Mad Chemistry: My Starter Kit

When I first started out with my system it wasn’t to use it against the Vegas line or even to predict games. I was frustrated and bored.

Back in 2003, I was still working for the man and that came with the OSHA required lunch hour. I went about my usual routine which entailed that days local paper and a cup of coffee at the bar of a nearby greasy spoon. I scanned the headlines, read the editorials and the sports page, finished the Jumble and crossword puzzle (they make them too easy on Mondays); I had raced through everything I usually do and nearly half my lunch remained.

This was especially unwelcome on this particular Monday. On this Monday the Panthers were coming off a loss. A bad loss. A thorough loss. 37-17 at the hands of the Tennessee Titans. Insert your jokes about the Panthers, but in week 7 of 2003 this was their first loss of the season. They didn’t even lose a preseason game. Hell this was only their second loss since before Thanksgiving of the year before.

So I started to dig through the box score for answers. It was just salt in the wound. I had lived and died through every minute of the game. I knew the answer – Fumbles! Carolina had lost 4 fumbles that game.

Then I started to doodle. But not your usual doodles of horns and glasses and blackened out teeth. I doodled the way math nerds doodle. I scanned the scores and my memory and realized that often turnovers exaggerated the gap between the teams on the scoreboard. I wanted to see if there was a quantitative number that could be put on turnovers. I decided fumbles were more damaging than interceptions because usually fumbles were closer to the defenders endzone, thus a shorter field. But interceptions lend themselves to be advanced and return yards can be demoralizing.

So I took the first downs – (3 * number of fumbles + 2 * number of interceptions + interception yards gained/10). I rounded of the interception yards to the nearest full number. The resultant was the offensive number for the team in that game.

Now virtually anyone can poke numerous holes in this. This was not intended to do anything but distract me for the remainder of my lunch hour. But a funny thing happened; the results for each team, and the number when I subtracted one team from the team they played, often produced a number remarkable similar to the actual difference in the scores. When they deviated, my equations numbers “felt” more descriptive of the game than the actual outcomes.

So the next week I did it again. And the next. And the results, as unscientific and unprofessional as the were, continued to mirror the weekly results with surprising regularity.

I used this to create my first predictor system. The Offensive Numbers each week divided by games played was one factor. The other factor was what their Offensive Number minus their opponents Offensive Number each week was cumulatively and divided by games played. There is a bit of an equation using these that i used to derive a “line” on upcoming games.

It was a spectacular failure!!! It was neither good nor bad at giving a winner versus the spread. It was the kiss of death in gambling -middling. Through 10 weeks this year it would be 64-64-4. In fact, every year it lives in the 50% zone.

But the reason it survives to this day isn’t just that it has sentimental value, it has shown to be a good predictor, even a decade later, for something else- The Vegas line. Also I still find that it gives me a better perspective on how much really separates the teams when often the scores seem wildly out of touch with reality.

Does anyone really believe that St. Louis is a 30 point better team than Indianapolis? Last years game between Seattle and Green Bay ended with the scoreboard saying the Seahawks won by two points. My version says Packers were 8 points better that game.

Let me show what this shows me this week, like most every other week.

Here is how it views last weeks results.

Winning Team
Off. #
Losing Team
Off. #
Actual Differential
OS Differential
Minnesota 17 Washington 27 Minn by 7 Wash. by 10
Seattle 25 Atlanta 13 Seattle by 23 Seattle by 12
Detroit 16 Chicago 17 Detroit by 2 Chicago by 1
Philadelphia 16 Green Bay 10 Phil. by 14 Phil. by 6
Jacksonville 8 Tennessee 6 Jax by 2 Jax by 2
St. Louis 9 Indianapolis 7 STL by 30 STL by 2
NY Giants 7 Oakland 1 NYG by 4 NYG by 6
Pittsburgh 11 Buffalo 10 Pitt by 13 Pitt by 1
Baltimore 11 Cincinnati 10 Balt. by 3 Balt by 1
Carolina 6 San Francisco 5 Carolina by 1 Carolina by 1
Arizona 11 Houston 14 Arizona by 3 Houston by 3
Denver 19 San Diego 20 Denver by 8 SD by 1
New Orleans 37 Dallas 9 NOR by 32 NOR by 28
Tampa Bay 14 Miami 14 TB by 3 EVEN

Here is the spread it would give for the week 11 slate of games

Favorite
Opponent
OS Line
Consensus
Vegas Line
Indy Tenn Indy by 2 Indy by 3
Buffalo NY Jets Buff by 2.5 Buff by 1
Chicago Baltimore Chicago by 3 Chicago by 3
Cincinnati Cleveland Cinn by 0.5 Cinn by 6
Philadelphia Washington Wash by 1.5 Philly by 3.5
Detroit Pittsburgh Detroit by 5.5 Detroit by 2.5
Atlanta Tampa Bay TB by 1 Atlanta by 1.5
Arizona Jacksonville AZ by 5 AZ by 7
Houston Oakland Houston by 4.5 Houston by 7
San Diego Miami SD by 6 SD by 1.5
New Orleans San Fran NOR by 9 NOR by 3
NY Giants Green Bay GB by 12.5 NYG by 5
Seattle Minnesota Seattle by 14.5 Seattle by 12.5
Denver Kansas City KC by 1.5 Denver by 8
Carolina New England Carolina by 1.5 Carolina by 2.5

And lastly here is how it would rank the teams; offensively, competitively and cumulatively.

Team
Offensive
Number
Power
Number
Combined
New Orleans 19.78 7.78 27.56
Denver 21.00 5.22 26.22
Kansas City 16.33 8.78 25.11
Carolina 16.78 8.22 25.00
New England 18.33 3.78 22.11
Chicago 16.56 4.67 21.23
Seattle 16.30 4.70 21.00
Detroit 17.22 2.78 20.00
San Diego 19.44 0.44 19.88
Green Bay 17.89 1.56 19.45
Washington 18.11 1.11 19.22
Indianapolis 16.67 2.33 19.00
Philadelphia 16.90 -0.90 16.00
Houston 13.89 1.78 15.67
San Francisco 12.89 1.67 14. 56
Baltimore 13.56 1.00 14.56
Tennessee 13.56 0.56 14.12
Cincinnati 13.60 0.50 14.10
Cleveland 14.78 -1.33 13,45
Tampa Bay 14.11 -1.00 13.11
St. Louis 13.40 -1.00 12.40
Dallas 14.90 -2.70 12.20
Atlanta 14.44 -3.22 11.22
Buffalo 13.00 -2.10 10.90
Pittsburgh 12.78 -2.00 10.78
Miami 12.11 -3.44 8.67
Arizona 10.89 -2.33 8.56
Oakland 10.44 -2.22 8.22
NY Jets 10.22 -5.22 5.00
Minnesota 11.67 -8.33 3.34
NY Giants 8.67 -6.67 2.00
Jacksonville 9.22 -9.11 0.11

Now A Word From Our Sponsor

EEK! I trail again after my worst week of the year. In going 0-2 last week Platstat regains the catbird seat at 18-21-1 while I languish at 17-22-1.

I have no chance to catch them this week since we have no disagreeing picks.

Pick Line Opponent
Deep Cool Agrees
Cleveland +5.5 @ Cincinnati
Jacksonville +7 vs. Arizona
NY Jets +1.0 @ Buffalo

As I have shared before you are far safer betting my picks that aren’t shared with Platstats 70% confidence picks. They are now 29-14-2 this season.

Here they are….

Philadelphia -3.5 vs. Washington

Tampa Bay +1.5 vs. Atlanta

Seattle -13 vs. Minnesota

Detroit -2.5 @Pittsburgh

New England +2.5 @ Carolina

Indianapolis -3 @Tennessee

San Diego -1.5 @Miami

Baltimore +3 @Chicago

New Orleans -3 vs. San Francisco

 

167 comments
Kuato Face
Kuato Face moderator

Has there been any word on whether or not the Black Unicorn is playing?

Rarely Evenn
Rarely Evenn

I doubt we beat Atlanta, but it could happen.

Kuato Face
Kuato Face moderator

Is Bell going to have a good day against the Steelers today?

robertj72
robertj72

Bowe pulled over caught with pot. Playing today. 

Snelling pulled over caught with pot. Benched today.

HMMMM...I wonder if that has anything to do with each teams record and prospects this year??

Kuato Face
Kuato Face moderator

Is Marlon Brown out for the game today?

THEGOOSEISLOOSE
THEGOOSEISLOOSE

sapp predicted Roethlisberger will be sacked 8 times... I hope that happens

cd4packers
cd4packers

Ditka picks GB to win! Gotta love that guy. 

Pat Fenis, Esq.
Pat Fenis, Esq. moderator

wow. tornado alarms actually going off. I should probably move. bye.

gatrbuc17
gatrbuc17 moderator

The guy that I quit two weeks ago keeps fucking harassing me by text about some fucking metal blade he left on one of my saws. I just finally texted him back to bring his narrow ass over here and I will find a saw blade to cram up his fat ass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fucker!!!...........Really? A fucking Sawblade?

robertj72
robertj72

How many Georgia fans had nightmares of their team tipping the ball up for Auburn to win the game they should have won then woke up and thought "Thank God ...it was just a nightmare"...then slowly realized..No..no it wasn't.

Kuato Face
Kuato Face moderator

With Marlon Brown sitting should I start Royal or D Baldwin?

gatrbuc17
gatrbuc17 moderator

 Gonna be a good game.

Kuato Face
Kuato Face moderator

Get in the root cellar. Take Toto with you.

Kuato Face
Kuato Face moderator

Hey, some of those blades can be pricey. I've spent 60 bucks on a blade for my skilsaw before.

gatrbuc17
gatrbuc17 moderator

 Just like us Gator fans. Shoulda won yesterday too

robertj72
robertj72

Hopkins also could have a huge game....Expect him to clown the Raiders much like Cooper did.

robertj72
robertj72

  I'd lean Baldwin...but like Avery more

Kuato Face
Kuato Face moderator

  I can sub in Royal or pick up Doug Baldwin for nothing and plug him in. What should I do?

cd4packers
cd4packers

  awe, I love the Wizard of Oz!!

gatrbuc17
gatrbuc17 moderator

  Yeah How well I know but I dont have his fucking blade or any of his tools. He went schitzo on me and I told him to go fuck himself cause I already had another job lined up with a $5hr raise. Now he is fucked cause he has no carpenter

aciddragon
aciddragon

 true but if it were that important 1) don't leave it there when you quit or 2) go and get the damned thing, not whine about it for 2 weeks 

Kuato Face
Kuato Face moderator

   I think you might be right on that one.

Kuato Face
Kuato Face moderator

  I could also work a flex slot and start Bernard Pierce against Chicago

Kuato Face
Kuato Face moderator

   avery not available

Lions 49 Packers 7
Lions 49 Packers 7

 

And we'll never be royals (royals).
It don't run in our blood,
That kind of luxe just ain't for us.
We crave a different kind of buzz.
Let me be your ruler (ruler),
You can call me queen Bee
And baby I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule.
Let me live that fantasy.

Pat Fenis, Esq.
Pat Fenis, Esq. moderator

  I'd play Royal over Baldwin. Harvin is back.

gatrbuc17
gatrbuc17 moderator

  Watch it while listening to the Dark Side of the Moon while stoned. 

Kuato Face
Kuato Face moderator

  wut is the matter with you?

Kuato Face
Kuato Face moderator

  So he is just a psycho dumb ass

gatrbuc17
gatrbuc17 moderator

  We were doing a metal roof when I quit but I had taken that blade off to cut outlookers and threw his blade in his Suburban and that thing is a clusterfuck the same way he runs his business

Kuato Face
Kuato Face moderator

  Why does he think his blade would be on your saw ion the first place? That seems odd.

gatrbuc17
gatrbuc17 moderator

  Is what Im saying!!

Prick. I gave him his tools and I took mine. End of story