The game of soccer is made to appear very complex. Just how many people can really define a”West Coast offense?” How many can correctly recognize a”zone blitz,” or a”nickel” or”dime” defense?
NFL analysts in the media have quick answers to each of these questions. They’ve a listing of each player and his record at their fingertips. They have staff-written replicate on hand to explain all kinds of sport strategies. They have arrays of data.
Due to the networking, pro soccer is a game of virtually no hidden information. However, it’s one thing to describe an event that’s already over. It’s something else entirely to try and forecast that which has yet to occur.
When the media try to predict game results, they tend to do poorly. To give just a couple of examples from nyc, where I live, each Friday eleven New York Post authors create predictions on NFL games against the spread. I have never seen one of these handicappers consistently pick the 52.4% winners needed to beat the 11-to-10 chances sports bettors must give. In reality, virtually every year for the past 20 years that the consensus at the Post has finished below 50 percent.
Among those Post handicappers often mentions trends in his handicapping evaluation –how teams do on grass or turf, as favorites or underdogs, etc.. But trends are for the most part useless these days because teams change so quickly as a result of free agency. What does it matter if a staff is 12-and-4 on road turf over the previous five years if only three of its players happen to be there that long?
On the radio, WFAN commentators also make predictions each Friday. However they also have rarely picked the 52.4 percent winners needed to beat the 11-to-10. To pay this, they frequently talk about their records in regard to the .500 mark. The vig seems to not exist in the entire world of WFAN.
And on television, ESPN’s Hank Goldberg has beaten the 11-to-10 in only one of the seven years he’s been there.
From personal experience, I’ve learned that many TV manufacturers and newspaper editors see sports as entertainment rather than serious journalism. That is why you, as a critical handicapper, ought to take media predictions with a major grain of salt.
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