Friday, June 22, 2012

Quant Facts 29-18 (6/22/12)

Quant Facts & Sport Psychology Predict the NBA Champion

Congratulations to both the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder on great NBA seasons.  We look forward to years of exciting action from these teams and players.  The 2011-12 strike-shortened season had many exciting moments -- and super performances from many teams in addition to the finalists, including the Bulls, Celtics, and Spurs.

With the Miami Heat taking the 2012 NBA Championship, our "Who Will Win" blog's "quant fact" record improves to 29-18 (61.7%).  It is noteworthy that the Oklahoma City Thunder was a favorite to defeat Miami in the NBA Finals.  This is a testament to the power of "the concepts of sports psychology": championship traits (related to sport psychology) sometimes go against conventional wisdom -- but have been correct more than 60% of the time, between two fairly evenly-matched champions.

In particular, our work has shown that "big game experience" is one of the most important factors (even at the highest level!) -- and the relationship between experience and confidence can yield that elusive mental edge.  Experience, confidence, and mental toughness can have a material impact on results.

We had no official quant fact prediction in the NHL -- although some readers pointed out that if we went purely by the numbers, the quant facts would have been correct!

Carlton Chin, CFA, an MIT-trained "quant" and portfolio strategist and Dr. Jay Granat, a psychotherapist and sports psychologist, wrote "Who Will Win the Big Game? A Psychological & Mathematical Approach."  Chin is a specialist in risk management and asset allocation -- and Granat is founder of