Frequently Asked Questions

What is W% and how is it calculated?

W% is the win probability of each team this week. It is calculated from the money lines available from Pinnacle Sports. Sometimes if a money line is not available, a spread may be converted to a win probability.


Where do you get your spread data?

For the current week, we use the spreads provided by Pinnacle Sports.

For all future matchups, we currently use a combination of future odds and power rankings to estimate potential spreads.


What is P% and how is it calculated?

P% is the percentage of people who are picking each team this week. We take public pick data provided by Yahoo and OFP and then track and average these percentages.


What is EV and how is it calculated?

EV is the expected value of your entry in a pool if you pick a particular team, and is calculated using the W% and P% of each team for the current week. The figure displayed is the expected value of pool entry with a value of 1 before the week.

Here's a simple example to help explain. Consider pool with 10 people in it and only 2 teams to choose between:

Team A: 80% to win, 8 people picked (W%=80%, P%=80%)
Team B: 70% to win, 2 people picked (W%=70%, P%=20%)

If you pick Team A:
Team A wins, Team B wins: 56% likely, 10 remain (entry value=1)
Team A wins, Team B loses: 24% likely, 8 remain (entry value= 10/8 = 1.25)
Team A loses: 20% likely, eliminated (entry value=0)
EV = 56%*1 + 24%*1.25 + 20%*0 = 0.86

If you pick Team B:
Team A wins, Team B wins: 56% likely, 10 remain (entry value=1)
Team A loses, Team B wins: 14% likely, 2 remain (entry value=5)
Team B loses: 30% likely, eliminated (entry value=0)
EV = 56%*1 + 14%*5 + 30%*0 = 1.26

As you can see, Team A is more likely to win (and thus you are more likely to move to the next week), but Team B has a much higher EV due to the fact that an upset of Team A will knockout so many more people than an upset of Team B. Picking Team B you are less likely to move on, but if you do you are more likely to be in a better position to win the pool.

Using computers we take this formula and extended it to all 32 teams to find the EV of each pick.


What does Future Value mean and how is it calculated?

The 1-5 star rating for Future Value is meant to provide an easily visible approximation of the value remaining after this week for a team (e.g. a team with no stars likely has few to no more games where they are favored, so now may be the best week to use them). It is not based on anything from the current week, only all future weeks. During the regular season it is calculated by summing the difference in win probability and 50% for all remaining games in which the team is favored. The values are displayed with highest valued team receiving 5 stars and all others being assigned linearly.

During the playoffs Future Value is based on the Super Bowl future odds currently available at Pinnacle Sports.


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