Thursday, May 29, 2008

Picking Records

After the schedules come out there's always a flurry of win-loss predictions based on picking the winners of each individual game. I've always thought that was kind of dumb and subjective, even before you take into account how hard it is to now how well teams will play. Some games are obvious and would be a stunning upset others are difficult, could go either way and in my case at least are often decided in the interest making the final records turn out the way I expect them to. So last year I tried to use a method that was less dumb (but at least as if not more subjective). I ranked each game on a 1 to 7 scale:
1-I'm sure the visiting team will win
2-Visiting team probably wins
3-Leaning towards visiting team
4-No Idea
5-Leaning home
6-Probably home
7-Home wins
The games where I picked a winner I went 131-90 (59.3%) not bad, but I did pass on 25 of the hardest games to pick by giving them a 4.

To get records I averaged the my expected outcome certainty (separately for home and way since they would be opposites) and multiplied by 1.25 to get the records to fit a realistic spread, giving games above/below .500. Rounded a bit to get the records in whole games and got these:
(Exactly right, 1-2 win off, 3-4 off, 5-6 off, 7+ off)

Chargers 14-2 (3)
Colts 13-3 (0)
Patriots 12-4 (4)
Bears 12-4 (5)
Ravens 11-5 (6)
Bengals 11-5 (4)
Saints 11-5 (4)
Cowboys 11-5 (2)
Broncos 11-5 (4)
Jets 10-6 (6)
49ers 10-6 (5)
Eagles 10-6 (2)
Steelers 10-6 (0)
Jags 9-7 (2)
Giants 8-8 (2)
Rams 8-8 (5)
Seahawks 8-8 (2)
Chiefs 7-9 (3)
Panthers 7-9 (0)
Falcons 7-9 (3)
Packers 6-10 (7)
Titans 6-10 (4)
Bucs 5-11 (4)
Lions 5-11 (2)
Texans 5-11 (3)
Dolphins 5-11 (4)
Redskins 5-11 (4)
Vikings 5-11 (3)
Bills 4-12 (3)
Browns 4-12 (6)
Raiders 3-13 (1)
Cardinals 3-13 (5)

I was off by an average of 3.4 games. I didn't expect the Packers and Browns to be good, the Ravens, Bears and Jets to be bad and for some reason didn't expect the Cardinals, Rams and Niners (10-6 what was I smoking) to be mediocre. I know my Colts and apparently the Panthers, Steelers and Raiders pretty well.

The Pats and Dolphins fell outside what I thought was a reasonable spread for records, but neither of those is normal. So I'm going to leave the method the same. Starting work on predictions for the upcoming season right now, they should be up during the weekend.

(If anyone out there is interested in giving it a try e-mail me and I can send you the blank spread sheet that calculates the records from the 1-7 rankings or you could make your own system).

1 comment:

coltsfanawalt said...

That's cool. I'll be out for a few days starting early this morning, but I'd like to try this. My email is