NOTE: Each week of the season FootballNation.com founder and Cold, Hard Football Facts partner Andrew Miller will look at the three games he is personally playing each week, using the disciplined system he has followed over years of analytics research as both an entrepreneur and football fan.
Week 14 did not end well for the Trifecta, finishing with a 1-2 weekend.
The Steelers (-3) looked like winners, but the Dolphins were tough in a must win game for them, scoring 10 straight points in the fourth quarter to win the game outright. Miami is a decent football team that could challenge the badly banged up Patriots in Miami this weekend.
The Buffalo-Tampa game (over 42.5) looked like it would cover the over early, but the fast start stalled and the Bills could not do anything on offense.
The Jets (-2.5) continue to be Jekyll and Hyde as they alternate between winning games handily and getting blown out. We were on the right side of them in Week 14, as they looked solid in an easy win over the Raiders, in a game that was not as close as the final 10-point margin.
Elsewhere around the NFL, the Seahawks and the Cardinals became the first teams to cover 9 of their 13 games, leading the league.
The Seahawks were expected to do well but the Cards have been a surprise and this week, the public has caught on, betting the Cardinals over the Titans at a heavy 79 percent rate.
The Redskins and the Texans continued their race to the worst ATS records at 3-10. Both teams look like they have quit making them a dangerous bet. The Bears also only have 3 wins ATS, with a 3-8-2 record.
There are a few interesting tidbits with regards to the over/under this season. The teams with the three worst record ATS as noted above, the Redskins, Texans, Bears, have strong over/under records with 7, 9 and 9 over covers respectively.
Do you know which NFL team has the worst record year to date vs. the over/under? The surprising answer is Cam Newton’s Panthers at 3-9-1.
The Bronco’s continued to score and ran their over under record to 11-3, followed by the Rams and Vikings with 9 over covers.
Week 15 is fascinating, as there are nine home team underdogs, with the public betting heavily on the favorites in all nine of these games. Clearly, there will be some upsets and some home teams that cover getting points in their own house.
As we outline each week, the key to long-term success is a disciplined system. We will stick to the system outlined below, and are now within earshot of a position to make you money from week the rest of the way through the playoffs, when the data and information on teams makes it easier to pinpoint mismatches.
On to the Picks:
Seattle at N.Y. Giants (Over/Under 42)
Pick: Over 42 for 100 Units
Seattle ranks No. 1 in total defense. The last four meetings between these teams have gone over but this is not the same Giants explosive offense that won the Super Bowl and put up points fast.
It is also not the same Giants defense. Seattle will score in this game, and may even have a defensive TD or a pick-6 on Eli Manning. The question will be: Can the Giants connect on a couple big plays?
The answer to that question will be the key. The Giants have a 4-2 over/under record this season at home and we believe this one squeaks over.
N.Y. Jets at Carolina (-11.5)
Pick: Panthers -11.5 for 100 Units
The Panthers are coming off their toughest loss of the season, a drubbing by the Saints in a game that they needed to win. They rank No. 2 in the NFL in total defense and are 5-2 ATS at home.
The line of -11.5 is a lot of points, but the Jets have been dismal in three of their last four weeks and this week it is time for the bad Jets to resurface.
The Jets are 2-4 ATS on the road and Carolina should be fired up to bounce back strong and set the stage for a playoff run.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh (+2.5)
Pick: Steelers +2.5 for 100 Units
This is one of those games where the home team is the dog. The Steelers burned the Trifecta on the road last week at Miami but are 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 home games where they were underdogs.
The Bengals are a formidable 6-0 at home ATS but 2-4-1 on the road while the Steelers are an even 3-3 at home ATS. The Bengals are the better team and that is why the public is betting them 66 percent of the time.
But this is a bitter rivalry and the Steelers are playing for pride and will win this one outright.
Trifecta Week 14 record: 1-2
Trifecta Season record: 18-21-3
Here is the Trifecta system:
We will refer to units bet for each game. A unit can differ for each of you but the key is to stick to the system.
You will notice this system is very consistent: we play the same amount of units per each of the three games, avoiding the temptation of stepping it up until playing with house money.
If we step it up and end up back at point zero, we will start the system all over again. It is essential to stick to your system: so many people get on a losing streak and try to make it all up in one game, only to dig deeper in a hole.
Deep holes are, of course, tough to come out of. Be smart. Be sensible. Have fun. Why three picks? Betting on football is hard. For those who are very good, we have just a slight edge and margin over Vegas. The most successful football bettors play one or three games each week.
My system of three: you need to bat 66 percent (2/3) to win, where with one pick you need to bat 100 percent to win; with four picks, 75 percent.
Yes, the math gets more favorable the more games you play, so if you play all 16 games in a 16-game week, and you go 9-7, you will have only needed to succeed at 57 percent which is easier than 66 percent. However, there are never or rarely nine clear-cut advantages to identify out there every week. So while the percentage you need to win is higher, the odds of doing so with more or every game decreases.
The picks in this Trifecta column are not necessarily the same as those of the official CHFF "Real and Spectacular" Picks based upon our Quality Stats. Our goal is to provide you as much information as possible to make educated picks based upon a variety of stats, methods and strategies.
Andrew Miller is the founder of Football Nation.com and an entrepreneur focusing on analytics-driven online businesses. The Wall Street veteran worked for Michael Milken’s Drexel Burnham, and was a senior vice president at Bear Stearns and Smith Barney. Miller then founded CreditCards.com and InsuranceQuotes.com, both sites that used analytics to drive leads in the respective industries. Both businesses were successfully sold within 3 years of their inception. Miller gathered a team of experts who live and breathe football, including Cold, Hard Football Facts, and in 2011 they founded FootballNation.com. He is now all football, all the time: playing high stakes fantasy football and betting on games, using deep analysis through CHFF Insider, trends research, and years of intuition.