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NFL Sportfolio Strategist Picks: Week 10

Brett Matthew and Zach James, Lead strategists for BetKarma’s NFL managed sportfolios

NFL Week 9 was a historic demonstration of broad market futility, with both the SuperContest and Circa Million top 5 consensus picks unable to capture a win (0-4-1 and 0-5, respectively).  All sportfolio strategies posted mostly negative performance for the week, but still successfully outperformed both the broader market and all direct comparable competitors. Core, our flagship strategy, went 2-3 and returned -1.3%, Aggressive returned -5.1%, and Conservative returned -1.3%.

Performance was salvaged by an early week play on the Buccaneers at +7 and the Panthers at -3. We thought the Buccaneers could win the game outright, and so being spotted a TD seemed like an egregious mispricing. We seemed to have been proved right, as the line dropped over the course of the week to as low as +4. Timing proved critical, as most late bettors on the Buccaneers failed to cash their tickets after a 6 point loss in OT. Our Panthers selection was both a sell on the Titans and Tannehill on the road, and a buy on the Panthers returning home after a blowout on the road v the Niners (who have been blowing out practically every one they play). Although securing only two wins out of five positions is typically disappointing, given the bloodbath for the broader market during the week, we are relatively pleased with performance.

Again, the usual culprits were the primary sources of underperformance, namely the Jets and the Browns. We have been suckers for both of these teams all season long (with the Redskins not too far behind). Of course, all three of these teams have some of the worst records in the league, and continue to make new lows week-in-week-out. Last week was a perfect example of what we thought was an opportune “buy low” on Jets and “sell high” on Dolphins (after 3 straight covers). Of course, as it turns out, this thesis was poorly timed – again. In fact, the Dolphins have been one of the very few bad teams this year that continue to cover numbers – and, unfortunately – that we haven’t backed all season. The Browns, on the other hand, had an ideal situation to steal a victory vs an untested and unproven practice-squad QB in Branden Allen. Alas, poor coaching decisions, mental errors, and penalties were too much for the Browns to overcome (again) – in spite of again dominating the box score (again). Our primary miscue in assessing the Browns this season has been our underestimation of Freddie Kitchens’ broad negative impact.

Looking at Week 10, we are cautious because a lot of the sides we favor have experienced negative spread momentum over the course of the week (Buccaneers, Steelers, Falcons, Jets, Bengals, Browns). Of course, from one perspective, this  means the market is offering us a better buy-in price – however, from an alternative perspective, this implies sharper, smart money might not be on our side. This does give us pause. In addition, this week’s card is one of the lightest in terms of offerings that we will see all season – giving us less mispriced opportunity to exploit and bookmakers the ability to focus on fewer games, resulting in sharper, more accurate spreads. All of these states of reality suggest we minimize risk exposures this week, and wait for future weeks to leverage up.

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Core Strategy (risking 5.4% to win 5%):

  1. Browns -3: 1% to return 1%
  2. Buccaneers -3: 1.3% to return 1%
  3. Panthers +5: 1.1% to return 1%
  4. Bears -3: 1% to return 1%
  5. Niners -6: 1.2% to return 1%

Conservative Strategy (risking 3.7% to win 3%):

  1. Colts -3, Niners PK 7pt teaser: 1.2% to return 1%
  2. Vikings +10, Falcons +21: 1.2% to return 1%
  3. Buccaneers -3: 1.3% to return 1%

Aggressive Strategy (risking 16% to win 14%):

  1. Steelers +4.5: 1.1% to return 1%
  2. Buccaneers -3: 3.9% to return 3%
  3. Panthers +5: 1.1% to return 1%
  4. Bears -3: 2% to return 2%
  5. Niners -6: 1.2% to return 1%
  6. Jets +3: 1.1% to return 1%
  7. Browns -3: 1% to return 1%
  8. Cowboys -3: 1.1% to return 1%
  9. Vikings +10, Colts -3 7pt teaser: 1.2% to return 1%
  10. Falcons +14: 1.1% to return 1%
  11. Colts -3, Niners PK: 1.2% to return 1%

*please be sure to follow the Discord chat, as the Aggressive strategy will leverage live in-game wagering as well as dynamic hedging opportunities. 

Multi-Sport Total Return Fund Strategy

Please follow Brett Matthew and Zach James on Twitter at @nonrandomalpha and @golcondafund and the premium Discord chat for real-time trades throughout the week (this is a separate strategy that makes trades across all sports both college and pro and will be active through to the NBA Finals).

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