Now that most of the NBA teams have passed the halfway point of the season, we recalculated our end-of-season win total predictions and playoff probabilities. In truth, we don’t think that the second half of the season matters that much, in terms of playoff probability.
Since the top eight teams from each conference make the playoffs, the likelihood that even the top four teams in wins per conference at mid-season would fall out of the top eight at the end of the regular season is astronomically small. However, the second half does matter in terms of the teams fighting for the last couple of spots, as well as, of course, playoff seeding.
Last fall, we generated win probabilities for all 33 games of the MLB postseason, including the 2 wild-card games, 26 divisional and championship round games, and the 5 World Series games. We think it is finally time to declare how we did.
For each game, we compared win probabilities from 6 sources, two “baselines” (50/50 odds for each game, and the home team winning each game), two for-profit industries (Vegas betting lines and FiveThirtyEight’s Elo), and our two win probability metrics, Runs Scored/Runs Allowed wp%, created in 2017, and our Bayesian SaberSmart Simulator, created in 2018.
Fall brings joy to a lot of people, what with the break from the heat of summer, the annual arrival of Pumpkin Spiced Lattes and shoes, apple picking, and of course, the Fall Classic. This year, the World Series features the regular season juggernaut Boston Red Sox, and the perennial playoff participant, but never the winner, Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Red Sox have only lost two games this postseason, cruising past the Yankees in the ALDS and crushing the Astros and their co-co-co aces in the ALCS. Meanwhile, the Dodgers were on auto-pilot in the NLDS where they destroyed the Braves, before winning an epic battle over Milwaukee in seven games in the NLCS. The Dodgers were one win from winning the World Series last year, while the Red Sox last won the championship half a decade ago in 2013.
With the NBA back in action this week, we are launching our inaugural NBA Predictions to see how the league will shape out this season. While the Warriors are the obvious favorite to lead the the league in wins, since a majority of the league’s 30 teams make it to the playoffs, whether you agree with that or not, the battle for the last few seeds always goes down to the wire.
Here's how we generated our 2018-2019 NBA playoff and win predictions:
We promised win probabilities for every game of the 2018 MLB postseason and we plan on delivering. Check this page before every game for updated game and series win probabilities!
Read more about our SaberSmart Simulator here, and our Runs Scored/Allowed Simulator here, here, or here. FiveThirtyEight's Elo predictions can be found here.