The Blog of a Math Nerd...named Donnie


Good News and Bad News

Posted on 11/06/2013

As I computed numbers for this weeks' games, I knew it was going to be an interesting week. To start, there was only one game between teams that entered with winning records. In that game, one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL left that game with a potential broken clavicle. There were also coaches collapsing and two 21-point comebacks. There is some good news that came out of the week and I can't wait to share.

Even just looking at the numbers, I wasn't happy. I remember sending a text to someone saying, "If these numbers stay above 56%, I will start betting them next week." Let's just say I'm not making any bets this week. One positive thing is (this isn't the foreshadowed good news) I saw it coming. This means my eye can see when things are questionable which is a huge step forward for me personally. That's not why you're reading this; you care about the strategies and the numbers:

Spread Strategies
Strategy 15/13
Strategy 26/12
Strategy 38/13
Strategy 45/11
O/U Strategies
Strategy 12/13
Strategy 29/13
Strategy 34/13
Strategy 49/13
Strategy 55/12

Strategy 1 went a combined 7 for 26; a winning percentage of 26.92%. This definitely counterbalances the great week Strategy 1 had last week. The good news is that this horrible week caused me to look more closely at the trends, and I found a couple things that I would like to share.

We start with the spread bets. Taking an average of Strategies 1 and 2, then only betting on games where the home team is the underdog seems to produce good results. Following this would have produced a winning percentage of 70.59% (12 out of 17) over the past 3 weeks. This past week when the general strategies did very poorly, this strategy still produced a respectable winning percentage of 57.14% (4 out of 7).

Now we move on to over/under bets. This strategy is slightly more complex, but such strategies are common in sports betting. If Strategy 1 and 3 agree and Strategy 2 is the opposite, then you place a bet using Strategy 1. In addition, if all three of these strategies imply that you should take the over, then bet the over. One should ignore all other bets. Betting this way would have produced a winning percentage of 61.53% (16 out of 26) over the past three weeks. Last week, this would have have won 2 out of 8 bets. Not good, but I will take the overall record.

I have also come up with a unit based betting strategy that has proved to be successful. It is based on the difference between the Vegas and my line. For example, even though the above over/under strategy won only 2 out of 8 bets, this betting strategy would have produced a loss of only $90. Consistently betting $110 on every over/under would have produced a loss of $540. This has saved us from losing too much in a bad week, but it will also help us win more during a good week. Another strategy has produced a winning percentage of only 46.67%, but this betting strategy has actually produced a profit of $1,150 using a unit of $110. This comes from betting more on games that are "more likely" to win and less on the games that are more questionable.

I understand that this can get complicated as trends reveal themselves and strategies evolve. If you have any questions, or think something is unclear, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me on a social network of your choice - see the icons in the welcome pane.

Tags: Sports, Betting
Updated on 01/12/2016


Allow me to introduce myself. I am a mathematician and programmer. Currently, I am working on a PhD in arithmetic geometry. I like to write about many things including math, sports, programming, education, and technology. If you would like to see my comments more frequently, you can follow me on my social profiles:


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