Are some teams better than others against the spread?

Below is a table with the ATS Winning percentages for the past 7 years. What is your first reaction after looking at those numbers? Please let me know anything interesting you see that I might be missing.

My first observations was that stronger teams (NEW ENGLAND, SAN DIEGO, INDIANAPOLIS) fare better against the spread than weaker teams (TAMPA BAY, ST LOUIS, OAKLAND). Secondly, I cannot find any pattern in terms of ups and downs. I was looking to find reasons for peaks and valleys, but there is not enough information here for me to reach a conclusion. For example, why was Atlanta so high last year? Jacksonville has had two straight low season, what does that say about this year?

When I evaluated this question in this 2007 article, I argued that the best places to find information about the results of teams is in the media. Over-hyped teams or under-achievers might be the ones to look for and bet accordingly.

So, who are my gut feeling 2010 teams that will err more on one side? (this is just a guess)
  • Chicago, underrated
  • Carolina, underrated
  • New England, underrated
  • Philadelphia, overrated
  • Oakland, overrated
We will continue to let the model decide what games to pick and which side. Still, it is always interesting to me to see these numbers.


Unknown said…
I concur. I see no trends or predictive angles.

Generally speaking, how do you have any confidence selecting week one games
without the benefit of current data? Somewhere, one needs to add subjective criteria. Could it be as simple as qualifying a team as being better, same or worse than last year? For instance, my statistical model shows yearly value in Denver, Carolina, Ariz, SF and SD. However, but because of the loss of Warner one might drop Arizona from that list.
Good luck, I’ll be watching every week.

Thank you in advance.
Jaime said…
Very low confidence on week 1 games. Some seasons, I don't even make a bet. If the model finds a "good" game and those two teams do not have drastic changes in their roster, then I'll place a small wager. Until week 4, wager quantities are small, and each game is considered very thoroughly. After week 4, then it is more automated and in full steam.

Your idea of better, same, and worse is a great one. It reminded me of an article I wrote at the beginning of the 2009 season. I should probably write something similar this year.
DDW said…

The 2010 season is just about set to kick off. I can't wait to get going. I've already completed my analysis for the first week. When do you think your numbers will be available?

Jaime said…
I'll publish week 1 results on Labor Day.