Monday, January 14, 2013

Prediction Season

Please pardon the unintentionally long hiatus.  The holiday season, a trip, and some program problems have interfered with my regularly scheduled prophecy.

It takes about 1000 games before my predictor settles down to reliable predictions.  This usually occurs around the start of January.  Two problems interfered with that this year.  First, I started scraping game results from ESPN this year (Yahoo has gotten somewhat unreliable) and only discovered around the beginning of January that I wasn't getting all the games.  It took a few days to fix that problem.  Then I ran some tests and found my predictions were way off.  Tracking down the cause took another week or so.  The exact problem was complex, but it had to do with determining the length of games.  (For pace-adjusted statistics you need to know the number of minutes played.)  Once that was fixed the predictor started behaving as expected.

So here are some predictions for tonight's games, starting with the ranked teams:

  #1 Louisville (15-1) @ Connecticut (12-3): Louisville by 8
  Baylor (11-4) @ #4 Kansas (14-1) : Kansas by 8

Connecticut is probably under the radar right now -- they've got good wins over MSU and Notre Dame, and their loss to NC State looks better after NC State's win over Duke.

Most competitive games of the night:

   Elon (8-7) @ Western Carolina (7-9): Elon by .2
   Savannah St. (7-9) @ Morgan State (4-8):  Morgan State by .5

Blowouts of the night:

  Grambling St. (0-14) @ Texas Southern (4-13):  Texas Southern by 25
  Charleston (11-5) @ Citadel (3-11): Charleston by 13

It's amazing that a 4-13 team can be a 25 point favorite in a game, but Grambling is really bad and has a good chance of going winless for the season.

As usual, these predictions are provided for your reading pleasure only.  A full disclaimer can be found in the sidebar.

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