PredictWise Blog

NBA Playoffs Round 2

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Our real-time updating probabilities for all of the series and all of the games is up and running ... The four 1 and 2 seeds have all reached the round 8 and are still the most likely to advance to the conference finals, but not all of them are overwhelming favorites. In expectation we expect 3 of 4 of the top seeds to advance. In order from most to least likely upset ...

1) Washington (5) 38.2% versus Indiana (1) 61.8%

Washington is in an ideal situation to upset Indiana. Indiana went seven grueling games against Atlanta (8) in round 1, when Washington was able to rest up after an easy win over Chicago (4).

2) LA Clippers (3) 37.7% versus Oklahoma City (2) 62.3%

As the only 3 or 4 seed to advance, it is not surprising that the LA Clippers are reasonable competition for Oklahoma City.

3) Portland (5) 25.0% versus San Antonio (1) 75.0%

Despite their tight victory in seven games over Dallas (8), San Antonio is still heavily favored to overcome Portland.

4) Brooklyn (6) 17.7% versus Miami (2) 82.3%

Despite going 4-0 versus Miami in the regular season, the well-rested Miami is expected to take Brooklyn easily.

NBA Playoffs Introduction

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Introducing a new section called We are going to start building these for all of the major perennial events. For the playoffs this section will include:

1) Updating table of the likelihood of winning the NBA championship and conference.

2) Updating table of the likelihood of winning the next game in each series and the series.

3) Static table of the likelihood of winning each game on the morning of the game.

4) Blog posts that will take a deeper dive into interesting things.

What is interesting right now is Brooklyn (6) v. Toronto (3) series. The prediction markets are more bullish on the Brooklyn Nets than the panel of experts we are consulting over at ESPN. That is the only major difference between the markets and the experts.

In the interest of full discloser Andrew Leonard and I were season ticket holder to the New Jersey Nets between 1994 and 1998 … we saw one home playoff game in 4 years and it did not go well for New Jersey!

Indian Elections Game

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I am stoked to introduce a new game that was developed at Microsoft Research for the Indian Elections. The game is easy to find at and provides the ability to wager on any of the states in the upcoming Indian elections. The game will produce the most accurate predictions of the Indian elections by allowing the crowd to input their idiosyncratic knowledge of the different parties in the different states through their wagers and an extremely robust market maker aggregate those wagers. Just a few of the cool features:

1) Ranges: all bets are on ranges of seats for a given party in a given state. Or they are on the combinations of ranges for multiple parties in a given state.

2) Combinatorial: it is a fully combinatorial system so that every time you pick a range it affects all of the other possible outcomes, not just for that party in that state, but all parties across all states.

So, if you have some knowledge of the Indian elections, please give a try.

NCAA Tourney Wrap-up

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Previous Posts: Likelihood of Winning, Game by Game, First Round, Second Round (Day 1), Second Round (Day 2), Third Round (Day 1), Third Round (Day 2), Calibration, Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four

The NCAA predictions were well calibrated. We had an average likleihood of victory over the 67 games of 71% for the favored team. That team won 69% of the games. This is the chart you want to see for anyone who does predictions. It shows the predictions bucketed together and the percent that came true:

Final Four

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There are a few things you need to know about the Final Four

1) Florida (1) out of South is about 75% to beat Connecticut (7) out of East.

2) Amazingly, Kentucky (8) out of Midwest is about 51% to beat Wisconsin (2) out of West. For those that do not follow college basketball closely the fact that Kentucky is 8th in their region and (slightly) favorite to win should be surprising. But, Kentucky takes advantage of a peculiar policy of the NBA that does not let high school seniors jump directly to making money, but forces them to wait until they are 19 and/or played 1 year of high school basketball. Some schools are reluctant to take advantage of the rule and "enroll" players who will go to the NBA after one season, but not Kentucky. Thus, will a team full of freshman, they have the talent, but not necessarily the cohesion early in the season. Thus, the bad start and the low seed, but the strong run.

4) Full list of static, pre-game predictions.

5) Full list of real-time updating predictions. These are updating about every 2-3 minutes. I apologize in advance for any real-time quirks!