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Old 12-13-2012, 05:33 PM   #9
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Football is a wonderful thing.

Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NY
Posts: 3,069

Ryan Clady

Unless the probability of you winning the next game is guaranteed, you more than likely want to increase the chance of winning that upcoming game rather than focusing on the game after that.

Ie., lets pretend these are your chances.

Chance of winning vs. NE away = 40%

Chance of winning against Houston away = 60%

Chance of winning vs. Baltimore at home = 80%

Chance of winning vs. Baltimore away = 60%

Chance of Baltimore defeating either New England or Houston = 50% (it should be lower, but this is all just for kicks to demonstrate a point)

Probability of going to the superbowl being the #3 seed (assuming you win the first playoff game) is then:

Play New England away 40% (Times) Play Houston away 60% (times) 50% = 12% ; Play New England away 40% (times) Play Baltimore at home 80% (times) 50% = 16% + 12% = 28%

Probability of going to the superbowl as the #4 seed (assuming we win our first playoff game):

Play Houston 60% (Times) Play New England 40% * .5 = 12% + 60% (Houston) (times) 60% * .5 = 18% = Total of 30%


So as you can see, the first team you play disproportionately affects your chances of winning much more than the second team you play because you dont' know that you'll surely play that second team, so you always plan for whats directly ahead of you.

In this example, you have a 30% chance as the #4 seed and a 28% chance as the #3 seed. This is all assuming that we win the first playoff game for any of this to matter.
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