Summarizing the Score by the Numbers

 

In week nine of this season I tried to figure out a way to predict the score for the upcoming Charger game without any bias what so ever.  As I noted then, this would be an incredibly difficult task for me since I have been a diehard Charger fan (coherently) for the past 20 years (incoherently for 27).  So in order to try and predict the score without any hometown bias I decided that I had to throw all my fan tainted judgment out the window and strictly go by the numbers, and thus the Predicting the Score by the Numbers column was born.  Using this method I predicted the scores for the last eight Charger games of the season to see how well my methods worked please click below.

So how did we do?  I have summarized the actual scores and the predicted scores in the table below so that we can compare the outcomes.

 

Opponent

Actual Score

Predicted Score

Charger Points

Opponent Points

Actual Line

Winner

Charger Points

Opponent Points

Projected Line

Winner

Eagles

31

23

-8

Chargers

24

28

4

Eagles

Broncos

32

3

-29

Chargers

22

21

-1

Chargers

Chiefs

43

14

-29

Chargers

30

17

-13

Chargers

Browns

30

23

-7

Chargers

32

12

-20

Chargers

Cowboys

20

17

-3

Chargers

25

23

-2

Chargers

Bengals

27

24

-3

Chargers

23

20

-3

Chargers

Titans

42

17

-25

Chargers

31

22

-9

Chargers

Redskins

23

20

-3

Chargers

28

14

-14

Chargers

 

As you can see from the table above, the projections were kind of all over the place and were never really great a predicting the actual score, but maybe if we look at the projections in a less precise manner we may find them to be somewhat useful.  The table below displays a comparison of the projected wins/losses as well as the projected scoring lines to the actual numbers.

 

Opponent

Actual

Projected

Predicted Line vs Real Line

Predicted Winner vs Real Winner

Line

Winner

Line

Winner

Eagles

-8

Chargers

4

Eagles

12

N

Broncos

-29

Chargers

-1

Chargers

28

Y

Chiefs

-29

Chargers

-13

Chargers

16

Y

Browns

-7

Chargers

-20

Chargers

-13

Y

Cowboys

-3

Chargers

-2

Chargers

1

Y

Bengals

-3

Chargers

-3

Chargers

0

Y

Titans

-25

Chargers

-9

Chargers

16

Y

Redskins

-3

Chargers

-14

Chargers

-11

Y

 

As shown in the table above, outside of weeks 14 and 15 the projections really did not do a great job predicting the actual scoring line, in fact they did not coming within 10 points of it.  At this point the predicting the score by the numbers idea is really starting to look like a complete failure.  That is until you look at the win/loss projections and find that the 7 out of the 8 picks were winners (Woohooo In your face Math!), but judging by the small sample size and the complete misses in every other aspect of the projections I think we can really chalk the correct picks up to coincidence (D'oh!).

Well now that we know how the projected scores did against the actual scores let's see how they did against some real expert projections.  The table below compares both the Projected Scoring Line as well as the Vegas Closing Line to the actual scoring line and determines who is closer.

 

Team

Actual Line

Projected Line

Vegas Line*

Predicted  Line vs Vegas Line

Eagles

-8

4

-1

Vegas

Broncos

-29

-1

-6.5

Vegas

Chiefs

-29

-13

-13

Draw

Browns

-7

-20

-13.5

Vegas

Cowboys

-3

-2

-3.5

BFTB

Bengals

-3

-3

-7

BFTB

Titans

-25

-9

1.5

BFTB

Redskins

-3

-14

-3.5

Vegas

 

Note: Vegas Closing Line Numbers from Vegasinsider.com

As you can see form the table, the projected lines did ok against the Vegas lines, going 3-4-1.  However, this is really comparing apples to oranges since the Vegas line is really based upon the money coming in and the perceived value of a team (man I'm such a kill joy), but hey these guys do this for a living so going 3-4-1 against them in any manner isn't too shabby.

So in the end we really learned 2 things:

1. I'm not the next Nostradamus.

2. The predicting the score by the number column was obviously the reason why the Chargers turn around this season (they went 8-0 during the weeks the column was up).

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