I’ve made some changes to our projections calculator this week that should make them more reliable and helpful.
The first really big change is that Las Vegas betting lines have been folded into the equation. As I’ve said in the past, Vegas spends a ton of money each week to make the most accurate predictions so they can make tons of money off bettors. They lose big if they have soft spreads and over/unders.
Now, when Vegas’ prediction says a team will score higher or lower than what the averages predict, the statistics get tweaked to reflect that.
One interesting case study this week is Tennessee and Jacksonville, which on paper sounds like a fantasy football wonderland. But the oddsmakers are pegging it as a low-scoring affair and even though Tennessee is expected to win, Vegas thinks both teams will perform below average. Now, the projections will reflect it.
The projections now also produce floor and ceiling rushing and passing yards. In the offseason I’d like to tinker with the worksheet and get floor/ceiling for the rest of the stats as well. I’m also considering how to produce accurate rest of the way projections.
One final note, and not necessarily least important, these projections were made using 2014 statistics only. Yes, it’s still a small data set prone to be affected by outliers, but I think it’s better at this point in the season to be affected by this year’s outliers than to have inaccurate representations of so many teams. Carolina, San Diego and New Orleans are very different teams on defense so far this season compared to last. The Falcons and Giants are very different on offense, at least through five weeks.
I believe adding the Las Vegas factor and my manual adjustments based on player-type matchups will still give us the boom/bust factor we’ve had all season.
***NOTE: These projections are now the ones I’m using for my individual projections. Due to my mistaken calculations, explained here, the numbers were incorrect a the beginning of the week.***
As usual, we start the projections process with these offense vs. defense averages: