Saturday, January 5, 2013

2013-01-05: NFL Playoff Predictions


The wildcard week of the playoffs is upon us. The numbers were crunched and the results were rather predictable. In three of the games the home is the favorite to win for both the Support Vector Model (SVM) and the PageRank model. For the fourth game the Seahawks were chosen by both the SVM and the PageRank model. 

The SVM gives us a binary result so there is no degree or way to judge how close of a game it may be. Our numbers indicate that the Redskins Seahawks game is going to be close and probably a low scoring game. Both teams like to run the ball but the Seahawks defense has performed better that the Redskins this year. What my be interesting is that the Seahawks are a 2 to 3 point favorite and they are the visiting team. Our previous research has shown that home team underdogs are often a good bet to cover the spread.
Vergin and Sosik found that not only has the home underdog been viable in some years but that the effect was more pronounced on nationally televised games versus regionally televised games. Due to the closeness of the rankings and the effect of the playoff home team effect the Redskins will probably at least cover the spread if not take the game outright.

Picks

Green Bay
Houston
Baltimore
Seahawks*



--Greg Szalkowski

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