Predicting NBA Victories: 13 Out of 15 Ain't Bad

November, 4, 2005
I'm not much of a gambler, but there are lessons for all us basketball fans here: Michael Murray of Eye on Gambling has put together a way to combine the wisdom Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink with Dean Oliver's Basketball on Paper. The upshot: a pretty hot win prediction system that at the time of his article had nailed 13 out of the first 15 games. It's based on effective field goal percentage primarily, and to a lesser degree the turnover rate, the offensive rebounding rate, and free throws attempted.
A bettor will need to pay attention to injuries, the amount of rest each team has, and other variables, but the main work should be concentrated in determining which team will win the above four categories.

How's it working this year? Out of the 15 games played so far this year, the team with the higher eFG% has won 13. The two that won the game while losing the eFG% battle (Milwaukee and Boston last night) both dominated the offensive boards and got the line more than their opponent.

Via Deadspin and Oddjack.



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