Week 10, Game 1 – The Moving Target

Crowd wisdom can be both right and wrong when you’re trying to hit a moving target.

The crowd saw the Seahawks as a best-bet this week, predicting the final spread to be more than double the consensus Vegas line (-14.6 compared to -6). As the week went on, the line started to move towards the Seahawks, starting out at 5.5 and ending at 6 (all consensus lines are provided by Vegas Insider even showed some spreads that went as high as Seahawks -6.5.  Ultimately, Jeremy Lane saved anyone who didn’t bet with the hook by blocking the PAT and keeping the final spread at 6.

What this example reminds me of is that the crowd wisdom applies to a fixed target while the Vegas lines are actually moving so the wisdom can be both right and wrong. Before I updated the Vegas lines, the game was a trifecta: the spread was Seattle -5.5 and the total was 41.5. When the game kicked off, the spread and total had moved a half point and a point and a half, respectively. So just as travel sites tell you to wait or buy regarding ticket prices, our site will likely to the same. As the sportsbooks adjust to the money coming in, the crowd wisdom can identify when value is exposed.

As a reminder, the larger the crowd, the better it performs, so please tell your friends to join us!

The Game 1 CPR – 1 for 2 with a push.

Correct: Straight-up; Incorrect: Over/Under; Push: Against the Spread

This was the second straight primetime game in which a late score knocked the crowd off a win. Big thanks to Jeremy Lane of the Seahawks for preserving the push, though. If Arizona had converted the PAT, it would have been a backdoor cover. When Lane blocked the PAT, the difference between a five- and a six-point lead was basically immaterial. What should we call it when the favorite maintains the cover?

The best term I can come up with is screen-door, which hopefully resonate with anyone who has ever tried to run into a house through what looked like an open door only to go face-first into the screen door.


The Cynthia Frelund Experience

Cynthia Frelund’s crowd (@cfrelund) also went 1-1-1, predicting a 10-point victory and a 42-point total. One user predicted a 46-44 victory for the Seahawks, and that prediction alone moved the total nearly a whole point. That’s a reminder that, even a crowd size of 50 can be moved pretty significantly in one direction by a single prediction. Getting to a triple-digit crowd size will ensure that these extremes do not affect the average. In a later post, we’ll address one of the main gaps that we have when aggregating from Twitter compared with Crowdsourced Scores.


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