How Data Analytics Can Predict NFL Game Outcomes

Data Analytics Can Predict NFL Game Outcomes

Data analysis is among the most powerful tools at humanity’s disposal. Collecting data and removing all bias from our analyses can create relatively accurate predictions about all aspects of life, from natural phenomena to sports. Indeed, most odd makers use data analytics to create their odds for the various sportsbooks. Let’s explore how data analysis can help predict the outcome of NFL games.

Data Analysis and the NFL

We will not pretend like data analytics is anything new. NFL professionals, coaches, and even players know that existing data can help predict a game’s outcome. While the predictions may not be 100% accurate, they are, more than occasionally, spot on.

The acknowledgment of the effectiveness of data analysis has completely changed how most people function in the NFL. Teams now approach games completely differently. They also incorporate the data into player evaluations and strategy developments.

Of course, bettors are also affected. Odds makers have been using data analytics to predict outcomes and set odds from the very beginning. In doing so, they’ve inadvertently brought upon a new age and era of betting, where people are much more likely to make crazy Super Bowl prop bets, in an attempt to subvert analytics and expectations.

Predicting Games

As we said, data analysis serves many aspects of the National Football League. However, the most popular use is predicting a game’s outcome. But just how is that done? Odds makers, or even bettors themselves, only need to collect data, which they will pour through to find the most logical and consistent outcome. Let us explain.

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Data analyzers look at every possible factor that may affect a game. Homefield advantage and how well a team does during a home game vs. an away game. Weather conditions and how well both teams have performed under certain weather conditions. Their history against each other, their history against other teams, etc. They then analyze this information and create odds that favor one of the teams over the other.

Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics

One of the big problems in the modern zeitgeist is the rise of artificial intelligence, especially advanced AI algorithms. What once was a pipe dream has now become a reality. People use Artificial Intelligence to grow online platforms, solve mathematical equations, and even grammar-check speeches/essays. Why wouldn’t they also use it to analyze data?

With AI backing them, odds makers can cut the time it takes to analyze the data by more than half. Additionally, with Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning technology improving almost daily, AI analyses have become more and more trustworthy. Indeed, we might see a time in the future where NFL odds are fully AI-generated.

Successes and Failures of Data Analysis

Data analytics has become a staple of the NFL for the past couple of years. Coaches use it to identify rising stars in the college football sphere, odds makers use it to predict outcomes, and team strategists use it to create better strategies that suit the team. For the most part, data analytics has been one of the most effective tools in creating a better football environment. However, there have been downsides.

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One of the biggest downsides is that, despite the advancements made in data analytics, the tool still can’t 100% accurately predict an outcome. Indeed, data analysis is a game of probability. Theoretically, there is nothing wrong with that as long as the analyst realizes that fact. The problem comes when bettors treat data analytics as a predictor. Or worse, their data analyses were wrong because they didn’t include all the variables in the predictive model.

NFL and Data Analytics in the Future

Data analytics will continue to evolve as a science and a practice. With that in mind, it is logical that the NFL will continue to rely on the concept. Not only that, but it is a safe bet that data analytics will become even more popular in the future. We may even see a day, sometime soon, when most NFL fans and professionals rely on data analytics when predicting game outcomes.

There is no doubt that predictive models will become much more sophisticated and capable of making safer and more accurate predictions. Under that alone, coaches can get the best out of their players and formulate interesting, never-before-seen strategies. We expect the entire NFL landscape to change drastically once we reach the point where “real-time data analysis” is possible. It is sure to be an exciting time.

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What is data analysis?

Data analysis is collecting data and attempting to predict a certain outcome by analyzing said data.

How does data analysis affect the NFL?

The most obvious way is that oddsmakers use data analysis to make certain predictions. However, the practice can also help identify potential talent, formulate strategy, and more.

Will data analysis continue to be a part of the NFL?

Not only do we expect that it will, but we expect it will become an even more integral aspect of the NFL.  

About William Johnson 243 Articles
A keen tech enthusiast who loves to keep a tab on the tech scene, with special emphasis on things like smartphones, tablets, laptops, convertibles and such. Cars happen to be his other passion, not to mention the recent trend here comprising of electric cars and autonomous cars. Off late, he has also started tinkering a bit with stuff like electronic circuits, electric motors a bit though he's just a novice there.