Welcome to our June developer blog!

I wanted to update you on some recent feature releases that are big enough to warrant me giving you a quick heads up about how they work and why we're doing them. At the end of the blog, I'll also let you know what we have planned in the run-in to the 2024 NFL season.

In order, we'll be covering:

  1. Live scores
  2. Menu update
  3. Line and odds movement
  4. Expert and user profile updates
  5. Color scaling and table tweaks

And then our new features that are upcoming before or during the first weeks of the 2024 NFL season:

  1. Private pools - improvements, Survivor pools, and app integration
  2. Expert pick feed and pick information
  3. Contest homepage and hub
  4. Pickwatch Insights

That's a lot to cover, so let's start!


Live Scores

You'll notice a scores link has now appeared on many menus and pages. You can now check live scores and results on desktop on mobile - hint, it works really well on mobile when you're on the move - and cross reference the final score with the expert consensus. 

We've added this as during a gameday or week, you previously didn't have much information to guide how well you were doing, or how well the consensus was doing. You can now bookmark this page, and it'll update in real time for every sport.

Check it out at https://pickwatch.com/scores


Menu update

With a host of new information on the site, and our menu not being reworked for some time, we needed to update some of the previous options and dead links. We'd had a placeholder menu since February, but this finally brings all of the main options together in each sport.

There's still a sport-specific menu for less-frequently used items, but again, we think this works particularly well on both desktop and mobile, where we've added a much more intuitive menu that slides out.


Line and odds movement

You can now click or tap any odds, spread, or points total in the consensus, or in game hubs, and get a  quick view of how the odds have changed over time for a matchup. We've highlighted where odds are changing to be better for you. 'Best' odds refer to you getting a better return, rather than being best for the team involved.


Expert and user profile updates

This is quite a big update to the look and feel of profiles. We've also added a ton of new data for everyone, so if you can see it in an expert's profile, you can see it in your own too.

We've added comparative charts to track expert performance over time periods of your choosing, a new table of which teams they pick best in order - this can be toggled to show either wins and losses, or unit profit - a proper pick history section that you can view by week, and a host of other options. Check them out by clicking an expert or user's profile - or your own!

We're particularly keen for users to keep an eye on the team-by-team rankings. We've been doing some deep data dives, and the disparity between the best and worst experts and users is generally whether they can pick a handful of teams well each season. Remember our Pro Picks section keeps you informed of who is picking each team best, and our new Insights... well, see the last part of this blog for an exciting development there.


Table improvements and tweaks

Over the last two years, we've added a significant amount of data to our tables. Rather than having to visit, say, 4 different tables related to season performance, lifetime perormance, last 5 weeks, or favorites, you can put all of these elements in the same table so that comparison is easier than ever.

However, a slight downside is that we've largely been putting these options in piecemeal, meaning that although we wanted the experience to be as consistent as possible, it often... well, wasn't. A few buttons and styles had crept in that weren't the same, some colors were off, and some of the features had bumped the table size to unworkable dimensions in some places.

So we've had taken a holistic look at the table and put all of these things right. Buttons are now in more logical places, with more obvious names, and more relevant options. Data color coding is now on by default for all columns, which is incredibly helpful for analyzing large amounts of data for consistent performers, or anomalies.

You can also scroll right and left off screen if you have a whole bunch of extra columns selected and they run off screen.  Technically, you can add around 45 columns to the main table now - which we wouldn't really advise, but hey, you can if you want.

Perhaps the most important thing we've done is update mobile web views. You'll now get a column at the start of each row to help see performance before you start scrolling - making it easier to understand how good someone is, then see their picks. Makes sense, right? We've also improved the layout to make it cleaner on mobile devices.


Upcoming features

We're now almost in July, so this is the final push before the new season. Here's what's coming:


Private Pools

We're revamping private pools to make them easier to set up and manage, and also add them to the mobile app. We're also adding Survivor pools!


Expert pick feed/pick info

You'll see a rolling log of picks that are coming in on the right of the page. You can also scroll back through. This is to give new users an idea of who is making picks, and when. In addition, you'll be able to click or tap individual picks in the table and see our data for the pick. There'll be a timestamp, whether and when it was changed, odds, stake, and spread.


Contest Homepage

Some people get confused about how to enter our contests, but we're changing that this season with a new page that brings winners, rules, and the ability to make your selections, into one place.


Upset Watch Discord

I am signing my life away and opening up an exclusive VIP Discord channel for Upset Watch readers. You'll need to be a VIP user to get access, but in there, I will answer as many questions as possible, and have discussions with our passionate, loyal Upset Watch readers, many of whom have been active in helping to improve processes. I'm really looking forward to this, as again, it emphasizes that you simply don't get this kind of openness and interaction anywhere else.


Pickwatch Insights

This is our biggest feature in the last 5 years. It is worthy of an entire article, but you can see from the sneak preview above, how incredibly powerful this is. We've been working on the foundations of this for a number of years, and we can finally release it.

Pickwatch Insights is a tool that analyzes your picks, and based on machine learning related to your trends, biases and performance, gives understanding of whether your pick is likely to be correct or not.

Let me give you a simple example - let's say you're 6-3 picking the Jaguars this season, and they're playing the Packers on the road, with a spread of -2.5 in favor of the Jags.

Now, what if we told you that while you're 6-3 picking the Jags overall, you're 0-3 when picking road games where the Jaguars were favored by -3 or less. Would you still think you're likely to get this game right?

Probably not, but the real edge that Pickwatch Insights offer, is that we can then show you who is specifically getting the games right that you get wrong.

Cool, huh?

Not only is it cool, but it's also a genuinely huge data science project, that requires significant technical resources. Our plan is to have the core of this product launched by September. We already have demo services working at Pickwatch HQ, so I'm confident trailing this, but the one thing I'd say about Insights, is that it's going to be an ever-expanding feature, with dozens of different factors that ultimately end in you making better picks, and understanding when to trust your own instincts, and when to lean on recommended experts.

Pickwatch Insights will again be a VIP only feature, and honestly? At the price it is ($99 a year) you're getting insane value. This will be something that will learn as you make your picks, recalibrate based on the performance of it's recommendations to you, and become probably the most insightful companion you have ever had. I don't say this often, but what this does for users is likely to make the biggest single difference in how well you pick games of any tool in the entire industry.

And now? I'm back to the data myself, but if you have any suggestions or questions, feel free to contact us in the Discord that is now open for Pro users.

Shaun and the team