The Algorithm Predicts the NFL Playoffs and SB 51

January 7, 2017 8:06 am Published by

As a fun offseason exercise this season, we are crunching the numbers on the playoff matchups to get an idea of what to expect from the game and to see if fantasy ratings can help predict game winners and winners against the spread.

After correctly predicting the winners two of the last three Super Bowls, this is our second look at the playoff matchups (predicted 9 of 11 playoff winners in 2015).

Specifically, individual offensive player matchup ratings and defense ratings for each team. Although, we are running fantasy football ratings, we are basically saying: “Who
btn_donateCC_LGwould win if one fantasy team had all the Seattle offense and the Seattle DST and the other had all Patriots and their DST?”

 

Two years ago, this lead to a prediction that the Patriots would win 28-19 against the Seahawks, after even Vegas called the matchup as close to a dead heat as any Super Bowl in recent history. Actual score: 28-24.

The approach here takes the QB/RB/WR/WR/TE/DST matchups for each team and totals up the “Weekly” rating produced by the algorithm for each.

Then, the system integrates “Expected” points for each team, telling us what Vegas expects to be the outcome of the game. These values are generated by taking the Vegas “Over/Under” and the point spread and running this formula for each team:

Vegas Expected Points: OU/2+SPREAD/2

Then, we run the algorithm to determine it’s own “Expected Points”.

Instead of using Vegas against the O/U, we tally the Weekly Ratings to give us the team expected to have the highest ratings, then apply the % higher to the O/U Vegas value.
PITvMIA

…this gives us “Algorithm Expected Points Against O/U” and we compare those to the opponent to predict final score and “Algorithm Expected Spread“.

 

Let’s see what the fantasy numbers tell us for the playoffs and leading into the Super Bowl.

WEEK 18

W18

The algorithm is getting warmed up in the Wildcard Round. The scores above were produced by the algorithm as predicted “Expected Points” for each team. Breakdowns of each game are below:

SEAvDET GBvNYG PITvMIA OAKvHOU

 

W18 RESULTS: 

Missed on the OAK vs HOU but the remaining three game scores were eerily accurate:

W18Results

Picking winners: 3 out of 4 winners predicted

Against the Spread: 3 out of 4 winners predicted

 

WEEK 19

W19

The scores above were produced by the algorithm as predicted “Expected Points” for each team. Breakdowns of each game are below:

DALvGB ATLvSEA NEvHOU PITvKC

W19 RESULTS: 

W19Results

Picking winners: 3 out of 4 winners predicted

Against the Spread: 2 out of 4 winners predicted

WEEK 20

W20

The scores above were produced by the algorithm as predicted “Expected Points” for each team. Breakdowns of each game are below:

NEvPIT
ATLvGB

 

W20 RESULTS:

W20Results 

Picking winners: 1 out of 2 winners predicted

Against the Spread: 0 out of 2 winners predicted

SUPERBOWL LI
W21

The scores above were produced by the algorithm as predicted “Expected Points” for each team. Breakdowns of each game are below:

NEvATL

 

W21 RESULTS:

W21Results

Picking winners: 7 out of 11 winners predicted 63%

Against the Spread: 5 out of 11 winners predicted 45%


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This post was written by Fantasy oMatic