Recap and Retrospect

I thought about doing a full recap but, at this point we’ve all moved on to the Big Dance, or in my case the NIT. Regardless, I did want to put pen to paper and jot down some thoughts about how I went about this and what I would, and will, do differently next year. I think one of the biggest positive attributes a bettor can have is the ability to take their achievements as well as their missteps and use them to improve future investments. Losses can be just as valuable as wins if you can take something away from them.

Posted the recap tweet above so I wouldn’t have to retype it all. Decent amount of outlay for a little profit, but again, it was a ton of fun, I found a few gems, and I think it helped prep me even more for the actual postseason. So….

Lessons Learned?

  1. 51 Outright Bets in only 26 conferences?

    Yeah, that might have been too many, but I didn’t really go in with a plan and I when I started, there were regular season games still going on. I had no idea how many I’d end up with once all the leagues started their postseasons. That said, I may have to reduce my risk a bit next time, because when things went wrong, they REALLY went wrong. Looking at some of the bets, it’s almost like I was starting to hedge bets even before the tournaments started. I don’t think I need to limit myself to just one bet per conference, but maybe sprinkling on four teams like I did in the Big South, CUSA and A10 (for a combined 12 teams, no titles, and -2.83 units) wasn’t a great game plan.

  2. Should I ever hedge?

    I think it really does come down to the situation, and it feels like I always make the wrong call. As far as the two hedge bets I made during this conference tournament run go: my model said North Dakota State shouldn’t have been that big of a dog vs Omaha and honestly, Houston just scared the shit out of me. I’d like to get deeper into hedging theory and we’ll touch on it in a podcast very soon, but I often wonder if it’s a bad idea to devalue a position that has accumulated so much value since you placed it.

  3. Are Moneyline rollovers better than pre-tourney outrights?

    I went over this with a couple people who asked and I think it takes a little more in-depth look into the entire bracket and some calculations to figure out which way will yield a better price. While the person with the fixed odds price before the tournament LOVES to see a high seed get upset on the other side of the draw, the person doing the roll over realizes that his price will be greatly reduced in the final game since a lower-quality opponent will equal a much bigger price disparity. And if nothing in this paragraph made any sense to you, maybe I’ll write a full article on how this sort of thing works.

  4. Am I going to to this again next year?

    Hell yes, this was a ton of fun and like I already said, it got me more prepared to dive into the Big Dance/NIT/CIT/CBI than I have been in previous years. I thoroughly enjoyed (most) of the interactions on Twitter and hope I got some people more interested in following MEAC basketball.

  5. What about model plays for the next few weeks?

    While I’m hesitant, since all of my work was done with teams playing within their conference and without the mix of Power-Six conferences, I will be making a couple adjustments and trying to use my data along with other stuff to come up with some plays that I hope to be +EV over the next few weeks. Anything I’m on, I’ll be tweeting out, including any futures I add.

Thanks for reading anything of mine you read this tournament season, I hope you enjoyed it and maybe you made more than the 0.255 units I did. Good luck with everything going forward and remember:

  • Your bracket isn’t a prediction of how the tournament will go, no one will get that right. You’re just trying to outscore the rest of your pool.

  • 12 seeds over 5s aren’t automatically an upset, the odds will often reflect so much… don’t let the local sports guy tell you otherwise.

  • Don’t forget about the other three tournaments, there are always some absolute gems to be found in the lower tier brackets.