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Analyzing a winning NFL season

2 January 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

Dan Podheiser
Podheiser is a graduate of Emerson College and has worked as the sports editor of The (Torrington, CT) Register Citizen and as an intern for NESN.com. Immediately prior to joining Casino City, Podheiser served one year as an Americorps*VISTA, writing grant proposals for a local non-profit.

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