How Many Games Will Wake Forest Football Win This Year?

This is the second annual edition of determining how many wins the Wake Forest football team will achieve. We ran this last year to much success (hits-wise anyway), and this statistical method provides a better way of predicting how many wins any given team will achieve during the year because instead of assigning "win" or "loss" to each game it assigns a probability to each game (say 40 percent or 60 percent).

I've gone ahead and run the numbers for Wake Forest based on my predictions, and I will put that at the end if you want to skip through all the math and go straight to it. If you want to learn how to do it yourself (and this takes 10-15 minutes tops), then you'll want to read just after the jump because there is a primer that I wrote last year with great help from the Florida State SBNation site Tomahawk Nation.

This isn't meant to be the end all be all, but rather a better way to look at the schedule and get an accurate prediction instead of just guesstimating what we will do (which this way is still estimating a bit).

Enjoy it, and I would love to see how y'all break our schedule down in the comment section!

Click through the jump for the primer on this statistical method, as well as my breakdown with the predicted lines from each game.

The following quote blocks are excerpts from this Tomahawk Nation article last year about a better way to predict how a team will do in any given year. The main theory is assigning percentages to each game based on the line (or in this case, your predicted line for each game), rather than assigning just "win" or "loss" to each game:

The error my friend is making is that he is making definitive all of nothing calls on games that are anything but locks. Football games are not 100%/ 0% probabilities (typically). Now, could my friend be right? Absolutely, but his methodology is suboptimal at best.

It just so happens I have a friend of mine who is a professional gambler. He has a day job, but he makes his living betting sports like a day trader plays the stock market, complete with a healthy dose of arbitrage. Every year since my freshman year of college, we've gotten together and broken down the upcoming season, and we have a method. We call it proportional win shares. You can call it whatever you want, but I think you'll see how it's more effective than simply assigning "win" or "loss" to the games.

The idea is simple: assign a winning % to each game. For instance, you could say that FSU has an 80% chance of beating Maryland (0.80), of that they have a 20% chance to beat UF (0.20).

Here is the chart on how you take your perceived line for each game, and translate it in to a percentage:

Point Spread Money Line
-2 -120/+120
-2.5 -130/+130
-3 -145/+145
-3.5 -175/+175
-4 -185/+185
-4.5 -200/+200
-5/-5.5 -215/+215
-6 -240/+240
-6.5 -260/+260
-7 -290/+290
-7.5/-8/-8.5 -330/+330
-9/-9.5 -350/+350
-10 -385/+385
-10.5 -415/+415
-11 -445/+445
-11.5 -475/+475
-12/ -12.5
-500/+500
-13 -525/+525
-13.5 -550/+550
-14 -580/+580
-14.5 -610/+610
-15/ 15.5 -640/+640
-16/16.5 -665/+665
-17 -690/+690
-17.5
-715/+715
-18/ -18.5/ -19/ -19.5 -740/+740
-20 -770/+770
-20.5 -800/+800
-21 -815/+815
-21.5 -830/+830
-23 -845/+845
-24 -875/+875
-28
-920/+920

After you get your line for each game (and write it down or whatever), you do the following with each of the 12 numbers that you have:

You might be a bit lost right now, but that's okay. Here's the idea. A 3 point underdog, has a moneyline value of "+145". In numerical terms, that comes out to 245, because you add 100. Still with me? If not, it's okay. Keep following. To determine a team's projected winning percentage, based on the vegas line, simply take the moneyline value in numerical terms, and divide it into one.

  • Team A is favored over Team B by 3 points.
  • Thus, Team B is an underdog of 3 points.
  • Team B can be referred to as +3
  • Using the chart above, we can see that an underdog of +3 is "+145" moneyline value.
  • Remember to add 100 to the "145", to get "245".
  • Then, divide 100 (always 100 here) by 245.
  • 100/245= 0.408, which we will round to 0.41
  • 0.41 is the same thing as 41%.
  • So, Team B (the 3 point underdog) has a 41% chance of winning this game.
  • If Team B has a 41% chance of winning, then Team A must have a 59% chance of winning (because these numbers must add up to 100%)
  • After you get the percentage number for each game (you will have 12 numbers that look like the following: .99, .77. 55 etc.), you simply add them up, and that will give you a number that you can round to the nearest whole number. Voila, there is your win prediction for the year. You can also isolate the ACC games and just add those up to see how many ACC games you think we will win based on the percentages you assign to each game.

    Post your results below, or just keep them to yourself, but I found this very interesting and I actually hit right around my number. It does allow a good way to look at each game and not demand a "win" or "loss" for each team, which can often be inaccurate.

    Big props to Bud Elliott as always for his excellent writing and analysis of football.

    Here is the Wake Forest 2012 schedule for easy pickins':

    2012 Wake Forest Demon Deacons Football Schedule

    Date Opponent Time/TV Tickets
    Saturday
    09/01/12
    Flames Liberty Flames
    BB&T Field, Winston-Salem, NC
    6:30 p.m. ET
    ESPN3
    Buy
    Tickets
    Saturday
    09/08/12
    Tar Heels North Carolina Tar Heels
    BB&T Field, Winston-Salem, NC
    3:00 p.m. ET
    RSN
    Buy
    Tickets
    Saturday
    09/15/12
    Seminoles at Florida State Seminoles
    Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, FL
    12:00 p.m. ET
    ESPN or ESPN2
    Buy
    Tickets
    Saturday
    09/22/12
    Black Knights Army Black Knights (HC)
    BB&T Field, Winston-Salem, NC
    TBA Buy
    Tickets
    Saturday
    09/29/12
    Blue Devils Duke Blue Devils
    BB&T Field, Winston-Salem, NC
    TBA Buy
    Tickets
    Saturday
    10/06/12
    Terrapins at Maryland Terrapins
    Byrd Stadium, College Park, MD
    TBA Buy
    Tickets
    Saturday
    10/13/12
    --- Open Date --- ---
    Saturday
    10/20/12
    Cavaliers at Virginia Cavaliers
    Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, VA
    TBA Buy
    Tickets
    Thursday
    10/25/12
    Tigers Clemson Tigers
    BB&T Field, Winston-Salem, NC
    7:30 p.m. ET
    ESPN
    Buy
    Tickets
    Saturday
    11/03/12
    Eagles Boston College Eagles
    BB&T Field, Winston-Salem, NC
    TBA Buy
    Tickets
    Saturday
    11/10/12
    Wolfpack at NC State Wolfpack
    Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC
    TBA Buy
    Tickets
    Saturday
    11/17/12
    Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Fighting Irish
    Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, IN
    3:30 p.m. ET
    NBC
    Buy
    Tickets
    Saturday
    11/24/12
    Commodores Vanderbilt Commodores
    BB&T Field, Winston-Salem, NC
    TBA Buy
    Tickets
    Saturday
    12/01/12
    ACC ACC Championship Game
    Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
    7:45 or 8 p.m. ET
    ABC or ESPN
    Buy
    Tickets

    SPOILER ALERT- THESE ARE MY PICKS- STOP HERE IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE INFLUENCED!!!

    Note: The lines next to each game are just the predicted lines that I came up with for each team.

    LIBERTY- (no line) .99

    UNC- (+10.5) .19

    @FSU- (+17.5) .12

    ARMY- (-13.5) .85

    DUKE- (-5.5) .68

    @MARYLAND- (-6.5) .72

    @UVA- (+5.5) .32

    CLEMSON- (+8.5) .23

    BOSTON COLLEGE- (-3.5) .64

    @N.C. STATE- (+7) .26

    @NOTRE DAME- (+15.5) .14

    VANDERBILT- (+5.5) .32

    Overall Record- 5.46- 6.54 (5-7)

    ACC Record- 3.16-4.84 (3-5)

    Obviously we are very close on my numbers to getting to 5.5 (which is the o/u for both of the sites that I have seen release their numbers so far. It could go either way to get to 6 wins and bowl eligibility if we can win a couple of the toss-ups that we have. I consider Duke, Maryland, UVA, BC and Vandy to be the 5 swing games. The other ones I either consider solid statistical wins (Vandy, Army), or likely statistical losses (UNC, FSU, Clemson, Notre Dame).

    Things will change throughout the season, but this is one different way to look at the upcoming schedule. Hope y'all enjoyed it and maybe even learned something!

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