Author Archives: statsinthewild

We are witnessing more really big spreads (15+ points) than usual in the NFL this season

So far this year, through 8 of 17 weeks (121 of 267 games) (i.e. less than half of the season), there have been EIGHT games in the NFL where the spread was 15 points or greater (and TWO(!!!) with spreads greater than 20):

  • Vikings (16.5) vs Washington Football Team (October 24, 2019)
  • Bills (-17) vs Dolphins (October 20, 2019)
  • Patriots (-16.5) vs Giants (October 10, 2019)
  • Patriots (-16.5) AT Washington Football Team (October 6, 2019)
  • Chargers (-15) AT Dolphins (September 29, 2019)
  • Cowboys (-21.5) vs Dolphins (September 22, 2019)
  • Patriots (-21) vs Jets (September 22, 2019)
  • Patriots (-18) AT Dolphins (September 15, 2019)

This seems like a lot!  So I went and checked back through 2006.  Turns out, this is a lot.  The most there has ever been in a FULL season is 14 in 2007.  Nine of those games were the Patriots during their undefeated season.  The next most in a season was 2009 with seven such games (mostly involving the Raiders…).  In 8 of the last 14 seasons, there were at most 3 such games (3 in 2006, 2011, 2016, 2017, 2018, 1 in 2014 and 2015, and ZERO(!) in 2010).

So we are ALREADY at 8 games and we are LESS THAN HALFWAY (there are NINE weeks left!) through the season.

Through 121 games 8 of them (or 6.61%) have had spreads of 15 or more.  The next two highest rates occurred in 2007 and 2009 at 3.75% and 2.62%, respectively.  No other season since 2006 has had more than 2% of games with spreads that large.  The plots below show survival curves of the spreads with all past seasons in blue and 2019 in red with the plot on the right zoomed in.  (The way to read this plot is that the height of the curve tell you the proportion of games played where the spread was LARGER than the x-value.)

Screen Shot 2019-10-29 at 2.06.09 PMScreen Shot 2019-10-29 at 2.07.23 PM

You can also see the increase in the number of high spread games in this plot below, which shows the density estimates of the absolute value of the spreads.

Screen Shot 2019-10-29 at 2.04.21 PM

Notice that the proportion of games with spreads around 10 are actually lower than most years, but as you get out past 15, you see a big jump in the density.  If instead we look at the actual spread rather than the absolute value, we get the plot below.

Screen Shot 2019-10-29 at 2.03.14 PM

Here, negative values correspond to a home team being favored and positive values indicate an away favorite.  2019 is shown in black.  Notice the difference in the behavior in the tails of the distribution in 2019.  There are both more big home favorites but also more big AWAY favorites.  The big away favorites are particularly interesting.  Since 2006 there have only been 8 total games where the away team was favored by 15 or more points and SIX of those games involved the Patriots:

  • Patriots (-16.5) at Washington Football Team (October 6, 2019)
  • Chargers (-15) at Dolphins (September 29, 2019)
  • Patriots (-18) at Dolphins (September 15, 2019)
  • 49ers (-16) at Jaguars (September 15, 2013)
  • Patriots (-15.5) at Buccaneers (October 25, 2009)
  • Patriots (-19) at Ravens (December 3, 2007)
  • Patriots (-16.5) at Bills (November 18, 2007)
  • Patriots (-16) at Dolphins (October 21, 2007)

So, in summary, between 2006 and 2018 we witnessed 5 total games where the away team was favored by 15 or more.  That’s an average on ONE game every 2.6 seasons, but this season we are seeing an away team favored by 15 or more once every 2.67 WEEKS!

We’ll see if this trend continues for the rest of the 2019 season, but so far we are seeing a lot more extremely lopsided games than usual.

Cheers.

 

 

NFL Picks – Week 7

So I’m way behind on updating these.  I blame my kids.  Go Bears.

You can view my predictions here.  Go Bears.

Season: SU: 38-24-1, Spread: 34-29, O/U: 31-29-3

Week 1: SU: 10-5-1, Spread: 9-7, O/U: 8-8

Week 2: SU: 9-7, Spread: 9-7, O/U: 6-10

Week 3: SU: 11-5, Spread: 9-7, O/U: 11-2-3

Week 4: SU: 8-6, Spread: 6-8, O/U: 6-8

Week 5: SU: 1-0, Spread: 0-1, O/U: 1-0

Prediction: Chiefs 28-25
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Prediction: Rams 27-26
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Prediction: Bills 29-12
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Prediction: Jaguars 21-20
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Prediction: Texans 25-22
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Prediction: Vikings 23-21
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Prediction: Packers 27-17
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Prediction: Giants 25-23
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Prediction: 49ers 27-19
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Prediction: Titans 21-20
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Prediction: Bears 23-17
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Prediction: Seahawks 22-21
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Prediction: Cowboys 24-23
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Prediction: Patriots 27-12
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NFL Picks – Week 6

You can view my predictions here.  Go Bears.

Season: SU: 38-24-1, Spread: 34-29, O/U: 31-29-3

Week 1: SU: 10-5-1, Spread: 9-7, O/U: 8-8

Week 2: SU: 9-7, Spread: 9-7, O/U: 6-10

Week 3: SU: 11-5, Spread: 9-7, O/U: 11-2-3

Week 4: SU: 8-6, Spread: 6-8, O/U: 6-8

Week 5: SU: 1-0, Spread: 0-1, O/U: 1-0

Prediction: Patriots 29-20
Pick: Giants +17
Over/Under: Over 43

Prediction: Panthers 25-24
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Prediction: Browns 22-21
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Prediction: Jaguars 25-22
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Prediction: Chiefs 31-24
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Prediction: Dolphins 23-22
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Prediction: Vikings 25-24
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Prediction: Ravens 26-21
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Prediction: Falcons 26-21
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Prediction: Rams 32-17
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Prediction: Broncos 22-21
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Prediction: Cowboys 21-20
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Prediction: Chargers 27-26
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Prediction: Packers 27-23
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NFL Picks – Week 5

These are a week late.  But before you accuse me of cheating, see how I did. #notgood

You can view my predictions here.  Go Bears.

Season: SU: 44-31-1, Spread: 40-37, O/U: 37-36-3

Week 1: SU: 10-5-1, Spread: 9-7, O/U: 8-8

Week 2: SU: 9-7, Spread: 9-7, O/U: 6-10

Week 3: SU: 11-5, Spread: 9-7, O/U: 11-2-3

Week 4: SU: 8-6, Spread: 6-8, O/U: 6-8

Week 5: SU: 6-9, Spread: 6-8, O/U: 6-7

Prediction: Rams 28-20
Pick: Rams +1.5
Over/Under: ????

Prediction: Panthers 21-19
Pick: Jaguars +3.5
Over/Under: Under 40

Prediction: Bengals 26-17
Pick: Bengals -3
Over/Under:Under 47.5

Prediction: Falcons 26-25
Pick: Falcons +4
Over/Under: Over 50.5

Prediction: Saints 30-26
Pick: Saints -3
Over/Under:Over 46

Prediction: Vikings 24-22
Pick: Giants +5
Over/Under: Over 43.5

Prediction: Titans 22-16
Pick:
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Prediction: Eagles 25-18
Pick: Jets +14
Over/Under: Under 43.5

Prediction: Steelers 27-24
Pick: Steelers +3.5
Over/Under: Under 44

Prediction: Bears 22-20
Pick: Raiders +5
Over/Under: Over 40

Prediction: Patriots 27-22
Pick: Washington Football Team +15.5
Over/Under:Over 42

Prediction: Chargers 29-20
Pick: Chargers -6
Over/Under: Over 44.5

Prediction: Cowboys 23-21
Pick: Packers +3.5
Over/Under: Under 47

Prediction: Chiefs 33-22
Pick: Colts +11
Over/Under: Under 56

Prediction: 49ers 22-21
Pick: Browns +4
Over/Under: Under 46.5

Undefeated NFL Matchups with large spreads

The 3-0 New England Patriots will play the 3-0 Buffalo Bills this week.  However, in spite of the fact that both teams are undefeated, the Patriots are favored by 7.5 points.  So this got me wondering: Has there ever been a biggest spread in a game that featured two undefeated teams?  So I went back and checked.  (Well, I went back through 2006 because that’s how far back I have spread data readily available….)

First of all, I’m not counting games in week 1 where all the teams are “undefeated”.  And I’m not counting matchups where both teams are 1-0.  Everything else counts.

So, for a 2-0 vs 2-0 I found a Steelers-49ers game from 2007-09-23 where Pittsburgh was favored by 10 points (Steelers won 37-16).  For 3-0 vs 3-0, I found a game from October 4, 2009 between the Saints and the Jets where the Saints were favored by 7.5.  On September 30, 2013 there was another 3-0 vs 3-0 game the a 7 point spread: The Saints (again) were favored by 7 over the Miami Dolphins.

Of note, on Sep 25, 2011 the 2-0 Patriots were favored by7 points over the 2-0 Buffalo Bills.  (The Bills went on to win 34-31).

Other 2-0 vs 2-0 match-ups with big spreads include:

Colts favored by 6.5 over the Texans on Sunday Sep 23, 2007

Colts favored by 6.5 over the Jaguars on Sunday Sep 24, 2006

Finally, I have to mention that on Sunday Nov 4, 2007, the 8-0 Patriots played the 7-0 Colts and the Patriots were favored by 5.5 points.

Cheers.

 

 

 

NFL Picks – Week 4

You can view my predictions here.  Go Bears.

Season: SU: 39-24-1, Spread: 34-30, O/U: 31-30-3

Week 1: SU: 10-5-1, Spread: 9-7, O/U: 8-8

Week 2: SU: 9-7, Spread: 9-7, O/U: 6-10

Week 3: SU: 11-5, Spread: 9-7, O/U: 11-2-3

Week 4: SU: 9-6, Spread: 6-9, O/U: 6-9

Prediction: Packers 24-21
Pick: Eagles +4
Over/Under: Under 47

Prediction: Falcons 30-17
Pick: Falcons -3.5
Over/Under: Over 46

Prediction: Patriots 30-16
Pick: Patriots -7
Over/Under: Over 41.5

Prediction: Colts 24-22
Pick: Raiders +6.5
Over/Under: Under 46.5

Prediction: Chiefs 30-27
Pick: Lions +7
Over/Under: Over 54.5

Prediction: Texans 23-22
Pick: Panthers +5
Over/Under: Over 47.5

Prediction: Chargers 25-21
Pick: Dolphins +14.5
Over/Under: Over 44

Prediction: Giants 23-21
Pick: Washington Football Team +3
Over/Under: Under 48

Prediction: Ravens 25-18
Pick: Ravens -6.5
Over/Under: Under 45

Prediction: Seahawks 21-19
Pick: Cardinals +5
Over/Under: Under 48

Prediction: Rams 32-21
Pick: Rams -9
Over/Under: Over 50

Prediction: Bears 22-21
Pick: Vikings +1
Over/Under: Over 38

Prediction: Jaguars 23-20
Pick: Jaguars +3
Over/Under: Over 37.5

Prediction: Saints 27-21
Pick: Saints +2.5
Over/Under: Over 47.5

Prediction: Steelers 27-24
Pick: Bengals +3.5
Over/Under:Over 45.5

NFL Picks – Week 3

You can view my predictions here.  Go Bears.

Season: SU: 30-17-1, Spread: 27-21, O/U: 25-20-3

Week 1: SU: 10-5-1, Spread: 9-7, O/U: 8-8

Week 2: SU: 9-7, Spread: 9-7, O/U: 6-10

Week 3: SU: 11-5, Spread: 9-7, O/U: 11-2-3

Prediction: Jaguars 23-14
Pick: Jaguars + 1.5
Over/Under: Under 38

Prediction: Bengals 22-19
Pick: Bengals +6
Over/Under: Under 44

Prediction: Falcons 27-20
Pick: Falcons +2
Over/Under: Over 47

Prediction: Cowboys 24-18
Pick: Dolphins +21
Over/Under: Under 47.5

Prediction: Packers 24-21
Pick: Broncos +8
Over/Under: Over 43 PUSH

 

Prediction: Chiefs 26-24
Pick: Ravens +6.5
Over/Under: Under 53.5

 

Prediction: Vikings 28-16
Pick: Vikings -8
Over/Under: Over 43.5

 

Prediction: Patriots 29-17
Pick: Jets +23
Over/Under: Over 44 PUSH

 

Prediction: Eagles 27-20
Pick: Eagles -6.5
Over/Under: Over 46.5

 

Prediction: Panthers 20-18
Pick: Cardinals +3
Over/Under: Over 46.5 

 

Prediction: Buccaneers 24-22
Pick: Giants +6.5
Over/Under: Under 47.5

 

Prediction: Chargers 24-21
Pick: Chargers -3
Over/Under: Under 47.5 

Prediction: Saints 27-23
Pick: Saints +4
Over/Under: Over 47.5 

Prediction: 49ers 24-23
Pick: Steelers +6.5
Over/Under: Over 44 PUSH

Prediction: Rams 27-20
Pick: Rams -3
Over/Under: Under 49.5

Prediction: Bears 22-21
Pick: Washington Football Team +4
Over/Under: Over 41.5

NFL Picks – Week 2

You can view my predictions here.  Go Bears.

Season: SU: 19-12-1, Spread: 18-14, O/U: 14-18

Week 1: SU: 10-5-1, Spread: 9-7, O/U: 8-8

Week 2: SU: 9-7, Spread: 9-7, O/U: 6-10

Prediction: Panthers 23-18
Pick: Buccaneers +7
Over/Under: Under 49

Prediction: 49ers 21-19
Pick: 49ers +2
Over/Under: Under 45

Prediction: Chargers 30-23
Pick: Chargers -2.5
Over/Under: Over 47.5

Prediction: Vikings 30-21
Pick: Vikings +3
Over/Under: Over 44

Prediction: Jaguars 20-19
Pick: Jaguars +9
Over/Under: Under 43

Prediction: Patriots 28-20
Pick: Dolphins +19
Over/Under: Over 47.5

Prediction: Giants 19-16
Pick: Giants +2
Over/Under: Under 43.5

Prediction: Titans 24-21
Pick: Titans -3
Over/Under: Over 44.5 

Prediction: Steelers 29-25
Pick: Steelers -4
Over/Under: Over 46.5

Prediction: Ravens 27-10
Pick: Ravens -13
Over/Under: Under 47

Prediction: Cowboys 28-17
Pick: Cowboys -5.5
Over/Under: Under 46.5

Prediction: Chiefs 36-20
Pick: Chiefs -7
Over/Under: Over 53

Prediction: Bears 21-20
Pick: Broncos +2.5
Over/Under: Over 40.5

Prediction: Rams 38-34
Pick: Rams -2.5
Over/Under: Over 52.5

Prediction: Falcons 32-18
Pick: Falcons +1.5
Over/Under: Under 51.5

Prediction: Browns 27-21
Pick: Browns -3
Over/Under: Over 46

NFL Picks – Week 1

You can view my predictions here.  Go Bears.

Season: SU: 10-5-1, Spread: 9-7, O/U: 8-8

Week 1: SU: 10-5-1, Spread: 9-7, O/U: 8-8

Prediction: Bears 23-18
Pick: Bears -3
Over/Under: Under 46.5

Prediction: Rams 22-21
Pick: Panthers +2
Over/Under: Under 50

Prediction: Browns 21-16
Pick: Titans +6
Over/Under: Under 45

Prediction: Chiefs 26-19
Pick: Chiefs -3.5
Over/Under: Under 51.5

Prediction: Ravens 23-16
Pick: Ravens -7
Over/Under: Over 38.5

Prediction: Vikings 26-19
Pick: Vikings -3.5
Over/Under: Under 48

Prediction: Bills 19-18
Pick: Bills +3
Over/Under: Under 41

Prediction: Eagles 27-17
Pick: Eagles -9.5
Over/Under: Under 45

Prediction: Chargers 24-21
Pick: Colts +6.5
Over/Under: Over 44.5

Prediction: Seahawks 26-16
Pick: Seahawks -9
Over/Under: Under 44

Prediction: Lions 20-15 PUSH
Pick: Lions -2.5
Over/Under: Under 46.5

Prediction: Giants 20-18
Pick: Giants +7.5
Over/Under: Under 46.5

Prediction: Buccaneers 24-22
Pick: Buccaneers EVEN
Over/Under: Under 51

Prediction: Patriots 28-22
Pick: Patriots -5.5
Over/Under: Over 49.5

Prediction: Saints 27-23
Pick: Texans +6.5
Over/Under: Under 53

Prediction: Broncos 21-20
Pick: Raiders +3
Over/Under: Under 43

 

Cheers.

ggplot2 vs base R graphics: An example

It took me a while to make the switch over to ggplot2 because I learned how to do things in R mostly with base R.  But I’m glad I finally made the switch.  ggplot2 is so much better in so many ways, and here is an example of how much easier it is to code and how much better the output looks.  (Side note: When I make art in R, I exclusively use base R.)

So anyway, on Tuesday I talked to our incoming graduate students about R, and presented some basics of data input and data visualization.  I gave a simple example of base R vs ggplot2 using a histogram and then a scatter plot.  After the talk, a colleague of mine sent me the following code for an example plot that he had made, and wanted to know how to do it in ggplot2.  Take a look at all this code!

summary(CO2)
str(CO2)
head(CO2, 20)
CO2.QC <- subset(CO2, Type == "Quebec" & Treatment == "chilled")
CO2.QN <- subset(CO2, Type == "Quebec" & Treatment == "nonchilled")
CO2.MC <- subset(CO2, Type == "Mississippi" & Treatment == "chilled")
CO2.MN <- subset(CO2, Type == "Mississippi" & Treatment == "nonchilled")
xrange <- range(CO2$conc)
yrange<-range(CO2$uptake)
png("/Users/gregorymatthews/Dropbox/StatsInTheWild/baseRplot.png",res = 300, units = "in", h = 5, w = 10)
par(mfrow = c(1, 2))
plot(CO2.QC$uptake ~ CO2.QC$conc, pch = 19, lty = 2, lwd = 3, cex = 1.5, las = 1,
ylim = yrange, xlim = xrange, col = "purple", xlab = "Concentration",
ylab = "Uptake")
par(new=T)
plot(CO2.QN$uptake ~ CO2.QN$conc, pch = 20, lty = 2, lwd = 3, cex = 1.5, las = 1,
ylim = yrange, xlim = xrange, col = "lightblue", main = "Quebec", xlab = "",
ylab = "")
legend("bottomright", title = "Treatment", c("Chilled", "Nonchilled"),
pch = c(19, 20), col = c("purple", "lightblue"))
plot(CO2.MC$uptake ~ CO2.MC$conc, pch = 19, lty = 2, lwd = 3, cex = 1.5, las = 1,
ylim = yrange, xlim = xrange, col = "orange", xlab = "Concentration",
ylab = "Uptake")
par(new=T)
plot(CO2.MN$uptake ~ CO2.MN$conc, pch = 20, lty = 2, lwd = 3, cex = 1.5,
ylim = yrange, las = 1,
xlim = xrange, col = "red", main = "Mississippi", xlab = "", ylab = "")
legend("topleft", title = "Treatment", c("Chilled", "Nonchilled"), pch = c(19,20),
col = c("orange", "red"))
par(mfrow = c(1, 1), las = 1)
dev.off()

All that code produces the following plot:

baseRplot

These are fine looking graphs, but you have to manually choose the x and y limits, the legends look weird and they have to be manually added to each plot, and it would be nice to have some grid lines in the plots, which can be added, but that addition must be done manually.  (As a fun exercise, try to recreate the plot above using ggplot2. Don’t cheat!)

Now take a look at how easy this is to do in ggplot2!


library(ggplot2)
png("/Users/gregorymatthews/Dropbox/StatsInTheWild/ggplot2plot.png",res = 300, units = "in", h = 5, w = 10)
ggplot(aes(x = conc, y = uptake, color = Treatment), data = CO2) + geom_point() + facet_grid( ~ Type) + xlab("Concentration") + ylab("Uptake") + labs(color = "Trt") + scale_color_manual(values = c("purple","blue"))
dev.off()

The code is so much more concise, it’s easier to read, the x and y limits were chosen automatically, and the output looks so much nicer!

 

ggplot2plot

What I’m trying to say is that in almost every situation ggplot2 > base R.

Cheers.

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