Wizard
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Wizard 
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October 13th, 2010 at 12:18:33 PM permalink
In the Ask the Wizard thread, mkl654321 asked, "What dynamics affect football totals betting as the season goes on, the weather gets worse, and there is more information on teams' recent performance? How easy (or difficult) is it to find errors in the line?"

Good question. I'm one to believe that only the wind plays a major effect in football. I think it is a myth that cold temperatures are correlated to low totals. To prove this, I averaged the total by week number in the NFL for every game from the 1983 to 2009 seasons. If it were true, you would expect to see lower average totals in the latter weeks. The following graph shows the results. As you can see, there is very little correlation. If there is one, the later weeks, with colder temperatures have slightly higher game totals. The solid black line is the least squared regression line.



Any comments?
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ElectricDreams
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October 13th, 2010 at 2:40:11 PM permalink
What about something like rain affecting the over/under? The past Monday Night Football game, for example, had at least one pass in the end zone that probably would have been caught if it weren't for the ball being slicker. I don't know if that would affect the scores that much, and I don't know how a sportsbook would try to quantify that, and it would probably be dependent on if a team is running the ball more than passing... a bunch of different variables to take into account, I guess.
JerryLogan
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October 13th, 2010 at 2:55:25 PM permalink
"Weather getting worse" should only pertain to snowy fields of play during snowstorms, where the field can't be constantly plowed and/or if the snow comes down heavily during the game. There's GOT to be a reduction in performance during those games. Simple cold weather doesn't mean anything either way, and most teams practice in the rain anyway.

Bottom line: Good teams find a way to score; bad teams do not.
thecesspit
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October 13th, 2010 at 3:00:24 PM permalink
Quote: JerryLogan

"Weather getting worse" should only pertain to snowy fields of play during snowstorms, where the field can't be constantly plowed and/or if the snow comes down heavily during the game. There's GOT to be a reduction in performance during those games. Simple cold weather doesn't mean anything either way, and most teams practice in the rain anyway.

Bottom line: Good teams find a way to score; bad teams do not.



But is that a casual effect or a result? Are you good if your score, or score if you are good?

Anyways, reminds me of the story of one team's QB and Center taking repeated snaps in the cold showers at the training facility. Or that was what they claimed....
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Wizard
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Wizard 
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October 13th, 2010 at 3:40:37 PM permalink
I asked my friend Jason about this. Suffice it to say that he knows a great deal about sports betting, in particular how the weather effects it. Here is is reply.

Quote: Jason


In most cases wind is the predominant aspect of weather that most affects a game but not the only one. In baseball and other outdoor sports shadows can have an equal affect, especially early and late season baseball afternoon games. Rain or snow isn't as big of a factor as most people think in football, as it generally affects both the offense and defense equally. An example would be a defensive back against a wide receiver. The rain and snow would slow them down equally, thus giving neither side an edge. Wind can simply eliminate a passing game in football along with kicking. I have seen games where a passing team has been forced to run the ball almost every play due to a strong crosswind. It doesn't happen often, but on occasion the wind is the ultimate decider of a game.

It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Nareed
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October 13th, 2010 at 4:08:48 PM permalink
Question: how does the cold weather late in the season affect teams from warm weather cities and/or domed stadiums?

How about extreme conditions like fog (Phily at Chicago in the Fog Bowl), really cold weather (Dallas at Green bay in the Ice Bowl), or the time the field at Three Rivers stadium froze along the sidelines overnight due to a badly placed tarp? About the last, the Raiders claimed Pittsburgh did it on purpose, as most Raiders' passing plays were to the sidelines.
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Ayecarumba
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October 14th, 2010 at 11:24:43 AM permalink
Would there be a better match between total score and air temperature? I think the domes and the stadiums in the south may be washing out the data. If not air temp, perhaps Avg. PPG for stadiums vs. domes over the course of a season would reveal a trend?
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Wizard
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October 14th, 2010 at 8:20:02 PM permalink
Quote: Ayecarumba

Would there be a better match between total score and air temperature? I think the domes and the stadiums in the south may be washing out the data. If not air temp, perhaps Avg. PPG for stadiums vs. domes over the course of a season would reveal a trend?



I thought about restricting the survey to just the cold weather cities with outdoor stadiums. However, if there were an effect, it should have been seen in the overall average.

Still, that isn't a bad idea. I don't know the domed status of every stadium. Can anybody help on that?
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sunrise089
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October 14th, 2010 at 8:27:22 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I thought about restricting the survey to just the cold weather cities with outdoor stadiums. However, if there were an effect, it should have been seen in the overall average.



Not necessarily. What if teams got a bit better as the season progressed. Or defensive Injuries hurt more than offensive ones. You'd have one factor causing scores to rise, and another causing them to fall (weather). Despite the overall average increase if you isolated outdoor cold weather stadiums you may see the effect of weather, and the average increase from non-cold stadiums could give you your baseline improvement to factor in, right?
Nareed
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October 14th, 2010 at 8:29:03 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Still, that isn't a bad idea. I don't know the domed status of every stadium. Can anybody help on that?



Let's try:

St. Louis
Indianapolis
Minnesota
Detroit
New Orleans
Dallas (though the roof is retractable)
Atlanta
Arizona (retractable)

I'm sure i missed some retractable roofs, and I stand to be corrected (too lazy to check each stadium). Wikipedia has a list Here
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