The Solution to Tanking in the NBA

by Matt Fischer

We’re one month away from the NBA Draft Lottery.

Tanking has been a problem in the NBA for years now.  Even before the Sixers began “The Process”, teams were losing to get more ping pong balls in the annual draft lottery.

For as much talk as there is about the integrity of the game, teams not competing to win all 82 games is a major problem for the NBA.

Why do NBA Teams Tank?

After the Orlando Magic won back-to-back draft lotteries after having the least chance of the lottery teams in 1993, the NBA made an adjustment to the lottery to make the chances much greater for the teams with the worst records to win the lottery.

This set the stage for modern day NBA tanking.  Now teams that knew they were no longer in playoff contention had no reason to try to win, it only hurt their chances to get better via a top draft pick.

A Race to the Bottom

Since the change in 1994 to the NBA Draft Lottery, the team that finishes with the worst record gets a 25% chance of landing the top pick…second worst has a 17.8%…third worst 17.7%…fourth worst a 11.9% chance before it drops to single digits for the remaining.

If you’ve got the fourth worst record in the league with two weeks left in the season, would you try to win and build momentum for the offseason or give it your least and hope you can drastically improve your chances of moving up in the draft?

The Solution to Tanking

The solution is as simple as it could be…go back to the old draft lottery.  Make it more random.  If a team wins four out of it’s last five games, it will only hurt it’s lottery chances a couple of percentage points.

Revert to the system that worked.  It might have created an abnormality in Orlando winning with just a 1% chance but that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes NBA owners.

Go to a NBA Draft Lottery that would look like this based on the final 2016-17 NBA standings.  There would be 105 ping pong balls.

Team Ping Pong Balls Chance of Winning
Nets 14 13.3%
Suns 13 12.4%
Lakers 12 11.4%
76ers 11 10.5%
Magic 10 9.5%
Knicks 9 8.6%
Timberwolves 8 7.6%
Kings 7 6.7%
Mavericks 6 5.7%
Pelicans 5 4.8%
Hornets 4 3.8%
Pistons 3 2.9%
Nuggets 2 1.9%
Heat 1 1.0%

The better chance you give all non-playoff teams of winning the lottery, the more exciting the lottery and the end of the regular season becomes.  Those teams who played out the season trying to win all 82 games can think they have a shot no matter how long it might be and replicate the magic of Orlando in 1993.

Adam Silver is a forward thinking commissioner but it’s time for him to look backward and put an end to tanking in the NBA by going back to the old draft lottery system.

Get SportsFormulator’s data driven NBA Predictions here.

Formulator Face-off – NBA March 15, 2017

We welcome Kennedy Summers to Formulator Face-off! She has picked 5 NBA games.  If she gets 5 of 5 correct, picks are FREE in the Pick Shop!

About Kennedy Summers:

Insta: @misskennedys
Twitter: @misskennedys Facebook: @misskennedysummers
Snap: @misskennedys

Favorite sports team: Utah Jazz

Kennedy Summers’ NBA Picks:

Hornets at Pacers – Hornets
Jazz at Pistons – Jazz
Grizzlies at Bulls – Bulls
Kings at Suns – Suns
Bucks at Clippers – Bucks

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Formulator Face-off – NBA February 13, 2017

We welcome Angie Vu Ha to Formulator Face-off! She has picked 5 NBA games.  If she gets 5 of 5 correct, picks are FREE in the Pick Shop!

About Angie Vu Ha (DJ Angie Vu Ha):

Favorite sports team: New York Rangers

Angie Vu Ha’s NBA Picks:

Sixers at Hornets – Hornets
Celtics at Mavs – Celtics
Clippers at Jazz – Clippers
Pelicans at Suns – Suns
Hawks at Blazers – Hawks

Access SportsFormulator’s NBA predictions and see how Angie compares.

Check out Angie’s feature with SportsFormulator!

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Formulator Face-off – NBA February 10, 2017

We welcome Katelynn Ansari to Formulator Face-off! She has picked 5 NBA games. If she gets 3 of 5 correct, you save 50% on picks the next day.  If she gets 5 of 5 correct, picks are FREE in the Pick Shop!

About Katelynn Ansari:

Social Media: IG @KatelynnAnsari Snapchat: SorryImAnsari

Favorite sports team: Denver Broncos, Anaheim Ducks, and Angels. I’m a local Orange County girl so I gotta love my home teams!!

Katelynn Ansari NBA Picks:

Lakers at Bucks – Bucks
Warriors at Grizzlies – Warriors
Hawks at Kings – Hawks
Nuggets at Knicks – Nuggets
Pacers at Wizards – Wizards

Access SportsFormulator’s NBA predictions and see how Katelynn compares.

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Formulator Face-off – NBA February 8, 2017

We’re debuting a new feature today, Formulator Face-off!  We invite someone to pick 5 games and if he/she gets 3 of 5 correct, you save 50% on picks the next day.  If he/she gets 5 of 5 correct, picks are FREE!

Our first contestant is Holly Wolf.  If she gets these correct, you win!  Look for results on social media and discount in the Pick Shop tomorrow.

About Holly Wolf:

Social Media: Twitter/IG/Facebook/Twitch/Snap @hollytwolf
Favorite Sports Team: Toronto Maple Leafs

Holly Wolf NBA Picks:

Clippers at Knicks – Clippers
Raptors at Timberwolves – Raptors
Heat at Bucks – Bucks
Jazz at Pelicans – Jazz
Celtics at Kings – Celtics

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Formulator Focus – Cavs at Wizards Free Pick on February 8, 2017

This edition of Formulator Focus is for the Cavs at Wizards on February 8, 2017.  The game can be seen live on TNT at 7 PM ET.

The Cavs won in New York on Saturday night to get their four game road trip started with a win.  Kyrie Irving is a game time decision.

The Wizards are cruising in to this game as one of the hottest teams in the NBA.

The Line

The Wizards are 1 point favorites with a total of 220.

The Intrigue

This could be a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals.  The Cavs are the defending NBA Champions and the Wizards have won 9 of 10.

Are the Wizards ready to challenge the Cavs for the top spot in the East?

The Cavs know they’re visiting a team waiting for them.  The Wizards know this game is a measuring stick.  If they win this game, they’re a contender in the East.  A loss, they’re just a pretender and winning 9 of 10 means nothing.


The History

Early in the season, the Cavs won in Washington 105-94 on November 11, 2016.

The Numbers

The Cavs are 34-15 overall but only 12-10 on the road this season.  They’re just 5-5 in their last 10 games.

The Wizards are 30-20 overall with a 22-6 record at home this year.  They’ve won 9 of 10.

When the Cavs win on the road, they win by average of 8.7 points in games totaling 217.5 points.  When they lose on the road, they lose by an average of 12.5 in games scoring 204.9.

When the Wizards win at home, they win by an average of 9.8 points in games totaling 211.3.  When they lose at home, they lose by an average of 8.7 in games totaling 218.7 points.

The Pick

Huge game for the Wizards.  No question this game means more to them than it does to the Cavs.

The Wizards have the national stage to prove they are a contender this year.

The Formula predicts the Wizards with a 58% chance of winning and a total of 213 points in the game.

Take the Wizards -1 tonight.

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Formulator Focus – Cavs at Knicks on February 4, 2017

This edition of Formulator Focus is for Saturday night’s Cavs at Knicks game.  This game is broadcast at 8:30 PM ET on ABC as part  of NBA primetime.

The Line

The Cavs are favored by 6.5 with a total of 217.5.

The Intrigue

Is this Carmelo Anthony’s trade showcase game?   Does Anthony go off and show the Cavs why they should trade for him?

The much discussed Anthony to the Cavs for Kevin Love trade is rumored to still be discussed while the Cavs have little interest in that deal it seems.

Love is considered probable for tonight’s game.  The Knicks are expected to be without Derrick Rose.

The History

The Cavs have blown the Knicks out twice already this season.

On Ring Night at the Q, the Cavs beat the Knicks down 117-88.  Then on December 7, 2016, the Cavs went to MSG and dominated the Knicks 126-94.

The Numbers

Neither team comes into this game hot.

The Cavs are 33-15 overall but only 11-10 on the road this season.  They’re just 5-5 in their last 10 games.

The Knicks are 22-29 overall with a 13-11 record at home this year.  They’ve lost 6 of their last 10 games.

When the Cavs win on the road, they win by average of 8.8 points.  When they lose on the road, they lose by an average of 12.5.

When the Knicks win at home, they win by an average of 8 point.  When they lose at home, they lose by an average of 9.4.

The Pick

This game is in primetime so both clubs are showing up to play.  They know they’re the only national game Saturday night.  Both squads have had time to rest to prepare for this game.

The Formula predicts the Knicks have a 52% chance of winning with a total of 213 points in the game.

Take the Knicks +6.5 tonight.

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Why the Big Ten Champion will make the College Football Playoff


by Matt Fischer

We’ve reached the final week of the 2016 college football season and the conference title match-ups have been set.  We’re just a week away from knowing who makes the college football version of the Final Four.

Based upon our week 14 college football predictions, we see three teams winning their conference championships.  Alabama (SEC), Clemson (ACC) and Washington (Pac-12) are locked in as playoff teams.  The fourth spot is the one left to be decided.

The fourth team has to come from the Big Ten.  With the Ohio State victory at Oklahoma, the Big Ten should get this final spot in the College Football Playoff.

The Big Ten has several contenders for this final spot but it should come down to the Big Ten Championship between Wisconsin and Penn State.  While Ohio State and Michigan have been impressive this season, their inability to even qualify for the Big Ten Championship game should keep them out of the playoff.

How ridiculous is it for a team to qualify for the playoff that can’t even win it’s own division in a conference?

The Big Ten has beaten one another up.  Penn State holds a win over Ohio State, but Michigan beat Penn State.  Ohio State beat Michigan and Wisconsin.  Michigan and Ohio State both beat Wisconsin but Wisconsin could own a win over Penn State in the Big Ten Championship.

That makes the Big Ten Championship of utmost importance to the committee.  The winner of Penn State vs. Wisconsin should get an invitation to the College Football Playoff.


Based upon our predictions for Saturday’s college football conference championships, here’s our seeding of the four college football playoff teams:

1 – Alabama Crimson Tide
2 – Clemson Tigers
3 – Washington Huskies
4 – Wisconsin Badgers

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Transforming the UFC: Conor McGregor Open Division Champion

sportsformulator-com-headerby Matt Fischer

Conor McGregor has transformed the UFC by becoming the league’s first two division champion with his UFC 205 win over then 155 pound champ, Eddie Alvarez.

After adding the 155 pound belt to his existing 145 belt, he announced he won’t fight again until mid-2017.  UFC President Dana White stated McGregor won’t fight before May 2017.  This leaves one belt in limbo for at least 6 more months.

While McGregor is the biggest star in the sport, the UFC needs active champions and allowing one belt to not be defended for perhaps a year (the 145 pound belt) is bad for the UFC.

conor-mcgregor-ufc-championMcGregor Can Do What He Wants

The biggest draw in the UFC, Conor McGregor can call his shots.  He can choose who, when and where he will fight.  He even wants a piece of the company now too.

For McGregor, nobody at featherweight (145 pounds)has the drawing power to pad his bank account.  At 155 pounds, there are great fighters deserving a title fight (Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson) but they’re not household names that can sell a pay-per-view and command the potential eight figure paydays McGregor wants.

Conor McGregor the First Open Division Champion

If the UFC wants to revolutionize their league, they would trade Conor McGregor his lightweight and featherweight belts for a Open Division belt.

The UFC could create what would become a champions division where McGregor could move up and down to fight champions or high profile opponents.  This puts two other belts back in action as the featherweight belt could be put around the belt of a new champion and McGregor doesn’t have to worry about sticking to one weight class as a champion.

With an open division, McGregor can take fights at catch weights and challenge other champions in super fights.  This something the UFC had back before Dana White and the Fertitta brothers took it over with a Ken Shamrock vs. Dan Severn super fight at UFC 6.

UFC Super Fights of 2017

For McGregor, he’s looking at three fights maximum in 2017 beginning in May.  He can use 2017 to cement his superstar status with super fights against other UFC Champions.

Conor McGregor vs. Tyron Woodley

This would feature the 170 pound champion Woodley fighting the 155 pound champion at 170.  For McGregor, it’s a major step up as Woodley would probably enter the Octagon above 190 pounds for the fight.  Will his power sleep 170 pound fighters?  What if Woodley lands his power-packed right hand?  The intrigue for this fight would be off the charts.

Conor McGregor vs. Dominick Cruz

Cruz, the Bantamweight champ, only has one blemish on his record and is such a tactician.  His footwork and pace could bother McGregor and keep the Irishman from landing that left hand.  McGregor, being the bigger fighter with KO power, would be the favorite but seeing another champion vs. champion fight would be one of the UFC’s biggest fights even.

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 3

The next fight could be a trilogy with Nate Diaz.  With each holding a winner over the other, a big fight to sell is the third fight for the lightweight championship.  This is a fight that’s about guaranteed a minimum of 1.5 million pay-per-view buys and with these two headliners could get closer to 2 million.

With Conor and Nate fighting let’s say Memorial Day weekend 2017, what’s left for Conor after that?  Does he continue to fight up until he catches a beatdown?  If he loses, does he drop back to featherweight?

Conor McGregor is transforming the UFC.  He’s the biggest star they have ever had and can take it to new heights as an open division champion.  Make it happen UFC!

Formulator Friday – November 11, 2016


by Matt Fischer

The sports year is at it’s busiest now with college basketball tipping off tonight.  For me, it means longer days packed with sports.  I don’t mind it, but I’m usually ready for things to slow down come March.  Luckily the NCAA Tournament is my favorite part of the sports year. That first day of the tournament is the best day of the year to me.


College Basketball

We have 66 games college basketball predictions for tonight.  You can get our predictions daily through the NCAA Tournament Championship game.

The Armed Forces Classic has top teams playing in their season openers as Kansas plays Indiana and Michigan State plays Arizona.  Wins here should give these teams a lot of confidence for the rest of the season.  Read our preview for these two games.

UFC 205

The UFC has its best card ever on Saturday night at UFC 205 from Madison Square Garden.  Champions Eddie Alvarez and Conor McGregor fight in the Main Event for the 155 pound title.

The card features two other championship fights including Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson and Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz.  12 fights on the card with great match-ups and I’ve picked all 12.  If you’re a UFC fan, you need to watch Saturday night.

College Football

A solid 4-1 (80%) ATS last weekend with premium college football picks!  We have 5 picks for week 11 in the Pick Shop.

Ole Miss vs. Texas A&M is a battle of back-up QB’s tomorrow.  Chad Kelly and Trevor Knight are out injured so both teams will trot out new signal callers.

Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech has a total of 90…the oddsmakers basically don’t expect the defenses to get off the bus on Saturday.

Picking a college football player of the year is tough this season.  There have been some spectacular players but nobody has really separated themselves so far in my book.  Right now, I’d give it to Jalen Hurts.  He always seems to make a big play when Alabama needs it.  He’s gone against one of the nation’s toughest schedules and performed well every week.

Get our data driven week 11 college football predictions here.


College Football Consensus Picks – These are game winner picks from you our readers.

1 – Washington (93%) against USC
2 – Stanford (86%) at Oregon
3 – Penn State (85%) at Indiana
4 – Auburn (79%)
5 – West Virginia (79%) at Texas
6 – Florida Atlantic (77%)
7 – Troy (64%) against Appalachian State
8 – Iowa State (69%) at Kansas
9 – Missouri (62%) against Vanderbilt
10 – Memphis (62%) against South Florida
11 – LSU (57%) at Arkansas
12 – Navy (54%) against Tulsa


Our survivor pick lost in OT last week dropping us to 7-2 with our NFL Survivor Pool pick.  Our two losses came in close games.  Last week, the Vikings were the only team to make it through our screening process and lost in OT.

Three teams made it through this week.  See our week 10 NFL Survivor Pool Pick.

Some good AFC vs. NFC games this weekend including Seahawks at Patriots (our preseason Super Bowl prediction). Chiefs at Panthers, Broncos at Saints and Bengals at Giants.  You can see our NFL predictions for all of these games plus the rest of week 10.


NFL Consensus Picks – These are picks against the spread from you our readers.

1 – Chargers -3.5 (94%) against Dolphins
2 – Cowboys +2.5 (82%) at Steelers)
3 – Cardinals -13.5 (80%) against 49ers
4 – Jets -2.5 (75%) against Rams
5 – Giants -2.5 (71%) against Bengals
6 – Redskins -2.5 (69%) against Vikings
7 – Texans -1.5 (69%) at Jaguars
8 – Falcons Pick ‘Em (63%) at Eagles
9 – Broncos +1.5 (62%) at Saints
10 – Panthers -3 (62%) against Chiefs
11 – Packers -2.5 (60%) at Titans
12 – Patriots -7.5 (60%) against Seahawks
13 – Bucs (53%) against Bears

Enjoy the sports weekend!  Get our premium ATS picks all weekend in the Pick Shop!