Tips for winning Pick Or Punt

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OVERVIEW

Think you know the NFL?  Predict the winner of each game each week.  Survive the upsets and finish amongst the top prognosticators (least misses) and you’ll share in the big weekly TCredits “Zackpot.”  And if you’re really confident in your picks, you can “double down” for just 5 TCredits and TRIPLE your Zackpot winnings!  You can also compete for the top spots on the Pick Or Punt Leaderboard and earn cool badges, too!  Details below.

Not sure how a game is going to go?  You can “punt” on up to two games each week.  To punt, click the “Punt” button beside the game.  The benefit of punting is that the game will not count on your record, so that’s up to two less misses on your record that you can guarantee for yourself each week.  However, punting does cost TCredits.  Punting is completely optional.

You can enter Pick Or Punt each week FREE.  No purchase necessary to win.  Void where prohibited.  See Official Rules for complete rules.


NFL ROOKIE TRAINING

What if I don’t know a lot about football (American football)?

Even if you are not a football expert, you should not be afraid to play Pick or Punt. For one thing, it’s a free contest with the opportunity to win shares of the Zackpot and earn some of those cool badges that are all the rave these days! In addition, a reason for the popularity of the NFL is the unpredictability of many of the games. By following a few basic guidelines, anyone can be competitive in this contest!

National Football League

The American version of football is the most popular sport in the United States. The most popular league in the U.S. is the National Football League (NFL). It is a professional league that has 32 teams play a season of 16 games. Since each team gets one week of rest called a bye week, the NFL regular season lasts 17 weeks. The Pick or Punt Contest will be asking you to predict the winning NFL teams each week.

Favorites and underdogs

A “favorite” is a team that oddsmakers have predicted to win. If a team is the favorite to win by seven points, that team will be listed at “-7” in newspapers and websites.

An “underdog” is a team that oddsmakers have predicted to lose. If a team is a seven point underdog, that team will be listed at “+7” in newspapers and websites.

Pick Or Punt does not use point spreads, but point spreads are a great way to know how strongly the experts think of a team’s chances to win. Generally, the more points a team is favored to win by, the greater the likelihood that team will win. Don’t have time to research player injuries and other information pertaining to a game? That’s fine. The point spread is usually adjusted to account for those situations. We will be providing a link to point spread information.

Comparing point spreads with the chance of winning

A general rule of thumb is for every point a team is favored by, they have a 3% better chance of winning. A “pick’ em” game, or game where neither team is favored, would have both teams at 50% likelihood of winning. A team favored by one point would have a 53% chance to win. A team favored by two has a 56% chance to win, and so on. A 10 point favorite, by this measure, has an 80% chance to win.

To learn more about football, here’s a helpful guide:

http://www.nfl.com/rulebook/beginnersguidetofootball


STRATEGIES

The goal of Pick Or Punt is to predict the winner of each NFL game each week. Below, are a few strategies for you to keep in consider using:

Conservative

A conservative approach would be to simply pick favorites since they are perceived to have a greater chance of winning. This is especially true with teams that are favored by a touchdown (seven points) or more since those teams are expected to win 70% of the time or more. Since this strategy is the most popular way to go, you may want to mix in other approaches to help your predictions rise above the crowd.

Contrarian

Reject the popular opinion! Dare to go the other direction. This strategy requires you to identify a couple games where you feel that the underdog may be getting too little respect. If a favorite has a 60% chance to win but over 80% of the crowd has predicted them to win, a play on the underdog is just what the contrarian is looking to do. A 40% chance to win can look more appealing if you believe that you are one of the few to make such a prediction!

Zig Zag

Like the contrarian strategy, here is another strategy that could help your predictions stand out from the crowd. As the name implies, whenever everyone else is expecting a “zig”, you predict a “zag”.  Look for ways to stand out from the crowd. Since home teams have an advantage, picking home underdogs would be a key component of the Zig Zag strategy. Choosing a team that is coming off a loss is another popular “zag”. Since last week’s loss is still fresh in everyone’s mind, you can take advantage of that by predicting that a recent loser will come back and try extra hard for a win!

Situational

Because this strategy requires you to look at the circumstances surrounding a game, this method may require a bit of research on your part. However, it could give you the edge you need to win a share of the Zackpot! Sometimes a favored team may overlook their opponent and be ripe for an upset. Maybe an underdog team is particularly focused in a given week to avenge an earlier loss. Another angle is to look at opposing styles– one team has the better offense while the other has the better defense. You may choose a philosophy on how you will predict some of those match-ups.

Go with the home team!

Home field advantage is nice in any sport, and in football, it can make a big difference. Home teams have won 58% of the NFL games since 1990. Fan support can vary from team to team however, and some veteran teams seem to play well on the road. So while you may want to use this strategy sparingly, keep it in mind especially if you’re looking to pick some upsets that may help your entry rise above the crowd!


LEADERBOARDS

The NFL Leaderboard provides rankings for NFL Points scored playing Pick Or Punt and TD Tally:

  • Earn 350 points for finishing a week with the best record in Pick Or Punt
  • Earn 100 points for finishing a week with the second-best record in Pick Or Punt
  • Earn 50 points for finishing a week with the third-best record in Pick Or Punt

Note: So that all players have the opportunity to reach the top of the leaderboard, points won are halved every 30 days.

Being amongst the top spots on the NFL Leaderboard also earns you badges (see following BADGES section for more information).


BADGES

There are 5 total available badges for Pick Or Punt:

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1. Entering Pick Or Punt earns you the “in it to win it!” badge.  Play each week to keep this badge.  Note: Once you’ve earned a “Best Record” badge, it supplants the “In it to win it!” badge.

2. Finishing as a runner-up or second runner-up earns you the “Pick-Prolific” badge.  Add bronze trim with 3 runner-up/second runner-up finishes.  Add silver trim with 5 runner-up/second runner-up finishes.  Add gold trim with 10 runner-up/second runner-up finishes.

3. Finishing a week with the best prediction record earns you the prestigious “Best Record” badge (or an upgraded “X-Times” version of the badge).  Add bronze trim with 2 best record finishes.  Add silver trim with 3 best record finishes.  Add gold trim with 5 best record finishes.

There is also one NFL leaderboard badge available for NFL Points (see details in the leaderboard section above).  The minimum leaderboard rank to receive a leaderboard badge is 1000.  Add bronze trim by achieving a top 200 rank.  Add silver trim by achieving a top 50 rank.  Add gold trim by achieving a top 10 rank.


 MRP

Each TCredit spent playing Pick Or Punt earns you 5 MRP (Member Rewards Points)–which can be redeemed on over 90,000 TripleClicks products.