This week's horrific events in Cincinnati have paused many normal elements of week 18. Our best wishes are with Damar Hamlin and his family.
Because of the slight delay, and the normal week 18 changes (some teams are announcing QB changes as I write this), we will hold fire until Thursday with our underdog picks.
Welcome to Upset Watch
If you're new to Pickwatch, or have never read Upset Watch, here's what we do:
With over 35% of NFL games ending in an underdog outright win, it's important to know when upsets are most likely to occur, and which teams to pick.
Every Wednesday, we select a number of underdogs that have a statistically higher chance of winning than others. To do this, we use historical trends, such as the number of underdogs that historically win each week, and we then use a weighted ranking of each team's current 'true' performance to assess how well they are playing, and whether the matchup is favorable.
Why underdogs and not favorites?
Because underdog winners yield bigger profits from the greater odds you face, you don't need to win every pick you make. Our motto is that with Upset Watch, you make more profit from fewer picks.
In 2021, betting $100 on every underdog winner that we picked would have yielded you a profit of+$3,200 over the course of the season. This year, we have made a profit to this point of +$1,961
Contents (click to jump to section - Pro subscription required for picks):
About Weighted Stats
Our weighted stats in the header for each game are different to the 'raw' stats you can find on other websites.
Weighted stats indicate the performance of a team against the averages of their opponents. For example, if a team scores 30 points against a team that gives up 29 points on average, their weighted performance will be +1. If they score 30 points against a team that gives up 20 points on average, their performance is +10, because they scored 10 points more than that opponent normally allows.
Over the course of a season, we can see the balance of the weighted performance as a 'true' measure of a team's real caliber. A team that ranks highly in a category generally has a good performance in this statistic regardless of how strong their opponents are.
*Note: As we head into the final weeks of the season, we are using weighted stats from the last 5 games for each team, giving a more accurate indication of where teams are now, given injuries, QB changes, coaches being fired, or late season good/bad form..
About the stats
We include 4 main categories of weighted stats for offense and defense. These cover scoring, passing, rushing, and pass protection. On defense, we replace pass protection with pass rush.
By placing the units side-by-side with the unit they are up against (eg: Pass protection vs Pass rush) you can not only see where a team is strongest, but also whether the opposing unit is likely to be strong or weak too.
Our third winning week in a row has nicely rounded off the regular season. We hit on 2 underdog picks - Seattle and Pittsburgh - and both of our cover picks, Miami and Denver, also won. We were unfortunate that Carolina didn't add another big win to that against the Bucs, but what had looked a good pick early on turned into a Brady comeback special. Still, a profit of +$190, and we hit week 18 having had 12 winning weeks so far this year.
We finally cracked the +$2,000 mark with our winnings this week. After our blip in week 14, it had looked a difficult target to reach, but we're happy to get there before the craziness of week 18.
In total, our two underdog covers mean that we have gone 73.3% on covers this season for a profit of +$1,276, and 44.3% on underdog winner picks, for a profit of +$875. That dwarfs everyone in the media who has picked the same number of underdogs this season. It also means that we have passed the +$5,000 mark over the past two seasons!
I get asked this question a lot, about the best way to use the information in Upset Watch/
I've transferred this section of Upset Watch to a separate article, as I attempt to make the weekly column easier to read, so if you want to see my tips for how to maximize profit alongside many thousands of other subscribers, check this link out.
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