Is There Home-Field Advantage At The Olympics? August 9, 2016

With Danyel Reiche
Why do host nations do so well?...the number of athletes that a country sends to the Games jumps tremendously when it is the host.

Playoff Hockey is 36 Percent More Bone Crushing. April 15, 2015

Regular-season games average about 42.0 total hits for both teams prior to overtime. In the playoffs, that number jumps 36 percent to 57.2 pre-overtime hits per game.

How To Tell If A March Madness Underdog Is Going To Win. March 19, 2015

At the opening tipoff, the underdog has a 29 percent chance of winning the game. But if the game is tied or the underdog is ahead with five minutes remaining in the first half, the probability of an upset is higher than 50 percent.

After Signing Day, Wisconsin Makes the Best of Its Recruits. February 4, 2015

I looked at how well schools’ recruiting classes translate into wins on the field and created a rating of how much each program underperforms or outperforms.


Overtime Rules Changes Could Cut Down the Number of NHL Shootouts. March 18, 2015

Both proposals being considered by the GMs are likely increase the number of games that end in overtime and thereby decrease the number that go to a shootout. Playing five minutes of 3-on-3 results in a shootout rate of about 43.1%, while the hybrid 4-on-4/3-on-3 scenario has a shootout rate of 38.8%.

Are Outdoor Hockey Games Really Sloppier? February 19, 2015

We might predict that poor ice conditions would lead to an increase in the number of turnovers. Somewhat surprisingly, there were slightly fewer turnovers in outdoor games. On average, there have been 27 turnovers per outdoor game and 28.9 turnovers per indoor game.

Are Teams Better or Worse in Must-Score Shootout Situations? December 22, 2014

This result should not be especially surprising. A team that faces a must-score situation got there precisely because they were scored fewer goals than their opponent up to that point. Therefore it makes some sense that the goal scoring rate would be lower in these situations...Based on these two statistics, the probability that a shootout lasts 20 or more rounds is about 0.0027 percent.

The College Gameday Curse Is Real...For Some Teams September 5, 2014

With Lucas Puente
In other words, do any of the regularly-featured Gameday teams suffer from a "Gameday curse" and do some of them even potentially benefit from a "Gameday bump"? To answer this question, we collected data for the 30 schools that had Gameday broadcast from their games at least five times. Our dataset includes every non-bowl game played by an FBS team since the first full season of College Gameday in 1995.

11 Million Brackets vs. ESPN, CBS, and Fox Experts: Who was Better? April 10, 2014

We can compare the bracket accuracy of experts to the bracket accuracy of average, non-experts. For this project, I collected data on all 11 million completed brackets (out of 12 million which were started) on's Tournament Challenge. Then I identified the brackets of 53 experts from CBS Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports, SB Nation, SI, and USA Today.

How the Long-Change OT could Cut NHL Shootouts by a Third. March 12, 2014

We should expect that 34.29 percent of the games that go to a shootout under the current rules would instead be resolved by a game-winning goal in overtime (plus/minus 3.45 percent). In other words, if the NHL GMs adopt the proposal to make regular season overtimes use the long change, the number of shootouts in the 1,230 game season would drop from about 166 (13.5 percent of games) to about 109 (8.87 percent).

Wall Street Journal

The Madness Machine. March 16, 2015

Choose your priorities and the Madness Machine will create an NCAA tournament bracket using a statistical model that simulates each game.

As NBA Playoffs begin, Odds of Beating the Heat. April 19, 2014

The results indicate that the Heat are still the favorites in the East, with a 29% chance of winning the conference, but they will likely have a tough time in the Finals., with only a 10.7% chance of winning it all. The San Antonio Spurs, who lost in seven games to the Heat in last year's Finals, have a 41% chance of winning the West and a 30% chance of hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy in June.

The Stanley Cup: What are the Odds? April 16, 2014

Given that the postseason often goes nothing like the regular season, are these the two teams we should expect to reach the Stanley Cup Finals? To find out, we simulated the playoffs 10,000 times based on a new power-ranking metric that is entirely based on in-game statistics.

NCAA Tournament: Our Sorry, Broken Brackets. April 7, 2014

Based on this, there was a 1 in 136 million chance of at least one perfect bracket out of's 11 million. There would have to have been 15.1 trillion brackets, or 48,000 for every American, for there to be just a 1% chance of perfection.

2014 Sochi Olympics: Why Canada will Rule (Again) in Hockey. February 7, 2014

The Canadian team, led by Sidney Crosby, makes a combined $157 million in the NHL, up from $126 million in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, when host Canada won the gold. The NHLers on the U.S. team earn $127 million, up from $83 million in 2010.

Rink Stats

New Conferences Offer West a Slight Advantage. October 1, 2013

Featured in the Boston Globe
In Pettigrew’s simulation of 10,000 seasons under the new alignment, the No. 9 seed in the East would have qualified for the playoffs in the West 38 percent of the time. “You would want to be in the West because there’s a higher chance of you being in the playoffs,” Pettigrew said...“[F]ree agents should want to go West...if you have a better chance of making the playoffs, you have a better chance of winning the Cup.”