The big winner for Week 8 is anyone who went with Pittsburgh big as their contrarian pick. Anyone who went with New Orleans big also probably finished pretty high up. My personal pick of the Tennessee upset over Houston didn’t pan out (if only I had known my week rested on the shoulders of a guy whose name just sounds like a college backup QB).
I also published a post that showed what I came up with when I looked at data from last year to see if Moneyline and other picks were accurate. It was first made available to members of the CPP email list (you can still sign up for the email list by clicking on one of the blue buttons). It’s an interesting read.
This week, I’m rolling out some simple rules of thumb, combined with color coding, to hopefully help give you the best chance to win your week. This is based mostly off experience for now, but maybe someday I’ll be able to crunch some numbers to prove it actually works. The color codes indicate games where there’s a relatively high probability of a win compared to the percentage of the crowd who’s picking them. Green are heavy contrarian picks, Yellow are medium contrarian picks, and blue are light contrarian or bump up picks. I’ve found that taking one green and one blue pick all in has given me good chances to win a week if the upset comes through. The yellow picks are in between, so you may need two of them or one yellow and two blues, etc. I actually think I will start calling them “Money Picks” instead of upset or contrarian picks. It probably describes them the best: they’re picks that will get you in the money for the week.
The probabilities for this week are pretty high. The Seattle vs Oakland almost broke the spreadsheet with the Moneyline values being in the 1000’s. Top 4 are all above 80%.

Click here to pop out picks for easy entering
The Giants over the Colts are the best green contrarian pick this week, but only at a 38% win probability. For this week, there are two options. Pick the following high (I would suggest 10 points or higher, IF you’re going for the weekly win over the overall season win):
1 green: NYG over Indy for 10
1 yellow (Hou, Mia, or Bal) for 11 and 1 blue (Dal or Min) for 10
We did have a previous discussion about how high to pick your contrarian picks. I’ve gone back and forth on it a bit, but I’m back in the “forth” camp where you should pick the contrarian high, even up to or above the 80% probable teams. The reason is because a game like Dallas losing to Washington (Dallas 81% odds) should happen at least once a week (20%, or 1 in 5 chance, with maybe 5 teams having 75-80% probability). If your pick is above them, you actually will gain a few points on most people.
Best of luck all! As always, check back for an update on Saturday for those who can make changes up to kickoff.

How did you do last week?
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