Weekly Game Probabilities

Weekly game probabilities are available now at the nytimes.com Fifth Down. The lead-in is a re-purposed version of my critique of power rankings.

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8 Responses to “Weekly Game Probabilities”

  1. RM says:

    Is the model looking at Chicago-Tampa as a home game for the Bucs, instead of a neutral site?

  2. probablepicks says:

    I realize you do not use injuries for your prediction model, but perhaps some of your readers will be able to make use of my QB Status page. It's a collection of links to the ESPN profiles and "last 24 hours" Google News searches for every QB who has thrown a pass this season (plus Carson Palmer). I was doing very similar searches each week, so hopefully this will save time and be useful to others as well.

  3. Brian Burke says:

    Yes. As is now an annual tradition, I forget to make the adjustment for the neutral site London game.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Friendly reminder that next week's Redskins/Bills game will be played in Toronto.

  5. Emil says:

    Brian, your Prediction Accuracy article was excellent and I couldn't agree more. It's apparent that there is great demand for you to pick winners based on your unique angle advanced statistical analysis and cool WP charts). This drives traffic to your site and, presumably, opens the door to other more high-paying, high-visibility opportunities (e.g. Wash Post, NY Times). It's refreshingly honest for you to recognize that this isn't what excites you most about your research, but it certainly has helped build your readership to the point where you've been given a larger forum for sharing research on far more interesting things such as in-game strategies, evaluating individual players/units, or more generally, determining optimal strategies and methods for building a winning team.

    This is my first post here, but I've been following your work since the old site and back in the days when you were a regular commenter on FO more than four years ago. I'm as big a fan of yours as anyone, but I think you should seriously consider stopping publishing anything resembling game predictions/probabilities because it only dilutes and hinders progress on the rest of your ground-breaking work. You've previously said you are not in the business of publishing your model's track record, but how about going one step further and announce that you're no longer in the business of predicting game outcomes. You've acknowledged that it's unlikely that any single computer model will be able to demonstrate better success at predicting game outcomes over the long term than the publicly available betting markets (which have the built in advantage of injury, weather, and suspension info). People can and will gamble with your predictions and publish their results. The danger is that in building your career, at least in part, on picking winners (even implicitly), people will always judge your ability to analyze the game based on your track record of predicting winners. That's completely unfair, but unfortunately that's the way it is.

    It always fascinates me that football analysts feel the need to predict winners in order to validate their knowledge of the game. I think an analyst can demonstrate great proficiency at understanding why and how teams win without having any special ability to predict winners. That would be a welcome change to see among the new breed of football analysts. I'm probably in the vast minority, and it's probably not best for your business prospects, but that's the direction I'd like to see you take this site and your football research in general.

  6. Brian Burke says:

    Thanks. I'm not sure how to handle that. Most people would consider it a home game for the Bills, with the crowd cheering for them. But the unfamiliarity of the environment suggests to me there won't be much of a HFA for the Bills.

  7. xmenehune says:


    You should read this...

    Time Zones CHI=6, TB=5
    seems like home field advantage to me...

    BTW great site

  8. Brian Burke says:

    Thanks. Interesting. I wouldn't wait until the last minute to travel either.

    But there's one tidbit the article left out. When did NE travel for the 35-7 beat down of TB?

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