The days until the 2019 NFL Draft are slowly passing, and there is now less than a week until the it kicks off on Thursday, April 25. The schedule for the upcoming season being released on Wednesday gives fans something to read about and talk about outside of the most recent mock draft from experts and who their team might take.
Specifically, taking a look at the schedule and the win total projections that were released by many Vegas sportsbooks earlier this month, it becomes possible to begin to analyze the schedule in terms of expectations for specific games. One of the best follows on Twitter for those with a mathematical or analytical inclination, @Moo12152, did exactly this.
This is a of schedule grid where the colors (and numbers behind the opponents) indicate win probability in percent as implied by the Vegas win totals (+ accounted for home field)— Moo (@Moo12152) April 18, 2019
Disclaimer: There is zero own opinion going into this. Don't hate me, hate the bookmakers. pic.twitter.com/QkHEHXYsU4
Obviously, those numbers are pretty small, so I’ll break out his work on a week by week basis.
Week 1: Home game against the Cincinnati Bengals - 76% win probability
Week 2: Road game against the Pittsburgh Steelers - 41% win probability
Week 3: Home game against the New Orleans Saints - 44% win probability
Week 4: Road game against the Arizona Cardinals - 63% win probability
Week 5: Home game against the Los Angeles Rams - 47% win probability
Week 6: Road game against the Cleveland Browns - 43% win probability
Week 7: Home game against the Baltimore Ravens - 62% win probability
Week 8: Road game against the Atlanta Falcons - 38% win probability
Week 9: Home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 70% win probability
Week 10: Road game against the San Francisco 49ers - 45% win probablity
Week 11: Bye
Week 12: Road game against the Philadelphia Eagles - 41% win probability
Week 13: Home game against the Minnesota Vikings - 54% win probability
Week 14: Road game against the Los Angeles Rams - 31% win probability
Week 15: Road game against the Carolina Panthers - 41% win probability
Week 16: Home game against the Arizona Cardinals - 78% win probability
Week 17: Home game against the San Francisco 49ers - 63% win probability
So, based on these numbers, Vegas has the Hawks as underdogs in 9 of the 16 games, but looking at it from the expected value, the schedule yields an expectation of 8-9 wins, even given that the Hawks would not be favored in more than half their games.
In any case, what does it mean? It means there is just a bunch of talk, expectation and prediction until the games actually become meaningful in September.