Who is the most accurate NBA game predictor?

by | Apr 28, 2021

Handicapping NBA games can be the most lucrative of all the major sports that you can bet on. This year the 2020-2021 NBA season has proven that Jon Price’s strategy of betting on less overall games but increasing wage size and betting on player proposition bets, and second half wagers has led to him being the most accurate handicapper for NBA games this year.  With the Golden State Warriors loss last night Sports Information Traders has retained it’s lead as the number one sports betting service in the world once again.
NBA Handicapper Picks on a spreadsheet

How others pick their games is typically done from using data points from over 250 “experts” and a variation of social media comment ranking algorithms that will methodically generate a winning edge over the other handicappers.

One mathematician would “follow the advice of the expert with the best track record, using their pre announced picks as their own for the next week.” If they had a good week then, they would be followed with more picks being followed thinking the hot hand fallacy would hold true. If they lost their top ranking however than a new predictor would be followed and so forth. As you may know from investing in the stock market or sports betting that past success is no guarantee of future performance.

What is also important when studying datasets is to make sure there is enough data to compile. If somebody has handicapped 5 games and went 5-0 a 100% win rate looks great but isn’t telling of their abilities to handicap games versus looking at a data set of over 300 games handicapped. We look for the top sports bettors in the 90th percentile of all experts, an expert handicapper will be able to pick at least 67.25% of the games correct to be elected into the top tier of sports bettors.

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A few benchmarks over that same time period for reference:

  • Jon Price: 81.25%
  • Mike Dyce: 67.59%
  • Andrew Lynch: 67.17%
  • Jamey Eisenberg: 66.25%
  • Vegas line: 66.11%

Using the top handicappers and calculating their win percentages you can rank the best to the worst and piggy back off of the hot handicappers and avoid those who are on a losing streak. Jon Price went 1300 out of 1600 and ended with a 81.25% win percentage and thus made national headlines for some multi-million dollar wagers.

Betting on Sports With Algorithmic Data Works

Using multiple NBA seasons worth of data from numerous sports tout websites, you can then see how we ranked the top 200 experts based on their Wilson score interval. The top 4 experts:

  • Jon Price of Sports Information Traders – .9205 (1300 out of 1600, 81.25%)
  • FiveThirtyEight.com — 0.8205 (360 out of 531, 67.8%)
  • Jamey Eisenberg — 0.8144 (356 out of 533, 66.8%)
  • Josh Katzowitz — 0.8129 (354 out of 532, 66.5%)

With hard data and analytics we are able to determine that following algorithmic data and determine who the best handicappers are for basketball and how to develop a winning strategy by following those who prove to win more than they lose when examining data of greater than 500 wagers.


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