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#447064 - 09/02/19 01:16 PM THE LIMPER NFL - 2019 – Week 1
WillyBoy Online   content
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Posts: 374
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Full Disclosure

The mathematical model used in The Limper’s calculations is firmly based on past performance data, and it uses this data to compare with future opponent matchups, and thus project outcomes of success or failure. Basically, if conditions remain the same (or, at least similar), what has happened before (like passing yards gained, 3rd down conversions, time of possession, and so forth), will happen again; and based on this, the winner and margin of victory may be known. Since 2009 I’ve deployed this model every NFL season; and, except 2010 and 2018, it’s been semi-successful, hitting close to 70% straight-up and between 53% and 54% against the spread. In fact, including 2010, it hasn’t failed to reliably project specific variable outcomes; nevertheless, I spend every off-season going under the hood, looking for bugs and ways to improve the model’s performance – and then came 2018.

The model’s weak performance last season - 62.6% SU and 43.5% ATS – was a shocker, and I spent weeks looking for holes – looking for some logical reason for it to have gone off a cliff – something I could fix and move on. What I found, however, was that nothing was broken – there was nothing to fix; rather, it was the fact that the foundation of the model – past performance data – had simply become less reliable as indicators of future performance; and this had been going on, albeit, slowly, over the past decade. It wasn’t a matter of re-weighting the variables used in the calculation, or tinkering with the algorithm itself – it was a matter of rethinking the assumptions on which the model was based, and I don’t know how to do that.

Essentially, a mathematic model is constructed in a static universe which is logical, unchangeable, and certain, ie. where 2+2 always equals 4. Moreover, we live in a universe of semi-static construction; where conditions are such as to be rational, logical, and pretty much unchanging. However, our universe is, nevertheless, dynamic – far less mathematically predictable, especially so when speaking of human behavior. Of course, this is no surprise, but despite the fact of reality’s dynamic nature, 2+2 still equals 4, and as long as this dynamism doesn’t intrude – as long as the conditions of reality remain more or less static - other mathematical calculations still work.

The problem is that the conditions of football reality have changed considerably over the years, and have made mathematical calculations of behavior within the football context far less reliable. Specifically, what has changed is that game plans for many teams became, week to week, a lot more dynamic, highly fluid and ultimately disposable - IN-GAME. Pass-crazy teams became, suddenly, conservative, while lesser pass-reliant teams would switch up and become pass-first-run-averse teams; and such dynamic, in-game, game-plan reversals made the model’s static, past performance data projections fairly unreliable – so, what to do?

Such changes are the result of technologically-enabled, enhanced game management, where in-game opposing team tendencies are observed, recorded, and instantly analyzed for immediate response. Of course, everything depends on who’s calling the shots and not all coaching staffs are equal; a great many head coaches and assistants are still bone-headed ex-players, who despite in-game data telling them to go for it on 4th, rely on past-performance – static interpretations of what worked last week or last year, and punt instead. Many, on the other hand, can read and do the math, and make dynamic judgments based on what’s happening there and then; and it is their numbers who will inevitably increase, making static-based projections even less reliable - so, again, what to do?

I’ve been building new variables which attempt to account for coaching talent and tendencies, but that data is not easily available and I just may give that up. Thing is, although static-based, past-performance projections may be less reliable than previous, they are still useful as a point to begin; so, bottom line, I’m not changing anything. This means, of course, that my weekly projections are more than ever just a guide, and not predictions to take to the bank.


The model needs 3 weeks of data to run so, for Weeks 1-3, it must use performance data from the prior season (which I manually (ie. subjectively) update based on upgrades and downgrades made on each team by position), making early projections even less reliable. The last 2 weeks of the NFL season are also tainted with starters resting and teams tanking, so that only a handful of games can be projected with any confidence at all.

Every week, I’ll be posting first projections for the following week each Tuesday (except this week), which will be based on performance data gathered the week just ended, as well as prior weeks. The Tuesday projections, however, won’t include players injured in the prior week, and sure to be OUT the following week. The second posting on Wednesday nights or early Thursdays will include these injury factors, as will the Saturday and Monday morning postings. So, if you’re following, check the latest post prior to kick-off for the model’s best projections. The model grades itself based on the last MOVs posted before each game and the Vegas Insider closing lines.

Also, although the model does project “SCORES” it has never been successful at over/under picks. Its calculations are intended to result in a MOV, and the projected SCORES are only a by-product of that process, so take them with that in mind.

The NFL is a hard thing to beat, and there are no shortcuts to winning, but if you wager, you can do a lot worse than use the numbers as a guide.

GLTA

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#447065 - 09/02/19 01:17 PM Re: THE LIMPER NFL - 2019 – Week 1 [Re: WillyBoy]
WillyBoy Online   content
Junior

Registered: 06/23/18
Posts: 374
Loc: Hawaii

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#447285 - 09/04/19 03:22 PM Re: THE LIMPER NFL - 2019 – Week 1 [Re: WillyBoy]
WillyBoy Online   content
Junior

Registered: 06/23/18
Posts: 374
Loc: Hawaii
Final roster cuts and last minute trades have slightly altered the projection landscape. Be glad you’re not Dolphins season-ticket holder.



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#447544 - 09/06/19 10:31 PM Re: THE LIMPER NFL - 2019 – Week 1 [Re: WillyBoy]
WillyBoy Online   content
Junior

Registered: 06/23/18
Posts: 374
Loc: Hawaii

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#447924 - 09/08/19 11:34 PM Re: THE LIMPER NFL - 2019 – Week 1 [Re: WillyBoy]
WillyBoy Online   content
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Registered: 06/23/18
Posts: 374
Loc: Hawaii

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#447925 - 09/09/19 12:48 AM Re: THE LIMPER NFL - 2019 – Week 1 [Re: WillyBoy]
FREAK Online   happy
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Registered: 12/01/00
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There are several errors with the chart SU/ATS

ATL lost SU

WAS lost SU

LAC lost ATS they won by 6

CIN lost SU

ARI didn't lose SU, it was a tie.

PIT lost SU
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#447926 - 09/09/19 12:53 AM Re: THE LIMPER NFL - 2019 – Week 1 [Re: FREAK]
FREAK Online   happy
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Registered: 12/01/00
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SU should be 6-7-1
ATS should be 8-6
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#447927 - 09/09/19 03:18 AM Re: THE LIMPER NFL - 2019 – Week 1 [Re: FREAK]
WillyBoy Online   content
Junior

Registered: 06/23/18
Posts: 374
Loc: Hawaii
Originally Posted By: FREAK
There are several errors with the chart SU/ATS

ATL lost SU

WAS lost SU

LAC lost ATS they won by 6

CIN lost SU

ARI didn't lose SU, it was a tie.

PIT lost SU

Sorry for the confusion.

The games’ SU picks are those teams favored to win – straight up – and are listed under “Favorites” with their projected MOV. The ATS picks are listed under “Picks” along with the spreads.

ATL lost SU – MIN was favored to win by 2.3, and they won SU by 16.

WAS lost SU – The SU Pick was PHI not WAS. WAS was the ATS pick and they covered.

LAC lost ATS they won by 6. LAC won by 6, but were giving 6 – hence an ATS push

CIN lost SU – SEA was the SU pick. CIN was the ATS pick

ARI didn't lose SU, it was a tie. Corrected.

PIT lost SU – NE was the SU pick.

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#447928 - 09/09/19 03:18 AM Re: THE LIMPER NFL - 2019 – Week 1 [Re: WillyBoy]
WillyBoy Online   content
Junior

Registered: 06/23/18
Posts: 374
Loc: Hawaii

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#447977 - 09/09/19 01:22 PM Re: THE LIMPER NFL - 2019 – Week 1 [Re: WillyBoy]
WillyBoy Online   content
Junior

Registered: 06/23/18
Posts: 374
Loc: Hawaii
To avoid further confusion I’ve flown into the cloud and altered the projections frame to specify “SU Favorites” and “ATS Picks” for the Week 2 projections. Hope this satisfies.

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#447988 - 09/09/19 03:17 PM Re: THE LIMPER NFL - 2019 – Week 1 [Re: WillyBoy]
UPTwnCLwn Offline
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Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 1004
Loc: TX
Thought I was crazy that I was the only one that couldn't figure how these chart made sense since day 1.
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#448018 - 09/09/19 04:51 PM Re: THE LIMPER NFL - 2019 – Week 1 [Re: WillyBoy]
FREAK Online   happy
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Registered: 12/01/00
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Loc: Time to play the Game
Sounds good. CRUSH EM

ATS still should be 8-6 instead of 8-5-1 the game graded as a push was a loser.
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#448020 - 09/09/19 05:03 PM Re: THE LIMPER NFL - 2019 – Week 1 [Re: FREAK]
FREAK Online   happy
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Registered: 12/01/00
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I think the best way to have this set up is to make the tabs as such.

Games Projections Lines Difference Picks SU ATS

I would remove the title favorites

For example

Games - GB@CHI
Projections GB 24.0 Chicago 29.6
Lines CHI -3.0
Difference CHI +2.6
Picks CHI -3
SU Lost
ATS Lost

This would actually be a lot cleaner and make more sense to everyone looking at it.

When people look at this, they'll instantly see based on your ratings you have Chicago 2.6 points better than the line.

Also what I would do, is come up with a baseline on what should be a play and what shouldn't be. Would it be 3 points or better to the line or more. This way your formula would actually either have some picks or not. That would truly show the value of what you are doing rather than an all up number of SU/ATS.

Maybe one week you don't have an official play, maybe one week you have several. I would hope that you are looking for an edge based on the time and effort along with the calculations that go into this.

Also you can tweak your formula week to week to really fine tune it.

Just my suggestions for what's it worth. I value you doing this and love the information.
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#448033 - 09/09/19 06:52 PM Re: THE LIMPER NFL - 2019 – Week 1 [Re: FREAK]
WillyBoy Online   content
Junior

Registered: 06/23/18
Posts: 374
Loc: Hawaii
Originally Posted By: FREAK
Sounds good. CRUSH EM

ATS still should be 8-6 instead of 8-5-1 the game graded as a push was a loser.



The model auto-downloads the Vegas Insider consensus closing line; and, in the case of the Chargers, the consensus closing line was -6 – which meant an ATS Push. The -6.5 spread that’s showing reflects an earlier line, and although the WIN/LOSS/PUSH column is correct, revisions in the “Line” column are only reflected in the Final Results post. The Vegas Insider’s consensus result for this game was also a Push.

(If you think that’s a problem, what if the closing line on Baltimore had ended at -10? Because that would have exceeded the projected MOV of 9.6, the model would have flipped the ATS pick to Miami – behind everyone’s back – and posted it as an ATS loss. The reverse also happens; however, basing everything on the closing line is the only way I know to publically grade the model.)

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#448034 - 09/09/19 06:54 PM Re: THE LIMPER NFL - 2019 – Week 1 [Re: FREAK]
WillyBoy Online   content
Junior

Registered: 06/23/18
Posts: 374
Loc: Hawaii
Originally Posted By: FREAK
I think the best way to have this set up is to make the tabs as such.

Games Projections Lines Difference Picks SU ATS

I would remove the title favorites

For example

Games - GB@CHI
Projections GB 24.0 Chicago 29.6
Lines CHI -3.0
Difference CHI +2.6
Picks CHI -3
SU Lost
ATS Lost

This would actually be a lot cleaner and make more sense to everyone looking at it.

When people look at this, they'll instantly see based on your ratings you have Chicago 2.6 points better than the line.

Also what I would do, is come up with a baseline on what should be a play and what shouldn't be. Would it be 3 points or better to the line or more. This way your formula would actually either have some picks or not. That would truly show the value of what you are doing rather than an all up number of SU/ATS.

Maybe one week you don't have an official play, maybe one week you have several. I would hope that you are looking for an edge based on the time and effort along with the calculations that go into this.

Also you can tweak your formula week to week to really fine tune it.

Just my suggestions for what's it worth. I value you doing this and love the information.



How to frame the model’s projections has always been a problem. What makes sense to some, is a confusing eyesore to someone else, but I’m always open to suggestions – like yours. The trouble is, I post projections on a number of sites, and some of those I’ve posted on for many years, so switching things around will almost certainly invite a negative response from others. It’s also a lot of work, more work than I’m willing to put in at present, (just adding the SU and ATS designations took me several hours); so – until I revisit the frame question in the offseason, it is what it is.

Also, from time to time I’ve toyed with the idea of a using a baseline as you suggest and having a Best Bets or Best Plays post, but – in fact – it defeats the purpose of what I intend – which is to simply make matchup projections based on past performance. SU and ATS picks are wholly incidental, and I post them only as a way to publically grade the model’s performance. The 3 point cutoff above the line sounds about right, but that’s a bettor’s prerogative, and really not what I’m doing.

I feel like I’m letting you down, and I’m sorry to disappoint, but being old and lazy is something I’ve earned, and I’m not squandering any of it.

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#448078 - 09/10/19 12:40 AM Re: THE LIMPER NFL - 2019 – Week 1 [Re: WillyBoy]
FREAK Online   happy
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 178952
Loc: Time to play the Game
Originally Posted By: WillyBoy
Originally Posted By: FREAK
Sounds good. CRUSH EM

ATS still should be 8-6 instead of 8-5-1 the game graded as a push was a loser.



The model auto-downloads the Vegas Insider consensus closing line; and, in the case of the Chargers, the consensus closing line was -6 – which meant an ATS Push. The -6.5 spread that’s showing reflects an earlier line, and although the WIN/LOSS/PUSH column is correct, revisions in the “Line” column are only reflected in the Final Results post. The Vegas Insider’s consensus result for this game was also a Push.

(If you think that’s a problem, what if the closing line on Baltimore had ended at -10? Because that would have exceeded the projected MOV of 9.6, the model would have flipped the ATS pick to Miami – behind everyone’s back – and posted it as an ATS loss. The reverse also happens; however, basing everything on the closing line is the only way I know to publically grade the model.)


The correct way to do it is to stick with the line you use at the time of posting. No matter what happens to the line up or down doesn't matter from there.

Example would be if you were selling picks and released your pick on Tuesday at LA Chargers at -6.5. I bought your pick and bet it at -6.5 My bet is graded a loss. If I bought it later in the week or waited to bet it and got -6 then I would get a push but the grading for you would still be a loss. Because you used the -6.5
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#448079 - 09/10/19 12:43 AM Re: THE LIMPER NFL - 2019 – Week 1 [Re: WillyBoy]
FREAK Online   happy
Owner



Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 178952
Loc: Time to play the Game
Originally Posted By: WillyBoy
Originally Posted By: FREAK
I think the best way to have this set up is to make the tabs as such.

Games Projections Lines Difference Picks SU ATS

I would remove the title favorites

For example

Games - GB@CHI
Projections GB 24.0 Chicago 29.6
Lines CHI -3.0
Difference CHI +2.6
Picks CHI -3
SU Lost
ATS Lost

This would actually be a lot cleaner and make more sense to everyone looking at it.

When people look at this, they'll instantly see based on your ratings you have Chicago 2.6 points better than the line.

Also what I would do, is come up with a baseline on what should be a play and what shouldn't be. Would it be 3 points or better to the line or more. This way your formula would actually either have some picks or not. That would truly show the value of what you are doing rather than an all up number of SU/ATS.

Maybe one week you don't have an official play, maybe one week you have several. I would hope that you are looking for an edge based on the time and effort along with the calculations that go into this.

Also you can tweak your formula week to week to really fine tune it.

Just my suggestions for what's it worth. I value you doing this and love the information.



How to frame the model’s projections has always been a problem. What makes sense to some, is a confusing eyesore to someone else, but I’m always open to suggestions – like yours. The trouble is, I post projections on a number of sites, and some of those I’ve posted on for many years, so switching things around will almost certainly invite a negative response from others. It’s also a lot of work, more work than I’m willing to put in at present, (just adding the SU and ATS designations took me several hours); so – until I revisit the frame question in the offseason, it is what it is.

Also, from time to time I’ve toyed with the idea of a using a baseline as you suggest and having a Best Bets or Best Plays post, but – in fact – it defeats the purpose of what I intend – which is to simply make matchup projections based on past performance. SU and ATS picks are wholly incidental, and I post them only as a way to publically grade the model’s performance. The 3 point cutoff above the line sounds about right, but that’s a bettor’s prerogative, and really not what I’m doing.

I feel like I’m letting you down, and I’m sorry to disappoint, but being old and lazy is something I’ve earned, and I’m not squandering any of it.


You aren't letting me down at all. I totally appreciate what you are doing, think no different.

My question to you would be this..... would you be willing to share the spread sheet with me as you have it now and let me tinker with it to see what I can come up with. Not to change it on your end or how you do it, but to dig into the nuts and bolts of things and see what I can do with it. Not saying I can or will make any difference with it, but it's worth a shot from one handicapper to another.

After all our goal is to beat the numbers anyway we can and that's what I built this site for over 20 years ago and still look to do that today and forever until I can go no more.
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#448082 - 09/10/19 01:35 AM Re: THE LIMPER NFL - 2019 – Week 1 [Re: FREAK]
WillyBoy Online   content
Junior

Registered: 06/23/18
Posts: 374
Loc: Hawaii

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