Welcome to Upset Watch
If you're new to Pickwatch, or have never read Upset Watch, here's what we do:
With over 35% of NFL games ending in an underdog outright win, it's important to know when upsets are most likely to occur, and which teams to pick.
Every Wednesday, we select a number of underdogs that have a statistically higher chance of winning than others. To do this, we use historical trends, such as the number of underdogs that win each week of the season, and we then use a weighted ranking of each team's current 'true' performance to assess how well they are playing, and whether the matchup is favorable to their strengths.
Why underdogs and not favorites?
Because underdog winners yield bigger profits from the greater odds you face, you don't need to win every pick you make, or even half of the picks that you make.
In 2021, betting $100 on every underdog winner that we picked would have yielded you a profit of+$3,200 over the course of the season. This year, we have made a profit to this point of over +$2,500.
Contents (click to jump to section - Pro subscription required for picks):
About Weighted Stats
Our weighted stats in the header for each game are different to the 'raw' stats you can find on other websites.
Weighted stats indicate the performance of a team against the averages of their opponents. For example, if a team scores 30 points against a team that gives up 29 points on average, their weighted performance will be +1. If they score 30 points against a team that gives up 20 points on average, their performance is +10, because they scored 10 points more than that opponent normally allows.
Over the course of a season, we can see the balance of the weighted performance as a 'true' measure of a team's real caliber. A team that ranks highly in a category generally has a good performance in this statistic regardless of how strong their opponents are.
*Note: As we head into the final weeks of the season, we are using weighted stats from the last 5 games for each team, giving a more accurate indication of where teams are now, given injuries, QB changes, coaches being fired, or late season good/bad form.
About the stats
We include several categories of weighted stats for offense and defense. These cover scoring, passing, rushing, and pass protection. On defense, we replace pass protection with pass rush, and turnovers are factored in on both sides of the ball.
By placing the units side-by-side with the unit they are up against (eg: Pass protection vs Pass rush) you can not only see where a team is strongest, but also whether the opposing unit is likely to be strong or weak too.
I think it's fair to say last week was a success. Literally every pick we made won. That included the Underdog win of the Bengals over the Bills that we predicted (+210) and the cover of the Jags in Kansas City. Even our favorite picks, which we don't count in our profit and loss over a season, were perfect, with both the Niners and Eagles covering. All told, that's easily the biggest ROI of the season (152% of whatever you staked on the underdog picks) and another big profit.
A big weekly profit takes us even closer to +$3,000. In fact, we've almost doubled our season profit over the last 6 weeks, and it's now impossible (with only 3 games left) for us to finish with under $+2,500 on the season. Last week's win also takes us over +$6,000 over the last 2 seasons, if you'd have placed $100 on every underdog win or cover.
This season's winnings are made up of +$1,605 in money line underdog winners (44-49-1, 47.3%) and +$1,270 in underdog covers (23-32-2, 71.9%). Both numbers are far superior to any other NFL media expert picking as many underdog winners, as you can see yourself by visiting our underdog section.
I get asked this question a lot, about the best way to use the information in Upset Watch. For me, our $100 a pick metric serves to illustrate that the core picks are good, but there are ways to pick that are more complex and generate potentially bigger payouts.
I've transferred this section of Upset Watch to a separate article, as I attempt to make the weekly column easier to read, so if you want to see my tips for how to maximize profit alongside many thousands of other subscribers, check this link out.