Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Long Con of @RJinVegas: "Repackaging" Info


RJ Bell is the founder and CEO of Pregame.com, a sports betting website that includes forums, odds, contests, and picks (both of the free and for purchase varieties). It is one of the most successful sites of its kind, in no small part due to the popularity of Bell, who has accumulated over 80K Twitter followers and established himself as the mainstream media's go-to "expert" for stories involving gambling on sports.

An American success story if there every was one. That's only one side of it, though. In some corners of the internet (including this blog), there is a feeling that Bell has not found his success in a legitimate way. This is the 12th post in a series detailing the reasoning behind that particular feeling. If you'd like to start at the beginning, it's here.

As noted, Bell tweets out a lot of annoying/worthless/false nonsense. But nothing is more frustrating than when he takes other people's (actually interesting!) info and makes it his own. One recent example:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

2014 NFL Survivor: Week 3


Won't be taking the Bucs this week, at least. Between those clowns(/silly runoff rules), the Saints and the 49ers, about 30% of OFP was eliminated in Week 2. SRs from Pinny, consensus numbers from OFP:

New England (vs. Oakland; SR 9.05, OFP 58.2%)

First time this year that a majority of entries have been on one team, although we'll see where this one ends up on Sunday morning. The Pats are indeed huge faves, but between their popularity this week and value in the future, taking them here seems unnecessary.

New Orleans (vs. Minnesota; SR 8.18, OFP 18.1%)

No real market for this one as of yet, so just using the 5Dimes ML for now. This is a solid option, my only concern is that the Saints' OFP% will continue to rise throughout the week now that Peterson is out (and then end up being even higher in pools where nobody actually submitted their pick on Mon/Tues). New Orleans does have a decent amount of FV, with home games against the Bucs, Ravens, Panthers, and Falcons. (Note: The ratings being used to come up with the future Saints lines here seem problematic.)

Atlanta (vs. Tampa Bay; SR 7.22, OFP% 8.0%)

This is an interesting option compared to New Orleans, in that the Saints' popularity is on the rise, while the Falcons should end up lower than this since they're playing on Thursday. The Falcons host the Browns in Week 12, but don't have much FV overall, so it'd be nice to burn them here if that ends up being reasonable.

Indianapolis (at Jacksonville; SR 7.26, OFP% 7.3%)

A mediocre option this week, and the Colts still have home games against the Titans, Jags, and Redskins.

Cincinnati (vs. Tennessee; SR 7.27, OFP% 4.4%)

A better option than the Colts this week for obvious reasons, but also more tempting to save, as the Bengals host the Jags in W9 and the Browns in W10.

Philadelphia (vs. Washington; SR 7.17, OFP% 1.3%)

Another solid one, with almost nobody taking the Eagles this week. It would be nice to keep Philly around, since they have a fairly easy home schedule (notably STL, NYG, TEN, DAL) and so many folks already used them in W1, but this looks like a good option.

Dallas (at St. Louis; SR 5.15, OFP% 0.6%)

No.

Miami (vs. Kansas City; SR 6.67, OFP % 0.4%)

Not bad, especially for diversification purposes, but doesn't compare well with Atlanta if you want to take a team with minimal FV.

Friday, September 12, 2014

This Fortnight in Degen Internet (8/30-9/12)


G.O.A.T. of the Double Fortnight

Cvillian @ItsASham for inspiring this very telling tweet from Dave Tuley.

W.O.A.T. of the Double Fortnight

Randall. The Long Con series is over for now by the way, at least until the next thing he does that I find particularly offensive. Self-promotion never sleeps, obv.

Tweet of the Double Fortnight


The Rest

Football season started.

Here are some shitty tips for winning your Survivor pool. And some more, and some more (Insider, tho). You're welcome.

Belichick forever.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

2014 NFL Survivor: Week 2


Week 1 went well (unless you took Tampa after the Cam news), with the Bears eliminating about 1/5 of OFP. All SRs from Pinny, consensus numbers from OFP:

Denver (vs. Kansas City; SR 8.66, OFP 30.3%)

Kind of a weird one. The Broncos are easily the biggest favorite of the week, and have the #1 popularity to match. But they're not even being taken by a third of OFP entries, so their SR/pop combo is easily the best of the week. It would be nice to have them in W14 when they host the Bills, but the other matchup that really jumps out is in the always weird W17 (home vs. OAK). Hate to use one of the league's best teams in such an obvious spot, but Denver deserves some consideration this week, especially if you have multiple entries in your pool.

Green Bay (vs. NY Jets; SR 7.83, OFP 30.1%)

Solid SR, but not good at all in terms of popularity or future value. Don't see any reason to take the Packers here.

New Orleans (at Cleveland; SR 7.15, OFP 9.8%)

Seems quite likely there will be better weeks to use the Saints.

Tampa Bay (vs. St. Louis; SR 7.04, OFP 7.0%)

This looks like a good opportunity to take advantage of the Rams' unfortunate QB situation. The Bucs have a solid SR, aren't too popular, and I don't see another game on their schedule where they'll be favored by nearly this much.

San Francisco (vs. Chicago; SR 7.35, OFP 6.8%)

Third-biggest favorite of the week and not very popular, but using the 49ers here would be giving up too much FV.

Washington (vs. Jacksonville; SR 7.04, OFP 6.1%)

Pretty similar to Tampa all around. The biggest difference looks to be that the Redskins have an easier home schedule than the Bucs, with games against the Giants, Titans, Rams, Cowboys and Bucs themselves. But it's not like they actually have a lot of FV (just more than Tampa), Washington is definitely one of the more attractive options this week.

Seattle (at San Diego; SR 7.03, OFP 2.1%)
Houston (at Oakland; SR 5.75, OFP 1.3%)
New England at Minnesota; SR 5.95, OFP 1.3%)

These are not good picks.

Tennessee (vs. Dallas; SR 6.47, OFP 1.2%)

The Titans look good from a popularity/FV standpoint ,but their SR is just so much lower than the Bucs or Redskins.

Arizona (at NY Giants; SR 5.43, OFP 0.8%)

No.

Cincinnati (vs. Atlanta; SR 6.95, OFP 0.7%)

The Bengals could be worth a look if you're really trying to diversify, but they obviously have a lot more future value than Tampa or Washington.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Long Con of @RJinVegas: Q&A


RJ Bell is the founder and CEO of Pregame.com, a sports betting website that includes forums, odds, contests, and picks (both of the free and for purchase varieties). It is one of the most successful sites of its kind, in no small part due to the popularity of Bell, who has accumulated over 80K Twitter followers and established himself as the mainstream media's go-to "expert" for stories involving gambling on sports.

An American success story if there every was one. That's only one side of it, though. In some corners of the internet (including this blog), there is a feeling that Bell has not found his success in a legitimate way. This is the 11th post in a series detailing the reasoning behind that particular feeling. If you'd like to start at the beginning, it's here.

Over the last six weeks, I've written quite a bit about RJ Bell: ten blog posts, including 45 embedded tweets, 18 screengrabbed forum posts, 12 screengrabbed tweets, five charts, and one partially transcribed conference call. Having spent so much time researching and writing about this topic, I figured I should put together a post summarizing my various findings.

Since folks will be encountering Bell in different circumstances, it seems appropriate to organize my findings by the various questions which may arise.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Long Con of @RJinVegas: Is This Earth?


RJ Bell is the founder and CEO of Pregame.com, a sports betting website that includes forums, odds, contests, and picks (both of the free and for purchase varieties). It is one of the most successful sites of its kind, in no small part due to the popularity of Bell, who has accumulated over 80K Twitter followers and established himself as the mainstream media's go-to "expert" for stories involving gambling on sports.

An American success story if there every was one. That's only one side of it, though. In some corners of the internet (including this blog), there is a feeling that Bell has not found his success in a legitimate way. This is the tenth post in a series detailing the reasoning behind that particular feeling. If you'd like to start at the beginning, it's here.

In need of some RTs during the slow summer months, Bell tweeted a few times about the odds of LeBron James' free agent destination. The most amusing example;
This one might give "12% All-Star game Swing!" a run for its money.

2014 NFL Survivor: Week 1


Year seven.

Going to try something a bit different this year. My general approach (explained here) will be the same, but the weekly post will be more discussion/analysis, rather than having an "official blog pick". We'll see how that goes.

Starting from the top of the OFP popularity list:

Philadelphia (vs. Jacksonville; SR 8.18, OFP 41.5%)

Easily the biggest favorites of the week, the Eagles aren't that bad of an option considering how popular they are, but I still don't really think they're a viable pick.

Chicago (vs. Buffalo; SR 7.35, OFP 19.7%)

The OFP% really kills this one as well. The Bears don't have an overwhelming amount of future value, but they do host the Dolphins, Vikings, Bucs, and Cowboys, so are worth keeping around.

Pittsburgh (vs. Cleveland; SR 7.26, OFP 10.8%)

A lot to like here, with popularity down to a more reasonable level without much of a dropoff in SR. The Steelers play the Bucs and Texans at home later in the season, but I mean they're playing the Browns at home this week, it's not going to get much better than that.

NY Jets (vs. Oakland; SR 7.01, OFP 6.6%)

A comparable option to the Steelers. You're giving up a meaningful amount of SR with the Jets, but they're not as popular as PIT and they really don't have much FV to speak of. Probably the best option thus far.

Kansas City (vs. Tennessee; SR 6.35, OFP 4.4%)

Not seeing any compelling reason to take the Chiefs over the Jets.

Denver (vs. Indianapolis; SR 7.52, OFP 4.1%)

Certainly the best SR/OFP combo of the week. But being favored by 7/7.5 is obviously nothing out of the ordinary for the Broncos. I'd expect to save them for later in the season, when their schedule lets up a bit and a lot of folks have already picked them.

Detroit (vs. NY Giants; SR 6.94, OFP 2.9%)

Not bad. About the same as PIT, although the Lions may have slightly more FV.

New England (at Miami; SR 6.71, OFP 2.4%)
Seattle (vs. Green Bay; SR 7.08, OFP 1.6%)
San Francisco (at Dallas; SR 6.66, OFP 1.3%)

All of these teams have too much future value to use them here.

St. Louis (vs. Minnesota; SR 6.42, OFP 0.6%)

Using the Rams is really pushing it on the SR front, but if you have multiple entries I could see them being an option for diversification.