NFL Pundit Rankings through Week 10

November 12, 2014  |  Sports

With ten weeks in the fold, let’s check in and see how the NFL “experts” are doing with their weekly picks this year. We are tracking 24 pundits from CBS Sports, ESPN, and Yahoo.

Here are the rankings sorted by Hit Rate, which is the percentage of games picked correctly.

Through Week 10

PunditHit Rate
Jamey Eisenberg, CBS73%
Cris Carter, ESPN71%
Vegas Favorites70%
KC Joyner, ESPN69%
Dave Richard, CBS68%
Eric Allen, ESPN68%
Seth Wickersham, ESPN67%
Pete Prisco, ESPN67%
Tom Jackson, ESPN67%
Prediction Machine, CBS66%
Ron Jaworski, ESPN65%
Mark Schlereth, ESPN64%
Adam Schefter, ESPN64%
Keyshawn Johnson, ESPN64%
John Breech, CBS63%
Frank Schwab, Yahoo63%
Josh Katzowitz, ESPN62%
Merril Hoge, ESPN62%
Eric Adelson, Yahoo61%
Mike Ditka, ESPN61%
Jason La Canfora, CBS61%
Mike Golic, ESPN60%
Chris Mortensen, ESPN58%
Will Brinson, CBS58%
Ryan Wilson, CBS56%

Overall, the pundits have had a tough season so far, with only two of them outperforming the batting average had you simply picked all the favorites (according to Vegas oddsmakers): Jamie Eisenberg and Cris Carter. On average, they got 64% of their picks correct compared to 70% for Vegas. The pundits look somewhat better from an “odds-adjusted” standpoint: if you placed bets on all of their picks at moneyline odds, you would have averaged a +1% return.

As far as individual games, the pundits completed whiffed (not one got it right) on many: Bills/Bears in Week 1, Saints/Browns and Rams/Bucs in Week 2, Bucs/Steelers in Week 4, Bills/Lions in Week 5, Redskins/Cowboys in Week 8, Rams/49ers in Week 9, and Steelers/Jets in Week 10. Best game calls include: Keyshawn Johnson as the only pundit to pick the Cowboys over the Seahawks in Week 6 (24% odds), Mike Ditka as the only one to pick both the Bears to beat the 49ers in Week 2 (25% odds) and the Browns to defeat the Bengals in Week 10 (29% odds), and Jason La Canfora picking the Rams over the Seahawks in Week 7 (27% odds).

For more details on all the pundits’ picks and to make your own picks for Week 11 Games, head over to the PunditTracker site (deadline is Saturday).

Finally, here are the Hit Rates by pundit for each of the past three years. The data says it all: on a cumulative basis, not one of the experts who has made picks for each of the past three years has outperformed Vegas.


Hit Rate By Year (And Cumulative)

Pundit201220132014 YTDCumulative
Jamey Eisenberg, CBS66%73%69%
Vegas Favorites64%70%70%68%
Seth Wickersham, ESPN70%65%67%67%
KC Joyner, ESPN66%69%67%
Ron Jaworski, ESPN66%68%65%67%
Prediction Machine, CBS64%69%66%66%
Cris Carter, ESPN64%71%66%
Dave Richard, CBS62%67%68%65%
Chris Mortensen, ESPN69%65%58%65%
Pete Prisco, CBS64%63%67%64%
Tom Jackson, ESPN63%64%67%64%
John Breech, CBS65%63%64%
Mark Schlereth, ESPN64%64%64%64%
Merril Hoge, ESPN67%62%62%64%
Josh Katzowitz, CBS66%62%62%64%
Adam Schefter, ESPN63%64%64%64%
Mike Ditka, ESPN64%64%61%63%
Eric Allen, CBS61%62%68%63%
Will Brinson, CBS65%62%58%62%
Mike Golic, ESPN64%62%60%62%
Frank Schwab, Yahoo62%63%62%
Keyshawn Johnson, ESPN60%63%64%62%
Ryan Wilson, CBS61%65%56%62%
Eric Adelson, Yahoo61%61%
Jason La Canfora, ESPN62%58%61%60%

Which Experts Predicted a Royals-Giants World Series?

October 19, 2014  |  Sports

It’s deja vu for the Major League Baseball pundits: for the second consecutive year, not one of the 64 pundits we tracked pegged the World Series correctly before the season began.

As we recapped last season, none of the pundits picked either the Red Sox or the Cardinals to make the Series, continuing a multi-year string of futility (following years of complaints that baseball had become too predictable because of payroll disparity). Well, the group did a smidge better (less worse?) this year, as two pundits actually picked the Royals to win the AL Pennant: Jon Heyman of CBS and Steven Wulf of ESPN. The experts struck out entirely on the Giants, which is surprising as Vegas gave San Francisco 12% odds to win the NL (Royals were given a 6% chance to win the AL).

Here were the preseason picks in aggregate (we tracked pundits from ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CBS, Yahoo, and Fox)

AL PennantNL PennantWorld Series
TB: 25WAS: 25LAD: 17
DET: 22LAD: 23WAS: 17
BOS: 5STL: 16STL: 12
OAK: 4TB: 9
KC: 2DET: 6
NYY: 2BOS: 2
TEX: 2CLE: 1
BAL: 1
CLE: 1

And here were the division picks.

TB: 39DET: 50OAK: 28WAS: 60STL: 60LAD: 56
BOS: 19KC: 11TEX: 24ATL: 4PIT: 3SF: 5
BAL: 3CLE: 3LAA: 12MIA: 0CIN: 1ARI: 2
NYY: 3CHW: 0HOU: 0NYY: 0CHC: 0SD: 1
TOR: 0MIN: 0SEA: 0PHI: 0MIL: 0COL: 0

14 pundits picked the Royals for a AL Wild Card spot, while 33 picked the Giants for the NL Wild Card.

To see the individual picks by pundit, see here. For details on how the experts did in previous years, visit PunditTracker for a full breakdown and to make your own prediction on the World Series.


NFL Pundits: Do any of them pick better than Vegas?

October 8, 2014  |  Sports

With five weeks in the fold, let’s check in and see how the NFL “experts” are doing with their weekly picks this year. We are tracking 23 pundits from CBS Sports, ESPN, and Yahoo.

Here are the rankings sorted by Hit Rate, which is the percentage of games picked correctly. We have also included a column for “Profit.” This would be your net profit had you bet $1 on each of the picks at moneyline odds, which gives pundits more credit for picking upsets.

Through Week 5

PunditHit RateProfit
Pete Prisco, CBS70%$11.57
Jamey Eisenberg, CBS68%$7.45
Dave Richard, CBS67%$6.84
Tom Jackson, ESPN67%$7.22
Cris Carter, ESPN66%$3.13
KC Joyner, ESPN66%$6.14
Vegas Favorites66%$0.52
Eric Allen, ESPN64%$1.55
Prediction Machine, CBS63%$(1.52)
Ron Jaworski, ESPN63%$(1.28)
Seth Wickersham, ESPN63%$1.98
Jason La Canfora, CBS62%$0.20
Adam Schefter, ESPN61%$(2.51)
John Breech, CBS59%$(4.95)
Mark Schlereth, ESPN59%$(6.47)
Mike Golic, ESPN59%$(5.65)
Will Brinson, CBS59%$(2.80)
Frank Schwab, Yahoo58%$(8.57)
Chris Mortensen, ESPN57%$(8.46)
Josh Katzowitz, CBS57%$(10.03)
Keyshawn Johnson, ESPN57%$(7.34)
Merril Hoge, ESPN57%$(8.26)
Mike Ditka, ESPN57%$(1.84)
Eric Adelson, Yahoo55%$(9.82)
Ryan Wilson, CBS50%$(17.00)

Overall, the pundits have had a mediocre season so far, with only six of them outperforming the hit rate had you simply picked all the favorites (according to Vegas oddsmakers). From a profit standpoint, they have been money-losing, with $1 bets yielding $0.97 on average. On an individual basis, Pete Prisco has had a stellar year, hitting on 70% of his picks, while his CBS colleague Ryan Wilson is off to a woeful start.

As far as individual games, the pundits completed whiffed (i.e. 0/23) on several: Bills/Bears in Week 1, Saints/Browns and Rams/Bucs in Week 2, Bucs/Steelers in Week 3, and Bills/Lions in Week 4. Best game calls include: Mike Ditka as the only pundit to pick the Bears to beat the 49ers in Week 2 (25% odds), Pete Prisco as the only one to pick the Chargers over the Seahawks in Week 2 (32% odds), and Adam Schefter as the only one to pick the Vikings over the Falcons in Week 4 (34% odds).

For more details on all the pundits’ picks and to make your own picks for Week 6 Games, head over to the PunditTracker site.

Finally, here are the Hit Rates by pundit for each of the past three years. The data says it all: on a cumulative basis since 2011, not one of these experts has outperformed the batting average of simply picking the favorites as deemed by Vegas.

Hit Rate By Year (And Cumulative)

Hit Rate201220132014 YTDCumulative
Vegas Favorites64%70%66%66.9%
Jamey Eisenberg, CBS66%68%66.9%
Seth Wickersham, ESPN70%65%63%66.7%
Ron Jaworski, ESPN66%68%63%66.6%
KC Joyner, ESPN66%66%66.0%
Prediction Machine, CBS64%69%63%65.9%
Chris Mortensen, ESPN69%65%57%65.6%
Dave Richard, CBS62%67%67%64.7%
Cris Carter, ESPN64%66%64.6%
Pete Prisco, CBS64%63%70%64.3%
Tom Jackson, ESPN63%64%67%63.9%
John Breech, CBS65%59%63.6%
Mark Schlereth, ESPN64%64%59%63.4%
Merril Hoge, ESPN67%62%57%63.4%
Adam Schefter, ESPN63%64%61%63.1%
Josh Katzowitz, CBS66%62%57%63.1%
Will Brinson, CBS65%62%59%63.1%
Mike Ditka, ESPN64%64%57%62.9%
Mike Golic, ESPN64%62%59%62.6%
Eric Allen, ESPN61%62%64%61.9%
Ryan Wilson, CBS61%65%50%61.4%
Frank Schwab, Yahoo62%58%61.2%
Keyshawn Johnson, ESPN60%63%57%60.8%
Jason La Canfora, CBS62%58%62%60.1%
Eric Adelson, Yahoo55%55.3%

Which NBA Pundits Predicted a Heat-Spurs Finals rematch?

June 1, 2014  |  Sports

Last year we tracked the preseason predictions of  35 ESPN ‘experts’, and only one correctly pegged the Heat-Spurs Finals matchup: John Hollinger.

With pundits typically guilty of extrapolating from recent performance, we expected many (if not most) to have picked a rematch this year. While 23 of the 28 of the pundits we tracked this year picked the Heat to win the East, only three also had the Spurs in the West: Kevin Arnovitz, Mike Mazzeo, and Nick Friedell.

Here is a breakdown of the collective picks of the group. The pundits were swayed by the flashy offseason moves made the Clippers, pegging them as the favorite in the West:

23: Heat14: Clippers
03: Pacers06: Thunder
01: Nets05: Spurs
01: Bulls02: Warriors
01: Rockets

Interestingly, while Vegas had the Spurs as the favorite to win the Southwest division (48% odds), the pundits again were swayed by flash, with the majority picking the Rockets:

28: Nets21: Bulls28: Heat28: Thunder14: Rockets28: Clippers
07: Pacers12: Spurs
02: Grizzlies

Here are the individual picks of each of the 28 pundits. Arnovitz, Mazzeo, and Friedell all had the Heat beating the Spurs. Only two pundits picks the Spurs to win it all: J.A. Adande (Spurs over Pacers) and Kevin Pelton (Spurs over Bulls).


With the Finals starting on Thursday, you still have a few days left to make your own picks for both Game 1 and the Series. We also have live picks open for the NBA coaching carousel (Fisher to the Knicks?) as well as trade rumors (Love getting dealt?). Head over to now to make your picks and see if you can crack our User Leaderboard.


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May 23, 2014  |  Uncategorized

Kiper, McShay, or Mayock: Who has the most accurate NFL mock drafts?

May 4, 2014  |  Sports

With the NFL Draft pundits rolling out their final mock drafts this week, which one should you pay the most attention to?

We have graded the Round 1 mock drafts of Mel Kiper (ESPN), Todd McShay (ESPN), and Mike Mayock ( for each of the past six years (2008-2013). Here are the results.

Let’s start with our simple variability measure, which is based on the difference between when each player was projected to be picked and when he was actually picked. A lower variability score is better:


Mike Mayock has posted the best average. Todd McShay had a great run from 2009-12 but stumbled badly last year (as did all of the pundits, but McShay did even worse).

Here are all the individual major Hits and Misses from the pundits for each of the years:

Biggest Hits and Misses (2008-2013)

The variability metric can be significantly impacted by “outliers” such as McShay picking Ryan Nassib to go #7 last year (he went #110), so we have calculated a few alternative metrics, including Median Error and Hit Rate.

Median Error (lower = better)

Median Error200820092010201120122013Average

Hit Rate (higher = better): pure percentage of how many picks were correct

Hit Rate200820092010201120122013Average

We will be back next week with our grades for this year’s mock drafts.

For those new to PunditTracker, we aim to level the prediction playing field by allowing users to compete with the ‘experts’. Head over to our NFL Draft section to make some of your own predictions for the 2014 Draft using the ‘Vote Now’ buttons. 



NBA Pundits Caught Off Guard in Round 1 of Playoffs

April 27, 2014  |  Sports

Most of the NBA playoff first-round series are shaping up to be hotly contested matchups, so let’s check in to see if the ‘experts’ had them pegged right.

The early answer is no, at least on the competitiveness front. We are tracking 29 pundits from, Yahoo, and CBS, and it turns out that the expert class bet big on the Round 1 favorites. Here is a breakdown of all the match-ups, with both the Vegas odds for each series as well as the percentage of pundits that picked each team and the average number of games they forecast.


The biggest surprise so far is that all but one of the pundits (ESPN’s Michael Wallace) picked the Bulls to beat the Wizards, despite it being a 4/5 matchup and Vegas giving the Wizards a 37% chance. The experts predicted the Spurs/Mavericks to be a rout, with only Michael Wallace predicting that the series would last more than 5 games (Wallace: Spurs in 6). Similarly, all but two of the pundits (Kevin Arnovitz and David Thorpe) picked the Thunder over the Grizzlies (Vegas: Grizz 24% odds), while the entire group picked the Clips over the Warriors (Vegas: Warriors 23% odds). Finally, the pundits virtually all picked the Pacers in 5 or 6 games.

We will see how all the series shake out in the coming week, but whether the underdogs win or not, the pundits clearly whiffed on how competitive the first round would be.

For a recap of all the preseason predictions of the NBA pundits, see our previous post. If you’d like to place your own predictions on the next head coaches of the Knicks, Thunder, and Pacers, see our NBA page.


The MLB Pundits are back. Will they be less of a disaster in 2014?

April 8, 2014  |  Sports

In what is becoming an annual tradition, we ask the question: will this year finally be the one where the baseball pundits turn it around? After a string of terrible prediction seasons from 2009-2012 (see details), the ‘experts’ followed it up with a truly pitiful 2013, in which no one picked either the Red Sox or the Cardinals to make the World Series (or even the Red Sox to win the AL East — details). A whopping 25 of the 29 pundits on our website — all of whom made at least three years worth of picks — have a letter grade of F.

So while an understandable question would be ‘why bother?, let’s give the pundits another shot and see what they are predicting this year. We will be tracking 64 so-called experts from ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CBS, Yahoo, and Fox. Here are their aggregate picks across nine categories: six Division Winners, two Pennants, and World Series. As always, we give you the chance to make your own predictions to see if you can do better (or at least less worse) than the paid experts.

TB: 39DET: 50OAK: 28WAS: 60STL: 60LAD: 56TB: 25WAS: 25LAD: 17
BOS: 19KC: 11TEX: 24ATL: 4PIT: 3SF: 5DET: 22LAD: 23WAS: 17
BAL: 3CLE: 3LAA: 12MIA: 0CIN: 1ARI: 2BOS: 5STL: 16STL: 12
NYY: 3CHW: 0HOU: 0NYY: 0CHC: 0SD: 1OAK: 4TB: 9
TOR: 0MIN: 0SEA: 0PHI: 0MIL: 0COL: 0KC: 2DET: 6
NYY: 2BOS: 2
TEX: 2CLE: 1
BAL: 1
CLE: 1

As with last year, the Rays and Tigers are the two favorites in the American League, while the Nationals are the slight favorite in the National League. Interestingly, the pundits are predominantly picking the National League winner to take the Fall Classic, with 46 of the 64 picking either the Dodgers, Nationals, or Cardinals. The Tigers and Dodgers are consensus favorites in their divisions, while there is more debate on the other divisions, most notably the AL West. The most notable descrepancies with Vegas odds are the pundits’ optimism on the Nationals (Vegas gives the Braves a good shot in the NL East) and the pessimism, once again, on the Red Sox relative to the Rays.

Now, here is a gigantic table with all the individual World Series picks for this season, along with each pundit’s track record from 2009-2013 (sorted from best to worst, cumulative). The dollar amounts are what we call the ‘$1 Yield’, which is the average payout had you placed on $1 bets on each of the pundit’s nine picks each season, based on Vegas odds at the time. A yield of $1.05, for instance, means the pundit’s average return on investment was +5%. As you can see, only three of the 49 pundits with a track record have a yield higher than $1.00.

Enrique Rojas, ESPN$1.83$1.73$1.78DETLADLAD
Jim Caple, ESPN$0.56$4.43$0.15$1.26$0.53$1.38DETLADDET
Adam Rubin, ESPN$1.84$0.54$1.19TBWASWAS
Peter Pascarelli, ESPN$1.89$0.55$0.61$1.34$0.53$0.99BOSSTLBOS
Jayson Stark, ESPN$2.01$0.45$0.76$1.06$0.36$0.93TBWASTB
Pedro Gomez, ESPN$1.35$1.34$0.15$0.61$1.18$0.93OAKWASWAS
Ken Rosenthal, Fox$0.81$0.81TBWASWAS
Cliff Corcoran, SI$1.35$1.61$0.27$0.33$0.36$0.78DETSTLSTL
Tim Kurkjian, ESPN$1.74$0.45$0.16$0.78DETSTLSTL
Rob Neyer, Fox$0.78$0.78$0.78TBWASTB
Ben Reiter, SI$0.82$0.78$0.51$0.62$1.01$0.75DETSTLSTL
Buster Olney, ESPN$2.01$0.45$0.27$0.14$0.81$0.73TBSTLSTL
Tom Verducci, SI$1.04$0.45$0.15$1.73$0.16$0.71OAKWASWAS
Albert Chen, SI$0.00$1.39$0.58$1.26$0.16$0.68DETWASWAS
Aaron Boone, ESPN$1.61$0.27$0.61$0.16$0.66TBLADLAD
Karl Ravech, ESPN$0.78$0.15$0.33$1.38$0.66DETWASWAS
Mark Saxon, ESPN$0.51$0.51$0.33$1.19$0.63DETLADLAD
Jon Heyman, CBS$0.85$0.17$0.27$1.19$0.62KCLADLAD
David Schoenfield, ESPN$0.27$0.62$0.81$0.57TBLADTB
Eric Karabell, ESPN$1.51$0.17$0.15$0.43$0.54$0.56TBWASWAS
Tristan Cockcroft, ESPN$0.51$0.42$0.71$0.54TBWASTB
David Kull, ESPN$0.00$0.42$1.19$0.54DETWASWAS
Andrew Marchand, ESPN$0.63$0.61$0.36$0.53DETWASWAS
Mark Simon, ESPN$0.78$0.42$0.62$0.16$0.49BOSWASWAS
A.J. Mass, ESPN$0.33$0.78$0.36$0.49TBWASTB
Gordon Edes, ESPN$0.45$0.51$0.48TBLADTB
Richard Durrett, ESPN$0.45$0.61$0.36$0.47DETLADDET
Matt Szefc, ESPN$0.42$0.33$0.54$0.43DETLADLAD
Brendan Roberts, ESPN$0.66$0.17$0.41DETSTLDET
Joe McDonald, ESPN$0.61$0.42$0.16$0.39BOSWASBOS
Dan Szymborski, ESPN$0.61$0.16$0.38DETSTLDET
Marty Bernoski, ESPN$0.61$0.16$0.38BOSWASWAS
Jon Morosi, Fox$0.38$0.38TBSTLSTL
Jonah Keri, ESPN$0.63$0.33$0.16$0.37DETLADLAD
Jerry Crasnick, ESPN$0.82$0.17$0.15$0.33$0.36$0.37TBSTLSTL
Dayn Perry, CBS$0.36$0.36TBSTLTB
Jay Jaffe, SI$0.36$0.36TBSTLSTL
Jeff Passan, Yahoo$0.36$0.36TBWASWAS
Michael Knisley, ESPN$0.36$0.36BALSTLSTL
Mike Axisa, CBS$0.36$0.36OAKLADLAD
Christina Kahrl, ESPN$0.33$0.36$0.34DETWASDET
Jon Sciambi, ESPN$0.17$0.15$0.33$0.54$0.30TBWASWAS
Dan Shulman, ESPN$0.45$0.15$0.33$0.16$0.27TBSTLSTL
Jim Bowden, ESPN$0.33$0.16$0.24TBLADLAD
Matt Snyder, CBS$0.16$0.16DETLADLAD
Mike Oz, Yahoo$0.16$0.16OAKLADLAD
Tim Brown, Yahoo$0.16$0.16TBLADTB
Joe Sheehan, SI$0.15$0.16$0.15TBSTLSTL
Matt Meyers, ESPN$0.15$0.14$0.16$0.15TEXWASWAS
C.J. Nitkowski, FoxDETSTLSTL
David Brown, YahooTBWASWAS
Gabe Kapler, FoxTBLADLAD
Jeremy Lundblad, ESPNDETWASDET
Mark Townsend, YahooDETLADLAD

To see all the division picks for each pundit as well, see this link.

We will check back on these predictions as the season progresses.


March Madness 2014: Bracket Rankings Heading Into Final Four

April 2, 2014  |  Sports

As we count down to the Final Four this week, let’s see which pundit’s bracket is in the best shape. As a reminder, we are tracking 26 ‘experts’ this year (from ESPN, Yahoo, SI, CBS Sports) as well as the President. To revisit our rankings after the first weekend, see our prior post.

First, let’s look at how many pundits collectively pegged each of the Elite Eight and Final Four teams.

Elite 8# of PunditsFinal Four# of Pundits
Michigan St.24Wisconsin3

Not one of the experts we tracked picked Kentucky or UConn to make the Elite Eight, let alone the Final Four. Only three had Wisconsin in the Final Four: Jay Bilas, Seth Davis, and Mateen Cleaves.

Now, here are the updated pundit rankings based on a few metrics.

  • Hit Rate: % of picks that were correct (out of 60 games so far)
  • Yield: average payout had you placed $1 Futures bets on each bracket slot at ‘moneyline’ odds (giving more credit for underdog picks)
  • Points: traditional bracket scoring system (1 point for first round winners, 2 points for second round, 4 for Sweet 16, etc)

PunditHit RateYieldPointsBest PossibleFinal 2Winner
Seth Davis, SI69%$1.0877125Florida v. Wich StFlorida
Pat Forde, Yahoo75%$1.227575Mich St v. ArizonaMich St
Brad Evans, Yahoo77%$1.1774122Florida v. LouisvilleFlorida
Luke Winn, SI83%$1.3972120Florida v. Wich StFlorida
Dick Vitale, ESPN69%$0.987272Mich St v. LouisvilleMich St
Mateen Cleaves, ESPN67%$0.966969Mich St v. LouisvilleMich St
Brian Hamilton, SI71%$1.066985Arizona v. FloridaArizona
Andy Katz, ESPN75%$1.0668116Florida v. LouisvilleFlorida
Barack Obama73%$1.006868Mich St v. LouisvilleMich St
Joe Lunardi, ESPN73%$1.0868116Florida v. LouisvilleFlorida
Chalk71%$0.9768116Florida v. ArizonaFlorida
Jerry Palm, CBS75%$1.146767Mich St v. ArizonaMich St
Jeff Borzello, CBS75%$1.0667115Florida v. LouisvilleFlorida
Steve Lappas, CBS73%$1.166767Mich St v. LouisvilleMich St
Jeff Goodman, ESPN75%$1.1267115Florida v. LouisvilleFlorida
Pete Gillen, CBS71%$1.0066114Florida v. LouisvilleFlorida
Doug Gottlieb, ESPN73%$0.996565Mich St v. LouisvilleMich St
Dennis Dodd, CBS69%$1.166464Louisville v. Mich StLouisville
Jay Bilas, ESPN71%$1.006464Mich St v. LouisvilleMich St
Colin Cowherd, ESPN65%$0.956480Louisville v. FloridaLouisville
Seth Greenberg, ESPN69%$0.986363Mich St v. DukeMich St
Jon Rothstein, CBS79%$1.126262Louisville v. KansasLouisville
Fran Franschilla, ESPN60%$0.8660108Florida v. LouisvilleFlorida
Gary Parrish, SI60%$0.925555Wich St v. KansasWich St
Pete Thamel, SI65%$0.9455103Florida v. LouisvilleFlorida
Jeff Eisenberg, Yahoo69%$0.845454Arizona v. KansasArizona
Gregg Doyel, CBS60%$0.774949Kansas v. ArizonaKansas
Matt Norlander, CBS58%$0.774848Kansas v. CreightonKansas

Overall, brackets have been busted across the board, with the pundits hitting on only 20% of the Final Four teams on average (for a woeful $0.48 Yield). Seth Davis has a narrow lead using the traditional bracket scoring system, with the highest ‘best possible’ score as well, followed by Brad Evans and Luke Winn. Only 9 of the 26 experts outperformed ‘chalk’ (picking the higher seed in every matchup) on this metric, with only five having a higher ‘best possible’ result. Luke Winn maintains his lead based on both aggregate hit rate (83%) and Yield ($1.39), thanks largely to some strong picks in the early rounds.

We will update our rankings next week. In the meantime, head over to PunditTracker to make your picks on the Final Four games. We will grade you alongside the ‘experts’ once the outcomes are in.


March Madness 2014: Which pundit had the best opening weekend Bracket?

March 25, 2014  |  Sports

With the exciting first two rounds of March Madness 2014 in the books, let’s see how the pundits are faring with their brackets so far. We are scoring 28 experts from ESPN, Yahoo, Sports Illustrated, and CBS Sports this year, throwing in President Obama for good fun.

Our scoring system assumes you placed $1 Futures bets on each bracket slot at Vegas Moneyline odds based on the pundit’s picks. Here are the rankings for the first two rounds: the Hit Rate represents the % of picks that were correct, while the Yield is the average payout of those picks.

PunditRd of 32
Hit Rate
Rd of 32
Sweet 16
Hit Rate
Sweet 16
Hit Rate
Luke Winn, SI88%$1.4375%$1.8683%$1.57
Dennis Dodd, CBS69%$1.1169%$1.6469%$1.28
Jon Rothstein, CBS81%$1.1375%$1.5779%$1.27
Pat Forde, Yahoo78%$1.2269%$1.3575%$1.26
Brad Evans, Yahoo75%$1.0081%$1.7477%$1.24
Jeff Goodman, ESPN78%$1.1269%$1.4375%$1.22
Steve Lappas, CBS72%$1.0975%$1.4873%$1.22
Jerry Palm, CBS78%$1.2369%$1.1675%$1.21
Jeff Borzello, CBS78%$1.1169%$1.2975%$1.17
Andy Katz, ESPN75%$1.0075%$1.4875%$1.16
Joe Lunardi, ESPN81%$1.2756%$0.8573%$1.13
Brian Hamilton, SI72%$0.9869%$1.3871%$1.11
Doug Gottlieb, CBS78%$1.0963%$1.0373%$1.07
Pete Gillen, CBS69%$0.8975%$1.4371%$1.07
Seth Greenberg, ESPN72%$1.0663%$1.0769%$1.07
Pete Thamel, SI72%$1.0950%$1.0365%$1.07
Barack Obama81%$1.1356%$0.8473%$1.03
Gary Parrish, CBS72%$0.9463%$1.1969%$1.02
Jay Bilas, ESPN75%$1.0363%$0.9871%$1.01
Seth Davis, SI78%$1.1150%$0.7569%$0.99
Colin Cowherd, ESPN69%$1.0256%$0.8865%$0.98
Dick Vitale, ESPN69%$0.8669%$1.1669%$0.96
Jeff Eisenberg, Yahoo75%$0.9756%$0.8569%$0.93
Mateen Cleaves, CBS72%$0.9456%$0.9067%$0.92
Fran Franschilla, ESPN69%$0.9144%$0.7660%$0.86
Gregg Doyel, CBS66%$0.8950%$0.7560%$0.84
Matt Norlander, CBS63%$0.8750%$0.7858%$0.84

Overall, the pundits have done quite well so far, with the majority returning a positive yield as well as outperforming “Chalk” (always picking the higher seeds). Luke Winn of SI leads the pack, followed by Dennis Dodd of CBS; they were the only two experts to have Dayton in the Sweet 16. Luke Winn had the best first round hit rate (28/32), while Brad Evans was 13/16 with his Sweet 16 picks, including Tennessee.

Here is how the pundits did collectively with their Sweet Sixteen predictions. No one had Stanford, while only Pete Gillen, Brad Evans, and Jeff Goodman had Tennessee.

Sweet 16 Team# of Pundits Correct (out of 28)
1. Florida27
4. Louisville27
1. Virginia26
4. Michigan St.26
1. Arizona26
2. Michigan25
3. Iowa St.24
2. Wisconsin23
4. UCLA21
4. San Diego St.19
7. Connecticut11
6. Baylor8
8. Kentucky7
11. Tennessee3
11. Dayton2
10. Stanford0

We will update the rankings as we proceed throughout the tournament.

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