Here’s some advice that might’ve done you some good yesterday: I’m going to tell you how to beat your fellow football party-goers when you play that choose-a-square gambling game. If I’ve already lost you, here’s the story in a nutshell… Most football games are boring. So you have to throw money at losing-odds gambling games to make things remotely interesting. In this particular game, everybody chooses a few boxes from an empty ten-by-ten grid. Each box in the grid corresponds to the last digits of each team’s score. If Seattle wins 7-0, and you own the corner of Seattle 7 and Pittsburgh 0, you win. Got it? (you can always learn more here.)
All that is just a set-up for Nabeel’s excellent analysis of Football Squares betting. Even the most casual observer of the sport quickly recognizes that a 7 is worth more than an 8. How does the smart money really line up? Nabeel tells you all about it here: A Closer Look at Football Squares. His article is worth a read because it’s based on real data and even has some nifty heatmap visualizations. The bottom line is that you actually do want to own the corner of 7 and 0, if you can get it. Of course, the real bottom line is that this advice wouldn’t have helped you much yesterday. The result 1-0, while not rare, is half as common as 7-0. Oh well. Wait till next season!