I’ll continue posting my odds, though this has not been the best season for them. Jacksonville continued to be best modeled by their median point spread, as opposed to their playoff formula. Philadelphia outperformed any reasonable prediction of their play once Wentz went down.

My system gives an edge to New England. Philadelphia played a tougher schedule but lacks playoff experience by my system. There is no home field in the Superbowl.

Super Bowl Playoff Odds
Home Team Visiting Team Score Diff Win Prob Est. Point Spread
New England Patriots Philadelphia Eagles 0.586 0.642 4.3
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Outside of the New England game, all the games were good and exciting, from the final goal line stand by the Eagles, to the win with ten seconds left by the Vikings. The Jacksonville Jaguars are just not well managed by this system. It was easy to see that through the year that they were a boom or bust team. They could win big or lose big, and in the game with the Steelers, they were enough in “win big” mode that the Steelers could not keep up.

Philadelphia won because of their stout defense, a Nick Foles that gave them a AYA of 8.2 for the game, much akin to Carson Wentz’s average.

To remind people, the 2017 worksheet is here, and the methodology is here. The odds for the next round are below.

Conference (NFC/AFC) Playoff Odds
Home Team Visiting Team Score Diff Win Prob Est. Point Spread
Philadelphia Eagles Minnesota Vikings -0.604 0.353 -4.5
New England Patriots Jacksonville Jaguars 1.872 0.867 13.9

The first round is over and in terms of predicting winners, not my best (by my count, 1-2-1, as we had Jax and Bills in a de facto tie). I was pleased that the model got Rams and Atlanta correct, and the Sunday games all came down to the wire. One or two plays and my formal results would have been impressive. Still, back to the predictions for this week.

To add some spice, we will predict results for New Orleans normally, and also as if Drew Brees is elite. Values in parentheses are the elite numbers. With elite status or no, Minnesota is still favored in this data set.

The only home team not favored is Philadelphia. We discussed this in part in this article.

Second Round Playoff Odds
Home Team Visiting Team Score Diff Win Prob Est. Point Spread
Philadelphia Eagles Atlanta Falcons -0.878 0.294 -6.5
Minnesota Vikings New Orleans Saints 1.231 (0.484) 0.774 (0.619) 9.1 (3.6)
New England Patriots Tennessee Titans 1.674 0.842 12.4
Pittsburgh Steelers Jacksonville Jaguars 1.915 0.872 14

One of the ESPN folks posted FPI odds today, retweeted by Ben Alamar. The numbers are very different from my playoff formulas. The nature of those odds made me suspect that FPI is intrinsically an offensive stat, with the advantages and disadvantages of such a stat.

One of the issues I’ve has with offensive stats is that the confidence interval of any I’ve looked at, in terms of predicting playoff performance, is that those confidence intervals are on the order of 85%. Whatever flaws of my formulas, they fit to confidence intervals of 95%. The effects they touch on are real.

But still, the purpose of this is to compare FPI odds to the odds generated by some common offensive stats. We’re using Pythagorean expectation, as generated by my Perl code, SRS as generated by my Perl code, and median point spread, also calculated by my code.

Results are below.

FPI Odds versus Other Offensive Stats
Game FPI Pythag Simple Ranking Median Pt Spread
Kansas City – Tennessee 0.75 0.75 0.79 0.73
Jacksonville – Buffalo 0.82 0.89 0.86 0.73
Los Angeles – Atlanta 0.62 0.75 0.74 0.68
New Orleans – Carolina 0.70 0.73 0.74 0.78

 

The numbers correlate too well for FPI not to have a large offensive component in its character. In fact, Pythagorean odds correlate so well with FPI I’m hard pressed to know what advantages FPI gives to the generic fan.

Note: the SRS link above points out that PFR has added a home field advantage component to their SRS calcs. I’ll note that our SRS was calibrated against PFR’s pre 2015 formula.

 

As I’m really away from home and short of time, I’ll mention my methodology is described in depth here.

The first table is the worksheet. Values will not change throughout the playoffs.

2017 NFL Playoff Teams, C&F Worksheet.
NFC
Rank Name Home Field Adv Playoff Experience SOS Total Score
1 Philadelphia Eagles 0.660 0 -0.216 0.444
2 Minnesota Vikings 0.660 0.747 0.301 1.708
3 Los Angeles Rams 0.660 0.0 -0.046 0.614
4 New Orleans Saints 0.660 0 0.471 1.131
5 Carolina Panthers 0.0 0.747 0.629 1.376
6 Atlanta Falcons 0.0 0.747 0.575 1.322
AFC
1 New England Patriots 0.660 0.747 -0.377 1.030
2 Pittsburgh Steelers 0.660 0.747 -0.334 1.073
3 Jacksonville Jaguars 0.660 0 -0.842 -0.182
4 Kansas City Chiefs 0.660 0.747 -0.404 1.003
5 Tennessee Titans 0.0 0.0 -0.644 -0.644
6 Buffalo Bills 0.0 0.0 -0.146 -0.146

 

LA is not favored by this model and neither are AFC teams. The NFC South’s toughness shows through in the SOS marks for this data set. Minnesota and/or NFC South Teams largely have advantages over almost any matchup the AFC can offer. Finally, an open Q is, is Drew Brees elite enough that his team should be granted the PPX bonus? For now I’d consider this a question to be answered later.

This second table shows odds for the first round, calculated for you. The only home team it favors is Kansas City.

First Round Playoff Odds
Home Team Visiting Team Score Diff Win Prob Est. Point Spread
Los Angeles Rams Atlanta Falcons -0.708 0.330 -5.2
New Orleans Saints Carolina Panthers -0.245 0.439 -1.8
Jacksonville Jaguars Buffalo Bills -0.036 0.491 -0.3
Kansas City Chiefs Tennessee Titans 1.647 0.838 12.1

Last set of regular data for the year. Going to try and grind out playoff stats before I head off for the first. Atlanta takes the final playoff spot in the NFC, and the Bills and Titans make the playoffs in the AFC.

Global Statistics:
Games  Home Wins HwPct Winning_Score Losing_Score Margin
256       145     56.6      27.63        15.81     11.81

Calculated Pythagorean Exponent:  2.69


Rank  Team    Median  GP   W   L   T  Pct   Pred   SRS    MOV   SOS
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1     NE      12.0    16  13   3   0  81.3  76.4   8.89  10.13 -1.24
2     MIN      9.0    16  13   3   0  81.3  75.4   9.12   8.13  0.99
3     PHI      8.5    16  13   3   0  81.3  76.4   9.41  10.13 -0.71
4     PIT      3.5    16  13   3   0  81.3  67.8   5.02   6.13 -1.10
5     NO       9.5    16  11   5   0  68.8  70.2   9.17   7.63  1.55
6     LA       5.5    16  11   5   0  68.8  73.2   9.16   9.31 -0.15
7     CAR      3.0    16  11   5   0  68.8  57.0   4.32   2.25  2.07
8     JAX      9.0    16  10   6   0  62.5  76.7   6.54   9.31 -2.77
9     KC       7.5    16  10   6   0  62.5  63.3   3.42   4.75 -1.33
10    ATL      3.0    16  10   6   0  62.5  57.6   4.26   2.38  1.89
11    BAL      7.0    16   9   7   0  56.3  67.1   3.40   5.75 -2.35
12    DAL      4.5    16   9   7   0  56.3  54.3   1.60   1.38  0.22
13    BUF      4.5    16   9   7   0  56.3  38.6  -4.04  -3.56 -0.48
14    DET      3.0    16   9   7   0  56.3  55.8   2.72   2.13  0.60
15    SEA      3.0    16   9   7   0  56.3  56.5   1.89   2.13 -0.24
16    LAC      3.0    16   9   7   0  56.3  67.2   3.64   5.19 -1.54
17    TEN      3.0    16   9   7   0  56.3  45.7  -3.50  -1.38 -2.12
18    ARI     -1.5    16   8   8   0  50.0  36.7  -3.72  -4.13  0.41
19    CIN     -3.0    16   7   9   0  43.8  37.8  -4.98  -3.69 -1.29
20    GB      -5.0    16   7   9   0  43.8  38.0  -1.90  -4.00  2.10
21    WAS     -5.5    16   7   9   0  43.8  41.6  -1.30  -2.88  1.58
22    SF      -2.5    16   6  10   0  37.5  40.3  -2.85  -3.25  0.40
23    OAK     -4.5    16   6  10   0  37.5  36.0  -4.73  -4.50 -0.23
24    MIA     -7.0    16   6  10   0  37.5  28.9  -6.26  -7.00  0.74
25    TB      -3.0    16   5  11   0  31.3  41.3  -1.28  -2.94  1.66
26    CHI     -4.5    16   5  11   0  31.3  37.3  -1.29  -3.50  2.21
27    NYJ     -6.0    16   5  11   0  31.3  33.9  -4.95  -5.25  0.30
28    DEN     -8.5    16   5  11   0  31.3  32.1  -6.73  -5.81 -0.91
29    IND     -5.0    16   4  12   0  25.0  24.0 -10.10  -8.81 -1.29
30    HOU     -7.5    16   4  12   0  25.0  33.5  -6.43  -6.13 -0.30
31    NYG     -8.5    16   3  13   0  18.8  22.7  -7.57  -8.88  1.31
32    CLE    -13.0    16   0  16   0   0.0  18.1 -10.95 -11.00  0.05

Playoffs become more and more decided. All division winners are decided but in the NFC South, where it will either be Carolina or New Orleans. Five of the six NFC slots are sewn up, with Atlanta and Seattle competing for the 6th playoff slot. In the AFC, all the division winners are decided, with the 5th and 6th playoff slots in play. Baltimore has over a 90% change to take one slot, according to Five Thirty Eight, with Tennessee at about 60%, and the Chargers and the Bills with marginal chances for a playoff bid.


Games  Home Wins HwPct Winning_Score Losing_Score Margin
240       135     56.2      27.82        15.90     11.92

Calculated Pythagorean Exponent:  2.79


Rank  Team    Median  GP   W   L   T  Pct   Pred   SRS    MOV   SOS
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1     PHI      9.0    15  13   2   0  86.7  78.2  10.32  11.20 -0.88
2     NE       8.0    15  12   3   0  80.0  75.2   8.59   9.47 -0.87
3     MIN      8.0    15  12   3   0  80.0  75.0   9.14   7.80  1.34
4     PIT      3.0    15  12   3   0  80.0  68.9   5.79   6.27 -0.48
5     NO      10.0    15  11   4   0  73.3  73.3  10.45   8.60  1.85
6     LA       6.0    15  11   4   0  73.3  78.0  11.30  11.33 -0.03
7     CAR      3.0    15  11   4   0  73.3  60.0   5.01   3.20  1.81
8     JAX     12.0    15  10   5   0  66.7  79.0   7.46  10.27 -2.81
9     KC       8.0    15   9   6   0  60.0  64.1   3.97   4.87 -0.90
10    BAL      7.0    15   9   6   0  60.0  69.9   4.23   6.40 -2.17
11    SEA      3.0    15   9   6   0  60.0  57.7   2.40   2.40 -0.00
12    ATL      3.0    15   9   6   0  60.0  55.7   3.49   1.73  1.76
13    DET      3.0    15   8   7   0  53.3  51.9   1.41   0.67  0.75
14    DAL      3.0    15   8   7   0  53.3  53.3   0.76   1.07 -0.31
15    TEN      3.0    15   8   7   0  53.3  44.4  -4.38  -1.80 -2.58
16    BUF      3.0    15   8   7   0  53.3  36.2  -4.37  -4.20 -0.17
17    LAC      1.0    15   8   7   0  53.3  64.6   2.93   4.20 -1.27
18    WAS     -3.0    15   7   8   0  46.7  42.5  -0.32  -2.53  2.22
19    GB      -3.0    15   7   8   0  46.7  41.6  -0.71  -2.67  1.96
20    ARI     -5.0    15   7   8   0  46.7  34.8  -4.34  -4.53  0.19
21    OAK     -3.0    15   6   9   0  40.0  38.7  -4.00  -3.47 -0.54
22    CIN     -3.0    15   6   9   0  40.0  35.3  -5.81  -4.20 -1.61
23    MIA     -8.0    15   6   9   0  40.0  28.1  -6.02  -7.07  1.04
24    SF      -3.0    15   5  10   0  33.3  35.1  -4.87  -4.87 -0.01
25    CHI     -3.0    15   5  10   0  33.3  39.3  -1.20  -2.87  1.66
26    NYJ     -5.0    15   5  10   0  33.3  36.5  -4.56  -4.27 -0.29
27    DEN    -10.0    15   5  10   0  33.3  30.7  -7.28  -6.00 -1.28
28    TB      -3.0    15   4  11   0  26.7  38.8  -2.48  -3.60  1.12
29    HOU     -7.0    15   4  11   0  26.7  33.7  -5.62  -5.93  0.32
30    IND     -6.0    15   3  12   0  20.0  20.6 -10.94 -10.00 -0.94
31    NYG    -10.0    15   2  13   0  13.3  19.6  -8.61 -10.00  1.39
32    CLE    -14.0    15   0  15   0   0.0  15.9 -11.72 -11.47 -0.26