Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Back To Back Games

It has a huge impact on expected results, and consequently on the betting lines. It just does. A team or two is bound to have a good record in B2B's this season, and a couple of others a remarkably poor one, but that's just shit happening. There is no repeatability in it from season to season for any team in particular. Or at least there is no evidence to support that notion as far as I know.

For games in which the home team and the visitor have equal amounts of rest (551 games so far):
The home team outscores the visitors by .27 goals on average. That means that they have about a 55% chance of winning if both teams are dead equal.

In games where one, and only one, of the teams is playing the second of back to back games (a staggering 334 games so far):
The more rested team outscores them by an average of .35 goals.
A rested road team facing a home squad playing with no rest ... they outscore home teams by .31 goals, on average, so far this season.

Point being: The number of back to back games in your schedule, especially on home ice, is a huge factor in your schedule difficulty level, and therefore your expected results. Equally important is the number of times you face opposition that has played the night before.

NHL FunFact: Of the 334 games so far in which one of the teams is on the back end of a B2B ... on 260 occasions it was the road team. Think Wee Gary Bettman doesn't know a thing or two about marketing and the value of home Ws? ;) The odds of that split being coincidence are several million to one.

Sidenote: The effect of the B2B game is more profound on the home team, presumably because they lose some of the advantage of home ice (more rested, didn't travel).

Oiler FunFact: With this in mind, as well as the opposition ... the Oilers have a relatively soft road home this season.

Sagarin FunFact: He is giving the home teams way too much of an edge here, .37 goals. And now you know why his spread does not mesh with the oddswriter's numbers. Just how much is Mark Cuban paying this cat anyways?

.

I could ramble on this subject for quite a while, but I won't right now. :-) Any thoughts?

3 Comments:

Blogger speeds said...

Vic, would you go so far as to say that the NHL could easily reduce the number of road BTB games? That they intentionally schedule BTB games on the road to aid the home team, and not just because "it's easier/cheaper for travel", or something like that they might say?

What are the true advantages of being at home, and how could one potentially break them up?
Is last change the only significant advantage. Is it really worth only +0.27 goals/game? Should I also have "only" in quotes in the previous sentence (just how much is 0.27 goals really worth?

3/22/2006 7:32 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

speeds said...

Vic, would you go so far as to say that the NHL could easily reduce the

number of road BTB games? That they intentionally schedule BTB games on the road to aid the home team, and not just because "it's easier/cheaper for travel", or something like that they might say?

Absolutely. I mean obviously the schedule has to be built around other events, but home B2Bs are being avoided here, and for good reason, they kill home ice advantage.

The Oilers were a team that used to pursue these, they lead the league in this category for a couple of years after Laforge took over, just by me rusty memory. The idea was that weekend games were better sellers, and also helped to move mini-packs to the all important out-of-town crowd. But when you miss the playoffs by one point ... you have to sit back and wonderif you haven't outsmarted yourself methinks.

Home wins are very important to the sports entertainment industry. This was the only concern from NHL gms that I headr re the shootout ... concern over the inevitable increase in home losses.

.


speeds said:

What are the true advantages of being at home, and how could one potentially break them up?
Is last change the only significant advantage.

We all have different opinions on it. Last change, as you say, also better rest, a better quality of practice time and home crowd motivation (be it positive or negative).Am I missing anything?

All sports have a home advantage factor. I've read at least one academic article, and a couple of good essays on the web, that show that the value of home advantage in most sports is slowly declining. I think soccer has the strongest hoime field advantage. Go figure?

To me this shows that rest and preparation time are probably the best reasons for the home ice adv. Because it disappears when the home team is on the second of B2Bs. Granted a pretty small sample size here.

If somebody knows where I can find previous seasons scores somewhere on the web, laid out in a line-by-line format with the date in there somewhere ... then I could run this script for other seasons to be sure.

3/23/2006 9:28 am  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

I have such a spreadsheet. Drop me an email with an account that can take large files if you want.

3/23/2006 10:31 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home