Picking football games (against the spread) in review, volume vi

I recently made 10 NFL picks against the spread (ATS). This post is to take account of those picks.

1. Dolphins (+3) over Ravens

Actual score: Ravens 40, Dolphins 0

Outcome: Loss

2. Patriots (-7.5) over Chargers

Actual score: Patriots 21, Chargers 13

Outcome: Win

3. 49ers (+13) over Eagles

Actual score: Eagles 33, 49ers 10

Outcome: Loss

4. Atlanta (-5) over Jets

Actual score: Atlanta 25, Jets 20

Outcome: Push

5. Panthers (+2) over Bucs

Actual score: Panthers 17, Bucs 3

Outcome: Win

6. Raiders (+3) over Bills

Actual score: Bills 34, Raiders 14

Outcome: Loss

7. Washington (+2) over Cowboys

Actual score: Cowboys 33, Washington 19

Outcome: Loss

8. Saints (-9) over Bears

Actual score: Saints 20, Bears 12

Outcome: Loss

9. Steelers (-3) over Lions

Actual score: Steelers 20, Lions 15

Outcome: Win

10. Chiefs (-7.5) over Broncos

Actual score: Chiefs 29, Broncos 19

Outcome: Win

Volume vi record: 4-5-1

Overall record against the spread: 34-24-2 (58.6%)

I called it in a recent blog because I already knew: this was a difficult week picking football games. For the second time, and second week in a row, I had a losing batch of picks.

The correlation makes perfect sense: as Vegas has gotten smarter with its lines over the last few weeks, my winning percentage has fallen. I can’t help the first part of that equation. The more games that get played, the more information they have, and thus the more difficult it is to beat the house.

I need to stop betting on the Redskins. They hoodwinked me on Monday Night Football about a month ago when they gave the Chiefs a good run in Kansas City. The last two weeks I have picked them (plus the points) against divisional foes, and they’ve let me down both times. I will try to adjust accordingly.

Three of the more dependable teams have been the Chiefs, Steelers, and Jets. I’ve correctly picked the Chiefs five weeks in a row. I’ve picked the Steelers to cover three weeks straight, and I’ve been rewarded with three wins. Meanwhile the Jets, who are supposed to be bad but are playing Not That Bad, have delivered back-to-back pushes. Which isn’t a loss!

Officially, yesterday I bet a three-team moneyline parlay. I picked the Falcons (-150) to beat the Jets, the Eagles (-800) to beat the 49ers, and the Panthers (+110) to beat the Falcons. That bet paid off at about 3-to-1, which was a decent come up. I only wish I had bet more than $50.

In the afternoon I took a shot at a two-team parlay against the spread, which didn’t really matter since neither the Redskins (+3) or Seahawks (-7) could come through for me. Both those bets were even money, so the parlay would have paid exactly 3:1. Instead, I lost $50. Parlays suck. I took Pittsburgh (-3.5) in the evening game and they won a few bucks for me.

Overall I’m hitting at around a 58% clip, which is good. If I went back and did the math it would probably be worth about +150, or roughly a blackjack. That’s a good return after six weeks and sixty picks.

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