The Plan for 2009-10

Caution: very crude approximations ahead.

My long term winning percentage is around 53.5% in college football, pro football, and college basketball. Using Matchbook over the last two years, I am averaging about -105 on the juice on each bet. Using these approximations, it works out to a Kelly bet of about 3%, since I make many bets simultaneously (I used 10 for the approximation). I recognize that I should be adjusting each bet based on the juice I am getting, but I doubt I that I have exactly a 53.5% chance of winning each bet.

With the above extremely crude approximations, it doesn't make any sense to bet "full Kelly." In fact, I am pretty sure that my efficiency would be way down if I bet the approximate "full Kelly" on each game. So, my plan is to make each unit 0.5% of my Tuesday bankroll. Normal bets will be 3x (or 1.5%) plays and big bets will be 5x (2.5%) plays. Every once in a while, I will break out a personal max when I think the edge is large for 8x (4%), but those will be exceedingly rare. These will all be flat bet in the same manner as baseball was, even though I'm not playing bases ever again.

These will go into effect starting Thursday or Friday, depending if I play Boise or not. Speaking of which, below are my leans for CFB Week 1.

CFB Week 1 Leans
1015p Boise State -4 (Thu.)
8p Tulane +13.5 (Fri.)
12p Syracuse +6.5
10p California -21.5
1030p Washington +17
330p Memphis +16.5 (Sun.)

If this list seems much smaller than year's past, it is, and it is exhaustive. Overall, I am committed to being a bit tighter this year, and even moreso in Weeks 1-3, since I always get my ass handed to me at the beginning of the season, which I don't think is a function of bad luck and small sample size. I'm also putting more emphasis on playing games that are higher volume. That means mainly games featuring BCS teams and off-Saturday games. It seems to me that games that have more volume will have a bigger need to balance square vs. sharp action (when a contrarian angle exists), and therefore, more value on the anti-public side.


Jonny said...

Talk about sharp money coming in on The Green Wave.

am19psu said...

No. Kidding.

Kunk said...

I know you have your personal ban on PSU games, but what are your thoughts on the biggest square side on the board this weekend (it's early, but SIA is showing 96-4)? I guess I'm asking if you'd have them on the leans list if not for the personal bias thing?

With the overall belt-tightening in Contrariantown, would it qualify? I can't fathom a single reason anyone would want to take the Zips...but I question whether this line is really shaded all that much.

am19psu said...

Akron is no doubt one of the most contrarian plays on the board, numerically speaking. It is also precisely the type of early season play I'm trying to eliminate. I have had zero skill trying to play these BCS vs. mid-major matchups early in the season. So, no, even if I didn't have the PSU ban, I would pass. But, again, I am being ridiculously tight and there are plenty of reasons to play the Zips.