I see you there, so full of swagger.
I've noticed you around. Truthfully, it would be hard not to.
You may think I haven't noticed, but I have.
You think you're smarter than me, than all of us. You think you know more about College Football!
This can not stand. It's time to put up or put up. That's right, it's time for College Football Pick'em!
A combination of the best 20 games of the week and all Big 12 games, against the spread, using confidence points.
For those interested, click here to go to Yahoo's sign up page and enter the following information:
Group ID: 18106
Update: Instructions for first timers below.
Picking Against the Spread:
The spread represents how people who gamble on games think the outcome will go. If you and I wanted to bet on say, LSU vs North Texas, it wouldn't really be fair if one of us just gets to pick LSU to win.* Everybody would want to bet on LSU. To balance this out, you don't just get to pick LSU, you have to pick LSU to beat North Texas by at least a certain number of points. This number of points that the favorite must win by shows up in the "Final" column. If your team is the favorite (as Baylor is this weekend), then the number signifies how many points you are "giving up". In order for you to win that matchup, your team must win by at least that many points. The underdog can lose the game, but still win you the matchup if they lose by less points than the spread. For example, if Baylor beats SMU by a field goal this weekend, then SMU would win that matchup.
You'll notice that there are columns labeled for days of the week. The lines for each week's set of games are first out by Vegas/others early in the week and then adjusted if too much money comes in on one side of the bet. For Vegas, the ideal scenario has an equal amount of bets for each side. This is because they take a cut of the winnings, so if they set a perfect line/ideal scenario for every game, it would be impossible for them to lose money. The losing bets would always cover the winner's bets plus their cut.
You can change your picks up to 5 minutes before the game starts. It's usually a good idea to make your picks close to game time so that the point spread doesn't change on you.
Using Confidence Points
Inevitably, there will be games involving teams that you know little to nothing about. Wouldn't it be unfair if those games counted for the same amount of points as the games that you know you can pick correctly? Well, good news, confidence points addresses this! The last column of the Yahoo Pick 'em window involves ranking your picks by how confident you are in each one. I imagine that most people on ODB are going to feel more knowledgeable about SMU and Baylor than they are about either team in the Arizona v Toledo matchup. As such, you want to rank the Baylor game higher with confidence points. This next part is important:
You assign a higher number of points to picks that you are more confident in.
The lower number of points you give to a game, the less points you accumulate when you get that pick correct. You get no points for an incorrect pick. If you don't assign any points to a game and get the pick correct, then you will receive one point for that pick. In other words, there is no downside to using confidence points at all. It can only help you.
As a piece of advice, it's often better to look for 'bad lines' than it is to look for teams that you are positive are going to win by a lot of points. For instance, it's possible that USC goes up 28-0 in the second quarter against Hawaii this week and subsequently benches their starters for the second half. The line for this game is USC by 42 points, which means that USC could win in a complete blowout but still lose against the spread. Conversely, if you feel really good about Baylor's chances this weekend after reading all of Mark's analysis/propaganda, then it would make more sense to give the Baylor game more confidence points than the USC game, even though USC has a better chance of beating Hawaii.
There is a bit of a glitch in the system. Because Yahoo uses lines from Vegas/betting websites, and because there are some games that these sources refuse to take wagers on, you will see some games that say "Off". There is no spread for these games in this system, but they still appear for you to make a selection. This means that you only need to pick the winner of this game, not taking or giving points. This week's Oklahoma State game is an example. Generally, you are going to want to pick the favorite and give these games your highest confidence points to take advantage of the glitch. Unless, of course, you think that Savannah State might upset Oklahoma State.
Lastly, the system is set up to drop your lowest week's total, so if you forget to make your picks one week, you still have a chance. Don't give up! Don't even give up!