Best Bets

Week 9 Best Bet Report

We’re still trying to solidify our methodology around identifying best bets. A couple of games stood out this week in that regard:

  • LAR -4 at NYG – Crowd predicted LAR -7.8
  • DET -2.5 at GB – Crowd predicted DET -5.27

In both of those cases the crowd wisdom said that the spread was half of what it should be. And in both cases, they came through in fine style. So we’ll keep an eye on when the crowd diverges from the Vegas lines going forward and see if we can identify a trend. I did a quick scan back through the season and the crowd is about .500 when the predicted spread is around double or half of the Vegas line. Though it was trended upward the last several weeks.

On the total side, the biggest delta was on the Cardinals-49ers game with a predicted total of 31.7 compared to the Vegas line of 39, and that came through as well.


Week 9 Best Bets: 3-0

We’re certainly excited about a solid week, but of course we’re tempering it knowing that 100% accuracy is probably not sustainable. 🙂

Other Best Bets

RP-Excel – 2-4

In Week 9, RP Excel was correct on the Eagles -7.5 and the Cardinals -2 but missed his other 4 picks for another 2-4 week.

Vegas Insider – 3-2

The Westgate Super Contest consensus is back on track, picking the Colts -13, the Rams -3.5, and the Cowboys +1. The consensus missed on the Broncos +8.5 and the Falcons +2.

Are there any other sites you follow for best bets? Add them in the comments or send them to us at Thanks!


Best Bets

Week 8 Best Bet Report

There were not too many games in which the crowd diverged significantly from the odds in Week 8.

The biggest deltas between the lines and the crowd predictions were:

  • Bears-Saints total: 40.2 predicted vs. 45.5
  • Bucs-Panthers total: 41.5 predicted vs. 46
  • Cowboys-Washington total: 51.5 predicted vs. 46
  • Colts-Bengals spread: Colts +4 predicted vs. Colts +11
  • Colts-Bengals total:40 predicted vs. 44


Week 8 Best Bets: 4-1

Previous weeks featured predictions that had a pretty significant delta between the crowd and the Vegas line. The biggest delta this week was between the crowd’s predicted margin of victory for the Bengals (4) and the Vegas line (11). There were only four other predictions that differed by more than 4 points.

Other Best Bets

Again, we’re not tooting our horns too much here, as we’re sure that there will be weeks in which these folks pick much better than our crowd. We just want to include these folks for perspective.

RP-Excel – 2-4

This gentleman is really sharp and provides his picks every week to the sportsbook subreddit. He’s been performing quite well through the season.

In Week 8, he was correct on the Eagles -12 and the Panthers-Bucs under 45 but missed his other 4 picks.

Vegas Insider – 2-3

It was a (slightly) better week at the Vegas Super Contest. The top 5 consensus picks went 2-3, getting Seattle -5.5, Saints -9, and Chargers +7 wrong while hitting on Carolina +2 and Atlanta +4.5.

Are there any other sites you follow for best bets? Add them in the comments or send them to us at Thanks!


Best Bets

Week 7 Best Bet Report

We’re starting a new weekly feature: the Best Best Report. We’ll highlight the lines that the crowd diverged from most and examine the results.

Week 7 struck me as a bit unusual because there was not one game in which the crowd diverged significantly from the Total, while there were 5 spreads that’s as a gap of 6 or more. In previous weeks, the most common best bet was on the Over/Under.


Week 7 Best Bets: 3-2

The most surprising best bet result was Bears over Panthers. Not only did Chicago cover, they won going away. Of course, they scored two defensive touchdowns when the Panthers were deep in Bears territory, but a loss is a loss. The lowest predicted spread was 3, and no one in the crowd predicted the Bears to win.

The Titans were a near-hit, but their offense just didn’t show up, and they missed the cover by 3.

On the positive side, the Jets, Saints, and Cowboys all covered quite nicely. The crowd projected a big win for Dallas, and they delivered. After Week 6, I started to wonder whether we should avoid large spreads altogether, but this week the crowd said that the big spread wasn’t big enough and was proven right.

Other Best Bets

To paraphrase from The Wire, “Don’t take credit when best bets go your way unless you also want to take the blame when they don’t.” I mention that because I scout some other sites that provide best bets and wanted to mention them as a reference point for whether 3-2 is good or not. I’ll make sure to highlight their success if they outperform us.

RP-Excel – 1-5

This gentleman is really sharp and provides his picks every week to the sportsbook subreddit. He’s been performing quite well through the season.

In Week 7 however, he struggled, getting only Dallas right of his 5 Best Bets.

Vegas Insider – 0-5

Over at Vegas Insider, things went as bad as they could have. All 5 consensus picks failed to cover in the Super Contest (a contest hosted by Hilton Hotels in which competitors pick 5 games per week). The missed consensus picks are a reminder that the binary pick (cover/won’t cover) doesn’t reflect the value of wisdom of the crowd in the same way that we think Crowdsourced Scores does.

Are there any other sites you follow for best bets? Add them in the comments or send them to us at Thanks!



Week 5 CPR: Slow and steady


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%)


  • 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.


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.

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.

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!

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)