With the Super Bowl just behind us, it’s time to predict wins for the 2018 NFL Season. At the start of the playoffs, we looked at a model which predicted how many games NFL teams should have won in 2017 and compared our results to Football Outsider’s Pythagorean Win Expectancy. We were able to improve on Pythagorean Win Expectancy for last year’s results, aka how many games a team should have won, but our backwards looking models were unable to beat Pythagorean Win Expectancy in predicting next year’s wins. Today, we will build some models trying specifically to predict how many games teams will win next year.
If you simply want to know how many games your team will win in 2018, strictly for recreational purposes of course, you can skim to the end or check out our Spotfire Template. But, for Football Outsiders fans, those interested in what makes up wins and losses, or those interested in the Data Science process, read on.