Fat Pickins - Week 2

We have met the enemy and he is Mike Silver.

The Berkeley nerd picked fourteen out of sixteen games correctly last week, proving--at least for one week--he's not a fourth-string journalist.

Can he repeat the feat in Week 2?

I'm not saying he won't, but if he does, I'll get very angry.

Don't make me angry, Mike Silver.  You don't want to see me when I'm angry.  

Let's review the results from last week and give you our "expert" picks for Week 2.

The Results

  Ted    TJ Doug David Baxter PK Silver Cole Hoge Accuscore    ESPN Pick 'Em
Games 9 10 10 12 12 11 14 11 9 10 10
Total Games 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16
Winning % 56.25 62.50 62.50 75.00 75.00 68.75 87.50 68.75 56.25 62.50 62.50

The good news?  All of the writers for IAOFM correctly picked over fifty percent of the games.  The bad news?  So did everyone else.

David Singer and Baxter McLove currently lead our band of merry men.  Singer is a Bears fan.  McLove is a drunk.  So it figures.

I've been asked about McLove's method.  I'll reveal it eventually, but let's just say that I'm shocked he's doing as well as he is.

And don't worry about Ted Bartlett.  Ted is just toying with Peter King for the sheer enjoyment.  If you've ever seen a killer whale chew on a sea lion, you know what I'm talking about.

On a serious note, after about six or seven weeks, watch how the mathematical systems (Accuscore's and my own) begin to pull away from the pack.  The Pigskin Pick 'Em (a prediction market) should also begin to distance itself from the experts.  If Mike Silver can keep pace, I'll accuse him of cheating.

The Picks

AWAY   HOME  Ted  TJ    Doug   David  Baxter   PK Silver Cole Hoge Accuscore    Pigskin Pick 'Em   
OAK BUF OAK BUF BUF BUF OAK BUF OAK BUF BUF BUF BUF
KC DET DET DET DET DET DET DET DET DET DET DET DET
BAL TEN BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL
CLE IND CLE IND CLE IND IND CLE CLE IND IND IND IND
TB MIN TB MIN TB MIN TB TB TB TB MIN TB MIN
CHI NO NO NO NO NO CHI NO NO NO NO NO NO
JAX NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ
SEA PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT
ARI WAS WAS WAS WAS WAS WAS WAS WAS WAS ARI WAS WAS
GB CAR GB GB GB GB GB GB GB GB GB GB GB
DAL SF SF DAL DAL SF DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL SF DAL
CIN DEN CIN DEN CIN DEN CIN DEN DEN DEN DEN DEN DEN
HOU MIA HOU HOU HOU HOU MIA MIA HOU MIA HOU MIA HOU
SD NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE
PHI ATL PHI ATL ATL PHI ATL ATL ATL PHI ATL ATL PHI
STL NYG STL NYG NYG NYG NYG NYG NYG NYG NYG NYG NYG

You'll notice that only David Singer and I had the balls to take the Broncos this week.  Actually I didn't.  It's just what the equation told me to do, man.  And it was an extremely close call.

So the only guy who really picked the Broncos was a Bears fan.  Of course, that means they'll win for sure.

A Little Probability

Last week I promised you a little bit of probability, so I don't want to be accused of lying. Let's jump right in by asking what the likelihood is that the Broncos win today.

Let's use the well-known Sagarin Ratings, although any accurate ratings system can do.  Sagarin's ratings generally sport a straight-up accuracy of 60-65% from year to year.  Going into Week 2, Sagarin has the Broncos' power rating at 15.06.  The Bengals sport a rating of 19.27.  That's a difference of 4.21 points.  On a neutral field, Sagarin would expect the Bengals to win by that many points.  However, one generally adds about three points for the home team historically.  This year, Sagarin's ranking system suggests adding 2.77. So let's do that.  Denver's new rating is now 17.83.  That's a new difference of 1.44 points.

Using MS Excel's NORM.DIST function, 13.86 as our standard deviation (developed by Hal Stern), and 1.44 (the spread) as our mean, we can quickly calculate Denver's chance of winning (the actual function if you want to type it into your spreadsheet would be =1-NORM.DIST(.5,1.44,13.86, TRUE).   The answer--.5207-- is actually the Bengals' probability, but we simply subtract it from one to get Denver's chance of winning.

According to this ranking system, the Broncos have a 47.30% chance of winning the game.   In short, it's a coin flip.  Tough game to pick?  Absolutely.

Next week, if there's time, I'll unravel my own ranking system (or perhaps someone else's) and give the percentage chance each team has of winning.  Hopefully, it will enhance your thought process on both picking games and how difficult some games are to pick.

Baxter McLove's Stone-Cold Drunk Locks

Most weeks, Baxter will be giving us his locks via video, but this week, I simply ran out of time.  So here's what he passed along to me as he passed out:

1.  Pittsburgh over Seattle.  "Pete Carroll looks like he's attending a kegger on the sidelines, and the Steelers are pissed off."

2.  Detroit over Kansas City. "Ndamukong Suh kills Matt Cassel by halftime.  After hearing Todd Haley bitch about it, he kills Haley in the 3rd quarter."


TJ Johnson can be reached through telegraph, ESP, Spanish interpretor, or via email: tjthedudejohnson@gmail.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter if you want to see him mock "the man."  He assumes you are following It’s All Over Fat Man on Facebook and Twitter, but if you are not, that’s nihilistic, man.

I’m glad we had this talk.  Now, vaya con Dios, Brah.

Agree, disagree, just like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter so I can quit my day job.

Weekly Picks

Featured Stories

Offseason Coverage