Podcast: Keith Goldner and the numberFire predictions for the Super Bowl

On this episode of the Football Analytics Show, I’m joined by Keith Goldner, Chief Analyst at numberFire and Director of Analytics at FanDuel. He was also one of Forbes 30 under 30 for young innovators in sports.

On the show, we discuss the following:

  • How Keith broke into the sports world by watching a lot of video
  • The basics behind expected points in evaluating football players and teams
  • The numberFire predictions for the Super Bowl between New England and Atlanta
  • How two models can differ on Atlanta’s pass defense
  • Keith’s perspective on the surprising success of his alma mater Northwestern in basketball

We also have some fun at the end with Keith’s favorite book, meal, etc.

To listen to the show on iTunes, click here.

To listen on the site, click play.

Top 5 insights into the Super Bowl between New England and Atlanta

This content is for members only

Podcast: Super Bowl Preview of New England vs Atlanta

On this week’s show, I break down the Super Bowl match up between New England and Atlanta. Topics discussed include:

  • How the Super Bowl in 1991 between the Giants and Bills might forecast Bill Belichick’s strategy for this game
  • The success rate of this Atlanta Falcons offense, and how it stacks up against the best NFL offenses of the past 16 years
  • The one statistic, adjusted for strength of schedule, in which neither team excels
  • The relative importance of passing versus rushing for NFL playoff and Super Bowl teams

To listen on iTunes, click here.

To listen here, click on the play button.

Podcast: Rufus Peabody and the NFL Conference Championship Games

Rufus Peabody, ESPN’s predictive analytics expert who makes his living investing in the sports markets, joins me on the Football Analytics Show to discuss the NFL playoffs. He’s also half of the excellent Massey-Peabody rankings and predictions for football.

Among other things, we discuss the following.

  • The balance between a quantitative model and subjective adjustments
  • The one factor for Massey-Peabody that tips the balance against the spread in Green Bay at Atlanta
  • The new results on home field advantage that impacts the NFC title game
  • How our models differ on New England’s pass defense
  • Rufus’s book recommendation for those interested in randomness
  • The perils of small sample size in sports

You’ll find Rufus incredibly humble for someone who has had his success in sports analytics, and I’m lucky to consider him a friend.

To listen on iTunes, click here.

To listen on the site, click on the play button.

Super Bowl win probabilities for 2016-17

It’s not surprising that New England has the highest Super Bowl win probability.

No Rob Gronkowski, no problem. The offense has been fine so far without the elite TE, and Belichick machine marches on.

However, it might be a surprise that Atlanta has the second highest Super Bowl probability over Dallas.

Matt Ryan and the Atlanta has the top ranked pass offense by my adjusted yards per attempt. The pass defense has been respectable at 8th.

Dallas has had a fantastic season, but Dak Prescott is still a rookie quarterback. Will he hold up now that defensive coordinators have a season’s worth of tape to study?

Still, the Cowboys have a 16.8% chance to win the Super Bowl, not far behind the Falcons at 19.1%.

Get a sample of my best NFL predictions

At The Power Rank, I combine predictions based on a number of different data sources to make the best possible football predictions.

It started with team rankings that take the margin of victory and adjust for strength of schedule. Back in 2008, I developed an algorithm that makes these adjustments, and you can see these points based predictions here.

The ensemble of predictions now contains calculations based on other data sources. For example, I use yards per play, a powerful efficiency metric, to evaluate teams.

I save these predictions for members of The Power Rank, as the NFL predictions went 53.1% against the closing spread during the regular season. You can get a sample of the NFL predictions by signing up for the free email newsletter.

To sign up for this free service, enter your best email address and click on “Sign up now!”








Methods for Super Bowl win probabilities

These win probabilities start with my member predictions that combine data from a number of different sources.

The predictions imply a win probability for each team in each game, and these numbers provide the parameters to simulate the playoffs.

Each simulation accounts for the shifting match ups based on seed (e.g. New England will play the lowest seed after this Wild Card Weekend) and neutral site of the Super Bowl.