Eagles Look Good in Strength of Schedule, ATS Ranking, and Win Probability Data Models
Our northern neighbors at Sports Betting Dime do a great job of compiling raw data and turning it into interesting sports content.
They recently posted a couple of NFL models which contain relevant Philadelphia Eagles points that I think are worth sharing, first, about the Birds’ favorable schedule.
“The easiest schedule in the 2022 NFL season belongs to the Philadelphia Eagles, whose opponents only combine for 137 projected wins, according to NFL win totals at sportsbooks. Not only will they benefit from two believed-to-be weak teams in the NFC East—NY Giants, seven projected wins, and Washington Commanders, 7.5 projected wins—but also get some weaker teams in their division’s matchups with the NFC North and AFC South.”
McEwan notes that the median sum of opponent win totals is 144.8, and the average is 145.3, so the Eagles at 137 are on the positive far end of this spectrum.
Another data set is a power ranking compiled by totaling the opening spreads from every single game as they currently stand. The Eagles came in at 12th:
If you take that -28 and average it out over 17 games, you’re looking at the Birds being just about a one and a half point favorite in each matchup. You see Buffalo as a clear #1, coming in at -85 total, and most of your Super Bowl contenders are up there at the top, enjoying large opening spreads on the sportsbooks.
SBD also went through previous seasons to compare the data year-over-year, and you see some interesting Eagles positions here:
2021 is pretty crazy. The Eagles opened as big underdogs across the board, with a net +54.5 ATS number, and yet went ahead and made the playoffs. They really overachieved. Likewise, in 2017, they opened +9.5 ATS in the preseason and went on to win the Super Bowl. Jason Kelce was right. When people aren’t expecting much, the Eagles typically do well.
- Convert the spreads to implied probabilities to simply win the game;
- Calculate every win-loss combination for a
1617-game season – did you know there are 65,536131,072? There may only be one way to win 17 games, and 17 different ways to go 15-1 (depending which game you lose), but there are 24,310 different ways to go 8-9;
- Going one team at a time, input their probabilities to win or lose each game of the season;
- Add together all win-loss combinations that result in the same number of wins.
When you calculate all of that data, you get a chart that looks like this, in part:
The data crunch says the Eagles have a 19.2% chance to win nine games and a 18.5% chance to win ten games. That’s pretty much in line with what most people are thinking/hoping, and that’s enough wins to get you into the playoffs. 9-8 would be okay, but the though is that they should win 10 games with this schedule, and that’s easily going to be enough to win the division or get in as a wild card team.
But yeah, some good data models that show favorability for the Philadelphia Eagles. Check ’em out at Sports Betting Dime if you want to dive in a little further: