Week 2 Preview

Think of the preseason as a prior distribution; it’s still in there but not weighted as heavily as last week. The basic idea is rather simple; some would say rather simplistic: teams that play strong opponents, score lots of points, and allow very few will be rated highly in logits. Because we are using the log ratio of points for to points against, it really likes strong defenses. We pay no attention to home versus away, injury reports, weather forecasts, or police blotters; just points scored and points allowed and against whom. I don’t even know what a blotter is.

Here’s what you need to know to ravage the next office pool; or at least to not do anything really dumb. It may be really dumb on my part, but the Vikings, Broncos, Ravens, and Cardinals by three touchdowns. Big spreads are dangerous because one team or the other may forget to play the fourth quarter.

Visitor Home Probability of Visitor Win V Rnk H Rnk Logit Visitor Logit Home
Pittsburgh Baltimore 0.22 31 6 -0.76 0.49
Miami Buffalo 0.66 24 32 -0.27 -0.94
Jacksonville Washington 0.38 27 13 -0.41 0.06
Dallas Tennessee 0.31 30 10 -0.67 0.12
Arizona NY Giants 0.79 3 25 1.05 -0.29
New England Minnesota 0.18 20 1 -0.25 1.24
New Orleans Cleveland 0.56 15 23 -0.01 -0.26
Atlanta Cincinnati 0.31 19 5 -0.25 0.56
Detroit Carolina 0.68 8 26 0.39 -0.38
St. Louis Tampa Bay 0.62 17 29 -0.20 -0.67
Seattle San Diego 0.69 4 12 0.88 0.07
Houston Oakland 0.42 11 9 0.08 0.39
NY Jets Green Bay 0.36 16 7 -0.13 0.45
Kansas City Denver 0.21 22 2 -0.26 1.06
Chicago San Francisco 0.39 28 18 -0.65 -0.22
Philadelphia Indianapolis

Week 1 Preview

If you are reading this on Monday, you may be sensing that predictions based on Pre-season results may not be the best indicator of regular season. The accuracy of these predictions should be enough to convince you that I did the arithmetic before Sunday. I did it a couple hours before the Packer-Seahawk game and wrote this text on Friday so I’ll take credit for getting that winner right. However, the Seahawks should only have won by about 10 points, not 20.

The “Correct Pick” is yes if the team with the higher probability wins; the team in the “Exceed Expected” column is the team for which the observed logit is greater than the predicted logit. For those who were watching football rather than doing homework on weekends, that means they beat the spread (as I not Las Vegas define the spread.)

Right now I am saying that the Broncos and the Vikings are the two best teams in football but it may not be time to order your Super Bowl tickets. The regular season should be a convincing demonstration of regression to the mean, probably for the Vikings, maybe for the Broncos, and hopefully, for some, for the Bills and the Steelers, who are defining the other end of the scale.

I will update this on Tuesday and try again on formatting the table.

Week Visitor Home Probability of Visitor Win V Pts H Pts Correct Pick Exceed Expected
1 Green Bay Seattle 0.41 16 36 Y Seattle
1 New Orleans Atlanta 0.60
1 Minnesota St. Louis 0.76
1 Cleveland Pittsburgh 0.78
1 Jacksonville Philadelphia 0.48
1 Oakland NY Jets 0.80
1 Cincinnati Baltimore 0.36
1 Buffalo Chicago 0.33
1 Washington Houston 0.67
1 Tennessee Kansas City 0.54
1 New England Miami 0.54
1 Carolina Tampa Bay 0.52
1 San Francisco Dallas 0.59
1 Indianapolis Denver 0.10
1 NY Giants Detroit 0.26
1 San Diego Arizona 0.34