We finished 2019 at 42-37-2. We were profitable, but probably left some cash on the table.
I made some changes this season.
The biggest was I stopped betting the NFL. For one, the lines are too sharp. That makes it hard to find an edge. Second, and the biggest reason, is I have stopped watching the NFL. I haven’t seen a game in the last two seasons.
I am a veteran, and the kneeling during the national anthem didn’t sit right with me. I am 100% for the players having the right to express themselves however they see fit. However, I also have the right not to like it, and thus chose to stop watching. The weird thing is that I don’t even miss it…
I also relied on ‘reading the line’ a little more this season than normal. I looked to bet the ugly side of the line, and I tracked where the money was going. This had a heavy influence on my selections this year.
Third, a huge percentage of my picks were underdogs. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing as favorites finished +17 games this season. I still worry that the betting markets haven’t caught up to the massive discrepancy between the haves and the have-nots. That makes blow-outs a little bigger, and leads to favorites covering more.
I learned a lot of lessons.
1) STOP FADING ELITE TEAMS. For the love of God I write this after every season, but I never listen. I lost 12 games fading LSU, Clemson, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Baylor. That is 1/3 of my losses. Hell, I lost four games by fading LSU this season. Anyone with half a brain could tell they were a team of destiny. Life is hard enough. No need to always try to swim upstream.
2) I need to remember that the market has a hard time keeping up with teams that are in a complete free-fall. The team I know the best – my NC State Wolfpack – were set to have a rough season after they lost so much talent to the NFL. I predicted as much in my pre-season email. However, they were then decimated by injury, and were exposed by not having a QB. All the in-season metrics rely on what the team has done, but doesn’t take into account how much that team has changed and what they will look like going forward. I will be looking for 2020’s NC State, and will fade them relentlessly next season.
3) Coaching has such a huge impact on football. Look at K State and Louisville. Both hired proven winners that were starting their rebuild. Both led tremendous impacts. Never, ever underestimate the power of good leadership.
4) Don’t fall in love with yesterday – Central Florida is a great example of this. There were multiple spots were they were treated like they were the team from 2018. They weren’t even close to being that good.
5) Fade teams that give up. It was clear that Florida State and Michigan State were both working with lame duck head coaches and both teams were completely dysfunctional. They both should have been faded relentlessly.
All in all a good season. I appreciate everyone following.
Note I will be making big upgrades to the site for next season, and also have a few side projects in the works. I’ll let you know when all that is ready for primetime.
Finally, I hope everyone is well right now as many of our communities are struggling. Football and good times will be back soon enough. I wish you well in the meantime.
This Post Has 4 Comments
Pat, I really appreciate the honesty and the look back with the lessons learned in your post. We never get any of that from anyone else. That alone sets you apart, and also teaches those of us that are willing to learn. I am normally a favorites better, but always have an eye out for a live dog, and you pointed out many to me in 2019. Thanks for all that you do, brother. Enjoyed your book as well.
Thanks for that information Pat, I’m looking forward to your advice for the upcoming football season, I’ll be patiently waiting.
I don’t always agree with you but I appreciate your opinion, thanks for this year. Hope your going to have a 2020 College preview looking forward to next year.
I appreciate the honest reflection and look forward to your continued insights. You’re part of my Saturday morning preparation routine! Keep up the great work, Mr. Hagerty