CNET Editors' review
NFL Forecaster helps users predict weekly professional football games. While its depth is impressive, the amount of manual input may scare off some.
The program's interface is a cluttered and confusing mix of charts and statistics. We did ourselves a favor and consulted the Help file, specifically its alphabetized topics list, whenever a hurdle presented itself. The program excels at showing the current week's professional football match-ups and giving the spread (how many points the winner will win by). We were unable to know how accurately the program predicts scores since this was tested before the season, but based on personal knowledge, the spreads seemed reasonable. One fun feature allowed us to produce a match-up by quickly inputting two teams and getting a spread. We were a little more confused by the separate screens that ranked teams by division, by offense and by defense. These dense blocks of statistics were where we made the most trips to the Help file for definitions. Thankfully, these statistics soon made sense. Our biggest problem was that the program required that we input the actual score of every game to get the following week's spread. This requires a little bit of research and effort, and is only worth it for serious football fans.
NFL Forecaster comes with a generous eight-week trial. While it requires manual input, we liked having NFL spreads at our fingertips and recommend this program for download.
From 100% Cotton Software:
NFL Forecaster takes you step-by-step through the process of entering scores, forecasting spreads, saving data and printing reports. Using only scores, it ranks teams and predicts winners and spreads. Over the last 27 seasons it predicted winners correctly 65% of the time (71% for 1998) and spreads 57%. Also view and print scores, spreads and rankings for past games. It includes print preview and Informal Forecasts (any two teams playing each other) and maintains eight categories of statistics. Quick function takes you step-by-step through the weekly process (10 minutes) of entering scores and getting forecasts. It is highly customizable and includes Cotton Calendar free (perpetual desktop calendar that displays and prints sports schedules).
What's new in this version: Version 7.22 has updated for the 2012-2013 season and the help file was updated to include the 2011-2012 statistics.
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All versions:3.5 stars
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