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Handicapping "Think Tank" technical handicapping and statistics

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Old 04-04-2006, 11:53 PM
blogguy blogguy is offline
MW Writer, S.H. Austin
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Default Weekend in Review...April 1-2

A collection of posts or articles that ran in the MESS HALL over the weekend...


I went through and made up a list of the most extreme umpire trends from the last 2 years so we can monitor that paths of these guys out of the gate this year.

J. Hirschbeck: 23-40
Hohn: 25-40
Joyce: 16-34
Marquez: 24-42
Onora: 25-41

Marsh: 40-24
Poncino: 42-20

Maybe we can look for some "cocktails" where these guys show up in the right kind of ballpark with the right kind of pitchers on the mound. On the list, those are all over 60% scenarios I think even without looking at other factors. You'd think they might skew to 67% or better given complementary environments.

I know that Reno's study found no statistical edges in terms of the ball/strike stuff with umpires. But, maybe taking a couple of steps back and looking at the big picture stuff may help us see when the umpires are working in concert with other elements in a way that "blows up" or "blows down" more than the formulas would suggest...


There were two games today...with another one coming up tomorrow (Rhein at Cologne).

Berlin (-3/42) at Hamburg ended in a 17-all OT tie (10 minutes of OT)
Amsterdam (-7/44) beat Frankfurt 38-20 at home

We started looking at stats this week...with a focus on 3rd down conversions and "yards per minute," hoping those two stats will show us quality or the lack thereof in a quick shorthand. So far...third downs have been a problem. Last week only Frankfurt had a good game (9 of 14), but they were a dismal 3 of 12 today in Amsterdam. Today, only Amsterdam had a good game...going 6 of 11 in their big win.

The only connection I saw to success today was regarding the Over/Unders. Here's a look at where everyone was in yards-per-minute after their first game:

Frankfurt 13.0
Amsterdam 12.4
Cologne 10.6
Hamburg 10.4
Rhein 9.7
Berlin 9.4

Today, the top two teams played each other...and the game flew Over the total of 44.

Frankfurt: 20 points...12.0 yards per minute
Amsterdam: 38 points...12.3 yards per minute

Two of the bottom three teams played each other...and the game stayed Under 42 even with an extra 10 minutes of Overtime.

Berlin: 17 points...12.8 yards per minute
Hamburg: 17 points...7.3 yards per minute

Hamburg won time of possession 41-29...which is why Frankfurt had the better ypm number in a tie game.

I know it's hard to keep track of which teams are which. I have to keep double and triple checking myself because I don't have a mental picture of them. I can tell you that Amsterdam's main quarterback is the Hamden kid who used to play for Indiana...and that he's the only guy who consistently seems to be moving the ball so far in the league.

Once the third game is played...I'll update the third down and yard-per-minute numbers for everyone. For now...we at least have the possibility that there are some over/under advantages from paying attention to these key numbers. Amsterdam is 2-0 straight up and ATS, having covered their games by 3 points on the road and 11 points at home. They may be worth riding until the line catches up.

I can't honestly point you to any edges in the Rhein/Cologne game Sunday. Each has played just once...and you can't base much of anything on one game in this league. Both look like they might be pretty good. Cologne had good stats against the Amsterdam team that's now 2-0. Rhein beat Berlin on the road last week. Let's give things time to settle...then see if 1-2 things a week start popping up eventually...

(Response to question raised by CASH)

Do you know a location that has yardage by quarters? Or drive charts at least?

During the NFL playoffs I started breaking it down this way:

"Relevant" Yardage: Those gained when the teams were within 8 points of each other (one score)

"Clutch" Yardage: Any relevant yardage gained in the second half.

I can't remember what I called yardage gained when the teams were more than one score apart. I'll have to go look it up! I'm sure it was something catchy.

I used the "drive charts" at for this. I haven't looked at the NFL Europe website yet to see if they have drive charts or not. I'm not that sure it matters in this league because it looks like nobody can gain garbage time stats. The third down conversions have been so bad that I don't think anybody really has a rhythm to their offense yet.

I think this was VERY informative in the playoffs because it showed how some of the pretenders could only move the ball when they were behind by more than eight points (Chicago for example). There were cllear and overwhelming yardage edges in "relevant" and "clutch" yardage that were often "covered up" in the full game boxscore by stuff that happened when the leading defense relaxed a little.

So...I'm behind you 100% in trying to un-pollute the yardage. Any guidance for finding college football sites in September that do this would be greatly appreciated. I'm planning on using this approach for the full NFL season next year. I'm not sure NFL Europe is "real" football. If these are just glorified exhibitions to see which QB's might be third stringers in the NFL...stat handicapping may not get us very far. I'm hoping that 3rd down conversions and yards per minute can at least shed some insights on the teams.

I noticed last year that yards per minute in the colleges and pros helped clear up discrepancies that were created by time of possession. That's why I picked that for this study. Kind of a shortcut to meet the goals you described in your note.

Thanks for the advice. Let's see what we can come up with for this league and the Fall...

(More on the NFL method after SUGARBEAR reminded me about "relaxed" yardage)
RELEVANT yardage: all yards gained when teams are within one score (8 points) of each other.

CLUTCH yardage: all RELEVANT yardage gained in the second half

RELAXED yardage: all yardage that isn't RELEVANT (gained when the teams are more than one score apart).

There were definitely teams last year that clamped down on defense all the time when the game was on the line...but would relax if the opponent was more than one score apart. Eyeballing it late in the was as if THAT was the single most important factor in determining how often some teams would blitz.

I dug up the old article that I wrote up for a past employer. In the first round of the playoffs:

*Seattle 293, Washington 69
*New England 283, Denver 190
*Pittsburgh 179, Indianapolis 19
*Carolina 334, Chicago 116

Three controlled the flow of the game. New England would have if they hadn't committed 5 turnovers as Denver was enjoying a gift TD from a ref. If you watched those games, as I'm sure most of you did, these numbers reflect the sense you had of how the game was going much better than the "total yardage" numbers in the boxscore ultimately did.

CLUTCH YARDAGE (relevant yardage in 2nd Half only)
*Seattle 141, Washington 0
*New England 131, Denver 22
*Indianapolis 14, Pittsburgh 5
*Carolina 149, Chicago 66

Pittsburgh had a big lead most of the way on Indy, so didn't have a chance to gain any "clutch" yardage until the very end when Bettis had that fumble. see the teams that controlled the point of attack having huge edges...particularly on a percentage basis.

*Washington 124, Seattle 48
*New England 123, Denver 101
*Indianapolis 279, Pittsburgh 133
*Chicago 197, Carolina 89

Now the losers jump to the forefront. Washington had a big edge in yardage once they were way behind. Chicago could basically ONLY move the ball when Carolina was ahead by more than a score (sorry SB). Indianapolis did all of its damage after falling way behind. New England and Denver was basically a wash.

That gives you a sense of why I liked these numbers. The yards gained when the game isn't on the line creates some illusions. The yards gained when the teams were within one score of each other really allowed the cream to rise to the top.

(Preview UCLA/LSU)
LSU/UCLA: Defense and Rebounding in the Dance

Since I've mentioned a few times that those categories seem to play a big role in postseason basketball, I figured I'd go back and look up what today's Final Four teams have done in those categories. That might give us some insights as to what to expect today.

It has to be said that all four have performed well on defense as a whole. Florida And LSU are holding people WAY below what they were doing in the regular season. George Mason is doing a great job considering the caliber of opponents they were facing. UCLA had two great defensive games and two lousy ones. One of the great ones came against a #1 seed with a strong offense.

In this thread I'll post the numbers for the LSU/UCLA game. In another, I'll do Florida/George Mason. That way everyone can post their thoughts on each game...and we can have active threads for each throughout the day.

LSU entered the tournament holding opponents to 41% this season
LSU allowed Iona to shoot 38%
LSU allowed Texas A&M to shoot 42%
LSU allowed Duke to shoot 28%
LSU allowed Texas to shoot 30%

The last two games were in a dome...which sheds some light on what strong defensive teams can do to opponents in that environment. On the whole, an amazing defensive performance for the Tigers thus far. Can they keep it up? It can't hurt that today's game is in a dome as well.

UCLA entered the tournament holding opponents to 43% this season
UCLA allowed Belmont to shoot 29%
UCLA allowed Alabama to shoot 49%
UCLA allowed Gonzaga to shoot 47%
UCLA allowed Memphis to shoot 32%

In context the two worst defensive performances of the remaining teams were the games UCLA had against Alabama and Gonzaga. Geore Mason allowed 47% to UCONN...but that was UCONN. UCLA was supposed to have a defense that could slow down Morrison. They almost didn't get the chance because they were shaky against Alabama. Clearly, they're capable of strong defensive games. It's not happening consistently though. The fact that Alabama is from the SEC could be a good sign for LSU fans here. UCLA didn't really match up well talent-wise there...and needed a 9-2 edge in three-pointers to eke out a 62-59 win.

LSU is +4 for the whole tournament...and it would have been higher if they hadn't run into the Texas rebounding machine last weekend.

UCLA is +4 for the whole tournament...but they were +22 against Belmont, and -18 against everybody else. UCLA was -11 against Alabama, -4 against Gonzaga, and -3 against Memphis.

Again...we see that the SEC team matched up well inside. If Alabama was +11 over UCLA, that's a bad omen for Bruins fans against LSU today.

Based ONLY on what we've seen in the tournament. LSU has the edges on defense and rebounding. They also might pick up an edge because this is their third straight game in a dome while UCLA has been playing in arenas in California the whole time (San Diego for two, then Oakland for two).

The hopes for UCLA seem to hinge on three-point shooting. LSU is very weak in that area...and isn't likely to make more than 4-5 unless they catch a break percentage-wise. UCLA needed a 9-2 edge to beat Alabama by 3 if you're rooting for UCLA today, you probably need to be hoping for something similar.

What about the total? As I write this, it's sitting at 121.5 (after opening at 125.5). LSU's last three games have landed on 115, 116, and 104 in regulation. They played a 144 against up-tempo Iona in the first round. UCLA played a 95 with Memphis in their last game. Prior to that it was 122 with Belmont, 121 with Alabama, and 144 with Gonzaga. The games involving Iona and Gonzaga don't seem to fit the projected tempo and style for this game. So...that leaves us with six games ranging from 95-122. The preponderance of evidence points to an Under (particularly in a dome). But...there's less margin for error at a total that low.

*Overtime is a possibility
*Late game free throws can get you to the 120's quickly
*We've seen some VERY low shooting percentages in recent games. If the teams revert to full season norms, this is a low total
*Both teams have a week of pent up energy which may lead to an up tempo first half before things calm down a little.

I'm not posting these threads to make picks. Just to start some discussions. Since I'm the defense and rebounding guy...I figured I'd dig up those numbers for everyone.

I'm also the "the games are virtual coin flips" guy. So...40 minutes on a neutral floor may not be enough time for LSU to establish the edges they seem to have in these categories. Through the tournament, I've been using the phrase "comparable" teams in the "coin flip" discussions. It's possible that the "dome" influence may mean these teams aren't comparable. Playing your third straight game in a dome may be worth so many points compared to playing your first game in a dome that it trumps what's been happening with underdogs lately.

We didn't see the "coin flip" theory work out in South Carolina's games in New York. The oddsmakers thought SC was just a shade better than Louisville and Michigan...when, in fact, the team playing the third best basketball of late in the game's most underrated conference was A LOT better than the teams playing the 10th and 8th best basketball in overrated conferences.

Handicappers will have to determine if the dome influence means LSU and UCLA aren't really comparable today. It's a good sign for LSU fans that they appear to have edges in the defense and rebounding categories at the same time that UCLA could be going through a dome adjustment.

FLORIDA/GEORGE MASON: Defense and Rebounding in the Dance

FLORIDA entered the tournament holding opponents to 41% this season
FLORIDA allowed South Alabama to shoot 35%
FLORIDA allowed Wisconsin-Milwaukee to shoot 36%
FLORIDA allowed Georgetown to shoot 39%
FLORIDA allowed Villanova to shoot 25%

Talk about turning the screws on people! Florida's defense has been shutting down everybody. This is a great performance from a team that had been known for NCAA flameouts in recent years (largely because they fit the model that Tennessee is they're looking more like a UCONN that cares). It's true that they had a couple of relatively easy draws in the first two games. But they dominated those teams, then went impressed against Georgetown and Villanova. I've seen 25 pictures of Noah in the newspaper the last week...but little mention of what this defense has done. That's the big story.

GEORGE MASON entered the tournament holding opponents to 38% this season
GEORGE MASON allowed Michigan State to shoot 43%
GEORGE MASON allowed North Carolina to shoot 36%
GEORGE MASON allowed Wichita State to shoot 31%
GEORGE MASON allowed Connecticut to shoot 47%

In context, that's solid as a rock. North Carolina was one of the hottest teams in the country coming into the Dance. Connecticut was seen as having the most talent of anyone. Michigan State was a strong offensive team this year that had an uncharacteristically weak defense. average of 39.25 against that foursome is great. I want to clear up something. It's not really true that George Mason relies on three-pointers to do their scoring. That was true against UCONN because it's hard to score inside on UCONN unless you spread everyone out (did you notice that George Mason was basically running the Houston Rocket's old Hakeem Olajuwon offense? Let the big guy post up...spread everyone else out...if there's a double team he kicks it to the open shooter...if not he attacks the basket...they did this much of the second half and it worked well). Against Michigan State, George Mason was just 5 of 12 on treys. Against North Carolina, they were 4 of 16. So, they can win without treys. This is good news in a dome. But...against this Florida defense you'd like to have some trey production to be sure. The dome may take that away.

Florida is +25 for the whole tournament...if you take out the first two games they're still +9. Going +25 for four games and +9 against two Big East teams is a fine showing. One of the reasons teams shot poorly against Florida is that they weren't getting many second chances.

George Mason is +2 for the whole tournament...which is remarkable considering their strength of schedule. We're talking about a team that out-rebounded Connecticut in 45 minutes of action last week. Cinderella may wear a glass slipper...but she knows how to box out.

Once you adjust for context, BOTH of these teams really excelled in these areas. Both deserve to be where they are. I'm tempted to say Florida has an edge just because those defensive numbers were SO low. Put a strong defense in a dome against an offense that hasn't seem a dome yet...and it makes sense that Florida would be the favorite.

What about the total? As I write this the number is 132.5. Florida has played, from low to high...totals of 110-126-137-142. So...132.5 or so actually splits that very well. George Mason has played 118-125-138-140 in regulation. Same deal there. It looks like a good total. But...if the dome influence slows down Mason...or if they just finally wake up from their dream and stare starry-eyed at the surroundings...then the total could be too high.

The key here to me is anticipating what the dome influence is going to be. If it's nothing...then the line is probably a bit high. George Mason is for real...and they've got a proven strategy for scoring in halfcourt sets. That's a big deal in a playoff game. But...if the environment throws them (very likely after playing two virtual home games last week)...they may have trouble scoring enough to hang close. POOF! They turn into the pumpkin that lost twice to Hofstra late in the season.
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Old 04-04-2006, 11:56 PM
blogguy blogguy is offline
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Default Weekend in Review...April 1-2

After Saturday's Semifinal Action:

*DOME games have gone 1-7 to the Under in this event. The shooting percentages tonight from high to low were 32-41-41-43. You'll recall in the chart we ran the other day...the midpoint of the DOME games last weekend was 39-41...while the midpoint of the arena games last weekend was 43-45. Not much of a change this week. The DOME atmosphere appears to knock a few points off of shooting percentage, and the lines aren't adjusting enough.

*The 0-2 performance to the Unders Saturday brought the full tournament to 23-40 to the Under through 63 of the tournament's 64 games. That's 63% success if you just bet the Under in every game. Clearly, the games are lower scoring than the public and oddsmakers are realizing on a consistent basis. That's been true for the whole postseason, particularly when teams who can play defense are on the floor. If you throw out the DOME games, the mark is still 22-33 to the Under....60% Unders in arenas.

*UCLA was an underdog that won the "coin flip" theory goes 1-1 on Saturday...with a slight profit on the small dog. For the tournament, games with favorites of 0-6 points have seen the favorites go 22-17 straight up. That's 56% straight up winners...or the equivalent of 129 on the moneyline. Since the moneyline prices are higher than that on average....the value is with the underdogs. The monelyine record for dogs is approximately 27-22...for a profit of about five games.

*The Underdogs went 1-1 ATS on Saturday, updating the record to 24-13 when you throw out pushes in the games with spreads of 0-6. That's 63% success if you just took the points whenever you saw two comparable teams playing each other.

So...a dog and Under tournament stayed that way in the Final Four...with dogs and Unders going 3-1 ATS on the day.

Congrats to all who did well today...

(Long article on possibility that Reno's disappointing baseball study (in his own words) might have connections to the virtual coin flip theory)


Advanced warning...this turned out to be longer than anticipated!

Over the past few years I've been playing around with a framework for deciding what's predictable and what isn't in sports. Some of that's been touched on in various posts here...particularly the "virtual coin flip" theory regarding comparable teams playing on neutral courts.

At the base of the issue is "how long" it takes for a superior team (or athlete) to establish its (or his) superiority. Can they do it within the normal time frame of a "game," or does it take longer.

As you may have deduced, I first started playing around with this a few years back when the World Match Play golf even started. You may remember in the opening years that they tried to mirror March Madness with the 64-person brackets (except they ranked everyone 1-64 back then). All the previews of the first year, and probably the second...jumped ahead to the expected matchups in the later rounds. The Sweet 16 and Elite Eight were going to be dream showcases of the best players in the world going head to head.

It never happened...and the networks stopped talking about it. What became clear was that 18 holes wasn't enough time for the superiority to show. The results were mostly random. The championship could be #63 against #54 or whatever. Tiger Woods eventually showed that he was a cut above the world by establishing some results. But, even he can't always play up to his seeding. 18 holes isn't enough time for superiority to show that level. That's why tournaments are 72 holes...and the world rankings are based on cumulative results.

I was thinking after that you could rank the "predictability" of the sports based on whether or not the length of a competition allowed the superiority to show. I had often heard handicappers talk about how easy or difficult certain sports were over the years...and these things started to overlap in my mind....

*Baseball had to use moneylines because everyone would make a killing if run lines were used. Everyone would just take the underdogs and win big because anything can happen within 9 innings.

*The NFL was tough because of parity. "Anything can happen on any given Sunday" has been quoted for years. It got to the point though that many established players would only play underdogs. It was basically a version of the "coin flip" theory. Anything can happen, so you might as well take the points and let the math take care of you.

*College football was more predictable because there were more teams...more variety in terms of quality...and the games lasted much longer than the NFL in terms of the number of plays. The clock stops more often, and there's more downfield passing with many of the programs. You could lay double digits in the colleges and not be labeled a square. You couldn't do that in the NFL until San Francisco turned themselves into a 1960's style expansion team last year.

*College Basketball and Pro basketball were seen as sports that could be beaten as long as you were willing to do research and stay after it.

*Hockey is a sport I'm leaving out because I drifted away from following it several years ago. I do believe that the playoffs are a version of the "virtual coin flip" theory every year. It seems like some years you can just take the dogs on the moneyline in every playoff game and show a nice profit at the end of the playoffs. Is that still true? Some years I swear every game goes overtime...and there shouldn't be big favorites when all the games are going overtime.

Anyway...I started to see things this way:

*Baseball: about 5 "possessions" per game per team (a trip through the heart of the lineup being defined as a "scoring opportunity).
*Pro Football: about 10-11 possessions per game per team
*College Football: about 13-15 possessions per game per team
*College Basketball: about 65 possessions per game per team
*Pro Basketball: about 90 possessions per game per team

That lined up with the traditional feelings about the sports. Baseball was the diciest on a per-game basis (that's why they play 162 of them in the regular season). Pro football games were the next toughest to peg. College football had more opportunity. Basketball games were so long that there was time for superiority to show up if it existed (though we've been seeing in recent seasons that so much parity now exists among the top 40 teams that 65 possessions may not be enough to differentiate them on a neutral floor in playoff conditions).

This brings us to Reno's study. Any "statistical" study that tried to pick winners in the World Match Play championships would run into a brick wall because 18 holes isn't enough time for the talent to show through anyway. The randomness of what can happen over 18 holes trumps everything. That could be true in baseball as well because 4-5 "possessions" isn't enough time for the better team to establish its superiority. Knowing statistically what a baseball team is going to do could be like knowing statistically that Vijay Sing isn't supposed to keep losing long before the semifinals every year. It doesn't matter. Baseball is so random over 9 innings...that something that's trying to predict specifically what's going to happen over 9 innings will have trouble getting any traction. could turn out that we have to turn the lenses a different direction. We can't predict a baseball game...but we can look at big picture issues that find weaknesses in how Vegas and the public are evaluating things. The way to beat the World Match Play event was just to play underdogs. Nobody should be favored. If you take dogs you grind out a profit. We've seen in the last few March Madnesses...and now I've seen evidence going back several years regarding the college bowls that the value is with taking dogs in those sports. The lines are overestimating the ability of teams to establish their perceived superiority in neutral field/court games matching comparable teams. In retrospect, many of the tournament games we've watched the past few weeks were un-handicappable. You couldn't know ahead of time which team was going to shoot just 25-35% from the floor...or who would go 5-24 on treys. Somebody might, but it was a coin flip as to who it would be in Texas/LSU, Florida/Villanova, UCLA/Memphis or whoever. The 0-6 spread range thing goes all the way back to the first we could use Tennessee/Winthrop, Tennessee/Wichita State, and countless other games. we attack the Bases this year...maybe the emphasis should be focused most aggressively on finding the teams/pitchers who are being overvalued and undervalued on a regular basis as opposed to "what's going to happen in the next 9 innings". I know everybody talks about this as being a hallmark of handicapping. But, a lot of the comments about games are about (myself included) are about what's most likely to happen in a game based on recent stats. So and so is hot right now, such and such has more experience, Memphis is playing so great right now they'll kill UCLA, Connecticut is a steal against George Mason, Seattle should score easily against the tired Lakers defense (mine from last night).

You wouldn't play poker that way. I wouldn't ever say "AK is hot against middle pocket I'm betting AK hard." I wouldn't say "Flushes are having a great week, I'm going to start playing for more of those." The percentages are fixed in poker. They may be more fixed in some sports than we realize because there isn't enough time for advantages to show up.

I think I used this analogy in a "virtual coin flip" discussion with Ronbets. If you found a place where you had to lay -330 on heads in a coin flip, but got +250 back on tails...the smart play would be to just take tails every time and let nature take it's course (this actually approximates recent college football bowl history fairly well believe it or not). You wouldn't try to "predict" that heads was going to happen immediately on the next flip. "I'd better get tails on this one or I'm screwed!" You'd just take your edge and let the math work for you over time.

The study that Reno told us about might be saying that trying to predict a 9-inning baseball game using stats is like trying to predict whether AK is going to beat J-J on the next hand. You can't do it. You can know that J-J is about a 55-45 favorite over time. But, you can't tell when the next five cards hit whether or not the jacks will hold up.

Putting it all together...I think we should try to look for areas this year where the oddsmakers and public are likely to mis-guess about reality. It may not be possible to project the reality over 9 innings better than they do in a way that makes shows a profit. But we can find "big picture" things that they've either missed or aren't concerned about that continue to pay off over time because the combination that drives the line has misunderstood something about what's happening.

For example, the lines "missed" the tendency for strong defensive teams to have under games in their postseason conference tournaments (we saw an edge near 63% in that regard a few weeks ago).

The lines "missed" the coin flip characteristics of NCAA tournament games (we saw a similar edge here with underdogs in the 0-6 range).

The lines haven't noticed for years that underdogs win so many bowl games straight up.

Possible approaches we can consider in baseball:

*Following the 10 most Under umpires in the game and following them around until they're in pitcher's parks.

*Seeing if the line will ever catch "down" to the low scoring tendencies in Washington when top of the rotation pitchers are on the mound.

*Finding other stadiums that condense scoring more than is realized when good pitchers are on the mound (the staffs of LA and SF have gotten so bad the past few seasons that the value there isn't what it used to be. If those guys stop trying to make do with guys who have 5.50 ERA's on the road but 4.00 at home the Under value may come back).

*Looking for teams who are likely to have major "course changes" from last year and riding the change until the lines catch up. The White Sox and Indians established early last year they could play. The lines didn't believe them. The NL West established early that it couldn't. The lines didn't believe them either.

There's probably a list of 20 or so logical strategies we could come up with as a collective. Heck...there might be 100.

Maybe the way to use databases is to find the errors that the oddsmakers most often make rather than trying to force 9-inning predictions into a hole where it doesn't fit. You can't know when Vijay Singh or Phil Mickelson is going to can't know if Memphis or UCLA will miss the most can't know when jacks will hold up over can't know when a team projected to win a baseball game 4.43 to 3.87 is going to definitely grind out the win...but you can step back out of the trees to look for misunderstandings about the forest.

One the eve of the 2006 major league baseball season...that's where I see us starting off in the THINK TANK. And, it may end up influencing how we look at football come Autumn.

Please feel free to share your thoughts either here in this thread or down in the TANK in the coming days and weeks!
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Old 04-05-2006, 12:01 AM
blogguy blogguy is offline
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Default Weekend in Review...April 1-2

Stat Preview of NCAA Championship game:

If tonight's teams approximate what they've been doing lately in terms of tempo and production...the final boxscore will look something like this:

Shooting: Both 22 of 54 (41%)
Three-Pointers: Florida 6 of 16, UCLA 5 of 16
Free Throws: Florida 13 of 17, UCLA 11 of 16
Rebounding Edge: Florida
Fewer Turnovers: UCLA

If the refs call it tight...that could add 8-10 points. The refs blew a lot of whistles in Villanova/Florida...a game that saw 49 of 58 combined free throws push the final total to 137 points.

If the refs "let them play" that could keep both teams in the 50's on the scoreboard. Four of the six point totals in the last three UCLA games have been at 59 or less. Three of the four Florida totals outside of the Villanova game were at 59 or less. "Letting them play" could knock the shooting percentages into the 30's and reduce free throws.

The numbers above are already shaded a bit toward "letting them play" because the majority of games from the Sweet 16 on have been in that style.

Share your thoughts on the game!

And, if you like, suggest possible errors in the boxscore stats. If you like UCLA, explain where they'll overachieve those numbers on either offense or defense. If like the about what statistical influences will take the game into the 130's and beyond.

Maybe by tip-off we'll have a "consensus" boxscore projection we can compare to the actual numbers once the game is in the books.

Good luck to all...whoever you're rooting for...

(Stat Summary after the game)
Shooting: Florida 45%, UCLA 36%
Rebounding: Florida 34, UCLA 38
Treys: Florida 6 of 19, UCLA 3 of 17
Free Throws: Florida 15 of 20, UCLA 10 of 14

The game had a bit more tempo than expected because Florida jumped to the big lead...then didn't really sit on in the last five minutes the way some teams do.

Here was the "BLOG-tech" projection from earlier in the day:
Shooting: Both 22 of 54 (41%)
Three-Pointers: Florida 6 of 16, UCLA 5 of 16
Free Throws: Florida 13 of 17, UCLA 11 of 16

Both teams took more shots than projected because of the style of game. Florida was 26 of 58, UCLA was 22 of 61.

The BLOG-tech had Florida winning treys+FT's by a 31-26 margin. The actual numbers were 33-19

The BLOG-tech had Florida losing two-pointers by a 32-34. The numbers were actually 40-38 in favor of Florida.

It looks like the largest impact on the discrepancy was on UCLA's 3-17 mark knocked their field goal percentage down and took away six points that they were expected to get.

Still some tinkering to do with this newfangled technology....

Congrats to everyone who either won tonight or won their prop plays on Florida to go all the way. And, congrats to Mrs. Blog for winning her office pool...
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Old 04-05-2006, 05:03 AM
Juice Juice is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,805
Default Weekend in Review...April 1-2

This is a good idea. Notes to come back and study later.

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