Thursday 5 September 2013

Predicting Interceptions In The NFL.

Continuing the theme of using more numerous match day occurrences to predict rarer, but significant events in a sporting contest, I've used the start of the NFL season to show how team interceptions made by the defence can be modeled with more confidence.

Possession is king in the NFL and the number of possessions enjoyed by each side is invariably equal. Therefore, it is essential that a team maximizes the use they make from each possession.

Every yard on a gridiron has a points expectation associated with it, depending upon relative team ability and occasionally time remaining. A loss of possession costs one side the potential points expectation they had prior to the turnover and often hands their opponents a healthy points expectation where they take over ownership of the pigskin.

So a turnover, specifically an interception, is a significant hurdle for a side to overcome. If you lose the turnover battle, you often lose the game as well. In this guest post I look at how you can best predict the number of interceptions a side will make in the upcoming NFL season....and it's not by looking at the number of interceptions they made last season!

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