# Mathletics: How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Use Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football

By Wayne Winston | Go to book overview

51
CONCLUSIONS
We have covered a lot of material in this book. We have shown how applying mathematics can improve the performance of baseball, football, and basketball teams. We have learned how to evaluate teams and players and determine the probabilities of interesting events such as consecutive nohitters. We have also gained an understanding of how sports gambling works. In this chapter we will review the important mathematical tools that we have used in our analysis.
The Use of Regression
Throughout the book, we have used regression to try to understand how various team statistics impact team performance. Often we tried to predict a dependent variable (such as Runs Scored, or an NFL team's points for and against) from team statistics (hitting statistics, team offense and defense statistics in the NFL). We used regression to analyze several sports situations.
 • We showed how the Linear Weights (see chapter 3) derived by multiple regression can be used to predict how singles, walks, doubles, triples, and home runs contribute to team Runs Scored and runs generated by an individual. • In our study of football we used regression (chapter 18) to derive the surprising result that an NFL team's passing yards per attempt on offense and defense explain nearly 70% of the team's overall performance. • In our study of NBA basketball (see chapter 28) we found that a team's offensive and defensive effective shooting percentage were much more important to determining overall team performance than were rebounding, turnovers, and free throw efficiency. • We saw that NBA referees are more likely to call fouls on players of a different race (chapter 34) by taking a look at Price and Wolfers's regression analysis.1

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