The Distinction Between NFL Picks and Consensus Predictions

NFL picks and NFL consensus picks are two related but distinct ways of trying to predict the outcomes of NFL games. Both involve analyzing matchups, team strengths and weaknesses, injuries, and other factors to make educated guesses about who will win each game. However, they utilize this information in slightly different ways.

NFL picks refer to the predictions made by a single expert or handicapper. This individual analyzes all the available information themselves and comes up with their own prognostication on the likely winner against the point spread. Their pick reflects their own opinion and judgment on that particular game. Many sports media outlets employ individual experts who provide weekly NFL picks. These can be interesting to see how an experienced handicapper evaluates the teams and matchups. However, any given expert’s picks will reflect their own subjective opinions and biases.

On the other hand, NFL public consensus picks represent the combined wisdom of many different pickers and handicappers. To generate consensus picks, the picks of dozens or even hundreds of experts are aggregated together. For each game, the consensus pick is the team that receives the most picks to cover the spread. In other words, it is the pick that the majority of experts agree on.

Consensus picks are useful because they balance out individual biases and take advantage of the “wisdom of the crowd.” No single expert is likely to be right 100% of the time. But when the judgments of many experts are combined together, it improves the accuracy and helps cancel out individual errors. Consensus picks rely on the collective knowledge and predictive abilities of all the experts.

There are a few key differences between individual NFL expert picks and consensus NFL picks:

  • Individual picks reflect the subjective opinions of one person. Consensus picks incorporate the objective combined wisdom of many pickers.
  • Individual picks have higher variance in accuracy. The odds of one person being right or wrong are higher. Consensus picks moderate extremes and improve accuracy over many games.
  • Individual picks allow you to follow a preferred expert. Consensus tells you objectively what most experts think.
  • Individual pickers can get “hot” and “cold” over stretches. The consensus moderates swings in accuracy.
  • Consensus picks have no personal biases. Individual pickers may favor or disfavor certain teams.
  • With consensus picks, you don’t need to worry about which individual expert to follow. The consensus reflects the majority opinion across many experts.

In summary, both NFL expert picks and NFL consensus picks have value for those interested in predictions and handicapping games. But they are derived in different ways. Individual picks come from a single expert’s subjective opinions. Consensus picks combine the objective wisdom of the crowd across many experts to moderate extremes and improve accuracy. Following consensus NFL picks can be a useful strategy to eliminate individual biases and rely on the expertise of many. But for those who like to follow a favorite handicapper or expert, individual NFL picks allow you to find someone whose style you enjoy and trust. Both approaches have their merits for gaining helpful insights when predicting NFL outcomes.

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