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    Soccer Launches (08/06/15)

    By Paul Bessire CEO and GM @predictmachine
    The Predictalator is going international. Launching immediately, just in time for the beginning of most European leagues, we will now be simulating every scheduled game from six top soccer leagues across the world totally free with Live ScoreCaster technology.

    After every recorded play (penalty, throw-in, free kick, corner, goal, shot, substitution) during each match, we will simulate the rest of the game 50,000 times to determine the likelihood of a win, loss or draw for both teams as well as the projected final score. As part of a massive overhaul of our Live ScoreCaster pages, we have added far more context to the game for review during and after the match (more below).

    Here are the leagues we are covering for their upcoming seasons (technically starting tomorrow since there are no games today):
    • English Premier League
    • Spanish Primera Division
    • Italian Serie A
    • German Bundesliga
    • French La Ligue 1
    • USA Major League Soccer
    • World Cup (likely other International matches)

    Later this week, we will feature our full season (or rest of season in the case of the MLS) projections and Power Rankings for each of these leagues (which we will update periodically throughout the year). A picks product for full game projections is in the works/being tested for availability in the not-too-distant future.

    All games will be available in real-time from the Live ScoreCaster page or in the Live ScoreCaster App on iTunes or Google Play. With the additions of worldwide soccer and horse racing, this technology will cover over 50,000 sporting events (games, matches, races, etc.) every year from analytical, predictive and wagering perspectives with the ability to cover more than 100,000 by adding more soccer leagues and nations for horse racing (USA and Canada currently covered). And that is not even to mention the vast array of Daily Fantasy Leagues, Player Props, Futures, Season Win Totals and more that we cover.

    Other Live ScoreCaster Enhancements
    In addition to adding soccer to our sport offerings, Live ScoreCaster has been upgraded to include far more interesting information.

    First of all, it is already the only real-time win probability model that solely cares about the projected outcome of the game between the two teams involved. Rather than force this game to a similar, historical games model to project chances of either team winning given the situation (i.e. the traditional win probabilty model), our model is far more accurate and sophisticated in instantly simulating the rest of the game 50,000 times after every play in football, basketball, baseball and now, soccer.

    Along with our live, updating play-by-play, scores and projections, we have modified our Progress Bar and Game Breakdown sections as well as added Top Plays, Player Value, (for football and basketball) ATS and O/U charts and (for football) Drive Impact Charts.

    The ATS (against-the-spread) and O/U (over/under) charts project the likelihood throughout the game that the consensus spread or total are covered by either option. Previously, we have projected scores, margins and winning percentage for either team, but now you can follow just how likely a spread or total are to hit as the game unfolds (for in-game betting against changing lines, check out our halftime picks product or review the ML Calc).

    The Progress Bar under the live game chart flags major occurrences, including projected lead changes and significant swings.

    The Game Breakdown, which is designed to tell the game story as it happens, features the most notable plays of the game as they relate to straight-up, against-the-spread and over/under outcomes as well as the projected time one team was favored to win or cover.

    Check out the Top Plays to see the 5-10 most impactful plays ranked in order as they relate to the change from the previous play in straight-up, against-the-spread and over/under outcomes.

    The Player Value section includes an impact rating for every player recorded in the play-by-play. Value represents the net change in a team's chances of winning summed over the entire game from the plays in which the player made a contribution (as noted in the play-by-play feeds). For football, defenses are treated as one unit (so as not to punish the player who makes the tackle on a long gain).

    There is a wealth of (hopefully) fun, interesting and beneficial team, game and player information available for every game. Each week, on Mondays during the football season, we highlight some of the biggest and most notable plays and players in our GameChangers article. If you ever want to see anything more or different (including soccer leagues to add), please do not hesitate to Contact Us.

    NFL Preview Pages:

    Over/Under Win Total Picks
    Futures Picks
    Projected Scores (All 256 Regular Season Games)
    In-Depth Team Analysis
    NFL Team Rankings
    Fantasy Football Projections and Rankings
    Positional Cheat Sheets and Week-by-Week Fantasy Projections
    Fantasy Football Mock Draft Machine
    NEW Daily Fantasy Tools and Analysis
    Football Updates for 2015
    Soccer ("Football") Launches

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    NFL GameChangers: Divisional Playoff Edition (1/14/18)

    In this edition of GameChangers, we will utilize our Live ScoreCaster technology to review the game-changing plays from 2018 Divisional playoff matchups.

    EXW% = expected win percentage




    The Situation

    What-if Stefon Diggs was tackled at the Saints' 34-yard line with four seconds left?

    The Take

    Unfortunately, New Orleans Saints safety Marcus Williams won't be remembered for picking off Case Keenum late in the third quarter - a turnover that led to a Saints touchdown - but rather whiffing on a tackle of Diggs, which resulted in the Vikes receiver scoring the game-winning touchdown as time expired.

    However, had Williams made the tackle, Diggs would have been down around the Saints' 34-yard line with four seconds remaining and the Vikings would have burned their final timeout.

    Trailing 24-23, Minnesota would call on Kai Forbath to attempt the game-winning field goal. When we run that scenario through our NFL engine tens of thousands of times, the Saints' EXW% is 48.2%.

    It was a hell of a catch by Diggs. It was a hell of a game by both teams. This one isn't solely on Williams.



    The Situations

    The Steelers' pair of failed 4th-down play calls.

    The Take

    Pittsburgh converted 4-of-6 fourth downs against the Jaguars. However, it was the missing two that really cost them.

    Trailing 14-0 with 1:07 remaining in the first quarter, the Steelers faced 4th-and-1 from the Jaguars 21-yard line. Pittsburgh's EXW% before the fourth-down play call was 31% (assumed field goal attempt), but after they failed to pick up the one yard, it dipped to 23.6% - a win expectancy swing of 7.4%.

    The NFL gurus of Twitter believe Ben Roethlisberger should have used his size to pick up the measly one yard. Had he done that and picked up the first down, Pittsburgh's EXW% would remain 31%.

    Fast forward, Jaguars now lead 28-21 with 12:50 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Steelers now face 4th-and-1 from Jaguars' 39-yard line. Pittsburgh's EXW% is 24.4% right before Roethlisberger THROWS an incomplete pass *thud* EXW% dips to 16.7%.

    Now, if Ben snuck for the first down at this point in the game, the Steelers' EXW% jumps to 30.4% - a difference of nearly 16%.

    Bonus: a lot of chatter on social media regarding Pittsburgh's decision to onside kick down 42-35 with less than 3 minutes to go in the game. After the onside (and penalty), the Steelers' EXW% was 7.8% versus 8.1% had they kicked off normally.



    The Situation

    With the Patriots pinned back and in punt formation, a questionable neutral zone penalty on Tennessee.

    The Take

    In case you missed it, the penalty was originally a false start against the Patriots, but changed to a Titans' neutral zone infraction. Watch …


    So, to recap, instead of the Patriots leading 14-7 and about to punt from their own end zone, the neutral zone infraction handed New England a first down, which they parlayed into a 16-play, 91-yard touchdown drive to take a 21-7 lead.

    Before the punt, the Titans' EXW% was 16.6%. Had they received the punt – with presumed great field position – their odds improved to 21.8%.

    After the Patriots scored their third touchdown of the first half, Tennessee's EXW% dipped to 5.9% - a swing of 15.9% - and the momentum they enjoyed early on was gone.



    The Situation

    Instant replay reversed a “running into Atlanta's kicker penalty” on Philadelphia before halftime.

    The Take

    To review, with Atlanta leading 10-6 and under a minute remaining in the first half, Falcons' punter Matt Bosher punted the ball to the Eagles. Philadelphia was called for roughing the kicker, which should have resulted in an Atlanta first down, but instant replay indicated that the Eagles got a finger tip on the ball and, thus, no roughing the kicker infraction applied.

    The punt counted and it was 1st-and-10 Eagles from their own 28-yard line and Atlanta's EXW% is 56.7%. Nick Foles and Co. picked up 37 yards in a jiffy and Josh Elliott booted a 53-yard field goal as the 2nd-quarter clock hit triple zeroes. With the Falcons up 10-9 at the break, Atlanta's EXW% fell to 50.5%.

    What-if the roughing the kicker counted and the Falcons picked up a first down at the Eagles 45-yard line with 55 seconds before halftime?

    Their EXW% would have soared 10% to 66.8%.

    Now imagine if the roughing the kicker counted and the Eagles would NOT have kicked the last-second field goal to end the first half. The Falcons would have trailed 13-10, instead of 15-10, on their final drive.

    For as bad as that shovel pass play call to Terron Ward was, if Atlanta had the option to attempt a field goal on 4th-and-2 from the 2-yard line instead of roll Matt Ryan right and try to jam it into Julio Jones for the game-winner, Atlanta's EXW% would have improved by more than 20% (EXW% 46.0% down 13-10 vs. 25.7% down 15-10 on 4th-and-2).

    It's one of those cases where replay did its part, corrected the call on the field and the benefiting team wound up with improved odds before ultimately winning the game.

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