Projected Standings and Playoff Chances

I’ve updated the projected standings from last week, and slightly changed the methodology. I’ve taken away the home bonus. This results in greater reliance on point differential, fewer upsets from lower level teams hosting playoff teams, and more evenly split chances in games between similar caliber teams, especially out west.

This time I also included weighted average point differential. This is different than a team’s average point differential in that it treats the average point differential as if every team was playing everyone in their division an even amount of times. This benefits teams like San Francisco, which plays San Jose 5 times, and hurts teams like Indianapolis, which plays 6 of their 14 games against Cincinnati and Detroit. The difference in weighted average point differential is compared between the two teams, divided by three, and then added to the better teams score.

This time I also included playoff odds, chances of each relevant teams of making the playoffs, conference finals, and final four.

West

Team Record Projected Playoffs 2nd Round Final 4
San Jose 10-3 11-3 100% 100% 89%
Seattle 6-5 9-5 98% 55% 7%
San Fran 6-5 7-7 77% 40% 4%
San Diego 5-6 7-7 25% 5% 0%
Los Angeles 4-7 5-9 0% 0% 0%
Vancouver 3-8 3-11 0% 0% 0%

The main change this week is that San Diego went from the slight favorite to take the third spot from San Francisco to being the moderate favorite to get the final spot. Seattle also became somewhat more vulnerable, though not by much since the Cascades weren’t favored in either game they lost in the bay area this past weekend. San Francisco is almost as likely to finish 8-6 (41.1%) as they are 7-7 (41.5%). San Diego has a good chance of finishing 8-6 (24.6%), but with Seattle and San Francisco holding the tie breaker over San Diego the Growlers are not in prime position right now. Interestingly San Jose is favored in their July 18 game in San Francisco, but just barely, with the Spiders having a 53% chance of winning that game.

The main reason San Jose looks so strong in this formula is that they’ve been so good at home. On the road the Spiders are just 4-2, with a (barely) negative point differential. At home they’re 6-1, with an average point differential of +5.86. In the other divisions of the AUDL that average point differential might not be that impressive from a division leader, but in a loaded West it speaks to how strong the Spiders are at home. And with the final four taking place in San Jose this year, they won’t have to play on the road for any playoff game.

Midwest

Team Record Projected Playoffs 2nd Round Final 4
Madison 11-1 13-1 100% 100% 77%
Pittsburgh 8-2 12-2 100% 83% 20%
Indianapolis 7-3 9-5 86% 16% 3%
Chicago 6-4-1 8-5-1 14% 1% 0%
Minnesota 2-7-1 4-9-1 0% 0% 0%
Cincinnati 2-9 2-12 0% 0% 0%
Detroit 0-10 0-14 0% 0% 0%

With Chicago dropping both games to Madison last weekend they are no longer favorites to make the playoffs. It’s mostly out of their hands at this point. The Wildfire are huge favorites in their two games against Detroit, and big underdogs in their game against the Thunderbirds in Pittsburgh, with just a 6.7% chance of winning. Even if the Wind Chill did help Chicago out by stealing a game from Indianapolis, the Wildfire would face a very tough time in the playoffs. The Wildfire have been weak on the road, with a 1-3-1 record.

In the playoffs the Thunderbirds would have to travel to Madison for the conference championship, and Madison has been a very tough place to win. The Radicals haven’t lost there since 2013. That (their 5-0 record at home with an average point differential of 11.4) is why it’s tough to see the Thunderbirds advancing. That said, this math doesn’t take into effect that Pittsburgh was playing without Alex Thorne, Pat Earles, and Marcus Ranii-Dropcho the last time they went to Madison. Though Madison was missing a bunch of players when they visited Pittsburgh. It’ll just be nice to watch the game with both teams at full strength with no excuses.

East

Team Record Projected Playoffs 2nd Round Final 4
Toronto 9-1 13-1 100% 100% 93%
New York 8-3 11-3 100% 88% 6%
Montreal 8-4 9-5 79% 10% 1%
Ottawa 6-4 8-6 18% 2% 0%
DC 4-6 6-8 2% 0% 0%
Rochester 1-8 1-13 0% 0% 0%
Philadelphia 0-10 1-13 0% 0% 0%

Though Montreal is only a half game behind New York for second in the East, that race is essentially over. New York has an 83% chance of finishing 11-3, and Montreal only has a 12.6% chance of finishing 10-4, though Montreal does have the tiebreaker. What makes Montreal vulnerable is that they haven’t played particularly well at home, though they are 4-1 there they have an average point differential of just +.8. That’s largely driven by their 11 point loss to the Outlaws in Montreal. The two games the Royal have left on the schedule are against Ottawa and DC, the two teams chasing them. It leaves the door open.

Unfortunately for Ottawa, the Outlaws have two games against the Rush. The Outlaws have the tiebreaker over Montreal, but to get to the playoffs the Outlaws will either have to beat Toronto, or rely on DC to beat Montreal. DC got swept (in cruel fashion, an 8-7 game was called in the third quarter with the Breeze about to receive the disc) by New York this past weekend, but could still finish 8-6. The Breeze have games against Ottawa and Montreal left, along with hosting Philadelphia and Rochester. The window is just barely open. If they beat Ottawa and Montreal, they would hold those tiebreakers.

Again, this math doesn’t factor in injuries. Jonathan Martin’s injury certainly helps New York’s chances of finally getting an upset over the Rush. The Empire have lost to the Rush twice this year, by two in New York and by three in Toronto. The reason the math favors Toronto so heavily is that Toronto is 4-0 at home with an average point differential of +10.25. The Empire are 3-2 on the road with a +.8. Home field matters.

South

Team Record Projected Playoffs 1 Seed Final 4
Atlanta 8-3 11-3 88% 63% 44%
Raleigh 9-3 11-3 100% 37% 55%
Jacksonville 8-4 9-5 12% 0% 1%
Nashville 1-8 3-11 0% 0% 0%
Charlotte 1-8 1-13 0% 0% 0%

Despite how well Jacksonville has been playing lately, the Cannons are a considerable underdog playing the Hustle in Atlanta. A win would bring them to the playoffs assuming the Cannons take care of business against Nashville. But the Hustle are still undefeated at home, 5-0 with an average point differential of +5.2. The Cannons have demonstrated they can win big games on the road though, their victory in Raleigh shows that much. But the Cannons have also played below their level on the road at times, losing to Nashville and barely holding off Charlotte on two separate occasions. Despite their 3-3 record on the road, the Cannons have an average point differential of -1.17. The math doesn’t factor in win streaks, so this formula only gives the Cannons a 13% chance of winning.

Despite the fact that Atlanta is favored to finish first in the division, Raleigh is the team with the better odds to make the final four. That’s because Raleigh, despite their two losses in Atlanta, are the only team in the South with a winning record on the road. The Flyers are 5-2 outside of Raleigh, with an average point differential of +2.29. So they have a 32% chance of winning in Atlanta. Meanwhile, Atlanta’s more subpar road performance results in only a 10% chance of winning the final game in Raleigh.

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One comment

  1. […] an Eastern division playoff battle. A win helps the Royal’s chances a lot, while a loss deflates the 18% playoff chance the Outlaws […]

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