Sagarin/Dolphin predictions for Nebraska game

Saturday's game against Nebraska is a very interesting contest indeed!If you go strictly on the basis of the head-to-head in Lawrence, then Kansas is in big trouble. The home court advantage is traditionally around 4 points, though some may argue that Allen Field House is worth even more than that, so if you swap locales, then there is an 8 point swing, giving Nebraska a 6 point victory in Lincoln.

Of course, many people treat the game in Lawrence as an abberation, one that is unlikely to be repeated, while others might prefer to believe that Nebraska is for real. After all, it was just one game, which isn't enough to reach a statistically significant conclusion. Another way to assess the situation that has somewhat greater statistical significance is to look at common opponents, of which there are currently four:

KU +15 CU on road (+19 neutral court) NU + 7 CU on road (+11 neutral court) KU vs. NU + 8 neutral court (+ 4 on road)

KU +25 UT at home (+21 neutral court) NU -10 UT at home (- 6 neutral court) KU vs. NU +27 neutral court (+23 on road)

KU +12 MU at home (+ 8 neutral court) NU -10 MU on road (- 6 neutral court) KU vs. NU +14 neutral court (+10 on road)

KU + 5 aTm at home (+ 1 neutral court) NU +10 aTm at home (+ 6 neutral court) KU vs. NU - 5 neutral court (- 9 on road)

These four average to a 7.0-point margin in favor of Kansas, but the standard deviation is a whopping 13.3 points! In other words, even with four values, the result isn't very statistically significant.

One can do even better, however, and that's where computer rating systems like Sagarin's, Massey's, and Dolphin's come in. They attempt to arrive at a numerical rating using all the games played between Division I schools that can be used to predict the outcome between any any two teams.

Using the Sagarin Pure Points ratings through games of Thursday (the early tip precludes waiting for the ratings through games of Friday), Kansas has a 4.1-point edge on Nebraska and a 62 percent chance of winning the game. Well, that's better than the 6-point loss predicted by the head-to-head, but not as good at the 7-point cushion predicted by the four common opponents. But Kansas is underrated by 2.5 points while Nebraska is underrated by just 0.7 points, which boosts the margin by another 1.8 points to 5.9 points. Nebraska is marginally more consistent than Kansas, but only six times this season have they played more than 5.9 points above expectation, which is what is needed to win today's game; thus Nebraska has a one in three chance of pulling the upset. Meanwhile, Kansas has played more than 5.9 points below expectation only four times, which is what would have to happen for Kansas to lose today's game; that corresponds to a probability of victory of around 78 percent. Nebraska does show a slight positive trend, but it's not statistically significant. The negative trend for Kansas is marginally significant, but there are signs of recovery from the Villanova debacle.

Dolphin is predicting a final score of 67 to 63 in favor of Kansas, with the Jayhawks having a 65 percent chance of winning the game. That's pretty consistent with Sagarin's prediction before being adjusted for performance.

There is a full slate of Big XII action, with a couple of interesting match-ups. Only two teams are favored to win on the road. Kansas is one of them, with Oklahoma State being the other (somebody has to get Baylor as an opponent). Kansas State is favored by 7 points at home over Colorado. Texas is favored by 15 points at home over Iowa State (no Hilton magic to help the Cyclones). Oklahoma State is favored by 19 points on the road against Baylor. Texas A&M is favored by 10 points at home over Missouri (thus solidifying the Tiger's second-last slot in the conference). Oklahoma is favored by 5 points at home over Texas Tech.


               ======================== Sagarin =======================
               Rate    SoS    Elo     PP   Perf   Inc.       Trend
               ====   ====   ====   ====   ====   ====   ==============
Kansas         #  5   #  4   #  3   #  9   +2.5   12.8   -0.71 +/- 0.57
Nebraska       # 68   #116   # 93   # 47   +0.7   11.7   +0.17 +/- 0.54 

               ============ Massey ============     === RPI ===     ====
               Rate    SoS    Pow    Off    Def     Rate    SOS     Rec.
               ====   ====   ====   ====   ====     ====   ====     ====
Kansas         #  2   #  5   #      #      #        #  1   #  1     17-1
Nebraska       # 96   # 73   #      #      #        #125   # 70     10-8

               ======================= Dolphin ======================
               Std.   Med.   Pre.   IRPI   RPI    Pair   Poll   Sched
               ====   ====   ====   ====   ====   ====   ====   =====
Kansas         #  3   #  3   #  9   #  1   #  1   #  2   #  6   0.887
Nebraska       # 95   # 99   # 45   #125   # 84   # 84   # 95   0.521

Here is Kansas' season:

SITE   OPPONENT                         SCORE    PREDIC    ERROR    PROB.
====   =============================   =======   ======    =====    =====
HOME   # 27 Vermont                     68  61    +8.71    -1.71
HOME   #102 Saint Joseph's              91  51   +17.40   +22.60
HOME   # 74 Nevada                      85  52   +15.09   +17.91
HOME   # 80 Pacific                     81  70   +15.68    -4.68
HOME   #112 TCU                         93  74   +17.85    +1.15
HOME   # 94 Louisiana-Lafayette         96  51   +16.98   +28.02
HOME   # 33 South Carolina              64  60   +10.57    -6.57
HOME   # 34 Wis.-Milwaukee              73  62   +10.84    +0.16
HOME   # 17 Georgia Tech                70  68    +6.46    -4.46
HOME   # 40 Texas A&M                   65  60   +11.46    -6.46
AWAY   #  7 Kentucky                    65  59    -5.80   +11.80
AWAY   # 88 Iowa State                  71  66    +8.06    -3.06
AWAY   #131 Colorado                    76  61   +10.67    +4.33
HOME   # 47 Nebraska                    59  57   +12.35   -10.35
AWAY   # 26 Villanova                   62  83    +0.30   -21.30
AWAY   #213 Baylor                      86  66   +16.58    +3.42
HOME   # 13 Texas                       90  65    +5.20   +19.80
HOME   # 98 Missouri                    73  61   +17.23    -5.23
AWAY   # 47 Nebraska                              +4.05             0.624
AWAY   # 81 Kansas State                          +7.40             0.718
HOME   #131 Colorado                             +18.97             0.931
AWAY   # 11 Texas Tech                            -3.66             0.388
HOME   # 88 Iowa State                           +16.36             0.899
AWAY   #  8 Oklahoma                              -4.25             0.370
HOME   #  5 Oklahoma State                        +1.26             0.539
HOME   # 81 Kansas State                         +15.70             0.890
AWAY   # 98 Missouri                              +8.93             0.757

Latest season projection is still at four cumulative losses. There are just two projected losses in individual games, namely the road games against Texas Tech and Oklahoma. Oklahoma State's recent losses dropped their rating enough to give Kansas a 1.3-point edge in the contest at Allen Field House.

Here is Nebraska's season:


SITE   OPPONENT                         SCORE    PREDIC    ERROR    PROB.
====   =============================   =======   ======    =====    =====
HOME   #326 Ark.-Pine Bluff             97  40   +30.74   +26.26
HOME   #314 Texas Southern              78  58   +25.64    -5.64
AWAY   # 38 UAB                         66  80    -5.21    -8.79
HOME   #278 Morgan State                64  34   +21.77    +8.23
HOME   # 39 Minnesota                   48  57    +3.24   -12.24
HOME   # 67 Creighton                   48  50    +6.56    -8.56
HOME   #317 N.C. A&T                    71  49   +25.93    -3.93
AWAY   # 86 Marquette                   62  81    -0.19   -18.81
AWAY   # 84 Tennessee                   62  61    -0.48    +1.48
HOME   #220 Montana State               78  45   +17.06   +15.94
HOME   # 81 Kansas State                95  85    +7.50    +2.50
AWAY   #131 Colorado                    68  61    +2.47    +4.53
HOME   # 13 Texas                       53  63    -3.00    -7.00
AWAY   #  9 Kansas                      57  59   -12.35   +10.35
AWAY   # 98 Missouri                    70  80    +0.73   -10.73
HOME   # 40 Texas A&M                   77  67    +3.26    +6.74
AWAY   # 11 Texas Tech                  68  84   -11.86    -4.14
HOME   #242 Utah Valley State           91  57   +18.56   +15.44
HOME   #  9 Kansas                                -4.05             0.364
HOME   # 88 Iowa State                            +8.16             0.758
AWAY   #213 Baylor                                +8.38             0.764
AWAY   #  8 Oklahoma                             -12.45             0.143
HOME   # 98 Missouri                              +9.03             0.781
HOME   #  5 Oklahoma State                        -6.94             0.276
AWAY   # 88 Iowa State                            -0.14             0.495
HOME   #131 Colorado                             +10.77             0.822
AWAY   # 81 Kansas State                          -0.80             0.473
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