I’ve been continuing to try to figure out how to identify best bets more consistently. As I had mentioned in previous weeks, when it comes to the spread, there is a bit of nuance to be used. The outer edges of the spread spectrum when the game is either a coin flip (a spread of 0 to 1) or features a heavy favorite (greater than 8), a delta between the crowd prediction and the spread can be as high as 4 or 5 points without it feeling like a best bet. Alternatively, if a spread is between 3 and 9 points, a delta of 4 or 5 points seems like a pretty good indication of value. So for now, we’ll keep a focus on the best bets when it’s pretty clear that the crowd sees value while we try to sort out the outliers.
In Week 12, there were two games that feature big deltas: Jaguars-Cardinals and Texans-Ravens. The crowd picked Arizona, a 6-point underdog, to win the game outright and had a spread delta of 6.2. The crowd picked the Ravens to win by 1.1 (Texans cover the 7.5) for a spread delta of 6.4. The crowd spreads for all of the other games were relatively close to the Vegas lines. So for the games with the big deltas, the crowd went 2-0.
When it comes to the total, identifying a best bet using the delta is much more straightforward. Since most spreads are between 41 and 46 (based on quartiles), we can more easily use the delta between the crowd total and the odds to identify value.
In Week 12, there were 5 games in which the total predicted by the crowd and the Vegas total differed by at least 10%, and the crowd went 4-0-1.
|Bills at Chiefs||47||41.63||26|
|Saints at Rams||54||48||46|
|Jaguars at Cardinals||37||43.11||51|
|Panthers at Jets||39.5||45.88||62|
|Texans at Ravens||39||43.78||39|
Week 12 Best Bets: 6-0-1
This was a pretty incredible result that I wish I had posted before the games. Of course, I’m pretty sure that if I had I would have jinxed the whole week.
Other Best Bets
RP-Excel – 5-4
In Week 12, RP-Excel hit all 3 over/under best bets and went 2-4 against the spread for a fine 5-4 performance.
Vegas Insider – 3-2
The Westgate Super Contest consensus got back on track in Week 12, missing on the Jaguars and Saints while correctly picking the Panthers, Titans, and Rams. How can the SuperContest have picked both the Saints and the Rams? The consensus is based on the most popular picks, so both sides of a game could be popular. Of course, that probably means you should avoid playing the line.
Are there any other sites you follow for best bets? Add them in the comments or send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!