Simulating Conference Championships

With the NFL playoffs winding down, only four teams remain. While the wild card rounds was full of upsets, the divisional round saw all four favorites win, and what many believed to be the four most likely Super Bowl contenders left. With loads of intriguing story lines and positional match-ups, I simulation each conference championship game 1000 times.

For the simulations, I used strength of schedule adjusted points scored and allowed per game for each team. Then, I averaged the expected performance of one team’s offense and the other team’s defense to arrive at a projected score for each team. Using a 10% home field advantage, I simulated each match-up 1000 times. Here are the results:

 

Rams @ Saints (-3) T: 56.5

Game

Rams Saints
Average Score 26.6

28.5

Chance of Winning

44.7% 55.3%
Chance of Covering 53.4%

46.6%

 

Totals

Average Total

55.1
Chance of Over

45.0%

Chance of Under

55.0%

Value Picks:

 

  • Total Under 56.5
  • LAR ML +145

 

 

Patriots @ Chiefs (-3) T: 56

Game

Patriots

Chiefs

Average Score

25.2 30.0
Chance of Winning 36.2%

63.8%

Chance of Covering

43.8% 56.2%

 

Totals

Average Total

55.2

Chance of Over

47.3%
Chance of Under

52.7%

Value Picks:

  • KC -3
  • KC ML -141

 

 

Summary:

These simulations show mixed results for each game. They found value in the ML for both games, one favorite and one underdog. In the AFC Championship, the simulation also found the favorite spread to be a valuable pick. Both games have a higher chance to go under according to the simulation, but only one has value (NFC Championship). All told, there are 4 value picks for the championship games this weekend:

 

  • LAR@NO u56.5
  • LAR ML +145
  • KC -3
  • KC ML -141

 

 

 

 

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