The 2020-21 college football season was capped off last night with a dominant win for Alabama over Ohio State to win their sixth title in the last twelve years. Despite the tumultuous external factors and some scheduling mishaps, I'd say it was a successful season that crowned the most deserving champion without putting any player or coach at significant health risk. During this year's regular season, each member of the Bucket Squad crew gave betting predictions for every SEC matchup each week. We all picked the straight up victor, the winner against the spread, and the over/under for each game of the season.
When it was all said and done, this is what the final scoreboard looked like:
Congrats to Jacob, who nearly swept the board, winning outright in the overall and money line categories, and tying for first with Micah in bets against the spread. Alex ended up being the best in over/under bets, but in a dramatic swing, finished dead last in bets against the spread. Ryne and myself were the consistent cabooses in the other three categories.
After the regular season concluded, I ran a basic analysis on our picks to try to determine any notable trends in our collective effort to provide the most accurate betting analysis we could. I thought the best way to judge our success was to determine the win percentages of bets that we all or mostly agreed upon.
There are three types of bets:
There are three classifications of bet predictions:
For each type of bet, I figured out which classification it fell into based on how many of us picked it. Then, after every bet placed fell into one of the three classifications, I sorted them by type of bet to determine how many times we correctly picked a game right that we agreed upon versus how many times we were incorrect in those scenarios. Here are the results represented as win/loss records:
And here are the respective win percentages.
As you can see, we had pretty solid percentages when we unanimously agreed on a pick, especially when that unanimous decision was on a money line pick. We were less successful when picking the over/under, however. Unless we were unanimous, which was rare, we lost a decent bit more than we won on those bets. The point totals were hard to predict for this SEC season, as teams seemed to have somewhat high variances in their scoring offenses and defenses from week to week. The only other failed scenario is when four of us agreed on a pick against the spread. I don't really know how to explain that, but it's encouraging that it was the only classification against the spread with a losing record, though it had the highest concentration of picks in that type and category.
In summary, I would say the Bucket Squad experts did a relatively good job picking our games. It turned out that our picks against the spread and picks on the point total basically evened each other out, but our collective straight up picks won at a high rate. Using this data, which will become more accurate with a bigger sample size over additional seasons, I would say to definitely heed our advice when it comes to straight up bets in SEC games, and lean toward who we predict to cover. I think that Majority 4 against the spread scenario is a bit of an anomaly, honestly, but only time will tell.
Thank you for anyone who kept up with our competition throughout the SEC football schedule. We will continue to have friendly prediction contests for big events in the sporting world, and we'll hopefully improve on our projections in the 2021-22 college football season.
Written by Nick Swatson