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2015 NFL Confidence Picks Week 1

 2015, Confidence pool, NFL, Office pool, Win probability  Comments Off on 2015 NFL Confidence Picks Week 1
Sep 042015
 
Game Victor Win Probability Confidence
Pittsburgh@New England @New England 71.8% 16
Carolina@Jacksonville Carolina 59.8% 9
Miami@Washington Miami 61.0% 11
Seattle@St. Louis Seattle 61.4% 12
Green Bay@Chicago Green Bay 69.3% 15
Kansas City@Houston @Houston 53.2% 1
Indianapolis@Buffalo Indianapolis 58.3% 5
Cleveland@N.Y. Jets @N.Y. Jets 58.9% 7
Detroit@San Diego @San Diego 58.1% 3
New Orleans@Arizona @Arizona 58.1% 4
Baltimore@Denver @Denver 64.3% 13
Tennessee@Tampa Bay @Tampa Bay 59.9% 10
Cincinnati@Oakland Cincinnati 59.8% 8
N.Y. Giants@Dallas @Dallas 66.2% 14
Philadelphia@Atlanta Philadelphia 58.7% 6
Minnesota@San Francisco Minnesota 57.5% 2
Possible Points Expected Actual YTD
136 86.05   0
95% confidence interval* 48 to 120  

*Based on 100,000 simulated outcomes

If you notice any errors, as always, email contact_at_winthatpool_dot_com.

 Posted by on September 4, 2015 at 8:44 am

2015 March Madness – Which Team to Pick (other than Kentucky)

 2015, March Madness, Office pool, Tournament  Comments Off on 2015 March Madness – Which Team to Pick (other than Kentucky)
Mar 162015
 

Widget for identifying which team to pick as champion, based on the size of your pool

Use this widget to decide which team(s) to pick for your entry champion(s), then fill in the rest of your bracket(s) using the most likely bracket below.

If you don’t see the widget, you may download the Excel workbook yourself.

 Posted by on March 16, 2015 at 8:57 pm

2015 March Madness – Most likely bracket

 2015, basketball, March Madness, Office pool  Comments Off on 2015 March Madness – Most likely bracket
Mar 152015
 

Update, March 16, 2015, 5:10p PDT
Corrected “Alabama” to read “Albany” in East region. Oklahoma’s survival rates are improved, so other teams’ survival rates in that region are slightly reduced. TMA

Midwest
midwest2015_
West
west2015_
East
east2015_3
South
south2015_
Final Four

RegionSemi-final Championship Semi-finalRegion
MidwestKentucky 67.7%Villanova 35.9%East
Kentucky 45.9%Kentucky 33.7%Villanova 23%
WestArizona 42.2%Gonzaga 29.1%South

Survival rates are derived from a composite of strength ratings from Ken Pomoroy and LRMC. Any errors are mine.

 Posted by on March 15, 2015 at 5:39 pm

2015 March Madness Expected Survival Rates by Region

 2015, basketball, March Madness, Office pool, Tournament  Comments Off on 2015 March Madness Expected Survival Rates by Region
Mar 152015
 

Update, March 16, 2015, 5:10p PDT
Corrected “Alabama” to read “Albany” in East region. Oklahoma’s survival rates are improved, so other teams’ survival rates in that region are slightly reduced. TMA

Midwest region

SeedTeamRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6
1Kentucky0.97530.89380.81120.67710.45930.3368
16Manhattan0.02470.00540.00110.000100
8Cincinnati0.56540.0620.03130.01080.00220.0005
9Purdue0.43460.03880.01710.0050.00080.0002
5West Virginia0.63020.37260.06110.02430.00570.0016
12Buffalo0.36980.17050.0190.00540.00080.0002
4Maryland0.61960.31080.04460.01580.00320.0008
13Valparaiso0.38040.1460.01460.00370.00050.0001
6Butler0.47750.20460.08660.01780.00440.0013
11Texas0.52250.23450.10430.02270.0060.0018
3Notre Dame0.87650.53830.2940.08260.02840.0113
14Northeastern0.12350.02260.00350.000300
7Wichita St.0.73090.39040.2080.05490.01770.0066
10Indiana0.26910.08450.02540.00350.00060.0001
2Kansas0.83810.48860.27080.07530.02570.0101
15New Mexico St.0.16190.03650.00730.00070.00010

West region

SeedTeamRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6
1Wisconsin0.9550.81560.64430.36170.17180.1027
16Coastal Carolina0.0450.00970.00190.000100
8Oregon0.47210.07890.03290.00660.00110.0002
9Oklahoma St.0.52790.09570.04220.00920.00160.0004
5Arkansas Little Rock0.22460.01910.0008000
12Wofford0.77540.17870.02170.00250.00020
4North Carolina0.79420.67680.23830.08330.02360.0087
13Harvard0.20580.12540.01790.00250.00030
6Xavier0.52440.2340.05250.01520.00320.0009
11BYU0.47560.20150.04220.01150.00220.0006
3Baylor0.7750.48960.15210.05890.01690.0063
14Georgia St.0.2250.07490.00960.00170.00020
7VCU0.43540.07080.03030.00810.00160.0004
10Ohio St.0.56460.11170.05490.01720.00390.0012
2Arizona0.97720.81510.65810.42160.21790.1399
15Texas Southern0.02280.00240.0002000

East region

SeedTeamRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6
1Villanova0.96780.81570.60250.3590.23040.1001
16Lafayette0.03220.00490.0005000
8North Carolina St.0.51650.09490.03470.00840.00230.0003
9LSU0.48350.08460.02970.00690.00180.0002
5Northern Iowa0.84910.54040.20510.08360.03750.0099
12Wyoming0.15090.03890.00450.00050.00010
4Louisville0.78810.37490.11730.03940.01460.0031
13UC Irvine0.21190.04570.00560.00070.00010
6Providence0.56040.21740.05690.01640.00520.0009
11Dayton0.43960.14820.03280.0080.00220.0003
3Oklahoma0.89220.61180.24260.10450.04920.0139
14Albany0.10780.02260.00190.000200
7Michigan St.0.62160.16810.08170.02840.01080.0024
10Georgia0.37840.07260.02690.00680.00190.0003
2Virginia0.9530.75170.55610.3370.21930.0973
15Belmont0.0470.00760.0010.000100

South region

SeedTeamRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6
1Duke0.91960.70070.4460.26010.12460.0442
16North Florida0.08040.01780.00260.000300
8San Diego St.0.57560.17530.06910.02370.00610.0011
9St. John's0.42440.10620.03480.00980.0020.0003
5Utah0.74140.5210.2790.150.0650.0205
12Stephen F. Austin0.25860.12070.03670.0110.00240.0004
4Georgetown0.83740.33820.12930.04920.01420.0028
13Eastern Washington0.16260.02020.00240.000300
6SMU0.60740.27770.09880.03670.01050.002
11UCLA0.39260.14190.03820.01070.00220.0003
3Iowa St.0.86580.55130.24480.11330.04150.0108
14UAB0.13420.02910.00360.000500
7Iowa0.55440.16780.0770.02780.00770.0015
10Davidson0.44560.11710.04770.0150.00360.0006
2Gonzaga0.93850.70480.48850.29140.14470.0537
15North Dakota St.0.06150.01020.00140.000100

Survival rates are derived from a composite of strength ratings from Ken Pomoroy and LRMC. Any errors are mine.

 Posted by on March 15, 2015 at 5:15 pm

Whether to pick upsets in your bracket depends on the pool’s scoring method

 2015, basketball, March Madness, Office pool, Office pool strategy, Tournament  Comments Off on Whether to pick upsets in your bracket depends on the pool’s scoring method
Mar 132015
 

The traditional NCAA bracket entry is scored in progressive powers of two, such that each round offers 32 points. First round games are worth 1 point, second round 2, etc., and the final game is worth 32.

The leverage of the championship game – worth 32 points out of a possible 192 – is why so many entries pick the overall favorite. This year that favorite will be Kentucky. I predict your pool, if it uses traditional scoring, will have over 40% of the entries picking Kentucky as the champ.

The problem with picking the overall favorite yourself is it is what is known as a “crowded trade.” You already know nearly half the other entries are picking Kentucky. So whether you win the pool, with Kentucky as your champ, is a different matter from whether Kentucky wins the tournament. If Kentucky wins, your pool’s champ will probably be determined by a handful of early round games.

The corollary to this is that if you’re confident in your picking ability, you SHOULD pick Kentucky, because you expect other entries to have worse records than yours in the earlier rounds.

I prefer to look for low hanging fruit in terms of strong teams being underpicked by fans in pools. I predict schools like Virginia, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Villanova will all be underrepresented in pool entries to win it all relative to their probability of winning the whole tournament. Imagine you’re the only one in your pool who picks Wisconsin – that’s a wide margin of error for any earlier round games that you missed. Compare that to if you pick Kentucky – your early round picks had better be nearly perfect.

Scoring method matters. Some pools score rounds in a linearly increasing sequence (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6); in this case the final game counts for a mere 6 out of 120 points. Some pools now use Fibonacci (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13); here the final is worth only 13 out of 137. In both cases, getting the champ wrong hurts you less than it does in a traditional power-two pool, so you can afford to take more chances.

 Posted by on March 13, 2015 at 4:05 pm

2014 NFL Confidence Pool Picks – Week 9

 2014, Confidence pool, NFL, Office pool, Win probability  Comments Off on 2014 NFL Confidence Pool Picks – Week 9
Oct 292014
 
Game Victor Win Probability Confidence
Oakland@Seattle @Seattle 87.40% 13
Jacksonville@Cincinnati @Cincinnati 80.29% 12
St. Louis@San Francisco @San Francisco 77.76% 11
N.Y. Jets@Kansas City @Kansas City 77.20% 10
Tampa Bay@Cleveland @Cleveland 69.41% 9
Arizona@Dallas @Dallas 63.24% 8
Indianapolis@N.Y. Giants Indianapolis 59.65% 7
Denver@New England Denver 59.41% 6
Washington@Minnesota @Minnesota 58.19% 5
New Orleans@Carolina New Orleans 57.94% 4
Philadelphia@Houston Philadelphia 56.22% 3
San Diego@Miami @Miami 54.00% 2
Baltimore@Pittsburgh Baltimore 51.00% 1
       
       
       
Possible Points Expected Actual YTD
91 64.82   695
95% confidence interval* 39 to 86  

*Based on 100,000 simulated outcomes

 Posted by on October 29, 2014 at 8:20 am

2013 NFL Confidence Pool Picks and Win Probabilities: Week 14

 2013, Confidence pool, NFL, Office pool, Office pool strategy, Win probability  Comments Off on 2013 NFL Confidence Pool Picks and Win Probabilities: Week 14
Dec 032013
 
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    
       
       

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 December 3, 2013 at 9:30 am

Why FB Office Pool Web Traffic Won’t Flock to ESPN.com on Jan. 10

 College Pick 'Em, Confidence pool, Office pool  Comments Off on Why FB Office Pool Web Traffic Won’t Flock to ESPN.com on Jan. 10
Dec 082010
 

Having played in football pools for several seasons on a lot of the big sites, I’ve noticed fan picks are all the same.  If you glance at the percentages of fans who pick one team or the other, most of the time there isn’t much difference between ESPN and Yahoo.  Doesn’t matter whether it’s NFL, NCAA BB, or NCAA FB.  Fans playing online pools mostly pick the same way.

The College Bowl season brings the spotlight on one glaring difference between ESPN’s and Yahoo’s respective College Bowl pools.  That glaring difference is what Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein call a “nudge.

First, the similarity.  Last year I wrote that the rank correlation between ESPN’s and Yahoo’s fan pick percentages on all 68 teams was 0.99.  Pretty much indistinguishable.

Now for the nudge.  I don’t know whether this was intentional on Yahoo’s part, but it certainly was mindless on ESPN’s part.  If you visit the pool site for Yahoo, you’ll see the games listed in reverse chronological order, and the default confidence picks are descending as well.  In other words, if all you do is pick the winners without bothering to re-sort the games according to your confidence, your picks will be back-ended.  Most of your point opportunities won’t come until after the New Year.  In fact, the final 11 games (starting with the 3rd game on Jan 1) count for over half your points opportunity.

Switch over to ESPN and you’ll see the opposite.  Here the games are listed in chronological order, but the default confidence points are in reverse-chronological order — so the default pick set is front-loaded.  Say you don’t bother re-ordering your picks on ESPN, then half your points opportunity is spent by the 11th game, Dec. 28.

You’re probably wondering “who doesn’t re-order the games?”  The answer:  more than you’d think.  Just watch as the pick distributions fill in, just how high the average confidence is for ESPN fans on the New Mexico Bowl between Brigham Young and UTEP.  A pair of forgettable 6-6 teams probably won’t fetch more than an average confidence of 4 on Yahoo, but I bet they’ll both be 20 or over on ESPN.

So what does this have to do with web traffic?  A lot of Yahoo players will still be in the running in January, and they’ll be visiting the pool site with regularity to check the standings.  Not so for ESPN.  Sure, fans will visit the ESPN site in general like they always do, but it won’t be to see how their College Bowl picks are faring, because it will already have been decided.

 Posted by on December 8, 2010 at 11:09 pm  Tagged with: