Week 3 Confidence Picks – For realsies

Week 3 greets us with a lot of upset opportunities. The upset pick of the week is The New York Jets over the Chicago Bears, with a 59% win probability, but only 23% of the people on Yahoo picked the Jets. For the myriad Bears fans that read this website, are you willing to pick against your team for an upset? It costed my dad in Week 1 when he picked his Cowboys, but helped him in Week 2. If you pick against them,  you’ll win either way…  So which way will you go?

If you want to go a different direction, Detroit over MY hometown Packers is another choice. I’m sure the Bears fans would rather go that route. If you feel like taking a gamble, the St Louis Rams are basically 50/50 with the Cowboys but only 19% are picking them.

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Week 2 Confidence Pool / Pick Em Picks

Thanks to everyone for the kind words about this site! We had over 1000 hits last week. How did you do last week? Leave your methods, results, and brags (or tears) in the comments.

For those of you who picked St Louis very high last week, it didn’t work out as Shaun Hill went down with an injury and the Rams got blown out. But for those of you who dropped New England down, or even picked the Miami upset, you did very well. My dad, who became a believer in the site midway through last year, came in third place in Week 1 in our league. His homer pick of Dallas beating SF came back to cost him a first place finish.

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Week 1 Confidence Pool / Pick ‘Em Picks!

Welcome to Week 1 of the 2014 NFL season! Between the flurry of fantasy league drafts, Pick ‘Em leagues, and for me moving cities and a vacation to Vegas (where I learned a little bit more about how these Moneyline picks work), the season seems to come up on you fast!

This year, I’ve set up our own confidence pool league on Yahoo. Please join and we can have some fun with our own people! Just leave your email address in the box on the right and I’ll send you the info. Play for some fabulous prizes.

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Confidence Pool Picks: 2014 Season

It’s time for another year of Confidence Pool Picks! For those who were around last year,  the site has gone through quite a makeover.  Last year, I won my Yahoo Pick ‘Em confidence league (my trophy is proudly displayed on this site) and shared my strategies on this blog. I know at least a bunch of you were in contention or won your leagues as well! Thank you all for participating in the discussion and helping me craft my strategy as well.

I started this blog because I couldn’t find good info on confidence pool leagues after my dad roped me into his work league.  He paid for my entry and I’m happy to say I won him back my entry fee, his entry fee, and made a profit. Now that I have a year of confidence league blogging under my belt, I hope to bring you a few neat things for this coming year.  I’ll continue to provide win probabilities based off various models (last year I used a Moneyline and AdvancedNFLStats model average). The upset picks based off Yahoo public data will also continue. But I’m excited to announce that…

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NCAA Bracket Edition: Using CPP principles for March Madness

I tried to run some similar analyses to help fill out my March Madness bracket as what I do for the NFL confidence pools. Basically, I found some win probabilities (thanks to Nate Silver’s site, fivethirtyeight.com) and paired them up with what the public is picking (which I found on Yahoo’s version of the picks). Here’s what I found. The green highlighted picks are teams that have a pretty good probability of winning but not many people are picking them (so don’t choose these teams for upsets) and the yellow ones are lower win probabilities, but high in relation to the number of people pick them. These are some good upset picks.

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Confidence Pool Picks: Superbowl Edition

Here we go… the last game of the season. It’s a doozy, the Advanced NFL Stats model gives it a perfect 50/50 split:

Most people are picking Omaha Denver, but the odds are very close. This would be a great time to go with the Seattle upset. However, in a situation when you’re up less than the number of points available, it gets really interesting. I’ve been conversing with @Terry, who’s in the last game leading by 4 with the last game counting for 16 points. Here’s the situation:

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NFL Playoffs/Conference Championship Confidence/Pick Em

And we’re down to the final four… Here are the probabilites:

Had an interesting discussion with @Terry. He’s in first place, with the 2nd place team 4 points back 3rd place 18 points back. Confidence points are 16 and 8. What do you do? Simplest answer: pick the favorites. When you’re winning, you go with the lowest risk strategy.

This is similar to a Final Jeopardy match when one person has the lead, but it’s not a runaway as the second place team has a little bit less, and the third place team has less than half. If you answer the question right, you win. In our case, if you pick the winners, you win.

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Playoffs Week 2 Confidence Pool/Pick Em Picks

It’s time for Week 2! Last week, I talked about how bad of an upset pick SD over Cincinnati would be… and of course SD pulled it off. I guess 25% probability events happen… uh… 25% of the time. Week 2 has a little less parity, which also means more chances for bigger upsets.

Basically all the “dark green” risky upset options are close, I picked NO because they represent the highest win probability amongst upsets (30%) with a low percentage of people picking them. The Advanced NFL Stats article this week agrees, saying NO is one of the unlucky teams in the playoffs. Carolina is a good upset pick if you’re looking to gain some ground, since they’re pretty much a 50/50 split with SF but only 41% of the people picked them. SF conversely is a decent pick as well if you want to push a bit.

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