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. Read more about Miller below.
After a tough start to the season, the Trifecta is within reach of getting back to .500 with a great conference championship performance.
The Trifecta is 6-2 in the playoffs (we offered five picks in the wildcard round) and has had winning weeks more often than not down the stretch. We can head into the Super Bowl with a kick at the can for a winning season.
Last week, the Patriots (-7) were an easy cover but once again, we go drowned by the rain with our over-under pick (Under 51.5). The rain was not much of a factor, the weather was warm, and touchdowns were plenty. The Seahawks were either -7.5 or -8 depending on when you made your move. As published here, we had Seattle -7.5 and eked out a win as the Seahawks gave the Saints a late, meaningless TD in the final seconds to win by 8.
The Trifecta is still not playing with the house money so there will be no unit increase to try get ahead on the season.
As we outline each week, the key to long-term success is a disciplined system. The later in the season, the data and information on teams makes it easier to pinpoint mismatches, which is why we have surged to a 6-2 playoff record. You can read more about the Trifecta system below.
On to the Picks:
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (-3.5)
Pick: Seahawks -3.5 for 100 Units
We’re unhappy that we had a line movement in this game. Last week we had the Seahawks -7.5, half a point less than the move to 8 and this week we missed -3 and need to stick to our beliefs but at a much less comfortable -3.5.
If you wait to wager, please check as the line could move back to -3. The 49ers have become the pick du jour, the team many are picking to win the Super Bowl.
The talk shows, the experts and 68 percent of the general public are riding the Niners. The teams split their regular season games, with each winning at home.
This game is in Seattle and the 12th Man is not over rated. This is one of the league’s only true home field advantages. They built the stadium with disruption in mind.
The Seahawks have the advantage on defense, at RB with Marshawn Lynch, and in the kicking game. The quarterbacks are a close match up, and the 49ers have a major advantage at WR. We give the Niners a slight coaching advantage.
Sounds like a 3 point win, right? Hope not. Seattle is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games vs. San Francisco and has won six playoff games in a row at home. This will be a tough game with the Seahawks emerging and covering.
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (Over-Under 39.5)
Pick: Over 39.5 for 100 Units
The logical pick is the under. It is low for a reason. The Seahawks have the best defense in the NFL and the 49ers are not that far behind. The Seahawks have played five straight unders when favored.
Both teams are possession teams with strong running games and possession receivers. Great defenses also cause turnovers and score and both teams have electric QB’s and RB;’s who can take it to the house.
Both games between these teams this season have been under 37. Every trend and fact says under. The Trifecta sees this meeting being the one that goes over.
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos (Over-Under 57)
Pick: Under 57 for 100 Units
What’s u with the Trifecta, you ask? Who picks the 49ers-Seahawks over and Brady-Manning under?
The Patriots and Broncos last four meetings have gone over. The Bronco’s led the league in over covers this season. Peyton Manning broke the single-season passing touchdown record held by, yup, Tom Brady.
The Broncos last four games have been under, the Patriots defensive backs are playing as well as any in the league and 57 seems a tad too high. This pick completes our contrarian duo this week.
Are we crazy? Well, of course. But we will see if these total picks are crazy come Sunday evening.
Trifecta divisional week record: 2-1
Trifecta season record: 27-29-3
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.