Afterthoughts from Week 12

It is easy to say, this blog or these picks suck. You know why? Because I am holding myself accountable by making my picks public and keeping track of them. Many "Football Experts" from ESPN and other stations change their opinions on teams every week (sometimes even during a game), but they never play back the videos when they said New Orleans was going to win their division or the Jets were not going to make the playoffs.

Is it time to go back to the drawing board? Probably, but I have to stick with what I have this year. Although I am not completely dissatisfied with the point spread predictions, it is time to send the confidence measure out the window. For example, last week the prediction for the Dallas game was a point over the spread. The confidence was thirty-something percent, so I chose SF as my pick, wrong.

I have had issues with this confidence measure from the beginning. It is not game specific but situation specific. Also, situations with big sample sizes (> 80), the confidence tends to be close to 50%. Meaning, if all situations were as likely, all confidence measure would be close to 50%. The confidence should be a function of the teams involved, the off/def stats, and the spread currently only the spread and the prediction is considered.

Lesson 1: Throw the confidence measure out the window and do not chose the reverse picks.

The other issue is that I only have access to game/team level data. So if I player is absent or has been absent, the model will not pick up on it directly. One of you pointed this week at the Dallas game and if it was considering Romo's presence and health. Well, no, I cannot statistically tell the model "Romo is expected to play better today, please account for it", if I had player level data, I could probably do something like that. So what lessons did I learn from this?

Lesson 2: If the team has changed one of its key players in the past 5 weeks, stay away from that game.

I am not throwing the towel yet. At 56%, I hope to bounce back to 60 before the end of the season. Every week is a learning experience and with every experience we become better decision makers. I may be equipped with great statistical tools, but when the pressure is on and we have to decide the NFL picks of the week, we have to keep our plan and stay cool. If we let emotions make decisions for us, or if we become biased towards certain teams, we will not be successful. Stay calm and act rationally and remember that as bad as a pick might sound, Oakland covered this week.


bigdogwdae said…
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bigdogwdae said…
Or you could go to Football Outsiders and get their numbers for DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement)Then figure out how to incororate their numbers into your math model, if a player is missing.