Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Superbowl Futures, part 8

New England let me out of my big short (sniff).  I expired my short NE, short ATL, long BAL, and long SEA.  Also unwound my long GB, and got short.

P/L Team Position Paid Market  Exposure 
$96.03 GB -1 152% 56%  $ (56)
($26.82) PIT -1 22% 49%  $ (49)
$13.38 NYJ 1 9% 22%  $  22
$9.21 CHI 1 7% 16%  $  16
$21.11 ATL -1 21% 0%  $    -
$5.08 BAL 1 -5% 0%  $    -
$25.18 NE -2 13% 0%  $    -
($8.75) SEA 7 1% 0%  $    -
($7.69) IND 1 8% 0%  $    -
($9.72) KC 4 2% 0%  $    -
($16.70) NO 2 8% 0%  $    -
($7.02) NYG 1 7% 0%  $    -
$18.25 PHI -1 18% 0%  $    -
($3.85) SD 1 4% 0%  $    -
($10.44) TEN 3 3% 0%  $    -
$107.69 Total

143%  $ (66)

*Market prices sourced from Matchbook latest odds quotes.

UPDATE: I've never gotten hit so much by Jets fans over a single game--via text, email, in the office--than Sunday's win over the Patriots. Even when not counting my favorite broker or favorite management consultant, who have pointed me to material for the blog, and are big Jets fans.

People expect me to be mournful. I was disappointed and surprised by the outcome. But as you can see, I was short the Pats in my trading exercise, for the simple reason that I thought the bettors were overvaluing them. (As impossible as it sounds and seems, I try to trade for my bank, my personal account, and paper trade as much in the same way as possible).

And qualitatively, I've been saying for whole season that this team, as surprisingly good as they were, were not as strong as the 2007-8 team. And on Sunday night, I started thinking that this Jets team is better than the Giants Superbowl team that beat the Patriots. What about them is better? The head coach. The running backs. The receivers. The defensive line. The secondary. Mark Sanchez looked as poised on Sunday as Eli Manning did in XLII.

The Jets may not walk away with the Lombardi Trophy. But if they do, don't ask me if I'm surprised.

UPDATE:  Joe Posnanski notes an interesting statistic about the NFL bye teams performance since changing to the current playoff format:
In 2002, the system changed — but it didn’t seem a particularly big change. The league expanded to eight divisions. So that meant there were now eight division champions instead of six. To compensate, the NFL wisely (methinks) eliminated two wild-card teams, going back to four. So that meant there were still 12 teams getting into the playoffs. And four of those 12 — the two division winners with the best records in each league — got a first-round bye.

On the surface, it would not seem the system should change much. The same number of teams were making the playoffs. Two of the wild-cards were replaced with division winners … but that just seems to be cosmetics. In 2002, everything looked about the same. The four bye teams all won their first playoff games and by a total of 115-52. Only one of those games — Tennessee’s 34-31 overtime win over Pittsburgh — was even remotely close.

But something kind of bizarre has happened since 2003. That something might just be a fluke or a statistical anomaly, but that doesn’t make it any less fascinating.
Since 2003, bye teams have gone just 18-14 in their first playoff games.
Since 2005, it’s even more stark — bye teams are just 12-12.

Think about that for a moment. Bye teams have:
(1) The best regular season records.
(2) Home field advantage.
(3) An extra week to rest and prepare.

That’s a pretty sizable advantage, isn’t it? You take what looks like the superior team, you play the game at their stadium in front of their fans and you give them an extra week’s preparation. You would expect that team to win almost every time wouldn’t you? But the past six years, the bye team has lost as many times as it has won.
As usual, Joe comes up with some interesting theories behind the trend, and also makes some interesting cultural observations. Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: This is the MOST surprising quote yet:
I didn’t out-coach Belichick. There’s no way. Our players out-played their players. That’s really what it came down to. There was nothing schematically I did to win that game. Our guys were prepared to play and that’s my job… But to say that I out-coached Belichick, I would not agree with that. I think it’s almost a joke. I don’t think anybody out-coaches Belichick.--Rex Ryan

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