Isaacson-Tarbell

Here’s a review of Isaacson-Tarbell, which we should compare our picking schemes against this season.

Isaacson-Tarbell is “picking for idiots”. And it’s pretty bulletproof – it seems most pick experts can’t outperform it. The picking rules are: Pick the team with the better win-loss record. If they’re tied, pick the home team.

Isaacson-Tarbell was 9-7 for week one. I am thinking of using a variant of Isaacson-Tarbell, perhaps called Isaacson-Tarbell-Beatpaths (ITB) for this season. This is – pick the team with the better win-loss record. If they’re tied, pick the team that is ranked higher according to beatpaths. Last season, beatpaths outperformed the home-team-wins approach, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to beat Isaacson-Tarbell this season.

For week 1 (where no one had a better win-loss record), I relied on beatpaths rankings, so we’re consistent with this approach. Beatpaths had an 11-5 record, or two better than Isaacson-Tarbell.

3 Responses to Isaacson-Tarbell

  1. The MOOSE says:

    For those unaware, the Isaacson-Tarbell theory was named by ESPN’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback (Gregg Easterbrook) after two of his readers who suggested the method.

  2. JT says:

    I could see trying to track 3 variations of this and see how they do against each other

    – Isaacson-Tarbell alone
    – Beatpaths alone
    – Isaacson-Tarbell + Beatpaths (ITB in the post)

  3. the silent speaker says:

    Since Isaacson-Tarbell reduces to Home Team Wins for Week 1 and half of Week 2, I favor a variation of my own device that uses last year’s records for making those weeks’ picks. I tested this last year and I don’t recall that it made much of a difference, but pedagogically it feels much sounder to me.

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