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 10/26/21, 11:20 AM ET Rank Team W L Rating Points BCS 1 Buffalo 4 2 4.20 64.11 2 2 Baltimore 5 2 2.92 57.77 3 3 Arizona 7 0 2.75 55.81 1 4 Tampa Bay 6 1 2.26 56.42 4 5 New Orleans 4 2 2.02 58.30 12 6 Tennessee 5 2 1.85 54.44 6 7 Kansas City 3 4 1.55 52.82 5 8 LA Rams 6 1 1.45 53.97 9 9 New England 3 4 1.12 53.93 14 10 Indianapolis 3 4 1.04 53.73 15 Rank Team W L Rating Points BCS 11 Green Bay 6 1 0.96 52.61 11 12 Cleveland 4 3 0.86 50.30 8 13 Las Vegas 5 2 0.52 48.15 7 14 Denver 3 4 0.31 49.55 13 15 Dallas 5 1 0.26 50.29 16 16 LA Chargers 4 2 0.21 47.42 10 17 Pittsburgh 3 3 0.14 50.25 18 18 Seattle 2 5 -0.16 52.05 22 19 Cincinnati 5 2 -0.20 48.16 17 20 San Francisco 2 4 -0.50 49.21 20 Rank Team W L Rating Points BCS 21 Miami 1 6 -0.71 48.65 21 22 Chicago 3 4 -0.85 46.47 19 23 Carolina 3 4 -1.29 48.06 26 24 Minnesota 3 3 -1.32 47.41 25 25 Washington 2 5 -1.55 46.95 27 26 Atlanta 3 3 -1.64 45.36 24 27 NY Giants 2 5 -1.88 46.45 29 28 Houston 1 6 -2.10 44.85 28 29 NY Jets 1 5 -2.43 40.72 23 30 Philadelphia 2 5 -2.49 44.11 30 31 Jacksonville 1 5 -2.98 41.68 31 32 Detroit 0 7 -4.35 40.01 32
(The "BCS style" ranking is one based entirely on wins and losses, similar to what is used in college football.)

When I get them working, divisional rankings will go here:

Rank Conference Mean Rating ---- ------------------------- ----------- 1 AFC North 0.93 2 NFC West 0.88 3 AFC West 0.65 4 AFC East 0.55 5 NFC South 0.34 6 AFC South -0.55 7 NFC North -1.39 8 NFC East -1.41

PREDICTIONS FOR UPCOMING GAMES Date Away Team Home Team Total Prediction ----------- -------------------- -------------------- ----- -------------- 28-Oct-2021 Green Bay Arizona 45.2 HOME by 3.13 31-Oct-2021 Carolina Atlanta 41.1 AWAY by -2.78 31-Oct-2021 Miami Buffalo 53.5 HOME by 15.39 31-Oct-2021 San Francisco Chicago 42.5 AWAY by -2.81 31-Oct-2021 Pittsburgh Cleveland 35.8 AWAY by -0.03 31-Oct-2021 Philadelphia Detroit 57.9 AWAY by -4.18 31-Oct-2021 LA Rams Houston 55.8 AWAY by -9.19 31-Oct-2021 Tennessee Indianapolis 55.6 AWAY by -0.78 31-Oct-2021 Cincinnati NY Jets 37.0 AWAY by -7.52 31-Oct-2021 New England LA Chargers 42.9 AWAY by -6.59 31-Oct-2021 Jacksonville Seattle 40.5 HOME by 10.29 31-Oct-2021 Washington Denver 43.0 HOME by 2.52 31-Oct-2021 Tampa Bay New Orleans 53.4 HOME by 1.81 31-Oct-2021 Dallas Minnesota 45.5 AWAY by -2.94 01-Nov-2021 NY Giants Kansas City 46.1 HOME by 6.30 04-Nov-2021 NY Jets Indianapolis 47.6 HOME by 12.94 07-Nov-2021 Minnesota Baltimore 62.6 HOME by 10.29 07-Nov-2021 New England Carolina 38.1 AWAY by -5.94 07-Nov-2021 Cleveland Cincinnati 49.8 AWAY by -2.21 07-Nov-2021 Denver Dallas 51.8 HOME by 0.66 07-Nov-2021 Buffalo Jacksonville 52.0 AWAY by -22.50 07-Nov-2021 Houston Miami 38.2 HOME by 3.72 07-Nov-2021 Atlanta New Orleans 49.0 HOME by 12.87 07-Nov-2021 Las Vegas NY Giants 36.5 AWAY by -1.77 07-Nov-2021 LA Chargers Philadelphia 40.8 AWAY by -3.37 07-Nov-2021 Green Bay Kansas City 48.7 HOME by 0.14 07-Nov-2021 Arizona San Francisco 49.0 AWAY by -6.67 07-Nov-2021 Tennessee LA Rams 46.0 AWAY by -0.54 08-Nov-2021 Chicago Pittsburgh 47.9 HOME by 3.71 11-Nov-2021 Baltimore Miami 37.0 AWAY by -9.20

Current home field advantage is: -0.07 MAE for games to date: 10.03 These ratings fit to produce 0.68 of the correct winners. Pct when predicted MOV is above -0.15: 0.68 A favored away team rarely loses when favored by more than -6.32. A favored home team rarely loses when favored by more than 6.48.

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.


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