Streak Journal: No such thing as a 99% curse on Streak for the Cash

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Streak for the Cash

Welcome to the fourth installment of my newest weekly feature. The Streak Journal will analyze a group of specific Streak for the Cash (SFTC) props from the previous week.

The purpose of this new journal is to provide streakers with a unique perspective of the props picked by ESPN’s Streakmaster and give you the straight statistics which will hopefully provide some insight to help you build a longer streak.

First Week: Beware of the NBA’s back-to-backs (Jan. 20th-26th)
Second Week: Is March Madness here early (Jan. 27th-Feb. 2nd)
Third Week: Heavy favorites are no sure thing in NHL props (Feb. 3rd-Feb. 9th)

This week (Monday, February 10th through Sunday, February 16), I focused on Streakers instead of a specific sport, particularly props tilted 95% or more towards one side of the prop. I came up with this idea because I wanted to support or dispute the claim of a “99 percent curse” or “trap game” and here’s what I found:

Terminology Key
Vegas Favorite/Underdog  – Lines obtained from 5dimes to determine favorite in match-ups
Streak Favorite/Underdog – Determined by the percentage chosen on each team as the prop locked up
Better Record – The team with more wins and less losses during the prop.

*These statistics are based on 26 various props on ESPN’s Streak for the Cash that reached the 95.0% threshold. I can’t guarantee that this sample size will represent the entire population of future props.

STRAIGHT BUT SIMPLE NUMBERS (Don’t Pick Only on These Parameters)

Home Team 8-15 (Olympic match-ups omitted)
Away Team 15-8 (Olympic match-ups omitted)
Vegas Favorite 17-8
Vegas Underdog 8-17
Streak Favorite 17-9
Streak Underdog 9-17
Better Record 14-8 (Olympic match-ups omitted)
Worse Record 8-14 (Olympic match-ups omitted)
**NOTE – Percentages refer to the number of streakers on each individual prop. (Example: 99.3 % of those who picked the Lady Vols to beat Kentucky saw red, not 99.3% of all streakers)

SO, ABOUT THAT 99% CURSE THING …

After crunching the numbers, I still don’t believe in this myth. Picks that went over the 99.0 percentage were 1-1 on the week. The United States (99.2%) crushed Slovakia 7-1 in a game that was up just because the Streakmaster wanted to put up an American Olympic Game. The other game was the Tennessee Lady Vols (99.3%) going down to a ranked Kentucky team. I talk more about that game below. Overall here’s how the streakers record broke down by percentage:

95.0 – 96.0 percent / 3 greens and 1 red
96.1 – 97.0 percent / 4 greens and 4 reds
97.1 – 98.0 percent / 4 greens and 1 red
98.1 – 99.0 percent / 5 greens and 2 reds
99.1 – 100 percent /  1 green and 1 red

Overall, I think those numbers show that most people do their research and in those games where the research/blind pickers align, you have a decent shot at getting that game right. So, instead of avoiding the “high percentage” props, use them to your advantage and ask yourself why the match-up is on streak.

DON’T ASSUME THESE ARE ALL LOCKS

When you look at a match-up and it starts creeping towards the 95.0% range and you feel that it’s not even close to a lock, feel free to avoid it. That probably means that way too many people are picking on either record, rank or some other useless measure. Here’s how the streakers record coincided with Vegas moneylines this past week:

-110 to -150 / 5 greens and 3 reds (*streakers went with ND +2 over BC -136)
-160 to -200 / 6 greens and 4 reds
-200 + / 4 greens and 1 red

To me, those are positive numbers because the presumed locks did very very well. There’s no distinct path to winning streak, it takes gut feeling a bit of luck no matter what way you chalk it up.

SHOULD HAVE SEEN IT COMING

Hindsight is always better, but what the heck, here’s a comprehensive list and comment on all of the largest streak-breakers of the last week:

NCB: West Virginia’s 102-77 throttling of #11 Iowa State (96.2 % of streakers went down)

– Iowa State was only (-130) to win and on the road in a conference game. College basketball is one of the toughest sports to bet due to so many upsets, so the decision wasn’t at all that surprising.

NBA: Detroit’s 109-100 victory over the San Antonio Spurs (98.6% of streakers went down)

– This was a surprising one as the Spurs were (-164) and clearly the better team. However, Detroit had won four of their last six and your probably shouldn’t have picked this anyways (Toronto was -335 in the same time slot). A W21 went down on this prop.

NBA: Charlotte’s 114-89 win over the Dallas Mavericks (97.5% of streakers went down)

– See above. Dallas was (-163) to win this game.

SOCCER: Napoli’s advancing over AS Roma by the score of 5-3 (97.0% of streakers went down)

– A good friend of mine told me to never bet on Italian soccer as AS Roma was (-188) to advance. He was right.

OLY: Canada didn’t medal in the luge event (96.6% of streakers went down)

– Most Olympic events are hard to predict because minimal information is available.

NCB: Tennessee State making 16 free throws to Belmont’s winning margin of 2 (95.7% of streakers went down)

– More streakers should have seen this coming because Tennessee St. averages 17 free throws a game and Belmont was favored by -15.5. The edge should have went to Tennessee St. I personally avoid these.

NCB: BYU stuns Saint Mary’s  by the score of 60-57 (96.6% of streakers went down)

– Saint Mary’s was (-188) to win at home, so this was one of the bigger upsets on streak this past week. BYU is a decent team and that’s the risk you take in these match-ups against similar teams.

NCB: Northern Iowa upends Missouri St. 60-58 (98.7% of streakers went down)

– Missouri St. was only (-119) to win and at home, meaning it started as a toss-up game because Vegas always favors home-court a bit.

NCW: #18 Kentucky drops the bomb with a 75-71 upset of #8 Tennessee (99.3% of streakers went down)

– I’m not sure who bets on women’s basketball, but the Lady Vols were (-500) to win which makes sense because everyone attributes the Lady Vols as a dominant force in women’s basketball. However, it’s  college basketball and anything can happen on any given night. This one was way too good to be true.

Next week, I’m going to continue my studies on the streaking community and look at only the props designated as “HOT.” These match-ups will be the most popular props as they are the ones that the most people pick.

Is this analysis helping you at all? Please let me know by shooting me an email at grays@uwalumni.com because I’m always in the mood to discuss Streak For the Cash!

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