the second quarter. The Seahawks would soon burst their balloon, going on to win the game 32-28.

Evidently, Cleveland were slight favorites on the ML with an actual value of -108 that I found, so we will go with that.

11.) Houston @ Kansas City–The Chiefs jumped out to a 17-3 lead going into the second quarter, but the Texans dominated that one, scoring 20-0 throughout the period, and would continue to stymie the KC offense en route to a 31-24 victory.

The Chiefs were 3.5 point favorites going into this game, so would have looked like -191 on the Moneyline. Hell, the Texans covered the Chiefs’ spread in this one, which would be painful for KC straight bettors, unless they had this promotion going.

12.) Detroit @ Green Bay–For that Monday Night game, we had Detroit shocking Packers fans by jumping out to a 10-0 first quarter lead, but Green Bay would pull through in a close one, 23-22.

Detroit covered the 3.5 points that they were given here, but straight bettors would have had a bad night on the estimated +156 line without this promotion.

2019 Season, Week 7:

NOT APPLICABLE

2019 Season, Week 8:

13.) Denver @ Indianapolis–You probably don’t expect to see this in games that end by a score of 15-13, or even many games end by that score, for that matter, but Denver was up 13-3 at one point in the third quarter before dropping this one to the Colts.

As six point dogs, Denver covered pretty safely and we have an actual ML of +218 recorded for this contest. Apparently, it was supposed to have been a good value bet, but with this promotion, it would have been a GREAT value bet—and a winner.

14.) Miami @ Pittsburgh–We’ve got another affair of a team playing offense for only one quarter, this time the Dolphins who jumped out to an early 14-0 lead before the Steelers ran 27 unanswered on them the rest of the way out.

We have an actual ML for the 14 point underdog Dolphins, whose spread bettors won, but must have been really sweating after thinking the ticket was as good as cash; that actual ML is +562, so great news if you were playing this promotion! And, hey, your ticket WAS as good as cash after the first quarter.

2019 Season, Week 9:

15.) Tampa Bay @ Seattle–In an offensive shootout, the Buccaneers actually led by a score of 21-7 more than halfway through the second quarter, but it wouldn’t last as the Seahawks would put their foot on the gas and tie it at 21, then loosely control the rest of this shootout en route to a 40-34 victory.

The favorite won and the favorite covered as the spread was four points given to Tampa Bay, so the Moneyline if you wanted the Buccaneers would have been something like +171.

2019 Season, Week 10:

16.) Kansas City @ Tennessee–-This is another simple one in which the Chiefs led 10-0 coming out of the first quarter, but the Titans would go on to win 35-32.

The Chiefs were six point favorites in this loss, which makes the ML for them look something like -261. You didn’t make much in profits, but it’s certainly not a bad way to get saved if the first quarter had you thinking you were cashing on the straight bet. With this promotion, you were; that’s it; you’d already won!

17.) Seattle @ San Francisco–I guess variance would just have it that this tends to happen on Monday Night Football for the 2019 Season. Whatever the case, the home 49ers led 10-0 at the conclusion of the first quarter, but would go on to lose this electrifying 27-24 game to the Seahawks in extra time.

We have an actual Moneyline that had the home team as big time favorites to win at -270, so that’s what we will list in our little table.

2019 Season, Week 11:

18.) Denver @ Minnesota–This was quite the collapse by the Broncos who led this affair by a score of 20-0 going into the locker room; the remainder of the game would see them only kick one successful FG while the Vikings posted up the other 27 points scored, 27-23.

The heavily favored team eventually emerged victorious with Denver covering the 10.5 points they were given. Straight Broncos betting faithful had a bad night, unless they had this promotion going, as their estimated +389 ticket would have been cashed.

19.) Arizona @ San Francisco–Arizona looked to be in total control with a 16-0 lead early in the second quarter, but the home team managed to fire back in an eventual 36-26 49ers victory.

We have an actual Moneyline of +357 for the Cardinals in this game, so you were probably feeling pretty good about this promotion regardless of them ultimately losing.

20.) New England @ Philadelphia–This was a surprisingly low-scoring affair that the Patriots would win by a score of 17-10, but the Eagles had put up their tenth point with 12:36 to go in the second quarter prior to the Patriots producing any.

We have an actual ML for the Eagles as +187 for this contest, so that’s what we will use.

2019 Season, Week 12:

NOT APPLICABLE

2019 Season, Week 13:

21.) Chicago @ Detroit–The Lions managed to take a late 17-7 lead in the second quarter, but only produced a fourth quarter FG in the second half, so fell to Da’ Bears 24-20.

The Lions covered the spread as 5.5 point dogs, but would have lost the straight bet without this promotion on a Line of about +195.

22.) Washington @ Carolina–Simple; Carolina led 14-3 after the first quarter and then lost 29-21.

Carolina was actually a prohibitive 10.5 point favorite in this contest, so that must have been a shock to spread bettors for the heavy underdog to nearly cover the favorite’s spread! You might have saved your $250 with this promotion, but your profits wouldn’t have been very much, as Carolina would have been about -538 on the ML anyway.

23.) Tennessee @ Indianapolis–Indianapolis took a 17-7 lead early in the third quarter, but would fail to score after that en route to a 31-17 drubbing.

As only single point underdogs, Indianapolis would have had a line of about +101; if this went back and forth a little bit, it might even have been possible that you’d have to lay a very small amount to get either team straight up.

24.) Philadelphia @ Miami–The Eagles satisfied the requirements for this promotion twice, first with a 10-0 lead in the first five minutes of the contest, then with a 28-14 lead early in the third quarter. I highly doubt that this promotion flips it so you win twice (obviously not, lol), but in any event, the Eagles would drop this to the Dolphins 37-31.

Miami was actually getting 10.5 points, so we have another case of a prohibitive favorite laying an egg. The Eagles would have been about -538 on the straight bet. You saved some money, but you didn’t make a lot.

25.) Cleveland @ Pittsburgh–Not quite the shootout the attendants at then Heinz Field would have wanted, but I am sure Black & Gold faithful were happy to see the Steelers escape this one 20-13, especially after being down 10-0 in the middle of the second quarter.

The Browns were the favorites in this contest byu about 2.5, which means they’d have been about -142 on the Moneyline.

2019 Season, Week 14:

26.) San Francisco @ New Orleans–The Saints led this home game by a score of 20-7 just three ticks into the second quarter, but the 49ers would eventually pull ahead and cling on to win an absolute shootout by a final score of 48-46. Whatever else was going on, I hope you had the Over if you were betting totals on this one.

It looks like the Saints were actually favored by a point, which they did not cover, and this line might have been back and forth all week, but closing as a point favorite should look like -122, or so.

27.) Indianapolis @ Tampa Bay–The Colts led this game by ten points, or more, on three different occasions: 10-0 middle of the first quarter, 24-14 late second quarter (this is after a lead change to the Buccaneers!) and 35-21 middle of the third quarter. They would ultimately fall 38-35.

We have an actual Moneyline of Colts +156 with the +3 on the spread resulting in a push. Of course, the straight bet is just a loss, unless you were playing this promotion.

28.) New York Giants @ Philadelphia–Here are the Giants making a mess of things again. The seventeen second quarter points would be the Giants’ only points of the game as they would take a 17-3 lead into the locker room just to be beaten 23-17 in the extra session.

The Giants were the underdog because, when are they not(?), and we have an actual line for them of +331. Why was this ever a late season MNF game?

2019 Season, Week 15:

29.) Jacksonville @ Oakland–-The Raiders were up 16-3 going into the locker room at halftime, but their offense evidently forgot to play in the second half and the result was a 20-16 defeat.

Jacksonville were big time seven point underdogs in this one, which means the ML on the Raiders would have been something like -319.

2019 Season, Week 16:

30.) Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco–The Rams jumped out to a 14-3 lead in the early stages of what would turn into an electric second quarter with the eventual winner, 49ers, entering the locker room with a 24-21 lead. The last two quarters were much calmer and would see a final of 34-31, 49ers.

The Rams were big seven point underdogs in this game, so they covered that spread, and would have won you something to the tune of +249 if you had them straight on this promotion.

31.) New Orleans @ Tennessee–It looked like the Titans would successfully defend their turf as they switched sides of the field at the end of the first quarter with a 14-0 lead, but they would ultimately lose to the Saints by a final score of 38-28.

We have an actual ML of +156 for the Titans on this one, so that’s what we’re using.

32.) Detroit @ Denver–The Lions took a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter, but would go on to drop this one to Elway’s boys by a score of 27-17.

We have an actual ML for this one which would have Detroit as +289 dogs, so that’s what we will go with.

2019 Season, Week 17:

33.) Green Bay @ Detroit–Detroit was up 17-3 going into the locker room at halftime, but would ultimately drop this one to the Packers by a score of 23-20.

We have an actual ML for the Lions of +465 going into this game, so if you had them on this promotion, you’re absolutely thrilled.

Season Week Game Losing Team +10 and MoneyLine Favorites Dogs
2019 1 BUF @ NYJ -142 1 0
2019 1 WASH @ PHI 385 1 1
2019 1 HOU @ NO  224 1 2
2019 2 KC @ OAK 249 1 3
2019 3 NYG @ TB -234 2 3
2019 3 HOU @ LAC -191 3 3
2019 4 PHI @ GB 156 3 4
2019 4 KC @ DET 268 3 5
2019 4 JAX @ DEN -139 4 5
2019 6 SEA @ CLE -108 5 5
2019 6 HOU @ KC -191 6 5
2019 6 DET @ GB 156 6 6
2019 8 DEN @ IND 218 6 7
2019  8 MIA @ PIT 562 6 8
2019 9 TB @ SEA 171 6 9
2019 10 KC @ TEN -261 7 9
2019 10 SEA @ SF -210 8 9
2019 11 DEN @ MIN 289 8 10
2019 11 ARZ @ SF 357 8 11
2019 11 NE @ PHI 187 8 12
2019 13 CHI @ DET 195 8 13
2019 13 WASH @ CAR -538 9 13
2019 13 TEN @ IND 101 9 14
2019 13 PHI @ MIA -538 10 14
2019 13 CLE @ PIT -142 11 14
2019 14 SF @ NO -122 12 14
2019 14 IND @ TB 156 12 15
2019 14 NYG @ PHI 331 12 16
2019 15 JAX @ OAK -319 13 16
2019 16 LAR @ SF 249 13 17
2019 16 NO @ TEN 156 13 18
2019 16 DET @ DEN 289 13 19
2019 17 GB @ DET 465 13  20

2019 SEASON PERTINENT BREAKDOWN

Once again, we have 256 total games, which means both that many favorites and that many underdogs. Let’s go ahead and look at our base stats:

Total Games: 256

Total Number Lead by 10+ and Lose: 33

Frequency: 12.890625%

Total Number of Favorites: 256

Total Number of Dogs: 256

Frequency, Favorites: 13/256 = 0.05078125 or 5.078%

Frequency, Dogs: 20/256 = 0.078125 or 7.8125%

ANALYSIS:

As we already know, variance is a large factor in actual results, so just a higher percentage in terms of frequency (or lower one) doesn’t automatically make things worse. In some cases, it will simply be the lines (read: profits) on the games that determine how much of an impact, if any, a raw change in frequencies will have.

For this season, what we find is the highest frequency percentage for favorites and one for underdogs that is in the middle of 2017 and 2018, so it will be interesting to see how all of that plays out.

Again, we are ignoring Pick ‘Ems simply because that would be too much of a pain in the ass to figure out, even if I could, so we are going to assume that all games had one favorite and one underdog. With that, the following still holds:

256 * 250 * .0624 = $3993.6

You will recall that the historical loss on favorites, according to Wizard of Odds, is 6.24% of all monies bet, so that is where that comes from.

This time, we have thirteen favorites losing that flipped to wins, so that saves us an immediate $2,750 in what would have otherwise been losses right off the bat. Beyond that, we have to look at the lines:

1.) -142 = $176.06

2.) -234 = $106.85

3.) -191 = $130.89

4.) -139 = $179.86

5.) -108 = $231.48

6.) -191 = $130.89

7.) -261 = $95.78

8.) -210 = $119.05

9.) -538 = $46.47

10.) -538 = $46.47

11.) -142 = $176.06

12.) -122 = $204.93

13.) -319 = $78.37

(2750 + 176.06 + 106.85 + 130.89 + 179.86 + 231.48 + 130.89 + 95.78 + 119.05 + 46.47 + 46.47 + 176.06 + 204.93 + 78.37) - 3993.6 = $479.56

What we find here is that we made $119.23 more with all favorites than the previous season, despite swinging two additional games that would have otherwise been losses. The main reason for that is that we had four less than triple digit profits (and two of under $50) compared to two triple-digit profits (and zero under $50) the previous season. In fact, three games this season would have had lower profits than the lowest game of the season before.

That said, we still did well on our $64,000 in total bets, bringing a return of $64,479.56, which amounts to 0.7493125% in gains.

Ultimately, favorites still enjoyed the second highest mean profit, per instance, with 2017 being lower and 2018 being higher. As we can clearly see, this was still a better year for favorites than 2017, a year which would have lost money even with this promotion.

Let’s compile all of our stats for favorites:

2019 Frequency Favorites: 13/256 = 5.078%

Bet All Favorites Results: $479.56 Profit

Total Amount Bet: $64000

Profit Percentage: 64479.56/64000 = ~ 0.749% Profits

As we have conclusively determined, underdog bets get swung this way significantly more than favorite bets do, and though the gap narrowed from 2018 and isn’t even quite the 2:1 that we saw in 2017, the general principle remains true with dogs pulling this off twenty times—which is more in raw number than was 2017. Quite frankly, it didn’t happen all that much for either side that year.

With that in hand, let’s look at what happened with our underdogs:

The first thing that we notice is our Underdog frequency is much higher than favorites, higher than 2017, but lower than what we enjoyed in 2018.

Frequency Dogs: 20/256 = 0.078125 or 7.8125%

As we’ve already discovered, when this happens for bigger dogs, it means bigger profits. For that reason, we could have fewer actual losses swing to winners and still be better off overall. We also know that we are immediately saving 20 * 250 = $5000 that would have otherwise been lost.

The expected loss remains (250 * 256) * .0391 = $2502.40 with no promotion, so the $5,000 we save on what would otherwise be losers immediately makes us profitable to the tune of $2497.60 before we even start looking at wins. Let’s do it:

(Odds on Left; All Odds are + Odds)

1.) 385 = $962.50

2.) 224 = $560.00

3.) 249 = $622.50

4.) 156 = $390.00

5.) 268 = $670.00

6.) 156 = $390.00

7.) 218 = $545.00

8.) 562 = $1,405.00

9.) 171 = $427.50

10.) 289 = $722.50

11.) 357 = $892.54

12.) 187 = $467.50

13.) 195 = $487.50

14.) 101 = $252.50

15.) 156 = $390.00

16.) 331 = $827.50

17.) 249 = $622.50

18.) 156 = $390.00

19.) 289 = $722.54

20.) 465 = $1,162.50

Okay, so we were already ahead just by virtue of swinging the would have otherwise been $5,000 in losses, so we just have pluses to do here:

2497.60 + 962.5 + 560 + 622.5 + 390 + 670 + 390 + 545 + 1405 + 427.5 + 722.5 + 892.54 + 467.5 + 487.5 + 252.5 + 390 + 827.5 + 622.5 + 390 + 722.54 + 1162.5 = $15,407.68 (Profits)

As you can see, if we could somehow bet all underdogs with this promotion for every game of the season, then we would have profited $15,407.68 in 2019.

Everything considered, we still made a profit of 24.075% on all monies bet on underdogs for that year, so that’s obviously going to be pretty terrific. It wasn’t quite the windfall that 2018 would have been, but it was still a definite windfall.

2019 Frequency Dogs: 20/256 = 0.078125 or 7.8125%

Bet All Dogs Results: $15,407.68

Total Amount Bet $64000

Profit Percentage: 79407.68/64000 = 1.240745 or 24.075%

Year 2017 2018 2019
Games 256 256 256
Games Betting Favorites 256 256 256
Games Betting Dogs 256 256 256
Promotion Swing % Favorites 3.13% 4.30% 5.08%
Promotion Swing % Dogs 6.25% 8.98% 7.81%
Gain(Loss) Favorites ($1,056.36) $360.33 $479.56
Gain (Loss) % Favorites -1.65% 0.56% 0.75%
Gain Dogs $10,177.63 $17,450.10 $15,407.68
Gain % Dogs 15.90% 27.27% 24.08%
Gain Offsets $9,121.27 $17,810.43 $15,887.24
Gain % Offsets 7.13% 13.91% 12.41%

 

If you want to take a deeper dive into offsets, then please see the 2018 section.

On the side of favorites, we turned what would have otherwise been losses into wins with a higher frequency than previous seasons, which is good, because the average profit per occurrence wasn’t as much in 2019 as 2018. I didn’t really compare to 2017 because straight favorites in 2017 was net losing anyway.

2019 wasn’t our best year for dogs, but it was still more than 24% profit on all monies bet and also blew 2017 clear out of the water in terms of profitability. We lost a little bit on frequency, so that’s mostly what hurt us. You have to figure that every underdog $250 bet is going to pay some amount more than $250 if it wins and we had three fewer games swing this way than they did in the previous year.

Offsets are doing what offsets do and I still don’t like them for this for the same reasons. I’m only ever a fan of offsets if a profit is absolutely guaranteed, and in the instance of a single bet (or even when you can bet every game of a week) offsets guarantee nothing simply because of the high probability that this promotion doesn’t change anything in a single game and how much of a loss you are otherwise locking up by offsetting.

Even if I could have a confederate and we could offset every game of an entire season, I would still never do it. Underdogs are just entirely too good on this promotion, when it comes to EV and long-term results, they are absolutely winning. In fact, just NOT LOSING your bet if your team is ever up by 10+ and loses would be profitable on its own, at least, based on these three seasons of data.

With that discussion in the books, let’s press on to 2020.

2020 NFL SEASON

2020 Season, Week 1:

1.) Chicago @ Detroit–The Lions held a 23-6 lead over the Bears going into the fourth quarter of this affair, but the last 15:00 minutes of the game were all Chicago; Mitch Trubisky connected for all three of his touchdown strikes and the Bears would take a comeback thriller by the score of 27-23.

We’re actually starting this season off with this happening to a favorite, as we have an actual line of Lions -140.

2.) Philadelphia @ Washington–Philadelphia would lead by a score of 10-0 coming out of the first quarter and enjoy a 17-7 lead at halftime. That would be all the offense they would mount as the team formerly known as the Redskins, formerly known as football team, formerly known as pretty good would go on to take it 27-17.

As six point favorites, the Eagles were borderline prohibitive, so the ML on them would have looked something like -261 if you had wanted them straight up.

3.) Arizona @ San Francisco–The 49ers would jump out to a 10-0 lead not even halfway through the first quarter, but the game would turn into a moderately scoring affair that the Cardinals would ultimately pull out against their Division rivals in a 24-20 win.

It was a terrible week for favorites, apparently, as the 49ers were giving up 6.5 spread points to the birds, so that’s going to look like an ML in the -282 area.

2020 Season, Week 2:

4.) Atlanta @ Dallas–The Dirty Birds probably thought they were going to get the best of the Cowboys as they carried a 20-0 lead into the second quarter, but the Cowboys would ultimately prevail 40-39 despite the fact that Prescott only had one TD through the air.

I’m seeing Atlanta as a three point dog here, so those bettors must have been feeling good straight or on the spread; while spread bettors would have still made their money, straight bettors are losing without this promotion. This would have been +135, or so.

5.) Detroit @ Green Bay–There’s really not much to look at here. Detroit led by a score of 14-3 after the first, but the rest of the game was all Packers as Green Bay would coast to a 42-21 victory.

We have an actual ML of +226 for Detroit going into this one on the straight bet, so that’s what we will be using. The Lions didn’t come close to winning this game, but had you had this promotion, you won it in the first quarter!

6.) Kansas City @ Los Angeles Chargers–The Kansas City Chiefs found themselves down in this surprisingly low(ish) scoring affair by a score of 17-6 early in the third quarter, but Reid and his boys would go on to pull out a 23-20 overtime victory.

Kansas City were big time 8.5 point favorites in this contest, so the ML on the Bolts would have been something like +302. That’s a sucky way to lose a Chargers straight bet, but if you had this promotion, you wouldn’t have.

7.) New Orleans @ Las Vegas–New Orleans had this bet locked up for you in the first quarter, entering the second with a 10-0 lead. Luck was a lady to Las Vegas this week, however, as they would go on to win by a score of 34-24.

New Orleans would enter this game as four point favorites, so they were an estimated -211 on the Moneyline. Tough loss for straight bettors.

2020 Season, Week 3:

8.) Chicago @ Atlanta–The Dirty Birds faithful were in attendance and looking forward to a win as the Falcons carried a 26-10 lead into the fourth quarter, but we know what Atlanta is known for, don’t we? Da’ Bears would run up twenty unanswered to end this contest with a 30-26 victory.

We have an actual moneyline of -140 for the Dirty Birds, so without this promotion, that wouldn’t have went too well for anyone who liked the 0-2 team to not make it 0-3 at home.

9.) Tennessee @ Minnesota–The home Vikings spent the better part of this game ahead, but for our purposes, it was the 24-12 lead that they took early in the third quarter that is relevant. The rest of the game turned into a back and forth that would see the Titans emerge with a 31-30 victory.

The three point dog home Vikings covered the point spread, but would have been a painful loss for straight bettors as the Gjallarhorn did not sound to end this contest. Their line would have been somewhere around +135.

10.) Houston @ Pittsburgh–The Texans had a 14-3 lead in the early minutes of the second quarter, but the Steelers would spend the rest of this contest slowly chipping away at the Texans advantage en route to a 28-21 victory.

As 3.5 point dogs, the Texans bettors would have lost both on the ML and the spread, the former was 3.5, so the latter would have looked something like +156.

2020 Season, Week 4:

11.) New Orleans @ Detroit–Lions fans must have felt pretty good about jumping out to a 14-0 lead in the first five minutes of this game, but New Orleans would largely control the rest of the contest and emerge with a 35-29 victory.

Detroit did not cover the three points that they were given, so they certainly didn’t cover the ML, which would have looked something like +135.

12.) Los Angeles Chargers @ Tampa Bay–We don’t need to look too deeply into this affair to see that the Bolts led 24-14 going into the locker room and would eventually drop this one 38-31 in a five touchdown performance by Tom Brady.

The Bolts played well enough to get the push as seven point dogs on the spread; we have an actual ML for them of +292.

2020 Season, Week 5:

13.) Tampa Bay @ Chicago–The Buccaneers would take a 10-0 lead into the second quarter of this contest, but on an uncharacteristically off day for Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr., Da’ Bears would emerge the 20-19 victors against the eventual Super Bowl champions.

As three point favorites, the Buccaneers would have been about -164 on the Moneyline. It was probably a bigger lay than that, but I can’t find an actual, so we will go with the estimator.

14.) Las Vegas @ Kansas City–The home Chiefs actually led by 10+ twice in this game, both times in the second quarter; 14-3 and 21-10. The Raiders would control the rest of this affair and emerge with a 40-32 victory that wasn’t even as close as the score makes it sound.

Giving up 10.5, the Chiefs were prohibitive favorites and would have looked something like -538 on the Moneyline. This promotion mostly just saved you your $250, but you didn’t actually make all that much in profits with it.

15.) New York Giants @ Dallas–-The Giants emerged with a 14-3 first quarter lead against the home Cowboys, but as we all know, that sort of lead doesn’t mean anything when you’re the Giants. The Cowboys would go on to please the home crowd by a score of 37-34 in a game that was closer than it should have been.

The +7.5 point Giants were Giant dogs, and while they covered the points they were given, straight bettors would have suffered an unsurprising loss on the line that would have been about +268.

16.) Minnesota @ Seattle–The Vikings would take a 13-0 lead into the locker room at halftime, but Russell Wilson and his three touchdown performance wasn’t having that and the Seahawks would come back to win 27-26 with 21 of those coming in the third quarter.

We have an actual Moneyline for the Vikings, who certainly covered the point spread, and that ML is +252.

17.) Los Angeles Chargers @ New Orleans–We have our answer for this game at a glance, which illuminates the visiting team entering the locker room with a 20-10 lead in the middle of regulation, but reentering it with a 30-27 OT loss.

We have an actual ML for this game at +281 for the visiting Bolts who covered the TD and point after they were given on the line.

2020 Season, Week 6:

18.) Cincinnati @ Indianapolis–The Bengals would play bad guests, but only for the first quarter. Entering the second session with a 14-0 lead, they would go on to lose by a score of 31-27.

We have an actual moneyline of +296 for this one. This is also another case of a team looking good for both bets who would ultimately cover the seven points the lines handed them.

19.) Green Bay @ Tampa Bay–When it comes to 38-10 blowouts, you wouldn’t expect the losing team to have led by ten at one point, but the Packers did, as they enjoyed a 10-0 lead going into the second quarter. It was all Buccaneers from there.

Green Bay was actually favored by two points, so the estimated ML would have them at something like -131. I imagine they had some straight betting cheeseheads jump on that line, so winning via this promotion would have softened the blow a bit.

2020 Season, Week 7:

20.) New York Giants @ Philadelphia–The Giants led 21-10 more than halfway through the fourth quarter in this contest, but they’re the Giants, so we know how this ends–with Philadelphia winning 22-21; I’m surprised the Eagles didn’t take it by a bigger margin.

The Giants, for their part, managed to cover the five that they were given and would have been an estimated +188 on the straight line.

21.) Buffalo @ New York Jets–It was a bad week for teams with, “New York,” in the name, but then, it usually is. The Jets were up on the Bills 10-0 about midway through the second quarter, but wanted to see if they could win with that many points. They couldn’t. Final score: 18-10, Bills.

The ten that the Jets scored ended up being enough to cover the 10.5 they were given, but some people probably bet on the Jets straight up, God knows why; they would have been about +389. Makes sense with this promo, of course.

22.) Seattle @ Arizona–It’s nice not to have to bother with the scoring summary. Halftime: 27-17, Seattle. Final: 37-34, Arizona.

The Seahawks were 3.5 point favorites, so they certainly failed to cover that. In any event, their ML would have been about -191.

2020 Season, Week 8:

23.) Pittsburgh @ Baltimore–This is another case for which a quick glance at the box takes care of business. Baltimore led 17-7 at the break before losing 28-24 to the Division rival Steelers.

Baltimore entered this game as four point favorites; we also have an actual ML of -190 for this contest; a push and a loss, respectively.

24.) Los Angeles Chargers @ Denver–The Chargers entered the locker room with a 14-3 lead, entered the third quarter with a 24-10 lead, but then just collapsed and dropped the game 31-30 in regulation.

As three point favorites—who showed the world why (for three quarters) the Chargers would have been about -164 on the ML.

25.) New Orleans @ Chicago–The Bears almost entered the locker room with their 13-3 lead that they briefly enjoyed in the second quarter, but Drew Brees did some of the last second theatrics that he was known for; the Saints would eventually go marching out of the Windy City with a 26-23 overtime victory.

The Bears covered the 5.5 that they were given, but they did not win on a straight line that would have looked something like +195.

26.) Tampa Bay @ New York Giants–Tell me if you’ve heard this one before, “The New York Giants walk into a stadium and take a 14-3 lead with fewer than two minutes to go in the second quarter…” I know, right? Different day, same joke. They lost 25-23.

They did, however, cover as thirteen point dogs; that equates to about +494 on the Moneyline. I don’t know why you would be betting the Giants to win at anything WITHOUT this promotion, but with it, you’d have been happy you did.

2020 Season, Week 9:

27.) Carolina @ Kansas City–Carolina marched into Arrowhead looking to take KC down a peg, and they did briefly, as they’d take an early second quarter 14-3 lead. Kansas City eventually found a way to defend their home turf and emerge with a 33-31 victory.

The Panthers easily covered the ten points that the books were giving them, but they didn’t cover the standings with a W. The line would have been about +356, which I couldn’t imagine being on without this promotion or some other.

28.) Pittsburgh @ Dallas–Steelers fans probably expected more of the same as the hated home team jumped out to a 13-0 lead late into the second quarter, but Big Ben found it within himself to eclipse the aggressively mediocre performances that defined his twilight years, threw three TD’s against zero picks, and led the Steelers to a 24-19 victory. It’s also worth noting that Dallas was up 19-9 going into the fourth quarter.

The Cowboys were 14 point dogs in this one, so they covered the spread pretty easily, but they didn’t win so much on the estimated +573 moneyline. If you had this promotion and could bet it on the Cowboys, then you’d probably have been quite thrilled even with the loss.

29.) New England @ New York Jets–The Jets did what the Jets do best, lose. They were up 20-10 going into halftime en route to a 30-27 final.

The Jets did manage to cover the 9.5 that they were given, but lost on the actual straight bet we have of +340.

2020 Season, Week 10:

30.) Buffalo @ Arizona–The Bills looked to have this one in control as they visited the Cardinals and enjoyed a 23-9 lead just short of midway through the third quarter, but the rest of the game was all Cardinals who would send the Bills packing with a 32-30 loss.

Buffalo managed to cover the three points that the lines gave them in the outing, so they would have been about +135 on the Moneyline. This would have been a heartbreaker for straight bettors who didn’t have this promotion going.

31.) San Francisco @ New Orleans–The 49ers would visit the Bayou and jump out to a 10-0 lead just seconds into the second quarter, but it was all Saints from there and the final result was a 27-13 Saints victory.

New Orleans gave the 49ers ten points that the latter failed to cover; they also would have been about +356 for straight bettors.

2020 Season, Week 11:

32.) Tennessee @ Baltimore–The Titans went to visit the Ravens, nevermore, and the Ravens took a 21-10 lead early in the third quarter. The Titans would eventually pull ahead 24-21 and the Ravens would lead, nevermore, going on to lose 30-24.

Tennessee won this one as 6.5 point underdogs, so this is the first time we have had this happen to a ML favorite, estimated -282, in fact, in a while.

33.) Green Bay @ Indianapolis–We need nothing more than a quick glance to know that Green Bay led 28-14 going into the locker room and would go on to drop this one to the Colts by a score of 34-31; at least the Packers took it to overtime.

The Colts were actually the favored team, and covered their 1.5, which is something of a surprise to me. In any event, the Packers would have been a slight dog on the ML of about +105.

2020 Season, Week 12:

34.) Carolina @ Minnesota–Carolina took a 21-10 lead into the fourth quarter in this contest, but Cousins would eventually turn on the gas as his three touchdown performance led the Vikings to a 28-27 victory.

The favorite won this game, but didn’t cover the three that they were laying to the Panthers, who would have been about +135 on the ML.

35.) Arizona @ New England–The Cardinals would take a 10-0 lead into the first quarter of this contest, but would fail to score again until the fourth quarter and eventually lose to the Patriots by a final score of 20-17.

It looks like this game was a straight pick ‘em, but with the lines being -110 per side, we’re going to have to grade the Cards as a favorite for our purposes.

2020 Season, Week 13:

36.) Detroit @ Chicago–Da’ Bears took a 23-13 lead into halftime and a 34-30 loss at home out of the game.

Chicago was favored to win by three for reasons unknown, so the ML would have looked something like -164.

37.) Jacksonville @ Minnesota–Jacksonville would have been an interesting subject for one of those, “Rise and fall,” videos, except the video would only last fourteen seconds. Their 16-6 lead seconds into the third quarter of this contest lasted a little longer, but would eventually become a 27-24 loss in OT.

Jacksonville easily covered the 10.5 points they were given by the spread, but did not win on the estimated ML of about +389.

38.) Washington @ Pittsburgh–This happened the opposite way that one might have expected. The Steelers took a 14-3 lead into the locker room at then Heinz Field, but it was all whatever Washington was called from there as the Black & Gold dropped this game 23-17.

Washington was given six points and we have an actual ML of +235 for them, which by itself is considered a pretty decent value, given the spread. Of course, a bettor would also have to believe the spread is on. The Steelers would have been about -261.

2020 Season, Week 14:

39.) Kansas City @ Miami–The Dolphins enjoyed a 10-0 home lead fairly early into the second quarter with the rest of the game becoming something of a back and forth shootout that would see the Chiefs eventually prevail by a score of 33-27. This game was actually more of a garbage time comeback, so the finish isn’t quite as close as it sounds.

Maimi covered the seven points that they were given and would have been about +249 on the straight bet.

2020 Season, Week 15:

40.) Tampa Bay @ Atlanta–It’s almost poetic that this happened against Tom Brady, once again. It looked like the home upset was on as the Dirty Birds took a 17-0 halftime lead into the locker room, in fact, the Falcons also led 24-7, at one point. The result was inevitable: 31-27, Buccaneers.

The favorites won, but the dogs, who would have been about +224 on the ML, managed to cover the 6.5 points that they were given.

2020 Season, Week 16:

41.) Indianapolis @ Pittsburgh–The visiting Colts may have been up 21-7 going into the locker room, but by the time they’d visit the locker room for the final time, they’d lost 28-24 to the Black & Gold.

The Steelers were actually single point dogs in this game, which would put the Colts as estimated -122 favorites on the ML.

42.) Philadelphia @ Dallas–The visiting Eagles must have felt good about their 14-3 lead going into the second quarter, but they didn’t feel so great about the 37-17 pounding they had absorbed at the hands of Division rival Dallas at the end of regulation.

The Eagles were giving Dallas three points going into this game, but had given them much more than that by the end of the festivities; the estimated ML would have been something like -164.

2020 Season, Week 17:

43.) Seattle @ San Francisco–The home team might have felt as though they’d at least end the season on a high note with the 16-6 lead they’d taken early in the fourth quarter, but it was mostly Seattle from there as they’d go on to win 26-23.

The 49ers at least covered the seven they were given in this losing effort, but straight bettors lost (I don’t think there were very many by this point for the 49ers) on a line that would’ve been something like +249.

Season Week Game Losing Team +10 and MoneyLine Favorites Dogs
2020 1 CHI @ DET -140 1 0
2020 1 PHI @ WASH -261 2 0
2020 1 ARZ @ SF -282 3 0
2020 2 ATL @ DAL 135 3 1
2020 2 DET @ GB 226 3 2
2020 2 KC @ LAC 302 3 3
2020 2 NO @ LV -211 4 3
2020 3 CHI @ ATL -140 5 3
2020 3 TEN @ MIN 135 5 4
2020 3 HOU @ PIT 156 5 5
2020 4 NO @ DET 135 5 6
2020 4 LAC @ TB 292 5 7
2020 5 TB @ CHI -164 6 7
2020 5 LV @ KC -538 7 7
2020 5 NYG @ DAL 268 7 8
2020 5 MIN @ SEA 252 7 9
2020 5 LAC @ NO 281 7 10
2020 6 CIN @ IND 296 7 11
2020 6 GB @ TB -131 8 11
2020 7 NYG @ PHI 188 8 12
2020 7 BUF @ NYJ 289 8 13
2020 7 SEA @ ARI -191 9 13
2020 8 PIT @ BAL -190 10 13
2020 8 LAC @ DEN -164 11 13
2020 8 NO @ CHI 195 11 14
2020 8 TB @ NYG 494 11 15
2020 9 CAR @ KC 356 11 16
2020 9 PIT @ DAL 573 11 17
2020 9 NE @ NYJ 340 11 18
2020 10 BUF @ ARIZ 135 11 19
2020 10 SF @ NO 356 11 20
2020 11 TEN @ BAL -282 12 20
2020 11 GB @ IND 105 12 21
2020 12 CAR @ MIN 135 12 22
2020 12 ARZ @ NE -110 13 22
2020 13 DET @ CHI -164 14 22
2020 13 JAX @ MIN 389 14 23
2020 13 WASH @ PIT -261 15 23
2020 14 KC @ MIA 249 15 24
2020 15 TB @ ATL 224 15 25
2020 16 IND @ PIT -122 16 25
2020 16 PHI @ DAL -164 17 25
2020 17 SEA @ SF 249 17 26

2020 SEASON PERTINENT BREAKDOWN

Once again, we have 256 games played for the regular season, but we’re seeing an outstanding overall frequency for this particular promotion. Let’s look at some early numbers:

Total Games: 256

Total Lead by 10+ and Lose: 43

Frequency: 0.16796875 or 16.796875%

Total Number of Favorites: 256

Total Number of Dogs: 256

Frequency, Favorites: 17/256 = 0.06640625 or 6.641%

Frequency, Dogs: 26/256 = 0.1015625 or 10.156%

ANALYSIS:

On the surface, this is a surge in the frequency of favorites, even though that’s just sample sizing and the difference is three over our previous season. (which had also been the best for favorites as far as this promotion goes)

As we have discovered, how well we did on favorites is really going to be a matter of what sort of lays we were making when betting them, with smaller lays being better.

Underdog frequency blew it completely out of the water compared to previous seasons, and even if the underdogs weren’t huge ones, this should still be the most profitable season on frequency alone. Naturally, we will be digging into the lines to find out.

We also know that underdogs were great because, all else being equal with long-term averages, we just have to turn enough losses into pushes for this to be profitable on the underdog side. Of course, if that were the case, the calculus would probably shift to favor small underdogs as compared to just blanket betting underdogs with the way this promotion is now.

Let’s get down to business:

256 * 250 * .0624 = $3993.6

You will recall that the historical loss on favorites, according to Wizard of Odds, is 6.24% of all monies bet, so that is where that comes from.

We have seventeen favorites that would have lost, but swung into wins instead. Immediately, this gets us $4,250 back, which makes favorites immediately profitable for the first time. Specifically, favorites start with us ahead $256.40 on our overall betting before we even begin to look at actual profits direct from these games, which we will now do:

1.) -140 = $178.58

2.) -261 = $95.78

3.) -282 = $88.65

4.) -211 = $118.48

5.) -140 = $178.58

6.) -164 = $152.45

7.) -538 = $46.48

8.) -131 = $190.85

9.) -191 = $130.89

10.) -190 = $131.58

11.) -164 = $152.45

12.) -282 = $88.65

13.) -110 = $227.27

14.) -164 = $152.45

15.) -261 = $95.78

16.) -122 = $204.92

17.) -164 = $152.44

256.4 + 178.58 + 95.78 + 88.65 + 118.48 + 178.58 + 152.45 + 46.48 + 190.85 + 130.89 + 131.58 + 152.45 + 88.65 + 227.27 + 152.45 + 95.78 + 204.92 + 152.44 = $2,642.68 (Profits)

Overall, we would have seen our new high of $2,642.68 in profits on favorites, which none of us were probably expecting after the first three years of data. As before, this would be on $64,000 in bets, thereby giving us a profit percentage of 66642.68/64000 = 1.041291875 or 4.129%, making even favorites awesome that season.

Underdogs blew it out of the water in terms of frequency this season, which we know is immediately good. The gap between favorites and underdogs, despite the high frequency of favorites compared to previous seasons, was also the second-highest. We would expect 26 swings to be an absolutely money printer almost regardless of what the lines were doing, but there’s only one way to be sure.

The expected loss remains (250 * 256) * .0391 = $2502.40 with no promotion, so just swinging 26 would be losses to pushes would be an immediate swing of $6500, which immediately puts us to the good by $3997.60 before we even start to look at direct profits on our 26 lines, which are as follows:

1.) 135 = $337.50

2.) 226 = $565.00

3.) 302 = $755.00

4.) 135 = $337.50

5.) 156 = $390.00

6.) 135 = $337.50

7.) 292 = $730.00

8.) 268 = $670.00

9.) 252 = $630.00

10.) 281 = $702.50

11.) 296 = $740.00

12.) 188 = $470.00

13.) 289 = $722.50

14.) 195 = $487.50

15.) 356 = $890.00

16.) 494 = $1,235.00

17.) 573 = $1,432.50

18.) 340 = $850.00

19.) 135 = $337.50

20.) 356 = $890.00

21.) 105 = $262.50

22.) 135 = $337.50

23.) 389 = $972.50

24.) 249 = $622.50

25.) 224 = $560.00

26.) 249 = $622.50

3997.60 + 337.5 + 565 + 755 + 337.5 + 390 + 337.5 + 730 + 670 + 630 + 702.5 + 740 + 470 + 722.50 + 487.50 + 890 + 1235 + 1432.5 + 850 + 337.5 + 890 + 262.5 + 337.50 + 972.5 + 622.50 + 560 + 622.5 = $20,885.10 (Profits)

As we can see, if you could have blanket bet underdogs with this promotion on every single game of the 2020 NFL Season, then you would have made $20,885.10 in profits, all else equal.

Once again, you would be making $64,000 in bets for a return of $84,885.10, so that makes our percentage 84885.1/64000 = 1.3263296875 or 32.633% in gains, which is positively ridiculous.

Year 2017 2018 2019 2020
Games 256 256 256 256
Games Betting Favorites 256 256 256 256
Games Betting Dogs 256 256 256 256
Promotion Swing % Favorites 3.13% 4.30% 5.08% 6.64%
Promotion Swing % Dogs 6.25% 8.98% 7.81% 10.16%
Gain(Loss) Favorites ($1,056.36) $360.33 $479.56 $2,642.68
Gain (Loss) % Favorites -1.65% 0.56% 0.75% 4.13%
Gain Dogs $10,177.63 $17,450.10 $15,407.68 $20,885.10
Gain % Dogs 15.90% 27.27% 24.08% 32.63%
Gain Offsets $9,121.27 $17,810.43 $15,887.24 $23,527.78
Gain % Offsets 7.13% 13.91% 12.41% 18.38%

 

We already know that we HATE offsets for this, but for the purpose of completion, offsets win $23,527.78 on $128,000 in bets for cash return $151,527.78 and percentage gains of 151527.78/128000 = 1.18381078125 or about 18.381% gains.

Obviously, it doesn’t hurt offsets that both favorites and underdogs had their best season, by far. Even with that, the overall swing rate is still less than 17% and a very likely result of an offset is that the favorite wins, the dog never leads by ten, or more, and you lose money overall.

Honestly, this season’s results were so ridiculous that I can’t even swear that’s the MOST likely result of betting on a favorite, (the favorite could also lead by 10+ and lose or the underdog could win—all of these events would usually be profitable) but even with that, why are you going to hedge a 32.633% expected profit into a 4.129% expected profit unless it creates a 100% probability of some sort of profit, which it doesn’t.

We know what the future holds because the future of underdogs on this promotion is certain, given a full season, but I said I was going to analyze five years and that is what is going to happen. Onward, we charge!

2021 NFL SEASON

2021 Season, Week 1:

1.) Pittsburgh @ Buffalo–While the Bills would go on to have the better season, and also had a better first half from which they emerged with a 10-0 lead, they eventually lost this game to the visiting Black & Gold by a score of 23-16.

What’s going to be nice this season is that we have ACTUAL Moneylines, courtesy of Vegas Insider, for every game. They don’t have the lines prior to last year, which is fine, because the site that I was using for historical points spreads want you to subscribe if you want to see them for last season, so this works out perfectly. In any event, the Bills were -286 by VI consensus.

2.) Cleveland @ Kansas City–The visiting Browns felt good at halftime, given the 22-10 lead over the Chiefs with which they entered the locker room, but the remainder of the contest would largely consist of Patrick Mahomes pulling his usual magic tricks en route to a 33-29 Chiefs victory.

The VI consensus for this game would have the Browns as +197 underdogs; personally, I’d have expected them to be bigger dogs than that, (and they were at a few books) but that’s what we’re using.

3.) Baltimore @ Las Vegas–The visiting Ravens took a 14-0 lead on the home Raiders nearly midway through the second quarter, but the Raiders would fire back, eventually take this game to overtime, and come out of it with a 33-27 victory.

As a sidenote, these are the sort of games that are interesting to go back and look at, sometimes. If this game goes the other way in that overtime, and I could be wrong, but I think the Ravens go to the playoffs and the Raiders do not that season.

The Ravens were away favorites on a line of -179, so that hurts unless you had this promotion going. Another thing that I have noticed, though it can really be written off as sample sizing, is that this seems to happen disproportionately on Monday Night games.

2021 Season, Week 2:

4.) Minnesota @ Arizona–The Vikings started the second quarter off by taking a 21-7 lead on that session’s first play, but Arizona would eventually chip away at that lead and the result would be a back and forth affair that ended with the Cardinals defending their home turf successfully, 34-33.

Evidently, Minnesota were +163 dogs on the VI consensus line, though the sportsbooks seemed to have them as bigger dogs than that, for the most part. Either way, with something better than an estimator to base our Moneylines upon, we’re going with what VI says here.

5.) Tennessee @ Seattle–-One team that looked like it would successfully defend its own field all the way was the Seattle Seahawks that week; they took a commanding 24-9 lead into the locker room at halftime. Despite Tannehill not throwing for a single touchdown that contest, the rest of the game was ALL Titans as they emerged with a 33-30 overtime victory.

The consensus was the Seahawks -278, so this result would have had straight bettors stunned. If you had this promotion as one of the, “12th men,” perhaps your winnings and savings would have taken a little of the sting off this overtime defeat.

6.) Kansas City @ Baltimore–-The Ravens would play the host in a back and forth offensive thriller between AFC competitors. Kansas City was actually the only team to lead this affair by 10+, and did it twice, 28-17 & 35-24, both times in the third quarter, but Lamar Jackson put it in the endzone with his feet twice in the final session to lead the Ravens to a 36-35 victory.

The consensus line would have the Chiefs as -196 favorites, which comes as a bit of a surprise to me. I’d certainly have thought of the Chiefs to be favored to win, but I wouldn’t have been convinced there was THAT much disparity between the two teams.

2021 Season, Week 3:

7.) Miami @ Las Vegas– How about another overtime victory for the Raiders, this one pushing their 2021 campaign to 3-0, and by a score of 31-28. In any event, the victory doesn’t change that the two teams entered the second quarter with the Dolphins up 14-2.

The VI consensus has the Dolphins as +151 underdogs, so that’s what we are going to go with. Dolphins’ fans are surprisingly strong as a fanbase, given their recent Super Bowl drought, so I imagine a great many of them had the Fins winning on the straight line.

8.) Seattle @ Minnesota–The Seahawks would score on a 30 yard rush by Chris Carson to go up 17-7 early in the second quarter, but the rest of this affair was all Vikings; the Vikings would emerge with a 30-17 win.

The Seahawks entered this game as slight favorites, ending up with -127 to bet them straight on the VI consensus line. It ended up being almost a blowout, and was a blowout, in the second half.

2021 Season, Week 4:

9.) Jacksonville @ Cincinnati–-The Jags led this one by a score of 14-0 as the two teams hit the locker room, but they would end up dropping it to the future AFC Champs by a score of 24-21.

The Jaguars were huge +270 consensus underdogs on the straight line going into this game; I certainly couldn’t imagine betting them without a promotion like this, but with it, you’d have still had a really good day.

10.) Washington @ Atlanta–The Falcons took a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter, and led at various other points throughout the game, (though not by 10+) but Washington actually brought a Football Team that day–one that chipped away from behind throughout most of the contest before going on to win 34-30 in a game more offensively productive than was expected.

Atlanta were, in fact, the underdogs heading into this contest; they got +107 on the VI consensus line if you wanted to take them straight up.

11.) New York Giants @ New Orleans–A Taysom Hill rush early in the fourth quarter put the Saints ahead 21-10 in this contest, so straight bettors probably thought that they’d have nothing to worry about against the Giants. They thought wrong. The Giants would score and successfully convert a 2PT to go within three, kick a FG to force overtime, then score a TD there to walk off with a 27-21 victory.

It comes as no surprise that the Saints were prohibitive favorites in this game; the VI consensus line was -333 if you wanted them straight up.

2021 Season, Week 5:

12.) Philadelphia @ Carolina–The largest lead that the home team took in this game was a 15-3 lead, late in the second quarter, off of a safety. The Eagles would eventually come back to win in a low-scoring 21-18 affair.

The Panthers (!?) were favored to win this game with a -141 consensus line according to Vegas Insider. That sounds a little like home field DISadvantage, to me, if you were a straight bettor who wanted to take the Panthers that week.

13.) New England @ Houston–Long gone are the days of the Patriots running roughshod over NFC opponents and here are the days of the Pats struggling against awful teams. The Patriots would eventually prevail with a 25-22 tally, but not before going down 22-9 early in the third quarter.

The Texans were huge underdogs with a VI consensus line of +296 and some might have doubted that they’d even score ten points against a Belichick defense, but take the necessary lead they did and bettors would have won via this promotion.

14.) Cleveland @ Los Angeles Chargers–-The Browns would take a 27-13 lead early in the third quarter as the first score of that session had Nick Chubb running it in from 52 yards out. Eventually, the better team would prevail as the remainder of the game turned into an absolute shootout that ended 47-42…nearly 90 total points scored!!!

Cleveland went into this one as a small underdog getting +114 on the VI consensus line, so the winnings from this promotion would have softened the hit for straight bettors. It’s also a good thing they were away as they’d have likely been a slight favorite at home.

15.) Indianapolis @ Baltimore–Another Monday Night Football flip! At a glance, the Colts emerged from the third quarter with a 22-9 lead, but would eventually lose in overtime, 31-25.

The Colts were big time dogs in this one getting +278 on the VI consensus line; they might not have emerged with the big win, but straight bettors on this promotion would have enjoyed big winnings all the same.

2021 Season, Week 6:

16.) Miami @ Jacksonville–We’ve got Miami dropping the game when they led by 10+ here as they would take a 13-3 lead in the middle of the second quarter, but went on to lose to the home Jags by a score of 23-20.

Neither team had the best season in franchise history in 2021, to say the least, but the Dolphins were favored to win this one (rightly so) on a VI consensus line of -128.

2021 Season, Week 7:

17.) Detroit @ Los Angeles Rams–The Lions hoped for victory when paying a visit to the former quarterback, and future Super Bowl champion, Matthew Stafford; they’d have thought they were well on their way enjoying leads of 10-0 (first quarter) and 13-3 (second quarter), but the man that so many NAYSAYERS liked to call, ‘Choke Artist,’ (Stafford) went on to throw 3 TD’s against zero picks to lead the Rams to a 28-19 victory at home.

To say that Detroit were the underdogs would be a ridiculously conservative statement. They’d have probably been +(big number) to even LEAD at any point in this contest; the VI Consensus line had them at +786–big payday on this promo.

2021 Season, Week 8:

18.) Tennessee @ Indianapolis–The Colts looked to defend their home turf against the Titans, and did a good job of it—for one quarter. Despite entering the second session of the contest with a 14-0 lead, the Colts would go on to drop this one, in overtime, 34-31.

Surprisingly, the Colts were moderately strong favorites in this game with the VI Consensus line looking like -154 if you wanted them straight up. Again, homefield: Arguably an advantage for a team, but definitely a disadvantage for straight bettors.

19.) Cincinnati @ New York Jets–Cue up the crying Bengals lady and a visiting fanbase that would have never expected a Super Bowl appearance after the cats bungled a 17-7 late second quarter lead en route to a 34-31 loss to the Jets.

Straight bettors might have thought their VI consensus ticket of -556 was as good as cash with how prohibitive that made the Bengals as favorites; I guess this promotion would have at least saved them some money, though actual profit wouldn’t have been great.

2021 Season, Week 9:

20.) Minnesota @ Baltimore–The Vikings looked to be handling business throughout the first half of this game, enjoying leads of 14-3 and 17-3; they would go on to lead 24-10 mere seconds into the third quarter. Despite tossing two picks that game, Jackson, his three TD’s through the air, and the Ravens, would eventually get it done in a 34-31 overtime victory.

Given the +253 VI consensus line, the Vikings weren’t even expected to make this a competitive affair, much less dominate in the early stages. Straight bettors with this promotion would have emerged from the Vikes’ loss still smiling; they had a big ticket to cash!

2021 Season, Week 10:

NOT APPLICABLE

2021 Season, Week 11:

NOT APPLICABLE

2021 Season, Week 12:

21.) New York Jets @ Houston–The battle of two teams who wouldn’t have been favored against much of anyone else would see the home Texans lead 14-3 just short of the middle of the second quarter, but the rest of the game was all Jets (I guess) and they’d eventually win the Irrelevancy Bowl by a score of 21-14.

The Texans were favored in this one, pretty home field advantage (real or largely perceived) and that’s it, so the VI Consensus had this one going off at -145 on the Texans’ straight bet.

22.) Tampa Bay @ Indianapolis–This game can be counted at a glance as the home team would lead the visiting Buccaneers by a score of 24-14 as the two combatants took the midgame rest, but a defense that figured it out ultimately led the Buccaneers to a 38-31 win. Leonard Fournette punching it in for six on three different occasions also didn’t hurt the cause!

Despite playing at home, the Colts, as expected, were +130 dogs on the VI consensus line. Personally, I’d thought that straight bettors would get more if they wanted Indy, but I guess not.

2021 Season, Week 13:

23.) San Francisco @ Seattle–The 49ers would visit Seattle and the 12th man and enjoy a 17-7 lead just shy of midway through the second quarter. The home team would ultimately pull this one out in the end…kind of. Nobody scored in the fourth quarter and the 49ers didn’t score in the second half whatsoever, 30-23.

San Francisco were slight favorites to win this game with the VI consensus on straight bets on them coming in at -141.

2021 Season, Week 14:

24.) Chicago @ Green Bay–The Bears took a ten point lead over the home Packers twice in this affair, both times in the second quarter, 10-0 and 24-14. The second half of this contest was ALL Packers as they would go on to defend Lambeau by a score of 45-30.

It should be no surprise that the Bears were massive underdogs going into this contest; the VI Consensus would have them at +461 if you wanted them straight up.

2021 Season, Week 15:

25.) New York Jets @ Miami–Here we go again with another game involving these teams; this time, the visiting Jets entered the second quarter with a 10-0 lead en route to exiting the game with a 31-24 loss.

The Jets were not inconsiderable underdogs with the VI consensus line having them at +343 to win this game straight up.

26.) Tennessee @ Pittsburgh–Different game, different place, same story. The Titans would take a 10-0 lead into the second quarter and emerge from then-Heinz Field with a 19-13 loss.

For our purposes, both teams were favorites as you would have had to lay either way had you wanted this game. The VI consensus lines were -104 Titans, -114 Steelers.

27.) Washington @ Philadelphia–What is it about visiting teams and 10-0 first quarter leads this week? If I were an astrologist, I’d probably be looking at planetary and star alignments, or whatever they would look at. Either way, Football Team lost 27-17. A football team also won. Did it really take them a full season to come up with, “Commanders?”

The football team called Football team were heavily expected to lose to the other football team as the VI consensus line gave Football Team +351 on the straight bet.

2021 Season, Week 16:

28.) San Francisco @ Tennessee–The 49ers simply took a lead of 10-0 into halftime and simply flew back West upset with their 20-17 defeat.

The away team were sizable favorites in this affair, with the VI consensus line wanting you to lay $175 to win $100.

29.) Chicago @ Seattle–The Seahawks seemingly had the Bears where they wanted them at halftime, entering the intermission with a 17-7 advantage. Da’ Bears, with nothing to lose at that point (not that Seattle had anything to lose) would hit a two point conversion for the go-ahead with a minute left in regulation and hang on to win 25-24.

With a VI consensus line of -312, the Seahawks were pretty big favorites at home. Bigger than they had any right to be, imo, though I’d have expected them to win.

2021 Season, Week 17:

30.) Kansas City @ Cincinnati–I don’t know much, but I know the Chiefs entered halftime with a 28-17 lead over the eventual AFC Champs and exited Cincinnati with a 34-31 loss, and that may be all I need to know.

The Chiefs were favored somewhat heavily in this one getting -185 on the VI consensus line.

31.) Tampa Bay @ New York Jets—Death, taxes and Tom Brady beating the Jets; of these things we can be sure. That didn’t stop the Jets from taking a 24-10 lead in the middle of the third quarter before the inevitable 28-24 finish.

The Jets were big home dogs, homedog, getting +580 on the VI consensus line. There are several books where you could have done better, notably.

32.) Philadelphia @ Washington–This is another one in which a team, Football Team this time, takes a 10-0 lead into the second quarter, but goes on to lose, this time by a 20-16 final tally.

As expected, Washington were the dogs, even at home: +206 on the VI consensus line.

33.) Los Angeles Rams @ Baltimore—Similarly, the Ravens enjoyed a 10-0 lead at home, though this one wouldn’t come until late in the second quarter. They would go on to lose this contest to the eventual Super Bowl champions by a score of 20-19.

The VI consensus would have the Rams as +253 dogs on the straight line, which seems a little disrespectful as they easily covered the spread, but straight bettors lost without this promotion all the same.

2021 Season, Week 18 (Finally!):

34.) Chicago @ Minnesota–The Bears took a 14-3 lead into halftime, but that was about all they did as they eventually lost to the home Vikings by a score of 31-17.

The Bears were the underdogs, no surprise, and went off at +157 according to the VI consensus.

35.) San Francisco @ Los Angeles Rams–The home team took a lead of 17-3 into the locker room, but would eventually lose by a score of 27-24 in overtime. It certainly didn’t stop them from winning the Super Bowl.

The Rams were favored to win this matchup with a VI consensus line of -179 had you wanted them straight up.

Season Week Game Losing Team +10 and MoneyLine Favorites Dogs
2021 1 PIT @ BUF -286 1 0
2021 1 CLE @ KC 197 1 1
2021 1 BAL @ LV -179 2 1
2021 2 MIN @ ARZ 163 2 2
2021 2 TEN @ SEA -278 3 2
2021 2 KC @ BAL -196 4 2
2021 3 MIA @ LV 151 4 3
2021 3 SEA @ MIN -127 5 3
2021 4 JAX @ CIN 270 5 4
2021 4 WASH @ ATL 107 5 5
2021 4 NYG @ NO -333 6 5
2021 5 PHI @ CAR -141 7 5
2021  5 NE @ HOU 296 7 6
2021 5 CLE @ LAC 114 7 7
2021 5 IND @ BAL 278 7 8
2021 6 MIA @ JAX -128 8 8
2021 7 DET @ LAR 786 8 9
2021 8 TEN @ IND -154 9 9
2021 8 CIN @ NYJ -556 10 9
2021 9 MIN @ BAL 253 10 10
2021 12 NYJ @ HOU -145 11 10
2021 12 TB @ IND 130 11 11
2021 13 SF @ SEA -131 12 11
2021 14 CHI @ GB 461 12 12
2021 15 NYJ @ MIA 343 12 13
2021 15 TEN @ PIT -104 13 13
2021 15 WASH @ PHI 351 13 14
2021 16 SF @ TEN -175 14 14
2021 16 CHI @ SEA -312 15 14
2021 17 KC @ CIN -185 16 14
2021  17 TB @ NYJ 580 16 15
2021 17 PHI @ WASH 206 16 16
2021 17 LAR @ BAL 253 16 17
2021 17 CHI @ MIN 157 16 18
2021 17 SF @ LAR -179 17 18

2021 SEASON PERTINENT BREAKDOWN

It was a strange year compared to the other seasons that we have detailed as this is the closest gap between favorites leading by 10+, but losing, as compared to underdogs that we have seen. I’m quite pleased that there would be such a year, however, as the disparity in monetary results is going to put on display the true power of underdogs combined with this promotion.

Before we get into all of that, however, we must look at some raw figures:

Total Games: 272

Total Lead by 10+ and Lose: 35

Frequency: 35/272 = 0.12867647058 or 12.868%

Total Number of Favorites: 272

Total Number of Dogs: 272

Frequency, Favorites: 17/272 = .0625 or 6.25%

Frequency, Dogs: 18/272 = 0.06617647058 or 6.618%

ANALYSIS:

As we can see, this is going to be the second-largest frequency for favorites to have led by 10+, and lost, in this study with only 2020 being greater. For that reason, we will expect this season to have also been profitable blanket betting favorites for this promotion, but how it compares to last year will largely depend on the lines with smaller lays being better. As I recall, there were a few pretty big lays on this one, so that doesn’t bode well for year-to-year.

Underdog frequency is the second-lowest that we have seen, with only 2017 being lower. That said, the closeness of the two frequencies combined with how few underdogs there were are going to put on full display the true power of this promotion when combined with blanket betting dogs. Further, we also had a few huge underdog wins for 2021 via this promotion, so I would expect to see better financial results than 2017, at least.

Let’s get down to business:

272 * 250 * .0624 = $4243.20

Based on historical data, we would expect to lose $4,243.20 blanket betting favorites for an entire season without any promotion. Obviously, this is going to be subject to season over season variance, but we have to use something.

With that, the seventeen games that this promotion would have swung the other way immediately saves us $4250 in what would have otherwise been losses, so we are immediately ahead by the princely sum of $6.80.

We have seventeen swings, so let’s get into seeing how much we realized in profits:

1.) -286 = $87.41

2.) -179 = $139.67

3.) -278 = $89.93

4.) -196 = $127.55

5.) -127 = $196.85

6.) -333 = $75.08

7.) -141 = $177.30

8.) -128 = $195.31

9.) -154 = $162.35

10.) -556 = $44.96

11.) -145 = $172.43

12.) -131 = $190.84

13.) -104 = $240.38

14.) -175 = $142.85

15.) -312 = $80.13

16.) -185 = $135.14

17.) -179 = $139.66

6.8 + 87.41 + 139.67 + 89.93 + 127.55 + 196.85 + 75.08 + 177.30 + 195.31 + 162.35 + 44.96 + 172.43 + 190.84 + 240.38 + 142.85 + 80.13 + 135.14 + 139.66 = $2,404.64 (Profit)

As we can see, the profits are a little short of the 2020 numbers, which reflects a combination of three factors:

1.) Slightly lower frequency.

2.) We made more bets, overall.

3.) The variance that comes with the individual lines that these swing the decision on. In this case, five of our decisions did not even result in triple digit profits.

With that, we bet a total of $68,000 on blanket favorites for a return of $70,404.64, which represents profit rate of about 3.536%

That brings us to underdogs, where we are likely to see our second worst net profits, or perhaps even worst depending on how the lines went, but maybe it won’t be that, ‘bad,’ also depending on how the lines went. Let’s get into it:

The expected loss is (250 * 272) * .0391 = $2658.80 without any promotions, so immediately we have saved $4500 just if those loses flipped into pushes, and would, therefore, already be ahead $1,841.20. Let’s grab our direct profits from the bets becoming wins:

1.) 197 = $492.50

2.) 163 = $407.50

3.) 151 = $377.50

4.) 270 = $675.00

5.) 107 = $267.50

6.) 296 = $740.00

7.) 114 = $285.00

8.) 278 = $695.00

9.) 786 = $1,965.00

10.) 253 = $632.50

11.) 130 = $325.00

12.) 461 = $1,152.50

13.) 343 = $857.50

14.) 351 = $877.50

15.) 580 = $1,450.00

16.) 206 = $515.00

17.) 253 = $632.50

18.) 157 = $392.50

1841.2 + 492.5 + 407.5 + 377.5 + 675 + 267.5 + 740 + 285 + 695 + 1965 + 632.5 + 325 + 1152.5 + 857.5 + 877.5 + 1450 + 515 + 632.5 + 392.5 = $14,581.20

As we half expected, this was our second-worst season for results as it was also our second worst season for dog frequency. It actually could have not been as good, but having a single game represent a more than $2,000 total swing on a single $250 bet sure helps a lot!

In terms of percentage, we are betting the same $68,000 in total bets, this time with a return of $82,581.20, so we see a profit percentage of about 21.443% of all bets. That’s still an insurmountable advantage at the end of the day.

Year 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Games 256 256 256 256 272
Games Betting Favorites 256 256 256 256 272
Games Betting Dogs 256 256 256 256 272
Promotion Swing % Favorites 3.13% 4.30% 5.08% 6.64% 6.25%
Promotion Swing % Dogs 6.25% 8.98% 7.81% 10.16% 6.62%
Gain(Loss) Favorites ($1,056.36) $360.33 $479.56 $2,642.68 $2,404.64
Gain (Loss) % Favorites -1.65% 0.56% 0.75% 4.13% 3.54%
Gain Dogs $10,177.63 $17,450.10 $15,407.68 $20,885.10 $14,581.20
Gain % Dogs 15.90% 27.27% 24.08% 32.63% 21.44%
Gain Offsets $9,121.27 $17,810.43 $15,887.24 $23,527.78 $16,985.84
Gain % Offsets 7.13% 13.91% 12.41% 18.38% 12.49%

 

When it comes to offsets, just for the purpose of completion, offsets win $16,985.84 on a total of $136,000 in bets, so that represents profitability percentage of about 12.49%.

Keep in mind that these offsets combine the second-best season for favorites with the second worst net profitability season for underdogs, and even then, it is nearly a nine percent dropoff in profitability percentage compared to two people just both betting underdogs; every other season would have been a larger percentage dropoff than this.

It’s also important to remember that, whether this promotion (for you) is limited to a week or even a single game, the most likely result of any game is that the favorite just wins without the underdog ever leading by ten, or more, points. For that reason, on a single game basis, offsets are most likely to result in losing some amount of money–which we demonstrated, in detail, for our 2017 analysis, so go back and read that, if you wish.

THE TIES

In the grand scheme of things, neglecting to analyze ties is a fairly minor oversight as it is not going to make a great overall difference. The sample size of ties is also extremely limited in that there were only five such games in our five year sample.

I should also mention that my original understanding of this promotion was such that ties would just push both sides regardless of any 10+ point leads, but as it turns out, such is apparently not the case. That makes the prospect of ties especially interesting because it’s actually another way for both sides to win—which is effectively what happens when EITHER side wins a game that has a non-tie finish as a result of this stipulation.

Of course, one side could win while the other simply pushes; that would be the case in the result of a tie for which only one team or the other led by ten.

In the five years we have studied, there have been as many ties, so we will look at those individually.

September 9th, 2018 - Pittsburgh @ Cleveland: Pittsburgh went into this game as 3.5 point favorites, but the result would be a 21-21 tie. The Steelers would have been approximately -191 if you wanted them straight up, which equates to profits of $130.90. We have no reason to account for the $250 originally bet because that money would not have been lost anyway.

The Steelers led 21-7 in the third quarter and were the only team to lead by 10+.

September 16th, 2018 - Minnesota @ Green Bay: Once again, only one team led by 10+ points in this 29-29 tie, this time Green Bay who were ahead as much as 20-7 on a Mason Crosby field goal that was the only score of the third quarter.

This game seems to have been a Pick ‘Em, so we are going to call the line on the Packers -110. The result is profit of $227.27 as the original bet would not have been lost regardless.

September 8th, 2019 - Detroit @ Arizona: In this 27-27 tie, the Lions led by a score of 17-3 at halftime. Once again, the team that was favored were the favorites and I have an actual Moneyline for this game as laying -150 had you wanted the Lions straight up.

The profits would have been $166.68 as you would not have lost the original bet either way.

September 27th, 2020: Cincinnati @ Philadelphia. This game is not applicable as neither team led by ten, or more, at any point.

November 14th, 2021: Detroit @ Pittsburgh: This game is not applicable as neither team led by ten, or more, at any point in this 16-16 tie.

We will now add the results of all ties onto the table:

Year 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 Ties (ALL) TOTALS
Games 256 256 256 256 272 1296 1296
Games Betting Favorites 256 256 256 256 272 1296 1296
Games Betting Dogs 256 256 256 256 272 1296 1296
Promotion Swing % Favorites 3.13% 4.30% 5.08% 6.64% 6.25% 0.00% 5.32%
Promotion Swing % Dogs 6.25% 8.98% 7.81% 10.16% 6.62% 0% 7.95%
Gain(Loss) Favorites ($1,056.36) $360.33 $479.56 $2,642.68 $2,404.64 $524.85 $5,355.70
Gain (Loss) % Favorites -1.65% 0.56% 0.75% 4.13% 3.54% X* 1.65%
Gain Dogs $10,177.63 $17,450.10 $15,407.68 $20,885.10 $14,581.20 $0 $78,501.71
Gain % Dogs 15.90% 27.27% 24.08% 32.63% 21.44% X 24.23%
Gain Offsets $9,121.27 $17,810.43 $15,887.24 $23,527.78 $16,985.84 X* $83,857.41
Gain % Offsets 7.13% 13.91% 12.41% 18.38% 12.49% X* 12.94%

 

*There is no reason to calculate this just for ties; it will be included in the final totals.

FINAL BREAKDOWN

Favorites:

For the five seasons in question, if you could have had this promotion for every single side on every single game, then blanket betting favorites would have led to total profits of $5,355.70 (assuming the usual expected loss, historically, on favorites betting) on $324,000 in total bets for a percentage gain of 1.653%.

Did favorites underperform in the first two years of our analysis, or outperform in the last two years of the same? Honestly, the sample size is not enough to know, but there are far easier ways of gaining 1.653% on your money over a five year period. Well, maybe not easier than just blanket betting favorites (because that’s a pretty easy thing to do), but certainly less time consuming and requiring less attention.

Do we have enough of a sample size to come to the conclusion that favorites betting is guaranteed to be positive over the long run? Well, betting $250, per game, over 1,296 games would lead to the following normal expected loss on historical data:

1296 * 250 * .0624 = $20,217.60 (Loss)

Over this sample, we turned 69 losses into wins and three pushes into wins. Ignoring the pushes, just turning 69 losses into pushes would put $17,250 back into our pockets, which is $2967.60 short of covering what would otherwise be our losses on its own.

On the other hand, favorites would have only had one losing year, but it would have taken more than the next two full seasons for that loss to have been covered. What this really comes down to is whether or not it was the first year that was highly unexpected, the last two years, or something in-between.

In any event, I am going to conclude that betting blanket favorites is terrible compared to betting blanket dogs; that we know for sure. I’m not going to offer an absolute conclusion on the long-term profitability of betting favorites with this promotion, but I am inclined to suggest that it is highly probable that doing such would be profitable, based on what we have seen.

Underdogs:

Underdogs are just winning with this promotion.

As we see in the table above, we made a five-year profit of $78,501.71 blanket betting underdogs over those 1,296 games and $324,000 in total bets for a profit percentage of 24.229% of all monies bet, which is just an insurmountable player advantage. For that reason, absent unbelievable insight into a specific matchup on the end of the bettor, I could never imagine betting a single favorite on this promotion over its underdog.

Offsets:

Finally, we made a healthy $83,857.41 on offset betting off of $628,000 in bets, but I cannot advise offset betting for this sort of promotion, in spite of the 12.941% gain on all monies bet.

There are several reasons why, but the immediate reason is that underdogs are simply so much better that it would be best, if you had a partner, for both of you to just bet underdogs all the time. Furthermore, betting favorites even had one season (2017) that would have been losing, whereas, the least percentage gained on underdogs was 15.903% that same 2017 season.

Furthermore, offset betting is usually something that I only suggest if you can bet in such a way that it absolutely guarantees profit on a given event, or promotion, and can be done in such a way as to render a net loss impossible. In this case, while you would gain if you could do this for an entire season, (which you would, it seems, ALWAYS do on underdogs anyway) you wouldn’t necessarily prevent loss or assure gain on an individual game.

We did an example in our 2017 analysis for a game in which the most likely result was the favorite simply winning without the underdog ever leading by 10+. Granted, we used the 2017 percentages to do that, but I think the concept would hold in many cases. Even if it didn’t, lacking any insight into a specific game, betting underdog is so overwhelmingly good on this promotion that to do anything else would be simply unconscionable.

With that, I’m going to take a look into the future at some questions that I anticipate people might eventually have, try to get out ahead of those, and then we will do a quick little wrap-up. This project sure has been fun, for the first two seasons anyway, but I’m tired now.

QUESTIONS THAT COULD BE ASKED

1.) What do you mean when you say, “Offsets,” and why would anyone do that?

-Okay, so I wouldn’t exactly call myself an advocate of, “Offset betting,” and it is certainly usually done at a non-zero sacrifice (though not always a big sacrifice) to expected value.

That being said, offset betting is simply structuring your betting by betting in conjunction with another person, or making an opposite bet at a different sportsbook, such that you are effectively betting on opposite things to happen.

For example, and this is probably a terrible EV decision just because I’m firing off a quick example, let’s say that I had a 50% profit boost on the Moneyline for tonight’s (September 12, 2022) Monday Night Football game Denver @ Seattle.

We’re going to pretend I have this boost at two different books, but it can only be Moneyline bets. We will go with the VI consensus lines which are:

Denver -278 Seattle +225

Okay, so I would normally have to bet $278 on Denver to win $100 and would normally have to bet $100 on Seattle to win $225. The profit boost would double just the profits on this game, so my $278 bet on Denver would instead profit $150 and my $100 bet on Seattle would now profit $337.50.

With that, if I take Denver for $278 at one book and Seattle for $100 at a different book, then I can’t possibly fail to profit unless there is just a tie game. Here you go:

If Denver wins: $150 - $100 = $50

If Seattle wins: $337.50 - 278 = $59.50

There will sometimes be a wide disparity in the possible outcomes, so when that happens, you can sometimes adjust betting to make the two monetary outcomes as close as possible. (in this case, you would bet slightly more on Denver)

Anyway, I usually only loosely recommend (while always mentioning the EV sacrifice) offset betting if it absolutely assures profit on every event, or promotion, and therefore comes with a 0% probability of losing. The 0% probability of losing can sometimes also be important for those with a really low bankroll, so it’s just a way of guaranteeing some sort of profit if the person in question considers the guarantee of some kind of profit worth the EV sacrifice.

The reason that I wouldn’t recommend offsets for this promotion is twofold; I have already described it above, so I will be brief:

1.) Underdogs are just way too good.

2.) A confederate and yourself could bet opposite sides using this promotion in a way that results in the two of you losing money anyway. Namely, all it would take is for the favorite to win the game without the underdog ever leading by ten–-for me, that immediately defeats the purpose of offsetting.

So, the story of this promotion is, “Underdogs, all the time,” unless you feel like you have some tremendous insight into a small(ish) favorite either just stomping the other team or going up by ten in short order.

2.) Hey, weren’t (insert team) a one point dog in (insert game)? Why do you have them listed as a favorite?

-The listing of a team as a, “Favorite,” is based on the Moneyline. When you have a negative Moneyline, such as -104, that would mean that you have to bet $104 in order for your profits to be $100 if they win. That team might have actually gotten a half or full point in the game, but because you had to lay money, it is a favorite for the purposes of this study.

Yes, in effect, when you see a, “Pick’em,” type game on the spreads with both teams being -xxx on the Moneyline, they are effectively favoring both teams to win. (Not really, sometimes it might be -114/-104, and 50/50 is usually going to look like -110/-110).

Anyway, if they had a -xxx line, then they are considered a favorite, even if that technically makes both teams the favorite for the purpose of this study.

3.) What about games where both teams led by ten?

-Irrelevant. Both teams certainly didn’t lose the game, did they? The only result that this would theoretically change is a tie, and while a tie could do that, in theory, we did not actually have any ties that did. In fact, all three ties in this study that went from a push to some sort of win all involved favorites being profitable.

4.) But, wouldn’t both teams leading by ten make this result more likely?

-It would make the result certain, but it would still be irrelevant, absent tie football games. It doesn’t add anything to our percentages because one team still won and the other still lost; this promotion only changes anything if your bet would have otherwise lost. If your bet would have won because the team you selected won, then it’s a winning bet anyway. Again, it just so happened that we did not have any applicable ties in these five years.

5.) Was this difficult to do?

-It was time consuming to do, but not particularly difficult.

6.) What is your favorite color?

-Orange.

7.) Why do underdogs have a higher swing frequency?

–One year, they almost didn’t. I suspect that it’s higher overall for the following reasons:

1.) Underdogs are simply more likely to lose the football game, which is why they are underdogs. Because they are more likely to lose the football game, they are also more likely to lead by 10+, at some point, then go on to lose the football game.

2.) You simply don’t expect that a favorite, especially a big favorite, is going to lead by 10+ and then go on to lose the game. Usually the favorites are at least pretty decent teams, and decent teams hold onto leads more often than not; they are also more likely than not to come back from sizable deficits.

3.) According to Sports Illustrated, home field teams are usually going to lay three more points, or get three fewer points (depending on where they would be analyzed against the other team as if on a neutral field) by the sportsbooks to account for home field advantage.

Naturally, any actual advantage, assuming one exists, would depend largely on the venue in question as well as the capacity of the crowd. I would also think that the climate would become something of a consideration for teams that have to go to cold weather stadiums that normally don’t play in one, so I imagine that is also given a little weighting.

From what I read, I don’t think the home field bias is quite as strong as it once was, which could be why we have seen favorites and dogs close the frequency gap in the last two years of this study, but it could also be that our samples are limited anyway. In my opinion, which is totally unqualified, I don’t think that they swing the lines a blanket three points to, ‘Account for,’ home field advantage in every game; it would be silly to do so as an absolute and very antithetical to what coming up with good lines is about, all in my opinion.

However, I do believe that the point spread swing is non-zero, so to that extent, you’re sometimes going to simply have underdogs that probably should be a pick ‘em, or perhaps even a very small favorite. Moneylines largely do what spreads do, just on the + or - basis instead, so it gets translated over to Moneylines somewhat.

8.) Hey, I saw this promotion, except it is if your team leads by seven points; is that a good promotion?

-If it is good for ten, then it is automatically good for seven. If you want a full analysis of how good, then you will either have to contact me for rates or do it yourself. Underdogs are still going to be the way to go; I can tell you that immediately.

9.) Hey, I saw this promotion, except it is if your team leads by (some number greater than ten) points, is that a good promotion?

-I have no idea. I don’t mean to be flippant, but I truly don’t. You will have to determine what games are applicable the same way that I did. I can say that many of these teams did NOT lead by more than ten points throughout the game.

Aside from that, you’re just going to have to do it yourself, or I might entertain an offer if you want me to do it. Either way, if you are fine with only basing it on five years, then you can use everything about it as a cheat sheet to find what games could be applicable. I probably would have made a point to list, “Highest lead,” somewhere, but I didn’t think about that until just now. Sorry.

10.) How long do you think this promotion will be offered?

-I have no idea. If nothing else, if sportsbooks did get away from this one, then I wouldn’t be surprised to see it replaced with, “If your team loses, but led by ten or more, your bet will be refunded,” sort of thing. If that happened, I can confidently say that betting underdogs would still be profitable, just not insanely so.

I’m not so sure when it comes to favorites, but I doubt it. Over the course of these five years analyzed, favorites would still lose you money if you only got your bet returned under these conditions.

That said, over this sample, favorites still lost less than 1% of all monies bet even if the stipulation was only for the return of your bet, so that’s still going to make a massive difference to people who bet sports a lot. It’s possible that favorites would be anywhere from a small loser to a small gainer if the stipulation was only return of the bet, but that would require 2017 to have been an extremely low year for this and for 2020 and 2021 not to have been much higher than usual.

With that, my answer is that I doubt favorites would have an expected profit if the stipulation was just that 10+ and lose just gets your money back. Even if it would be profitable, it certainly wouldn’t be by very much.

In the case of underdogs, they would have been profitable simply by virtue of having losing bets returned every single year of this sample. It is not my expectation, but rather my conclusion, that underdogs would still have an expected profit even with the modification.

11.) I looked at a few of these games, and many times, the lead the losing team had was in the first half; why is that?

-Think of it this way–the other team is ahead by ten points with two seconds left in the game, so the probability of your team winning that game is 0%, right?

It’s not that teams perceived as inferior are more likely to jump out to early leads as opposed to leading by 10+ late; it’s that ALL teams are more likely to overcome a 10+ point deficit the more time there is on the clock.

12.) Why are underdogs so strong?

-The reason for that is more money gets thrown your way on this promotion if your underdog leads by 10+ points and loses. We had one game for which a $250 bet resulted in a swing of more than $2,000 on what would have otherwise been a $250 loss without the promotion.

-Furthermore, I maintain that some underdogs, especially away underdogs on very tight point spreads, shouldn’t be underdogs at all, but the real value in this promotion does come from the big hits on what would otherwise be losses.

-There’s also so much variance in one game of football that taking a ten point lead early in the game isn’t particularly unusual, even for a drastically inferior team compared to its opponent. The Giants seemed to do so quite a few times in this sample.

13.) What is the best underdog line for this promotion?

-I have no idea and the sample size would only be 103 underdog results that actually resulted in a swing. That’s not even enough to start figuring that one out. I guess you could rank underdogs something like:

+100 to +200

+201 to +300

+301 to +400

+401 to +500

+501 or more

And then you would have to get all of the other 1,193 Moneylines where this did not come into play and figure it out that way. Have fun with that. You couldn’t offer me enough money. Either way, here’s some free game data on the underdogs who did pull it off and their corresponding lines. You’re welcome.

14.) What is the best favorite line for this promotion?

-Betting on the underdog instead.

In all seriousness, my general advice is simply that you would want to be laying as little as possible because your actual profits will be greater if a game did unfold this way. More than that, one necessarily expects that the bookies have some idea of what they are doing, so more closely matched teams are going to have it more likely that the underdog wins, in general.

I guess you could rank favorites something like this:

-101 to -200

-201 to -300

-301 to -400

-401 to -500

-501 or more

And then you would have to get all of the other 1,227 Moneylines where this did not come into play and figure it out that way. Have fun with that. You couldn’t offer me enough money. Either way, here’s some game data on the favorites who did have this happen and their corresponding lines. You’re welcome.

15.) Don’t both sides win when this promotion comes into play and the stipulation happens for one team or the other?

Yes. The only exception would be a tie in which neither team led by 10+ or only one team led by 10+, in which event, one team or both would simply push as normal.

16.) How long did this take?

-Long enough.

17.) Why $250 bets?

-Evidently, the amount that a person can bet on this promotion is based on their status with this particular casino. That might change and become a flat amount if other casinos start doing the same promotion. Either way, a friend of mine could do $250 bets, so I was going to do a much shorter analysis as proof of concept, but decided to go full hog since it seems to be getting a lot of buzz.

CONCLUSION

That’s it folks! The bottom line is that you want to be all underdogs, all the time, with the promotion by which if your team leads by ten, or more, and loses the game your bet still wins.

It would take you having the perception of tremendous insight into a game for you to ever want to bet the favorite, or perhaps even to bet both (hoping for two wins) to do anything other than bet underdogs on this promotion. Underdogs are such a massive advantage that it would be unconscionable to bet anything else without a good reason to do so.

We also discovered that underdogs would remain profitable, based on our five years of data, even if this promotion changed to your bet pushes if your team leads by ten, or more, and still loses the game. For more information on any of this, or data, scroll the heck up and give me some page read time!

If you have any questions, first see the, “Questions that could be asked,” section, and if you still have a question, feel free to PM me on WizardofVegas at Mission146.


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