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One-and-done unintended consequence?

 
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NYL_WNBA_FAN



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PostPosted: 09/15/17 8:14 pm    ::: One-and-done unintended consequence? Reply Reply with quote

So...for the second straight season we are seeing semis that are less than compelling. Not to entirely blame the one-and-done, because maybe NY and CT would have lost anyway. But, it goes without saying that the shorter the number of games, the greater the likelihood of a lower seed beating a higher seed. Further, I think that both CT and NY were better equipped to challenge the top 2 seeds in a longer series due to things like matchups and attrition.

So, looking back, we do know that there was a very well-attended Seattle-Phoenix late regular season game that had major playoff ramifications. That's all well and good. We also saw the 8 and 7 seeds get bounced in two games of pretty inferior quality.

As for the second round one-and-dones, maybe the outcome would have been the same in best of 3s, but let's face it. Best of 3s are going to change everything. The mindset of the players entering game 1. The potential for adjustments after game 1 that might be impactful, etc.

In any case, the bottom line is that if you had a situation with top 6 making the playoffs with first-round best of 3s, you'd probably increase the likelihood of more compelling semis. You'd get rid of the 8 and 7 seeds and you'd decrease the likelihood of a 6 or 5 seed pulling off a victory.

So I guess what I am asking is whether or not these one-and-dones are a "penny wise pound foolish" way of doing business? The WNBA has eliminated the first round best of 3s that weren't profitable while theoretically adding one-and-dones that would make for more compelling TV. However, we've seen very lackluster semifinals last year and so far this year. Isn't that the bigger picture?

It's not just that the Libs are out of it for me either. I watched the game 1s in the semis. Last night I feel asleep at 9:30 and I didn't even turn on the Minnesota-DC game. Even when I saw DC was up I gave them very little chance to win. The lack of compelling game 1s really reduced my interest in the game 2s. I watched the finals last year. I will again this year. No interest in the semis though. That says something.



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tfan



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PostPosted: 09/15/17 8:27 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I had the same feeling. I was looking forward to the Sparks/Lynx having to face the Sun and the 10-in-a-row Liberty and was wondering if Phoenix/Washington would have won a 3-game series. But a 3 game series is still pretty short. I have heard claims that the best team always wins a 7 game series, but that probably doesn't hold for a 3 game series.


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PostPosted: 09/15/17 8:28 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I agree with you 100%. Im all for the top 6 teams making the playoffs. I hope the W makes the switch soon. Maybe the owners and players prefer the current format. Idk.



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PostPosted: 09/15/17 8:53 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Hopefully with the new CBA. I don't think the players like the format either. The thought of a Sparks-Liberty & a Lynx-Sun semis seemed very exciting. This Lynx-Mystics series is exactly what I expected, a snoozer.



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PostPosted: 09/15/17 9:00 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I thought the Mystics-Lynx semi last night (Thursday) was great! It was a close game, Whay was a sparkplug in last 2 minutes. And it made for exciting b-ball.


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PostPosted: 09/15/17 9:18 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I don't agree with the premise that the one and done changes outcomes that much particularly in round 2. Perhaps plight has specific data but my guess is the team that wins game 1 in a 3 game series wins the series something like 70 percent of the time. In this case it was the road teams that won so they would have been the home team for game 2 further helping theit odds of winning the series.

A second question is what would have made NY or CT any more likely to have produced a more compelling series than Phx or DC.



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PostPosted: 09/15/17 9:46 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Randy wrote:
A second question is what would have made NY or CT any more likely to have produced a more compelling series than Phx or DC.


Given what we've seen--New York lost at home to Washington, Connecticut lost at home to Phoenix--people's thoughts about how exciting it might have been to see New York against Los Angeles and/or Connecticut against Minnesota now look rather questionable.



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PostPosted: 09/15/17 10:14 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

toad455 wrote:
Hopefully with the new CBA. I don't think the players like the format either. The thought of a Sparks-Liberty & a Lynx-Sun semis seemed very exciting. This Lynx-Mystics series is exactly what I expected, a snoozer.


The players I've talked to don't like the single elimination, but they hate the idea of cutting the playoffs back to six teams.



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PostPosted: 09/15/17 10:35 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Only one day of rest before a 5 game series when most of that day was spent traveling is just asinine...3 days rest before rd 1(1 gm)....but only 1 day of rest before rd 2(5 gms)....Taurasi was dead ass tired in gm 1.She went 2-5 from the ft line.Probably cost phoenix a game 1 victory.I'm sure Washington was also tired.

3 days of rest before 1 gm elimination and 1 day of rest before a 5 game series is just stupidity.Especially when the home teams have been resting for 5 full days.


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PostPosted: 09/15/17 10:46 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
toad455 wrote:
Hopefully with the new CBA. I don't think the players like the format either. The thought of a Sparks-Liberty & a Lynx-Sun semis seemed very exciting. This Lynx-Mystics series is exactly what I expected, a snoozer.


The players I've talked to don't like the single elimination, but they hate the idea of cutting the playoffs back to six teams.


Well, damn.



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PostPosted: 09/16/17 12:02 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Speebs56 wrote:
I thought the Mystics-Lynx semi last night (Thursday) was great! It was a close game, Whay was a sparkplug in last 2 minutes. And it made for exciting b-ball.

Exactly! If the next one ends in a Mystics win, it'll be a fun Game 4.



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PostPosted: 09/16/17 12:08 am    ::: Re: One-and-done unintended consequence? Reply Reply with quote

NYL_WNBA_FAN wrote:
So I guess what I am asking is whether or not these one-and-dones are a "penny wise pound foolish" way of doing business? The WNBA has eliminated the first round best of 3s that weren't profitable while theoretically adding one-and-dones that would make for more compelling TV. However, we've seen very lackluster semifinals last year and so far this year. Isn't that the bigger picture?

It's not just that the Libs are out of it for me either. I watched the game 1s in the semis. Last night I feel asleep at 9:30 and I didn't even turn on the Minnesota-DC game. Even when I saw DC was up I gave them very little chance to win. The lack of compelling game 1s really reduced my interest in the game 2s. I watched the finals last year. I will again this year. No interest in the semis though. That says something.



Unfortunately, the league is now similar to the way it is in the NBA, where there's 2 top teams in GSW and CLE, and every other team is in the distant 2nd tier. In the W, there's MIN and LA. I've ranked NY as the 3rd best team in the league 2 years in a row, which is an impressive feat, but they're still in the 2nd tier. Need another star.. Idea

In short, that 'playoff boredom' seems to be more of a function of the teams involved. Currently, in the NBA, the 1st round series are also more interesting than the semis. Back in the 2000's there were ~8 different teams that were Championship-caliber (most of them in the Western Conference) which made all the playoffs interesting to watch. Now there's only 2. So the boredom is less of a function of the format than the teams.. Confused At least now, we can get a MIN-LA Finals instead of a PHO-CHI one..

I've been watching the semis just to watch it, but I just don't have any thing to say other than 'I expect MIN and LA to win'. And a similar story to yours, I almost fell asleep during the post-Leonard-injury GSW-SA semis, and I was at the game! Had to buy one of those $8 cups of coffee so I didn't look bored on TV Razz



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PostPosted: 09/16/17 3:44 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Uneven series can happen anywhere along the standings. This year there seems to be 2 top teams, followed by the rest. Is that always the case though? I don't think a system should be designed around an assumption about where the level changes.
Single eliminations might not be ideal, but turning a crappy, one-sided contest into a multi-game series isn't ideal either.
At least under the current system, 6 teams get a home playoff game, and the games involving the lesser teams are meaningful. There's more at stake in an elimination game than in game 1 of (potentially) 5, and that fact increases the value of the game for the fans & players.
Personally I'd be fine with having the semi finals as best-of-3 series. Not because this season happens to feature only 2 top teams, but because 1-1-3-5 flows better to me than 1-1-5-5. If you have a system that allows an average team to get lucky, then it's perhaps better not to commit to a 5-game series against the best teams.

Also, regarding upset results, how about a little perspective. NY finished high on the standings, but come 2016 playoff time they had injury issues, and finished the regular season on a 3 game losing streak. No one was shocked that they lost to Phoenix. Similarly, this year, the Sun had a great season, but they entered the playoffs in a form slump too. If a "good" team is struggling at the wrong end of the season it's unfortunate, but in those cases it's debatable whether giving them more games is going to help.

I'm pretty certain that the WNBA playoffs in general would be a lot better attended if the dates were known at the start of the season, the venues were the same as the regular season venues, and if a substantial proportion of the fans were able to pay for their seat several months in advance. i.e. if the circumstances were the same as for regular season games. We have the same issues down here with both the mens & womens leagues, and it is much more a result of people not being able to plan ahead, than a result of people not wanting to watch playoff basketball.
But the fact is that until the league is more popular, the "best" playoff system is always going to be compromised towards the "more profitable" (or should that be "least-costly") system.



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PostPosted: 09/16/17 7:07 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

LA and Minny would have slapped around whatever teams they were facing.



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PostPosted: 09/16/17 7:13 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

My preferences would be a 3 game semi-finals, instead of a 5, saving the 5 game series for the finals.



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PostPosted: 09/16/17 7:36 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

mercfan3 wrote:
LA and Minny would have slapped around whatever teams they were facing.


No way, the teams that couldn't win at home against Phoenix and Washington would definitely be taking road games from Minny and LA!! Laughing


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PostPosted: 09/16/17 8:10 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Mystics had a lead in Game 2 with under five minutes to play. I'm not sure how two road losses can be looked at as validation, but a 14-point loss at home can be overlooked.


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PostPosted: 09/16/17 8:40 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Maybe best of 3 series and then the finals best of 5



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PostPosted: 09/16/17 10:22 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I attended Game 2 of the Lynx/ Mystics series and it was a great game to watch. The Mystics are absolutely semi worthy. I'm sure the Liberty and Sun would've been fun in either series too, but I think that says more in a good way about the upper half of WNBA teams this season. Also, I'd now attend any WNBA game at The Barn - great atmosphere.

Toliver can be crazy and score in waves. I've been to games to see EDDin person before but never as up close as this week. She's phenomenal.

If I was a fan of higher seeded team that lost I'd be pretty bummed, but I don't think it makes the semis uninteresting. I don't think single elimination is the worst thing... The entire NCAA basketball tourney plays out that way and I didn't see many UConn fans dwelling on they didn't get to play Mississippi State in a best of 3, although I'm pretty certain the result of which team would've moved on would have changed.

I'm not opposed to a one game or best of three. I've been more disappointed for this board is putting down Phoenix and Washington and I actually find both teams as good tough match ups in the semis and fun ball. I think some fans are missing out.

My bigger concern than the format is I've watched too many playoff games over the years in the W I feel the refs have greatly influenced. That would be my real concern with a single elimination playoff game. Being eliminated one of those nights would be a lot tougher than seeing Toliver just light up my team for 9 treys.


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PostPosted: 09/16/17 11:55 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Right now there's been two enjoyable games out of 8 in the playoffs. The Mystics are worthy. They have talent. But I thought CT matched up better to Minnesota. And PHX with DT unbeaten in one game eliminations, looks like they don't belong on the floor with LA, even with Parker at less than 100%.

It's also the second year in a row the semis have been a disappointment though I do think last year's Libs probably would have gotten killed in the semis. [/i]



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PostPosted: 09/16/17 4:58 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

NYL_WNBA_FAN wrote:
Right now there's been two enjoyable games out of 8 in the playoffs. The Mystics are worthy. They have talent. But I thought CT matched up better to Minnesota. And PHX with DT unbeaten in one game eliminations, looks like they don't belong on the floor with LA, even with Parker at less than 100%.

It's also the second year in a row the semis have been a disappointment though I do think last year's Libs probably would have gotten killed in the semis. [/i]


Maybe New York could have put up a fight, maybe.

CT would be getting spanked right now. They're too young. A tired Phoenix looked like they could beat LA in their first game, not sure what you are watching? I'd like to see both Mystics and Phoenix get a win tomorrow..because I do think they have the talent to make it a series, it's just..ultimately..there's an obvious outcome.

We have to face the reality that LA and Minny are just on a different level than anyone else.



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PostPosted: 09/16/17 5:18 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I don't want the Mystics to win because I don't want the W playing in the Georgetown dump



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PostPosted: 09/16/17 5:19 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I like the proposed 1-1-3-5 game format.


I honestly don't think these semifinals would be any more or less interesting if NY or CON had advanced. Both those teams proved they crack under pressure so I'm not sure what people think would be happening if they were playing LA or Minny now; it likely would be similar to what we see with the current match ups. At the end of the day, the fact is, LA and Minny have more talent and are playing significantly better than all the other teams right now.


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PostPosted: 09/16/17 5:30 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
I don't want the Mystics to win because I don't want the W playing in the Georgetown dump


I'll settle for a heartbreaking OT loss.


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PostPosted: 09/16/17 8:01 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

mercfan3 wrote:
NYL_WNBA_FAN wrote:
Right now there's been two enjoyable games out of 8 in the playoffs. The Mystics are worthy. They have talent. But I thought CT matched up better to Minnesota. And PHX with DT unbeaten in one game eliminations, looks like they don't belong on the floor with LA, even with Parker at less than 100%.

It's also the second year in a row the semis have been a disappointment though I do think last year's Libs probably would have gotten killed in the semis. [/i]


Maybe New York could have put up a fight, maybe.

CT would be getting spanked right now. They're too young. A tired Phoenix looked like they could beat LA in their first game, not sure what you are watching? I'd like to see both Mystics and Phoenix get a win tomorrow..because I do think they have the talent to make it a series, it's just..ultimately..there's an obvious outcome.

We have to face the reality that LA and Minny are just on a different level than anyone else.


This could be all true. But I'll just add one simple thing. Put Minnesota and LA in a one-and-done scenario with a week off against a team that's played a few days before, and they're also more vulnerable than they would be in a best-of-3 or a best-of-5.

My point isn't to criticize the teams involved so much as the system itself, which is what I think people are missing. It has been said by Bill Laimbeer that this system is in place to accommodate television. His actual words. So, if that's the goal, the end result should be more compelling basketball. The result hasn't been that. While we may have had the same outcomes with CT and NY advancing, there's another issue at play. It's 1 playoff game and out for those teams. Nothing else for the fans of those teams. No opportunity for adjustments and 1 other game at least to see if adjusting has an impact. I'd think fans and players of the 3 and 4 seeds deserve that much. Even if you leave the first round just the way it is. Throw the 3 and 4 seeds a little more of a bone for finishing ahead of the 5-8 seeds. Especially if the intended consequence of the new system (more entertaining for TV) hasn't happened.



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PostPosted: 09/16/17 9:52 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Same format but how about

1-3-3-5

NY and Conn both played LA and Minny pretty well in the regular season, and probably could win a game or two in a 5 game series.

That said they lost and the other teams won and that is that. Also PX and Washington have bigger star appeal and I'm sure ESPN and casual fans are happy they get to see DT, Griner and EDD. (If that actually means anything, I'm not sure it does, but if it does PX and Washington have that over Cann and NY as well as winning the very important 1 and dones they had to win to advance.)


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PostPosted: 09/16/17 10:03 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I just really don't feel bad for the 3 and 4 seeds who can't get the job done after a week off and on their home court.



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PostPosted: 09/16/17 10:11 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

mercfan3 wrote:
I just really don't feel bad for the 3 and 4 seeds who can't get the job done after a week off and on their home court.


Actually while 3 and 4 are making excuses I would like to add I think the week off hurts more than helps when you're going up against a team that just won a win or go home game a few days earlier.

I can't remember question for anyone who can, I know NY lost in 16 as the 3 seed, did the 4 seed advance to the semis?


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PostPosted: 09/16/17 10:13 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

J-Spoon wrote:
I can't remember question for anyone who can, I know NY lost in 16 as the 3 seed, did the 4 seed advance to the semis?


Yes, #4 seed Chicago reached the semifinals



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PostPosted: 09/17/17 3:44 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Look at how the Lynx came out in game 1 and stop making excuses.


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PostPosted: 09/17/17 7:20 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

It really depends on the team. With all the old legs in Minnesota, they probably appreciated the rest; with New York having won 10 straight they'd probably rather have kept rolling without a break.

I understand the perspective that the 3/4 seeds ought to be able to take care of business on their own floor in a one-off game. But I feel like if we're going to play a 204-game regular season it should be worth more. There's too much randomness in one game of basketball for teams that earned 20+ wins and a top-4 seed to potentially be done in 40 minutes.



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PostPosted: 09/17/17 8:47 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Richyyy wrote:
It really depends on the team. With all the old legs in Minnesota, they probably appreciated the rest; with New York having won 10 straight they'd probably rather have kept rolling without a break.

I understand the perspective that the 3/4 seeds ought to be able to take care of business on their own floor in a one-off game. But I feel like if we're going to play a 204-game regular season it should be worth more. There's too much randomness in one game of basketball for teams that earned 20+ wins and a top-4 seed to potentially be done in 40 minutes.

How about we take as much randomness out it as possible by calling for a review every 2 minutes. Best of both worlds then, right?
Extra bonus: that 40 minutes will feel like 3 hours.
/wnba



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PostPosted: 09/17/17 9:56 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Aladyyn wrote:
Look at how the Lynx came out in game 1 and stop making excuses.


I'm not making excuses. NY lost. I've repeatedly said they have to build differently for one and dones. Coming out in game 1 in a best-of-5 is different than playing a one-and-out, so the Minnesota comparison is pointless.

All I'm saying is the reason for doing this in the first place...for TV and theoretically entertainment value..isn't being accomplished anyway. And this system may be making it worse. If the reason for doing something isn't producing the desired result...

We see time and time again lower NCAA tournament seeds pull upsets, and those teams are probably generally further apart in talent than the top 12 teams in the world's best women's league are. It's a system that will continue to provide an increased likelihood for randomness.



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PostPosted: 09/17/17 11:33 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

All playoffs negate the importance of the regular season ... it's just a matter of degree.

And don't forget that if you have eight teams in the playoffs, the likelihood of making any in-area profit is very small in the first round. If the owners lose money and nobody watches on TV, why play the extra games?

And yes, a one-game playoff is less likely to produce the "better" team as the winner than a three-game playoff, but it's a tradeoff. As has been pointed out, the league plays 204 games to determine the best teams -- that's pretty much already been decided before the playoffs begin.



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PostPosted: 09/20/17 4:07 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

This is an interesting discussion but the math, at least from an odds perspective, would suggest that the team with the home court advantage would actually have a slightly higher chance of advancing in a one game playoff than in a three game playoff. To calculate this I took two different scenarios, In the first I considered both teams to be equal, and the home team was assigned a 2/1 chance of winning. In a one game playoff the higher seeded team would win 2 out of three times. In a three game playoff each team would sweep 6 out of 27 series, in a 3 game series the higher seeded team would win 10 of 27 and the lower seeded team would win 5. Therefore in a 1 game series the higher seeded team wins 67% but in a 3 game series the higher seeded team wins only 59%. I believe this example is most appropriate for this year because the differences in records could easily be ascribed to the injuries to Griner and Delle Donne during the regular season.

But even if we consider that the higher seeded team is better than the lower seeded team the result is the same. In this scenario I considered the higher seeded team to be a 5/2 favorite at home and the lower seeded team to be only a 3/2 favorite at home. In this case the higher seeded team would sweep 10 of 35 times while the lower seed would sweep only 6 of 35. In series that goes 3 games the higher seed would win 95 out of 133 and the lower seed only 38. Therefore in a one game series the higher seed would win 71% and in a 3 game series it would win only 67%.


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PostPosted: 09/20/17 4:21 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

We have actual data on this. The WNBA has had 13 one-game playoffs in its history. The home team won eight of them, 62%. There have been 107 three game series in league history. The team with home advantage won 79 of them, 74%.

Granted it's a small sample size for the one-gamers, but it's also trending badly for the home teams. The last two years road teams have won half the one-game playoffs.



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PostPosted: 09/20/17 5:17 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

In how many of the 13 series was the home team actually not the "better" team?


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PostPosted: 09/20/17 5:30 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

calbearman76 wrote:
But even if we consider that the higher seeded team is better than the lower seeded team the result is the same. In this scenario I considered the higher seeded team to be a 5/2 favorite at home and the lower seeded team to be only a 3/2 favorite at home. In this case the higher seeded team would sweep 10 of 35 times while the lower seed would sweep only 6 of 35. In series that goes 3 games the higher seed would win 95 out of 133 and the lower seed only 38. Therefore in a one game series the higher seed would win 71% and in a 3 game series it would win only 67%.


Depends on whether you use the 1-2 format or the 1-1-1. Under the former, your 67% is correct. Under the latter, the home team only wins 64% of series.

Of course we've had a substantial number of three game series and the team with home advantage has won far more often than your model suggests: 79/107, 74%.



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