The Falcons and Patriots are playing in the Super Bowl and, well, I called it. I also said they’d beat the Packers and Steelers, respectively, to get there. I did so as part of a playoff pool, and if the Patriots win on Sunday my predictions will earn me some money. I’ve done well in this pool in the past also, despite not knowing as much about the NFL as many of the other participants. Meanwhile, though I’d put my college sports knowledge up against anyone, I often perform poorly in March Madness and bowl pick ’em contests. What gives?
There are a couple of things working in my favor (I think) in regards to my NFL picks. My favorite team, the Jets, have not made the playoffs since I’ve been participating in this pool. As a Jets fans I’m supposed to hate the Pats, but I don’t. I’ve got family that likes the Packers and Vikings, but those ties don’t affect my picks.
Also, as a sports fanatic, I know plenty about the NFL. But I don’t know everything. I watch games mostly through the RedZone channel, which is awesome in its own way but not the best means to get a great feel for teams. Without an overload of information, I don’t second-guess my picks.
None of this applies to my college sports pools. I have biases. It would be hard for me to pick against my alma mater. There are plenty of teams I dislike—and, depending on personnel and coach, they can change from year to year—and am therefore apt to undervalue.
Far worse, though, is my tendency to over-think the games, a problem often referred to as paralysis by analysis. It doesn’t help that the NCAA Tournament has 64 teams and 80 teams receive bowl invites (compared to just 12 NFL playoff teams). We’re all filling out the same bracket though, so that’s not a valid excuse.
Even if the Falcons win, I still hope to have some success in a box pool and competing against friends in a prop contest. There are so many prop bets for the Super Bowl, and many don’t have to do with the game itself. For example, you can bet on various aspects of Lady Gaga’s halftime performance.
Based on my sports betting experiences, being a pop music fan might help you, but knowing the lyrics to every Lady Gaga song ever recorded would be a detriment.