Our smoothest operator Tom Federico sat down (OK, more like talked on the phone, but “sat down” sounds so much more serious, doesn’t it?) with ESPN’s Chad Millman yesterday to answer some questions that Mr. Millman had about this week’s NFL line changes.
The conversation led to this informative post on Millman’s Insider blog: NFL Week 6 Line Moves.
One thing we feel we should note, which didn’t make it into the post: a portion of the line change in the Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens game is likely due to the news that Mario Williams was placed on the injured reserve list. While individual injuries are seldom backbreaking in the NFL — with the notable exception of one Peyton Manning — Mario Williams was a force for the Texans, and will be tough to replace.
The SportsCenter Predictor touchscreen app that the TeamRankings crew built this summer has been up and running for about two weeks now, and the web versions have been on ESPN Insider for the same period — see the NFL Predictor and the College Football Predictor.
Apparently the gang in Bristol thought the apps had been around long enough that it was time for a short feature about them on ESPN Front Row. The highlight is a video featuring NFL analyst Lomas Brown telling us what he likes about The Predictor, and the post itself gives a bit of brief background on its creation — including how it rose from the ashes to become a useful tool. Check it out:
It’s been a big week here in TeamRankings headquarters! Yesterday on the noon Eastern SportsCenter, a project we’ve been working on for the last month and a half finally made its debut under the hot lights of the small screen.
As we all watched with anticipation, our new custom-built touchscreen app — dubbed “The Predictor” — was rolled out for the first time and placed under the command of gentle giant Marcellus Wiley. Here’s a screenshot, unfortunately the video is no longer available on the ESPN site:
The Predictor utilizes logic derived from our official Similar Games model, which we currently take advantage of to generate predictions for every single game across all 5 leagues that we cover. (Here’s a description of our Similar Games model, and here’s an example prediction of the Week 3 Green Bay-Chicago matchup.)
ESPN analysts can select a game, pick the stats they think will be most important, and then get a prediction tailored to their choices.
Keep watching ESPN SportsCenter throughout the football season to see “The Predictor” applied to the biggest games each week.
You Can Use It Too! (if you’re an Insider)
In addition to the touchscreen app featured on the show, we’ve created two online apps that are available to ESPN Insiders. These function in the exact same manner as the version you see on TV, except they’re optimized for your mouse, rather than a former NFL lineman’s presumably fat fingers. Read more »
Chad Millman, ESPN gambling correspondent and new editor-in-chief of ESPN The Magazine, was gracious enough to have our own Tom Federico on his podcast today, partly as a follow up to a previous post about the most and least profitable MLB pitcher so far this year, and partly to chat about gambling in general, and the TeamRankings philosophy.
Check out Tom’s velvety baritone and binomial distribution jokes on Behind the Bets.
Great news to announce…thanks to our friends at Intel Corporation, TeamRankings.com is now featured in a newly launched print and web campaign entitled “What’s Next.” Check out the video and article on us at:
The Intel campaign features companies and entrepreneurs who are doing exciting things with technology and computing power in a variety of industries, and we were chosen for the sports category.
After watching the opening sequences, I’m surprised they didn’t ask me to wolf down some spaghetti and meatballs for the camera while I talked, just to support the theme. Or at least throw in a “Fuhgeddaboudit” or two.
On a more serious note, we definitely make full use of our microchips when it comes to processing sports data and running our predictive models, and that was very interesting to them. Intel is also testing some emerging technology that could do some pretty impressive stuff regarding automatically gathering and processing new statistical data from video feeds of live sporting events. We can’t wait to get our hands on that when the time comes.
(For the record, we indeed do all of our back-end development on Intel-based Apple Powerbooks…Matt is a big Mac fan. I’m still in PC land.)
So we’d like to officially thank Intel and Time Inc. for the opportunity; it was a first-class operation all the way. Also, major props to our friend David Mihm, who runs the March Madness site Bracketography.com, for the timely plug that helped lead to this feature.