Welcome to the 20th 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 2019 I tracked 65 rating/pediction systems that had data in he NFL for
at least half of the season.


BEST STRAIGHT UP WINNERS (Entire Season)

Winner: Steven Jens



 This season Steven Jens had the best record predicting games straight up, 177-89, 66.54%.
It was the second lowest winning percentage we've seen in the last decade.  Donchess Inference
finished in second one game behind.
The updated line was only 63.9% this year, and finished in 25th place.  Updated line did one
game better than the midweek line and 6 games better than the opening line.


Winner 2019: Steven Jens        66.541%
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: Computer Adjusted Line
Winner: Cleanup Hitter



 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 poor year for playing systems against the spread.  26 systems did better than
50%.  Compare that to 41 and 50  last two season.
The computer adjusted line had the best record ATS at 103-74, 58.192%.   I split this out to a co-winner
Cleanup Hitter because the computer adjusted line does not make a pick on every game. It only makes picks
in about 2/3 of the games.  The updated line was second but again does not pick different than the midweek
line on every game.  Cleanup Hitter was the top with all games picked at 139-109, 56.048%.
Only four did better then 55%.  The majority where in the 47-53% area, or not really different than being random.


Winner 2019: Computer Adjusted Line (58.192%), Cleanup Hitter (56.048%)
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:  Computer Adjusted 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 Computer Adjusted line had the smallest absolute error for the year, 10.1966.
The updated line was only 0.0038 points behind in second. It's been 5 years since a
non-line system won this. This year Kasulis ESP2 was the top non-line system finish in
4th place.


Winner 2019: Computer Adjusted Line  10.1966
Winner 2018: Vegas Line (midweek)     9.7462
Winner 2017: Vegas Line (updated)    10.1124
Winner 2016: Vegas Line (updated)     8.9607  * record
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: Foxsports (whatif)

  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.
  The predictions from foxsports.com had the smallest bias over the full season, 0.0097.
The whatifsports predictions page began redirecting to the foxsports page, so I assume they
are the source of these predictions. The numbers are kind of interesting here.  This wining
value is very good, but after that Least Squares is good at -.01 but then the numbers start
going up fast. The media was actually around 2.2 too many points on the home team.  Only 3 out
of 65 systems had too many points onthe road teams.



Winner 2019: Foxsports            0.00970
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: Updated 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.
  The updated line had the smallest mean square error for the full season, 171.328.
This was only 0.001 points better than the computer adjusted line. Everyone else
was another two and half points or more behind. Kasulis ESP2 was the highest non-line
based system at 4th place with 173.859


Winner 2019: Updated Line             171.328
Winner 2018: Midweek Line             165.649
Winner 2017: Updated Line             173.557
Winner 2016: Midweek Line             136.253   * record
Winner 2015: Dokter Entropy           167.210
Winner 2014: Computer Adjusted Line   208.691
Winner 2013: Lou St. John             157.314
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: Sagarin Golden Mean
Winner: Donchess Inference
Winner: RoundTable

 We had a three way tie for best straight up record in the second half. There is a tie
in the category more often than not so this is not unusual.  Sagarin Golden Mean,
Donchess Inference, and RoundTable all had a record of 87-45, 65.909%  This is the lowest
winning record since 2015.  The updated line was in 19th place at 63.6%

Winner 2019: Sagarin Golden Mean, Donchess Inference, Roundtable  65.909%
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                                    65.185%
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: Updated Line
Winner: Cleanup Hitter

 The updated line had he best ATS percentage, 63.6% but as I have pointed out before
does not pick every game against the Midweek line, and is also when it comes to
betting against the current line, itself.  So I name co-winner Cleanup Hitter, which
had a second half record of 70-50, 59.8%
As with the full season I think the numbers this year were best described as average
to poor. 22 out of 64 systems did better then 50%. There was actually 9 systems that
did worse than 45%, two that did only 40%.


Winner 2019: Updated Line 63.636%, Cleanup Hitter 59.848%
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: Updated Line

 The updated line had the smallest error over the second half with an average
miss of 10.6364.  Again this is the worst we have seen since 2015. Over a point
worse than each of the last 3 seasons. Kasulis ESP2 at #4 was the only top 5
finisher that was a non-line entry.

Winner 2019: Updated Line         10.6364
Winner 2018: Lou St. John          9.4442
Winner 2017: Vegas Line (updated)  9.3926
Winner 2016: Vegas Line (updated)  9.1903  * record
Winner 2015: Talisman Red         10.6754
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: Dan Hanson

 Dan Hanson had the smalledst bias in the second half, 0.0264. Like the full season the
second half tended to give around 2 points too many to the home team. For whatever reason
the road teams over performed expectations all season long.

Winner 2019: Dan Hanson           0.0264
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: Updated Line

 The updated Line was the most accurate predictor of the score differential as measured
by mean square error over the second half of the seaosn, 186.883. Again the worst we have
seen in five years.  The top non line entry was 3rd place Kasulis ESP2, 4 points behind.


Winner 2019: Updated Line            186.883
Winner 2018: Midweek Line            152.720
Winner 2017: Updated Line            150.310
Winner 2016: Computer Adjusted Line  147.025  * Record
Winner 2015: Talisman Red            193.260
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:  Updated Line
Winner: TalismanRed.com


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.
 This season was a bit of a tossup like never before with multiple category
winners and nobody dominating across the board. Technically the top spot in
my scoreing system goes to the updated line with the computer adjusted line
in a close second.  After that is a a 13% drop off before you get the third
place finisher TalismanRed.com which is a bit of a suprise leader. Fox Sports
was then close behind Talisman.


Winner 2019: Updated Line, TalismanRed.com
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: Updated Line
Winner: TalismanRed.com

The second half went much like the full season with the exception that second
place computer adjusted line wasn't quite a close.  Again TalismanRed.com was
third place, but this time a good 40% lower than the line. Sagarin Recent was
next behind TalismanRed.


Winner 2019: Updated Line, TalismanRed.com
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 

2019 RP Excel       55.251%
2018 Updated Line   59.627%    RP Excel 2  55.426%
2017 Talismon Red   54.023%
2016 Opening Line   56.500%


  Absolute Error 

2019 Midweek Line    10.7753
2018 Updated Line    10.7959
2017 Midweek Line    11.2744
2016 Updated Line     9.8184


  Mean Square Error 

2019 Updated Line    180.363
2018 Updated Line    182.793
2017 Midweek Line    207.498
2016 Updated Line    151.283


  Bias 

2019 Roundtable            0.0513
2018 Midweek Line          0.0263
2017 Cleanup Hitter        0.1786
2016 ComPughter Ratings   -0.0309



  AGAINST THE SPREAD Second Half

2019 Cleanup Hitter  55.469%
2018 Dan Hanson      64.615%
2017 RP Excel 2      59.350%
2016 Pi-Ratings      58.763%


  Absolute Error Second Half 

2019 Midweek Line    10.7955
2018 Dan Hanson      11.0700
2017 Midweek Line    10.8694
2016 RP Excel 2       9.1278


  Mean Square Error Second Half 

2019 Updated Line     176.890
2018 Updated Line     201.526
2017 Midweek Line     196.832
2016 RP Excel 2       134.520


  Bias  Second Half 

2019 FoxSports          -0.0649
2018 Donchess           -0.0507
2017 Dan Hanson          0.1438
2016 System Average      0.2917