Game Predictions – 3/18/2006

We’ve been having a pretty good week for game predictions and it continued last night as my predictions were a perfect 4 for 4. Let’s hope it continues tonight. Before we get to the predictions I have 2 announcements, one related to a small bug I found in my program which incorrectly assigned strong/good/some confidence ratings to some games and the second a new feature added to the prediction table to aid in betting.

1. I found a small bug in my program which incorrectly assigned confidence ratings to some games though the predicted winner was correct. Games in which one team played the previous night and the other did not were far too often asigned the ‘Some’ rating when a significant number of them should have been given good or long. I have fixed this and I also tweaked hor the ratings get assigned to all games by increasing the value required to make a strong confidence rating. With these fixes/changes we will have many more Strong and Good predictions. If I retroactively apply these changes to my past predictions since mid-January my success rates would be:

Strong: 33 of 50 – 66.0%
Good: 45 of 70 – 64.3%
Some: 72 of 121 – 59.5%
Overall: 150 of 241 – 62.2%

2. The other major change I made was to add some betting advice to the game predictions. You will find a new column HTOdds with a bunch of numbers listed below them. The HTOdds can be used as an indicator of what odds you should look for when betting on the home team. My reccomendation is that you only bet on the home team if the odds are better than the numbers listed below, otherwise bet on the road team for the best risk/reward ratio. If the betting odds are pretty close to the HTOdds you might want to consider passing on the game altogether as you aren’t getting a great advantage either way. As an example, let’s look at Ottawa. Ottawa has HTOdds listed as -127 and Bowmans has the odds for Ottawa listed at -210. According to my calculations these odds have Ottawa as far too significant a favourite so I would take Buffalo and their +175 odds. Another example: The Boston/Carolina game has HTOdds for Boston listed as +106 while Bowmans has them listed as +160. In this case, take Boston. My calculations show only a minor risk but the Bowmans odds give a pretty godo reward. If you are unsure what these numbers mean, a positive odds, +150 for example, means you will win $150 profit on a $100 bet while negative odds, -150 means you have to bet $150 to win $100 profit. In Buffalo’s case a $100 bet will net you a win of $175 (above and beyond your initial lay out of $100).

Caution: I have not tested this betting strategy so bet at your own risk and use only as a guideline. Also, sine there isn’t a direct correlation between how I make calculate my picks and how I calculate my odds there will be the odd inconsistency between them where the prediction listed is for one team but the odds indicate the other team is the favourite. This should be pretty rare but take it as an indication that the game is about as close to a pick-em game as there could be.

Ok, so now on to the predictions.

Home Team Road Team Predicted Winner Confidence HTOdds
Boston Carolina Carolina Some 106
San Jose Dallas San Jose Some -112
Montreal Pittsburgh Montreal Strong -228
Ottawa Buffalo Ottawa Some -127
NY Rangers Toronto NY Rangers Some -115
Washington Florida Washington Good -129
Atlanta Philadelphia Atlanta Good -164
Nashville Calgary Calgary Some -110
Edmonton Detroit Detroit Some -102
Los Angeles St. Louis Los Angeles Good -187

This article has 29 Comments

  1. hi all

    like carolina dallas montreal was atlanta cal det la ottawa

    there are alot of very close games tonight which can go either way…I wouldn’t be betting alot tonight…

    Mr. hockey even though there is only 10 games it will be hard to get 10 right tonight…

    Carolina montreal are my only strong picks tonight..the rest are all up in the air with a coin toss.

    I will try Dallas under calgary under and LA under tonight 5 bucks should pay around 80 to 90$…

  2. That was a lucky week for my algorithm too, in the very beginning. I bet $1 on each and every game and after 8 days I have won $12. I’m thinking about to increase the bet to cover a Warner cable bill 😉

    Today the algorithm also choosed BUF over OTT, I have to follow…

  3. David, do you take into account previous matches between teams in the pair? For instance, so far CAR vs BOS 3-0, EDM vs DET 2-0, PIT vs MTL 2-0 and so on…

  4. Mike L., the games “up in the air with a coin toss”, say 50/50, are what I love much. If you bet with odds above 1/0.50=2 (i.e. above +100) you defenetly have to win!

  5. No, I don’t take into account records against each other. I guess it means something but I have no idea to what extent.

  6. ok just got home from work, I logged on here at 8am before I left and the games were not posted yet so I couldnt post. I havent seen any update on any games yet so I will make my predictions right now before I look at the scores:

    Today’s Picks:

    -San Jose
    -NY Rangers ..Id love to take Toronto but I cant 🙁
    -Los Angeles

    Some very hard games tonight in my opinion… Buffalo @ Ottawa will be a great match up. Emery has played in 9 games striaght and Im guessing he will start tonight to fight for top spot in the Northeast but I think Morrisson may got the go tomarrow at New Jersey, so be away of this that Emery has played in 9 games straight. Take Ottawa who have outscored Buffalo 18-2 in the last 3 games in Ottawa.

    I wanted to take Edmonton tonight as well, the Oilers are up 2-0 this season and playing good as of late. The Wings have been hot yet havent lost many games at all in the past 10 games or so…could be an upset but I’ll stick with the Wings.

    Florida @ Washington is a hard one as well…Florida leading the series 5-0 yet the Capitals have the advantage on the betting lines…may be due to they are at home and Florida is pityful on the road. I’ll go with the Washington Ovechkins…I mean Capitals tonight haha.

    Pittsburgh @ Montreal should be a great one as well… seems like Crosby saves his best play for his childhood favourite club… may be an upset here also…but again , I’ll stay with the Habs.

    Toronto @ NY Rangers is my favourite game of the night… seems like when these 2 clubs play it always seems to be a yawner. I expect this game to be tight all game, maybe overtime maybe shotout as well. I think safe bet to take it as Under if anyone plays Over/Under. Expect a 2-1 or close to that score as a final. I dont see the Leafs winning a low scoring game. As much as I hate to say hit.


    I got lucky on my unders last night …all 3 came in I won 81 on my ticket 5 $ bet. I tried 2 pools today…and 2 tickets…

    g.l on yours

  8. Mike L….good stuff dude…free moneys always good…i won $22 last night on all favourites as a back up ticket and it hit. The other 4 tickets i had lost. Im actually making my Pools tickets right now but honestly this is the hardest one Ive seen yet.. all 8 games are tough..only for sure in my mind is LA over STL…everything else could go either way. Originally I had all home teams other than Red Wings..but i dunno..i dont feel like that will happen… i think maybe 2 or maybe even 3 away teams will win tonight…i just have no clue where!! This Pool is really confusiong crunching the numbers but its getting me no where.

    Mike L…u have MSN Messenger?

  9. In reality, you can studay all the stats you want, look at odds all you want, and gowith the algorithm all you want but its the new NHL and anyone can beat anyone on any given night. Which makes this so difficult. Might be a night all favourites pull out or might be a night like 5 ot of 8 upsets occur…you never really know.


    I was thinking the same thing last night …about the msn

    I thought about asking you but I didn’t want to come across as weird or something…lol

    add is if you want to ding me…

    everyone please don’t abuse this email add…thank you

    I have it on

  11. If there is enough interest I could look at adding a chat board on here. Might be a good idea. I’ll see what software is out there that I can use.

  12. For what I like algorithms is that they unload my brain 😀

    Today picks: BOS, SJS, MTL, NYR, FLO, ATL, NSH, DET, STL

    I choosed BOS, MTL, NYR because they have the same rank in their pairs, and as a rule I bet on a home team in such situation. May be I should consider to bet on the maximum odd?

  13. KEIF your picks are good but you should try to post your picks before the outcome of the game is already known… such as Boston over Carolina. I believe you choose Boston, just try to keep that in mind for next time.

  14. Ok, adding a chat was easier than I thought it might be. Just click on the ‘Interactive Chat’ link at the top of the main menu in the upper left and you will be taken to the interactive chat page. From there it should be self explanatory.

  15. dave I don’t know if you can but it would be nice to have a feature in chat that you can see whos chatting at the moment…?

  16. I’ll look into it but I am not sure if this chat offers that functionality. I know there are other chats out there that will do it but this was the easiest to set up.

  17. The other advantage of this chat is that it is integrated into WordPress (which is the blogging software I use) so if you register for an account and sign in your name will come up. Other systems you will probably have to register separately.

  18. Mr Hockey, ok. Please keep in mind that my prediction seems to be different from David’s. It is not necessary that if the same team was a winner in both versions than it makes the team a winner with higher probability. Moreover, I would say, when Dave has a greate day like this couple of last days, I have quite poor day in terms of a monetary income (e.g. just $0.2 yesterday).

  19. For those of you out there who noticed that today is the 2nd straight day I didn’t post my predictions, I have an announcement to make. For the duration of the regular season, I will not be making predictions on any games until the playoffs.

  20. …well, finally I bet on games between equal rank teams following both strategies (home team and max odd strategy) for comparison. With home teams BOS, MTL, NYR two guess are correct, and the monetary profit is 2.20+0.85=$3.05. With the maximum odd teams BOS, PIT, TOR also two guess are correct, but the profit is 2.20+3.85=$6.05, two times higher, which is good.

  21. i missed last night on one game for proline….oh well…

    i went 5 for 8 mr hockey my pool took a nose dive…lol

    your T.O burned me lol ow well i thougt they would show up…I guess they just don’t have it this year…i think it’s just because most teams improved and they jsut stayed the same

  22. Hi, David. I like your new column HTOdds (Home Team Odds?). It tells me much more than just “Good”, “Strong”, or “Some”. Question: do you calculate it for home team’s final result with OT and SO, or just for 60 min? I guess, for the final result, because for Boston’s 60 min win the odd will be +220, significantly higher than +106 listed in the Table.

  23. HTOdds is home team odds. The odds are probably most directly connected with the teams chances of winning in 65 minutes and not including the shootout.

    How are you calculating the +220?

  24. I can’t calculate probability. +220 (3.20 European style) comes from my bookmaker. I can only say if probability is below or higher than 50%.

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