Monday, April 14, 2014

2013/2014 win probabilities - Central Division

Below are the videos which show the win probability graphs for all 2013/2014 games for the teams in the Central Division. To learn more about the win probability metric, check out my post here. The folder with the individual game graphs for every team is available here.

2013/2014 win probabilities - Pacific Division

Below are the videos which show the win probability graphs for all 2013/2014 games for the teams in the Pacific Division. To learn more about the win probability metric, check out my post here. The folder with the individual game graphs for every team is available here.

2013/2014 win probabilities - Metropolitan Division

Below are the videos which show the win probability graphs for all 2013/2014 games for the teams in the Metropolitan Division. To learn more about the win probability metric, check out my post here. The folder with the individual game graphs for every team is available here.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

2013/2014 win probabilities - Atlantic Division

Below are the videos which show the win probability graphs for all 2013/2014 games for the teams in the Atlantic Division. To learn more about the win probability metric, check out my post here. The folder with the individual game graphs for every team is available here.

How much smarter are college basketball experts than the rest of us?

I wrote an article this week for Deadspin looking at how much better college basketball "experts" did at predicting the NCAA tournament this year than non-experts. I used the same 11 million brackets from ESPN.com's Tournament Challenge as I used for the earlier article in the Wall Street Journal. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the experts didn't do all that much better than the non-experts.

"Generally the experts' brackets were slightly better than the non-expert ones, although the evidence isn't especially overwhelming. The analysis suggests that next year you'll have just as good a chance of winning your office pool if you make your own picks as if you follow the experts."

I've also made the data available here.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Odds of a perfect NCAA bracket this year

Check out my new, non-hockey, article in Monday's Wall Street Journal. I find that, this year, there was a 1 in 1.47 quadrillion chance of picking a perfect NCAA March Madness bracket.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A stats-driven power ranking

I used the win probability metric, which I described here, to calculate the average probability that each team wins each of their games. Then, for each team, I calculate a weighted-average (based on the logged temporal distance) of their win probabilities. In other words, the most recent game gets the highest weight, while game 1 is still in the calculation, but significantly down-weighted.

The result is a new power ranking metric, which is entirely based on in-game statistics. As far as I know (and please correct me if I'm wrong) but it's also the first power ranking (in any sport?) which doesn't just provide the ranks of the teams (1 through 30) but gives a sense of how big the gaps are between teams 1 and 2, 2 and 3, etc. Check out the results below, which are based on every game this season (excluding last night's).

As you can see, not only is Boston the top-ranked team, it's doing significantly better than the other teams in the top 5, mostly because of their dominance during their 12 game win streak. And you can see there's a huge dropoff in teams 25-30.