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.
We finished the season by going 2-1 on underdog winning picks and having our 4th winning week in a row. On covers, we pulled both picks. The Cardinals didn't even last a day as DeAndre Hopkins and Colt McCoy were ruled out, but the Giants was a late call, as the announcements about Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley came very late.
Now, in a positive twist, the Giants still covered thanks to Davis Webb, but I think given I pulled the pick, the fairest way is to call it a push. Some of you will have seen a profit of +$255 if you didn't pick New York, and some a profit of +$355 if you did so early (like me!).
In theory, I could claim the win, but even though the timing was very late, I don't think I'd have been clamoring to accept a loss had the Giants been blown out, so a push seems the right thing to do in spirit. That means our profit is still +$255 on the week, and also our biggest ROI of the season, 85%.
I've done this a number of times this season, not claiming wins in spirit that would see us up around +$300 more than we are currently, but I'm ok with it. The way I see it, our profit and loss is just a good indicator of how Upset Watch is doing, and whether it's a few dollars out is irrelevant when the returns are clearly strong regardless.
Even without counting the Giants early pick, +$255 is a nice profit to end the regular season, and takes us to the aforementioned +$2,400 mark for 2022/23. Of that, +$1,130 is profit from money line winners, and +1,276 comes from our cover picks, which are 22-8-2 on the season (73.3%).
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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