Boasting about your prowess in predicting how a game will turn out is an old barroom favorite — and something Las Vegas touts have been doing in newsletters and emails for decades. But as computer models grow more sophisticated, gamblers rely on them more heavily, swayed by data-heavy success stories like Moneyball. And since media has become enamored with data too, CBS Sportsline has taken to advising gamblers in the same way Vegas touts do, except that CBS doesn’t sell its picks. Remember that old adage that things are worth what you pay for them? Well, in CBS’s NFL picks case, this weekend was a good example.
CBS not only revealed that its advanced computer modeling predicted the “under” in the Vikings-Saints game, but the headline at CBS described the “advanced computer model loving the under.” (emphasis ours). Well it seems even computers can experience unrequited love, because the Vikings-Saints game went over. With an over-under line at 46.5, the two teams managed to put 53 points on the board. Love is so fickle! Even computer love evidently. CBS boasted that it arrived at “under” prediction after its computers modeled the game 10,000 times. Yes, a last second Vikings touchdown stunned the Saints, the NFL and fans — but it’s worth noting the game was already over before that final TD. To quote CBS before the game: “We can tell you the model is loving the Under (46.5) in the Vikings-Saints game.” But then that’s the way gambling goes. It’s good to be the house.