There’s no shame in an outlet making an incorrect sports prediction – it happens all the time. But it’s a little more blooper-worthy when 17 different experts make the wrong prediction in an important game. And that’s exactly what happened for ESPN on Tuesday evening when the group made a unanimously incorrect prediction.
Ahead of Tuesday night’s Eastern Conference Play-In Game between the Atlanta Hawks and the Miami Heat, 17 different ESPN experts gave their predictions for the game. And every single one of them – Kendra Andrews, Jerry Bembry, Jamal Collier, Nick DePaula, Nick Friedell, Kirk Goldsberry, Israel Gutierrez, Tim Legler, Tim MacMahon, Bobby Marks, Dave McMenamin, Kevin Pelton, Jorge Sedano, Ramona Shelburne, André Snellings, Marc Spears, and Ohm Youngmisuk – chose the Heat to win.
Obviously, that’s not at all how the game went.
The Hawks won Tuesday night’s play-in game by double digits, pulling out a 116 to 105 victory over the Bulls to punch their ticket to the playoffs. Atlanta commanded the entire game, only even trailing once when the Bulls scored the first bucket of the contest to make the score 2-0 before the Hawks countered with a three-pointer about a minute later.
While this was certainly not a great prediction by ESPN’s pool of experts, we do have to give credit where credit is due as the same group was unanimously correct about the other play-in game on Tuesday as all 17 experts also predicted the Los Angeles Lakers to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves – though it looked for a brief time that the experts were going to go 0-34 on the night when the T-Wolves took a 15-point lead in Los Angeles.