NBA Pundits: 2011-12 Report Card

June 25, 2012  |  Sports

With the NBA season concluding last week with a Miami Heat championship, let’s revisit how those pre-season pundit predictions turned out. We tracked the picks from 30 ESPN pundits across 11 categories (6 Division Winners, 2 Conference Champions, NBA Finals Champion, MVP, and Rookie of the Year).

Going with the consensus this year would have paid off handsomely, as Vegas only missed on two favorites (Derrick Williams to win Rookie of Year and Mavericks to win the Southwest Division). Still, many pundits outperformed Vegas, with John Hollinger scoring the best based on $1 Bet Yield. As a reminder, this metric calibrates predictions for boldness by measuring the average payout (using Vegas odds) had you placed $1 bets on each of the pundit’s selections.

$1 Bet Yield

John Hollinger  $2.44
Chad Ford  $2.39
D. McMenamin  $2.23
Chris Ramsey  $2.08
Nick Friedell  $2.02
B. Kamenetzky  $1.92
Keith Lipscomb  $1.89
Tom Haberstroh  $1.87
Brian Windhorst  $1.86
Chris Palmer  $1.85
Kevin Arnovitz  $1.85
Chris Forsberg  $1.82
Maurice Brooks  $1.82
Jeff Caplan  $1.65
David Thorpe  $1.51
Henry Abbott  $1.51
Chris Broussard  $1.49
A. Kamenetzky  $1.48
Justin Verrier  $1.48
J.A. Adande  $1.46
R. Shelburne  $1.46
Vegas  $1.46
Tim Legler  $1.39
Michael Wallace  $1.29
Larry Coon  $1.21
Jalen Rose  $1.15
Marc Stein  $1.12
Scoop Jackson  $1.12
Jon Barry  $0.99
Tim MacMahon  $0.83
Zach Harper  $0.46


Hollinger and Chad Ford tied for the most accurate bracket based on the standard hit rate approach (# of correct calls divided by # of total calls), each getting 10 of 11 picks right. Hollinger missed the Pacific division winner (Clippers instead of Lakers), while Ford missed the Southwest winner (Grizzlies instead of Spurs).

Hit Rate

Chad Ford 91%
John Hollinger 91%
Chris Forsberg 82%
Chris Ramsey 82%
D. McMenamin 82%
Keith Lipscomb 82%
Maurice Brooks 82%
Nick Friedell 82%
Tom Haberstroh 82%
B. Kamenetzky 73%
Brian Windhorst 73%
Chris Palmer 73%
David Thorpe 73%
Henry Abbott 73%
J.A. Adande 73%
Jeff Caplan 73%
Kevin Arnovitz 73%
R. Shelburne 73%
Vegas 73%
A. Kamenetzky 64%
Chris Broussard 64%
Jalen Rose 64%
Justin Verrier 64%
Larry Coon 64%
Michael Wallace 64%
Jon Barry 55%
Marc Stein 55%
Scoop Jackson 55%
Tim Legler 55%
Tim MacMahon 45%
Zach Harper 36%


Update: In our original post, we incorrectly posted Vegas’ $1 Yield and Hit Rate as $1.82 and 82%, respectively.





1 Comment

  1. Prediction industry? I don’t think so! They are all ESPN employees or independent contractors of ESPN! Most of these are talking heads, or writers. They are paid to say “blah-blah-blah” and fill air time or space. Some do it better than others within the context of their tasks, but none of them are in the “prediction industry.” It’s ESPN, for Pete’s sake. Please get your mission statement correct if you want to go any further.


  1. 2012-13 NBA Pundit Predictions: Heat or Lakers? | PunditTracker Blog

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