January 17, 2005

NFL Pick 'Em Round 2 Results. [MI]:

posted by NoMich to navel gazing at 09:00 AM - 103 comments

A lot of correct predictions this week, but again, only one correct point spread was chosen. Maybe that's why I tagged them with two points. Anyway, don't make this week's predictions just yet. I'm still trying to figure out a new points scheme. I'll let you'se know when to start with the predictions.

SpoFite St. Louis v Atlanta Minnesota v Philadelphia NY Jets v Pittsburgh Indianapolis v New England Team Spread Week Total Grand Total
billsaysthis Atlanta Philadelphia Pittsburgh New England 4 0 4 9
little_brown_bat Philadelphia Pittsburgh New England 3 0 3 7
86 Pittsburgh New England 2 0 2 6
jasonspaceman Philadelphia Pittsburgh 2 0 2 6
MeatSaber Atlanta Pittsburgh 2 0 2 6
rocketman Atlanta Pittsburgh 2 0 2 6
trox Atlanta Philadelphia : 13 Pittsburgh 3 2 5 6
DrJohnEvans Atlanta Philadelphia Pittsburgh New England 4 0 4 5
gspm Atlanta Philadelphia Pittsburgh New England 4 0 4 5
mbd1 Atlanta Philadelphia Pittsburgh New England 4 0 4 5
Mr Bismark Philadelphia Pittsburgh New England 3 0 3 5
chicobangs Atlanta Philadelphia 2 0 2 4
chris2sy Pittsburgh New England 2 0 2 4
danostuporstar Atlanta Pittsburgh 2 0 2 4
goddam Atlanta 1 0 1 4
NoMich Atlanta Pittsburgh 2 0 2 4
WeedyMcSmokey Atlanta Philadelphia Pittsburgh New England 4 0 4 4
salmacis Atlanta Pittsburgh 2 0 2 3
grum@work Pittsburgh 1 0 1 2

posted by NoMich at 09:07 AM on January 17

NoMich: I know that I forgot to submit my week 2 picks, but can I still be in for week 3? I have the same score as grum, and I promise I will beat him.

posted by smithers at 12:23 PM on January 17

Triple or nothing! Triple or nothing! It's my only hope!

posted by chicobangs at 12:23 PM on January 17

Of course you can jump back in smithers. It's all for bragging right anyway. Hell, look at what trox did. He had only 1 point in week one, but is now only three points from the lead.

posted by NoMich at 12:42 PM on January 17

Little fish, big dreams.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:45 PM on January 17

I WILL RULE YOU ALL! /DGIL imitation

posted by billsaysthis at 04:33 PM on January 17

I just pick the horse that's wearing my favorite color.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:22 PM on January 17

Picking by mascot usually works pretty well. For example, Revolutionary War soldiers rode on horses, so the Patriots would beat the Colts. This week is pretty tough: Patriots v. Steelers and Eagles v. Falcons. No clear cut winners there. The Patriots are far more experienced, but the Steelers technological edge is probably too much to overcome. Single shot muskets just can't stand up to an armored tank. In the Avian Championship game, I'm thinking that eagles have a size advantage over falcons. Eagles will win, but the Falcons will cover.

posted by mbd1 at 08:35 AM on January 18

Yeah, I had a good week, but to make up any ground, I'll have to pick a dark horse, and ride it all the way to glory. Go Falcons!

posted by trox at 08:48 AM on January 18

But Patriots aren't just Revolutionary War soldiers. They could be Patriot missles, which target the enemy and take them out in an orgy of mutual destruction. And then, in the Super Bowl, the Patriots will clearly beat the Eagles, since the Patriots of the Continental Congress chose the Eagle as their national mascot. So, if the Eagles are the Patriots' mascot, the Patriots must be top dog, right? I know, reaching, reaching...

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:27 AM on January 18

But Falcons are fast and plentiful. Eagles are endangered (or were until recently; they might have recently been moved off the endangered list, and good for them), but they have history on their side. (There's a working metaphor for the actual game in there somewhere.) Patriots are brave and crafty and unafraid to do the little things (you won't see a Patriot Missile on the side of Brady's helmet any time soon; I mean, tshah, lbb, really, that's just being CRAZY), but Steelers... are a huge and well-oiled machine. The Patriots delivered when the chips were down in 1776, while the Union Movement brought the world out of the industrial dark ages. That's a pick 'em game, alright. Ah, fuggit. I've been listening to too much Billy Bragg lately. I'm going with the Union Movement.

posted by chicobangs at 09:58 AM on January 18

Good analysis, guys. Going further...isn't the bald eagle actually a scavenger? Sure, we've seen them pick fish out of the water, but I'm not sure they're built for head to head combat. And falcons only pick off small mammals. This one could be ugly; something like 7-3. Take the under.

posted by mbd1 at 10:12 AM on January 18

Are we talking like Lord of the Rings size Eagles or the regular ones?

posted by chris2sy at 12:29 PM on January 18

chris2sy, I think it's actually Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh, with Steve "Fly Like An Eagle" Miller filling in for Terrell Owens. The Falcons will be piloted by Han Solo, with Chewbacca on the Offensive line. The deciding factor? Well, it's being played at the Hotel Pennsylvania, where you can check out any time you like, but of course, you can never leave. Eagles win, but don't cover.

posted by chicobangs at 12:48 PM on January 18

Gosh, so many new factors to think about! How 'bout this: First, chicobangs observed that Falcons are fast and plentiful, while Eagles are/were endangered. I take this as meaning depth vs. raw power. If it's a hard-hitting, physical game when players are being stretchered off (or even just needing a little sit-down on the sidelines while they try to remember their names), the edge goes to the Falcons. Next, the Steelers represent the Union Movement, which, as we know, has yet to reinvent itself after years of corruption. Currently, the Union Movement is being spectacularly ineffective in the face of the rich ol' white guy plutocracy, and when you think of rich ol' white guys, you think of the Founding Fathers, i.e., the Patriots. Hence, the Rich Ol' White Guys will defeat the Union Movement handily. Anyone else?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:55 PM on January 18

OK, here are the lines for this weekend's games: Favored: New England Spread: 3 Over/Under: 36 Favored: Philadelphia Spread: 4 Over/Under: 41 These are your predictions: Winning team (3 points). Will the spread be covered (2 points)? Choose over, under, or exactly (1 point). As an example of how this works, I'll use my predictions for the weekend: AFC Winning team: New England Spread: Pittsburgh will not cover the spread (i.e.-New England will win by more than 3 points) Over/Under: under (i.e.-the total points scored by both teams will be under 36 points) NFC Winning team: Atlanta Spread: obviously Atlanta will cover the spread since they will win the game. Over/Under: under (i.e.-the total points scored by both teams will be under 41 points). For the record, I know that the official spread for the Philly/Splatlanta game is actually 4 1/2, but I don't do that half point shite. I also realize that you don't normally get to choose the line in the over/under, but I'm using calvinball rules. In other words, I'm making this stuff up as I go along. Capishe?

posted by NoMich at 02:27 PM on January 18

Ok - this shit is easy: Pats win, cover. Taking the Under. Eagles win, cover. Taking the Over. Rookie QB versus Belicheck? No contest - Pitt's D will outscore its O and they might get 10 points the whole day. Philly has played this game for the last three years - Atlanta is happy to be here. Though I think Atlanta has the better chance at the upset. 4 points and I didn't even guess the first round. Clearly, I am the man.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:09 PM on January 18

Hang on, I just wanna confirm the notation. The underdog has covered the spread if and only if: underdog_score >= favourite_score - spread So with New England being the favourite with a spread of 3, that means: a) a NE 10, PIT 8 final would mean a New England win with Pittsburgh covering b) a NE 10, PIT 7 final would mean a New England win with Pittsburgh covering c) a NE 10, PIT 6 final would mean a New England win with New England covering (i.e. Pittsburgh not covering) Is that right?

posted by DrJohnEvans at 06:26 PM on January 18

Geez, I don't know if there is such a thing as the overdog(?) covering a spread. I think it's just Pittsburgh covers or doesn't cover the spread. Weedy, you sound like our resident bookie (please don't break my knees!). Am I correct with this?

posted by NoMich at 06:41 PM on January 18

i musta missed the explanation for the whole "spread prediction bonus" in the earlier rounds. all those points I lost without going out and earning the loss of points! i can do better than that and actually lose them when I am trying to gain them.

posted by gspm at 06:41 PM on January 18

AFC: New England by a TD, 24-17 (Pittsburgh does not cover, over) NFC: Philadelphia by a field goal 27-24 (Atlanta covers, over)

posted by billsaysthis at 08:55 PM on January 18

Geez, I don't know if there is such a thing as the overdog(?) covering a spread i think in this case we're just picking whether the spread will be covered by the underdog. so if you pick "covered" that means PITT either has to win the game or lose by less than 3 points. if you pick "not covered" then NE has to win the game by more than 3 points. if you pick "exactly" (or a push) NE would have to win the game by exactly 3 points. so actually in drjohn's example b it would be a push. some sports books also have action points bets where you win or lose the bet depending on how many points either team does or does not cover the spread. NE being the favorite would be -3, so if you bet on them to cover the spread they would have to win by more than 3. and PITT would +3 so they would have to either win the game or lose by less than 3 to win the bet. again if NE wins by exactly 3 the bet would be a push.

posted by goddam at 09:00 PM on January 18

sorry, i read didn't read nomich's rules correctly. the "exactly" bet is on the over/under. so no one would get points on a push on the spread.

posted by goddam at 09:03 PM on January 18

goddam, your second post is correct. "Exactly" refers to the over/under only. About the spread: I assumed that if Pittsburgh loses by 3 points, they still cover the spread. I'm sorry that I'm making this shit all confusing and shit. It made perfectly good sense this afternoon. But then again, I was work at the time.

posted by NoMich at 09:23 PM on January 18

well, you're taking to time to run this thing you so make any rules you want. if a push on the point spread mean pitt covered that's cool.

posted by goddam at 09:27 PM on January 18

I better come back and do this later after the wine wears off.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:02 PM on January 18

About the spread: I assumed that if Pittsburgh loses by 3 points, they still cover the spread. So a "push" means that they cover, which makes all of my examples correct. Awesome. Thanks, NoMich! I'll be back with the actual picks and stuff in the morning.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:17 AM on January 19

Okay, here we go... AFC: Patriots, no cover, under (just) NFC: Eagles, cover, under I don't think either game is going to be a huge-scoring game.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:06 AM on January 19

AFC: Pittsburgh by 3, 20-17 (Pittsburgh covers, over) NFC: Altanta big 24-10 (Atlanta obviously covers, under) Anyone else notice you can't run on the Falcons this year? (Unless your name is Priest Holmes and half the d-line is injured?)

posted by trox at 08:55 AM on January 19

AFC: New England, no cover, over. NFC: Atlanta, covers, under.

posted by 86 at 09:15 AM on January 19

AFC Winning team: Pittsburgh Spread: cover Over/Under: over NFC Winning team: Atlanta Spread: cover Over/Under: over

posted by chris2sy at 09:32 AM on January 19

AFC New England wins and covers...I'll take the under NFC Atlanta wins, and covers, of course...I'll take the over

posted by MeatSaber at 10:29 AM on January 19

Well, going with my byzantine (yet completely accurate!) non-logic above, I'll stick with some longer shot lines: Pittsburgh will win outright, and I'll take the under. Philadelphia will win but not cover, and I'll take the over.

posted by chicobangs at 10:35 AM on January 19

AFC New England wins, Pittsburgh covers the spread, Under. NFC Atlanta wins, Over.

posted by rocketman at 10:39 AM on January 19

I take that back. Atlanta wins, Under.

posted by rocketman at 10:40 AM on January 19

AFC Winning team: New England Spread: Pittsburgh will not cover the spread. Over/Under: under. NFC Winning team: Philadelphia Spread: Eagles will cover. Over/Under: under.

posted by jasonspaceman at 10:41 AM on January 19

AFC - I'll take New England to cover the spread and under. NFC - I'll take the Eagles, not cover, over. Those are my picks, over.

posted by gspm at 10:59 AM on January 19

New England wins, Pittsburgh won't cover, under. Philly wins, Philly won't cover, under.

posted by mbd1 at 11:12 AM on January 19

New England wins, Pittsburgh doesn't cover, under. They're gonna maximize Peyton's summer theatre experience. Atlanta wins, over. I didn't get this far by bucking long-term playoff trends. And for kicks: Patriots by 6, Falcons by 7. Over and out.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:48 PM on January 19

Looking at the picks and still waiting on lbb, this looks like my chance to continue moving up (assuming I'm right of course).

posted by trox at 01:50 PM on January 19

AFC: New England wins and they cover the spread. Under NFC: Philly wins, but do not cover. Under.

posted by smithers at 03:10 PM on January 19

I would also like to take Iron City beer over Samuel Adams...

posted by chris2sy at 03:15 PM on January 19

How about Yuengling over, uhhhhh, whatever they make in Atlanta?

posted by mbd1 at 04:20 PM on January 19

trox: Looking at the picks and still waiting on lbb, this looks like my chance to continue moving up (assuming I'm right of course). I said already. See above. My picks are quite different from yours...but remember, billsaysthis is the one we have to make up ground on.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:51 PM on January 19

Clarification time: Being the favored teams, you can't predict Philly and/or New England to cover the spread. You can only predict if Atlanta and/or Pittsburgh will cover the spread or not cover the spread. They are the underdogs. Sorry for the confusion. The people that I'm not clear on are smithers (both), mbd1 (NFC only), gspm (both), jasonspaceman (NFC only), chicobangs (I *think* you are saying that Atlanta won't cover), and MeatSaber (AFC only). I'm asking for clarification on the spreads only.

posted by NoMich at 06:23 PM on January 19

New England, cover, under Philadelphia, cover, over

posted by salmacis at 06:32 PM on January 19

got it now. Philly wins, Atlanta will cover, under.

posted by mbd1 at 06:49 PM on January 19

oh, i thought (and my fault for not absorbing the explanation you gave) that a favourite covered a spread by winning by more than the spread. an underdog covered a spread by losing by less than the spread (or winning). so i guess it is just an inverse then - if in my non-gambling mind universe I had NE covering the spread it thus means Pit would not cover the spread. since they can't both cover the spread. so, to sum up, my confusion, here are my updated spread predictions. NE game: no cover PHI game: cover don't hit me in the knees with a pipe.

posted by gspm at 07:12 PM on January 19

How about Yuengling over, uhhhhh, whatever they make in Atlanta? Do they have any local brews in that area? Not that I'm a fanatic but can't remember ever hearing about even one. More likely it's still moonshine territory.

posted by billsaysthis at 09:09 PM on January 19

ok, lets try this again. AFC Winning team: New England Spread: Pittsburgh will not cover the spread. Over/Under: under. NFC Winning team: Philadelphia Spread: Atlanta will not cover the spread. Over/Under: under. and Yuengling is very tasty,

posted by jasonspaceman at 09:34 PM on January 19

NE @ PIT

  • New England
  • Pittsburgh won't cover the Spread (NE will win by more than 3)
  • Over (more than 36 points combined (24-17))
ATL @ PHI
  • Philadelphia
  • Atlanta won't cover the spread (Philly wins by more than 4)
  • Over (more than 41 points combined)
Not that it matters, but I originally wanted to say Falcons/ Cover the Spread (by winning)/Over. This is still what I think. However, I changed my mind and my official, relatively- meaningless- since- I- foolishly- didn't- play- the- last- two- weeks- even- though- the- picks- I- would- have- made- turned- out- to- win- for- 7- of- the- 8- games-, pick is NE and Philly, as listed above. I just gotta believe Philly wins eventually, even though my instinct says it's the Falcons.

posted by hincandenza at 09:48 PM on January 19

I completely and trust Philly's ability to augur in once more, but I'm still votin' for them to win. Gee, what'll Rush "I am not a drug addict" Limbaugh say about McNabb if they lose again?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:10 PM on January 19

Sigh. NE wins, covers spread, under total ATL wins, covers spread, over total

posted by grum@work at 12:38 AM on January 20

Clarification....Pittsburgh will not cover the spread...

posted by MeatSaber at 07:36 AM on January 20

Alright. I'll restate. Pittsburgh will win, and will cover. I'll take the under. Philadelphia will win but won't cover (so Atlanta will cover), and I'll take the over.

posted by chicobangs at 08:26 AM on January 20

How about Yuengling over, uhhhhh, whatever they make in Atlanta? Yuengling is quite nice (I like Victory Hop Devil Ale as well), but Sweetwater, Terrapin (Athens), Red Brick, and Laughing Skull are all pretty good as well (to answer the question). Moment of silence for Dogwood which recently went out of business.

posted by trox at 09:24 AM on January 20

Trox, someday we'll need to have an ATL-area meetup/beer tasting festival.

posted by billsaysthis at 02:27 PM on January 20

bill, I'd suggest the Decatur or Athens beer festival for that.

posted by trox at 03:39 PM on January 20

PITT wins, covers spread, over ATL wins, covers spread, exactly

posted by goddam at 09:48 AM on January 21

Right, I've no idea what this shit means and I'm on holiday, so I've no time to read the explanations either... (that's the excuse over and done with). New England, cover, under. Philadelphia, cover, over.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:21 PM on January 21

so does the "exactly" pick pay out more points than an over/under, you know, like if you pick a single number in roulette as opposed to low/high?

posted by goddam at 02:07 PM on January 21

Sorry goddam, but no. It pays out the same as the over or under.

posted by NoMich at 02:20 PM on January 21

I'd suggest the Decatur or Athens beer festival for that. I recommend getting to the Decatur one early. I have been shut-out twice now!

posted by usfbull at 03:56 PM on January 21

Not to get all ATL on the thread, but I usually try to get there about 11 or so to limit the amount of line.

posted by trox at 04:27 PM on January 21

Pats, cover, under Eagles, cover, over

posted by roberts at 11:50 AM on January 22

Okay: Pittsburgh won't cover. Atlanta will cover.

posted by smithers at 02:34 PM on January 22

danostuporstar? Get yer picks in there. Until dano puts in his two cents, here is the new table with this week's predictions:

SpoFite Atl v Phila Spread O/U/E NE v Pitt Spread O/U/E
86 Atl Covered Under NE Not covered Over
billsaysthis Phila Covered Over NE Not covered Over
chicobangs Phila Covered Over Pitt Covered Under
chris2sy Atl Covered Over Pitt Covered Over
danosuperstar
DrJohnEvans Atl Covered Over NE Not covered Under
goddam Atl Covered Exactly Pitt Covered Over
grum@work Atl Covered Over NE Not covered Under
gspm Phila Covered Over NE Not covered Under
Hal Incandenza Phila Not covered Over NE Not covered Over
jasonspaceman Phila Not covered Under NE Not covered Under
little_brown_bat Phila Covered Under NE Not covered Under
mbd1 Phila Covered Under NE Not covered Under
MeatSaber Atl Covered Over NE Not covered Under
Mr Bismark Phila Covered Over NE Covered Under
NoMich Atl Covered Under NE Not covered Under
roberts Phila Covered Over NE Covered Under
rocketman Atl Covered Under NE Covered Under
salmacis Phila Covered Over NE Covered Under
smithers Phila Covered Under NE Not covered Under
trox Atl Covered Under Pitt Covered Over
WeedyMcSmokey Phila Covered Over NE Covered Under

posted by NoMich at 03:13 PM on January 23

Too late! Game's on! No more bets!

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:43 PM on January 23

Looking like the Eagles will easily cover (5:00 minutes to go in the game they have 1st and Goal) but the teams will not reach the 41 points. Oh well, happy to have five out of the six.

posted by billsaysthis at 05:07 PM on January 23

Yeah, i was rootin' for Vick to get the meaningless touchdown there- it'd have made it 27-17, for a PHI-cover-over scenario. Drats! Surprised the Eagles held the Falcons to just 10.... but good for them! 'Bout time the Eagles made the Superbowl, although I suspect they'll still lose to whomever comes out of the AFC. This is why I don't gamble in real life; I can't imagine watching that game and eating my fingernails when the game is over but I've got money on Vick making a last minute score.... On preview: what's with the time stamps? I'm seeing posts at 5:07p PST on january 23rd; when it's 3:06pm PST right now!

posted by hincandenza at 05:24 PM on January 23

If I understand correctly, that's a "no cover", bill -- the Eagles were the favorite; it's a question of whether the underdog covers the spread. The final result, I believe, is: Philadelphia, no cover, under. So you got three points and I got four, but jasonspaceman is the lone SpoFite who called it on the nose and got all six points. He passed me and caught you. You two are tied for first with 12 each, I'm in second with 11 points, IICC. (I think jason's gonna be our new leader after the NE/Pitt game)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:24 PM on January 23

Phlly covered. They won by more than the spread. Philly, cover, under is the call.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:32 PM on January 23

Hal, that doesn't agree with what NoMich said above. I quote: Clarification time: Being the favored teams, you can't predict Philly and/or New England to cover the spread. You can only predict if Atlanta and/or Pittsburgh will cover the spread or not cover the spread. They are the underdogs. So I believe it's Philly, no cover, under.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:47 PM on January 23

s/Hal/Weedy Sheesh.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:06 PM on January 23

You can predict whether or not the favored team can cover the spread - that's what the spread is - the amount of points the favorite team has to win by in order for your bet to be paid. If the unfavored team wins, the spread is irrelevant, if they loose but by less points than the spread, the underdog is said to have 'won', in betting parlance. So by both winning and by more points than the spread, Philly covered the spread. If the score was 27 - 25 - Philly didn't cover. The only way an underdog can not cover the spread is by losing - so you could never pick Atlanta to not cover.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:09 PM on January 23

blame me. it's what i suggested and i was just going by how past pools i've been involved with have been run, with the spread being up to the underdog to cover. btw, nomich did ask for your help.

posted by goddam at 06:17 PM on January 23

so, which one is right? I am reading where some were thinking the same as me (rule wise) and others differently.

posted by jasonspaceman at 06:46 PM on January 23

Philly won, Atlanta did NOT cover the spread, and the final score was under. To reiterate what I typed a few days ago: Being the favored teams, you can't predict Philly and/or New England to cover the spread. You can only predict if Atlanta and/or Pittsburgh will cover the spread or not cover the spread. They are the underdogs.

posted by NoMich at 06:55 PM on January 23

Oh my heavens, I think I may be gonna miss the over/under on the ne/pit game...

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:02 PM on January 23

Man, the Steelers are looking pathetic. I was unable to watch the other game, my power went out for most of the Eagles game.

posted by jasonspaceman at 07:51 PM on January 23

How can Atlanta not cover the spread? Only by losing by a total greater than the spread. So you can predict that Philly and/or New England will cover. Philly covers the spread by beating Atlanta by more than 4 points. That means Philly wins AND covers the spread. That's the whole point of the spread. Am I taking crazy pills?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:22 PM on January 23

That's exactly why I asked for your help a couple of days ago. I needed clarification, but I got none, so I went forward with my own stupid rules. Again, sorry for the confusion, but remember, this is calvinball rules. Shit just gets made up. And Pittsburgh just might make this a game after all.

posted by NoMich at 08:25 PM on January 23

Nope, I'm with you weedster. If Philly "covers the spread" it means they win by at least the predicted margin. If Atlanta "covers the spread" it means they win, or lose by less than the predicted margin. In any event, that's why I made clear to plain-text my predictions in parentheticals, so there wouldn't be confusion for NoMich. And the Pats just put a FG up on the board in this time-consuming drive; any future NE scoring all but seals it barring a miraculous comeback by PIT. But the NE defense has been missing this whole second half, which scares me deeply. PIT is scoring, and scoring quickly, in this 2nd half. :(

posted by hincandenza at 08:32 PM on January 23

Critical call here- if the Pats get another catch overturned, it's still a game; otherwise, if the interception call stands, the game's all but over.

posted by hincandenza at 08:40 PM on January 23

It's all but ovah! The pats made this a long drive, and the score stands at an ironic 34-20 right now (though that will probably change soon enough)

posted by hincandenza at 08:51 PM on January 23

Pats win/ Pats cover the spread/ Over. Sah-weet! Mah boys going to the Superbowl for the 3rd time in 4 years! I smell a DYNASTY cookin'!!!

posted by hincandenza at 08:53 PM on January 23

Officially, it's Pats win/Pitt does NOT cover the spread/over. OK, so Pittsburgh didn't make it a game after all. Oh well. I'm just hoping that the Eagles can make the Super Bowl at least interesting. The Patsys look pretty unstopable right now.

posted by NoMich at 09:07 PM on January 23

Hey, if the pick'em rules say that the choice I made for cover in the NFC match doesn't result (under NoMich's Calvinball rules) in me getting two points for a correct prediction there is a problem. Not that I want to make a big fuss over a no money online contest but just because the people on this site are generally considered to be conversant with mainstream sports knowledge and that is how I made my picks. At least I get a point for the AFC overage. There is no way, short of a non-trivial bribe, that I will root for or pick the Eagles in the Super Bowl. The Eagles will taste the ashy sweetness of defeat, mark my words!

posted by billsaysthis at 09:13 PM on January 23

Not that I want to make a big fuss over a no money online contest but just because the people on this site are generally considered to be conversant with mainstream sports knowledge and that is how I made my picks. Yeah, but where does that leave those of us who made our picks according to what NoMich said? I was confused, so I waited until he clarified the rules, then that's how I did my picks: based on whether the underdog covers or not. Probably the best solution is for everyone to just clarify what they meant by their pick, if they haven't already done so. As you say, there's no money riding on it, so the only type of person who would cheat is a deeluxe footlong weenie with relish and onions on top, and we don't got any of those...right?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:26 PM on January 23

I'm with lbb. There's no money involved, only pride, and we don't have the kind of sleazy types who'd lie for a silly little banner (so if you want to spot me 7 points for my virtual picks in the first two rounds, please do so. :) ) Where the person picked the underdog, and then used the phrase "covers the spread" they clearly meant the underdog covered the spread (their pick would be nonsensical otherwise). But for those people where it's unclear- such as "NE, covers, over"- whether they meant the underdog covers the spread but still loses, or the favorite covers the spread by winning by a larger margin than predicted, we might as well use people's honesty here. But as a lesson, you really should have typed out what you mean when you said "cover", so there couldn't be confusion. :)

posted by hincandenza at 09:45 PM on January 23

I *thought* I made everything clear on the 19th, but apparently not. Damn, I'm sorry guys/gals.

posted by NoMich at 09:52 PM on January 23

Well, for next week: The line has gone up: Patriots ae favored by 6.

posted by chicobangs at 09:52 PM on January 23

Hell, I had fun.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:07 PM on January 23

Rereading my original comment with the picks I see I overreacted here, sorry NoMich and lbb, I did read and pick by the stated logic.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:56 PM on January 23

Hey - it's all good.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:14 AM on January 24

Here's my attempt to make this sensible. We can choose to play this way for the Superbowl, or using the method used this time. How spread betting works: Technically, the Vegas line is such that you don't bet on the team to win/lose outright, as this would lead to imbalanced betting. This is probably the source of "cover the spread" confusion among many people here. The "spread" is not a separate bet- it is the definition of your bet! For example, a significant majority of betters will probably go with NE for the Superbowl, which means Vegas would lose a bundle if they had to pay out for NE. If NE wins by even 1 point, and 90% of people picked NE, then Vegas is paying 9 winners to every 1 loser. This is a situation where Vegas itself is in effect being a bettor, favoring one team over the other, and thus in a position to lose money depending on the outcome of the game. This is not something Vegas likes to do. :) The Spread line is used to encourage betting on both teams equally So instead of a straight A/B choice, Vegas sets a spread line, which is very much like a golf handicap. This allows Vegas to create consistent betting situations where the two teams can be wildly mismatched, but still allow the bets placed to be even in the end by making the bet itself seem "even" in the bettor's minds. The Vegas line is such that when they set it at "NE -7.0", what they're saying is that they expect betting to favor NE fairly heavily right out of the gate, so as such are giving NE a handicap of 7 points. Vegas is making a prediction not of the game, but of the bettors! You, the bettor, then either bet on the Patriots or the Eagles, but not quite as a straight A/B choice: whichever team you pick you are by definition picking to "cover the spread". So, if you bet on the Patriots, they have to win by at least 7 for your bet to pay off. If you bet on the Eagles, then you're not actually betting the Eagles win at all, per se; you're only betting that the Eagles don't lose by more than 7 (i.e., lose by less than 7, or win outright). The opening line is a best-guess prediction by the betting firms on what will entice bettors to place their bets equally between the two teams; then, as bettors place their bets, they adjust that line frequently, so that their total risk is balanced- in other words, so that regardless of what happens in the game, the total bets on either side will cancel each other out, and Vegas takes home their fee. Why the spread line can move over the next two weeks The key thing to understand is that Vegas doesn't actually care about football, or care about predicting the outcome in any meaningful fashion. They care only about money. So, as people place bets, the line will be adjusted for new bettors after that, to compensate for how the bets are falling so far. If people still rush disproportionately to NE at 7.0, Vegas will push the line further toward NE. This is not because they think that NE will win big, but rather it's an attempt to encourage people to start betting the other way, and thus even out the bets. If the line were announced at NE -40, suddenly everybody would bet heavily on Philadelphia, because even people like myself who think NE will win, well- no way NE wins by 40 points, right?! Vegas just moves the line (obviously a little more gracefully than -7 to -40) as bets are made so that the bettors themselves effectively define the point spread. Even if Vegas didn't think the Patriots would win by 40, if moving the line to -40 is what it takes to even out the bets, Vegas would move that line in a heartbeat. What Vegas wants in the end is that the total bet on one side is equal to the total bet on the other side. In this way, regardless of the final score or victor, Vegas pays out one half the bets winnings with the other half's losings- while taking their 10% cut from the winners, also known as the "vig". This is their guaranteed profit! How we played here at Sportsfilter All that said above on how "real" betting works, what I think the rules were for this last round were a more fun-based "pick the winner, but separately pick the spread" method. This is entirely different from how they do it in Vegas; what I thought I understood from NoMich is that the rules for Sportsfilter were "Pick the team to win, as a straight A/B choice". Then, independent of that, "pick whether Team A or B covers the spread", meaning that either the favored Team A wins by at least the spread, or whether underdog team B wins, or loses by less than the spread. So unlike Vegas, our rules seem to allow saying "New England will win, but I don't think they'll win by the spread, so I'll pick Pittsburgh to cover the spread". In Vegas, these two bets would be mutually exclusive. Given that there's no money in this, and thus that there's no reason to move the spread line to keep bets balanced, I think it's perfectly fine to use this method for the Superbowl. It just means we all have to be clear on how it works in Sportsfilter vs. how it works in real Vegas, and make sure our picks declare exactly what we're predicting so there's no confusion in terminology. Anyway, I hope that this helped, in all its longwindedness, some people understand the spread line in Vegas, as well as our own unique homegrown version here at SpoFi.

posted by hincandenza at 04:19 AM on January 24

I agree with Hal, and I'll add that I'd rather bet on the game than bet on the bettors. The question then becomes whether we do the Super Bowl the same way we did the conference championships, or a variant of the same, or the Vegas way. I can see several possibilities: - Do it just as we did it before, where NoMich states the favorite, spread, and over/under (using the Vegas line as of now, I guess) and we pick win/cover-no cover/over-under. - Do it more or less like we did it before, but let people pick their own spread and/or over-under...not sure how this would work, because you wouldn't want a situation where someone saying NE by 1 (duh, probably) gets the same points as someone saying NE by 13. - Do it the Vegas way, maybe with over/under added in for fun. ...and betting closed by kickoff, or some earlier time?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:58 AM on January 24

p.s. the line probably ought to be influenced by Chunky Soup ads...that is to say, the team that's doing the Chunky Soup endorsement is not going to win the Super Bowl ;-)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:39 AM on January 24

Hey l_b_b, you did notice that Roethlisberger's started doing them. Which is why he finally lost a game. If he'd just stayed away from the soup, not only would he still be playing, but he could go undefeated for his life. He wouldn't be just hall of fame material, they'd have to call him Touchdown Yokozuna or something. (But that's all what-if material, now that he's joined the ranks of the soupmongers. Tsk, tsk, tsk.)

posted by chicobangs at 09:41 AM on January 24

Hey l_b_b, you did notice that Roethlisberger's started doing them. Which is why he finally lost a game. I did notice it; hence my post ;-) I also seem to recall Kurt Warner's smiling face saying, "Just like Mom used to make!", circa 2002. And, gosh, who's the most famous Chunky Soup Boy of them all? ;-) It's kind of like the Stadium Naming Rights Curse, which was noted by some commentator on Marketplace, an NPR business program. This was, I dunno, back in '01 or so, and some sage noted whimsically that one of the year's best predictors that a company's stock was about to go in the toilet was if they'd recently purchased the naming rights at some stadium or arena or whatnot. p.s. I do like the title of Touchdown Yokozuna.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:26 AM on January 24

Well, that does it for me, since I scored an big round 0 over the weekend.

posted by trox at 12:26 PM on January 24

Soup is Good Food, but it's Bad Juju.

posted by chicobangs at 01:48 PM on January 24

Screw the Super Bowl. Hal wins!

posted by DrJohnEvans at 02:07 PM on January 24

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