I had to take a little dose of reality this week. I was very excited when, again, the crowd predicted 13 correct straight-up. This result tied for first among ESPN experts. But I looked back at Week 15, and again at these picks, and I realized that the crowd was mainly picking favorites, in some cases heavy favorites, and the favorites were winning. One miss the crowd made was on the Seahawks, who they favored in all 7 road games prior to Week 16, and had they continued that trend, would have correctly picked one of three underdogs to win outright. I’m guessing the crowd over-indexed on the blowout loss to the Rams and the Cowboys primetime win over the Raiders such that it swung them away from their previous disposition. (The crowd did predict Seattle to cover.)
In any case, there is no shame in picking the favorites. Those teams are favorites for a reason, and if accuracy were really that simple, more experts would have done so. Still, it means that I have to temper my excitement a bit.
There is one data point that still makes me happy, and that is that the crowd has predicted 158 correct winners which ties them for third among experts. One could point out that this is only two picks ahead of the ESPN Pick ’em Crowd and say, “So what’s so special about your crowd then?” To which I’d say, actually, that proves my point about crowd wisdom. When considering the straight-up results, the ESPN crowd and the CSS crowd both have the same goal: picking the winner. And this proves that the crowd wisdom is a more reliable predictor than most experts.
We are trying to identify value in the over/under and the spreads, and that can only be identified when we collect actual scores, and that is where we see the most value in the crowd wisdom.
No On-the-Money Predictions, but some Lone Predictors
While no one hit on any final scores this week, the crowd did nail a couple of team totals right on the money. The crowd predicted the Rams would score 27 and the Bears would score 20. They also nailed that the final spread of the Raiders-Eagles game would be 9. One lone predictor, user G.A., picked the 49ers over the Jaguars. G.A. also picked the Raiders to beat the Eagles outright which brought the predicted spread under the -10 and gave the crowd the Wahtzee.
CPR Week 16 Summary
- Straight-up: 13-3 (81%)
- Against the Spread: 7-9 (44%)
- Over/Under: 8-7-1 (53%)
- Straight-up: 158-78 (66%, +1%)
- Against the Spread: 113-119-8 (48%, -1%)
- Over/Under: 125-109-6 (53%, +0%)
7 predictors in Week 16, down 1 from Week 15. Thank you to those who keep returning. We cannot tell you how much we appreciate your support. Please tell your friends!
The Cynthia Frelund Experience
Sadly, no @cfrelund experience this week since the primetime games fell on the weekend. I’ll have a follow-up post reviewing the Thursday night and Monday game accuracy over the 2017 season.
The WotC (Wahtzee) GotW
For the third week in a row, I have to deny my impulse to highlight the Wahtzees in which the crowd threaded the needle of picking the favorite to win and the underdog to cover, essentially because the two games in question – Colts-Ravens and Raiders-Eagles – both had huge spreads, so threading the needle wasn’t much of a risk. In the case of the former, the crowd predicted a 12.5-point win for Baltimore and only hit the Wahtzee because of the 13.5-point spread.
This week’s Wahtzee goes to the Browns-Bears because the crowd nailed the Bears score exactly, and had a couple of bounces gone Cleveland’s way rather than Chicago’s, the score could very well have been around the predicted 20-13. Additionally, the over/under prediction was one of only a few best-bets for Week 16.
||Bears by 6.6 (spread was Bears by 5.5)
||Bears by 17
||33.4 (under 37)
The Wabby of the Week
There were two candidates for the Wearing-a-Barrel game this week. The crowd whiffed on both Lions-Bengals and Jaguars-49ers. While I’d certainly say that it was surprising that Detroit, a team with playoff hopes, would lose to a Cincinnati team that has been out of the chase for a while, the 49ers putting up 44 against Jaguars had to be the surprise of the week. If you had told me that San Francisco would have beaten the total of 42 by themselves against the Jacksonville defense, you’d have my house and I’d be wearing a barrel on Sunday.
||Jaguars by 6.14 (spread was Jaguars by 4.5)
||49ers by 11
||40.14 (under 42)
Week 16 Top Performers
User C.A. had a great week this week, coming in first across all three categories and picking 14 of 16 winners. Congrats to all the top performers, and thanks for your continued support!
||AGAINST THE SPREAD