Wednesday, March 18, 2009

TeamRankings.com - Get Smart About Sports (And Bracket Brains)



It's time for March Madness again and, of course, that means plenty of brackets. This year though, there's a website out there that can make it a little easier to steal that office pool or rip off your friends. We all know how much fun that would be!

A good buddy of mine and founder of the last startup I worked at, Matt Koidin, is one of the early guys at the company TeamRankings.com. He's remained true to his passion for sports except now his company is taking advantage of their self described "nerdiness" to evaluate endless amounts of quant heavy historical data to make predictions on athletic events.

Since I'm a numbers guy and interested in psychology, I find what they're doing incredibly fascinating. They don't just take into account the normal data that the typical odds-makers rely on, but they also include data such as distance traveled for games, game timing, and Vegas odds. This stuff adds a psychological element to athletics. And we all know, watching clowns like Terrel Owens and Ocho Cinco, that psychology has gotta have an impact. I think we're going to see psychology play a much bigger role in technology in the next few years.

Their BracketBrain product (which has been done for several years) has had a great track record. And since I got invited to a bracket today, I thought this was quite relevant. They have all sorts of different modeling techniques for their ridiculous amounts of data. You can even create your own algorithm. For someone like me, it was overwhelming at first. But this is an absolute gold mine for sports nuts, especially bettors. I joined in the hopes that I can destroy my roommate in our bracket. I just used their straight up picks. Fortunately, he doesn't read my blog, so I'm not worried about him finding out.

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