AccuScore, a sports betting system, provided ESPN the Magazine with 2012 NFL projections. I subscribe to the magazine and flipped through the NFL preview over the weekend, and was slightly surprised to see the Packers projected to go 16-0 and the Rams 0-16. Both were so surprising I actually googgled AccuScore to find out what the company was all about.
Here’s the problem – ESPN appears to have bungled the information AccuScore provided them. AccuScore posted this message on its website under the headline, ESPN CONFUSED:
There is a discrepancy however in how the Magazine interpreted our results, and how our actual Win-Loss projections are calculated. What happened in the Magazine was that we provided our projected scores for each and every game of the NFL season. ESPN then took whichever team averaged more points and took that as a win, loss, or tie. That is how Green Bay is “projected” to go 16-0 while St. Louis is 0-16. Our actual projections take into account the winning percentage in each and every game actually have the Packers finishing on average with a 12-4 record, and the Rams at 4-12.
This is possibly because, even though Green Bay is favored in each and every game, that does not guarantee victory in every game.
One of the best ways to illustrate this discrepancy is a weather forecast. If the weatherman told you there was a 47 percent chance of rain for the next 20 days you would expect it to rain eight to 10 days, maybe even 11. You would not expect every day to be free of rain just because no rain is more “likely.” That is exactly what the difference is between our published projections in ESPN the Magazine and our actual NFL projections.