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September 17th, 2009, 01:42 PM   #1
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NFL Survivor League, What are my best odds?

This is a pretty simple question, but I'm not sure what the answer is.

I am in an NFL survivor league. Basically, you pick ONE NFL team each week to win their game and you can only pick a certain team once. There are 32 teams and 17 weeks. If they win, you advance. If they lose or tie, you can not advance.

My question is this: I am running TWO of these picks each week. I make a pick for myself and a pick for my friend and I want either one of these picks to win the league. Are my odds better if I pick the same team each week or if I pick a different team each week. If I pick the same team then I'm taking the risk of losing both picks at the same time. If I make different picks, I increase my odds of picking a losing team.

This is a money league, $20 buy-in. If you lose, you can re-buy for another $20 one time. You can not re-buy a second time. There are 31 teams in this league.

What should I do? Pick the same team for both of us each week or pick two different teams?
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September 17th, 2009, 05:57 PM   #2
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Re: NFL Survivor League, What are my best odds?

Is this pari-mutuel? If not, I don't think I understand your question. Assuming you make equally rational choices with both picks, you increase your variance but leave your chance of winning unchanged by doubling up on your choice, and you decrease your variance but increase your chance of winning by making independent selections. If you expect a single winner, rather than a pool of winners, you're better off making the choices independently. As with many betting situations, the exact payoff and chance formulas can result in different optimal strategies.
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