Are You Ready for Some Football Analytics?

In professional sports, Major League Baseball arguably has the richest tradition using statistics predict the success of teams and individual players. But data science is quickly making a mark on the National Football League too, and fans will get to watch two of the biggest adopters of analytics compete this Sunday in Super Bowl LI. We’ve seen an explosion of sports analytics since Michael Lewis wrote about the incredible results that Oakland A’s General Manager Billy got by applying sabermetrics to his player selection process. In this post- Moneyball world, complicated formulas to predict player performance, such as WAR (wins above replacement), have become a standard part of the game. Quants have evolved the practice so far and so quickly that traditional statistics, like batting average, have become quaint by…

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