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NFL confidence pool picks and results for 2013, Week 14: 122 points

 2013, neglected teams, Results  Comments Off on NFL confidence pool picks and results for 2013, Week 14: 122 points
Dec 092013
 

Week 14 was the first week in 2013 the Actual points were outside the 90% confidence interval.

Game Victor Win Probability Confidence
Houston@Jacksonville Houston 59.0% 6
Indianapolis@Cincinnati @Cincinnati 66.5% 11
Atlanta@Green Bay @Green Bay 70.1% 13
Cleveland@New England @New England 72.5% 15
Oakland@New York (NYJ) @New York (NYJ) 57.7% 3
Detroit@Philadelphia @Philadelphia 57.9% 4
Miami@Pittsburgh @Pittsburgh 59.4% 7
Buffalo@Tampa Bay @Tampa Bay 58.0% 5
Kansas City@Washington Kansas City 61.5% 9
Minnesota@Baltimore @Baltimore 71.0% 14
Tennessee@Denver @Denver 82.5% 16
St. Louis@Arizona @Arizona 67.9% 12
New York (NYG)@San Diego @San Diego 59.7% 8
Seattle@San Francisco @San Francisco 57.4% 2
Carolina@New Orleans @New Orleans 61.9% 10
Dallas@Chicago Dallas 55.0% 1
Possible points: 136    
Expected: 91.4    
Likely range: 61 to 119    
Actual 123
Year-to-date 1227
 Posted by on December 9, 2013 at 9:40 pm

NFL confidence pool picks and results for 2013, Week 13: 110 points

 2013, neglected teams, Results  Comments Off on NFL confidence pool picks and results for 2013, Week 13: 110 points
Dec 022013
 
Game Victor Win Probability Confidence
Green Bay@Detroit @Detroit 68.5% 11
Oakland@Dallas @Dallas 76.6% 15
Pittsburgh@Baltimore @Baltimore 58.7% 5
Jacksonville@Cleveland @Cleveland 69.9% 12
Tennessee@Indianapolis @Indianapolis 62.0% 9
Chicago@Minnesota Chicago 51.0% 1
Miami@New York (NYJ) @New York (NYJ) 53.3% 2
Arizona@Philadelphia @Philadelphia 59.6% 6
Tampa Bay@Carolina @Carolina 73.7% 13
New England@Houston New England 74.1% 14
Atlanta@Buffalo @Buffalo 60.2% 7
St. Louis@San Francisco @San Francisco 76.8% 16
Denver@Kansas City Denver 61.5% 8
Cincinnati@San Diego @San Diego 54.8% 4
New York (NYG)@Washington New York (NYG) 54.5% 3
New Orleans@Seattle @Seattle 67.2% 10
Possible points: 136    
Expected: 93.0    
Likely range: 57 to 112    
Actual 110
Year-to-date 1104
 Posted by on December 2, 2013 at 10:01 pm

2013 NFL Confidence Pool Picks and Win Probabilities: Week 12

 2013, Confidence pool, neglected teams, Win probability  Comments Off on 2013 NFL Confidence Pool Picks and Win Probabilities: Week 12
Nov 192013
 

WinThatPool! remains the top bot after Week 11 in NFLstatheads’ Battle of the Bots

Nov 19, 6:40a PST: The WinProbability for New England has been revised downward, and ranks, expected, and likely ranges have been updated accordingly.

Game Victor Win Probability Confidence
New Orleans@Atlanta New Orleans 66.2% 12
Pittsburgh@Cleveland @Cleveland 54.7% 2
Tampa Bay@Detroit @Detroit 76.3% 13
Minnesota@Green Bay @Green Bay 62.8% 9
San Diego@Kansas City @Kansas City 65.5% 11
Chicago@St. Louis @St. Louis 54.8% 3
Carolina@Miami Carolina 61.1% 7
N.Y. Jets@Baltimore @Baltimore 61.4% 8
Jacksonville@Houston @Houston 78.0% 14
Tennessee@Oakland @Oakland 56.6% 5
Indianapolis@Arizona @Arizona 56.3% 4
Dallas@N.Y. Giants @N.Y. Giants 58.4% 6
Denver@New England @New England 50.0% 1
San Francisco@Washington San Francisco 62.8% 10
Possible points: 105    
Expected: 68.4    
Likely range: 43 to 92    

The table lists WinThatPool’s recommended Confidence pool picks for this week. If you want to maximize your chance of winning a year-end payout, use these picks. (If you want to maximize your chance of winning a weekly prize, you should deviate from one or more of these picks.)

Below the top table is a summary of the possible points available this week, the expected points from these Confidence weights, and the likely range (90% confidence interval) of possible points.

Win Probabilities could have changed since being posted.
Note the date/time stamp of this post.

 Posted by on November 19, 2013 at 7:05 am

Why the Demographics of Your Pool Matter

 neglected teams, Office pool, Office pool strategy, Weekly Payout, WPM  Comments Off on Why the Demographics of Your Pool Matter
Nov 112009
 

The only way the demographics of your pool would not matter would be if all other participants picked teams at random. If that were the case, you could just pick all the favorites all the time. You’d win all the season-ending payouts and more weekly payouts than anyone else.

But they don’t pick at random, do they? They mostly pick favorites, sprinkling in a few upsets here and there. That creates an opportunity for you, at least in terms of winning more weekly payouts than anyone else.

By picking mostly favorites most of the time, the other participants are behaving rationally as individuals but irrationally as a group. Take a look at some of the weaker favorites — those whose Win Probabilities are less than 70% — and you’ll notice that frequently the percentage of participants who picked them was still quite high, maybe over 90%. If the Win Probabilities are accurate, those favorites might lose between one third and half the time but when they do almost nobody in your pool will reap the benefit. So why don’t you reap the benefit?

The trick is threefold: 1) Forecast the number of participants in your pool who will pick each team, 2) identify underbet teams relative to their win probabilities, and 3) simulate game/pool outcomes thousands of times to determine the optimal number of underbet teams to pick in your pool. Those form the basis of Weekly Payout Maximizer recommendations.

The right number changes from week to week, according to the win probabilities and fan pick forecasts. For Regular scoring pools it’s also different from the right number for Confidence pools.

 Posted by on November 11, 2009 at 10:05 am

NFL Contrarian: Weekly Payout Maximizing Picks for Week 9

 neglected teams, NFL, Office pool, Office pool strategy, Weekly Payout, Win probability, WPM  Comments Off on NFL Contrarian: Weekly Payout Maximizing Picks for Week 9
Nov 082009
 

For Confidence Pool participants with fewer than 22 participants, Tennessee is likely to be underbet relative to its WinProbability. You’re more likely to win this week’s payout with the picks below. If you’re participating in a pool with several fans of Tennessee, since Tennessee might not be underbet in your pool, you’ll find alternative picks are below.

Points Pick WinProb
13 Tennessee 39%
12 New Orleans 79%
11 Atlanta 76%
10 New England 75%
9 Seattle 75%
8 Green Bay 75%
7 Indianapolis 72%
6 Jacksonville 67%
5 New York G 62%
4 Pittsburgh 58%
3 Baltimore 58%
2 Chicago 58%
1 Philadelphia 58%

For pools with Tennessee fan bias and fewer than 22 participants:
Points Pick WinProb
13 Kansas City 33%
12 New Orleans 79%
11 Atlanta 76%
10 New England 75%
9 Seattle 75%
8 Green Bay 75%
7 Indianapolis 72%
6 New York G 62%
5 San Francisco 61%
4 Pittsburgh 58%
3 Baltimore 58%
2 Chicago 58%
1 Philadelphia 58%

For pools with 22 or more participants, you’re advised to pick 2 underbet teams.

Points Pick WinProb
13 Tennessee 39%
12 Kansas City 33%
11 New Orleans 79%
10 Atlanta 76%
9 New England 75%
8 Seattle 75%
7 Green Bay 75%
6 Indianapolis 72%
5 New York G 62%
4 Pittsburgh 58%
3 Baltimore 58%
2 Chicago 58%
1 Philadelphia 58%

For pools with 22 or more participants and several fans of Tennessee, use these picks:

Points Pick WinProb
13 Kansas City 33%
12 Dallas 42%
11 New Orleans 79%
10 Atlanta 76%
9 New England 75%
8 Seattle 75%
7 Green Bay 75%
6 Indianapolis 72%
5 New York G 62%
4 San Francisco 61%
3 Pittsburgh 58%
2 Baltimore 58%
1 Chicago 58%

For pools with 22 or more participants and several fans of Kansas City, use these picks:

Points Pick WinProb
13 Tennessee 39%
12 Dallas 42%
11 New Orleans 79%
10 Atlanta 76%
9 New England 75%
8 Seattle 75%
7 Green Bay 75%
6 Indianapolis 72%
5 Jacksonville 67%
4 New York G 62%
3 Pittsburgh 58%
2 Baltimore 58%
1 Chicago 58%

 Posted by on November 8, 2009 at 6:37 am

Football Pool Participants Misunderstand Randomness: Pick a few underdogs they overlook

 Confidence pool, neglected teams, Office pool, Office pool strategy, Weekly Payout  Comments Off on Football Pool Participants Misunderstand Randomness: Pick a few underdogs they overlook
Oct 312009
 

Knowing Win Probabilities is necessary to have a shot at winning your office pool, but it’s not sufficient. It’s not sufficient because Win Probabilities are an open secret: your friends in your pool know them, too. And they’re everywhere, and the best ones are free. Even if they weren’t everywhere, you could estimate your own to a very high degree of accuracy by looking at Vegas money lines. You don’t even have to visit betting websites to see Vegas lines; they’re available in USA Today in plenty of time for you to make your picks.

This is why I make my Win Probabilities available for free as a convenience to my visitors. Mine are based on a generic formula derived from Vegas lines. Other estimates of Win Probabilities, Power Indexes, or rankings abound — one of the longest lived and best known is Jeff Sagarin’s Predicted Points model on USA Today. Brian Burke’s WinChance estimates are made available on the New York Times website after a few weeks into the season, and his record is enviable. I wouldn’t discourage anyone from using them; both are very impressive. But over time, I expect sports bettors and books learn which models work the best and their lines gravitate toward the best models anyway.

The fact that your friends know about Win Probabilities, point spreads, or power rankings means that everyone in your pool will pick mostly favorites, most of the time, and if it’s a confidence pool they’ll rank the teams in descending order by Win Probability. Therefore, most of their pick sheets will look remarkably similar. You need to stand apart.

Predicting upsets is a futile exercise in guessing random outcomes. You can either waste your energy trying to predict upsets, or you can focus instead on which upsets, if they occur due to randomness, will help your picks stand apart. So you need to consider the joint distribution of game outcomes and participant picks. By selectively choosing an upset or two, you can let randomness do your work and when those upsets occur, you will stand apart in your weekly pool results.

 Posted by on October 31, 2009 at 11:50 am

Helpful Information Hidden in Plain Sight: Other Participants’ Picks

 neglected teams, Office pool, Office pool strategy, Weekly Payout, Win probability, WPM  Comments Off on Helpful Information Hidden in Plain Sight: Other Participants’ Picks
Oct 312009
 

If you play office pools using some of the largest online pool websites — ESPN, Yahoo, UPICKEM, etc. — you can see the percentages of other users’ picks for every team. If you take a look at them, you’ll notice they’re remarkably similar. But how do you use this information? Here’s how: it is a decent initial approximation for the percentages of picks in your own local pool.

Let’s say 10% of all users on ESPN picked Cleveland, and you play in a pool with 15 participants. Using the ESPN distribution estimate, that means you can expect 1.5 of your participants picks Cleveland.

But it can’t be 1.5. It could be 1 or 2. It could also be 0, 3, 4, or 5, or more if you’re playing in a pool of Cleveland fans. Given the ESPN probability p, where p=10%, the formula for estimating the probability in an N-participant pool that a certain number i picked a team is:

Combin(N,i)*p^i*(1-p)^(Ni)

Enter that formula in Excel, substitute the is and you can see the probabilities that the number of your friends who picked Cleveland are:

0 21%
1 34%
2 27%
3 13%
4 4%
5 1%

If you’re not considering this for every game every week, you’re short-changing your office pool picks.

 Posted by on October 31, 2009 at 11:25 am

NFL Contrarian: Weekly Payout Maximizing Picks for Week 8

 Confidence pool, neglected teams, Office pool strategy, Weekly Payout  Comments Off on NFL Contrarian: Weekly Payout Maximizing Picks for Week 8
Oct 312009
 

For Confidence Pool participants with fewer than 30 participants, Buffalo is likely to be underbet relative to its WinProbability. You’re more likely to win this week’s payout with these picks: (Buffalo fans, your picks are below)

Points Pick WinProb
13 Buffalo 41%
12 San Diego 87%
11 Chicago 82%
10 Indianapolis 80%
9 Arizona 76%
8 New Orleans 74%
7 Dallas 73%
6 Detroit 61%
5 New York J 60%
4 Baltimore 58%
3 Tennessee 58%
2 Green Bay 58%
1 New York G 52%

For Buffalo fans, if your pool is teeming with other Buffalo fans then Buffalo probably won’t be underbet. Use this pick set instead.

Points Pick WinProb
13 Philadelphia 48%
12 San Diego 87%
11 Chicago 82%
10 Indianapolis 80%
9 Arizona 76%
8 New Orleans 74%
7 Dallas 73%
6 Detroit 61%
5 New York J 60%
4 Houston 59%
3 Baltimore 58%
2 Tennessee 58%
1 Green Bay 58%

If your pool is larger than 30 participants, you’ll need two underbet underdogs. Your choices are below:

For non-Buffalo, non-Philly fans:
Points Pick WinProb
13 Buffalo 41%
12 Philadelphia 48%
11 San Diego 87%
10 Chicago 82%
9 Indianapolis 80%
8 Arizona 76%
7 New Orleans 74%
6 Dallas 73%
5 Detroit 61%
4 New York J 60%
3 Baltimore 58%
2 Tennessee 58%
1 Green Bay 58%

For Buffalo fans:
Points Pick WinProb
13 Philadelphia 48%
12 St. Louis 39%
11 San Diego 87%
10 Chicago 82%
9 Indianapolis 80%
8 Arizona 76%
7 New Orleans 74%
6 Dallas 73%
5 New York J 60%
4 Houston 59%
3 Baltimore 58%
2 Tennessee 58%
1 Green Bay 58%

For Philly fans:
Points Pick WinProb
13 Buffalo 41%
12 St. Louis 39%
11 San Diego 87%
10 Chicago 82%
9 Indianapolis 80%
8 Arizona 76%
7 New Orleans 74%
6 Dallas 73%
5 New York J 60%
4 Baltimore 58%
3 Tennessee 58%
2 Green Bay 58%
1 New York G 52%

 Posted by on October 31, 2009 at 10:50 am

The Football Pool Strategy Paradox

 neglected teams, Office pool strategy, Weekly Payout  Comments Off on The Football Pool Strategy Paradox
Oct 262009
 

Football pools are not contests of football knowledge or predictive ability:  they’re contests of strategy and discipline.

    Strategy paradox:  Never pick upsets for a season prize; always pick upsets for weekly prizes

For a season payout pool you stand a better chance of winning the prize if you pick all the favorites each week, regardless of whether you believe they’ll actually win.  You don’t realize how overconfident you are in your own beliefs, but if you ignore them and follow the discipline you’ll be in the running entering the final week(s) of the season.

For a weekly payout pool you’ll win more often if every week you selectively pick an upset or two, even if you’re certain those underdogs won’t win.  “Selectively” does not refer to using a better upset prediction model, it refers to picking teams your friends are not picking.

    Discipline:  On weeks when it doesn’t win the weekly payout strategy can make you look like you know nothing about football

Let’s say you’re in a 17 person pool with a weekly payout.  An average participant should expect to win one payout in a 17 week season.  By using the weekly strategy, you could win 2 or 3 times in a season, but you might come in dead last a dozen times too. Even though there’s no cost to losing badly versus losing well, not winning several weeks in a row can undermine your confidence in the strategy

 Posted by on October 26, 2009 at 1:30 pm
Oct 242009
 

If you’re playing in a pool with Weekly Payouts, you have an opportunity to profit by your friends’ tendency to overpick favorites.

Thousands of simulations using this week’s Win Probabilities and likely user pick distributions reveal the following are the picksheets most likely to win you this week’s payout. “Most likekly” doesn’t refer simply to the underdogs most likekly to win, but to the underdogs most likely to win and not have been picked by others in your pool. The number of upsets is conditional on the number of participants in your pool, which is why there are multiple pick sheets below.

Confidence Scoring
60 or fewer participants
WPM Pick WinProb

13 KANSAS CITY 35%
12 NEW ENGLAND 89%
11 INDIANAPOLIS 86%
10 PHILADELPHIA 71%
9 GREEN BAY 71%
8 NEW YORK G 71%
7 CAROLINA 71%
6 NEW ORLEANS 70%
5 NEW YORK J 68%
4 PITTSBURGH 65%
3 DALLAS 63%
2 HOUSTON 60%
1 CINCINNATI 53%
Expected 62.5

Confidence Scoring
61 or more participants
WPM Pick WinProb
13 KANSAS CITY 35%
12 CLEVELAND 29%
11 NEW ENGLAND 89%
10 INDIANAPOLIS 86%
9 PHILADELPHIA 71%
8 NEW YORK G 71%
7 CAROLINA 71%
6 TEN 70%
5 NEW YORK J 68%
4 PITTSBURGH 65%
3 DALLAS 63%
2 SEA 60%
1 MIA 53%
Expected 57.1

If your pool uses Regular scoring (each correct prediction has the same weight as each other), the same picks and numbers of upsets apply, according to the number of participants in your pool.

 Posted by on October 24, 2009 at 7:38 am