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SmartBracket™ Looks at First Round Picks

SmartBracket™ relies heavily on the concept of expected relative score, or the number of points that your bracket is expected to gain above and beyond the points that your competitors’ brackets earn. Rather than showing equations for calculating this concept, we have decided to provide the chart below, which allows you to explore the relationship between a team’s statistical chance of winning a game, how many people are picking them to win, and the expected relative score for picking that team.

This chart shows only the expected relative score for first round matchups. After that, we have to start thinking about more than one matchup at a time and the explanatory value of this chart disappears. As a note, the highest possible relative scores would occur in the lower right corner of the chart, where teams have a very high chance of winning but very few people have picked them. Conversely, the lower left corner represents the lowest expected relative scores, where teams have a very low chance of winning and most people have picked the opposing team. Also, in this chart, larger circles have higher expected relative scores, and red circles have negative expected relative scores.