Sunday, March 25, 2012

Why Warriors Fans Booed

Monta Ellis cropped
Monta Ellis
On a night that was supposed to honor Warriors great Chris Mullin, things instead got ugly.  Warriors fans were highly upset with GM Joe Lacob for recently trading away star Monta Ellis to the Bucks (along with Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown).  In exchange, the Warriors got injured (and injury-prone) center Andrew Bogut and briefly welcomed back [insert adjective here: fiery, mercurial, temperamental, troubled, fan-punching] Stephen Jackson.


The Warriors have clearly given up on this season, as Bogut was already out indefinitely due to a fractured ankle, and they quickly dealt Stephen Jackson to the Spurs.  The Bucks, on the other hand, look to be making a run at that 8th playoff seed.  This can be seen very clearly in each team's Generic Points Favored (GPF) graphs (updated daily here).

Saturday, March 24, 2012

NBA Team Rankings - March 24, 2012

Mike Woodson
Knicks' coach Mike Woodson
Here are the NBA Team Rankings as of March 24, 2012. These rankings use the Vegas point spreads from recent games to derive an implied measure of team strength (Generic Points Favored, or GPF).  By combining the point spread information with the betting over/unders, I can also decompose team strength into its offensive and defensive components (oGPF and dGPF). For more detail, see the Methodology page.


The Heat have extended their lead atop the rankings to a full three points.  The Knicks, despite having the 20th best record in the league, are ranked #5, nearly even with the Spurs.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tournament Probabilities - Sweet Sixteen

Here are the Tournament Probabilities for the remaining Sweet Sixteen teams.  To simulate game outcomes, I use my betting market rankings and convert the point spread ranking to a probability via the following formula:

Win Probability of Team A beating Team B = 1/(1+exp(-(GPFa - GPFb)/6))

I then simulate the tournament outcomes 10,000 times and summarize the results.  As a point of comparison, I also have the odds to win according to bovada.lv and the expected ROI of a bet at those odds.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

College Basketball Team Rankings - March 20, 2012

Yawning wildcat
Yawning Wildcat
Here are the College Basketball Team Rankings as of March 20, 2012. These rankings use the Vegas point spreads to derive an implied team by team ranking. My original post of the rankings has more detail on the methodology.

I've pared down the rankings to just show the remaining Sweet Sixteen teams.

Kentucky (as expected) is the team to beat.  There's not a lot of separation between the next four teams: Michigan State, Ohio State, Syracuse, and Kansas.  Things look fairly consistent with the KenPom rankings, with the big difference being Kentucky's dominance in these rankings (Ohio State and Kentucky are virtually equivalent according to kenpom.com)


The Rankings:

Rank Team Seed GPF Conf GWP KenPom
1 Kentucky 1 20.0 SEC 0.97 2
2 Michigan St. 1 16.5 B10 0.94 3
3 Ohio St. 2 16.5 B10 0.94 1
4 Syracuse 1 16.5 BE 0.94 6
5 Kansas 2 16.0 B12 0.93 4
6 North Carolina 1 15.0 ACC 0.93 7
9 Marquette 3 13.0 BE 0.90 15
10 Wisconsin 4 12.5 B10 0.89 5
11 Louisville 4 12.0 BE 0.89 19
14 Baylor 3 11.5 B12 0.88 16
16 Indiana 4 11.5 B10 0.87 11
17 Florida 7 11.5 SEC 0.87 13
24 Cincinnati 6 9.5 BE 0.84 25
36 North Carolina St. 11 8.5 ACC 0.80 35
58 Xavier 10 5.5 A10 0.72 49
62 Ohio 13 5.0 MAC 0.70 62

Glossary
  • Seed - The team's seed in the NCAA tournament (if applicable)
  • GPF - Stands for "Generic Points Favored".  It's what you'd expect the team to be favored by against a Div-I average opponent at a neutral site.
  • Conf - The conference the team plays in
  • GWP - Stands for "Generic Win Probability".  I converted the GPF into a win probability using the following formula: GWP = 1/(1+exp(-GPF/6))
  • KenPom - The team's rank according to kenpom.com.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

NBA Team Rankings - March 17, 2012

Here are the NBA Team Rankings as of March 17, 2012. These rankings use the Vegas point spreads from recent games to derive an implied measure of team strength (Generic Points Favored, or GPF).  By combining the point spread information with the betting over/unders, I can also decompose team strength into its offensive and defensive components (oGPF and dGPF). For more detail, see the Methodology page.

Heat Rises


The Bulls had pulled even to the Heat last week, but with Derrick Rose out once again to injury, the Heat have reestablished their two point lead in the rankings (despite a road loss to the Bulls on Wednesday).

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tournament Probabilities

Here are tournament probabilities based on this site's betting market rankings.  I calculated the probability of each matchup using the following formula:


Win Probability of Team A beating Team B = 1/(1+exp(-(GPFa - GPFb)/6))


I then simulated the tournament 2500 times and summarized the results by team and how far into the tournament each team made it.  These seem somewhat consistent with Ken Pomeroy's log5 predictions.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bracketosophy

Darts in a dartboardIn this week's College Basketball Team Rankings, I provided a bracket based on my betting market power rankings.  It turned out to be a pretty boring bracket (spoiler alert: Kentucky wins it all).  So I've come up with some alternatives, with an eye towards picking optimal upsets.  If you're in an office pool, you're going to have to pick some upsets in order to separate yourself from the pack.  But not all upsets are created equal, so this post is intended to help you "pick your spots", so to speak.

Monday, March 12, 2012

College Basketball Team Rankings - March 12, 2012

Here are the College Basketball Team Rankings as of March 12, 2012. These rankings use the Vegas point spreads to derive an implied team by team ranking. My original post of the rankings has more detail on the methodology.

Tournament Edition

I have included the top 64 teams (according to these rankings), plus any team that made the NCAA tournament. (ETA on March 14 - Check here for a post on tournament brackets)

The Snubs

At #29, UCLA was the biggest "snub", but if you look down the list, the top 3 "snubs" are all Pac-12 teams, which leads me to believe that these rankings may have just overvalued the Pac-12.  I still think the truth lies somewhere in the middle, and wouldn't be suprised if Cal (one of only two Pac-12 teams in the tournament) found itself in the Sweet Sixteen.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

NBA Team Rankings - March 10, 2012


Mexico grizzlies
Mexican Grizzlies at the Field Columbian Museum
Here are the NBA Team Rankings as of March 10, 2012.  These rankings use the Vegas point spreads from recent games to derive an implied measure of team strength (Generic Points Favored, or GPF).  By combining the point spread information with the betting over/unders, I can also decompose team strength into its offensive and defensive components (oGPF and dGPF). For more detail, see the Methodology page.


The Heat, Bulls, and Thunder still occupy the top three spots, as they have all year.  But the Heat and Bulls are now in a virtual, um, heat for first place, with the Thunder trailing by three points (a significant margin for these rankings).

New Feature - Today's Games

I've added a new feature to the site called Today's Games (accessible via the top menu bar).  This is currently an NBA-only feature.

Purpose

The purpose of this feature is to show how the point spreads and over/unders for the day's games deviate from standard market expectation, where standard market expectation is defined by my betting market rankings (here are the rankings and here is an overview of the methodology).

If the line deviates significantly from the prediction, that's a good indicator that something abnormal has happened that has led the market to re-evaluate the relative strength of the two teams.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

College Basketball Team Rankings - March 5, 2012

Barascudts cardinals playing chess l
Barascudts cardinals playing chess

Here are the College Basketball Team Rankings as of February 27, 2012.  These rankings use the Vegas point spreads to derive an implied team by team ranking. My original post of the rankings has more detail on the methodology.


I don't have much time for commentary this week, only to note that the Louisville Cardinals can now lay claim to being the best unranked team.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

NBA Team Rankings - March 3, 2012

Reggie Miller doing what he did best: Making New York miserable

Here are the NBA Team Rankings as of March 3, 2012.  These rankings use the Vegas point spreads from recent games to derive an implied measure of team strength (Generic Points Favored, or GPF).  By combining the point spread information with the betting over/unders, I can also decompose team strength into its offensive and defensive components (oGPF and dGPF).  For more detail, see the Methodology page.

The photo accompanying this post has little to do with the rankings (although the Pacers did move up four spots to #10).  Reggie Miller is a Hall of Fame finalist this year.  As an Indiana native, there is no question in my mind he belongs there.  Here's to it becoming official on April 2.  

Thursday, March 1, 2012

New Feature - The Ticker - Updated Daily

Edison Stock Telegraph TickerThis is the first of what I hope is many enhancements to this site that provide more transparency and interactivity.


The rankings on this site can be thought of (almost literally) as the stock price of each team.  They're a reflection of where people are putting their money.  To carry that stock analogy further, I've used Google's Visualization API to create The Ticker (link - also see above).  It allows you to see how each team has progressed throughout the season.