Win Probability Site Upgrade

I'm currently working on major improvements in the function and feel of the win probability graphs. For those who have been checking in on the NCAA tournament win probs, you may have noticed a "2.0 Beta" link last night.

The new graphs not only look a lot better, but also have added features such as hovering transparent tooltip boxes for game scores and time remaining, and crosshairs for precise win probs at each point in the game. The scoreboard for each game is now integrated with the graph, but it's still a work in progress. The color scheme is still in flux as well. (I'm going for the wood of the court and the dark orange of a basketball. My banner will need to change to match.) I'd appreciate any suggestions you might have for the layout or colors, etc.

This will also give you an idea of what the football site will look like this fall. But the football version will be even better, with play-by-play available at each point on the graph, plus added stats such as 1st down probability, expected points, and scoring probabilities for the current drive. But you might not have to wait until fall. Part of my plan this year is to build WP graphs for every NFL game since 2000.

The upgrade is thanks to a suggestion by Ken Roberts of the great site "Sports Club Stats." He pointed me toward a very handy web graphing tool. His site probably deserves its own post, but I'll plug it now anyway. Sports Club Stats does playoff projections for most pro leagues and graphs them from the start to end of the season. Just as a win probability graph tells the story of a game, Ken's graphs tell the story of a season. For example, check out the heartbreaking Bucs' or Redskins' graphs for last season.

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8 Responses to “Win Probability Site Upgrade”

  1. Griffin Caprio says:


    What's the web graphing tool?


  2. Brian Burke says:

    or you can click on any of my graphs to get to the site. That's because I'm too cheap to upgrade from the freeware version.

  3. Griffin Caprio says:

    Thanks Brian!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Do you have any plans to try to incorporate team quality into the in-game probabilities? That is, a team which is favored by 10 at game start and then goes down by 5 has a much different win prob. than a generic matchup of two average teams. Perhaps use the opening Vegas point spread as an indicator of team strength? So your database would look for historical games in which team A was favored by x points, and trailing by y points with z minutes remaining. I am not sure if this is feasible to calculate, but it would be awesome if it was. (For both football and basketball). Thanks.

  5. Brian Burke says:

    Yes, but there are big challenges to doing that, especially for football.

  6. id says:

    This is cool Brian, and thanks for the plug.
    Yell if you get around to doing what Anonymous said, I might be able to keep you from having to reinvent the wheel.

  7. mccarronk says:

    Brian- I've just been introduced to your site and am blown away by the work you and the other contributors have done.

    I'd like to know if anyone has put out research on the success rate of two-minute drives based on starting field position, time left in the game, and points trailing. For example, when a team is trailing by four points (they need a td), and have the ball on their own 26 with 1:32 left to play, what is the success rate of that team scoring the go-ahead td? What about when they only need a field goal to win or tie? It seems to me that knowing these success rates would greatly inform coaches during the end game.

    I know your Win Probability pretty much does this, but has anyone posted a chart specifically devoted to end-of-game drives?

  8. Brian Burke says:

    No. I should do that. I'd like to put a little more polish on the end-game model before I do that, however. For example, my current model doesn't do a good job of guessing when a team will go for it on 4th down, so occasionally it will figure a team will kick a FG when down by 6. Sure, it's obvious when there's 1 min left, but what about when there's 3 minutes left? 4 minutes left?

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