GeneralThe Handicapper is a web application to help you make better betting decisions. The current version is the 7th major release of the program and the first one as a web application. The first version was released in 2015. Current version includes all major professional US sports (MLB, NBA, NFL & NHL).
The application uses dynamic and predictive algorithms to handicap games. You can choose to tune the model parameters according to own preferences, or use back-tested default settings to create accurate, data-driven predictions for every game of the season.
The power of The Handicapper is its huge player database. Each game prediction consists of bottom-up player analysis and evaluation. The prediction engine uses a number of different quantitative methods like moving averages, exponential smoothing, z-scores etc. Data-driven player evaluation is the key, but you can also implement your own team- and player ratings, if you feel you have a good grasp of how good teams/players are in relation to each other.
The player data that the application uses is updated and pre-processed several times per week in databases managed by Eastside Sports Analysis. The data is then uploaded online as XML- and JSON-files. User data like custom settings, lineups and player & team ratings is stored in the user’s web browser (modern browsers).
The Handicapper creates probabilities for different game outcomes purely based on data. As there doesn’t exist anything else than HISTORICAL data, the predictions are created with the hypothesis that historical events can future outcomes.
The models within The Handicapper are tested on a regular basis and updated if something changes in the dynamics of the underlying market (rules, equipment etc.) or the explanatory power of some factor diminishes.
You can think of the models for each sport (league) as multi-factor models, where the weights for each feature can be determined by the user. Each feature, which can be chosen by the user, should have at least some correlation with game outcomes.
Even if we are firm believers of a quantitative approach, practice has shown, that relying purely on quantitative models might not be an optimal path to success. A good model can be superior in many aspects, but things can also go very wrong when blindly following it. That's why the recommendation is to use the predictions The Handicapper creates as just one of several inputs to your decision to place (or not place) a bet.
The Handicapper is created by Eastside Sports Analysis.
DataThe player data that the application uses is updated and pre-processed several times per week in databases managed by Eastside Sports Analysis. The data is then uploaded online as XML- and JSON-files. User data like custom settings, lineups and player & team ratings is stored in the user’s web browser (modern browsers).
Raw game data is collected for all players and all games.
Player stats are then created on a seasonal basis based on the raw game data. A player stat is for example Percentage of Completed Passes (CMP%). The player stats are then turned into player ratings by comparing each player to all other players in the league. This process includes different statistical methods like using moving averages, normalization, exponential smoothing etc. The outcome is a rating for each player and each player stat. The ratings lower limit is 40 and upper 99.
SettingsThe adjustable settings is the core feature of The Handicapper. By configuring the settings to match your believes of whats important and what's not (which stats and ratings to use etc.), you can turn your believes into a number (probability).
Team ratings are dividied into four subsets; Pass Offense, Rush Offense, Pass Defense and Rush Defense. The rating for each subset is a weighted average of the ratings for the player types that are assigned to the subset. For example Pass Offense consists of weighted ratings for the Quarterback, Wide Receivers, Tight Ends and the Offensive Line. The ratings for the different player types are weighted according to the weights in the module for Pass Offense.
There is a possibility to select ‘General Rating’ as one of the model parameters for different player types. This parameter is a subjective overall player rating. The idea with having a rating like this when all other ratings are purely objective and data-driven, is to get a more accurate evaluation of player value in cases where it’s hard to do the valuation purely based on data. One example of this is the offensive line, where it’s hard to find data that can be used to evaluate players and predict future performance.
Please note, that clearing your browsers cache will clear your customised settings, starting lineups and team/player ratings.
Rosters and RatingsThe calculation engine for The Handicapper is by default using player ratings that are compiled by Eastside Sports Analysis. Team Ratings are calculated within The Handicapper by using the models that are assigned to offense/defense and taking the player ratings as inputs. Player- and team ratings can be adjusted (overrided) by the user. The ratings lower limit is 40 and upper 99.
The Handicapper uses starting lineups from each teams previous game. Lineups can be modified by the user by selecting if the player is a starter or not.
Each team should have a starting pitcher, 8 (NL) or 9 (AL) batters and 7 relief pitchers selected.
Each team should have 5 starters selected.
Each team should have 11 offensive- and 11 defensive players selected. Kickers/punters are not included in the lineups.