Saturday, January 14, 2017

Fun with Game Script

Bart has added game script (aka average scoring difference) to the team's T-Rank pages.  I took a look at two different things with game script just for fun:
1) Does T-Rank's prediction line do a better job of predicting  the final score or two times the average scoring difference.
2) Are particular B1G teams doing better in the final score or the average scoring difference.

These numbers are for the B1G games through 12 January. The reason I use 2xgame script is because if a team is steadily increasing their margin throughout the game, the average scoring difference will be essentially 2x the game script.

First - T-Rank's prediction line is doing significantly better predicting the final scoring difference than   2x the game script. For 13 of the 14 B1G teams, the final scoring difference is more closely predicted, although for two teams it is essentially the same. Even the one team that leans more towards game script is very close. This makes sense - the T-rank prediction line is focused on the final difference, not the vagaries of the score on the way to the final score.  However this is something I just wanted to check and we have the data.  Two teams (Penn St and Minn) show the biggest differences.

Second - I looked at each team to see how the average difference score compared to the final score, which should be indicative of which teams scoring is (to use a calculus term) concave up versus concave down. Most teams in the conference are within a couple points per game between the final score and the average scoring difference, but a few teams (Peen St, Minn, NW) look poorly in this measure.

In the chart below, I've looked at the difference in each game between the final score difference and 2 x the game script.  What this is shows is that in many games, Penn ST (and to a lesser extent Minn) has a better game script than a final score - showing that they have done well for much of the game and faded at the end - or perhaps had a significant lead early, but gave it up at some point to lose.

Team Final Dif - 2xGS
Penn St -250
Minn -127.4
Northwestern -77.6
Michigan -51.8
Iowa -41
Indiana -28.4
Nebraska -28.2
Mich St -17.4
Ohio St -16.6
Wisconsin -5.8
Purdue 4.2
Rutgers 4.2
Illinois 17.2
Maryland 18.4

I'm not sure that either look at this means anything in the grand scheme of things, they are just my attempts to play with some of the game script data.  I'm hoping to do an in-depth look at 3ptA% vs game script in the near future.



  1. For those being pedantic - concave up or concave down should be read as positive second differential (up) or negative second differential (down)

    1. We are nothing if not pedantic here at Adam's WI Sports Blog