NFL: 2012 Pundit Recap & Updated Rankings (2009-12)

February 7, 2013  |  Sports

With Super Bowl XLVII in the books, let’s review how the 25 pundits we tracked from ESPN and Sports Illustrated fared with their pre-season prognostications. We tracked their predictions across 14 categories: 8 Division Winners, 2 Conference Champions, Super Bowl Champion, Offensive Rookie of the Year, Defensive Rookie of the Year, and Most Valuable Player.

As we discussed in our last sports post, Dennis Dillon and Jim Trotter of SI were the only two that called for a Ravens-49ers Super Bowl, with both correctly picking the Ravens to win it all. So it should be no surprise that they topped the 2012 rankings. As a reminder, the $1 yield 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

PunditHit Rate$1 Yield
Dennis Dillon (SI)71%$3.42
Jim Trotter (SI)64%$3.26
Dan Graziano (ESPN)57%$1.97
Kevin Seifert (ESPN)57%$1.97
Kerry J. Byrne (SI)50%$1.69
Jeffri Chadiha (ESPN)57%$1.53
KC Joyner (ESPN)50%$1.36
Andrew Brandt (ESPN)50%$1.33
Vegas Favorites46%$1.27
John Clayton (ESPN)43%$1.19
Pat Yasinskas (ESPN)43%$1.19
Bill Williamson (ESPN)43%$1.16
Tom Mantzouranis (SI)36%$1.10
Andrew Perloff (SI)36%$0.95
Jeff Diamond (SI)36%$0.95
Ashley Fox (ESPN)50%$0.89
Mike Sando (ESPN)50%$0.89
James Walker (ESPN)43%$0.71
Paul Kuharsky (ESPN)43%$0.71
Peter King (SI)36%$0.62
Jamison Hensley (ESPN)57%$0.61
Chris Burke (SI)36%$0.56
Bill Barnwell (ESPN)36%$0.54
Don Banks (SI)36%$0.54
Adam Schefter (ESPN)29%$0.38
Matt Williamson (ESPN)21%$0.28

Let’s now break down the individual categories. In the table below, we compare the percentage of pundits that correctly predicted each category with the corresponding Las Vegas odds before the season began. All of the pundits picked the Patriots to win the AFC East and the Texans to win the AFC South, for instance, while none thought the Redskins would win the NFC East or Adrian Peterson would take the MVP trophy home. Interestingly, eight of the 25 picked Luke Kuechly to win the Defensive ROY award despite an only 11% implied probability of victory according to Vegas (Kuechly was the favorite, but it was a very fragmented group).

CategoryWinner% Pundits CorrectVegas OddsPundits
Super BowlRavens8%5%Dillon, Trotter
AFC ChampionRavens24%12%
NFC Champion49ers12%14%Byrne, Dillon, Trotter
AFC EastPatriots100%80%
AFC NorthRavens52%40%
AFC SouthTexans100%83%
AFC WestBroncos40%43%
NFC EastRedskins0%11%
NFC NorthPackers96%69%
NFC SouthFalcons60%43%
NFC West49ers88%71%
Offensive ROYGriffin III8%13%Diamond, Perloff
Defensive ROYKuechly32%11%

We launched our NFL coverage with the 13 pundits for whom we tracked predictions in each of the 2009, 2010, and 2011 seasons. Here are their rankings updated for 2012 performance, with Jim Trotter separating from the pack following three consecutive strong seasons. You can see all the individual predictions by clicking on the pundit links.

Jim Trotter (SI)$0.35$1.94$1.34$3.26$1.72
Kevin Seifert (ESPN)$0.36$0.51$1.81$1.97$1.16
Vegas Favorites$0.90$0.72$1.54$1.27$1.11
Jeffri Chadiha (ESPN)$0.54$1.33$0.99$1.53$1.10
Adam Schefter (ESPN)$0.63$1.71$1.51$0.38$1.06
Peter King (SI)$0.75$1.97$0.85$0.62$1.05
Pat Yasinskas (ESPN)$0.80$0.80$1.35$1.19$1.04
Matt Williamson (ESPN)$0.35$1.96$1.35$0.28$0.99
Bill Williamson (ESPN)$0.54$0.54$1.70$1.16$0.98
John Clayton (ESPN)$0.71$0.50$1.45$1.19$0.96
Mike Sando (ESPN)$0.52$0.89$1.45$0.89$0.94
Paul Kuharsky (ESPN)$0.18$1.98$0.69$0.71$0.89
Don Banks (SI)$0.38$0.54$1.47$0.54$0.73
James Walker (ESPN)$0.71$0.54$0.84$0.71$0.70

Note that we will soon be adding SI’s Kerry Byrne ($1.51 yield) and Andrew Perloff ($0.72) to the site now that they have three seasons of tracked predictions (2010-12).

To see our entire coverage and/or to make your own predictions, visit our Sports section.





  1. I originally read this story on, the decided to go straight to th eriginating source because I saw a huge issue. If two pundits (Dillon and Trotter) correctly predicted that the Ravens and 49’s would be in the superbowl, how is it that the Pundit column in the second table is blank for the AFC champion? Wouldn;t Dillon and Trotter have picked the Ravens as the AFC champion if they picked them to be in the Superbowl? I think you might want to double check your research

  2. Joe, to save space, we only broke out the individual pundit names in categories where fewer than 5 pundits got it right (Super Bowl, NFC Champion, and Offensive ROY).

  3. Great compilation, thanks for putting this together.

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  5. Wouldn;t Dillon and Trotter have picked the Ravens as the AFC champion if they picked them to be in the Superbowl? I think you might want to double check your research

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  1. NFL Pundit Ranks | Pro Football Hot Reads
  2. NFL: What The Pundits Are Predicting This Season | Pundits and Predictions Blog | PunditTracker
  3. 32 Teams That Can Win The Super Bowl | Lord of the Net
  4. NFL: Which Pundits Predicted A Broncos-Seahawks Super Bowl? | Pundits and Predictions Blog | PunditTracker

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