Week 13, Game 1 – Thanksgiving Hangover

The crowd may have turkey on the brain at the start of Week 13.

The Thursday night game for Week 13 featured two teams who played on Thanksgiving, and I wonder if the crowd over-indexed the turkey day results in their predictions. The issue wasn’t that both crowds whiffed across the board; it’s that they predicted best-bets for both Washington -1 and under 46. Our crowd predicted Washington to win by 6 with a total score of 40, and Cynthia Frelund‘s crowd predicted Washington to win by 8 with a total score of 44 (the latter total would not qualify as a best bet).

On Thanksgiving, the Cowboys were beaten handily by the Chargers; Washington outlasted the Giants, but the game never seemed in much doubt. Since both games happened in isolation and one right after the other, it would make intuitive sense to me to conclude that the trend would continue.

Sadly for the crowds, the trend reversed itself quite dramatically.

The one caveat is that Washington experienced a confluence of bad luck events that contributed to the result. That fact doesn’t invalidate the results, of course, but it is a reminder that the wisdom of the crowd has the effect over a large number of games. I tweeted on Sunday that the crowd usually misses all 3 predictions for 1 or 2 games per week. In Week 12, the crowd missed all 3 in zero games; in Week 13, it missed on 3. So really, while I like to hope that the crowd will miss on 0 predictions for every game, the odds say that we should expect a week with more than two 0-fers for every week in which the crowd gets a prediction right on every game. The 0-fer games usually involve some outlier behavior, and Thursday night just happened to be one.

The Game 1 CPR – 0 for 3.

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

I probably brought this result on the crowd since I was broadcasting their straight-up results through the season (still a respectable 116-61). Honestly, I was so hopeful that when the final result came through, it took me a while to process it (hence why this post is late). The crowd did just fine for the week, but I am always hopeful that Thursday will start the predictions off on the right foot.


The Cynthia Frelund Experience

Cynthia Frelund’s crowd (@cfrelund) also missed across the board. They were pretty in sync with our crowd, predicting a 26-18 victory for Washington compared to our 24-17. Only 14 out of 100 selected the Cowboys to win outright. One user predicted a 34-17 victory which is quite remarkable given how much of an outlier it was.


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