Welcome to Upset Watch week 3
Every week we'll guide you through the best underdog picks to win and to cover. This week, we continued our 100% record by nailing all 3 of our underdog cover tips, but can we continue that in week 3? Let's see!
- This week's app release will see us adding Upset Watch to the Pro section, and changing that area to be more functional. Expect us to add all of the Pro benefits you get as a subscriber to that page as shortcuts. We'll be adding something similar on web in the near future too.
- We'll also be adding underdog picks/rankings to the app in this release.
- On web, we'll be adding expert profits and looking at how column sorting works to make it easier to find what you're looking for
- Finally, last week we discussed how to make this column easier to read and consume. We have a good idea of how to do it, and rather than one long blog post, we will be changing Upset Watch over the next month or so to become a 'hub', with games able to be selected and lineups, graphical illustrations of data etc. Oh, and fundamentally, for those who aren't interested, you'll be able to see the picks easily.
Upset Watch Performance
Last week was a tale of two halves. Our underdog covers continued their stellar performance, and we're now 5/5 on those picks in 2022. We also won on our Miami pick, a pretty big underdog selection that yielded a solid profit for us.
But without doubt, our underdog picks just didn't come through. It's the first time since December of 2020 that we haven't managed to predict 2 of the underdog wins in our main picks, and that meant a small loss of 8% ($75) on the week, which let's face it, is not a terrible outcome given how bad things could have been, and we were only one win away from a comfortable profit.
I like to think that we've built up years of support for how we do things, but ultimately, it's a results business, and any loss always hurts, even if we're still substantially in profit for the season already.
Because this is such a rare occurrence, I spoke with our team about how we can give you some kind of guarantee, and we think we have something worked out so that if less than 25% of our picks come in, you will have a week added to your Pro package in future.
Of course, we actually hit on 4/9 this week so it wouldn't have been in play, but I love the idea that even if everything goes wrong and every starting QB goes down injured in the first quarter for all of our picked teams, we'd have your back.
Despite our small loss, we're still at +$253 (+15%) return on the year, and as we'll cover below, the next few weeks are where our patented weighted stats that have guided us to huge profits over the last 3 years begin to show their worth. We can already learn a lot from how week 2 played out, and how each team has now performed against multiple opponents.
Week 3 Methodology
As we mentioned last week, week 2 was one of the most unpredictable weeks of the season. You have a ton of teams that have played one game badly or well, and it's very tricky to gauge if that's because of a bad opponent, or if they are legitimately good/bad themselves.
Thankfully, week 3 offers much more in terms of solid grounding. For the record, we can expect 5 underdog winners and 8 underdog covers this week, and we also get to use our most reliable methodology. Our weighted stats are a cornerstone of what we do, and I'll briefly explain this so you understand the metrics we use on each game to pick winners.
When we 'weight' performance stats, we try to put them into context to find the 'true' performance. In essence, we want to know if a unit is dominant against anyone they face, or whether they beat up on bad teams and may look better than they really are.
Let me give you an extreme example: If your team's defense played against this season's Chicago Bears - the worst team in the league at passing the ball - 16 games in a row, what do you think your team's defensive rankings would be?
Well I can tell you - you'd rank as the best team in the league against the pass, and one of the worst against the run.
But what would happen if, in the 17th game, you played a team that had a great passing offense, such as the Chiefs? In theory, this may be the no.1 passing offense vs the no.1 passing defense, but that defense has only played the worst team in the league. How do we know whether it is good, or whether it's opponent has just been weak?
That's where weighted stats come in.
Our rankings calculate the positive or negative performance of that defense in each game, vs the average of what the opposing offense has achieved against other opponents.
For example, we can understand that the Vikings are underperforming as a rushing offense because they rank 21st in rushing yards, but it's much worse than that, because the teams they have played against have actually given up more rushing yards to the other teams they played against, and rank poorly at stopping the run.
At this stage of the season, the numbers can be extreme, but the principles of good and bad units are already becoming clear. The Bengals O-line ranks 32nd in our weighted ranking, the Bills and Dolphins are at the top of the passing charts, and the Ravens are bottom of the pass defense rankings, all of which stacks up with things we know.
Weighted performance teaches us the 'true' performance of a team, and that's essential when we're trying to work with 32 teams, each with a different gameplan, strengths and weaknesses.
As part of Upset Watch's revamp, we'll be making our weighted rankings available to all Pro subscribers in the near future. For now, we are using a graphical illustration above each game, outlining their 'true' ranking, and the 'true' ranking of the unit they will face in the game, so you can see where mismatches will occur.
The game picks are for members only, you can get 20% off a pro subscription ($24 for 12 months!) with the code UPSET22 at checkout if you click this link.
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