2020 Season – Welcome Back! – Episode 0

Paul and Chris return from the break and talk about all the COVID effects they foresee. Who has a leg up and who will be a step behind? Also, we enjoy some Fremont Mischief Distillery Rye Whiskey.

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Show Notes

Welcome back everyone. We hope you had a nice break since Game 267, and we hope you and yours are staying healthy. Please continue to wash your hands, practice social distancing, and wear a mask (even if you don’t think it helps slow the spread of Coronavirus, doing none of those DEFINITELY doesn’t slow the spread of the Coronavirus).

With that out of the way, here are the notes from our Welcome Back episode:

What is Stakehouse Sports about?

Stakehouse Sports is a new prediction game.

  • Instead of just predicting the winner straight up or against the spread, you predict the scores of each game.
  • By predicting the scores, you predict the winner, the spread side, and the over/under. So, you earn points for each prediction, plus you can earn bonus points for any exact predictions.
    • You can earn up to ten points for each prediction.

We’re also testing out whether the Wisdom of the Crowd can work for sports gambling.

  • Can the WotC can identify value at the sportsbooks?
  • We aggregate all of our users’ predictions to generate a crowd prediction, and we gauge that against the final score
  • Last Year’s Results:
    • Straight-up: 163 correct, 93 incorrect (63.6%)
      • 2018: 162-94 (63.2%)
    • ATS: 116 correct, 133 incorrect, 7 pushes (the final result matched the spread) (46.5%)
      • 2018: 135-111-10 (54.8%)
    • Total: 137 correct, 116 incorrect, 3 pushes (54.1%)
      • 2018: 134-117-5 (53.3%)
    • It was not a great year against the spread, but for the total, the crowd did pretty well.
    • We had about 10 regular predictors, and we’re hoping to bump that up because a single predictor can skew the average pretty significantly.

Whiskey of the Week

How will COVID effect the NFL Season?

  • Why any prediction we make will be wrong
    • Lack of crowds
      • Who benefits
        • Road teams early
        • Inexperienced O-lines
        • Veterans, established position groups, trusted coaches
      • Who doesn’t
        • Home-field advantage teams
          • KC, NO, DEN, SEA, PIT, LV
    • Lack of real-game experience
      • Who benefits
        • Experienced coaches and players
      • Who doesn’t
        • New coaches, new teammates – highly cohesive groups
          • Washington, NYG, Carolina, Browns, Cowboys
        • Rookie players
          • No mini camps and meet-ups
      • Impact players in the draft and free agency


  • We’ll be rolling out our contest information next week along with our AFC Season Win Totals Podcast.
  • We hope you’ll join us and tell us what we got wrong.


2019 Regular Season Results

Hey all, here’s a quick recap of our 2019 Regular Season Results as we gear up for the 2020 campaign.

  • Straight-up: 163-93 (63.6%)

    • 2018: 162-94 (63.2%)

  • Against the Spread: 116-133-7 (46.5%)

    • 2018: 135-111-10 (54.8%)

  • Total: 137-116-3 (54.1%)

    • 2018: 134-117-5 (53.3%)

I tend to focus on the spread results (probably because I’m in a spread pool) which makes it easy to overlook the improvement of the over/under results. Our over/under results have been remarkably consistent through the years.

If you were to tail just the over/under through the season, you’d make a profit. Spread? Not so much. 🙂

Leaderboards Recap

2019 Divisional Round Weekend Crowd Results and Leaderboard

The crowd got off to a great start on Wild Card Weekend, and they did even better during the Divisional Round. Thanks to a 4-0 record picking the winners, 3-1 against the spread, and 3-1 against the total, the crowd turned $120 into almost $170!

Here are the results:

WagerStakeResultRunning Total
Chiefs ML$10$14.55$124.55
IND-KC Over 54.5$10$0$114.55
Chiefs -4.5$10$19.09$123.64
Rams ML$10$13.33$126.97
DAL-LAR Over 48$10$18.70$135.67
Cowboys +7$10$0$125.67
Patriots ML$10$15.00$130.67
LAC-NE Over 47.5$10$19.09$139.76
Patriots -4$10$19.09$148.85
Saints ML$10$12.63$151.48
PHI-NO Under 52.5$10$19.09$160.57
Eagles +8.5$10$19.09$169.66

Hit two trifectas in one day? Yes please!

This was just an outstanding weekend for the crowd, and while the Cowboys were thisclose to hitting the backdoor cover, the crowd got lucky with the Will Lutz miss that gave the Eagles the cover, so we’ll call it even.

Our Divisional Round Winners were Derek and Gemma with 21 total points. Coincidentally, that tied the crowd prediction score as well. Congrats to both!

The end-of-postseason pot now stands at $152.33 which will be split among the top 3 finishers.

The current Postseason Podium has a little room between the top two and third place, but the fight for third looks to be fierce:

  • Gemma, 37 points
  • ChrisLivdahl, 36 points
  • MichaelRaymond, 30 points


Leaderboards Recap

2019 Wild Card Weekend Crowd Results and Leaderboard

The crowd got off to a great start on Wild Card Weekend, turning a tidy profit of $15 off the initial stake of $120.

Here are the results:

Wager Stake Result Running Total
Colts ML $10 $20.50 $130.50
Colts +1.5 $10 $19.09 $139.59
IND-HOU Under 48.5 $10 $19.09 $148.68
Seahawks ML $10 $0 $138.68
Seahawks +2.5 $10 $19.52 $148.20
SEA-DAL Over 43 $10 $19.09 $157.29
BAL ML $10 $0 $147.29
LAC +3 $10 $18.70 $155.99
LAC-BAL Over 43 $10 $0 $145.99
CHI ML $10 $0 $135.99

So, the lesson here is that hitting the trifecta with an underdog is a great way to improve your return, so if you can do that, I highly recommend it.

Our Wild Card Winner was Lawrence, and he takes home $67.50. Congratulations Lawrence!

The current Postseason Podium is crowded:

  • Lawrence, 19 points
  • Ausame, 18 points
  • ChrisLivdahl, 18 points



A Surge!

It’s been a while friends. Sorry for my absence. Hopefully you all have been enjoying the podcasts instead (just search for Crowd Wisdom Sports).

Just wanted to say thanks to user meausa on Reddit who steered a lot of traffic our way in response to a post he submitted detailing his betting results. Quite a few people signed up, though maybe half submitted predictions. Still, it nearly doubled our prediction average, so we’ll take it!

To all you newcomers, thanks for joining the crowd! We hope you have fun (please feel free to e-mail if you’d like to see something – you all are like GOLD to us; we do our best to accommodate).



Postseason Contest Standings (Round 2)

We have updated our contest standings and have a new overall leader!

Postseason Standings

Overall Leaders:

  1. Bryan, 31
  2. Jason, 30
  3. Ellie, 30
  4. Garrett, 28

Divisional Round Leaders:

  1. Bryan, 15
  2. Garrett, 14
  3. Ellie, 14

Wild Card Weekend CPR: Even Split

Add your Divisional Round Predictions Now!

Wild Card Weekend was quite a rollercoaster for the crowd. It started off with an amazing comeback that resulted in wins against the spread and the total, then a complete whiff, followed by a WotC (pronounced Wahtzee!), followed by two fourth-quarter scores that resulted in losses against the spread and the total. I feel like the crowd deserves credit for getting a perfect mirror image of each day, but it’s hard to cash in on that.

Wild Card Weekend Net Results:

  • Weekly Pot: $51.19
  • Overall Pot: $51.19

Best Bet Results

There was really only one prediction for the whole weekend that we’d consider a best bet, and that was the under in the Bills-Jaguars game.

  • Vegas Total: 40
  • Crowd Predicted Total: 32.27 (almost 20% less)
  • Actual Total: 13

The 3 other games did not see much of a discrepancy between the Vegas total and the crowd’s prediction. The biggest discrepancy with the spread was in the Falcons-Rams game in which the crowd predicted a 7.3-point Rams win against a 5.5-point spread, but as we’ve discussed, we have yet to figure out a formula for determining the strength of the crowd prediction when it comes to the spread.

Titans-Chiefs Results (2 for 3)

Correct: Titans +8.5 (-110), Under 44.5 (-110); Incorrect: Chiefs ML (-420); Net: $38.18


The crowd had an interesting separation for this game. 6 users predicted a sizeable victory for the Chiefs, easily covering the 8.5-point spread (4 users predicted an 11-point win). 5 users predicted the Chiefs to win but fail to cover, and 3 users picked the Titans to win outright, with Bryan coming within a two-point conversion of an on-the-money prediction.

The users who predicted a Tennessee upset swung the crowd prediction to a win. As we’ve discussed a few times, the user who predicts a big underdog to win outright can outweigh multiple users who predict the favorite to cover by just a point or two. In this case, the 4 users who predicted an 11-point win for the Chiefs were neutralized by the user who predicted the Titans to win by 3 (4 users * 2.5 (11 points – 8.5) = 10  < 1 user * 11.5 (3 points + 8.5). The same goes for the other two extremes of the bell curve. Once the two extremes were balanced out, the crowd’s aggregate prediction was composed of the remaining predictions that foresaw a sizeable Chiefs win that didn’t cover the spread.

Falcons-Rams (0 for 3; Wabby)

Incorrect: Rams -5.5 (-115), Over 48 (-110); Rams ML (-250); Net: $0


The crowd had a much different split in the Falcons-Rams game compared to the Titans-Chiefs. Additionally, Jason, the lone Atlanta win predictor, was well outweighed by the predictor (who we’ll keep anonymous) who expected a huge Rams triumph. Once his pick was balanced out, the crowd prediction around the spread aggregated in a reasonably comfortable Rams win.

With respect to the total, the crowd prediction was JUST over the Vegas total, so when it comes to wagering, the smart move would be to hang on to your money until the crowd sees a bigger discrepancy, such as in the Bills-Jaguars game.

Bills-Jaguars (3-for-3; WotC!)

Correct: Bills +8.5 (-110); under 40 (-110); Jaguars ML (-420); Net: $50.56


The distribution of spreads in the Bills-Jaguars game was similar to Titans-Chiefs. A single predictor who saw the Bills winning balanced out the 4 folks who saw a big Jacksonville victory. Thus, the crowd aggregate landed right at 7 which ended up being the exact final spread.

Much more interesting in this game was the crowd’s prediction of the total. The crowd predicted a total of 32.27, almost 20% below the Vegas line of 40. Only one predictor saw a high-scoring game; every other predictor was at or below 40. The resulting crowd prediction was by far the strongest value play of the weekend, and it came through with room to spare with an actual total of 13.

Panthers-Saints (1 for 3)

Correct: Saints ML (-275); Incorrect: Saints -7 (-115), Under 48.5 (-110); Net: $13.64


The crowd had a few predictors that expected sizeable double-digit wins for the Saints. Unlike the other games, though, there was only one predictor who saw the Panthers winning, and that was insufficient to sway the crowd to a thread-the-needle result.  Nevertheless, the crowd saw a pretty close game (though lower scoring than what ultimately happened), and that is precisely what happened.


Postseason Contest Standings


  1. Jason, 20
  2. Bryan, 16
  3. Ellie, 16
  4. Garrett, 14
  5. Paul, 14
  6. Elrond, 14
  7. Chris, 14
  8. Ted, 14
  9. Jordan, 13
  10. Cindy, 12
  11. Eddie, 10
  12. Russ, 10
  13. Gergo, 10
  14. Michael, 9
  15. Brian, 9

Wild Card Weekend:

  1. Jason, 20
  2. Bryan, 16
  3. Ellie, 16
  4. Garrett, 14
  5. Paul, 14
  6. Elrond, 14
  7. Chris, 14
  8. Ted, 14
  9. Jordan, 13
  10. Cindy, 12
  11. Eddie, 10
  12. Russ, 10
  13. Gergo, 10
  14. Michael, 9
  15. Brian, 9

Week 16 CPR: A Little Dose of Reality

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.

Winner Bears Bears
Spread Bears by 6.6 (spread was Bears by 5.5) Bears by 17
Over/Under 33.4 (under 37) 23

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.

Winner Jaguars 49ers
Spread Jaguars by 6.14 (spread was Jaguars by 4.5) 49ers by 11
Over/Under 40.14 (under 42) 77

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!

C.A. (14)
P.M. (13)
P.C. (11)
G.A. (7)
B.C. (7)
C.A. (7)
P.C. (11)
C.A. (11)
B.C. (7)

Week 15 CPR: The Home Stretch

It’s hard not to get too excited when the crowd produces results as they did in Week 15. Once again, they did very well picking the winners, correctly selecting 13 out of 16 for an 81% accuracy. They also performed very well in the over/under, picking 12 of 16 correct for a 75% accuracy rate.

What’s really important about the Week 15 over/under results is that it ticked the crowd over the crucial 50% mark, moving the season-long average to 53% (117 correct, 5 pushes, 224 total games). This is a critical indicator of our theory since the best predictors aim for 55%, and with two more good weeks, our crowd will show that they are just as good.

Separately, the crowd predicted totals that were over 10% below or above the line set by Vegas, and they went 5-2 in those games. Over the season, the crowd is 48-34 in those games for a 59% accuracy rate which is stellar.

Three (!) On-the-Money Predictions and a few close calls!

There was something in the air this week. Users E.P. and C.A. both predicted the Ravens-Browns game right on the money. User D.K. predicted a 27-24 final between the Patriots and the Steelers for another on-the-money prediction as well.

But that’s not all. User P.C. predicted a 24-23 win for the 49ers over the Titans (the actual score was 25-23) and a 30-19 win for the Saints over the Jets (the actual score was 31-19). The latter is especially impressive given that a 19-point total is pretty uncommon. User M.R. predicted a 24-17 win for the Bills over the Dolphins (the actual score was 24-16) as well as a 21-10 victory for the Lions over the Bears (the actual score was 20-10).

CPR Week 15 Summary

  • Straight-up: 13-3 (81%)
  • Against the Spread: 6-9-1 (38%)
  • Over/Under: 12-4 (75%)


  • Straight-up: 146-78 (65%, +1%)
  • Against the Spread: 106-110-8 (49%, -1%)
  • Over/Under: 117-102-5 (53%, +2%)

8 predictors in Week 15, down 2 from Week 14. 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


@cfrelund‘s crowd went 2-for-3 on Monday night, hitting on both Atlanta and the under, but overestimating the size of the win by the Falcons. The spread result basically hinged on the Bucs scoring a touchdown in the final minutes rather than kicking a field goal, but that’s generally why we are interested in identifying big discrepancies between the crowd predicted spread and the lines since our expectation is that, by and large, those games will be safe from a backdoor cover.

The WotC GotW

Once again I have to deny my initial instinct to pick a game in which the crowd threaded the needle as they did in the Falcons-Bucs game. Additionally, the crowd hit the spread exactly on Jets-Saints game and only missed an on-the-money prediction by two points for each team. However, this week, the crowd was really on the Ravens-Browns game. Not only did they hit the total right on the money while making it a best bet, but they predicted a big win for the Ravens, and they came through nicely.

Winner Ravens Ravens
Spread Ravens by 10 (spread was Ravens by 6.5) Ravens by 17
Over/Under 37.25 (under 42) 37

The Wabby of the Week

Week 15 was the second week this season in which the crowd hit at least one category for every game. Nice work crowd! Unfortunately, that makes finding the Wearing-a-Barrel game a little harder to identify. However, I think it’s safe to say that if you had given me the Seahawks and 34.5 points, you’d have my house and all my clothes on Monday.

Winner Seahawks Rams
Spread Seahawks by 1 (spread was Seahawks by 11) Rams by 35
Over/Under 53.5 (over 47.5) 49

Week 15 Top Performers

User M.R. had an incredible week picking the over-under with 14 while also coming in first against the spread. Meanwhile, P.M. and P.C. both picked 13 of 16 straight-up. Nice work everyone! We had 8 total predictors this week, so thanks to everyone who continued to help us out!

P.M. (13)
P.C. (13)
C.A. (12)
M.R. (9)
P.M. (7)
P.C. (7)
E.P. (7)
M.R. (14)
P.C. (10)
D.K. (10)