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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Schedule Preview and Prediction

One of the things to do OBJECTIVELY when ascertaining what kind of record your team will have in the coming season is to look at your team's OVER/UNDER + all the oppositing teams' OVER/UNDER.

Giants 10 wins over/under

The way the objective system works is that you add 1.5 games to whoever is playing at home and whoever has the higher total wins the game. As an example, when they play WASH at home, the Giants have 10 + 1.5 = 11.5, which is > than Washington's 8 total wins this season, hence a win.

OPPONENT O/U W/L
WASH 8 W
at DAL 9 L
at TB 6.5 W
at KC 6 W
OAK 5.5 W
at NO 9 L
AZ 8.5 W
at PHL 9.5 L
SD 10 W
ATL 8.5 W
at DEN 6.5 W
DAL 9 W
PHL 9.5 W
at WASH 8 W
CAR 8.5 W
at MIN 9.5 L

Using this metric, the Giants collect 12 wins, in part because they are playing TB, KC, DEN and WASH on the road, and they do not lose a game at home. Is that realistic? We know that Eli is not necessarily a force at home, so perhaps he loses one in December that the system is inking a win for, making the team go 11-5. Considering Las Vegas has them winning 10 games, 11-5 is plausible. So this objective system is not bad in getting to a ballpark estimate.

At this point making a prediction on the number of games the Giants will win this year is full of too many question marks. We simply do not know about the health and effectiveness of their two most important offseason acquisitions: Boley and Canty. Remember that Reese saw a need to open up the wallet and go after his first two high profile free agents in 3 years as GM. That should tell you how important these two players are in addressing needs he felt the Giants had this offseason.

THESE TWO MEN HAVE YET TO PLAY A SINGLE DOWN FOR THE GIANTS!

Anyone that can tell us unequivocally how the gmen will do this season is guessing about the impact these guys make. Did these guys heal? If so, do they gel with the defense? When do they gel? If anyone knows the answer to these questions, pls do share. We can see scenarios where the Giants are anywhere from 9-7 to 13-3. Wonder has them subjectively at 11-5 or 12-4. As was mentioned earlier in the week, Week 6 vs the Saints is the first test, and you can see how the numbers also verify that... the Saints are 9 +1.5 = 10.5 which gives them a win 'objectively' over the Giants. We will learn about Boley and Canty in the first 5 weeks, so Week 6 is the first big test. Of course we will learn plenty about the team vs their 2 divisional rivals too, but those datapoints will not mean as much because those 2 players will not be making an impact. (Boley does not even dress in W1.)

Summary: 11-5 or 12-4 is plausible, but Canty and Boley will determine a lot more as the season unfolds.

Extras:
(1) Terrell Thomas to start on Sunday. Were you surprised???
(2) "Loaded box" "opportunity" "GOOD", didn't we just say this?!

9 comments:

Pastime Princess said...

My only question is, where do the total wins for the season come from? How does Vegas determine the Gmen are a 10 and the Saints a 9?

Andy F. said...

The old adage, pastime... money talks and bullbrown walks. Over/Under spreads are as objective and as good a method for determining what you will look like and MORE IMPORTANTLY WHAT YOUR STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE looks like than anything else I have seen. Sure, if I did not have a day job I could put in all kinds of data and bang something out, but the Vegas odds already did that because they have balanced the money from the professionals who are trying to game those numbers. Put the Giants at 9, the money will flood in. Put the Giants at 11, the money will short it. That is how you get to 10.

Look at how the Giants play the AFC West, football's exaltation to garbage. Three of the four teams have new head coaches and are rebuilding (Denver is still in reverse gear). the fourth coach is a loser. We play this division. And the one team who is feasting on this weakness with a score of 10 (SD) is the team we play at home, so the calculas has us 4-0 vs the AFC. That will cure your Boley's and Canty's to some degree. And if both get real good by the second half of the season, 11-5 looks like you missed the boat. 11-5 makes sense at the moment given the vacuum of information we have on those two players.

Justin said...

I know from reading your blog fairly regularly that you know plenty about how gambling works. I don't. But it seems like using the word "objective" with regard to any odds laid by Vegas is incorrect. As you say in your comment here, these numbers -- over/under, spread, etc. -- are derived from casinos' guesses about how to balance competing perceptions of how good a team is, not the real, objective chance that that team will beat its opponent.

I'm not saying that casinos aren't really good at what they do -- obviously they print money -- but it seems to me they're not interested in making accurate predictions of what's going to happen, just making sure that enough people bet on both sides of a game so that they can make their nice, clean commission. So the bet is structured to convince people on both sides they can make money, not because there really is, for example, a 75% chance the Giants win and a 25% chance Washington does. Am I wrong here?

xtian said...

10-11 wins is reasonable if they are avg healthy. i just want in the playoffs with momentum.

Pastime Princess said...

Wow. The CHFF is not even picking the Giants to make the playoffs. I have a huge amount of respect for those guys. Except for this blog they are the best source for football analysis that can be found. Just passing this along. I don't agree with them but it is interesting reading.

Justin said...

CHFF also inexplicably picks San Francisco to make the playoffs as a 7-9 wildcard. Huh???

Andy F. said...

Justin- You are on the right path; just because Vegas says the odds are what they are does not make it "correct." I mean, the Giants were 10.5 point dogs to the Pats, so why did they bother even showing up for the Super Bowl?!! Of course we know lines are flawed! YES, lines are there to balance the money, that is the #1 job. But on balance they are a fairly reasonable guesstimate of strength and weakness. My brother at one time worked for a legal betting syndicate in Vegas, they bet HUGE sums of money on individual games. So there are people "policing" these lines, looking for mispriced opportunities to make a profit. If there is perceived value in the line, ie someone can find out that Boley's hip is a real problem.. that the Giants are vulnerable, they may not sell the Giants but they may bet the Eagles to win the division... it manifests itself in many forms. Summary: we use it because it is a national proxy of relative strength, not because it is a fabulous FINAL indicator of the endpoint.

xtian- yes, if we found out anything from 2007, it was to get into the playoffs w a sense of confidence (which they had after the loss Pats 38-35) and momentum.

Justin said...

We agree, then, that the book is a generally good judge of things. But I still think your use of the word "objective" is incorrect...

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