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.