NFR Nate Silver predicts Seattle and New England in the Super Bowl

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Kent Lufkin, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. "And this ain't politics-you actually have to perform to win."

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  2. Lugan

    Lugan Joe Streamer

    Speaking as someone who is professionally handy with statistics, I'm surprised Nate didn't admit that predicting elections and predicting the winner of a sports event are like comparing apples to burritos.

    An election unfolds slowly over time, across 100+ million people all doing a single very similar task (choosing candidates and voting for those candidates). The important thing in elections is that the 100+ million voters' actions all happen in parallel - meaning, they are not dependent on each other. Sure, individuals are influenced by each other and the crowd's choices ebb and flow together somewhat, but not that much. This makes predicting elections a more systematic endeavor, and thus Nate was able to produce a prediction about it with a high degree of statistical confidence. Near the end of the election cycle, Nate was up to something like 93% chance of Obama winning, and he got all but one state's results correct.

    Games (or in the playoffs, a series of a few games) are entirely different. Games are a linear series of plays with a small number of players on the field on each side. The actions of players are somewhat predictable based on past player and team statistics, but there is still huge variation in the success and failure of those actions: Did the QB complete the 40 yard pass, or did the receiver have butter fingers? Did the linebacker sack the QB, or did he get away to keep the drive alive? Did the punt returner hold onto the ball when tackled, or did he fumble at his own 10 yard line? Etc. Lots of random stuff happens, each of those random things effects the ensuing line of events, and that makes prediction hard. Plus, the statistical sampling is just far smaller than 100+ voters. That's not to say Nate (and the guys on ESPN, etc.) can't make predictions based on some data, but it does mean that getting to anything like the statistical confidence of an election prediction is impossible. In the end, I'm guessing Nate's confidence underlying his Super Bowl prediction is very low.
  3. jimmydub

    jimmydub Active Member

    The cool thing about the advanced metrics in football is that they do seem to be showing patterns. The most overrated team in football this season was Indianapolis, despite their winning record. They went out in a hurry. The Hawks are the best team to end a season over the last decade based on weighted DVOA, and were among the best teams in the league this year even before they started annihilating opponents. DVOA has been set up to account for variables that otherwise don't show up in box scores or player cards. When Marshawn Lynch fumbled at the goal line, his DYAR took a serious nosedive, as did the DVOA for the rest of the team. It wouldn't have been as big of an impact if it were nearer the fifty yard line. Those kinds of things are accounted for, and show up in the advanced stats. Any time the offense fumbles the ball, it goes against their DVOA.

    While there are certain things that DVOA doesn't account for, it does measure a team's efficiency very well. When it comes to evaluating a team and how they'll perform under pressure, that's when good old fashion football culture takes over. DVOA can't predict how players play each other, but the Seahawks have played a really good sampling of games as far as different schemes are concerned. It's not a perfect system, but it's the best I've found.

    If you watch the video of him on ESPN, he actually says he would bet on the Seahawks based on the line that Vegas is putting out for the Super Bowl. That would tell me he does have confidence in the outcome, between the statistics he's viewing and the results he's seeing on the field.
  4. tythetier

    tythetier Fish Slayer

    Hahahaha!! I would like to see the Hawks win it... My dad told everybody that if they win, he will shave his head and beard (always had hair on his head, I have only seen him with out a beard twice in 29 years).
    We are guessing if he does it, it wont come back...
    jimmydub likes this.
  5. Kaiserman

    Kaiserman content

    Well, he'll have to go against the odds. Manning is 9-10 in playoffs (some of those against Brady) and 0-3 when the temperature is below 40.
  6. NewTyer1

    NewTyer1 Banned or Parked

    Go Patriots!!!!!
  7. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

    Charles, did I ever tell you how much I dislike Brady?
  8. quazman

    quazman Member

  9. Richard Torres

    Richard Torres Active Member

    I hear Manning is putting on the glove today.
  10. quazman

    quazman Member

    Man if this was the process going through my head when I watched a game for entertainment then the fun would be gone!

    I guess if I was a "wise guy" in Vegas looking for an edge this would be what I was looking for....
  11. jimmydub

    jimmydub Active Member

    It's a good thing I don't gamble ;)

    It's definitely a different way of watching a football game, but it's something I do naturally. A lot more of a football game is played within the game clock and field position than most people realize. Teams don't need to put up huge yards to score points, they just need to run the most efficient plays for the situation and keep the clock going. That's why I like this Seahawks team more than any other: they can score on long drives, eat time, and control the ball on both sides. They're not flashy (for the most part), and they play hard-nose football.

    I say 30-17 Seattle, with Beast Mode going all Marshawn Lynch. Or something like that.
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  12. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Seattle media is reporting this morning that Lynch missed a couple days of practice with a sprained foot and listed as 'probable' tomorrow. That could be bad news for us - or misinformation intended to mislead others. Hmmm....

    rainbow and jimmydub like this.
  13. Kaiserman

    Kaiserman content

    Kent, I'm going with bad info...but who knows.

    A bigger concern, what if (a really big what if) somehow the Ravens made it to the Super Bowl? Forget the Hawks winning anything at that point, they'd just give the game to Ray Lewis, I mean... it would be a real bummer to see Ray Lewis go out on a loss, I mean... I think it would be really close, oh who the heck am I kidding. They'd call in the old Steeler refs and just let it go at that. :eek:
    Gregg Lundgren and jimmydub like this.
  14. Kaiserman

    Kaiserman content

    Now 0-4...
  15. Yard Sale

    Yard Sale Active Member

    Bring it on Seattle!
  16. Kaiserman

    Kaiserman content

    I wonder how many fans in Denver want Tibow back now. At least he won a playoff game. :D:confused::eek:
  17. jimmydub

    jimmydub Active Member

    I'm thinking the fans of the Chiefs, Raiders, and Chargers wouldn't mind a bit.
  18. This is why I don't put much stock in advanced metrics. Especially for football.
  19. rory

    rory Go Outside

    Well that didn't work out.
  20. jimmydub

    jimmydub Active Member

    Man, what a great game of football! Too bad the Hawks couldn't play with consistent focus today. Man oh man, when they got moving they were hard to stop. Good game Falcons, good luck in the next round!