2015 (probable) predictions: Play-off bound or no.1 Draft pick

For the last few seasons I have been using teams win-loss ratio to predict how they are likely to finish the season, previously after 8 games but I thought would give 4 or 5 games a go. I have been pretty accurate and often shows that something drastic has to happen for a winning team to drop out or a losing team to step up. Here are my 2015 predictions based on probability. Warning, this contains proper statistics.

Method behind the madness

I base my predictions on a binomial distribution, that is a distribution with only two likely outcomes, a win or a loss. The probability of a win in this instance is influenced by the number of wins prior. I have not weighted it by taking into account the opposition each team plays and neither have I bootstrapped it through 1000 iterations.
The predictions are bounded as 95% confidence interval or that teams are 95% likely to end the season between a minimum and maximum number of wins (and corresponding losses).
For teams with 100% records so far I have put them down as 95% success, which means 1 in 20 games they will lose. This means if some teams have only played four games due to a bye week, meaning the predictive power is not so good. The calculations are based on winning the remaining games.
Projected records will be minimum win – loss to maximum win – loss.

AFC East

Patriots 4 – 0

Start with the hardest as they have played only 4 games so far. They are on for winning all 12 of the remaining games.
Projected record: 14-2 to 16-0

Jets 3 – 1
Another 4 game team, bit easier as at least they have lost one. They could win all of their remaining games.
Projected record: 9 – 7 to 15 – 1

Bills 3 – 2
I do like a 5 game team gives a bit more of a robust prediction.
Projected record: 6 -10 to 13 – 3

Dolphins 1 – 3
Ach another 4 game team and I am not confident here because getting a new coach in is a big change. Anyhoo…
Projected record: 1 – 15 to 7 – 9

AFC North

Bengals 5 – 0

A stronger record for a strong team. Again will be on for winning all of their remaining games, like the Patriots, funny that really.

Winning records actually make me very uncomfortable.

Projected record: 14 – 2 to 16 – 0

Steelers 3 – 2

Same as the Bills, the North like the East is a tough place to be in this season.

Projected record: 6 – 10 to 13 – 3

Browns 2 – 3

A new record to play with. Last year I do not think I gave the Browns a very good chance of a winning record. This year their projected average record will be 6 – 10, that is the 50% chance they will get that or worse, or that and better, so still more of a chance of a losing record. It’s up at a 20% probability that they will end up with an 8-8 record.

Projected record: 3 – 13 to 10 – 6

Ravens 1 -4

Same record as the Dolphins but with no drastic changes made as it were. Even at this stage, unlikely to make the play-offs and run the risk of getting the no.1 draft pick next year.

Projected record: 1 – 15 to 6 – 10

AFC South

Colts 3 – 2

Not a brilliant start by the reigning division champions but they have beaten the rest of the division so far and the only team with a winning record. Most likely to finish top of the division.

Projected record: 6 – 10 to 13 – 3

Titans 1 – 3

The Titans had a bye week and so this is based on only their 4 game record. Still likely to finish second.

Projected record: 1 – 15 to 7 -9

Jaguars and Texans both on 1 – 4

These teams play in week 6 and so the picture will come clearer then but currently they are fighting for third and then possibly second spot. Also both teams are on for getting the first pick next year.

Projected record: 1 – 15 to 6 – 10

AFC West

Broncos 5 -0

Another 100% record team, carried by that defense mainly. Again based on 0.95 success rate.

Projected record: 14 – 2 to 16 – 0

Raiders and Chargers 2 – 3

They have the same record even though the Raiders do currently sit above the Chargers in the division.

Projected record: 3 – 13 to 10 -6

Chiefs 1 – 4

Losing Jamaal Charles is a significant change to this team but may not in the end influence their projected record that much.

Projected record: 1 – 15 to 6 – 10

NFC East

Giants 3 – 2

This is a hard division to sort but at the moment the Giants are sitting pretty but not as secure as other division leaders.

Projected record: 6 – 10 to 13 – 3

Washington, Eagles and Cowboys all 2 – 3

The Cowboys losing Romo and Bryant as significant impacts and their current record kind of reflects this. The significant change will be when they return. At the moment, it is not possible to separate these three teams in terms of pure probability.

Projected record: 3 – 13 to 10 – 6

NFC North

Packers 5 – 0

Same as the other unbeaten teams. Significant loss would be Rodgers, it seems losing other players has minimal impact though possibly losing a few defensive players could have an impact. Possibly.

Projected record: 14 – 2 to 16 – 0

Vikings 2 – 2

The only team with a 0.5 record. Very exciting.

Projected record: 5 – 11 to 11 – 5

Bears 2 – 3

Well a better record than many thought they would get. Just a tough division.

Projected record: 3 – 13 to 10 – 16

Lions 0 – 5

The only team without a win to their name. I based the likelihood of success as 0.1 as cannot say there is no chance they will win (1/16 would be 0.0625 so I am being a bit more generous).  Currently on for the no.1 pick in next years Draft.

Projected record: 0 – 16 to 3 – 13

NFC South

Panthers 4 – 0

Still unbeaten but mainly due to a bye week playing into their favour here. But currently looking good to reach the play-offs.

Projected record: 14 – 2 to  16 -0

Falcons 5 – 1 (5 – 0 before TNF)

I had a bit of fun with the Falcons. Obviously like the Saints their projected record is based on 6 games now. So prior to Thursday they had a projected record of 14 – 2 to  16 – 0. Well yes that has changed quite a lot, though the loss to the Saints could still be their only one. On estimated outcomes does make winning the division a bit harder.

Projected record: 11 – 5 to 15 – 1

Buccaneers 2 – 3

The same current record as many teams so same projected record as all other 2 – 3 teams. Not likely to be the no.1 Draft pick position next year.

Projected record: 3 – 13 to  10 – 6

Saints 2 – 4

A bit better than the 1 – 4 teams so the only 0.333 probability here. Still likely to be the worst team in the NFC South. Their 50% likelihood record is 5 – 11. So likely to finish bottom but not impossible to finish above the Bucs.

Projected record: 3 – 13 to 8 – 8

NFC West

Cardinals 4 – 1

The best of the west and most likely to win the division and get to the play-offs. If everyone stays healthy that is.

Projected record: 10 – 6 to 15 – 1

Rams and Seahawks 2 – 3

It was only looking at these two teams record that it struck me how much the Seahawks are struggling this year. They may even struggle to get to the play-offs! Rams could pick them to it.

Projected record: 3 – 13 to 10 – 6

49ers 1 – 4

Well they are not looking too good since there winning season opener.

Projected record: 1 -15 to 6 – 10


In summary then

Play off teams – most probably

Bengals, Broncos, Colts, Patriots, Packers, Cardinals, Panthers

Next most likely play-off teams

Giants, Falcons, Steelers, Jets, Bills

All in the hunt

All the 2 -3 teams

2016 No.1 Draft pick teams:

Lions, followed by the Texans, Jags, 49ers,  Chiefs and Ravens.

There we are. No graphs either.  Now these are only based on current records, with no weighting and not taking into account schedules, using a binomial distribution. Hit us up if agree or disagree, on twitter and on Facebook.

Toodle pip!