National Football League Computer Ratings


Introduction

This is my rough attempt at a computer rating that can, among other things, come somewhat close to predicting final game scores. The actual computer rating, which describes team performance based on games played to date, is found under the "Rating" column. To determine a hypothetical margin of victory, use the "Points" column (just subtract the teams in question) and add in home field advantage (on the right). Predictions are already calculated for upcoming games, on the right.


Ratings last updated Tuesday 01/18/22, 07:56 PM ET Rank Team W L T Rating Points BCS 1 Buffalo 12 6 0 3.40 61.94 3 2 Kansas City 13 5 0 3.36 57.74 1 3 Tennessee 12 5 0 2.37 55.87 2 4 Tampa Bay 14 4 0 2.31 55.85 4 5 New England 10 8 0 1.98 58.13 11 6 San Francisco 11 7 0 1.83 54.87 6 7 LA Rams 13 5 0 1.80 54.99 7 8 Indianapolis 9 8 0 1.42 55.13 12 9 Dallas 12 6 0 1.38 55.38 13 10 Arizona 11 7 0 1.29 53.99 10 Rank Team W L T Rating Points BCS 11 Green Bay 13 4 0 1.20 51.03 5 12 Cincinnati 11 7 0 1.13 53.01 9 13 Baltimore 8 9 0 0.51 51.99 16 14 LA Chargers 9 8 0 0.22 50.37 17 15 Denver 7 10 0 0.22 52.71 20 16 Las Vegas 10 8 0 0.15 47.30 8 17 New Orleans 9 8 0 0.11 50.69 19 18 Miami 9 8 0 0.06 48.74 15 19 Cleveland 8 9 0 -0.11 48.96 18 20 Seattle 7 10 0 -0.27 51.00 23 Rank Team W L T Rating Points BCS 21 Pittsburgh 9 8 1 -0.31 46.48 14 22 Philadelphia 9 9 0 -0.59 48.77 21 23 Minnesota 8 9 0 -0.64 48.78 22 24 Chicago 6 11 0 -1.44 44.95 24 25 Washington 7 10 0 -1.64 44.03 25 26 Houston 4 13 0 -2.16 44.23 27 27 Carolina 5 12 0 -2.41 44.96 29 28 NY Jets 4 13 0 -2.65 42.08 28 29 Atlanta 7 10 0 -2.80 40.12 26 30 Detroit 3 13 1 -3.08 42.55 31 31 Jacksonville 3 14 0 -3.15 42.10 30 32 NY Giants 4 13 0 -3.48 41.25 32
(The "BCS style" ranking is one based solely on wins and losses, similar to what is used in college football.)

Divisional rankings:

Rank Conference Mean Rating ---- ------------------------- ----------- 1 NFC West 1.16 2 AFC West 0.99 3 AFC East 0.70 4 AFC North 0.31 5 AFC South -0.38 6 NFC South -0.70 7 NFC North -0.99 8 NFC East -1.09

PREDICTIONS FOR UPCOMING GAMES Date Away Team Home Team Total Prediction ----------- -------------------- -------------------- ----- -------------- 22-Jan-2022 Cincinnati Tennessee 39.5 HOME by 3.86 22-Jan-2022 San Francisco Green Bay 41.8 AWAY by -2.84 23-Jan-2022 LA Rams Tampa Bay 52.0 HOME by 1.86 23-Jan-2022 Buffalo Kansas City 48.6 AWAY by -3.20

Current home field advantage is: 1.00 MAE for games to date: 10.50 These ratings fit to produce 0.62 of the correct winners. Pct when predicted MOV is above 2.00: 0.66 A favored away team rarely loses when favored by more than -5.78. A favored home team rarely loses when favored by more than 7.42.

Above are some statistics about the ratings model. The MAE is the mean absolute error of the ratings fit to all the games played to date. This number is usually larger than you think it should be, but it's a good measure of how variable (or maybe "predictable") game outcomes can be.

Immediately below that, you can see how this best fit does in retro-predicting (there's a better word I'm sure) just the game winners. My favorite stats are the last two--when the home or away team is favored by the given margin, they only lose 30 percent of the time. This is the kind of information that people in the sports wagering world might find useful.


About the author

I have a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. I am now a faculty member at Indiana University in Bloomington, teaching courses in the broad areas of weather and climate. Don't hesitate to contact me using this email form if you have questions or non-hateful comments. shopify stats