Welcome to the 19th annual NFL Prediction Tracker Awards. The purpose of these awards is
to help raise the publicity for those systems that have been superior in various qualities of
interest. The awards will be based entirely on the numbers I've monitored with my prediction
tracker web pages. In 2018 I tracked 67 rating/pediction systems that had data in he NFL for
at least half of the season.


BEST STRAIGHT UP WINNERS (Entire Season)

Winner: Pi-Rate Ratings



 This season Pi-Rate Ratings had the best record predicting games straight up, 181-84, 68.3%.
Pi-Rate was the leader by a fairly large margin, 3 games over Game Time Decision and five
games ahead of 3 systems tied for 3rd place.
This season the updated line was only 18th place at 64%. The midweek line was one game better
while the opening line was 5 games worse.


Winner 2018: Pi-Rate Ratings    68.302%
Winner 2017: Dratings.com       68.5%
Winner 2016: Kenneth Massey     67.2%
Winner 2015: Sagarin Golden Mean, YourLinx   65.918%
Winner 2014: Dokter Entropy                  71.429%
Winner 2013: Ed Bemiss                       70.301%
Winner 2012: Sagarin Pure Points (predictive)67.293%
Winner 2011: Nationalsportsranking.com       69.721%
Winner 2010: LVSC opening line
Winner 2009: JFM Power Ratings, Sportrends
Winner 2008: Ken Ashby
Winner 2007: Sonny Moore
Winner 2006: Least Absolute Value Regression
Winner 2005: Vegas Line (record 72.28%)
Winner 2004: Least Absolute Value Regression
Winner 2003: Beck Elo
Winner 2002: Herman Matthews
Winner 2001: JFM Power Ratings, ARGH Power Ratings
Winner 2000: CPA Rankings
Winner 1999: Kenneth Massey Ratings



  BEST AGAINST THE SPREAD (Entire Season)



Winner: Pi-Rate Mean



 Some consider the true worth of a ranking system to be its record against the Vegas line.
Although that record for every game is probably not the best measurement but that is what I have.
2018 was an average to fair year for playing systems against the spread.  41 systems did better than
50%.  Compare that to 50  last season and only only 5 the year before.
Pi-Rate Mean finished with the best record overall ATS at 57.1%, 144-108.  FF-Winners was almost 2%
behind in second place. These were the only two over 55%.  There were two systems that did worse than
44%.  The majority where in the 47-53% area, or not really different than being random.


Winner 2018: Pi-Rate Mean  57.143%
Winner 2017: Updated Line 60%, PerformanZ Ratings 57.529%
Winner 2016: Updated Line 55.621%, Daniel Curry Index 53.053%
Winner 2015: Logistic Regression (record 59.608% against midweek line)
Winner 2014: Computer adjusted line  (58.696%), Turnover adjusted least squares regresssion (56.538%)
Winner 2013: Lou St. John  59.449%
Winner 2012: Least squares regression
Winner 2011: Pi-Rate Ratings
Winner 2010: Sagarin Predictor
Winner 2009: CPA Rankings.
Winner 2008: Nutshell Retro, Entropy System
Winner 2007: Sagarin Predictive
Winner 2006: Brian Gabrielle (record against updated line 59.0%)
Winner 2005: Least squares with team HFA
Winner 2004: Least Absolute Value Regression
Winner 2003: CPA Retro Rankings
Winner 2002: FreeSportsPlay.com
Winner 2001: CPA Rankings
Winner 2000: Yourlinx
Winner 1999: PerformanZ Ratings


  SMALLEST MEAN ABSOLUTE ERROR (Entire Season) 

Winner: Midweek Line

  Deviation from the game score is the absoulte difference between the game prediction
and the actual result.  A value of zero would mean the score difference is predicted
exactly.  One property of a good system would be to minimize the system's average
game deviation.
  The Midweek line had the smallest absolute error for the year, 9.7642.  The updated line
tends to win this but was 0.04 points behind in second.  For the 2018 season the midweek
pretty much did better than the updated line across the board.  The top 4 were all
versions of the line.  The best non line system was Pi-Rate Ratings in 5th at 9.8922.


Winner 2018: Vegas Line (midweek)  9.7462
Winner 2017: Vegas Line (updated) 10.1124
Winner 2016: Vegas Line (updated) (record 8.9607)
Winner 2015: Vegas Line (updated) 10.1404
Winner 2014: Massey Ratings       11.2030
Winner 2013: Ed Bemiss             9.7236
Winner 2012: Vegas Line (updated)
Winner 2011: Dokter's Entropy System
Winner 2010: LVSC Opening line
Winner 2009: Vegas Line (updated)
Winner 2008: Ken Ashby
Winner 2007: Computer Adjusted Line
Winner 2006: Brian Gabrielle
Winner 2005: Vegas Line (updated)
Winner 2004: Vegas Line (updated)
Winner 2003: Vegas Line (updated)
Winner 2002: FreeSportsPlay.com
Winner 2001: Vegas Line (updated)
Winner 2000: Vegas Line (updated)
Winner 1999: Vegas Line (updated)




 SMALLEST BIAS (Entire Season)  


Winner: Roger Johnson

  Bias is a little different from deviation.  Deviation measures the distance
between a prediction and the actual result.  Bias combines distance and location
of the prediction.   Bias measures whether the predictions are too high or too low.
So if a system has an average bias of +0.25 that means that on average the system
gave 0.25 points too many to the home team.
  Rojer Johnson hashad the smallest bias over the full season, -0.0177.
FF-Winners was the second place finisher.  This year the values were overwhelmingly above zero
with most over favoring the home team by .5 to 1 point.


Winner 2018: Roger Johnson       -0.01770
Winner 2017: System Median,      -0.01190
Winner 2016: TeamRanknings.com,  -0.00370
Winner 2015: Lou St. John         0.01000
Winner 2014: Sagarin Points Elo
Winner 2013: Game Time Decision
Winner 2012: PerformanZ Ratings
Winner 2011; Lee Burdorf
Winner 2010: Stephen Kerns
Winner 2009; System Median
Winner 2008: ARGH Power Ratings
Winner 2007: CPA Rankings
Winner 2006: Tom Benson
Winner 2005: Sagarin Elo (record 0.001)
Winner 2004: System Average
Winner 2003: CPA Rankings
Winner 2002: Sagarin Pure Points
Winner 2001: ARGH Power Ratings
Winner 2000: Pigskin Index
Winner 1999: Flyman Ratings



 MOST ACCURATE SYSTEM - SMALLEST MEAN SQUARE ERROR (Entire Season)


Winner: Midweek Line

 This award is based on mean square error. Mean square error takes
into account both deviation and bias and is a commonly used measure
of evaluating estimators.
  Like we saw with absolute error the winner here is the updated line, 165.649.
Just a little bit better than the updated line.  Pi-Rate Ratings was the best
non line based system at 169.041.  So it seems the full season awards were all
about either Pi-Rate or the midweek line.

Winner 2018: Midweek Line    165.649
Winner 2017: Updated Line,   173.557
Winner 2016: Midweek Line  (record 136.253  )
Winner 2015: Dokter Entropy  167.210
Winner 2014: Computer Adjusted Line   208.691
Winner 2013: Lou St. John  157.3140
Winner 2012: Vegas Line (updated)
Winner 2011: Dokter Entropy System
Winner 2010: Computer Adjusted Line
Winner 2009: Vegas Line (updated)
Winner 2008: Computer Adjusted Line
Winner 2007: Computer Adjusted Line
Winner 2006: Computer Adjusted Line
Winner 2005: Vegas Line (updated)
Winner 2004: Vegas Line (updated)
Winner 2003: Vegas Line (opening)
Winner 2002: FreeSportsPlay.com
Winner 2001: Vegas Line
Winner 2000: Pigskin Index




            SECOND HALF AWARDS 


Some systems donít begin publishing rankings until every team has played a couple of games, while
the season-long systems often rely on preset starting values in the early part of the season. For
those reasons, I like to look at the results over the second half of the season when these systems
have had time to become 'burned in' to  the season's data. Second half data consists of all games
from week 10 through the Super Bowl.


  BEST STRAIGHT UP WINNERS (Second Half)


Winner: Least squares with team specific HFA

 Least squares regression with team specific home field advantages had the best win/loss
record over the second half, 89-44, 66.917%.  This was not a very good winning record,
almost 6% behind the winners from the last two seasons. WhatIfSports, or now I believe
foxsports, was in second place, one game behind. The updated line was 8th place at 64.66%.
The opening line was not very good during the second half, 47th place at 60.9%


Winner 2018: Least squares with team specific HFA           66.917%
Winner 2017: Lou St. John, Least absolute value regression  72.593%
Winner 2016: Midweek Line, Donchess Inference, System Average, Massey Ratings, Bihl Rankings   72.388%
Winner 2015: Talisman Red
Winner 2014: Logistic Regression
Winner 2013: Ed Bemiss
Winner 2012: Sonny Moore, Kasulis Enhanced Spread
Winner 2011: Turnover adjusted least squares
Winner 2010: LVSC opening line
Winner 2009: The Vegas line, Computer adjusted line, Ashby AccuRatings, StatFox, Upset Report, CPA Rankings
Winner 2008: Nutshell Girl
Winner 2007: Computer Adjusted Line, Vegas Line (updated)
Winner 2006: Least Absolute Value Regression
Winner 2005: Vegas Line (updated), Nutshell Sports (record 100-37, 72.99%)
Winner 2004: Pigskin Index
Winner 2003: JFM Power Ratings, Kasulis Enhanced Spread, Beck Elo
Winner 2002: Least Absolute Value Regression, JFM Power Ratings, CPA Rankings
Winner 2001: Pythagorean Ratings, Elo Ratings, Ken Massey Ratings
Winner 2000: PerformanZ Ratings, Scoring Effeciency
Winner 1999: Ken Massey, Ed Kambor, Pythagorean Ratings



  BEST AGAINST THE SPREAD (Second Half)

Winner: Lou St. John

 Lou St. John had the best ATS record in the second half, 76-52, 59.375%. That sounds
high but is slightly lower than the winner last year and well below a record.
Kalin Ratings was also better than 59%.  In all there was 13 better than 55% and
three did worse than 45%. Just over half did better than 50%.


Winner 2018: Lou St. John 59.375%
Winner 2017: Updated Line 62.222%, Sonny Moore 60%
Winner 2016: Updated Line 54%  ProComputerGambler  53.435%
Winner 2015: Computer adjusted line, Dokter Entropy.
Winner 2014: Least Squares regression, computer adjusted line (record  65.476% in 63% of games)
Winner 2013: Sonshine forecast  63.551%
Winner 2012: Sagarin Predictor, Sagarin Overall
Winner 2011: Kambour Ratings
Winner 2010: Sagarin Predictor, Edward Kambour
Winner 2009: Grid Iron Gold
Winner 2008: Ken Ashby
Winner 2007: Least Squares with Team Specific HFA
Winner 2006: CPA Rankings
Winner 2005: Tom Benson
Winner 2004: ARGH Power Ratings
Winner 2003: Logistic Regression, Viacheslav Ugolnikov
Winner 2002: Least Absolute Value Regression (record against updated line 78-52, 60.0%)
Winner 2001: Stat Fox
Winner 2000: Pythagorean Ratings
Winner 1999: Least squares using team specific home field advantages




  SMALLEST MEAN ABSOLUTE ERROR (Second Half)

Winner: Lou St. John

  Theoretically there should be a correlation between low error and
increased ATS.  And this year we have Lou. St. John winning both.
St. John had a mean absolute error of 9.4442.  This was only slightly
larger than the updates line won with last season. This second half
the line finished in fourth. kalin Ratings (in few games) and ProComputerGambler
were the only ones to have smaller error than the line.

Winner 2018: Lou St. John          9.4442
Winner 2017: Vegas Line (updated)  9.3926
Winner 2016: Vegas Line (updated)  (Record 9.1903)
Winner 2015: Talisman Red
Winner 2014: Least Squares regression
Winner 2013: Ironrank.com
Winner 2012: Lou St. John
Winner 2011: Turnover adjusted least squares
Winner 2010: Massey Ratings
Winner 2009: Vegas Line (updated)
Winner 2008: The Entropy System
Winner 2007: Vegas Line (updated)
Winner 2006: Jeff Self
Winner 2005: Vegas Line (updated)
Winner 2004: Least Squares Regression
Winner 2003: Vegas Line (updated)
Winner 2002: FreeSportsPlays.com
Winner 2001: Vegas Line (updated)
Winner 2000: Pythagorean Ratings




  SMALLEST BIAS (Second Half)    

Winner: Opening Line

 The opening lne had the smalledst bias in the second half, 0.0263.  A simple points per
game calculator was second best.  Over the second half the biases were still mostly towards
the home team but not quite a strong as the full season data.

Winner 2018: Opening Line         0.0263
Winner 2017: Teamrankings.com    -0.0341
Winner 2016: ESPN FPI             0.1868
Winner 2015: LS - w/ team HFA
Winner 2014: Locksmith picks
Winner 2013: Covers.com
Winner 2012: Nutshell Sports
Winner 2011: Lee Burdorf
Winner 2010: CPA Retro Rankings
Winner 2009; Game Time Decision
Winner 2008: CPA Rankings
Winner 2007: Pigskin Index (record 0.0077)
Winner 2006: CPA Retro Rankings
Winner 2005: Kasulis Enhanced Spread
Winner 2004: Tom Benson Gridmarks
Winner 2003: CPA Rankings
Winner 2002: StatFox.com
Winner 2001: Monte Carlo Markov Chain
Winner 2000: Flyman Performance Ratings
Winner 1999: Flyman Performance Ratings




  MOST ACCURATE SYSTEM - SMALLEST MEAN SQUARE ERROR (Second Half)

Winner: Midweek Line

 The midweek Line was the most accurate predictor of the score differential as measured
by mean square error, 152.72.  Kalin Ratings was lower in fewer games but if you
restricted everyone to just those games he would no stay on top. Otherwise, the top
five are all based on the line. The top non line was Lou St. John.


Winner 2018: Midweek Line  152.720
Winner 2017: Updated Line  150.310
Winner 2016: Computer Adjusted Line (record 147.025)
Winner 2015: Talisman Red
Winner 2014: Ironrank.com
Winner 2013: Steven Jens
Winner 2012: Vegas Line (updated)
Winner 2011: Turnover adjusted least squares
Winner 2010: Jeff Sagarin
Winner 2009: Vegas Line (updated)
Winner 2008: Hank Trexler
Winner 2007: Vegas Line (updated)
Winner 2006: CPA Rankings
Winner 2005: Vegas Line (updated)
Winner 2004: Computer Adjusted Line
Winner 2003: Viacheslav Ugolnikov
Winner 2002: FreeSportsPlay.com
Winner 2001: Hank's Power Ratings
Winner 2000: Pythagorean Ratings



   BEST PREDICTIVE SYSTEM (Entire Season)

Winner: Pi-Rate Mean

To come up with the best overall predictive system I give each system
points for how well they do in all of the above categories.  I then sum up
the points and the system with the highest total is dubbed predictive system
of the year.  So this award goes to the system that is the most well rounded.
One flaw can totally take a system out of the running.
  Nameing Pi-Rate Mean the best predictive system for the full season comes
as a bit of a surprise as it seemed at the time that Pi-Rate Ratings was at
the top of the charts most of the season.  But what may be an even bigger
surprise is that technically I have Kalin Ratings at the top spot. But I am
knocking it down for missing 27 games.  Pi-Rate Ratings was third overall.
The difference between the two Pi-Rates was Mean did better ATS than Ratings
did straight up.


Winner 2018: Pi-Rate Mean
Winner 2017: Donchess Inference
Winner 2016: Game Time Decision
Winner 2015: Doktor Entropy
Winner 2014: Pythagorean Ratings
Winner 2013: Ed Bemiss
Winner 2012: Sagarin Pure Points
Winner 2011: nationalsportsrankings.com
Winner 2010: LVSC opening line
Winner 2009: Vegas Line
Winner 2008: Ken Ashby
Winner 2007: Jeff Sagarin
Winner 2006: Brian Gabrielle
Winner 2005: Vegas Line
Winner 2004: Least Absolute Value Regression
Winner 2003: Beck Elo
Winner 2002: Matthews Grid
Winner 2001: CPA Rankings
Winner 2000: Ed Kambour


  BEST PREDICTIVE SYSTEM (Second Half)



Winner: Lou St. John

  The top point getter in the second half was Lou St. John.
The results of St. John and Kalin Ratings almost mirrored each other except
for Kalin had subpar bias numbers.  Kalin was fourth.  Computer Adjusted
Line and updated Line were 3rd and 4th.

Winner 2018: Lou St. John
Winner 2017: Game Time Decision
Winner 2016: ESPN FPI
Winner 2015: Talisman Red
Winner 2014: GameTimeDecison
Winner 2013: IronRank.com
Winner 2012: Sagarin Pure Points
Winner 2011: Edward Kambour Ratings
Winner 2010: LVSC opening line
Winner 2009: Game Time Decision
Winner 2008: Dokter Entropy System
Winner 2007: Cover 81
Winner 2006: CPA Retro
Winner 2005: Hank Trexler
Winner 2004: ARGH Power Ratings
Winner 2003: CPA Rankings
Winner 2002: Kenneth Massey
Winner 2001: Monte Carlo Markov Chain
Winner 2000: Pythagorean Ratings





       Totals Winners     


  AGAINST THE SPREAD 

2018 Updated Line   59.627%    RP Excel 2  55.426%
2017 Talismon Red   54.023%
2016 Opening Line   56.500%


  Absolute Error 

2018 Updated Line    10.7959
2017 Midweek Line    11.2744
2016 Updated Line     9.8184


  Mean Square Error 

2018 Updated Line    182.793
2017 Midweek Line    207.498
2016 Updated Line    151.283


  Bias 

2018 Midweek Line          0.02630
2017 Cleanup Hitter        0.17860
2016 ComPughter Ratings   -0.03090



  AGAINST THE SPREAD Second Half

2018 Dan Hanson      64.615%
2017 RP Excel 2      59.350%
2016 Pi-Ratings      58.763%


  Absolute Error Second Half 

2018 Dan Hanson      11.0700
2017 Midweek Line    10.8694
2016 RP Excel 2       9.1278


  Mean Square Error Second Half 

2018 Updated Line     201.526
2017 Midweek Line     196.832
2016 RP Excel 2       134.520


  Bias  Second Half 

2018 Donchess           -0.05070
2017 Dan Hanson          0.14380
2016 System Average      0.29170