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The “Trap Game” Is A Myth!


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It seems we have to address this every season, but there is NO data to back up the trap game or letdown game myth.  Bottom line — there is no evidence that good teams beat bad teams at a higher or lower rate when they play a good team the week before or the week after that game.

 

This is an old article but it tells the story.

 

Stop the madness.

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It seems we have to address this every season, but there is NO data to back up the trap game or letdown game myth.  Bottom line — there is no evidence that good teams beat bad teams at a higher or low

Obvious trap question.

New Jersey Devils seemed to be masters at it.

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23 minutes ago, eball said:

It seems we have to address this every season, but there is NO data to back up the trap game or letdown game myth.  Bottom line — there is no evidence that good teams beat bad teams at a higher or lower rate when they play a good team the week before or the week after that game.

 

This is an old article but it tells the story.

 

Stop the madness.

 

It very well maybe a myth, but by gosh there is sure a crap ton of circumstantial evidence out there. 🙂 

Edited by wjag
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Is it not outside the realm of possibility that some locker rooms become comfortable with the idea of victory; and in such a mindset, become less focused on the work needed?

 

There may be no statistical evidence, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that some teams fall victim to this mindset.  
 

I can recall teams in Gailey Era and the Marrone Era, and 1 Super Bowl, where this was clearly the case. 

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44 minutes ago, eball said:

It seems we have to address this every season, but there is NO data to back up the trap game or letdown game myth.  Bottom line — there is no evidence that good teams beat bad teams at a higher or lower rate when they play a good team the week before or the week after that game.

 

This is an old article but it tells the story.

 

Stop the madness.

 

What about results against the spread?  That’s where I usually hear people talk about trap games — when making predictions about where to put bets. Straight up, better teams beat inferior opponents, that’s a given. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Brennan Huff said:

Has anyone had the McRib at McDonald’s? I had one the other night and it was even better than I remembered. It had probably been 10 years in between sandwiches 

 

I grew up on these, and I really want to try one again, and then feel like garbage soon after. The flavor!

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It exists in the betting world.

 

One of my best friends, whom I’ve known for 20 years now, is a professionally sports bettor.  That’s all he does to make his money.  We exchange texts daily regarding lines that we like.  He uses the term “trap game” at least 2-3 times a month. In many cases, i scoff at the notion that the game he’s talking about would be a trap game and I don’t bet it. Low and behold, his prediction will come through and he’s laughing all the way to the bank.  

The term may be a myth, from MY experience, it absolutely exists.  

17 minutes ago, snafu said:

 

What about results against the spread?  That’s where I usually hear people talk about trap games — when making predictions about where to put bets. Straight up, better teams beat inferior opponents, that’s a given. 

 

 

This is where it comes from.  This being a trap game for the bills doesn’t necessarily mean we will lose, but that we won’t cover the spread.  Lose in some cases, but that it’s the prediction of the “trap”

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7 minutes ago, NewEra said:

It exists in the betting world.

 

One of my best friends, whom I’ve known for 20 years now, is a professionally sports bettor.  That’s all he does to make his money.  We exchange texts daily regarding lines that we like.  He uses the term “trap game” at least 2-3 times a month. In many cases, i scoff at the notion that the game he’s talking about would be a trap game and I don’t bet it. Low and behold, his prediction will come through and he’s laughing all the way to the bank.  

The term may be a myth, from MY experience, it absolutely exists.  

This is where it comes from.  This being a trap game for the bills doesn’t necessarily mean we will lose, but that we won’t cover the spread.  Lose in some cases, but that it’s the prediction of the “trap”

I was thinking along these lines as I read the OP.  I absolutely believe that there's a psychology associated with the concept based upon knowing "in your head" that you should win a game.  If taht mentality seeps into enough players, then it shows up in a game.   Just as there is a mentality that can help win a game, it works the other way as well.  It might not result in a loss most of the time, but it sure can result in not meeting the expected betting outcome--the spread.  

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3 minutes ago, NewEra said:

It exists in the betting world.

 

One of my best friends, whom I’ve known for 20 years now, is a professionally sports bettor.  That’s all he does to make his money.  We exchange texts daily regarding lines that we like.  He uses the term “trap game” at least 2-3 times a month. In many cases, i scoff at the notion that the game he’s talking about would be a trap game and I don’t bet it. Low and behold, his prediction will come through and he’s laughing all the way to the bank.  

The term may be a myth, from MY experience, it absolutely exists.  


 

I think the real question is not does a trap game exist or not, but what does it mean.

 

Statistically speaking it appears a better teams win percentage is not impacted - a better team wins just as much in a trap scenario as a regular scenario against worse teams.  Therefore from a win percentage point of view a trap game does not exist.

 

From your betting and a point spread point of view - these games may end up closer (sometimes significantly) and more competitive than the rest of the non betting public may think.  Therefore from that point of view a trap game may exist.

 

The only thing I am worried about is the Bills winning the game.  I expect it to be closer than you would expect because I anticipate the Bills will get ahead and play a less aggressive defensive playbook in the 2nd half to run clock and close out the game.  McD is not worried about point differential- he is worried about wins.  
 

I don’t care about a trap game - McD will do his best to have his team ready and fired up.  I expect a win and healthy amount of complaining because we did not blow them out by 3 TDs - we were up big and let them get to 2 scores late and maybe even another last second Denver TD to get the game within 1 score making it appear closer than it was.
 

 

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Any person who plays sports will tell you that focus is an important part of how well you play.   There are times you are dialed in.  There are times when it's just not there.  And even for professionals, it's extremely hard to stay where you need to be mentally for 4 full quarters every week, 16 games per year.

 

NFL players are also very aware which teams are easier than others.  A player on Seattle was quoted prior to the Jets game, saying they "needed an easy game" after suffering a tough loss.  The Bills had a lot of pressure against the 49ers and Steelers in primetime.  They are heavy favorites against the Broncos, and everyone is now talking about how great they are.

 

The idea of a trap game is these two concepts coming together.  Teams becoming overconfident against an inferior opponent, and losing focus just long enough to either keep the game close or lose the game outright.  I absolutely do believe this can happen, although it's hard to successfully predict.

 

People predicting this as a trap game for the Bills are pointing out:

a)  The team just came off two huge primetime wins, and may be due for a mental letdown.

b)  They have a 99% chance of making the playoffs regardless of whether they win or lose.  They also only need to win one more game (or have Miami lose one more game) the rest of the season to win the AFC East.  With no fans, there may be less value in seeding.  All of this may decrease their urgency. 

 

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