Thursday, December 19, 2013

Bad Beats: Getting Back on the Bowl Prediction Horse

Last year I used the Sagarin pure points method and found the games with the biggest discrepancy between the spread Sagarin predicted and the actual spread. I charted this for all of last year's bowls and finished around .500.

This year, I'm using The Prediction Tracker, which aggregate predictions from a number of systems. Treat the picks as independent and assume they fall in a normal distribution (warning: this is probably a terrible set of assumptions, but roll with it). Then, we can see how many standard deviations each spread is from the mean predictions. The ones that are furthest away are the best values.

Let's run through the Chick-Fil-A Bowl (Duke-TAMU) as an example. There are 48 picks with a mean of TAMU -6.54 and a standard deviation of 4.2. The current spread at the LVH is TAMU -12.5, approximately 1.42 standard deviations away from the mean prediction. The high Z-score demonstrates that there's value in this line, and that TAMU is overvalued. And that's why I picked Duke.

For reference, I put all the scores in a Google Document so you can bet against them as you will.

There haven't been many updates here lately, but that doesn't mean I haven't been working. Expect another update soon with a bunch of news.

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