While many sports betting advice sites attempt to display their own expert accuracy results, there is often a lack of transparency that makes it difficult to trust the claims of success. Our aim is to offer an objective, transparent way of assessing the accuracy of expert picks to help sports bettors know who offers the best advice. Below is a breakdown of our process for determining the accuracy results.
What type of picks do you monitor?
We evaluate experts based on their Game Picks (Against the Spread (ATS), Over/Under (O/U), and Moneyline) as well as their Team Futures Picks (e.g. Super Bowl Picks) and Player Futures Picks (e.g. MVP Picks).
How many experts do you track?
In 2020, we monitored the NFL picks from approximately 180 experts. These are analysts/journalists/media personalities that we have deemed to provide advice that sports bettors actively seek out. Their picks may be provided on websites, TV, podcasts, radio, or any other medium. In the future, we plan to expand our accuracy competition to include additional experts.
How are Game Picks scored for accuracy?
Our competition evaluates Against the Spread, Over/Under and Moneyline picks for the NFL regular season and playoffs. The scoring system rewards experts for making correct predictions, just as sports bettors are rewarded for making winning bets. Specifically, each expert must wager between 1 to 3 units on every bet they make with 3 units representing the max wager. Once the week’s games have been completed, we determine whether each expert’s picks were winners or losers. The accuracy standings display W/L records (including pushes), Win %s and Units won/lost.
We provide separate leaderboards for each bet type: Against the Spread, Over/Under and Moneyline picks. The order of standings is determined by:
- Win % for Against the Spread and Over/Under picks
- Units won/lost for Moneyline picks
Why do you use Win % and not Units to determine the top experts for ATS and O/U picks?
While Units are typically a good measure of profitability, we believe Win % is a better indicator of who the top experts are in this competition. Since each expert is not wagering with a true bankroll, an expert who is behind in the standings could have an incentive to “go for broke” and risk max units in order to quickly move up the leaderboard. This would be an unrealistic betting scenario since an expert could rise up the standings while avoiding the true risk/reward of such a strategy. Therefore, Win % is used for Against the Spread and Over/Under accuracy because it’s a better gauge of how an analyst has consistently performed with their picks.
Why do you use Units and not a Win % to determine the top experts for Moneyline picks?
Simply put, Win % is not a good indicator of Moneyline betting accuracy. Moneylines are notably different from ATS and O/U wagers since they feature Win probabilities that can be heavily slanted towards either side. It might sound impressive if someone is winning at a 60% rate for Moneyline bets, but if they are consistently placing wagers on -200 lines, then they’re actually losing money. Meanwhile another sports bettor may only have a 50% win/loss rate. Yet, if they are consistently placing +105 Moneyline wagers then they are actually more profitable than the first bettor. This represents a clear distinction between Against the Spread and Over/Under betting since it’s not possible to pad a W/L record for those bet types. For this reason, we evaluate Moneyline accuracy using Units.
Why is there not an overall leaderboard that combines all game picks?
As we use win % for ATS and O/U leaderboards, and Units Won for Moneyline leaderboards, there isn’t a fair way to combine the leaderboards into an overall leaderboard.
How does the Unit betting work?
Experts are asked to place a wager on a Unit scale of 1 to 3 for each pick they make. This effectively signifies their confidence in the pick, with 1 unit representing the lowest possible confidence and 3 units indicating a big play where they see a lot of value. For Moneyline bets, we consider the vig (juice) of each game when calculating units won. Let’s say the Browns are -220 vs. the Titans and the expert places 2 units on the Browns. If the Browns win they would earn approximately 0.91 units (2 / 2.2). In other words, the expert needs to bet 2.2 units to win 1 unit based on the odds. On the flip side, if they bet the Titans (+188) with 3 units and the Titans win the game, the expert would earn 5.64 units (3 x 1.88). Every unit wagered in this scenario earns 1.88 units. This system of units helps to properly set the risks and rewards of picking Favorites vs. Underdogs and requires experts to be strategic with their picks.
Can experts change their picks throughout the week?
Yes, we do allow experts to change their picks throughout the week provided that their picks are submitted prior to the start of the game(s) being adjusted.
Is there a minimum number of picks the experts must make each week?
At least 4 predictions for a particular pick type (ATS, O/U, Moneyline) must be made in order to qualify for the leaderboard of that pick type for a given week during the regular season. During the playoffs, the minimum requirement is 2 predictions for each of the first 3 rounds and 1 prediction for the Super Bowl. In total, all experts must make at least 80 predictions to qualify for a specific pick type year-to-date accuracy leaderboard. As an example during the regular season, an expert must make 4 picks Against the Spread to qualify for a weekly ATS leaderboard, 4 Over/Under picks to qualify for the O/U leaderboard or 4 Moneyline picks to qualify for the Moneyline leaderboard. Experts can of course participate in multiple pick type leaderboards provided they meet the pick requirements. They can also make more than 4 weekly picks for each pick type if they’d like.
If ATS, O/U and Moneyline picks are submitted for every game, experts will be evaluated on 64 predictions for the week (assuming no teams are on byes). By requiring a minimum number that does not force every game to be predicted, we are catering towards having experts offer advice for the picks they are the most comfortable betting.
How do you determine the lines (Spreads, Over/Unders, etc.) used?
We monitor the lines of 10+ sportsbooks hourly to create Consensus odds. For example, an expert may make a pick on Tuesday for the Eagles (-4) over the Falcons. If they decide on Thursday that they’d like to change their side to the Falcons, we allow this but the expert must use whatever the updated line is at the time they are changing the pick. For game picks we monitor that are not submitted directly via our app/website, we pull in the picks and the recorded lines that were published. If a line does not match a line that we have tracked throughout the week via our monitored sportsbooks, we will discard the pick from our accuracy tracking. This ensures that all experts are only evaluated using genuine lines that were readily available to the public.
Is it possible for experts to be evaluated on different lines for the same game?
Yes, just as a sports bettor may log a bet for one line and another bettor could get a different line, this is possible for our accuracy competition as well. For example, an expert may submit a pick for TB (-5) over the Chargers on Wednesday. On Saturday, it could be reported that Tom Brady will miss the game and the line shifts to TB (+1). All experts will be allowed to update their pick to the new line. If the expert in our example does not update his or her pick they will stay at TB (-5). In another example, since experts will always submit their picks at the current lines, it’s also possible that the lines they see one day could be different than the next day for non-injury reasons. Therefore, the timing of when the expert’s picks are submitted will dictate the lines they are evaluated on. In all cases, the experts have access to the same lines throughout the day so no expert has an advantage over another expert.
How can I participate in the accuracy competition?
If you’re actively providing sports betting advice you can fill out our quick application form to express an interest in joining the competition. Alternatively, if you have suggestions for additional experts or sites we should track, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.