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Microsoft® Excel® 2010: Data Analysis and Business Modeling by Wayne L. Winston

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Chapter 34. Using Solver to Rate Sports Teams

Question answered in this chapter:

  • Can I use Excel to set NFL point spreads?

Many of us follow basketball, football, hockey, or baseball. Oddsmakers set point spreads on games in all these sports and others. For example, the bookmakers’ best guess was that the Indianapolis Colts would win the 2010 Super Bowl by 7 points. Instead, the New Orleans Saints won the game. In this chapter, I’ll show that the Excel Solver predicted that the Saints were the better team and should have been favored. Let’s now see how the Solver can accurately estimate the relative ability of NFL teams.

Using a simple Solver model, you can generate reasonable point spreads for games based on the scores of the 2009 season. The work ...

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