Swarming the NHL: AI Picks for Week 8

With the NHL ready to flip the calendar forward to December, teams and their fans have seen enough hockey to know where most teams stand. We’re at the point where you can separate an early season hot streak by a club that will eventually regress (for instance, Philadelphia) and strong early season results where the winning represents actual quality (the shocking debut season by the Vegas Golden Knights, for one example.) The Unanimous AI weekly swarm of NHL fans considered those factors when looking at tonight’s games.

At the top of the chart is the swarm’s pick of the night, the high-scoring Lightning playing at Buffalo. Examining the chart, you can see that there’s a pretty clear line between the two top picks and the middle tier. Below that it gets a little less tidy. Take a look, for example at the swarm’s Columbus pick. Why is that listed so low with a 78% Brain Power and a $50 bet confidence?

The explanation can be found by taking a good look at the replay above. Although the Brain Power is just barely above the 75% threshold we normally want for a prediction to stay out of the bottom, there are lower-confidence factors apparent. Notice that there are magnets that dig in early on Carolina with some conviction. That’s a factor that Unanimous AI researchers can examine and quantify. And reviewing that replay, it’s clear that while the swarm made a pick (Columbus at home), they made it with enough conflict that it sends mixed signals. It creates enough of a discrepancy that it moves the pick into the lowest confidence tier.

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