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Most Downloaded Articles
- Creating space to shoot: quantifying spatial relative field goal efficiency in basketball by Shortridge, Ashton/ Goldsberry, Kirk and Adams, Matthew
- A Starting Point for Analyzing Basketball Statistics by Kubatko, Justin/ Oliver, Dean/ Pelton, Kevin and Rosenbaum, Dan T
- Effect of position, usage rate, and per game minutes played on NBA player production curves by Page, Garritt L./ Barney, Bradley J. and McGuire, Aaron T.
A Markov Model of Football: Using Stochastic Processes to Model a Football Drive
Citation Information: Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports. Volume 8, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1559-0410, DOI: 10.1515/1559-0410.1400, March 2012
- Published Online:
A team is backed into a 4th-and-26 from their own 25, down 3 points. What are the odds that drive ends in a field goal? In the 2003 playoffs, Donovan McNabb and the Eagles scoffed at such a probability as they converted and ultimately kicked a field goal to send the game into overtime. This study creates a mathematical model of a football drive that can calculate such probabilities, labeling down, distance, and yard line into states in an absorbing Markov chain. The Markov model provides a basic framework for evaluating play in football. With all the details of the model—absorption probabilities, expected time until absorption, expected points—we gain a much greater situational understanding for in-game analysis.