What We Can Learn About Week 1 From the Betting Lines
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Let’s take a look at the betting lines for Week 1, breaking implied scoring into passing points, rushing points, kicking points, and defense/special teams points. The idea for this article came from A.J. Bessette via Jonathan Bales. My application of the strategy Bessette espoused is fully explained in my first article from last season. I noted this wasn’t a backtested method but started to track the accuracy of each week’s picks in subsequent articles, which ran through the Divisional round of the playoffs. This offseason, I found encouraging results when I graded out all the picks we published against implied team scoring. The short version is we’re looking at what percentage of total scoring for each offense and defense comes from each phase of the game – passing, rushing, kicking, and defense or special teams touchdowns or safeties. There are two projections provided, one that averages the offense’s and defense’s rates, and the other that uses the properties of calculating standard deviation as a way to emphasize rates that deviate further from the mean, which could be potential targets. The averaging method performed slightly better in 2015, but both were better than using implied points alone for passing, rushing, and kicking, while both performed far worse than implied points for predicting defense/special teams scoring.1 As we work our way into 2016, I’ll weight 2015 splits less each week. For Week 1, it’s all we have, so be careful to make adjustments for coaching and personnel changes as necessary. Next week we’ll do 75 percent 2015 stats and 25 percent Week 1’s results, then 50-50, and so on. The Week 5 article will solely reference the first four weeks of 2016. By nature, this method will get better throughout the season as we learn about each team’s 2016 tendencies. But until then, there are plenty of useful matchup notes to check out.
Passing Scoring and NotesLeague Average Passing Points Rate: 43.2 percent
- More on what that means below. (back)