It's that time of year again. If anybody in SB has a pool that I can join, let me know. And, if you do, probably stop reading at this point. For the rest of you, here is an article from CBS's moneywatch that has quotes from yours truly about how to win office pools. Fortunately I am accurately quoted and the article's author Sarah Lorge Butler did a very good job of getting all the information accurate. The only thing I would add is that the scoring scheme in the pool is key which is where the site comes in handy. Here are my quotes from the article:
According to efficient market theory, “all the available information about teams is available in the Vegas odds, and so things like location and injuries are already taken into account without having to look into the details,” says Jarad Niemi, an assistant professor in the department of statistics and applied probability at UC Santa Barbara. ... But picking against favorites isn’t just a good betting strategy — it’s also very much in the spirit of March Madness. “It’s fun to watch these games you could otherwise care less about when you’re rooting for the underdog,” Niemi says. “At worst, it does no damage to your pool sheet; at best, it can help you.” Will you feel like an idiot if you’re not in the running going into the Final Four? Possibly. You can handle it. Says Niemi: “If Kansas goes the whole way, everyone else will say, ‘Couldn’t you see this coming?’ And you tell them, ‘Wait till next year.’”
My favorite quote is the middle one. It really is fun being contrarian since you can almost always cheer for the underdog and it will help your pool entry.

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15 March 2010