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Videogames Make Traditional Super Bowl Predictions 76

Posted by simoniker
from the fourth-quarter-knockout dept.
Thanks to Reuters for its article discussing videogame-based predictions for this weekend's Super Bowl. The piece explains: "Days before the real football championship is contested, Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith has beaten the New England Patriots' wide-out Troy Brown 29-21 in a head-to-head video game matchup." The match was played on Sony's NFL GameDay 2004, and it's noted: "In the first eight years of the event, the winner of the electronic showdown went on to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy as the Super Bowl champion." Elsewhere, 1UP has done its own Super Bowl predictions on four different football videogames, and the final results also favor the Panthers.
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Videogames Make Traditional Super Bowl Predictions

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  • Wow (Score:2, Funny)

    by Fitascious (127984)
    Never thought I would see Troy Brown's name in a slashdot story....

    GO PATS!!!
    • Agreed!

      I don't think any vidoegame can really capture the the real essence of this team anyway.

      For fans of NE style music/humor/denigration-of-others they've been playing the Pats song featured here: http://www.meatdepressed.com/Music.asp on the radio recently. For fans of other teams, too bad. :)

      And yes, the song is suppoed to be funny.
  • by IncarnadineConor (457458) on Friday January 30, 2004 @09:39AM (#8133970)
    I suspect the video game companies have rated the patriots players a bit low what with the real life team being on a 14 game winning streak and all. I would guess that the reason the games have been fairly accurate predictors in the past is because they have done a good job capturing the varrying skill levels of the players, but for some reason the patriots I watch on TV seem vastly better then the patriots I control in Madden.
    • Zen Football (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Games don't do well with the decision making aspect. The Patriots win their games at the D-line. Getting solid pressure on everyone while allowing their linebackers a more versitile role. Feeling the heat while trying to see downfield through the outstretched hands of a three man front with the sinking realization you can't account for McGuinest is hard to model. In actuallity probably no team is done right, but on balance every team but the one on the instruction book cover is probably done right enoug
      • I might add... (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        that as a lifelong and often suffering Seahawks fan, I have made it my mission to find the quirks of whatever football game I get so I can utterly dominate with them. Like racking up so many yards that I'm ranked last because they used signed shorts, the stingy bastards! No need to cheat really. All the games I've ever played had wierd quirks that are easily exploited.

        Typically the cycle is go through the list of plays, find your money defensive and offensive plays, possibly designing new ones to enhanc
    • It's just a repeat of our New England complaint "we don't get no respect".

      If the primary way one ingame NFL team differs from another is uniform look and player stats, then Virtual Patriots are probably going to look a lot less good than they do in real life...a video game player as "coach" is no Bill Belichick, and its gotta be hard for a video game designer to model the cleverness that makes the Patriots a standout team.

      And I'd wager, if the player models were set before this season, they still underest
    • Xbox Live(or similar) and Good reporting will eventually solve this problem, an algorithm to calculate player stats based on previous games would be a challenge but think of the EA bucks, some people would do it for prerelease versions of Madden alone.
    • I suspect the video game companies have rated the patriots players a bit low what with the real life team being on a 14 game winning streak and all. I would guess that the reason the games have been fairly accurate predictors in the past is because they have done a good job capturing the varrying skill levels of the players, but for some reason the patriots I watch on TV seem vastly better then the patriots I control in Madden.

      Dead on - I asked about this prior to purchasing the game (I ended up getting

    • >> I suspect the video game companies have rated the patriots players a bit low

      Like the PANTHERS are rated all that high in the game??

  • by the Man in Black (102634) <(jasonrashaad) (at) (gmail.com)> on Friday January 30, 2004 @09:43AM (#8134001) Homepage
    Yeah, you head me. Detroit Lions.

    --The Last Lions Fan
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The Detroit Lions were my 'Dark-horse' pick this past year. Because when they were getting their asses handed to them the year before, they never were 'ok' with it. They had a lot of speed, but mostly a good attitude. So when I took my friend to the Seahawks game this year, I was like, well there's really no reason we should lose, but the Lions are one of those teams that could take advantage of the open door. Seahawks are kicking ass, skiping names. The crowd of course is cheering, and some people are
    • Re:LIONS IN 2006! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by li99sh79 (678891)
      Yeah, you head me. Detroit Lions.

      Assuming Millen and Mooch can inject some life into the moribund Lion's offense (ie draft Winslow in round one), and the defense can stay healthy the Lions will be a far improved team next season, and in the current NFL a run for the title in 2006 is not that far-fetched, though improbable.

      -sam

      • Re:LIONS IN 2006! (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The defense would likely be able to stay healthy if they werent' playing 3/4s of every game. For the last few years the Lion's D has been essentially playing twice as much as the average nfl team. Of course they're going to start falling apart.

        What they need, is more talented targets for harrington, and a credible running threat -- alot of which is in play calling.

        But they have a definite personnel issue - not retaining talented free agents and over-paying for over-rated free agents.(*cough*Hakim*cough*
        • Re:LIONS IN 2006! (Score:3, Interesting)

          by li99sh79 (678891)
          The defense would likely be able to stay healthy if they werent' playing 3/4s of every game. For the last few years the Lion's D has been essentially playing twice as much as the average nfl team. Of course they're going to start falling apart.

          Essentially true except that the two most greivous injuries to the lions this season (Cash and Stewart) occured in the preseason.

          What they need, is more talented targets for harrington, and a credible running threat -- alot of which is in play calling

          Kellen Winsl

    • And who will they be playing? The Redskins or the Saints?
  • by \\ (118555) on Friday January 30, 2004 @09:52AM (#8134074) Homepage
    The following few sentences on the NFL Gameday 2004 [1up.com] page are making my brain hurt:

    At the end of the second half, the score is 7 - 6. The Panthers are not content to go into the locker room with the score so close. With less than 3 minutes left, they pull out some play calling that is so pass-friendly you'd think the Colts were on the field.

    The end of the second half is the end of the game, and if it really means the end of the second quarter/first half, then why is there all of a sudden three minutes left and both teams score again to make it 14-9? For once I'm sure this isn't a product of my being half asleep, this actually MAKES NO SENSE. ARGH! For the love of god, 1up needs an editor.
  • by Imperator (17614) <slashdot2NO@SPAMomershenker.net> on Friday January 30, 2004 @10:01AM (#8134153)
    So I read the article about the 4 different games they tested with. The problem is that the games really weren't reflective of the real life teams. For example, in two of the games the Panthers were a passing team. Then they somehow conclude the Panthers are a lock? I don't think so. Video games may try to predict football games, but I still trust the predictions from Vegas much more.
    • Lighten up. They're not telling people to go out and bet on the results. It's done with tongue planted firmly in cheek. Just for fun. What happens when we let video games predict the outcome?

      • Um we have video games that have a completely acurate depiction of players skills. (Mental game is gone or well predicted). Game players coach better than rl coaches (I'd bet money we are there already).

        Reality will imitate virtual reality OoooOOOOOoooo We're through the looking glass here people.
    • by molafson (716807) on Friday January 30, 2004 @11:33AM (#8134993)
      but I still trust the predictions from Vegas much more.

      Problem with this is that when Vegas sets the line, they're not so much predicting the outcome of the game as they are predicting the betting tendencies of the gamblers. E.g. "New England -7" is calculated to ensure that roughly half the bettors will take Carolina, half will take New England.

      If they set the spread too low, e.g. "New England -6.5," too many people would bet on New England, so that if New England wins by a touchdown the Vegas books would loose money...

      This is also why the line changes if too many people start betting one team. It's kind of like the stock market, insofar as the odds have *something* to do with the teams' projected performance, but have much more to do with the publics' perception of the value of the bet.

      At least this is how I understand the system to work. (IANA gambler, though.)
      • If I hadn't wasted all my moderator points on 'Funny' yesterday, I could send some 'Informative' your way. Here's another description of how the line works. [about.com]
      • by leviramsey (248057) * on Friday January 30, 2004 @04:20PM (#8138196) Journal

        I am a professional handicapper and can confirm and elaborate.

        Bookmaking in the US is based on -110 odds. Whatever side you want to back against the spread, you're risking $110 if you lose to win $100 if you win (there are discount books offshore/online; Pinnacle out of Curacao generally offers -105). Thus, as long as the betting on both teams breaks down in the 47.5% to 52.5% area, the bookmaker is guaranteed a profit whatever happens. At anything outside that range, the bookmaker is betting on the outcome, as they stand to lose money if the heavily bet side wins.

        There's more to it than simple balanced action. The line opened in Vegas and offshore at NE -6.5 and got steamed up to -7. It's highly unlikely though, that any additional action would push it to 7.5 (at least at reputable books [see below]).

        The reason is key numbers. You can generate pretty much every realistic number of points scored by an NFL team with a function like s(x,y,z)=3x+7y+z, where x, y, and z are all integers greater than or equal to zero, their sum is less than 8, and z is less than x+y. The realistic score differences are thus differences between s-values for two ordered triples satisfying those constraints. Analysis of this will confirm that 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 13, and 14 are commonly encountered score differences, with 7 and 3 being especially common.

        The result is that bookmakers will require massively unbalanced action to move off of a key number (3, 4, 6, and 7) and to a lesser extent to move onto a key number. At those numbers, bookies are much more willing to gamble, as the balanced action around those numbers is a huge risk.

        This risk is called "getting sided" or, even worse, "getting middled".

        Imagine that you bet the Patriots -6.5, along with enough of the betting public, to push the line to 7. You buyback Panthers +7 at the same stake level. Let's say you're risking $1100 on both ends. If the Patriots win by 8 or more, Pats -6.5 wins, Cats+7 loses, for a net loss of $100. If the Patriots lose or win by less than 7, the reverse happens. But if the Patriots win by exactly 7 (which is common), your Panthers bet pushes (nothing gained, nothing lost) and the Patriots bet wins. Essentially you've hedged your way into betting at +1000 that the game lands on 7. This is "siding".

        It's not difficult to see that the book gets mauled in this situation if everybody's doing it.

        Now imagine that Patriots action pushed the line to 7.5. Now, both bets hit if the Patriots win by exactly 7. This is "middling".

        You may recall a Monday Night Football game between the Giants and Bucs earlier this year. The line was Tampa -5.5 and steam on Monday pushed it to 6. Late in the game, Giants trailing by 4, they take a safety, giving Tampa two points. Al Michaels (who almost definitely bets on the games; it's not difficult to tell when he has OVER or UNDER) said, "That noise you just heard in Vegas wasn't an earthquake."

        • A Super Bowl has been middled: Super Bowl XIII [lasvegassun.com]:

          That game opened at Pittsburgh minus 3 1/2, before moving to minus 4 before moving again to minus 4 1/2. Those movements allowed bettors to get the Steelers at a minus 3 1/2 and, later, the Cowboys at a plus 4 1/2 and win both sides of their bets if the final score landed on 4.

          Which it did.

          "You could have heard the bookies howl as far away as Los Angeles," Banker recalled. "They compared that day to Pearl Harbor, the sinking of the Maine and the stock ma

        • Nice explanation. As I don't bet, I didn't know about getting "sided" or "middled," but logically it makes sense (insofar that I can figure it out). Thanks!

          P.S. I just saw a headline about the bookies in Boston getting hammered with Pats bets. I didn't read the story, but it makes me wonder if the local guys in New England would have to move their line in this situation.
          • Some have, some haven't.

            There's two major schools of thought: one is that you move the line to 8 or 8.5 (which is the consensus line among those who are moving it).

            The other is that you simply lay the excess action off on an online sportsbook or find a bookie elsewhere (Carolina would be ideal) to lay off action with. Basically it's just constitutes betting the Patriots elsewhere.

            There's a third option, and this is basically what Vegas and the offshore world (the professionals) are likely to do, and

    • People do these "predictions" for all major sporting events, it seems. My personal favorite was a college football playoff system at Fox Sports [foxsports.com]. Texas beating LSU in the quarterfinals? Puh-lease . Texas got bitchslapped by Arkansas in its own backyard, bowed down to Big XII South heir-supreme Oklahoma, and got "snubbed" from the BCS by a K-State win only to lose to Wazzu. Why did they beat LSU in a computerized setting? Games tend to avoid coaching trends and other external forces in sports and focu
      • That said, Patriots by two TDs from their previous Super Bowl experience and pedigree from a much stronger conference.

        I'm not sure I disagree, but I do want to nitpick: the other 3 teams in the AFC East had 22 combined wins. The other 3 teams in the NFC South had 20 combined wins. (One of those was Atlanta, which went from very bad to very good when Vick returned late in the season--to beat the Panthers.) In contrast, the Pats only conference loss was to a much weaker Buffalo team, albeit on the first w

  • Zelda the Windwalker will beat out Solid Snake, by a margin of six.

  • As a PATS fan, even I have to admit they just went from being a favorite to an underdog.

    This damn video game event is a curse and a half. I used to not give a rats ass, but the winner clearly has a history of good luck in the superbowl.
    • Yeah? How come the spread hasn't come down? I'd take the Patriots at 3 but the last spread I saw had them at 7. I mean, the Superbowl is usually a blowout but if you look at the past 14 games, the Patriots don't routinely cover a spread like that.

      It would be amusing to see the spread drop because Troy Brown doesn't know how to play Gameday. [Although, to be fair, who plays Gameday anymore? EA and Sega probably have like 75% of the football market this year - as well they should, Gameday is 'teh poop'.]

      • Gameday is 'teh standard' as far as this particular bit is concerned. Sony's done this for 8 years and it's predicted the winner every damn time. As a Pats fan, I was nervous about the underdog Panthers before, and I'm even more nervous now that Troy lost the Gameday battle.

        Embarassed to admit it, but 8 years of correlation is hard to put aside. I'd love it if the Pats proved me wrong (one of the few times I would enjoy being wrong) but I dunno... Hope they do.

        Cry.
        • This is why massholes deserve the teams they get. You get all worked up over a video game simulation, played by one player on each team. I mean honestly, eight years running isn't as impressive as you want to make it out to be. If I asked eight people on the street what their favorite ice cream flavor was and they all said vanilla, would you be incredibly confident that the next would also say vanilla?

          There's another streak going on and it's 14 games. Last time I fucking checked 14 > 8, wasn't it numb nu

          • God dammit. I knew somebody was going to mention my fucking team. Even though it has nothing to do with anything. I looked at your post, too, before I read it, and thought, 'that's the one.'

            Of course I also suspect they'll implode. Since I think I've just proven myself to be psychic, shit.
        • You should be embarrassed. If you find those "8 years of correlation... hard to put aside" then I suggest you brush up on your critical thinking skills.

          Apples != Oranges.

          • You should be embarrassed. If you find those "8 years of correlation... hard to put aside" then I suggest you brush up on your critical thinking skills.

            I never took a stats class, but if the odds were 50/50 that the videogame match succesfully predicted the gamewinner each year, than thats a 1 in 2^8 chance, 1 in 256, that we'd see the results they have.

            So most likely, there is a correlation, the game has SOME predictive power.

            Absolute? Unlikely. But still.
        • Dear dumbass,
          Your precious Gameday 2004 prediction method has failed. Please shut the fuck up from now on and never post to Slashdot ever again. Thank you very much dumbass.

          yours truly,
          Acidic Diarrhea

    • You know, it's bad luck to be superstitious.
  • Stupid (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pudge (3605) * <slashdot@@@pudge...net> on Friday January 30, 2004 @11:43AM (#8135087) Homepage Journal
    How many of these games would have predicted the Patriots would win 14 games in the regular season? Not a one. And if they can't do that, why trust them now?
    • > How many of these games would have predicted the Patriots would win 14 games in the regular season? Not a one.

      Do you know that, or are you just randomly spewing stuff? I don't know how *well* this was generated, but the '02-'03 season I just finished in Madden 2k4 would have yielded a Raiders/Bucs Superbowl (with Gannon getting QB MVP), had I not interfered (because, to the best of my knowledge, the Falcons didn't beat the Raiders 56-0).

      I'm curious; I think I'll go through and generate all of last
      • by pudge (3605) *
        Do you know that, or are you just randomly spewing stuff?

        You present a false dichotomy I am unable to adequately respond to.
        • > You present a false dichotomy I am unable to adequately respond to.

          Then let me rephrase. Regarding:

          > How many of these games would have predicted the Patriots would win 14 games in the regular season? Not a one.

          Are you factually aware of this, or is it a statement made without proof? Do you have a resource to back it up, have you simulated it yourself, or has there otherwise been a study that conclusively proves your statement correct?

          Or was that statement conjecture?

          -lw
          • by pudge (3605) *
            Are you factually aware of this, or is it a statement made without proof?

            Those are not mutually exclusive. You're not very good at this, are you?
            • You wrote:

              > How many of these games would have predicted the Patriots would win 14 games in the regular season? Not a one.

              Did you perform any analysis of these games to come to this conclusion? If so, what?

              Feel free to answer the question this time.

              -lw
              • by pudge (3605) *
                Feel free to answer the question this time.

                Feel free to pull the pickle out of your ass. Not only did none of them claim that they did -- which they surely would have -- but in the end, they all were proved wrong anyway. Come to terms, breathe in, breathe out.
                • So you came to the conclusion that none of the games *could* have predicted a 14 game winning streak by the Patriots because the article didn't say they did.

                  Do you think that's a valid assumption?

                  I don't claim that football games are 100% accurate predictors - however, I think that claiming that it's impossible for them to be correct is jumping to conclusions. Which has been the entire point of questioning your reasoning.

                  -lw
                  • by pudge (3605) *
                    Do you think that's a valid assumption?

                    Do you think you DON'T have a pickle up your ass? I mean, really. I'm serious. If you think you're making me look or feel bad, you're wrong. If you think you look cool, you're wrong. You might feel cool, but that's just sad. No one cares, except for the small group of people with pickles up their ass.
                    • If you don't care, why do you keep replying? Insulting people on the internet is about the most fruitless thing one can do with their time.

                      Thanks for proving my point, btw.

                      -lw
                    • by pudge (3605) *
                      If you don't care, why do you keep replying? Insulting people on the internet is about the most fruitless thing one can do with their time. ... trumped only by questioning how someone else chooses to spend his time. Oopsie on you!

                      Thanks for proving my point, btw.

                      You didn't have one.
  • Why not start broadcasting the game....you could break to show the players reactions but mainly concentrate on the game. There are so many damn cable sports networks that play mostly filler anyway(I think ive seen the same billiards trick shot challenge like 5 times on espn2). Sponsorship for the even is obvious.

    Now to the personal stuff. Madden is so much better than gameday, and the New Orleans Saints will crush all next year :).
  • a coin was flipped eight times in a row today, and came up heads every time.

    • a coin was flipped eight times in a row today, and came up heads every time.


      What are the odds?!?!? :)
      • Just to beat a good joke down: 1 in 256.
      • One in 2^8 (256).

        But what are the odds of the next coin coming up heads? That is the question.

        BTW, I wouldn't put much creedence in these video game predictions unless they computed the results a hundred or a thousand times to eliminate the effects of chance. That would take too long to do unless you used the much less accurate "quick simulation" mode, though.

        Rob
        • But that's the beauty of the superbowl. Anything can happen. If you run the simulation a thousand times, the statistical leader will come out on top. But the superbowl is 1 game for all the marbles. So a video game is probably going to be just as accurate as a coin toss, a rock scissor paper match, or pretty much anything else.
        • But what are the odds of the next coin coming up heads? That is the question.

          1 in 2; That is the answer.
  • These predictions are really pointless because they don't factor in the intangible aspects of a team. One of my friends is from New England so I've watched most of the games that the Patriots have played this season. This is a team that, most of the time, does just what they have to do to win. They've done shootouts (first game against the colts), they've done low scoring defensive bouts (Miami game in the snow) and everything in between. I haven't had the pleasure of watching the panthers so I don't kn
  • Where was it that they had a computer deciding the best way to win?

    Oh yeah, when a kid almost destroyed the world [imdb.com]

    Wouldn't you prefer a nice game of chess?

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