I posted this article way back in 2010. It is a simple quant, anti-consensus method to win your NFL (or any sport) pickem league (where you bet against the spread in a closed league). If you have been following this you would likely have won both weeks thus far in 2013:
I’ve used a simple betting strategy to win our office NFL pool most weeks. It simply fades the consensus picks. Online books and betting websites have been publishing this data since the early ’00s, and now it looks like there is some empirical evidence that backs up this supposition from the website Sports Insight. Now, these %ages will not help you in Vegas (you need to win roughly 55% of the time to overcome the vig) but they may help give you an edge in your office pool. Note that since your competitors are likely following the consensus, any win will likely distance you from the rest of the field as well creating an outlier that should help to separate points from the pack. This is the most important piece of information – if you can bet on a team where 80% or 90% of the pool is taking the other side, you stand a great chance of winning…
The website lets you download the data (for a $) so you can run your own quant analysis. Report back with any interesting findings!