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EA Simulation Correctly Picked Super Bowl Champs in September

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the miracle-madden dept.

Games 124

Just_Say_Duhhh writes "Before the NFL Season started, the guys at EA Sports simulated the entire season using Madden 2011. The sim told them the Packers would win the Super Bowl. If only we had listened. What's even more interesting is that according to the article, they've picked the winner 6 of the last 7 years. Make that 7 out of 8!"

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So what? (-1, Offtopic)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125198)

Not news for nerds, news for Jocks.

Re:So what? (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125210)

.. accurate simulations are not news for nerds? I have no interest in American Football, or most other competitive sports, but I still think this is cool.

Re:So what? (0)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125406)

Same, maybe one day we can just not pay people but simulate the games... one can only wish.

PS: There is only one type of football, and it's only played with your feet. Don't worry, this is not just aimed at Americans, but my own countrymen/women too (Aussies). I suppose you can't call it the NHL (National Handball League) as that acronym is already taken.

Re:So what? (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35128274)

There is only one type of football, and it's only played with your feet.

The term football was originally used to describe a number of different games that were played on foot.

Re:So what? (1)

RockoTDF (1042780) | more than 3 years ago | (#35128434)

Historical correction: The word football was originally used to describe a game that eventually became Association Football (the kind you play with your feet), and Rugby Football. The latter was brought to the US, and when poorly executed lead to a lot of deaths. So the rules were adjusted (and influences from other games also entered play), and American Football was born. Also, the word "soccer" comes from "association" and was in common use in the UK prior to WW2. You can watch old matches from the 30s and hear commentators call it "soccer." I'm also told that some Kiwis call Rugby 'football' and call football 'soccer.'

Re:So what? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125536)

.. accurate simulations are not news for nerds? I have no interest in American Football, or most other competitive sports, but I still think this is cool.

What would really impress me is if they could predict the results of the Pakistani cricket team, including who was going to bribe who [bbc.co.uk] . The meta model for corruption would make this much more challenging than a game prediction.

Re:So what? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35126046)

1. Sum up net capital of club investors
2. Sort descending.
3. First entry in list wins.

Re:So what? (2)

allcar (1111567) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125658)

Perhaps this just means that American Football is unusually predictable.

Re:So what? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125974)

Perhaps this just means that American Football is unusually predictable.

Yet the injuries are not... This would seem to imply there is really no quantitative difference between 1st / 2nd / 3rd string players, despite widely held beliefs to the contrary. If player X had a season ending injury (or even just a game ending injury, early enough in the game) back in game 3 and player Y took over, it apparently doesn't matter much.

This would seem to be a big problem for the cult of personality that has grown up around individual players, so I suspect this story will have to be massively downplayed or treated as a statistical fluke.

Rigged (2)

Stormscape (998750) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125202)

Clearly this means the NFL just throws the games based on the results of Madden!

Re:Rigged (1, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125430)

What the story doesn't mention, is that the Super Bowl was played on Madden '11 a few thousand times and the Steelers won a little over 70% of the time.

EA had press releases for Madden '11 going both ways. We were going to get a Madden '11 story today no matter what.

Re:Rigged (2)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125702)

I play a lot of EA NFL Head Coach '09 (based off of Madden 08 engine and Madden 09 AI), and you will see significantly different results on multiple simulations, and you can see radically different results by changing just one or two variables.

"Any given Sunday" is still pretty much true for now. Accurately predicting an entire NFL season with it's hundreds of thousands (probably millions) of variables is probably only one small step below an accurate weather prediction model for the same time period.

Re:Rigged (1)

RockoTDF (1042780) | more than 3 years ago | (#35128466)

It is actually harder than weather prediction, because it is largely dependent on weather prediction. The same can be said about any sport. If a game is postponed due to weather, that may affect where it is played (might have to be played away or at a neutral venue instead of at home), for example. A steaming hot day may also induce more fatigue.

Re:Rigged (2)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35126906)

Now..if only they could have run a simulation for the halftime show...and tweaked THAT!!

I mean, it would have been ok if they'd gotten rid of the 3x guys up there that couldn't sing and just had the chick on there that could (Fergie?)...

The lightshow, and Slash were fun...but ugh...those three tone deaf guys that can't even sound good through the vocoder type machines just hurt the halftime show.

Well... (1)

Onuma (947856) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125212)

Maybe the NFL players are learning from Madden?

Re:Well... (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125228)

If you want to complete the play, you're going to have to hold on to the ball.

Re:Well... (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125364)

Or more likely, EA is getting free advertisement as to how realistic its games are (not that realism necessarily even makes a game fun).

Re:Well... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35126008)

(not that realism necessarily even makes a game fun).

Witness the decline and fall of the flight simulator industry ( *** now including TSA groping in every box!)

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35128450)

There are fewer flight sim titles, but they still make them, and they are a lot better! Just take a look at the upcoming Cliffs of Dover (the sequel to Il-2: Sturmovik) or the DCS A-10, for example.

Re:Well... (1)

atrain728 (1835698) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127520)

Madden is fun, but pretty far from realistic. Getting better though.

I think Madden is schitzo...... (5, Interesting)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125218)

Because according to *this* article, it picked the Steelers... http://blog.games.yahoo.com/blog/355-steelers-will-win-super-bowl-xlv-predicts-madden-11/ [yahoo.com] wtf?

Re:I think Madden is schitzo...... (1)

Onuma (947856) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125232)

That's what I heard during my morning commute - and they tossed in the figure "7 of the last 9 correctly predicted games".

Re:I think Madden is schitzo...... (1)

Barryke (772876) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125518)

In commercial statistics, periods may vary. For example, the first result -if negative- may be omitted to obtain more positive average result.

In Soviet Russia, statistics vary you.

Re:I think Madden is schitzo...... (5, Informative)

Tx (96709) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125304)

Seems like there may be two simulations here, a full-season simulation done before the start of the actual season, and a one-match simulation of the final alone done shortly before the actual final. The former came up with the Packers, the latter picked the Steelers.

Re:I think Madden is schitzo...... (3, Insightful)

kbg (241421) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125758)

I can also predict a winner in the final with 50% accuracy using my new simulation called the "coin".

Re:I think Madden is schitzo...... (1)

Mistlefoot (636417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127022)

"I can also predict a winner in the final with 50% accuracy using my new simulation called the "coin""

Pray tell how you could have picked the winner with 50% accuracy with a coin when there are 32 teams.

There were, after all, 32 teams in September when the accurate simulation was done.

Re:I think Madden is schitzo...... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127290)

Pray tell how you could have picked the winner with 50% accuracy with a coin when there are 32 teams.

It's a damn good coin.

Re:I think Madden is schitzo...... (1)

milkmage (795746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127438)

yes, because your coin has 32 sides.

they didn't run the sim before the game. the ran it before the SEASON

"Before the NFL Season started..."

Re:I think Madden is schitzo...... (1)

uncanny (954868) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127970)

You can do this at the start of the season? I need to talk to you at the start of the next season then!

Re:I think Madden is schitzo...... (1)

ExtremePhobia (1326407) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125952)

I only scanned TFA but I can't seem to find where it says who they played against. Was it Green Bay vs. Steelers? Or was it a different team? This is a weighted 1 in 32 chance whereas predicting that the Steelers would also make it but would eventually lose is far more impressive. I get the impression this wasn't the case.

Re:I think Madden is schitzo...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35126084)

However, every other prediction they made (MVP, various rankings, etc) was way off the mark.

Re:I think Madden is schitzo...... (1)

ChinggisK (1133009) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127006)

I wonder if the whole "accurate for the last 7 of 8 Super Bowls" stat is also incorrect because of that. Were all 8 of those predictions made from the start of the season, or just before the Super Bowl?

Re:I think Madden is schitzo...... (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125310)

Well if they guess both, one is bound to be right!

Re:I think Madden is schitzo...... (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125700)

Yeah, I remember seeing this article. I jumped out of my chair when I read the results this morning and yelled "Suck it EA!"

Re:I think Madden is schitzo...... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35126142)

Yup if you want a "real" prediction, look at betting odds. Those guys are far more accurate than any videogame sweatshop.

Re:I think Madden is schitzo...... (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35126524)

Actually, the pros aren't as good as you might think. In this case, they did choose the packers over the steelers, but they predicted a margin of 3 points. It eneded up being 6. They also chose a total score (both scores added together) of 45, and the real total was 56. That wasn't even close. They did predict the steelers would win (regardless of margin) and gave 1.5:1 odds.

Further, back at the start of the season, green bay was not a favorite to win at all.. i don't recall the exact odds, but they were very middle of the pack.

Re:I think Madden is schitzo...... (1)

ginbot462 (626023) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127792)

And you have to consider .. what The Pros are REALLY predicting is a spread that will cause the money to be bet half on side and half on the other.

Re:I think Madden is schitzo...... (1)

droptone (798379) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127794)

You do realize that sports books do not set lines with the intention of accurately predicting the outcome, right? They set lines to induce equal betting on both sides so that they make money from the vig [wikipedia.org] . The final outcome plays a role in setting the line but other aspects weigh heavily, e.g. whether a team is a public team or whether one team had an overwhelming recent win that will weigh heavily in the minds of the public.

Also, the Packers weren't really [catscratchreader.com] very middle of the pack.

Half-time show (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35125260)

But did it predict how bad the half-time show would be?

Re:Half-time show (1)

DesertJazz (656328) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125288)

Nobody could predict that... well not until after the fiasco that was the Star Spangled Banner!

Re:Half-time show (1)

NoSleepDemon (1521253) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125316)

I swear if you looked closely enough, you could see a single neon tear shed from Slash's eye as Fergi murdered that song.

Re:Half-time show (1)

risinganger (586395) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125346)

murdered? Somebody is being kind ;-)

Re:Half-time show (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35126960)

"I swear if you looked closely enough, you could see a single neon tear shed from Slash's eye as Fergi murdered that song."

And sadly...THAT moment was the highlight of the whole halftime show!!!

Now...if they could have had a wardrobe malfunction with that Fergi chick..it might have made it all worth while. I gotta imagine hers don't sag as bad as Janet's did that year...ick.

Re:Half-time show (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127164)

Wait, that was bad? I thought it was pretty good, can you give me an example of a *good* half-time show so I know what to compare it to? Surely that was the best in the past 5 years, unless you think nothing could outshine Janet Jackson's boob.

with enough chances, all coincidences are shallow. (3, Insightful)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125292)

1. run enough independent simulations to predict each team as winning in one of them.
2. only report the right one
3. profit!

protip: replace "team" with "drug," and "winning" with "effective," for supermegaprofit!

Re:with enough chances, all coincidences are shall (1)

crunch_ca (972937) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125410)

This reminds me of a scam I heard about years ago.
1) Pick 1024 victims
2) Pick 1 volatile stock
3) To 512 victims, say the price will go up, to the others, say it will go down
4) Wait 5 days, then pick the half which were right
5) GOTO 2 (ok, you could use recursion instead, or a loop)
6) When you get to 8 victims, point out that you've been 100% accurate 6 times in a row and get them to invest a lot of money
7) Profit!

Re:with enough chances, all coincidences are shall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35125456)

Were you a graduate student at the time?

Re:with enough chances, all coincidences are shall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35125482)

Caveat 1. Pray to $deity that the first 6 iteration's members don't know how to use the internet to junk your name, and the last 8 don't know how to use Google.

Re:with enough chances, all coincidences are shall (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35125500)

Mathnet (Square 1) covered this in 1990 with "The case of the swami scam" (in New York)
http://www.tv.com/mathnet/the-case-of-the-swami-scam/episode/236553/summary.html

Re:with enough chances, all coincidences are shall (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 3 years ago | (#35126770)

If he mentions the pig again, use two hammers!

Re:with enough chances, all coincidences are shall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35125416)

But they're reporting the right one before they know which one is correct. They're also doing it year after year.

Re:with enough chances, all coincidences are shall (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125568)

ah yes, of course, because that paragon of journalism, Wired magazine, reported it.

this shit happens (sometimes unwittingly) to real scientists. somehow i'm just not trusting EA Games at their word...

Re:with enough chances, all coincidences are shall (1)

ChinggisK (1133009) | more than 3 years ago | (#35126956)

Wired reported EA's prediction in September, they were proven right yesterday. Not sure where the trust factor comes in here.

Re:with enough chances, all coincidences are shall (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 3 years ago | (#35128262)

Yeah everyone knows Wired has a time machine. They can't be trusted.

Re:with enough chances, all coincidences are shall (1)

teslar (706653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125616)

2. only report the right one

Except, as you might notice, TFA is from September 2010, so it's not a retroactive reporting of the one simulation of many that happened to get it right.

Re:with enough chances, all coincidences are shall (1)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125880)

Yes but would the story be appearing on slashdot if they had gotten it wrong? Or would slashdot have simply run with the story of a different simulator which happened to get it right?

With "7 out of 8" picks they may be on to something (depending on how many teams are actually viable and how many independent simulations are being run). But, then again, the fact that the simulation predicted Steelers would win the actual match, and that extrapolating backwards the system only becomes more chaotic, makes you wonder if they are just lucky.

Re:with enough chances, all coincidences are shall (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127136)

This is like all the "momtuition" crap on CNN. CNN only reports the successful cases of mom using her mom-sense to "know" that the doctors are wrong and by luck is. They don't report the bulk of the cases where mom is wrong (with possibly fatal results) and the doctors were right.

Re:with enough chances, all coincidences are shall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35126426)

From the article:

"September 3, 2010"

They reported one result, well in advance. On the other hand...

"Although the Packers are slated for Super Bowl glory, their 12-4 regular-season record will be second-best overall to the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens, who’ll go 13-3, albeit in a different conference. The Packers will tie Favre’s Minnesota Vikings for the NFC’s top record but will be the top seed in the conference due to a stronger record against divisional foes."

Yes, most of their predictions were wrong. :)

They should have called it good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35125294)

The super bowl sim predicted a steelers win they should have stayed with the pre season one. The prediction record is now 6 of 8

http://espn.go.com/espn/thelife/videogames/easims?id=6072052

I call bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35125298)

What's even more interesting is that according to the article, they've picked the winner 6 of the last 7 years.

Does that mean the predicted the SB winner before the start of the season or before the start of the game?

If those were pre-season picks, I highly doubt they chose the Giants in 2007-08 or the Saints in 2009-10.

Re:I call bullshit (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125366)

According to Wikipedia, they did predict the Saints, but 2008 was their miss: they predicted Giants as losing Superbowlers.

In other news... (1, Informative)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125356)

In other news, I still dislike EA games.

random chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35125382)

let's say obama decides to flip a coin to start off the state of the union every year.
person A flips a madden coin a few times and makes note of it
person B does the same
person A's notes don't match up with Obama's flips
person A "it's flawed the madden coin is useless as a predictor"
person B's notes mostly match up with Obama's flips
person B "OMG what an awesomely calibrated simulation of Obama's flips we are running"
advice from slashdot?
Prove yourself: embezzle

Nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35125398)

You mean that american football is so boring that you can predict its result only by looking at statistics.
Nothing new here...

IT for bookies? (3, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125428)

So, do bookmakers use this for their odds calculations?

Where I grew up, their was an Italian delicatessen. They made great hoagies! It was also run by a couple of famlies, and they all drove Cadillacs. When you went in there, someone was always on the phone. Hmmm. When the racetrack nearby burned down and closed, they closed as well.

It was reopened by two guys who my parents knew. They said that the phone was constantly ringing from folks wanting to place bets.

But obviously, they made a tiny fortune on the betting business. So I have to wonder, how do bookies calculate their odds? Do they use IT technology? Or is it just a gut feeling? I'm not a betting man myself, but I don't mind other folks doing it.

And even if I did know that the delicatessen was a front for a bookmaker operation, I wouldn't have cared. As long as they kept making those hoagies. My tip: If you want to really experience a hoagie, find a mom and pop delicatessen in South Jersey.

Re:IT for bookies? (4, Informative)

Mechagodzilla (94503) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125566)

Gut feelings and odds have little to do with it. Bookies try to get enough people to bet on both teams. If too many people were betting on the Packers, they would move the spread so more people bet on the Steelers, and vice versa. They have to balance the money on both sides so they have enough to pay out. Most bookies take a percentage of the bet, or a "vig", so they get paid no matter which side wins. I ran a small operation in high school like this. The house always wins. If a bookie runs into the situation where his cash flow isn't as good as it should be, he usually lets them carry over the bet into the next week. That gets kinda hard with the Super Bowl. just my $0.02 (plus my percentage)

Re:IT for bookies? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35126012)

I should explain a bit more about the vigorish ("vig"). Rather than say to punters "We will take 10% of the bet" what the bookmaker does is arrange the odds so that overall a desired percentage less than what was paid in will be returned to "winners".

Maybe people seem to think the Packers will win, you offer them 2-5 odds [ 71% chance ], if they pay you $10 you'll give back $14 if the Packers win. Covering the other side who people seem to think are less likely, you offer better odds for the Steelers, 3-2 [ 40% chance ], if they pay you $10 you'll give back $25 if the Steelers win.

[ Notice that these chances don't add up - they're not true chances. Ensuring the advertised odds reflect chances of success that sum up to more than 100% is necessary to create the "vig" for the bookmaker. Check it out in any scenario where you're offered the chance to bet on outcomes ]

At those odds twenty people bet Packers, giving you $200, and ten people bet Steelers, another $100. $300 in the bank. If Packers win you pay out $280. If Steelers win you pay out $250. Either way you have a healthy profit. See?

Now, the problem with this is that someone who wants to bet on the Packers might meet someone who wants to bet on Steelers. They might agree mutually on odds in between the bookmakers odds, cutting out the vig. That's bad for the bookmaker, but good for them, (unless they lose the bet in which case their pockets are empty either way).

Once upon a time that was unlikely. But today there are thriving Internet sites for exactly this purpose. They take a straight percentage for making the arrangements and that's it. The percentage is smaller than the bookmaker's vig and is trasparent - everybody knows they're paying it.

Re:IT for bookies? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35126210)

Gut feelings and odds have little to do with it. Bookies try to get enough people to bet on both teams. If too many people were betting on the Packers, they would move the spread so more people bet on the Steelers, and vice versa. They have to balance the money on both sides so they have enough to pay out.

Come on, this is slashdot here. Try for a CS or automotive analogy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_tree [wikipedia.org]

Basically a bookie builds a binary tree where the top level node (aka the bookie) has two child nodes, folks betting on team A and folks betting on team B and the bookie rebalances the tree by screwing around with the odds until the top level of the tree has about the same number of $ on its two child nodes, more or less. A successful bookie has a lot of customers first to balance the tree and secondly because he skims off tips in a microtransactional approach, more or less.

Now if you want the standard slashdot car analogy, bookies change odds like inflating and deflating the tires on the left and right side until the car tracks more or less straight without pulling either side, sorta.

Re:IT for bookies? (2)

Meddik (1849590) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125612)

A Lot of what Bookies do to cover their odds isn't directly related to the event itself, but more to balance out their risk on what people are betting on. For example, If they took a bet on Team A vs Team B, and Team A was obviously much stronger, most people would want to bet on A, with very few betting on B. Based on that, they will adjust the contest either by giving the game a spread (For example, You only win the bet if Team A wins by at least 10 points) or giving higher odds to one team. (For example, Bet $1 and get back $5 if team B wins) These will both fluctuate before a game, as more people place their bets. The Bookie's goal isn't to correctly predict the game, but to end up in a situation where their risk is minimized, with roughly the same amount of money at to be paid out regardless of which team wins.

Re:IT for bookies? (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125614)

So I have to wonder, how do bookies calculate their odds?

According to an ex-bookie's clerk I know, mostly by watching other bookies very carefully and by trying to keep their overall liability to the punters to a minimum. Remember, the bookies are in this to make money, so they're actually looking to manage risk to themselves while maximizing the amount of trade they're doing; if they get it wrong, either the punters all go elsewhere (odds too low) or the punters all come running (odds too high).

Re:IT for bookies? (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125656)

For the start of the book stats, more stats and even more stats.

If a team normally wins 1 in 10 games, offer the punter odds of 5/1.

Ultimately, after the book has run a week, see where the money is being placed. If the team receives a number of high value bets, reduce the odds to 3/1. And so on.

It's all pure maths. I wish I'd gotten into the game when I didn't need money to pay the bills.

Re:IT for bookies? (1)

Stargoat (658863) | more than 3 years ago | (#35126414)

Yes, but they work at Chase, Discover, Citi, and other major credit card issuers. They also work at Transunion, Experian, and Equifax in developing new credit reports. Instead of phones, they use SAS Software, together with direct mailings and commercials.

This kind of modeling has been going on for decades. Heck, sometimes it is beginning to look like psychohistory with its accuracy.

Even in sports, this application is nothing new. Baseball is, to my knowledge, where statistics (economics if you like) was used first. The approach is called sabermetrics. [wikipedia.org] Baseball was the ideal candidate because of the number of games played over a season. With so many more observations than other sports, the likelihood of a correct analysis rises.

Re:IT for bookies? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127154)

As a non-American, baseball seems to be a combination of a tedious stock market show churning out reams of statistics, interspersed occasionally with a bit of rounders (a game popular in the UK with children).

Re:IT for bookies? (1)

Stargoat (658863) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127846)

Ah. But you are leaving out the important part. Beer.

Re:IT for bookies? (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127220)

Doesn't baseball also have a lot fewer injuries than football? That would also make it a lot easier to predict.

Re:IT for bookies? (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#35126556)

My tip: If you want to really experience a hoagie, find a mom and pop delicatessen in South Jersey.

And put $50 on "Little Louie" to win.

Re:IT for bookies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35126834)

So, do bookmakers use this for their odds calculations?

No they calculate their lines so that they get equal amounts of money betting on both sides. They make their money on the "edge", a precentage, typically 10%, of the bet.

And even if I did know that the delicatessen was a front for a bookmaker operation, I wouldn't have cared. As long as they kept making those hoagies. My tip: If you want to really experience a hoagie, find a mom and pop delicatessen in South Jersey.

Absofrigginlutely!

Re:IT for bookies? (1)

dollargonzo (519030) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127300)

other response are technically correct, but from a theoretical perspective, the bookie (less bid/ask spread) is computing a risk neutral price based on actual betting behavior. the optimal odds are the same ratio as the # of bets placed on each side. this guarantees the bookie doesn't lose money. add some extra fee for placing the bet and you always make money. the original odds might be set based on some empirical estimate, but the final odds used are always based on ratios of bets placed.

Further proof (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125528)

If NFL football is this predictable, it's just further proof how idiotic and worthless the sport really is.

Re:Further proof (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35125744)

Worthless to you maybe, but I fairly consistently win money by betting on that 'idiotic' sport.

Re:Further proof (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35125942)

If NFL football is this predictable, it's just further proof how idiotic and worthless the sport really is.

Not to those who enjoy watching it. I know how all of my favourite movies are going to end, but I still enjoy watching them. They're not worthless to me.

Note: I am not one of those who enjoy watching football.

Re:Further proof (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35126226)

Do you prefer a game like soccer, where the worse team often wins?

Re:Further proof (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127222)

Do you prefer a game like soccer, where the worse team often wins?

That is illogical, if you won you were the better team on the day, it is just making excuses to blame the weather, pitch, referee or whatever.

Re:Further proof (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35126246)

If NFL football is this predictable, it's just further proof how idiotic and worthless the sport really is.

If the stock market is this predictable, it's just further proof how idiotic and worthless the stock market really is.

I'm not sure if anthropomorphizing even makes sense in this situation.

Re:Further proof (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35126330)

I don't know, picking Chelsea or someone similar to win Premier league or Champions league preseason or the Yankees, Celtics, etc in their respective sports doesn't make them any less interesting. If you want chaos, wait a month and a half and enjoy the NCAA basketball tournament.

Also, for those asking about the opponent, they predicted Indy and Baltimore to have the best records in the AFC and Minnesota to tie Green Bay for the regular season. Of those, only the Baltimore prediction was reasonable (12-4 rather than 13-3 and tied for second in AFC) Indy made the playoffs, but tied for 5th best record in the AFC while Minnesota was 6-10

Re:Further proof (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127240)

If NFL football is this predictable, it's just further proof how idiotic and worthless the sport really is.

They should pick the winner of each game based on nothing more than the coin toss, that would be fair for everybody :)

Or, they could use the prediction algorithms to rebalance the teams until the confidence of predicting the winner is low.

Or, they could use the prediction algorithms to rebalance the teams until a team from a large (profitable) market is likely to win, but not by enough to make it boring.

Tecmo's prediction was more surprising... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35125542)

Before the NFL season, an active NES ROM hacker simulated the entire season using Tecmo Super Bowl. The sim told him that a 7-9 team would win a home playoff game.

So did a lot of people (2)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125644)

A huge number of analysts picked the Packers to win the superbowl before the season started. You have to wonder if EA purposely tweaked the game stats to make sure that the packers would come out on top in their simulation.......

Re:So did a lot of people (1)

jeff4747 (256583) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127352)

Perhaps the analysts used the same statistics to pick the Packers as the simulation?

Really don't need a nefarious setup here - both the simulation and the analysts are doing the same thing (predicting the future) with the same tools (stats from previous seasons).

Who did they predict would lose the Super Bowl? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#35125796)

What the story fails to mention is who they predicted would lose the Super Bowl. If they are truly on to something, the same method that predicts the Super Bowl winner should, also, be able to predict the winners of each conference. It says something about how accurately Madden Football reflects the relative strenghts of the teams, but it is only truly impressive if it can predict the Conference Chanpions with significant reliability.

wow, a simulation that actually works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35126168)

why don't we hire them to do a climate change model?

Re:wow, a simulation that actually works? (1)

pellik (193063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35126564)

why don't we hire them to do a climate change model?

Because the last thing we need is a prediction that the cowboys will win their battle against the climate by 7.

The team without the rapist quarterback won (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35126258)

As it should be.

It speaks volumes about the NFL and pro sports in the US that
Roethlisberger was allowed to continue playing. And what it
says is not pretty. The guy is a rapist, and he has no place in
the public eye, except maybe if he is looking out from a prison
cell in a photo.

Football is for mouth-breathing idiots anyway, just like NASCAR and Budweiser.

Slashvertisement (2)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#35126572)

Why laud EA Sports, engineers of a no-competition contract with the NFL, whereby nobody else can make an NFL game because they hold an exclusive license? For a community that hates all things closed and proprietary, EA is the MSFT of video games.

I think that octopus Paul has a better record. (1)

cpotoso (606303) | more than 3 years ago | (#35126694)

I think that octopus Paul has a better record.

Re:I think that octopus Paul has a better record. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127494)

It's just like the story of the grasshopper and the octopus. All year long, the grasshopper kept burying acorns for winter, while the octopus mooched off his girlfriend and watched TV. But then the winter came, and the grasshopper died, and the octopus ate all his acorns. Also he got a race car.

Was it real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127068)

Looks like the graphics are finally good enough, we thought we were watching a live game, we were just watching two kids playing Madden....

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127112)

I, for one, welcome our new robotic overlords.

Not too relevant (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127708)

On paper or in a simulation, the Packers definitely had what was needed to win a Super Bowl. The NFC competition was pretty shallow and the Packers have great players on both defense and offense. What made last night's victory so unlikely was all the injuries they dealt with. To have that final defensive stand without Charles Woodson on the field was amazing, to still pass the ball 60%+ of the time without Donald Driver was equally impressive. And they had many more injuries. The Packers were complete underdogs but managed to pull through. Take a Madden simulation with their injured players pulled from the game and it's very doubtful they would beat the Steelers.

So this is a case where the simulation picked the right team but it's more of a coincidence than a super-accurate prediction.

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