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Week 7 CPR: Does Size Matter?

You bet it does! Alright, who had 8 weeks in the office pool on “When will Chris make an innuendo in a headline”? You’re a winner!

Anyway, I’m referring to crowd size, just in case you were wondering, and I bring it up to highlight the difference between Cynthia Frelund‘s crowd size and ours. In the Monday night game in Week 7, we had a crowd size of 13. The crowd got the winner correct, but missed on the spread and the total. Meanwhile, we took around 60 predictions from Ms. Frelund’s crowd, and they nailed the trifecta.

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It’s pretty obvious, but it bears repeating that the larger the crowd size, the more likely the theory of the wisdom of the crowd will prove itself over time. In our crowd, 6 of the 13 predictions predicted the game would go over the Total of 48.5. However, there were two predictions in the low 30s. Why do they matter? They matter because the overs were around 50 (50, 52, and one 62). All 6 overs were almost entirely countered by one prediction of 31, and the 31 was the biggest outlier. If we had removed those two predictions, or more likely, countered them with two outliers on the Eagles side, the crowd may well have been correct.

Meanwhile, Ms. Frelund’s crowd also had only two scores in the 30s, but out of 60 predictions, the effect of the outliers were minimized as the crowd grew in size.

With that said, now is as good a time as any to ask you to  please tell your friends to join the crowd!

A Near-Hit On the Money Prediction by the Crowd!

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While accuracy in predicting the actual final score is less important than predicting the value in the betting lines, it’s always fun to recognize when the crowd almost nails a game. This week, the crowd predicted Vikings 23.3-Ravens 16.8, coming within less than a point from the final score for each team.

 

CPR Week 7 Summary

  • Straight-up: 11-4 (73%)
  • Against the Spread: 8-7 (53%)
  • Over/Under: 4-11 (27%)

Overall

  • Straight-up: 63-43 (59%, +2%)
  • Against the Spread: 49-57 (46%, +1%)
  • Over/Under: 52-54 (49%, -4%)

16 predictors this week, up one from last week! It’s a new high! Thank you so much everyone. We cannot tell you how much we appreciate your support.

The Cynthia Frelund Experience

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As mentioned above, @crelund‘s crowd hit the trifecta. Not only that, but the crowd predicted a comfortable win for the Eagles and to quote Gregg Easterbrook (who I assume is quoting something else), yea, verily it came to pass. There were two predictions that featured a double-digit Washington win, whereas there were 32 predictions featuring an Eagles double-digit win.

The WotC Game of the Week

I highlighted the crowd’s prescience with respect to the Ravens-Vikings game already, and while that was certainly interesting, the pick this week goes to the Cowboys-49ers. Normally, I wouldn’t count this because the crowd pushed on the total, but the crowd’s prediction against the spread is noteworthy. It was not a big surprise that Dallas won, but the crowd predicted a much bigger win than the spread, and that’s exactly how it played out.

PREDICTION CROWD ACTUAL
Winner Cowboys Cowboys
Spread Cowboys -11.7 (spread was Cowboys -6) Cowboys -40
Over/Under 47.5 (under 50) 50

The Wabby of the Week

While I imagine that most people did not predict the Chargers shutting out the Broncos or the Rams shutting out the Cardinals, it’s hard to argue that any game was more surprising than Panthers-Bears. The crowd predicted a big win for the Panthers, and it was the exact opposite.

PREDICTION CROWD ACTUAL
Winner Panthers Bears
Spread Panthers -9.3 (spread was -3) Bears -14
Over/Under 43 (over 40) 20

Week 7 Top Performers

R.M. is a new predictor this week and had a terrific week. Welcome!

Congrats everyone and thanks against for your help!

STRAIGHT-UP AGAINST THE SPREAD OVER/UNDER
R.M. (12)
N.G. (10)
M.R. (10)
E.A. (10)
K.B. (10)
N.G. (9)
R.M. (8)
6 Tied at 7
M.G. (7)
C.A. (7)
E.A. (7)
J.M. (7)
N.G. (7)

 

 

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Week 7, Game 1 – The Best Bad Beat

I’ll come out and admit it to you now: I am a Raiders fan. I have been one since about 1991. And before you respond, remember that Raiders fans suffered through decade-long stretches: post-2003 Super Bowl through 2016 and from Bo Jackson until Jon Gruden and Rich Gannon. We have experienced plenty of pain over the last 25 years. There are teams that have experienced more, but not many.

So the result of the Thursday night game is obviously mixed for me. On the one hand, I was very sad that our crowd, who had predicted the Chiefs to win by a margin of 6.75 points, had the correct straight-up and ATS result ripped from their grasp on the very last play of the game. It was a mirror image of the Chiefs-Washington game in which the Chiefs covered on a meaningless touchdown to end the game. On the other hand, that ending was among the most remarkable of any game I can remember, and if you like the NFL for the football (as opposed to extracurricular reasons), I’m sure you enjoyed it as well.

In any case, I wanted to point out one reason why crowd size is important that came out of the Thursday night result. As it turns out, the 47 Over/Under line that we had at the beginning of the week dropped a half point before the game, so the crowd still got the over/under line correct. Still, take a look at how a late set of predictions affected the aggregate total.

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With just a few predictions, the crowd went from comfortably above the Over/Under total to right on top of it. While the crowd was still correct, it goes to show how having a large, diversified crowd will protect the prediction from late movements. So please tell your friends to join us!

And of course, one other note is that this game was an outlier in a few ways. The Raiders scored far more than they had in the previous 3 weeks, and the total in the game will likely be one of the highest in Week 7. The WotC is most effective in predicting the majority of games as opposed to predicting outliers, so going 1 of 3 is not surprising in a game like this.

The Game 1 CPR – 1 for 3

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

The Chiefs giveth, and the Chiefs taketh away. As I mentioned, two weeks ago the Chiefs improbably covered the spread on the last play of the game. On Thursday, with no time left on the clock, the crowd had the straight-up, spread, and over/under results correct. But then the Chiefs committed two penalties on consecutive downs, giving the Raiders 2 extra chances to win. On the final attempt, the Raiders succeeded, and the over/under was the only result that came through.

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The Cynthia Frelund Experience

Cynthia Frelund’s crowd (@cfrelund) was also 1 of 3 for the night, getting the Over/Under correct in the end. One interesting note is that all of the predictions that had KC scoring 28 or more, only 1 out of 25 (@MarvinSimeon) predicted the Raiders to win, and Mr. Simeon had the margin at just 1. So not only was it an outlier in terms of the straight up result, it had the final margin exactly right. That is some wizardry, and it goes to show that the larger the crowd, the more likely you’ll have that fringe better represented.

-Chris

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Week 6 CPR: The Pendulum

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I have to admit that I was very hopeful, after the crowd’s success on Thursday night, that Week 6 would be a swing of the pendulum back to the high side of 50% in terms of prediction success. The pendulum did indeed swing, but sadly it was in same the direction it was heading after Week 5.

This was the first week in which the crowd fared somewhat poorly across the board, only breaking even in its straight-up picks. That the crowd has performed well against the over/under in 5 of 6 weeks is a positive, but we’d really like to see performance against the spread to validate the wisdom of the crowd theory.

I said that Week 3 was the Upside Down, but this week was somehow more unpredictable. Aaron Rodgers gets injured, Jay Cutler stages a 17-point comeback over the defending NFC champions, and the Giants, after losing around 8 or so receivers from their depth chart, beat the AFC’s best pass defense in their building (sure, they only scored one touchdown on offense, but still). I said that we can expect two or three weeks like that every season, but with two of the first six weeks going off script, maybe I should take the over.

Another On the Money Prediction!

Congrats to P.M. who picked the Patriots to beat the Jets 24-17. Awesome job!

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P.M. predicted fairly early in the week (her prediction is enlarged in the chart). As we get further along with the product, we’ll try to correlate predictions to news, injury reports, and so on to see how outside information influences the crowd’s perceptions of a game and when key signals occur.

 

CPR Week 6 Summary

  • Straight-up: 7-7 (50%)
  • Against the Spread: 5-9 (36%)
  • Over/Under: 5-9 (36%)

Overall

  • Straight-up: 52-39 (57%, -1%)
  • Against the Spread: 41-50 (45%, -2%)
  • Over/Under: 48-43 (53%, -3%)

11 predictors this week, up one from last week! Thank you so much everyone. We cannot tell you how much we appreciate your support.

The Cynthia Frelund Experience

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For the second straight week, @cfrelund‘s followers only got the winner correct on Monday night. For most of the Monday night game, the Colts looked like they would cover at least, and then the Titans blew the doors open in the last few minutes to give the crowd a pretty tough beat. In the end, as we have said, it’s the long game, so we’re still feeling pretty solid about how things will go over the course of the season.

The WotC Game of the Week

Once again, the crowd performed best with the Thursday night game, picking the underdog Eagles to triumph on the road with the game going over the total.

PREDICTION CROWD ACTUAL
Winner Eagles Eagles
Spread Eagles +0.43 (spread was Panthers -3) Eagles +5
Over/Under 47 (over 45) 51

The Wabby of the Week

The crowd missed on all three predictions for Packers-Vikings, but I’m disregarding that since it’s pretty safe to say that an Aaron Rodgers injury changes, well, everything.

The other choice for Week 6 was a remarkable result: Giants over Broncos. I take four starting receivers from the Giants and give you 12 points with the Denver defense? Yeah, we’d take that in a heartbeat. No one in the crowd predicted a Giants win, though it is interesting that the game total nearly matched the crowd even though the scores were reversed.

The crowd did correctly predict the under, and the crowd got at least one prediction right in every other game in Week 5.

PREDICTION CROWD ACTUAL
Winner Broncos Giants
Spread Broncos -13.3 (spread was -11.5) Giants -13
Over/Under 30.7 (under 39.5) 33

Week 6 Top Performers

There was a lot of clumping together this week as the individuals seemed to reflect the crowd pretty closely.

Congrats everyone and thanks against for your help!

STRAIGHT-UP AGAINST THE SPREAD OVER/UNDER
G.A. (8)
C.A. (7)
M.R. (7)
G.A. (9)
M.R. (7)
C.A. (6)
P.C. (11)
N.G. (10)
P.M. (9)

 

 

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Week 6, Game 1 – Binary vs. Precision

We encountered an interesting result from the Eagles-Panthers Thursday night game. In a poll, users picked the Eagles to win, but with scores, they picked the Panthers. So in this case, the binary was correct and the precision was not.

A quick reminder: we think the value of the wisdom of the crowd is in precision. There are several ways to determine where the public lands on either side of a given line, but over the course of a season, that number will be close to 50%. That’s how the sportsbooks make their money.

The value we believe that Crowdsourced Scores has is that it allows the contrarian view to have a bit more weight. An Eagles vote and a Panthers vote have the same value in a poll, but when there is a prediction of Eagles 28, Panthers 21 and another of Panthers 24, Eagles 23, the aggregate score leans Eagles. This becomes especially important when we consider the lines since the delta between the crowd prediction and the lines is how we define value.

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The Game 1 CPR – 3 for 3

Correct: Straight-up, Against the Spread, Over/Under. Another Trifecta!

The chart above shows the how that crowd average stabilized over the week. Initial submissions favored the Eagles quite strongly, but the scores evened out as the game got closer. The final spread predicted by the crowd was Eagles +0.6, so it was basically a coin flip. We’re certainly happy that the crowd was on the right side, even if it’s just by a hair. Meanwhile, the total stayed fairly steady throughout. The final predicted total of 47 was not within a margin of safety (more than a touchdown), but it never came close to the line of 44.

 

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The Cynthia Frelund Experience

Cynthia Frelund’s crowd (@cfrelund) was 2.5 for 3 tonight, getting the spread and the total correct, and I’m giving them a half point for getting it right with the poll. I cut off prediction collection at 50 total predictions, and it’s interesting to consider whether 50 is a satisfactory cutoff or whether it’s not a big enough sample size.

Additionally, there is a potential that Ms. Frelund’s audience is not quite as decentralized as we’d like. It’s possible that they are influenced by other users, by Cynthia herself, or something else entirely. When you have a prediction this close one way or the other, there are a lot of different ways that you can look at the data to see if you can improve your aggregation, and there is a lesson in here, for sure. It’s just not clear what it is. 🙂

Do you see a way for us to improve our data collection? Let us know in the comments!

-Chris

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Week 5 CPR: Slow and steady

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The crowd in Week 5 was below where we would have hoped, but there is a silver lining. The crowd was at 50% (7 of 14) straight-up and on the over/under, and it 57% (8 of 14) against the spread. 50% is below where we’d like to be. For our hypothesis to be proven right, we expect to be north of 60% and perhaps even a bit higher.

On the other hand, look at the trend in the chart above, we’re seeing a steady trend upward against the spread. I focus on this generally because it has the most value in the gambling world. It has the most options to play around with, including teasers and parlays. Getting consistently good predictions with the spread will be a validator of the wisdom of the crowd. As you can see in the chart, the crowd is getting better over the course of the season, and that is the key to what we are hoping to accomplish. If we consider a down week to be 50%, it would mean that our good weeks are above that, and the average over time will be where we hope.

Best Bets and One More Crazy Ending

I wanted to start trying to see which lines the crowd seems to indicate have the most value. At this point, I’m choosing the lines that have the greatest delta between the line and the crowd prediction.

In Week 5, the crowd went 2-2. They were correct on the Cardinals-Eagles under 45, Jets to win, Bills +3, and Vikings-Bears over 40. Bills and Vikings-Bears were very close to coming through, but a loss is a loss, unfortunately. And we have to mention that the under in the Cardinals-Eagles only came through because of a crazy fumble at the goal line that turned the ball over to the Eagles instead of being placed at the one. But sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

Two More On the Money Predictions!

Congrats to M.R. who picked the Vikings to beat the Bears 20-17, and to M.G. who picked the Packers to beat the Cowboys 35-31. Incredible!

One interesting note to consider is that both of these scores were very common (I don’t have the data for the frequency, but I believe 20-17 is one of the most common scores). Is it better to predict a common score rather than a specific score? For our purposes, being on the correct side of the line is more important than accuracy.

Still, we like to call out when you all are able to nail a score like that.

CPR Week 5 Summary

  • Straight-up: 7-7 (50%)
  • Against the Spread: 8-6 (57%)
  • Over/Under: 7-7 (50%)

Overall

  • Straight-up: 45-32 (58%)
  • Against the Spread: 36-41 (47%)
  • Over/Under: 43-34 (56%)

10 predictors this week! Thank you so much everyone. We cannot tell you how much we appreciate your support.

2017-week5-mnf

The Cynthia Frelund Experience

This was the first time since we’ve been tracking @cfrelund‘s followers that they only got 1 out of 3 correct (just the winner). They have picked the Thursday/Monday winner correctly 7 times in a row which is notable, and they have gotten 2 out of 3 right each time at least during that stretch. As we keep saying, it’s about the long view, and Cynthia’s crowd is certainly paying off over the course of the season.

The Crowd-wisest Game of the Week

I wrote a bit about the Patriots-Bucs on Thursday already, and that game seemed to be the best crowd performance of the week. Not only did the crowd get all three picks correct, they predicted the Patriots to win but the Bucs to cover.

PREDICTION CROWD ACTUAL
Winner Patriots Patriots
Spread Patriots -2 (spread was -5.5) Patriots -5
Over/Under 50 (under 56) 33

The Wabby of the Week

The choice for Week 5 was clear: Jaguars over Steelers. I give you 20 points and the Jaguars and Monday you’re signing your house over to me wearing a barrel. The crowd missed on it as well, predicting the Steelers to cover the 7.5-point spread.

PREDICTION CROWD ACTUAL
Winner Steelers Jaguars
Spread Steelers -9.5 (spread was -7.5) Jaguars -21
Over/Under 47 (over 42) 39

Week 5 Top Performers

There was a lot of clumping together this week as the individuals seemed to reflect the crowd pretty closely.

Congrats everyone and thanks against for your help!

STRAIGHT-UP AGAINST THE SPREAD OVER/UNDER
J.M (8)
G.A. (7)
C.A. (7)
M.G. (7)
M.R. (7)
G.A. (8)
J.M. (8)
C.A. (7)
N.G. (7)
I.R. (7)
P.M. (8)
C.A. (8)
M.G. (7)
M.R. (7)
I.R. (7)
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2017 Week 5, Game 1 – The Wearing-a-Barrel Trifecta

A few weeks ago I referenced a quote from Brian Murphy about a game result being so unexpected that if you were given spread and over/under lines (prior to kickoff, of course) that matched the final outcome, you’d be signing over your house to me wearing a barrel because they’d seem absurd. (I am henceforth calling these games “Wabbies”.)

The Thursday night game between the Patriots and Bucs has the unusual distinction of being both a trifecta for the crowd and yet also a Wabby.

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The Game 1 CPR – 3 for 3

Correct: Straight-up, Against the Spread, Over/Under. The Trifecta!

The crowd predicted the Patriots to win but the Bucs to cover, and the predicted total of 50 was 10% below the line of 56. Not to put too fine a point on it, threading the needle of a favorite winning and an underdog covering is harder than it seems, as the majority of teams that cover also win the game outright.

Having said that, the Patriots have been scoring 33 points by themselves in pretty much every game this season. On top of that, it has been repeated ad nauseum this week that the Patriots have the worst defense in the league. So if I had told you that you could have select the over/under with a total of 34 points on Thursday night, the next day you’d be signing your house over to me wearing a barrel.

What’s worth noting in the data is that the Wednesday predictions were markedly lower, and that pulled the total down below the Over/Under line. We’ll begin to start tracking averages during the week to see if we can connect crowd wisdom to events that occur within the week. In this week, for example, news of Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski missing Thursday’s game came out, and the predictions reflected both the Bucs winning and the overall total staying under the Vegas line.

As we say pretty regularly, we’re trying to find value first, and accuracy is a bonus. The crowd prediction of 50 for the total was a six-point gap that indicates pretty significant value, and being right about the actual total is nice but not nearly as important.

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The Cynthia Frelund Experience

Cynthia Frelund’s crowd (@cfrelund) was 2 for 3 tonight, getting the winner and the spread correct. Again, when the spread is less than 7, that’s pretty tough to do. But to take it a step further, the crowd predicted a spread of 4 when the actual was 5, and that’s pretty impressive. With respect to the over/under, the crowd predicted a total of 58. With a line of 56, Cynthia’s crowd was just barely on the wrong side. As we think about value of a line over time, we’ll try to find where the delta between the crowd’s prediction and the Vegas line indicates value and when it indicates staying away.

 

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2017 Week 4 CPR: Chicken Dinner!

If Week 3 was the Upside Down, Week 4 was clearly the Right Side Up. Week 3 began with the Rams and 49ers combining for 80 points and the 49ers backdoor-ing the 2.5-point spread with minutes to play. Week 4 ended with a most improbable, at least from a betting point of view, combination of events. Not only did the Chiefs score a defensive touchdown on the Washington Stanford-band play at the end of the game; they also chose to kneel for the two-point conversion. So the Chiefs both covered the spread while still hitting the under by a half-point, giving the crowd the trifecta for the game. As an added bonus, that bizarre sequence of events led to an On-the-Money prediction for the Cynthia Frelund experience (see below). Overall, the crowd performed extremely well this week, pretty much evening out the struggles from Week 3.

Have you ever had a bet come through in some crazy, last-second fashion? Let us know in the comments!

And speaking of On the Money, we had our first On the Money prediction of the year by one of our users! G.A. correctly predicted a 35-14 win for the Packers over the Bears, and lo, it came to pass. Congratulations G.A.!

A Word on Crazy Endings and the Crowd

I could easily argue that there is no way the crowd could have predicted the ending of the Chiefs game, and the crowd was certainly fortunate to have the ending meet all three of its prediction.

So now is a good time to reinforce the theory that the crowd isn’t predicting any specific event. The crowd wisdom is seen in the long game, and the crazy endings that prove the crowd correct are generally offset by the crazy endings that go against the crowd. So while the crowd was proven correct across the winner, spread, and total thanks to the crazy ending of the Monday Night Football game, they were also let down by the similarly crazy ending of the Week 3 Thursday Night game.

It might be an interesting experiment to poll the crowd when games are close in order to discover if they can predict a crazy ending over time. We’ll add it to the backlog!

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CPR Week 4 Summary

  • Straight-up: 10-6
  • Against the Spread: 12-4
  • Over/Under: 10-6

CPR 2017 Overall

  • Straight-up: 38-25, 60% (same as Week 3)
  • Against the Spread: 28-35, 40% (+6% from Week 3)
  • Over/Under: 36-27, 57% (+1% from Week 3)

We had 8 predictors this week, including 3 new friends to the crowd. Welcome! Thank you to those who participated for the first time and to those who continue to help out.

The Cynthia Frelund Experience

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As we mentioned above, the Twitter followers for Cynthia Frelund (@cfrelund) this week provided their score predictions for the Monday Night Game and were right on the money. They predicted the final score exactly right. They have been close on a couple of occasions so far this season, so it’s great to see the crowd come through in such spectacular fashion so early in the season.

Crowd-wisest Prediction of the Week

The crowd was feeling it this week, and there were 6 trifecta games (up from the previous high of 4) this week.

Vikings-Lions and Eagles-Chargers were both interesting because the crowd picked the underdog to win outright, but probably the best prediction this week was 49ers-Cardinals because of how close the predicted spread and total were to the actual results.

PREDICTION CROWD ACTUAL
Winner Cardinals Cardinals
Spread Cardinals -3 (spread was -7.5) Cardinals -4
Over/Under 39 (under 43.5) 33

Crowd-foolishest Prediction of the Week

There were two 0-fer games in Week 4, and the bagel crown goes to the Bills-Falcons. The crowd predicted the Falcons to cover the 8-point spread, and the lost outright.

PREDICTION CROWD ACTUAL
Winner Falcons Bills
Spread Falcons -10 (spread was -8) Bills by 6
Over/Under 49 (over 48.5) 40

It seems that the crowd may not have fully bought into the Bills yet this season, as the crowd did not predict a Bills win either in Week 3 or Week 4, so it will be worth watching to see if the crowd corrects (or overcorrects) in Week 5.

Top Performers This Week

There were a lot of good performances this week, including E.A. who was second in the straight-up leaderboard and first against the spread!

Straight-up

  • C.A. (12)
  • B.C. (10)
  • P.C. (10)
  • E.A. (new participant) (10)

Against the Spread

  • E.A. (11)
  • B.C. (11)
  • G.A. (10)

Over/Under

  • G.A. (10)
  • M.R. (10)
  • C.A. (9)
  • G.A. (6)

Thanks for all the predictions! Keep up the good work!

-Chris

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2017 Week 4, Game 1 – Back to Normal?

If there is one thing that statistical analysis teaches us it is that one data point does not mean anything. However, the Thursday night game between the Bears and Packers went pretty much according to script, so it’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the weekend plays out.

The Game 1 CPR – 2 of 3

Correct: Straight Up, ATS; Incorrect: O/U

Across our 5 loyal predictors (thank you!), the crowd predicted an 11-point win for the Packers and a total of 41. The crowd was just one point off of the Bears’ actual total. Nice work!

Bad Beat: It’s hard to call the Bears touchdown in the fourth quarter a bad beat, but it is a little aggravating since our crowd predicted 41 points and would have been right on the money.

What is worth noting about that touchdown, though, is that it speaks to the concept of margin of safety. Our crowd predicted a total of 41 points and the Total was set at 45.5. The margin of safety there is just a field goal. We’re hoping that, over time, the crowd will be able to identify games in which the margin of safety is beyond the reach of a fluke score and track their performance over the course of the season.

For our curious readers, right now the crowd sees the biggest margin of safety for the Over/Under in:

  • 49ers-Cardinals: Under by 11 points
  • Washington-Chiefs: Under by 10 points
  • Panthers-Patriots: Over by 8 points
  • Bengals-Browns: Under by 7 points

Disagree with any of those? And leave a comment about why!

Also, please make sure to get your predictions in for Week 4!\

 

2017-week4-tnf

The Cynthia Frelund Experience

Cynthia Frelund’s (@cfrelund) crowd on Thursday nailed the trifecta and was on the money with respect to the Over/Under. The aggregation of 50 predictions resulted in an expected 10-point win for the Packers, and their 49-point total prediction was one point away from the actual.

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2017 Week 3 CPR: The Upside Down

On Friday I joked about waking up Friday morning wearing a bucket and signing over my house. Little did I know what was in store…

I wake up on Sunday morning and groggily remember that Baltimore and Jacksonville are playing already. My hand fumbles for the phone as I wonder whether the Londoners have been “treated” to another snoozer after which they wonder when Jacksonville will get relegated. My eyes grow as wide as dinner plates (for you Calvin and Hobbes fans out there) to see the Jaguars up 37-0 before going on to beat the best defense in the league 44-7. And thus began the weekend of the Upside Down.

In the end, there were 7 games that finished with a total between 50 and 70, and 2(!) games with a total of 80. One of those 80-burgers featured the Rams and 49ers, the latter having scored 12 points in their first two games combined. The average total through Weeks 1 and 2 was around 40, and the average for Week 3 was 52.

On top of that, 3 6-plus-point underdogs won outright, and the 13-point underdog Houston Texans took the Patriots to the final seconds before surrendering the lead.

So, all in all, I think it’s safe to say that this is the week of the outlier. I saw a couple of posts on Reddit (“This ends the F*ck What You Know Week” was my favorite) expressing something similar. My sense is that there are two of these a season, but I reserve the right to say at some point that 2017 is the season of outliers.

Do any outlier weeks from past seasons stand out to you? Leave a comment!

results-through-week3

CPR Week 3 Summary

  • Straight-up: 7-9
  • Against the Spread: 6-10
  • Over/Under: 7-9

CPR 2017 Overall

  • Straight-up: 28-19, 60%
  • Against the Spread: 16-31, 34%
  • Over/Under: 26-21, 56%

We were up to 9 predictions this week, so thank you to those who participated for the first time and to those who continue to help out.

The Cynthia Frelund Experience

The Twitter followers for Cynthia Frelund this week provided their score predictions for the Monday Night Game and came through well. The predicted total was 46.5 and that actual total was 47. They predicted Dallas to beat the Cardinals by about 2 points and the spread was 3, so the crowd missed the ATS number. In the end, the crowd didn’t identify a lot of value in either line, but they still went 2 for 3.

Crowd-wisest Prediction of the Week

This week’s game in which the crowd went 3-for-3 and had the best prognostication was the Cowboys at Cardinals.

PREDICTION CROWD ACTUAL
Winner Cowboys Cowboys
Spread Cowboys by 7 (spread was 3) Cowboys by 11
Over/Under 37 (under 47) 45

The other 3-for-3 game this week was Falcons-Lions, but the delta between the crowd total and the over-under line was less than 1 point, so we can’t really say that the crowd saw a lot of opportunity in this game.

Crowd-foolishest Prediction of the Week

Of course, for every two wise predictions, we figure that there will be one foolish prediction.

There were 4 games to choose from this week. This week’s winner for the discrepancy between the prediction and the actual was Steelers-Bears.

PREDICTION CROWD ACTUAL
Winner Steelers Bears
Spread Steelers (-7) by 14 Bears by 6
Over/Under 46 (over 44) 4

I can only chalk up the big gap in the predicted win to the perception of the Bears quality versus the Steelers, though certainly, a second look would indicate that the Steelers have not exactly set the world on fire yet this season.The other

The other notable miss was Seahawks-Titans because the actual total was twice the predicted total. However, the game was predicted to be close, so again, it’s not as clear that the crowd saw a lot of value. Also, until our crowd grows a bit bigger, Seattle games are always going to be discounted since most of our participants are from the Pacific Northwest and a bit biased.

Top Performers This Week

We had a 4-way tie for straight up winners this week which has to mean something, but who knows exactly what.

Straight-up

  • G.A. (9)
  • P.C. (9)
  • M.R. (9)
  • D.C. (9)

Against the Spread

  • M.R. (7)
  • D.C. (6)
  • G.A. (6)

Over/Under

  • C.A. (10)
  • P.C. (9)
  • E.P. (6)
  • G.A. (6)

Thanks for all the predictions! Keep up the good work!