The Contrarian – Predicting Playoff Winners

Dobber Sports


Nathan MacKinnon playoffs


The Contrarian explains why coming up with a method to pick playoff winners is so tough.

Only one series has been finished and it is not the one people thought would be a sweep. Congrats to Montreal.


Today I go back to the Toronto Star with an article written by IJay Palansky and Phil Curry on April 17th, 2014. The article I am looking at is titled "Hockey analytics: How does momentum help teams heading into playoffs?"


They came up with a theory and formula to try and predict the first round winners of the playoffs.


Each regular season point the favorite team has over the underdog equates to a percentage point increase in their chances to be victorious. They then add on the momentum factor, which is equivalent of a 2.2 percent increase for every point to the team with the better final 10 game performance.


So, if we look at the Boston/Detroit series, the Bruins finished the season with 117 points. Detroit 93. The difference is 24 points. The result of the last ten games turns out to be a push. Detroit had one more victory but Boston had two more overtime losses. The math then dictates that Boston would be a 74% favorite.


Here are the calculations for all the series: