Monday, April 28, 2008

NBA playoff series odds

With the playoffs well underway in the NBA, I wanted to remind readers of the Excel spreadsheet that is available for free at On the left margin, under "Links", click on Prop Tools. You will be able to save a file titled SSB_Prop_Analysis which includes other work that Stanford Wong has done. In the last tab on the right is the spreadsheet I made up to value NBA Playoff odds given certain inputs. The user has to put in the value of a point as well as the expected point spread for each game. It is a static spreadsheet, meaning that the point spreads is assumed to stay constant regardless of previous results in the series. In reality, NBA lines often follow a zig-zag pattern where the team that lost the previous game usually gets a half-point or full-point in their favor for the next game. So, keep that in mind. The spreadsheet, just like any formula with user inputs, is only as good as the inputs. As they say, garbage-in makes garbage-out.