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Results! Super Bowl NFL Picks Against the Point Spread

What a game, huh? At our Super Bowl party, there was chatter about turning off the game during the meat of the blowout there in the third quarter. Only curiosity about the un-aired commercials kept it on. And then it happened. Wow, what a series of unfortunate events for the Falcons, and what a series of miraculous events for the Patriots. Heck of a game. The media say we’re in the Golden Age of Television; I think it’s fair to say that we’re also in the Golden Age of Super Bowls. So many lately have come right down to the finish.

For the bettors, it was a stomach churning game to watch. Both the Patriots covering of the spread and the Over for the point totals came out of nowhere.

At halftime, the Falcons were up by 18. With 2:07 left in the third quarter, they were up by 25, or 28 against the +3 point spread. So Falcons bettors were damn confident. At halftime, the point total was on pace for 48 points, 10 1/2 below the 58 1/2 projected point total. With 2:07 left in the third quarter, the projected point total fell to only 43.3 points, 15.2 points below the 58 1/2 projected point total. So Under bettors were also pretty confident, especially with the knowledge that the Falcons would be trying to drain the clock as fast as they could.

Then in the final 17 minutes, the game changed.

And only in Overtime did the Patriots cover and the game go Over the point total.

As a result, fiftytwopointfour got lucky with the Patriots and unlucky with the Under. That’s one win and one loss to end the 2016 postseason. The win on the Patriots brought the postseason picks against the point spread over .500. The loss with the Under brought down an already woeful set of post-season picks against the point total.

Best wishes for a brief offseason!

Here are the detailed results for this week’s picks against the point spread, followed by my post-season-to-date results:

201621c

201621d

Here are the detailed results for this week’s picks against the point total, followed by my post-season-to-date results:

201621e

201621f

Predictions! Super Bowl NFL Picks Against the Point Spread

Here is a VERY EARLY prediction from fiftytwopoint four on the results of the Super Bowl in Houston on Sunday, February 5th!

fiftytwopointfour likes the Patriots (-3) and the Under (58.5)

The Patriots are a no-star pick and the Under is a half-star pick. If there are any significant updates to the Vegas line and/or fifytwopointfour’s prediction, I’ll be back with an update!

The fiftytwopointfour Super Bowl pick based on the point spread:

201621a

The fiftytwopointfour Super Bowl pick based on the point total:

201621b

 

Results! Conference Championships NFL Picks Against the Point Spread

With victories by 19 and 23 points, the two Conference Championship games were not competitive and were not very entertaining. In fact, aside from the Packers/Cowboys game, the playoffs have been full of duds. I hope the football gods reward us with one he** of an entertaining Super Bowl.

Well now we know the teams in the Super Bowl: The relatively-new-to-the-scene Atlanta Falcons will face the yes-us-again New England Patriots. The current Vegas line is Patriots -3 with a 58 1/2 point total. I’ll be back with a fresh post to give fiftytwopointfour’s Super Bowl prediction after wrapping up the Conference Championship results.

The two no-star picks against the point spread were winners this week, picking both home teams to cover, which they did with ease. Unfortunately, the two picks I cared more about, the half-star picks against the point totals were both losers. Fiftytwopointfour picked the Under in both games, and they both went Over the point total. Both were close: The Falcons/Packers game didn’t go Over until 6:31 remained in the game, and that was the last of the scoring. The Patriots/Steelers game didn’t go Over until 3:36 remained in the game, and that was the last of the scoring. Oh well. Fiftytwopointfour’s picks against the point totals have been total stinkers this post-season, so the pattern continued.

Here are the detailed results for this week’s picks against the point spread, followed by my post-season-to-date results:

201620c

201620d

201620e

201620f

Predictions! Championship Round NFL Picks Against the Point Spread

Here we are, folks, just two 3-hour games away from knowing who’s going to be in the Super Bowl. Vegas and fiftytwopointfour are expecting a Falcons/Patriots Super Bowl, but who knows what’s really going to transpire this Sunday.

Fiftytwopointfour pretty much agrees with Vegas about the point spreads in both games, with slight favoritism to the two home teams this weekend. Both home teams are no-star picks. Football Outsiders’s Weighted DVOA, upon which fiftytwopointfour largely bases its predictive model, sees the AFC Championship game as the true Super Bowl. New England is #1 in Weighted DVOA, followed by Pittsburgh at #2. (Atlanta is #4 and Green Bay is #6, no slouches but not as elite a matchup as #1 vs #2.

Fiftytwopointfour does disagree somewhat with Vegas when it comes to the point totals in each game. Vegas (and the betting public) see both games as unusually high-scoring affairs, while fiftytwopointfour sees each contest accumulating 4-5 points less than Vegas thinks. The Under in both games are half-star picks. Let’s look under the hood at each:

  1. For the Falcons/Packers game, the offenses are the two best in the league, as measured by Football Outsider’s DVOA (Atlanta #1, Green Bay #2), and their defenses are in the bottom half of the league (Atlanta #21, Green Bay #25). So a high-scoring affair it should be. Maybe fiftytwopointfour’s model isn’t accurate at these extremes but even taking their offsensive strength and defensive weaknesses into account, plus playing on turf in a dome, fiftytwopointfour only sees this game scoring about 10 more points than an average NFL game (56.5 instead of the average 46.5), while Vegas sees this game scoring about 15 points more than an average NFL game (61). It could very well go over, however: Oddschecker.com calculated that of the 10 highest point totals in history, 8 of them ended up going over. If the game goes well over 61, fiftytwopointfour will learn from the experience.
  2. For the Patriots/Steelers game, the offenses and defenses are both top 10 in the NFL on both teams, as measured by Weighted DVOA. On offense, New England is #3 and Pittsburgh is #8. On defense, New England is #7 and Pittsburgh is #4. So with defenses about as strong as offenses across from them, fiftytwopointfour sees a pretty average scoring affair this week (46.5 total points) while Vegas sees a higher scoring affair (50.5). I suspect that Vegas and the public are focusing on the stars on both offenses and are forgetting about the strength on both defenses. Remember, it’s a zero-sum game, folks: a defense that can prevent a touchdown is just as valuable as an offense that can score a touchdown.

Have fun and enjoy the games!

The fiftytwopointfour picks based on the point spread:

201620a

The fiftytwopointfour picks based on the point total:

201620b

Results! Divisional Round NFL Picks Against the Point Spread

Well that was a decidedly mixed bag. On the one hand, fiftytwopointfour’s lone half-star pick from the Divisional Round went as predicted and was a winner. On the other hand, the other seven picks – no-star picks – went 1-6! Nauseating. Fiftytwopointfour’s no-star picks have had a terribly unlucky 2016 season and post-season. Oh well, hopefully the Championship Round and the Superbowl bring some half-stars and better luck on the no-stars.

Here are the detailed results for this week’s picks against the point spread, followed by my post-season-to-date results:

201619c

201619d

Here are the detailed results for this week’s picks against the point total, followed by my post-season-to-date results:

201619e

201619f

Predictions! Divisional Round NFL Picks Against the Point Spread

Shoot, I thought last week was disappointing with only 2 half-star picks to share. This week only has 1:

Fiftytwopointfour likes the Falcons (-5) over the Seahawks, and is pretty much coin-flips on the rest of the 7 bets. Football Outsiders’ (Weighted) DVOA measurement really likes the Falcons (#4 rank in the NFL) while is ‘meh’ about the Seahawks (#14). Plus the game is in Atlanta. So fiftytwopointfour sees Atlanta likely winning by more than a touchdown. No, neither DVOA nor fiftytwopointfour take into consideration playoff experience, which Seattle has in spades. We’ll see if that experience enough to overcome their deficits.

For those hungry for more, the non-star pick that is closest to a half-star pick is the Cowboys (-4.5) over the Packers.  Why? Weighted DVOA has the two teams pretty close (Cowboys #2, Packers #7), but the game is in Dallas and Jordy Nelson is out, so fiftytwopointfour likes the Cowboys by about a touchdown.

Good luck out there!

The fiftytwopointfour picks based on the point spread:

201619a

The fiftytwopointfour picks based on the point total:

201619b

Results! Wildcard Weekend NFL Picks Against the Point Spread

For the first NFL playoff weekend, fiftytwopointfour had a unremarkable start. Pretty much .500 across the confidence picks (1-1) and the no-confidence picks (3-4). As I wrote at the beginning of the week, there was not much of a disagreement about proper game lines between Vegas and fiftytwopointfour, and the two confidence picks were barely confident and were both counting on backup quarterbacks. Considering all that, a .500’ish result is not surprising. Hopefully the Divisional round will find more expected value in the games. Check back here on Thursday for fiftytwpointfour’s predictions!

Note: as we do each year, during the post-season our “Season to date” results are reset and we show how fiftytwopointfour did during the post-season only. You can look here for a post about fiftytwopointfour’s results during the regular season. 

Here are the detailed results for this week’s picks against the point spread, followed by my post-season-to-date results:

201618c

201618d

Here are the detailed results for this week’s picks against the point totals, followed by my post-season-to-date results:

201618e

201618f