Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Patriots 16-0

The Pats certainly look dominant, but can they really go undefeated? Mercury Morris is pulling for them. ESPN anchors respond to this question with their typical yes/no approach, but I like to think I'm a little more sophisticated than that.

The chance at 16-0 is particularly appealing because you can bet both sides of the prop ('Yes' and 'No') for good prices; the Yes is as good as 1-1 (Intertops), the No as good as +230 (VIP).

I'm no NFL handicapper, but NFL game lines are usually pretty accurate. The lines for some future Patriots games are already out, so we can use them to roughly estimate their chances of winning each game:

Week 12: vs. Eagles: 95.0%
Week 13: at Ravens: 91.0%
Week 14: vs. Steelers: 90.0%
Week 15: vs. Jets: 96.0%
Week 16: vs. Dolphins: 96.0%
Week 17: at Giants: 88.0%

The Giants line is interesting; the Patriots are 11-point favorites, but that number is probably influenced by the possibility that New England rests their starters in Week 17. If they lose before Week 17, they'll probably do this, but a run at immortality might convince them to go for broke. In lieu of this possibility, I adjusted the Pats' winning percentage up from 83.0 to 88.0.

Remembering that these numbers are not tested for accuracy, the final verdict: The Pats go undefeated approximately 63.1% of the time, and you should bet both sides of the prop if you have accounts at both Intertops and VIP.

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