The Prediction Business

In the past couple of months, I’ve heard plenty of comments about my score predictions and how accurate they (sometimes) are. I always have four things in mind when I set out to anticipate the results of a game or series:

#1: How many points will each team earn on the weekend? This one is fairly simple. Do I expect a split? Sweep? Three points?

#2: The result of each individual game (win, loss, or tie). In other words, will the home team take the opener but struggle in the rematch? Will travel be a factor? How have the teams been playing on Fridays and Saturdays?

#3: The nature of each game. Will the result be lopsided? Low scoring? Racehorse hockey?

#4: The actual score I expect for each game. Hockey scores are so random, with special teams, goaltending, and in-game adjustments all playing a role.

I went back and looked at the past 10 weekends for North Dakota. One of the weekends was a single game at Duluth (Hall of Fame Game), while the other nine were two-game series. So we’ve got a stretch of 19 games to examine.

Here are my predictions, the actual scores, and a comment for each series.

vs. Notre Dame Prediction: 5-2, 2-2. Actual Scores: 6-3, 2-2. I feel good about this; picking a three point series is tough, and I nearly nailed both scores.

vs. St. Cloud State Prediction: 5-2, 3-3. Actual Scores: 3-1. 6-2. Meh.

at MSU-Mankato Prediction: 4-3, 4-2. Actual Scores 4-3, 4-2. Doesn’t get any better than this.

at Minnesota-Duluth Prediction: 4-3. Actual Score: 5-0. Predicted the victory, but that’s about it.

vs. Robert Morris Prediction: 6-1, 3-2. Actual Scores: 8-0, 2-1. As I said above, I nailed the results and the types of games we could expect. Good stuff here.

vs. Minnesota Prediction: 2-3, 4-1. Actual Scores: 2-3, 4-1. Nailed it again. This is when the buzz about my predictions really started.

vs. Nebraska-Omaha Prediction: 3-2, 3-3. Actual Scores: 4-8, 4-2. Ugh.

at Colorado College Prediction: 3-2, 3-4. Actual Scores: 2-4, 6-0. I called the split, but had the wins reversed and the scores were not close at all.

vs. Alaska-Anchorage Prediction: 6-2, 2-1. Actual Scores 6-1, 3-1. I’m as happy about this as I am about calling both scores right. No one expected UND to hang 6 on the Seawolves, but I had to go with my gut.

at St. Cloud State Prediction: 3-3, 5-1. Actual Scores: 3-3, 3-2. Called the three points and got the opening score correct. The second game was much closer than the four goal cushion I gave the Sioux, but still not bad.

So if you’re counting at home (and if, amazingly, you’re still reading), the following stats might help:

I called the exact score in 6 of 19 games.

I predicted the correct result (win, loss, or tie) for each individual game 14 out of 19 times.

I correctly predicted the number of points the Sioux would earn in 8 of 10 weekends, only missing UNO (called three points, series was a split) and SCSU (called three points, series was a UND sweep).

Over the last ten weekends, I predicted UND’s record in those games would be 13-2-4 (.789). North Dakota’s actual record was 14-3-2 (also .789).

Bottom line: I’ll keep cranking out scores and we’ll see how close we can get the rest of the way.

Thank you for reading. I welcome your comments and suggestions.

4 thoughts on “The Prediction Business”

  1. You have done an excellent job. Then what’s your prediction for the last two weeks for the regular season?

  2. Thanks for reading! Check back on Friday for a complete weekend preview and, as always, my fearless prediction. 😎

  3. Sodbuster — I already asked him that.

    The thing is, he starts with the odds of each person winning (something like 1 in 100 million).

    Then he considers how many people will win (if a few million tickets are sold, only one or two at the most).

    Then he considers the likely results for each individual ticket buyer (the guy who buys 20 tickets every week is much more likely to win than I, who buy 1 one when the stakes seem “worth it”).

    The he says, lottery draws are so random, and just picks 4 8 15 16 23 42.

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