Your week is over, and you ended up not in the money. What do you do now? Do you need to take more or less risk? This post assumes that you aren’t in contention for the overall season win, and you’re going for the weekly win (as are my picks right now).

The first thing you should do is the “what if” analysis. Take one of your picks and see what would’ve happened if one of the teams you picked won instead of lost. If you had used the money picks strategy, you’ll probably only need to check your money pick. Let’s take Week 6 of the 2019 season as an example. Here were the premium picks from that week:

Base PickPickSpreadWin Prob% PickedAvg ConfUnderdogWin Prob% PickedAvg Conf
14NEP17.091%99%12.7NYG9%1%3.6
13BAL11.083%99%10.4CIN17%1%4.6
12DAL7.075%98%10.2@NYJ25%2%4.5
11LAC6.573%91%7.6PIT27%9%4.0
10GBP4.567%92%8.2DET33%8%3.8
9KCC4.067%90%7.8HOU33%10%3.4
8WAS3.562%68%4.1@MIA38%32%2.6
7LAR3.562%69%5.9SFO38%31%4.1
6MIN3.060%58%4.3PHI40%42%4.2
5ATL3.057%72%5.2@ARI43%28%3.5
4DEN2.056%69%4.7TEN44%31%4.2
3CAR2.055%44%4.0@TBB45%56%3.8
2SEA1.553%86%6.8@CLE47%14%3.5
1JAC1.553%14%3.7NOS47%86%6.9

I ended up going with Jacksonville for 12 as my money pick, since they were at a 53% win probability and only 14% picked, and slotted every other team down.

As you can see, the Jacksonville pick didn’t really work out this week as they lost 13-6 to the Saints. But how bad is it? Should junk this strategy or stay with it? The next exercise will help answer that question.

Here’s the scoreboard for my entire league:

 

Keep going…

Ah there I am, with 51 points. Yikes, I’m like 5th from the bottom. Is it time to junk this strategy? Well, first thing to do is to play “what if” Jacksonville had been able to pull off the victory against the Drew Brees-less Saints? Well, I’d add 12 more points to my score to take it from 51 up to 63. That would get me to 7th place, tied with “Luvs Tight Ends” (how nice). But wait, if Jax wins, you have to subtract the points the teams above me picked for NO. For example, “Grandpa4x” would lose 5 points to go from 65 to 60, which would be below me! However, you’d have to add 3 points to “Riding in my Lambeau” because they actually picked Jax too. So they would be at 67, which would be above me.

You do that with the teams around your hypothetical score to see what place you would’ve been in had your pick hit. In this case, if Jax had hit, I would’ve tied for 3rd place. Not too shabby, the strategy was solid, just the pick didn’t work out. For me to take first place though, I probably needed to go team that was less picked than Jacksonville, which was 14% picked, or move another team up that was a little less picked (usually these are a “bump up” of a higher win probability blue pick). So in the future, I need to pick team or teams that are less public picked.

OK so what if you needed a whole bunch of teams to win, instead of just one team? That means you probably need a change in strategy. It’s one thing to say “if only Jacksonville had won” but it’s completely another to say “if only Jacksonville and LAC and Det had won, I’d be in the money!” Jacksonville was a 53% win probability, I’ll take that coin flip to win a week anytime! Usually these money picks are 30-40% win probability, so you have to keep trying for a few weeks.

Well, hopefully this helped. Go back and check to see “what if” your money pick had hit. If it would’ve put you in first place, or close to it, you’re on the right track. If you needed a modern day miracle for you to get first place, you might want to consider taking teams that have less public picked while trading off win probability. You can do this with picking green picks all in. If that’s not enough, combo the green pick with blue picks or yellow picks.