Welcome to the 21th 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 2020 I tracked 59 rating/pediction systems that had data in he NFL for
at least half of the season.  A few systems sat out the season, due to the unknown COVID-19
would have on the season.


BEST STRAIGHT UP WINNERS (Entire Season)

Winner: Kasulis Enhanced Spread
Winner: Lou St. Johmn



 This season Kasulis Enhanced Spread and Lou St. John, neither of which have websites,
finished tied with the best straight up winners in 2020, 183-85, 68.284%.
Donchess Inference appears to have a higher winning percentage but if I go back and
get his missing week 1 data then he drops a game  back.  So that is the second year
in a row Donchess ends one game behind the leader.
The updated line finished in 22nd place, 5 games behind the leaders.  The midweek
line was better in 10th place while the opening line was 39th place. The opening line
did not fare well in college or pro this season.


Winner 2020: Kasulis Enhanced Spread, Lou St. John  68.284%
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: Dokter Entropy



 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.  43 out of 58 systems did
better than 50%.  Compare that to only 26 last season.
Dokter Entropy of Timetravelsports had the best record ATS at 146-116, 55.725%.  The weird concept
of the updated line betting against the midweek line was second place.  This always seems to do well.


Winner 2020: Dokter Entropy  (55.725%)
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, 9.8216.
Dokter Entropy was in second place 0.73 points behind. So CAL had a sizeable lead.
The midweek line was 3rd and updated line 4th.


Winner 2020: Computer Adjusted Line   9.8216
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: Lou St. John

  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 Lou St. John had the smallest bias over the full season, 0.14580.
This is the largest number we have seen in a while. Dab Hanson was second place.
The numbers were very large this year, with the median being about 1.76 too many points
on the home teams. Not a single system gave too few points to the home teams. I think that
is likely due to many teams playing in empty stadiums as a response to conserns about the
COVID virus.


Winner 2020: Lou St. John         0.14580
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: 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.
  The midweek line had the smallest mean square error for the full season, 160.157.
A little under a point better than the updated line.  The best non line
based system was Dokter Entropy in 5th place.


Winner 2020: Midweek Line             160.157
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: PerformanZ Ratings


Historically this category often has multiple systems tie for the lead, often with three
systems.  This year there is only one winner.  And it was my own PerformanZ Ratings,
gettting 70.588% correct, 96-40. I'm not really sure what lead to the better than normal
season but it did seem that correlations between team stats and winning percentages was
stronger than usual. The midweek line and system median finished one game behind.  So I
was the only system to beat the midweek line.  The updated line was 3 games worse than the
midweek line and the opening line was 7 games worse.


Winner 2020: Performanz Ratings                                   70.588%
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: Computer Adjusted Line
Winner: Jeff Sagarin Rating
Winner: Points per game

 The computer adjusted line had he best ATS percentage, 59.259% but as I have pointed out before
does not always differ from the line so does not have a pick on every game. Jeff Sagarin's
Rating and a very simple points per game based calculation were the next highest, 58.015%, 76-55.
Last year the records were rather poor, this year I would say they were very good.  49 out of
58 did bettert than 50%.  A strong 19 did better than 55%. So there was money to be won this year.


Winner 2020: Computer adjusted line (59.259), Sagarin Rating (58.015), Points per game (58.015)
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: Median of all systems

The system median had the smallest average error over the second half.
This is quite interesting.  Typically the average and mean are better than average
at everything but rarely the best at anything.  The lines must have had an off year
as the highest line was the midweek line in 7th place. In fact even the opening line
did better than the updated line.  My PerformanZ Ratings came in second place 0.01
points behind.


Winner 2020: System Median        10.1123
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: Logistic Regression

Logistic regression had the smalledst bias in the second half, 0.042.  At least some of the systems
seem to dial in on over the second half.  The top 10-15 were much better than the rest.  On the whole
too many points were still being given to the home teams.  Least absolute value regression was
the second best.  It does appear to me that the ones that did better tended to be systems that
estimate the home field rather give the typical 3 points.


Winner 2020: Logistic Regression  0.0420
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: Jeff Sagarin Rating

 Sagarin Golden Mean was the most accurate predictor of the score differential as measured
by mean square error over the second half of the seaosn, 172.371.  This was followed by the
midweek and opening line.  It is a little strange to see the updated line down in 10th place,
lower than the lines taken earlier in the week.


Winner 2020: Sagarin Golden mean     172.371
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: ProComputerGambler
Winner: Donchess DRatings


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 quite close.  The system with the highest total score is
Tom Herbert from ProComputerGambler.net  Because his system is  based on making
adjustments to the vegas line I want to also recognize a non line based system.
Second place was the computer adjusted line, also based on making adjustments to
the line.  Third place is Jeff Donchess with Donchess Inference, www.dratings.com.
Those three were within 3 points.


Winner 2020: ProComputerGambler, Donchess
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: computer Adjusted Line
Winner: Sagarin Ratings

 For the second half the computer adjusted line wins by a little bigger margin than we saw in
the full season numbers.  But to also recognize non-line based systems I move to second place
and also give the nod to Jeff Sagarin and his main Sagarin Ratings.  I was hoping it would be
my PerformanZ ratings but they finished in 3rd a point behind Sagarin.


Winner 2020: Computer Updated Line, Sagarin Ratings
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 

2020 Donchess Inference   55.870%
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 

2020 Updated Line    10.3532
2019 Midweek Line    10.7753
2018 Updated Line    10.7959
2017 Midweek Line    11.2744
2016 Updated Line     9.8184


  Mean Square Error 

2020 Updated Line    170.667
2019 Updated Line    180.363
2018 Updated Line    182.793
2017 Midweek Line    207.498
2016 Updated Line    151.283


  Bias 

2020 Talisman Red         -0.0026
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