Friday, February 8, 2013

Quant Facts 30-20 (2/8/13)

The Super Bowl between San Francisco and Baltimore was truly an exciting game -- and we saw that the results of sporting events can turn on numerous events.  This game included everything from big plays and turnovers -- to power outages and momentum changes!

The power outage created a huge momentum swing, with the delay of greater than 30 minutes -- soon after Baltimore's huge kickoff return for a TD -- allowing San Francisco to compose themselves and get back in the game.  The 49ers actually looked like they would win the game, with a winning TD only 5 yards away, as time ticked down.  However, Baltimore's goal line stand won the Ravens a championship.

Our quant fact predictions are now 30-20 (60%) -- showing the power of sports psychology and quantitative analysis.  

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Super Bowl Sims and Championship Characteristics - 2013

Here is an excerpt from our analysis and numerical simulations of this year's Super Bowl, between San Francisco and Baltimore, which is published in the New York Times.  Our quant facts have been correct more than 60% of the time.

Consistency: Ball control remains one of the more important offensive indicators studied in both professional and college football. The team with a better running game, as measured by average yards per rush, has won 57.8 percent of the Super Bowls. The 49ers averaged 5.1 yards per rush this season, compared to 4.3 for the Ravens. Edge: San Francisco.

Monte Carlo Simulations: Probabilistic models like Monte Carlo techniques can be used to solve complicated problems. Similar to our analysis for the B.C.S. national title game between Alabama and Notre Dame, we used regular-season statistics in combination with our championship factors to simulate thousands of football games between San Francisco and Baltimore.

Read more here: 

In addition, our popular analysis of Super Bowl Square Odds -- by Quarter -- is published here: