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Weekly game probabilities for week 8 are now up at Sports on Earth. Probabilities are purely based on current-season stats including core efficiency rates, turnover rates, penalty rates, and are adjusted for opponent strength to-date.
Please remember that the projected scores are not to be taken terribly seriously. Do not bet the mortgage on them as they are not intended to graded against the spread. They are simply a "maximum-plausibility" estimate given respective team scoring tendencies.
There are relatively few possessions in an NFL football game, so in short, turnovers matter. While a right back on the soccer pitch can be forgiven for a mislaid pass or a point guard in basketball can get away with the occasional double dribble, if a quarterback throws an interception, it can often change the course of the game. Just ask Tony Romo.
However, aside from Matt Schaub’s natural aptitude for the pick six, how random are turnovers? How much of a team’s turnover differential can be explained by teams protecting the football on offense and causing turnovers on defense, and how much is just plain dumb luck?
Brian Burke is on the podcast for an (almost) mid-season recap of the NFL season. Dave and Brian go team by team and dive into some of the more interesting 2014 team successes and failures. They also highlight visualizations and tools buried deep in the new AFA site, and make some predictions for what to expect in the second half of the season.
This episode is sponsored by DraftKings, the world's leading provider of daily fantasy sports. Use this link or promo code "AFA" to create a new account to enter this weekend's Miillionaire Maker tournament.