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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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11/24/2014 Highlight: Using the ResultsFinder for the Week of November 17th - 23rd, one could find that all highlighted college football "normal" or better plays went 6-3 (67% ATS and O/U), highlighted by the Lock of the Week, Appalachian State (+10 vs. LA-Lafayette), winning outright, 35-16, to cover by four touchdowns. The Lock of the Week has won seven of the last eight weeks and is 22-7 (77% ATS) in the last two seasons. Against-the-spread, "normal" or better halftime plays in college football also were solid going 4-2 (67% ATS).

While there have only been three "normal" NFL ATS full game picks in the last two weeks, normal or better NFL against-the-spread halftimes have provided additional value by going 6-1 (86% ATS) in Week 11 and Week 12. Over the last six weeks, all playable full game against-the-spread NFL picks are 39-26 (60% ATS). In that same stretch, "normal or better halftime picks in the NFL are 17-8 (68% ATS). All halftime picks are free for the week!

Finally, in the NBA, all "normal" or better picks went 5-3 (63% ATS and O/U). And, on the ice, all normal NHL plays stayed strong once again returning a profit for the fourth straight week. In the last four weeks, all normal or better NHL picks are 66-44 (60% ML, O/U and PL).

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