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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

2015 CFG Analysis Games Pick 'Em Now Open

Welcome to the CFG Analysis Games Pick 'Em!  This is our second year doing the contest after a pretty good first go-round in 2014.

This year your picks will be submitted through a web form (link at the bottom of this post) rather than through the comments, although please use the comments to let me know of any issues you're having submitting your picks through the form.  I'll try to update this page regularly with a list of everyone's picks, so let me know if you spot something that looks off.  Currently the form can only enforce certain rules (such as requiring six athletes and wagers on each between 1-50), but it can't do the math for you, so if you have more or less than 100 points wagered, I'll let you know once I go to publish the next day's picks.  At that point, it's up to you to submit a corrected entry, since I'll be deleting any invalid picks once the contest starts.

OK, below are the official rules.  Even if you entered last year, please read these over.  A few items have changed.
  • Each contestant has 100 points to wager on six different athletes.  You can wager those points in whole-number increments, with a max of 50 and a minimum of 1 on each athlete.
  • You must select one wager on an athlete of each gender to win, finish top 3 (podium) and finish top 10.
  • The payout on each correct pick is based on my predictions (see below) of each athlete's chances of winning, finishing top 3 and finishing top 10.  If you wager 20 points on an athlete to win, and I give that athlete a 10% chance to win, you get 200 points if they win.
  • On the form, each athlete's name is followed by three numbers.  These are the respective payouts for a win, top 3 and top 10.
  • At the end of the Games, the winner is the contestant who has the highest total payout on their picks.
  • You have until the start of event 1 on July 22 to get your picks in.  If you want to revise your picks, please just submit a new entry and post to comments (on this page) that you'd like me to delete your first entry.  As noted above, entries with invalid point totals or with the same athlete in multiple spots will eventually be deleted, but I will notify you first.
  • You may want to write down your picks as your are filling them out.  The form won't automatically send you a confirmation, but you will be able to see your picks once I update the public list of entries, which will usually be daily-ish.  I may end up posting them to a shared Google drive if the list gets lengthy (let's hope!).
This is all free, and there is no formal prize, but if you'd like, I'm extending an invitation to chat with me on the podcast for the winner.  If interested, please submit your email address.  That's optional, and don't worry, if you submit your email address, I'm not going to contact you for anything unrelated to this contest, and I won't publish it.

For a little bit more background on how I make these predictions, read up here and listen to the podcast below.  The basic idea is that these picks are based on the simulations of the Games based on combinations of the events that have happened so far this year, but there's a bit more to it than that.  I've made some enhancements this year, so in theory, this year's contest should be a little more challenging than in the past.  Enjoy!

Click here to access the contest entry form.  You can fill out the form on a mobile device or a computer.  Keep in mind this is my first time using this software, so I apologize in advance if things are a little buggy early on.  Let me know in the comments here what kind of issues you're having and I'll do my best to get things fixed up.  Of course,  this is not my full-time job, so it could be several hours before I get to it.  Worst-case, just post your picks to the comments and I'll get it added.

Click here to view the picks submitted to date.

CFG Analysis Games Predictions:



  1. How do your predictions for this season compare to last season? I seem to remember your model last year predicted more athletes with a better chance of winning. This year Fraser and Kara Webb and Camille are heavy favorites. Am I remembering correctly?

    1. I think in general things are pretty similar. Last year each men and women had 3 athletes with >9% chance of winning, and this year I only have 2 athletes on each side >9% chance. I did tweak a few things, such as giving a slight advantage to returning athletes, limiting the number of simulated events to 12 (rather than 15) and forcing each simulation to contain a strength event. Those changes had relatively small impacts, but they could be contributing to the fact that there are fewer "contenders." It also could just be the way the field shakes out this year (a smaller number of athletes have really separated themselves from the rest).

      No one is as big of a favorite as Froning last year (49%), and Camille isn't quite as big of a favorite as she was last year (38%). Personally, I feel better about this year's picks. I think there are fewer holes and I think most of the predictions pass the sniff test.

  2. Because I cannot read, I thought the points were 100 per sex vs 50. Can you divided my submission by 2?

    1. Will do. I accidentally posted it last night before making that change, but I'll get it updated the next time I post all the picks. You are not the first one to make this mistake.

  3. I would like to write in Rich Froning. I know he is not competing, but I still think he has a 63.87% chance of winning it all.

    Just saying.

  4. Please delete first entry - only totaled 50 points instead of 100. Thanks! Chris Meldrum

  5. I revised my entry for my female picks! Late notice but thank you!