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December 6, 2016

2016 NFL Prediction Accuracy

 

Microsoft's Cortana and Nate Silver's fivethirtyeight.com Elo are again predicting the outcomes of NFL games each week during the 2016 season. (See the accuracy results for the two models for the 2015 NFL season here.)

The tables below use Brier scores to determine the accuracy of the probabilistic predictions from both models.

Brier scores range from 0 to 1, with 0 meaning the probabilities in the models perfectly match the outcomes of the games and 1 meaning no matches were made (so the closer to 0.000, the better calibration of the model).

If a 50% (0.500) probability were assigned to each team for each game, the Brier score would be 0.250.

After the thirteenth week of the season, the Elo model has a Brier score of 0.225 and the Cortana model has a Brier score of 0.228.

 

Brier Scores
2016 NFL Season Summary 538 Elo Cortana
Week 1 0.210 0.230
Week 2 0.229 0.247
Week 3 0.213 0.247
Week 4 0.264 0.271
Week 5 0.260 0.235
Week 6 0.242 0.219
Week 7 0.228 0.239
Week 8 0.238 0.239
Week 9 0.233 0.216
Week 10 0.233 0.252
Week 11 0.175 0.163
Week 12 0.222 0.187
Week 130.1770.217
Season totals 0.225 0.228

 

For the first time this season, the 95% confidence intervals for the season totals for both models exclude 0.250, making both models slightly better than assigning each team a 50% win probability.

Both models were invalidated in week 4 of the season.

The average win probabilities among winning teams are 56% for the Elo model and 55% for the Cortana model.

Details for each game are here.

 


 

November 21, 2016

2016 Planned Christmas Gift Spending

 

Shoppers around the country say they are planning to spend an average of $929 for gifts this holiday season, up from $882 last year.

Average planned gift spending for 2016 is $47 above spending in 2015 and it is the first time planned gift spending exceeds $900 since 2006.

 

Year Average Spending Percent Change
2016 $929 + 5%
2015 $882 + 2%
2014 $861 + 8%
2013 $801 - 6%
2012 $854 + 32%
2011 $646 - 2%
2010 $658 + 58%
2009 $417 - 3%
2008 $431 - 50%
2007 $859 - 5%
2006 $907 - 4%
2005 $942 - 6%

 

Details of the survey conducted November 17-20 can be found here.

 


 

November 21, 2016

Obama Job Approvals and the National Economy

 

Obama Job Approval Ratings
11/20/16 Approve Disapprove Undecided
Overall 53% 42% 5%
Economy 50% 46% 4%

 

A total of 53% of Americans say they approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president and 42% say they disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job. In October, 52% of Americans approved of the job Obama was doing and 43% disapproved.

When it comes to Obama's handling of the economy, 50% of Americans approve and 46% disapprove. In October, 50% approved and 45% disapproved.

Among Americans registered to vote, 53% approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president and 43% disapprove. On Obama's handling of the economy, 50% of registered voters approve and 46% disapprove.

Details from the nationwide survey conducted November 17-20 are available at The National Economy.

 


 

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