After the week 1 loss to Arizona, I placed a wager on my beloved Seahawks at an amazing 66:1 odds. Needless to say, with a nice payday on the line, I've been telling myself all season that
if when the Seahawks made it the to playoffs, I would be hedging (betting against the 'Hawks) my bets each week so that at the minimum I could walk away a couple hundred dollars richer. But a funny thing happened today as I was looking at the money line (Redskins paying at +130, meaning you win 130 on a bet of 100 if the 'Skins win straight up). I decided not to throw away good bad money after bad good. Here's why...
Note: This article is intrinsically incorrect. While the stats I quote are correct, I ignore lots of real shit. Don't gamble based on this article.
The Redskins scored 436 pts compared to Seahawks scoring 412 points. Advantage Redskins +24. Seahawks D surrendered 245 points vs 388 for the Redskins. Advantage Seahawks +143. It's my understanding that 143 >> 24, but this doesn't take into account strength of schedule.
By P-F-R.com, Seahawks have the 2nd highest SRS (per game margin of victory + schedule strength adjustment) in the league at 12.2, and the Redskins are ranked 10th at 3.4. This means, adjusting for opponent, the Seahawks should outscore the Redskins by 12.2 - 3.4 = 8.8 on a neutral field.
Brian Burke of AdvancedNFLStats.com writes that home field advantage is worth 2.4 points with a standard deviation of 4 points - let's give the benefit of 2 extra points for a playoff game and a really hungry fanbase (still no CLink). With an 8.8 point expected margin of victory for the Hawks on a neutral field, the point spread should be Redskins +4.4 (instead of +3). The odds of the Seahawks losing outright is based on the Redskins beating the expectation by 5.4 points or more (4.4 points = tie, 5.4 or more is a win), therefore the odds of the Redskins winning outright is in the neighborhood of a below -1.35 standard deviation event, meaning there is an approximately 9% chance the 'Skins win outright - which gives me a 1/11 chance to win a 1.3/1 payout = that's essentially giving a casino a crisp $100 bill for 236 nickels.
With a point spread bet, I'd have a higher likelihood of winning the bet (1/5), and the chance to double dip, but the point spread is listed at Redskins +3 (-115) meaning I bet 115 to win 100, and 87% payout on my initial bet, which is akin to paying $100 for 4 venti half-decaf triple pumpkin spice lattes.
So even though both hedges don't seem to make sense as individual bets, it still might make sense to buy insurance. Except that if I hedge now and lose, I will have to increase my hedge next week to account for my loss this week...
So I started to think a little more about the game and consulted the ultimate source of football nerdiness.
By Footballoutsiders.com, the 'hawks rank 1st in DVOA at 38.3, with weighted of 46.6 showing an improvement of 8.3 points in the late part of the season. Washington ranks 9th at 9.6, with a weighted of 18.1, an increase of 8.5. Both teams have similar improvement over the last half of the season, but the Hawks are still up around 29 points of DVOA. What is 29 points of DVOA? 29 points of DVOA is the difference between the Redskins and the Jets or Arizona. Honestly, can you imagine a Redskins fan betting money on Arizona to beat Washington for 1.3 to 1 odds? hahahahaha...
All this to say, no hedging for me. Let my pickle ride, baby. go hawks