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Analyzing a winning NFL season

2 Jan 2014

By Dan Podheiser
Betting on sports is really, really hard. Beating the vig at a sportsbook over a large sample is nearly impossible.

Each week on the Casino City Gang podcast, the editorial staff makes picks against the spread for every single NFL game, betting a fictional $10 per game. (There are 256 games; we bet on the 249 that bet365 Sportsbook & Racebook had on its books at the time of our picks). And in 2013, I turned a modest profit.

Granted, 249 games is not exactly a huge sample size. But I can still be proud of my 135-106-8 record, $172.46 fictional profit and 6.93 percent return on investment.

I also decided to dig a little bit deeper and see if I could analyze why I had success this season. As it turns out, I went 57-37 in divisional games this year, which made up the majority of my profit. And half of my success in those games came from AFC South contests, in which I posted an 11-1-0 record. I must have had good reads on the Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans this season, because I went 34-15-3 in any game involving those teams.

Here are some more trends I uncovered:

Team(s) best handicapped: Indianapolis and Jacksonville (12-4 each)

Team worst handicapped: Dallas Cowboys (4-11)

Division best handicapped (removing duplicate games): AFC South (34-15-3)

Division(s) worst handicapped (removing duplicate games): NFC East (25-25-1) and AFC North (25-25-2)

Record in non-divisional, interconference games: 46-41-4

Record in non-conference games: 30-28-4
 
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