Here we are, just two sleeps away from seeing the Philadelphia Eagles
dethrone play the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. How favorable do leaders in the world of NFL advanced statistics view the Eagles’ chances?
Let’s start with Vegas (granted, not a leader in advanced stats but bear with me). The Eagles opened as six point underdogs. Historically this translates to just an estimated 31% chance of winning. Since then, the Vegas line has dropped to the 4-4.5 point range. This doesn’t increase our odds by too much though: 35.5%-37%.
ESPN’s proprietary Football Power Index (FPI) is based on efficiency stats and expected points added per play. FPI is more bullish on the Eagles chances, giving them a 47.2% chance of winning.
ESPN FPI Says
I’m more of a fan of FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings. It’s a more elegant way to rank teams based on who they beat, by how much. The Patriots (ELO = 1751) and Eagles (ELO = 1691) are currently ranked one and two, respectively. Win probabilities here are based on 100,000 simulations, updated after every game played. They give the Eagles a 42% chance of winning
The highly regarded Pro Football Focus (PFF) supposedly has its own ELO ranking. I guess it’s a system based on grades. I’m not entirely sure how it works, and PFF hasn’t put out a Super Bowl projection that I could find, but they had the Eagles ranked third going into the NFC Championship, and the Patriots ranked first. So I assume PFF’s ELO will favor the Patriots here.
Pro Football Focus Says
I also like Football Outsiders’ (FO) DVOA. While they don’t push out win probabilities, you can glean tendencies. In terms of DVOA, the Eagles offense is ranked 8th and the Patriots are 1st. Advantage Pats. The Eagles defense is ranked 5th and Patriots are *cough* 31st. Advantage Eagles. The Eagles special teams unit is ranked 16th and the Patriots are 3rd. Advantage Pats. Overall, the Eagles rank 5th and Patriots rank 6th. So I’ll say that FO gives the Eagles the slight edge here.
I’ve done my own work with analytics and have created a calculator that projects win probabilities and scores based on efficiency stats. Check out the viz (and play around with it!).
The pre-loaded values are season averages. The results here seem to agree with most of the other results above: the Eagles have a 43% chance of winning. BUT, if we only include playoff stats, give the edge to the Eagles.
Now get some rest. Big game Sunday!