The Anatomy of Streaking – An Example of Pick Management

Time is of utmost importance

In my previous posts, I’ve said that the monthly wins challenge is the more interesting of the two games in SFTC.  This game really can be a lot more complex than just determining the winner of a matchup.  Instead of focusing on extending your streak and rooting for your pick, now you have to manage expected wins given a limited resource which are the available picks.  Therefore, it’s not enough to just have odds to win.

I mentioned last time you should be more interested in the expected number of wins in a given time frame.  This will be a function of the odds to win for the available picks in a given time window and the expected length of time you are tied up when making those picks.  This is how you need to think.  Increased opportunities mean increased wins, but it also means more work on your end.

Example of pick management

Let me give an example to help illustrate these ideas.  On July 20, the Open Championship was finishing and there were 3 golf props (see below).

golf picks from july 20, 2015

The first was to pick the winner of the tourney.  The other two were specific props regarding how many strokes would be hit on the 12th hole and which group would hit more birdies on a few holes.

Picking the first prop essentially means you could not pick either of the others since it ties you up for the rest of the golf tourney.  In this case, Jason Day was common to the latter props so you knew you could make a pick on both if you had access to your account when the first one finished.  There’s really no reason to select on the winner of the tourney prop because even if it had nearly 100% odds of winning (i.e. expected wins basically 1), your expected wins are higher by picking on two props which (assuming you follow Streak Edge) will always have expected wins above 1. The only caveat is if you were tied up and knew you couldn’t make that second pick when the first ended then you might take the guaranteed win.

In this particular case, it was easy to choose since we actually rated the tourney winner prop lower than the other two (see below).  Streak Edge got all 3 picks correct so you would have accumulated 2 wins versus 1 by choosing the specific props instead of overall winner.

StreakEdge pick results from July 20

Later that day there was a similar situation where a prop was available that only took up the first 2 innings of the 7pm Mets-Nats baseball game.  Choosing that prop would then free you up to make a selection on one of the 8pm baseball games or the 8pm prop for that same game, and then if things were not going your way you could always forfeit and pick one of the 9 or 10 pm matchups.

Baseball picks from July 20

More and more the Streak Master has been adding props of this sort associated with specific matches.  My recommendation is to keep a lookout for these.  Even if you have no clue which side is better and Streak Edge does not have odds available, take a guess.  Remember with no knowledge, random guessing still gives you long run expectations of 50% and when the prop only lasts a portion of a total game, round, or match, you have freed yourself up to make other picks which likely increased your expected wins.

Master the forfeit

As we conclude this series, we will discuss in more detail the power of the forfeit button and how mastering it can greatly increase your expected wins.

About Hugh Crews

Hugh is an independent statistical consultant and founder of Eligis Analytics. His love for sports statistics started at a young age when he would read player stats on the back of baseball cards.