Date: October 6, 2015

 

Game #163 Means the Most?

 

For four MLB teams, they're season-long championship aspirations come down to one game:

 

Game #163

 

The Astros will travel to take on the Yankees in the American League while the Cubs will travel to take on their division-rival Pirates in the National League.

 

After the 162 game regular season, fans of both baseball and sports in general will be treated to two separate "Do or Die" type atmospheres in New York and Pittsburgh. However, I'm not sure that the fans of the Yankees or Pirates feel the same way.

 

The question that arises is "Does this format help to make baseball more exciting or does it allow media and fans alike to ignore the entire regular season and only take an interest now?"

 

Many can argue that it takes the entire regular season to achieve getting to the playoffs. Others may say that even though a team like the Pirates were able to achieve a better regular-season record than the Cubs, it all means nothing if they lose the play-in game. Technically, both can be correct.

 

For the record, the Cubs won the regular season series 11-8 over the Pirates. Also, even though both are considered "wild cards", the Pirates and Cubs have the second and third best records respectively in all of baseball. That's a topic for another day.

 

What are your thoughts? Has baseball strengthened their product with the play-in game? Should the entire season come down to one-game for these four teams while other baseball playoff teams play a full series?

 

Regards!

 

Duane

 

High Roller Fund

 

www.highrollerfund.com

 

6S Alternatives LLC

Date: October 14, 2015

 

Top NFL Teams: Road to Riches or Fool's Gold?

 

It's a top heavy season so far in the NFL. With six overall teams remaining undefeated through the start of week 6, one would think that choosing winners against the spread (ATS) should be an easy task.

 

As of 10/14/15, the top 7 teams in the NFL Power Rankings have a combined straight up record of 32-1. These same teams have a combined ATS record 27-5-1.  That's generated an astounding return on risk (ROR) of +61.08%. Based on a flat-betting approach across all teams, this performance would have generated a +21.5% growth.

 

Below is a combined list of the teams with their power and ATS Ranking:

 

ESPN Power Ranking / ATS Ranking:

 

#1 / #8 Patriots

 

#2 / #1 Packers

 

#3 / #4 (tie) Falcons

 

#4 / #4 (tie) Broncos

 

#5 / #2 (tie) Bengals

 

#6 / #4 (tie) Cardinals

 

#7 / #7 (tie) Panthers

 

Team that ranks the highest in the ESPN Power Rankings but also lowest in ATS Ranking (i.e. currently overvalued from a betting perspective):

 

#8 / #24 Seahawks

 

Team that ranks the lowest in the ESPN Power Rankings but also highest in ATS Ranking (currently undervalued from a betting perspective):

 

#27 / #15 Titans

 

So far this season, the sports books have been a bit behind on pricing the top teams. We certainly don't expect them to stay that way. In fact, six of the top seven teams are priced as chalk (favorites) for this upcoming weekend's games. The only underdog is the Panthers.

 

Which of these teams are you buying into? Which of these teams are you selling?

 

Regards,

 

Duane

 

High Roller Fund

 

www.highrollerfund.com

 

6S Alternatives LLC

Date: October 26, 2015

 

Playing to Win? Or Playing Not to Lose?

 

They say it's not how you start but how you finish that determines success. Well, on Sunday in the NFL, that statement proved true in several games. Depending on your point of view, it was either a Sunday of blowing big leads or fierce comebacks.

 

It began early in London with Jacksonville blowing a 27-3 lead against Buffalo. Eventually, Jacksonville needed a late touchdown drive and defensive stand to secure a 34-31 win.

 

Next, Miami jumped out to a 41-0 lead over Houston. Whole Miami was never truly threatened in the game, the final score was 44-26.

 

Then, New Orleans led Indianapolis 27-0 in the third quarter and needed a late first-down to "hold on" to a 27-21 win.

 

Finally, Tampa Bay led Washington 24-0 in the second quarter. Eventually, Tampa Bay lost the game 31-30 by allowing the biggest comeback in Washington's franchise history.

 

It begs the question: What changes in these games that makes the outcomes what they are?

 

I, for one, believe that a psychological change occurs in these types of games. Hence, I'm not an expert on human or sports psychology. However, being a former college athlete, I can relate to these in-game type situations.

 

While the players on the team with the big lead have an advantage on the scoreboard, it stands to reason that the players on that trailing team develop an advantage psychologically. The trailing team begins playing without any fear once they're down big. They play without fear of making mistakes because they're already losing and it's not a big deal if they make another mistake. They play with a sense of nothing to lose.

 

The leading team, however, is where we see a different perspective. A feeling of accomplishment can soon turn to a feeling of fear as a lead trims in a game. The players (and perhaps the coaches as well) begin to play more conservatively as they want to protect the lead and not make a major mistake that could give the other team hope. There's no worse feeling than losing a game that you thought you had won. So instead of playing to win, this mentality leads to playing with a not to lose approach.

 

We see this occur often in sports. As the old saying goes about it not being over until it's over. I'm not sure that's the true lesson.

 

The real lesson: Always play to Win!

 

Regards,

 

Duane

High Roller Fund

www.highrollerfund.com

 

6S Alternatives LLC

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