Game Probabilties Week 4

Win probabilities for week 4 NFL games are listed below. The probabilities are based on an efficiency win model explained here and here with some modifications. The model considers offensive and defensive efficiency stats including running, passing, sacks, turnover rates, and penalty rates. Team stats are adjusted for previous opponent strength.

0.47 SF NO0.53
0.35 HOU JAX0.65
0.21 CLE CIN0.79
0.38 ATL CAR0.62
0.61 ARI NYJ0.39
0.44 MIN TEN0.56
0.72 DEN KC0.28
0.36 GB TB0.64
0.64 SD OAK0.36
0.72 BUF STL0.28
0.56 WAS DAL0.44
0.46 PHI CHI0.54
0.36 BAL PIT0.64

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17 Responses to “Game Probabilties Week 4”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I assume the redskins are favored over the cowboys in this model due to interceptions?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I assume the Redskins are favored over the Cowboys in this model because Tony Romo is a homo. -Andy

  3. Brian Burke says:

    No. I don't have a homo factor in the model.

    It's mostly due to interceptions and fumbles. But the Cowboys' penalty rate (pen yds per play) is sky high. It's likely to come down in the future, but for now it's hurting them.

    I doubt if the Redskins are truly the favorite, but they shouldn't be an 11-point underdog.

  4. Josh Engleman says:


    I found the site about a month ago and really enjoy what you do here. I plowed through all of the archives and put together a little system of my own. I'm anxious to see how mine performs, along with yours.

    The numbers I have right now seem to be a little more "correct" on the surface. I'm a Redskins fan, and even I know there is no way they are favored heading into Sunday. I have the Cowboys winning 77% of the time.

    I'm putting my numbers up on my "site" if you care to take a look. Keep up the good work here.

  5. Anonymous says:

    For some reason, entering my URL wasn't correct, so here it is.

  6. Anonymous says:

    For the guy who said that if washington is favored in the model they shouldn't be a dog....I've worked in the casino biz for 10 years and the game spread has NOTHING to do with the actual abilities of either team but it is instead designed to mirror the publics perception of the two teams in an effort to generate equal betting action on both sides thus assuring that the sportsbook will win it's 10% vig.

  7. Josh Engleman says:

    While I agree with you 100% about what the goal of the line is, I disagree with you 100% on the game spread having nothing to do with the actual abilities of the teams. The closing line is arguably the best indicator of the talent level of teams. The "wisdom of crowds" theory applies here. To say that the game spread has nothing to do with the actual abilities is, to me, foolish.

  8. eric says:

    The line definitely takes in the public's perception, but vegas sets the line based on their rankings of teams. Right now they have Dallas as 8 point better than the skins on a neutral field, plus the usual 3 points that a home team gets, equals an 11 point favorite this week. Vegas has dallas as the best team in the league by far. I think they would be 3 or 4 point favorites over any team on a neutral field right now. I'm not making this up either, this is based off of the LVSC's rankings, I just don't have the link right now. So Vegas's preliminary spread most certainly is set by how good they think certain teams are.

  9. Mr.Ceraldi says:


    i forget, how you deal with HFA?
    do you account for HFA in probabilities? If so is it a genric % for
    all home teams or is it specific to each team?


  10. Brian Burke says:

    Hi Mr. C,

    HFA is accounted for by a dummy variable (1 or 0) in the model. The coefficient works out to give the home team a win % of 57% on average. The closer the two opponents are in efficiency performance, the stronger the effect of HFA.

  11. brad childress is the worst coach in the nfl says:

    wow so far this week these predictions are great

  12. Sampo says:


    Congrats on a strong start! 9-2 so far!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Now why didn't I go with these picks like I said I would? Nice picks! I imagine if you knew Palmer wasn't starting you might not have picked Cincy.

  14. Brian Burke says:

    Yeah, that's the Achilles heel of a purely statistical model--the injured QB.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I dont know how I stumbled on this site, but I made very small bets on each game this week based solely on your probabilities and did fairly well. I always used to read Troy Aikmans rankings actually, as he took into account many factors in a game as well, but this seems very well done.

    I just wish I could have predicted Brett Favre throwing for 6 TDs for my fantasy team haha!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Wow, I just checked and your system was THE ONLY one that correctly predicted the outcome of both the WAS @ DAL and PHI @ CHI games. That is, your system probably predicted the true favorite, whereas the spread reflected more of the public opinion. I find that very interesting. And again, I believe you already noted it, but your system is the only one that includes a "homo factor", thus correctly capturing the effect of Tono Romo on game outcomes. - AndyP

  17. Josh Engleman says:

    I am hoping that it is OK to post this here. I just posted my results from this week on my site, along with next week's probabilities, a spread and total for each game.

    BTW Brian, nice pick on the 'Skins. Hopefully your system picking them to win is the catalyst they need to go 15-1.

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