NCAA football Week 2 Predictions (in the wild)

Last year I challenged this guy in the department to a battle of picking colllege football games. We both started with a bankroll of $10,000 (play money of course because (1) we have no money (grad students) and (2) gambling is illegal (and immoral…)) and we had to pick at least five games every week and wager at least 5 percent of our bank roll each week. Long story short, this guy killed me last year. I ended the season with 0 (at the end of the season I was betting my whole bank roll every week to try to catch up), and he ended up not at zero for the victory. Of course I was essentially randomly choosing games and his picks were based on data.

So again this year I challenged him to the same competititon. He killed me in week one even though I went 4-1. So I’ve decided that what I need is a model. I don’t want to get too technical cause I jsut threw this thing to gether, but it seems to give reasonable results.

So I am using a Poisson regression model and I am modelling offense and defense as entirely separate teams. I am essentially using all of the 2008-09 season as my priors for team (offense and defense) parameters. Then, using week 1 results as my data, I draw values from the posterior predictive distribution of “games” (I consider one teams offense against another teams defense a “game” in the model.) I call WinBUGS from R and generate 6000 iterations (burning off the first 1000). Then I take the median score from the draws and that is my prediction for the game.

So here are some predictions for the week. We’ll see how this model works.
Top 25:
(1)Florida 20 Troy 10
(2)Texas 53 Wyoming 20
(3)USC 21 (8)Ohio State 11
(4) Alabama 30 FIU 17
Houston 21 (5) Oklahoma State 16
(6) Mississippi BYE
(7) Penn State 29 Syracuse 13
(10) California 26 Eastern Washington 15
Vanderbilt 40 (11) LSU 9
(12) Boise State 37 Miami (Ohio) 3
(13)Oklahoma 54 Idaho State 10
(14) Virginia Tech 46 Marshall 33
(15) Georgia Tech 48 Clemson 16 (GT won this game already)
(16) TCU 28 Virginia 3
(17) Utah 57 San Jose State 6
(18) Notre Dame 33 Michigan 7
(19) North Carolina 27 UConn 12
(20) Miami (FL) BYE
(21) Georgia 13 South Carolina 10
(22) Nebraska 18 Arkansas State 6
(23) Cincinnati 50 Southeast Missouri State 8
(24) Kansas 77 UTEP 7
(25) Missouri 69 Bowling Green State 18

Cheers.

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Posted on September 11, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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