## Predictions for tonight’s most consequential college basketball games

I’m test driving a prediction system I may use for the upcoming NCAA men’s basketball tournament, depending on how successful it proves to be.  For tonight’s two “impactful” games, I predict the following scores, with each team’s win probabilities next to them:

 Predictions 16-Feb Wisconsin 58 21% Mich St 63 79% NC State 72 27% Duke 83 73%

System Explained

To make my prediction for each game, I assumed two scenarios for the particular game.  First I assumed that the home team in the given contest would do to the opponent team’s overall statistical averages what it has done to the rest of its home opponents statistical averages.  I then calculated the score produced under that scenario.  Next I assumed the opposite, namely, that the opponent would do to the Home team’s home statistical averages what it has done to the rest of its opponent’s averages.  I then calculated the score produced under that scenario.   Then for each scenario I used Win Score to estimate each team’s probability of victory under each scenario.

So for instance in the Duke-NC State game, if Duke does to NC State’s averages what it has done to the averages of the rest of the teams that have visited Cameron Indoor Stadium this season, then NC State will get killed, 86-70.  NC State would finish the game with a box score that would produce a WS of 27.0 and a DWS of 48.5.  Under such conditions, NC State would have a probability of winning only 13.7% of the time.  If, however, NC State does to Duke‘s home averages what it normally does to other opponent’s overall averages, then Duke should still prevail, 80-74.  Under that scenario, Duke would finish with a box score that would equate into a WS of 37.5 and a DWS of 32.0.  Under those conditions, Duke would win 59.6% of the time.  Thus, the average score I produced was: Duke 83 NC State 72.  Under the first scenario, Duke’s win probability would be 86.3% and under the second scenario Duke’s win probability would be 59.6%, for a combined rough win probability average of 73%.

For those who gamble, the line on the Badger-Spartan game closed at Spartans -6.0 (the opening line was -5.5), which is right about where I’m at, and the final line on the Duke game was Duke -10.5 (the opening line was -10), which is, again, right where I’m at.

Let’s see how this works.  I hope I am way off on the first prediction.