Hope and Objectivity

The hope stampede was alive and well after Monday night’s rout. 

Predictions should be based on objectivity, not on sentiment.  Predictions may or may not be the same as sentiment. 

There is nothing more objective than Las Vegas odds.  It may not be what is correct.  That is why they play the game.  But since betting is not an easy proposition with magnanimous gifts waiting for us to pick up, it is as analytical and unemotional a means of assessing probabilities as possible.   

What do you think the odds are that the Giants win the Super Bowl?  Since more than some of you here are predicting the playoffs, is it 1 chance in 12 (11 to 1) because of 12 teams remaining?  Or is it still like 20:1 because when they get to the playoffs they will still have to play on the road again?  Or is it ~ 30 to 1 because they still must make the playoffs?

Try 55:1.  That’s right, keep those feet on the ground.  There is nothing ‘wrong’ with believing in the Giants.  What this blogger thinks about their chances is irrelevant to anyone’s beliefs and the outcome.  But this post will try to offer some antiseptic light on that Tuesday manic celebration and keep it real.  The REAL odds of the Giants getting a title are 55:1.  And if you think that is too high and too much value, I’ll take the opposite side of that bet and steal from you there too.  The true odds of the Giants are somewhere closer to 200 to 1 or more.  Keep reading for why..

The Giants essentially must win out their last 2 games.  They would need Dallas or the Packers to lose their last two in order to get in with only one win.  With Dallas playing the Redskins and the Pack playing Seattle, that is rather unlikely.  The odds of either Dallas or Green Bay losing both games (which would only require one win by the Giants) is about 21%.  More on that further down.

This means a logical path of 6 wins needed:
CAR -7
at MINN +5
at PHL +5.5
at NO +9
at MINN +5
vs IND +6

Those point spreads were generated by the current line vs Carolina and power ratings from a linear regression model.  If we convert those point spreads into moneyline wager odds, we get the following:
CAR 1:3
at MINN 1.8:1
at PHL 1.9:1
at NO 3.3:1
at MINN 1.8:1
vs IND 2.1:1

So if we take a $10 wager, it is $13.33 after Week 16, $37.30 after W17, $108 after the Wild Card, $460 after NO, $1280 after MINN and $3900 after the Super Bowl, or 390 to 1 odds.  If we said the odds were even vs Minnesota because they bench Favre, it would be ~$2800 or still 280 to 1.  If we also assume that there is a ~21% chance of either Dallas or GB losing both games, then the odds for the Giants drop to ~218 to 1.

Thought of another way, if you just waited for the Giants to get in to the playoffs, the odds would be ~100:1 from that point alone by just parlaying the moneyline. 

There are two takeaways from all of this: (1) the Giants’ chances of winning a title are very low and (2) if you believe in the Giants, start betting on the right now on the moneyline and parlay it every week.  Even I, who do not believe in the Giants chances, would be inclined to take ~218 to 1.  These odds are not pie in the sky.  Do not bet the 55:1 if you believe in the Giants.. just bet them each game from here on out and you will do much much better.  If you are skeptical that the Giants will remain that high… i.e. they could end up playing the Bengals or the Cardinals along the way…you will still get much more than 55 to 1.       

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