2012 Season NFL Football Past Picks
February 03, 2013
Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers
Sunday 02/03 06:30 PM Eastern
6 units on Blocked Punt = NO -1200 (risk 6 to win 0.5) RESULT: win
I know most people don't like laying 12 to win 1. If you are one of the people who can't bear to do it, then by all means, lay off this bet. But for those of you that are seeking tremendous value, read on because this prop bet is laden with it. When trying to predict an outcome, the more data you have the better. If you can get a large enough sample size, you can really cut down the risk involved with your prediction. Luckily, for a prop bet like this, we have a great wealth of reliable statistics. The chances of a game having a blocked punt are really simple to calculate. All we need to do is look at the past. As long as we have a large enough sample, and rules haven't changed in some significant way, then we can be fairly certain from a statistical standpoint that the best predictor of the future will be the past. Historically, blocked punts happen in about 4% to 5% of all NFL games over a very long period. We have thousands of games at which to look, making this a very reliable stat for statistical purposes. This season there were only 21 blocked, which is higher than the historical average at 8.2%. Honestly I chalk that up to normal variance as opposed to some new long-term trend. In 2012 there were only 9 blocked punts (3.5%) so if you average this year and last, we are right about where we would expect to be long-term. Each of the two seasons before that there were 12 blocked punts (4.7%). Four seasons ago there were 6 blocked punts and the year before, 13. Since 2005, we've seen anywhere from 6 to 21 blocked punts, with an average of 11.9 (4.65% of the time). This season, in all of the games played by Baltimore and San Francisco, one punt was blocked (1 out of 37 games = 2.7%). So, history has a strong story to tell and the story is that a blocked punt has a 4% to 5% chance of occurring in any given game. Fair and true odds on a bet that has a 95% chance of winning is -1800. Fair odds on a 4% chance of occurrence are -2400. Yet, the sportsbooks slant this one heavily, knowing that the general public likes risking a little to win a lot, vs. the opposite. That results in a market inefficiency for those of us who aren't afraid of laying big moneyline if the value is present. I'm on this one at -1200, as it represents a huge overlay compared to the fair odds of around -2000. This line is available at Bovada.