Total 2021 Season results (+$726)
Season Upset Picks: 15-15 (+$655)
Season Underdog cover picks: (+$71)
Week 5 Upset Results (-$115)
Week 5 Cover results ($0)
Week 5 was so close to being one of our biggest wins of the season so far, but ended up taking a small loss on two games that should have been upsets. On the positive side, there were just 3 upsets in week 5, and we called 2 of them.
We called the Eagles correctly, going heavily against the grain (84% of experts picked the Panthers) and we called the biggest game of the week - the Buffalo win against the Chiefs in Kansas City.
The Colts losing in overtime after leading 22-3 at one stage, and the Browns losing to the Chargers from a two score lead turned what would have been a potentially huge win into a small loss. That said, it’s encouraging that the data was leading us towards what really should have been the right conclusions, barring Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson’s incredible heroics.
So we’re doing the right things, and it’s better to lose in overtime or on the last play, because it reinforces yet again how good the Upset Watch methodology is.
I tend to keep Upset Watch focused entirely on picks, but we have a few things launching over the next week that are important and you’ll want to know about.
First up, our NBA and NHL sites are now LIVE. You can access both at pickwatch.com/NBA and pickwatch.com/NHL respectively. Your login for nflpickwatch.com will work to make picks there and access Pro data and other insights.
Obviously, alongside our MLB site, that now means we cover all four major sports leagues, and we’re not stopping there. We’re starting work on revamping our NCAA football coverage to bring it in line with other sports (coins, better layout, better picks forms, ability to combine experts and users in one table, Pickwatch Pro stats).
...and we’re not stopping there either. We’ll be covering March Madness for the first time in 2022. We’re not going to commit to the entire College Basketball season yet, but we will in future. This means we’ll be covering all of the major pro and college sports leagues, with other sports in the pipeline.
The launch of all these sports on the platform also leads us to our new mobile app. Once we have these foundations done, our mobile app will go into development over the 6 months and launch in 2022. This is obviously a massively requested feature and with 50% of our audience on mobile, we want to make that experience perfect.
Finally, something that impacts a lot of users is being changed. We know a lot of users struggle to fit all of our data on a standard laptop screen, so we’re now giving you the ability to collapse the right hand column of the website that has the picks form and recent blog posts.
It’ll remain open by default, but if you close it, your choice will be remembered on that browser while the cookie is active.
This means that even users on much smaller screens (down to 1200px width) should now be able to see all columns they wish. If you don’t already know, you can select which columns you wish from the settings tabs above the table.
Here’s how it works:
How many upsets in week 6?
Ah yes. Upsets. Glad you asked.
For those unfamiliar with Upset Watch, we use historical trends to ensure we pick the right number of upsets per week, and then from there, we also examine current statistical data and trends to ensure we’re picking teams in the right scenarios.
Underdogs are 30-50 in 2021 - a win rate of 37.5%. That’s still high, but last week rebalanced things as only 3 won. Underdogs are covering 53.8% of the time this season - good for a profit on it’s own!
Week 6 is the last week that we consider to be part of the ‘early season’. From next week, expect less upsets predicted each week, as fans and sportsbooks become more accurate in working out which team should be favored.
On average there are 6.1 upsets in week 6, and there are 8.6 underdog covers - one of the few weeks where historically, there are more teams covering as underdogs than as favorites.
Where do upsets most frequently occur?
With 2021 now 5 weeks old, this season’s data becomes more relevant. We know which teams are good and bad, and which teams are dysfunctional. More on that later.
That means that while we look at historical trends, we also look at where upsets are most likely to occur in the current year. This is a post-Covid world and not everything that happened in 2014 is an accurate guide for 2021.
For example, 21 of the 30 underdog victories this season have come from road underdogs. The average spread they were up against was +3.8, so we’re going to take at least half of our underdogs on the road, and we’re also going to be looking primarily at teams facing lower spreads, which still generate the best rate of return.
We have still yet to see a team win when facing a spread larger than 7 points - the longest streak in recent years to start a season. But that said, teams facing spreads of between +5 and +6.5 are performing slightly better, going 5-6 so far. There’s going to be one of those in there this week as the expectations have yet to fade for some bigger teams facing banana skins...
Every week I give away one of the picks from our Upset Watch article. Last week it was the Eagles, who won as underdogs, and this week, it’s one of our favorites to win...
This is an exceptionally generous line and if you want a pick of the week, take Dallas to cover. Sure, the Pats have a top 5 defense across the board, but they have a bottom 5 offense and they’re taking on a team that is 2nd in points scored, 2nd in rushing yards, 3rd in passing TD’s, and averages almost 4 TD’s a game.
The Pats average nowhere near that and are seeing some of the limitations of a rookie QB. Mac Jones has thrown 5 interceptions already and their -3 turnover differential is a killer. If they have a defensive weakness, it’s against the run, something enticing for the rejuvenated Ezekiel Elliott and the underrated Tony Pollard.
The Pats rank 31st in the league, converting just 37.5% of their red zone opportunities. I will reiterate my stance on the Cowboys: They’re one of the league’s best teams, and to beat them, you’ll have to take every chance you get - not an average of 1 in every 3.
You can read the full article with all SIX underdog picks and get all Pro features for just $5.99 for the first month or $22.50 for a whole year by using the code UPSET25 at the checkout!