Friday, 6 January 2017


Picking every game every week is an adventure. This was the introduction to my column this week, which wasn't included with, or might I say edited out of, my predictions on the nfluk website.


I never thought I would say this, but I actually miss the 'expert' Pick Em game on which my picks (allowing for my luddite inability to move the sliders properly) appeared for the past four years. I finished second the first year, and first each of the next three, even last season when I (and almost everyone else) had a off year (just 62.5 per cent right). Doing this for a period of years teaches you that margins are small: I improved this year to 66.1 per cent, but that's just eight games better in a 17 week season, or one every other week. This year I also finished with a rush: from week 11 onward I was 82-29, which is a 74 per cent pace. I'd like to say it was because I'd figured things out better after half the season, but who knows, that would sound like Outcome Bias, which I am always criticising.  I am pretty consistent: in 12 seasons picking weekly with Friday Morning Tight End, I've finished between 165 and 176 games right ten times.

But without the Pick Em game to measure against, I looked around this week to see how I'd compare. Turns out 168 correct would put me atop Pete Prisco & Co at CBS Sportsline (Dave Richard was best with 167) and five games up on ESPN's experts (KC Joyner with 165 was best, but they also gave their guessers this season's two ties as wins). I'd run away with's Gameday Morning, won by Kurt Warner with 154. The best I found were Sam Farmer of the LA Times and Elliott Harrison on, both with 170 right, so they get the championship. And here's a hint: it won't get much easier in the playoffs, even though it looks like it ought to. There is a very strong pull to pick all four home teams in this Wild Card round, but that means means you'd have two nine win teams favoured against teams that won 12 and 11. Go figure....

1 comment :

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.