Monthly Archives: September 2015

NFL Picks- Week 4 of 2015

Update: Opening line on the New Orleans game is now out.

Poor performance week 3.

Reminder that my model only uses past scores to predict future scores. So the fact that Roethlisberger is out for the Steelers is not considered.

Overall Against the Spread: 14-18
Week 2: 9-7
Week 3: 5-11

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5): Predicting 19.2-26.9. Bet on the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Houston Texans at Atlanta Falcons (-7.0): Predicting 19.1-26.8. Bet on the Atlanta Falcons.
New York Giants at Buffalo Bills (-5.5): Predicting 22.2-29.1. Bet on the Buffalo Bills.
Oakland Raiders at Chicago Bears (+3.0): Predicting 26.5-23.8. Bet on the Chicago Bears.
Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5): Predicting 21.4-28.7. Bet on the Cincinnati Bengals.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-9.5): Predicting 18.9-26.0. Bet on the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.0): Predicting 22.4-19.5. Bet on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins (+3.0): Predicting 19.8-20.4. Bet on the Washington Redskins.
Cleveland Browns at San Diego Chargers (-9.0): Predicting 21.6-24.7. Bet on the Cleveland Browns.
St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals (-7.5): Predicting 17.3-31.5. Bet on the Arizona Cardinals.
Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos (-7.0): Predicting 15.6-22.4. Bet on the Minnesota Vikings.
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (+9.5): Predicting 27.0-22.3. Bet on the San Francisco 49ers.
Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints (-7): Predicting 23.8-24.4. Bet on the Dallas Cowboys.
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (+2.5): Predicting 22.0-18.6. Bet on the New York Jets.
Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks (-10.0): Predicting 19.2-26.9. Bet on the Detroit Lions.

Book Review- The Winner-Take-All Society

The Winner-Take-All Society
by Robert H. Frank and Philip J. Cook, 1995


A 1990’s primer on increasing economic inequality and the rise of markets in which small relative differences in ability lead to huge differences in income. Things have only gotten more extreme. It’s written from an academic point of view, so there are more data and facts than the typically business book.

While many of the trends in this book are worrisome, I don’t see many ways to counter the proliferation of winner-take-all. With easier access to the best in the world in most fields, the demand for the best has skyrocketed while the demand for “good enough” has fallen off. “Arms Control Agreements”, the topic of Chapter 9, describe ways that various fields try to dampen competition for the top spot (e.g. salary caps and tests for performance enhancing drugs in sports), but most of these agreements are terribly hard to patrol. There is always incentive to deviate from the agreement to gain a leg up in obtaining top ability/talent, similar to the incentive to deviate in the prisoner’s dilemma.

NFL Picks- Week 3 of 2015

Overall Against the Spread: 9-7
Week 2: 9-7

Here are my week 3 predictions, with the current line in parentheses:
Washington Redskins at New York Giants (-3.5): Predicting 18.9-21.3. Bet on the Washington Redskins.
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (-3.0): Predicting 15.4-25.2. Bet on the Carolina Panthers.
Oakland Raiders at Cleveland Browns (-3.0): Predicting 20.9-28.6. Bet on the Cleveland Browns.
Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys (+1.0): Predicting 20.1-24.2. Bet on the Dallas Cowboys.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Houston Texans (-7.0): Predicting 20.8-26.0. Bet on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
San Diego Chargers at Minnesota Vikings (-1.0): Predicting 20.7-20.9. Bet on the San Diego Chargers.
Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots (-14.5): Predicting 19.0-28.2. Bet on the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets (-1.0): Predicting 13.9-25.5. Bet on the New York Jets.
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (+3.0): Predicting 15.3-25.9. Bet on the Tennessee Titans.
Pittsburgh Steelers at St. Louis Rams (even): Predicting 27.5-23.2. Bet on the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-2.5): Predicting 23.7-20.9. Bet on the Cincinnati Bengals.
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (-7.0): Predicting 19.8-29.8. Bet on the Arizona Cardinals.
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins (-2.5): Predicting 21.3-26.3. Bet on the Miami Dolphins.
Chicago Bears at Seattle Seahawks (-16.0): Predicting 23.5-31.5. Bet on the Chicago Bears.
Denver Broncos at Detroit Lions (+2.5): Predicting 24.3-22.4. Bet on the Detroit Lions.
Kansas City Chiefs at Green Bay Packers (-7.5): Predicting 21.2-26.2. Bet on the Kansas City Chiefs.

Links 20150923

UPS and 3D printing

Improving diagnosis in health care

College Athletes and Daily Fantasy:

The government (for now) doesn’t consider DFS games as gambling, but the NCAA does. I realize that the NCAA can (and does) essentially pick and choose how they implement their own rules and guidelines, but could an athlete that loses eligibility take the NCAA to court because the government doesn’t consider DFS gambling? Furthermore, if a challenge would ever get to court, could the NCAA’s argument end up forcing the government to classify DFS as gambling and cause all hell to break loose?