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Contest Description

Pick the Probabilities

ProbabilityBasketballSM is a new, skillful basketball contest where you don't simply try to guess the winners in basketball games. Instead you estimate, for each game, the probability that each team will win based on how strong you believe each team to be. (Another way to look at it is that you make a pick based on how confident you are that your favored team will win.) For example, say that Xavier is playing against Arizona. If you feel that Xavier has a 60% chance of winning the game, you would pick Xavier 60%, Arizona 40%. (You feel that Xavier will win, but you're only 60% sure.) If a friend of yours, Susan, feels more confident about Xavier (perhaps she knows of a key Arizona injury), she might pick Xavier 70%, Arizona 30%. Perhaps another friend, Dave, feels that Arizona should be slightly favored and picks Arizona 55%, Xavier 45%.
Game Result You Susan Dave
Arizona 67 40% +36.00 30% +64.00 55% -21.00
Xavier 71 60% 70% 45%
Game Result You Susan Dave
Arizona 81 40% -44.00 30% -96.00 55% +19.00
Xavier 71 60% 70% 45%

Unique Scoring Function

If Xavier wins the game, both you and Susan gain points, and Dave loses points. However, if Arizona wins, Dave gains points, while both you and Susan lose points. In each case, Susan gains or loses more points than you because her pick was more bold than yours. The unique scoring function ensures that the players most accurately estimating the probabilities (strengths of the teams) in each game will score the most points on average.

Ignore the Spread

In ProbabilityBasketballSM, you never pick against "the spread". The spread is an artificial number of points added to the underdog's score in a basketball game in order to make the game an even match between the two teams. But the teams on the court don't care about the spread. Obviously, a losing team will not be happy just because they beat the spread. Similarly, whether you gain or lose points in the contest is dependent only upon whether the team you've picked as favorite wins or loses, not the margin of victory.

Accumulate Your Score and Win Prizes

Throughout the tournament, each player gains or loses points for each game. Prizes are awarded for players having the highest cumulative scores for the first round, the second round, over the course of the last 4 rounds (Sweet 16), and for the entire tournament.

ProbabilityBasketballSM is a ProbabilitySports® contest.

Not affiliated with the NBA, any NBA team, the NCAA, or any college or university.
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