Saturday, September 8, 2012

NFL Team Rankings - Week 1

Dolphin-trashcan-july09Waaaaaaay back in May, I published my first look at the 2012 Betting Market rankings for the NFL, using opening lines courtesy of Cantor Gaming.  With Opening Sunday nearly upon us, I can take an updated look at the rankings using the latest betting lines for both Week 1 and Week 2.  The rankings published back in May were, in effect, just reverse engineered rankings according to the experts at Cantor Gaming.  I can now see where the actual money is flowing to get an updated view.

See the Methodology page for a simplified example of my ranking approach.  For more detail, you can take a look at my first post on this topic at Advanced NFL Stats Community.

As usual, my source for betting information is Killer Sports.  They have NFL lines updated for both Week 1 and Week 2 of the season.  Since my methodology usually needs at least three weeks of data to get a proper set of rankings, I am using the Cantor lines from my May post to "fill in the gaps", so to speak (more technically, my ranking is a weighted linear regression, with weeks 1 and 2 -the real money- weighted at 1, and weeks 3-16 -the Cantor lines- weighted much smaller at 0.0000001).

See the table below for the updated rankings.  Here is a glossary of terms:

  • GPF - Stands for "Generic Points Favored".  It is what you would expect a team to be favored by against a league average opponent at a neutral site.
  • Opened - The Cantor Gaming-based GPF from my May post.
  • Change - How much each team's ranking changed (in terms of GPF) from the Cantor ranking to the updated "live money" version
Some observations:
  • If the nation's gamblers were watching Hard Knocks, they must have not liked what they saw.  The Miami Dolphins moved the most by far, dropping 5 points to the bottom of the rankings.
  • Fellow Hard Knocks alum, the New York Jets, did not fare so well either, dropping two points.
  • On the positive side, Seattle, St. Louis, Chicago, and Atlanta all improved by about 2 points.
  • The Packers and the Patriots still sit atop the rankings, although the gap between those two and the rest of the league has shrunk somewhat.

The Rankings