September 5, 2011

Gut Vs. Gears (And Peter King Too): NFL Picks

     There are a lot experts that try to forecast the NFL season using a variety of methods.  But how do they compare to the average hunch-following fan?  We're about to find out, as I'm challenging WhatIfSports, a statistical analysis/prediction website, and Sports Illustrated's Peter King in the Predict The Season Challenge.

Let's see how the three entries stack up:

WhatIfSports's prediction was the closest to last season's standings.  The average difference between a team's 2010 win total and its projected 2011 win total was 1.4 wins.  Peter King came in at 1.6, and W17L came in at 2.1.

The largest deviation for WIS was 3 wins, most notably the Browns going from 5-11 to 8-8.  King had one pick that changed by 4 wins from last year, the Detroit Lions (6 wins to 10).  W17L had one 5-win deviation, the Chiefs' free-fall from 10-6 to 5-11.

Key team for each entry:

WIS:  Miami (9 projected wins, compared with 5 and 6 for W17L and King)
King:  Buffalo (7 projected wins, compared with 4 on the other two entries)
W17L:  Minnesota (10 projected wins, compared with 7 and 6 for WIS and King)

Enjoy the season, and Go Vikings!  (Oh yeah, I root for the Packers.  This is going to be weird.)

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