It's time to unveil the much anticipated

“Wiz projects the 2021 Season” prediction!

Well…I know these predictions aren’t really “much anticipated” by anyone else. But doing them each year does get me “officially” fired up for Football.

Those of you who have suffered through my posts over the years are familiar with my simple, but statistically sound and usually pretty accurate method of projecting the number of wins before the season. I just look at who they are playing, where they are playing and when (schedule sequence DOES make a difference), then take of my Hog-colored glasses and give my best effort to objectively apply a number between 0 and 1 that represents the percentage that Arkansas will prevail in the game. Or, the way I try to look at it, if they played the opponent 100 times under similar circumstances, how many of those games would Arkansas win? Then, I total up the percentages and the total is the projected number of wins.

There are a couple of “rules of thumb” that I use. For one thing, NO game is EVER 0 or 100. That is to say, even the most prohibitive of favorites can and sometimes do lose, even if under suspect circumstances. And no fans know that more than Arkansas fans. In recent years, I’ve seen our fans copy this style and attach 100% win chances to games such as Toledo, North Texas, San Jose State and Western Kentucky. No more need be said about that.

In general, the range of probabilities in SEC games ranges from 20% to 80%. There are rare exceptions…but in almost all cases, I just don’t see an SEC team winning more than 80 of 100 possible games played between 2 teams.

Also, the scale slides up or down depending on whether the game is at home or on the road - again, Schedules matter. In general, if someone has a 40% chance of winning on a neutral field against a given opponent, I’d give them 30% on the road, and 50% at home. Clearly, these numbers are somewhat arbitrary…the real difference might be +/- 8.6% or whatever. But for this process, it works fine. In fact, being 5 or 10% off on a given game doesn’t really move the needle significantly, and such “errors” tend to balance each other out.

Having said all of that, here are the predictions:

Rice 70% (i.e. .70)

Texas 40%

GA SO 90%

A&M 35%

@ GA 25%

@ Ole Miss 40%

Auburn 60%

UAPB 95%

MSU 60%

@LSU 30%

@Alabama 10%

Mizzou 50%

Total wins in regular season: 6.15 wins

So…6-6. About what my “eyeball analysis” would project, so it makes sense to me.

For the record, my formula projected 3.15 wins last year (i.e., 3-7 record), but I won’t claim a bullseye because we all know the Auburn game was a win in every sense other than the official record book.

As I always say in the annual posts, “try it yourself” but if you do, just be honest and TRY to be objective. Otherwise, what you get will be worthless.

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I’m thinking 50% on Texas and 60% on Mizzou.

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Which would still project to 6-6 (6.35 wins).

That’s one of the reasons this model works so well. Two reasonable and generally correct observers may think the probability of a given game should be 60% and 70%, respectively. But most of the time, that’s not going to move the needle on the season record (by itself). But most “reasonable observers” are not going to look at the same game and have one of them think there is a 40% chance of winning, while the other thinks 80% is the right probability.

So, people shouldn’t spend a lot of time trying to decide whether to put 60 or 65% beside a given game (as an example). Just go with your gut and see where it puts you. In most cases, it won’t matter whether you went 5-10% higher or lower on a given game.

I know and that’s a sad thought. I really hope the Texas game is a win because it will pay huge divisends.

Glad to see you pick >50% on Auburn. Would be nice revenge win. I think we beat Missouri finally.

Expected 80% to 90% for Rice unless they are surprisingly a better team.
Agree that LSU, aTm, GA, & AL are expected losses on paper.
Curious about aTm with their new QB this year. Pollsters believe they will be solid.
ut game is a toss-up since coaching changes make both teams unknowns. However, ut is still loaded on talent which gives them the edge.
OM, MSU, Auburn & MO are unknowns & toss-ups until after the first couple of games. We need those to be 4 wins for us.

The biggest unknown is Arkansas. Expect our defense to be much tougher & deeper this year. Hopeful our offense can execute & with solid play by our QB, RBs, & receivers. At least we are developing a CSP caliber offensive line.

I’m still thinking 7 wins. This statistical data, though, does make me feel better about running down to Hot Springs and betting a nickel on the current Vegas over/under win total of 5.5.

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7 wins & competitive play in games that we lose will significantly help our recruiting.

Since ut & OU will likely join in 2025, keeping a mental time frame for Arkansas to significantly improve in football & hopefully play them on equal footing by then. The Big12 reject teams (especially Ok St, TCU, & Baylor) will take a beating in their recruiting, at least until their destiny is decided, so a huge opportunity for Arkansas.

Don’t know if it is much anticipated, but I do look forward to it. Was thinking about it this week. I would have a hard time finding a whole lot wrong with your numbers. Like you said, 10% or even 20% one way or another is not that big a deal.

I still don’t really know what to think about Arkansas this season. So much goes into it and there is a lot of unknowns for sure. The schedule is brutal, but what else is new in the SEC West? Still, I believe Arkansas is deeper in both lines and improved in the secondary. I look for a much improved defense and a slightly improved offense (Oline mostly, but that is a big deal). That should equal 6-6.

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hard to argue with your analysis, however, the more I learn about the Chad Morris years, the more I’m beginning to throw them out as a predictor of anything. What I mean is that you say there are no 0’s or 100’s in your calculations. I think that’s generally true. But you give as examples our losses against the likes of San Jose & No. Texas. One thing that can make a team’s chances of winning go to 0 (or the other team’s go to 100) is if it gives no effort or throws the game. I won’t accuse our players of throwing the games against any of those teams in the Morris era, but their effort to play for the man was so minimal, it nearly was.

Pittman proved last year that our talent was much better than the 2-10 records of the Morris years. This year I think our talent has improved, his opportunities to practice, teach, & evaluate have increased, and our talent has probably improved, too.

Seems to me your taking all Pittman has done & is doing into account without saying so explicitly. So, I think 6 wins is a reasonable expectation. I hope for 7 or even 8 wins. Won’t allow myself to even hope for more than 8. All of us would have to be really underestimating the talent & depth on this team to get to 8 or better. We’d also have to be awfully lucky in avoiding injuries.

I don’t see us winning less than 3. Even if one of the non-conf, not-Texass opponents is underrated & upsets us, I see us winning at least one SEC game against somebody.

My range of predictions 4-8 to 7-5 with 5-7 or 6-6 being most likely.

If you used my percentages and viewed the associated “bell curve”, you’d find 77-78 percent of the area is between 4 and 7 wins (inclusive). The chances that we win EXACTLY 6 games is the highest, at just over 25%.

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OK…I’ll play!

Rice 80%

Texas 60%

GA SO 90%

A&M 35%

@ GA 25%

@ Ole Miss 50%

Auburn 60%

UAPB 100%

MSU 70%

@LSU 30%

@Alabama 10%

Mizzou 50%
Total wins…6.6…let’s round up…I say we win 7.

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What does that bet pay, Harley? Is it even money, or does it pay odds? At 2 or 3 to 1, I’d put a nickel on the over.

I think over/ under bets are all even money.

I think the same thing,just too many ??? that can make or break this team.I think our defense will be better but I still don’t think they will be great bc I’m not sure how we will be against the run.
I think the offense if it gets very solid QB play has very good potential but KJ is so inexperienced I just can’t see that yet. I think our OL will be better but can’t see us being able to line up and ground and pound it against the better teams so that puts big pressure on the passing game…I’m not going to spend all that time doing what Wiz is doing so I just really don’t know
I would guess I see 5-6 wins right now but that’s a guess bc we have no clue really how the team is looking bc they are showing nothing in the 20 min media snippets.I will know more after we play Rice.

First, I haven’t been to Hot Springs yet, just thinking about it, so I don’t know for certain that their over/under number will be 5.5, but I imagine it will be. The over/under wins bet is not an even money bet with a vig. It is a number they set, and then they set their “odds” based on how the bets are coming in, or when the line is set, how they believe they will come in and then adjust accordingly.

All the odds are are based on a $100 bet/win. One on-line site using the number 5.5 has set their current odds as +$110 for the over and -$139 for the under. So if you bet the over (current betting dog), you would give them $100 and win $110. If you want the under (current betting favorite), you would give them $139 to win $100. Obviously, most of their betting public are betting the under for the Hogs. If you are betting a nickel, just multiply those numbers by 5.

To me, this over would be a very favorable bet. I have no idea what those odds numbers will be in the state of Arkansas in Hot Springs or Pine Bluff if they are using 5.5, but I have my doubts they would be similar, due to betting Razorback fans. They might even be reversed. I will bet the number if it is in the vicinity of -110 / -110 which would be the normal 10% vig. Both the over and the under would pay $110 to win $100.

That doesn’t move the needle much for me. Definitely not worth it to lay a nickel for even money. Guess I’ll just play it game by game. I think I’m going to Vegas the weekend of the Bama game. Very curious to see the line for that game. Chiefs host Cowboys the same weekend.

I love the post and the approach, and I totally agree with your 6-6 guesstimate, and I will be placing $ on the “over” with vegas. couple thoughts…

  1. Almost everyone is calling LSU a loss. I don’t understand this. we should have beaten them last year, with a truly pathetic roster, we were just so decimated by covid protocols. Marshall played 92 snaps, for goodness sakes-I think that’s literally how many he played. we clearly out-coached them tremendously, and should be deeper. I feel like I’m missing something, such as they had tons of key injuries who will all be back. if not, then I think the LSU game is a true toss-up.

  2. I’ll be shocked if we don’t beat Mizzou. I’d give that a .80 chance.

  3. I’d call texas .50, but that’s a nitpick. overall, i agree with your 6-6, love the system

GHG

Sportsbook.ag has the total at 5.5 with the over currently at -125 and the under at -105, meaning a slight majority are betting the over. Not enough to move the number, but enough that they are slanting the odds. Surprisingly, they only have us at 100/1 to win the SEC and 300/1 to win the NC. I typically place a small wager on both, but like to get a little longer odds.

Yeah, that’s closer to what I expected. It seems to me that those odds I saw, would be on a 6 over/under.

I looked up Vegas Insider and it’s supposed to reflect a Vegas average. They actually now have moved the # to 6. It’s now +105 over and -134 under. I don’t know that I’d bet that. I like 5.5 because I just don’t see 5, but think we have a decent shot at 7. 6 is probably the highest probability.