A Quant Approach to Bracketology

An article in the New York Times, “Don’t Always Follow the Crowds“, gives some advice on how to pick your bracket.

Lots of positive implications in the professor’s research for my alma mater, a #4 seed. . .

And an interesting study in predictive markets is PicksPal. Predictive markets fascinate me, but I always assumed that since the users had nothing to lose, their predictions would be useless. Turns out I was incorrect.

“It’s all for fun, but the company started selling the top picks of its best users in October. For $10, you can get the collective picks of the top 30 users on five games. The idea was that people could use these for-fun picks to win bets in Vegas. The question was, would PicksPal be able to consistently beat Vegas odds, and the spread, with these picks.

So far, yes. By a lot. PicksPal’s overall record, against the spread, has been 562-338, or a 63% win rate. In college basketball, the win rate is 66%. In pro football, 62%. They are even getting a 52% win rate in pro hockey, their worst sport.”

If you want to play their 2007 NCAA bracket , ride my coattails and win a Mini Cooper, click here.