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NFL Sports Betting Accuracy

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 2018, we monitored the NFL picks from approximately 145 experts. These are analysts/journalists/touts/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 scoring system rewards advice-givers for making correct predictions, just as bettors are rewarded for making winning bets. Once each game has been completed, we determine whether the expert’s ATS, O/U, and moneyline picks were winners or losers. The experts’ accuracy scores are represented as W/L records (including pushes) for the ATS, O/U, and Moneyline categories. We then combine these three categories into an Overall Game Picks Accuracy. Our accuracy standings are sorted by the top Units Won and any ties are broken in favor of the number of winning predictions that were made by the experts.

Why do you use Units and not a W/L record to determine who the top experts are?
We believe Units represent a more accurate indication of how profitable a wager is. A W/L record treats every bet as if the stakes are equal, which is not a common scenario for most sports bettors. For example, a bettor hitting on 55% of their bets could be more profitable than a bettor with a 60% W/L record, depending upon the composition of their wagers. This is especially true for Moneyline betting. It might sound impressive if someone is winning at a 60% rate, 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. Our Unit-based accuracy scores bake in these components to properly evaluate the profitability of each expert’s picks.

How does the Unit betting work?
Experts are asked to place a wager on a Unit scale of 1 to 5 for each pick they make. This effectively signifies the expert’s confidence in the pick, with 1 unit representing the lowest possible confidence and 5 units indicating a big play where they see a lot of value. For Against the Spread and Over/Under bets, the expert will win or lose whatever unit amount they wager based on a standard -110 vig (juice). As an example, if they put 3 units on the Browns (-5.5) over the Titans and the Browns win by 7 points, they’ll get 2.73 units added to their unit tally for the season. Each unit they bet earns them .91 units for a correct pick based on the -110 vig. In this example, 3 units x .91 = 2.73 units. If they had made an incorrect pick they would have lost 3 units.

For Moneyline bets, we also consider the vig (juice) of each game when calculating units won. Let’s say the Browns are -220 vs. the Titans and an expert places 4 units on the Browns. If they win the expert would earn approximately 1.82 units (4 / 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 the expert bet the Titans (+188) with 3 units and they win the game, that 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?
We require that at least 5 predictions (ATS, O/U, or Moneyline) are made to qualify for the accuracy competition for a given week during the regular season. The experts may choose to make 5 picks ATS, 5 picks as O/U, 5 picks as Moneylines or some mixture of the three. Experts can make more than 5 weekly picks as well if they’d like. If ATS, O/U, and Moneyline picks are submitted for every game, the expert would be evaluated on all 48 predictions for the week (assuming no teams are on byes). During the playoffs, the minimum requirement is 2 predictions for the first 3 rounds and 1 prediction for the Super Bowl. In total, all experts must make at least 100 predictions to qualify for the end of season accuracy leaderboard. By requiring a minimum number that does not force every game to be predicted, we are catering towards realistic scenarios where 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 experts that submit their picks via our Expert Platform, their predictions are made using these lines. 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 Expert Platform, 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 NE (-3) over the Chargers on Wednesday. On Saturday, it could be reported that Tom Brady will miss the game and the line shifts to NE (+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 NE (-3). 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.

Where can I view the accuracy leaderboards?
Game Accuracy – https://www.bettingpros.com/nfl/accuracy/game/
Accuracy Splits – https://www.bettingpros.com/nfl/accuracy/against-the-spread/

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 info@bettingpros.com.