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Welcome (1/26/2010)

By Paul Bessire

Welcome to PredictionMachine.com, and more specifically, welcome to my blog. You can learn more about me and my background by reading Paul Bessire's Bio, but I want to devote this space to setting the tone for the type of sports conversation that we will have in this blog.

I pay attention to the numbers. I believe in the numbers; moreover, I trust the numbers. This site is about the numbers and makes predictions based on the numbers. Numbers answer questions. Numbers signify which questions should be asked. Numbers are at the root of everything that we do.

So yes, a lot of this blog will cover how to effectively use numbers related to sports. However, there will be few - if any - equations, no prerequisites and, hopefully, enough of the fan in me will come out to provide some banter, humor, some sour grapes about the way Larry Fitzgerald manhandled Charles Woodson and more takes.

These will be discussed in greater detail in future posts and likely be themes to many articles, but for now, here is a list of items that I not only believe in, I know to be true:

  • "Intangibles" are myths. Everything - heart, clutch, toughness, chemistry, health, etc. - is either quantifiable, measurable and useful or irrelevant.

  • Numbers can be used to say or make a case for anything, but not necessarily prove anything. Finding the right numbers will find the right side of an argument.

  • "Momentum" is either fabricated or grossly overrated. Either way, it is immaterial.

  • The Law of Averages exists, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the next play.

  • Against whom, is just as important as what a player does...

  • ...and sample-size may be even more important to finding meaningful data.

  • A great deal of what happens in the very short-term is luck. The numbers prevail in the long-term.

  • Most sports-related, mathematical models are overly complex, yet most math-related commentary on sports is overly simplified.

  • Ratio or per-play statistics are far more valuable than aggregate numbers.

  • All major American sports still exist within confined boxes that creativity, ingenuity and logic should be able to breach.

  • Coaches are typically more concerned with external, social pressures than winning - to the point where many "aggressive" coaches are often that way because they think they are supposed to be, not because they are taking a sound approach.

  • All officiating should be maintained electronically.

  • The "OVER-RATED" chant may be the most ridiculous example of groupthink idiocy in sports.

  • I have no reasonable way to justify my insistence on remaining a fan of the Chicago Cubs.

Every decision that is made is based on some risk-reward probability that individuals try to calculate on the fly. Modern technology allows us to calculate those probabilities much quicker and with far greater accuracy. At PredictionMachine.com, we leverage that technology to make the most of the numbers.

I hope you enjoy PredictionMachine.com and I hope you enjoy this blog.

Thank you for your time.

- Paul Bessire

There will not be new predictions unveiled between the Super Bowl and the NCAA Tournament and MLB Preview in March, but the blog will continue to be updated frequently, so please keep checking back.

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NFL Picks - Week 9
For Week 9 in the NFL, there are a total of six plays that cover the spread greater than 57% of the time to be considered "normal" or better, as well as a total of 11 playable against-the-spread picks. See Denver @ New England and more.

College Picks - Week 10
For Week 10 in the College Football, there are a total of 13 plays that cover the spread greater than 57% of the time to be considered "normal" or better and four predicted outright upsets. See Stanford @ Oregon and more.

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